Dear Mr. Jung, 28, IV, 1934
In the meantime 1 have thought more about the problems that were broached in your letters of Oct. and Nov. 1938 and I would like to take the liberty of raising once again the question of the periodic symbols one of which occurred in the dream of 23-1-1938 and which you were kind enough to comment on in your letter.
I think I can take the matter a little farther by referring back to an even earlier dream which is to be found in the material 1 sent to you on an earlier occasion.
Specifically, it is the dream of 13-III- 1936.
This dream affords a certain insight into how a periodic symbol actually comes about for in it a dark man appears (associated by me with the
“shadow” archetype). who is cutting pieces out of a zone of light at regular intervals.
Although the two dreams refer to external situations that are very different and thus probably have different meanings. it seems to me nevertheless
very instructive to compare the two symbols (see the drawing at that point).
In the 1938 dream. the “oscillation” was horizontal, whereas it is vertical in the 1939 one (but I also know rare cases where it is slanting).
My own idea about this (arrived at purely intuitively) is that these symbols have a connection with the attitude to death. in that one oscillation signifies one human life. but one which is to be interpreted only as part of a larger whole.
For this whole. the usual concept of time applies, except that here there comes into play what you in your letter called the “time concept of the anima.”
Whether this idea is definitive or not this periodic symbolism expresses for me a crucial life problem.
Despite your statement to the contrary in your letter of 3.XI.38, I suspect that this symbolism can be historically supported by documentary evidence after all, possibly the mystery cults of late antiquity.
Should anything else occur to you on the vasis of the earlier dream, I would be grateful if you would let me know.
I am also taking the liberty of sending you the promised work on the dream series from the first half of 1937, to complete your collection I recall that I became tired in the spring of 1937 and did not pursue the matter further.
But these problems crop up repeatedly with me from time to time, in one form or another.
With my best wishes for the new year,
W. Pauli ~Wolfgang Pauli, Atom and Archetype, Pages 24-25
Dear Dr. Jung,
Now that the holidays are over, I should like to ask you whether we may resume our Monday meetings in May; the first Monday in May is the 7th; could you receive me at 12 o’clock on that day?
Unfortunately I find myself having to count on the offer you kindly made with regard to the financial side, and I am most grateful to you for this.
It was with great interest that I read your essay on “Seele und Tod” [Soul and Death] in the April edition of the Europ Revue, especially your remarks on “Telepathy” and the “non-spatial, non-temporal form of being of the
psyche,” where you even specifically mention my special subject-Theoretical Physics.
It is something that is very important to me, on the one hand, and yet is still largely unclear.
Of course, it all depends on what position one adopts in the relationships of the hypothetical, nonspatial, nontemporal form of being of the psyche to observable occurrences. (For apart from these relationships, one can, from the scientific point of view, adopt any arbitrary approach to the nonspatial, nontemporal form of being of the psyche.)
The general approach of the modem physicist to life phenomena is always the following: It is certainly impossible, through any observation of living beings, to ascertain any direct contradiction to the laws of physics as we know them.
However, in the experiments with living beings-be they of a biological or a psychological nature-the condition of keeping them alive or of preventing them from destroying themselves by scientific experimentation in a way that would annihilate the phenomenon would render impossible the testing of the laws of physics in the narrow sense of the term, particularly with those manifestations that are characteristic of living beings (e.g., adaptation. propagation. heredity). so much so that there is no room left for any new type of law of nature with life phenomena.
Of course. these remarks are intended as a general framework.
As far as the “parapsychological” phenomena in particular are concerned, I certainly do not know of any factual material (and even if I did. God knows whether I would believe any of it).
But in my dreaming and waking fantasies those abstract figures are appearing in ever greater numbers; you know them already (circles or stylized “little men” like hieroglyphics or acoustic rhythms, or alternating light and dark stripes) and it will become a matter of life and death for me to understand more about the objective (communicable) meaning of these symbols than I do at the moment.
I have certain grounds for assuming that only then will it be possible for me to “subjugate” my anima complex (transform it into a “function” in your psychology).
And my phobia about wasps is also very much connected with that.
In the meantime. my relationship to those creatures. which are of such exaggerated importance to me has changed insofar as the object of the fear is starting to become separated from the wasps (or partially at least).
I recognized that behind it lurked the fear of a sort of ecstatic state in which the contents of the unconscious (autonomous part systems) might burst forth contents which because of their strangeness would not be capable of being assimilated by the conscious and might thus have a shattering effect on it.
On the other hand, if an assimilation of the contents did come about as a result of the conscious gradually becoming accustomed to such experiences as those that are concealed behind the word “parapsychology” and symbols like the ones mentioned. then the danger would be averted (and ecstatic outbursts would hardly be likely to occur).
I would very like to discuss this and related series of fantasies with you in person.
Incidentally. you were perfectly correct when you predicted that for me marriage would constellate the “dark side of the collective” and corresponding “representations collectives.”
With best wishes.
W PAULI ~Wolfgang Pauli, Atom and Archetype, Pages 25-26