137: Jung, Pauli, and the Pursuit of a Scientific Obsession

137: Jung, Pauli, and the Pursuit of a Scientific Obsession

Arthur I. Miller

Language: English

Pages: 360

ISBN: 0393338649

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

“The history is fascinating, as are the insights into the personalities of these great thinkers.”―New Scientist

Is there a number at the root of the universe? A primal number that everything in the world hinges on? This question exercised many great minds of the twentieth century, among them the groundbreaking physicist Wolfgang Pauli and the famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Their obsession with the power of certain numbers―including 137, which describes the atom’s fine-structure constant and has great Kabbalistic significance―led them to develop an unlikely friendship and to embark on a joint mystical quest reaching deep into medieval alchemy, dream interpretation, and the Chinese Book of Changes. 137 explores the profound intersection of modern science with the occult, but above all it is the tale of an extraordinary, fruitful friendship between two of the greatest thinkers of our times. Originally published in hardcover as Deciphering the Cosmic Number. 66 b/w illustrations












Pauli to Jaffé, January 5, 1958: PLC8 [2825]. “what I should write and calculate”: Pauli to Jaffé, January 5, 1958: PLC8 [2825]. “mirror complex”: Pauli to Jaffé, January 5, 1958: PLC8 [2825]. about which he was still exultant: Pauli to Jaffé, January 5, 1958: PLC8 [2825]. “could almost feel the silence”: Interview with T. D. Lee by the author, Columbia University, April 23, 2008. At Pauli’s request Lee scheduled the lecture at Columbia University. Lee told me that he personally had

argent-vive). Sol (the Sun) is the male force of the universe, creative will. Luna (the Moon) represents the receptive female force, wisdom. The material world is generated out of sulphur (fire and air) and argent-vive (earth and water), that is, out of the four elements. Thus the conjunction of all these gives rise to the world of mysticism. Alchemy and psychology As he read more and more deeply in alchemical works, Jung realized that he had discovered the “historical counterpart of [his]

assistant the following year, claimed that he immediately guessed that the dreamer was Pauli, and others suspected it too. But none of Pauli’s colleagues ever revealed anything. In fact the question of who the “brilliant young scientist” was remained a mystery for fifty years until Carl A. Meier, Jung’s successor at the ETH (where Jung had been on the staff since 1933), revealed that Pauli had been in analysis with Rosenbaum. Shortly afterward, Aniela Jaffé, who had been Jung’s personal

belongs to the esoteric beliefs of the ancient world. By separating his intellect from his anima, Pauli has buried the anima in this ancient world. In the same way in the modern world, the dominance of rationality, essential for the development of science, has relegated the anima to a backwater in the human mind. “Atmavictu,” totem carved by Jung in 1920. He claimed that it reminded him of the one he had carved as a boy and that his unconscious supplied the name. Jung at Lake Zürich, 1920.

was a feeling type who sought “a greater completeness of experience.” This meant including emotions and the “inner experience of the ‘observer’,” which Fludd did by taking into account the “power of this number”—namely four. In the end, however, Fludd was on the wrong path. It was inevitable that modern science would develop as it did, in a way that did not bring about the fully rounded psyche. As Pauli wrote: “In my own view it is only a narrow passage of truth (no matter whether scientific or

Download sample