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

Dear Professor Jung, Zollikon-Zurich, 16 June 1948

When that amusing “Pauli effect” of the overturned vase occurred, on the occasion of the founding of the Jung Institute, I had the immediate and vivid impression that I should “pour out water inside” (“innen Wasser ausgiessen” -to use the symbolic language that I have acquired from you).

Then when the connection between psychology and physics took up a relatively large part of your talk, it became even more clear to me what I was to do.

The outcome of all this is the enclosed essay.

It is not intended for publication or for a lecture, especially as for me it is just the beginning of an examination of these problems; it could, however, serve as a basis for further discussion. (I would be very happy if it would be possible for you to spend a quiet evening in the second half of July discussing these problems with Dr. C. A. Meier and myself.)

But perhaps you prefer to communicate by letter by letter.

If the same set of problems is looked at from such different angles as those of psychology and physics, there are bound to be differences of opinion over certain details.

The main one for me still remains that I relate the fact of the representation of psychic circumstances to characteristics of the material, which was first proved by you in the case of alchemy.

Furthermore, I attempt to show that in this it is very easy for the unconscious to replace the alchemistic oven with a modem spectrograph.

This should come as less of a surprise to the psychologist than to the physicist: Whereas the latter soon jumps to the false conclusion that such symbolism is now invalid u a consequence of the strides made in our knowledge of matter, the former knows only too well how little the structure and tendency of the unconscious have been affected by the technological progress of the past 300 years.

Hoping to see you again at the Psychological Club on Saturday, I send my best wishes and remain,

Yours sincerely, W PAULI ~Wolfgang Pauli, Atom and Archetype, Pages 33-34