Atom and Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters, 1932-1958

Dear Mr. Jung, Zurich 7, 15-x-38

In summer I came across your book Psychology and Religion,’ and I saw that you have attached a certain importance to some of my early dreams, especially the vision with the “World clock.”

This now prompts me to tell you about a dream I had at the beginning of this year which, both in structure and content, is closely related to the dreams discussed in the book, especially the world-clock vision.

In my defense for bothering you with it, I would also point out that the dream recorded in detail on the enclosed sheet, after my notes, is one of the relatively few dreams that I regard as significant and effective.

As an obedient student of yours, I must first say something about the conscious attitude when the dream occurred.

I was once at a meeting where someone was talking about the oracle of the I Ching.

It struck me that the one consulting the oracle has to “draw” three time., whereas the result of the draw depends on the divisibility of a quantity by four.

This reminded vividly of the “world-clock vision,” in which the motif of the permeation of the 3 and the 4 was the main source of feeling the harmony.

The dream occurred about 2 weeks later, when the matter was no longer consciously preoccupying me, and it brought the subject to a sort of provisional conclusion.

As in the dream contents, I don’t want to get bogged down in too much sweeping speculation but wold just like to make a few general observations.

After a careful and critical appraisal of many experiences and arguments, I have come to accept the existence of deeper spiritual layers that cannot be adequately defined by the conventional concept of time.

The logical consequence of this is that the death of the single individual in these layers does not have its usual meaning. for they always go beyond life.

In the absence of appropriate terms of reference these spiritual spheres are represented by symbols; in my case, they are particularly often represented by wave or oscillation symbols (which still remains to be explained).

The relationship to these images is strongly affective and connected with afeeling that could be described as a mimue of fear and awe. (You will perhaps say that the curves are an imago dei.)

In the dream described here, an attempt is first made to relate the two lowest of the 3 layers to a four-part object (clock), but this does not work.

This is why, in contrast to the earlier world clock vision, the sense of harmony is missing.

The cry of the ecstatic “voice” at the end of the dream is perhaps a way of showing the puzzling “rhythms” from a new side. and they seem to be regulating that process which is here called “paying.”

One is inclined to connect the “certain life” with the first (quickest) rhythm and the (temporally) indefinite life with the other two rhythms.

I would he interested to hear what you make of this dream for I attach a great deal of importance to all these problems.

Thanking you in advance for your trouble.

I send my best wishes.

Yours sincerely

W. PAULI ~Wolfgang Pauli, Atom and Archetype, Pages 20-21