Memories, Dreams, Reflections Publisher: Vintage; Revised Edition edition

[Carl Jung on the Evolution of the Soul after Death]

I had another experience of the evolution of the soul after death when about a year after my wife’s death I suddenly awoke one night and knew that I had been with her in the south of France, in Provence, and had spent an entire day with her.

She was engaged on studies of the Grail there. That seemed significant to me, for she had died before completing her work on this subject.

Interpretation on the subjective level that my anima had not yet finished with the work she had to do yielded nothing of interest; I know quite well that I am not yet finished with that.

But the thought that my wife was continuing after death to work on her further spiritual development however that may be conceived struck me as meaningful and held a measure of reassurance for me.

Ideas of this sort are, of course, inaccurate, and give a wrong picture, like a body projected on a plane or, conversely, like the construction of a four-dimensional model out of a three-dimensional body.

They use the terms of a three-dimensional world in order to represent themselves to us. Mathematics goes to great pains to create expressions for relationships which pass empirical comprehension.

In much the same way, it is all-important for a disciplined imagination to build up images of intangibles by logical principles and on the basis of empirical data, that is, on the evidence of dreams.

The method employed is what I have called “the method of the necessary statement.”

It represents the principle of amplification in the interpretation of dreams, but can most easily be demonstrated by the statements implicit in simple whole numbers.

One, as the first numeral, is unity. But it is also “the unity,” the One, All-Oneness, individuality and non-duality not a numeral but a philosophical concept, an archetype and attribute of God, the monad.

It is quite proper that the human intellect should make these statements; but at the same time the intellect is determined and limited by its conception of oneness and its implications.

In other words, these statements are not arbitrary. They are governed by the nature of oneness and therefore are necessary statements.

Theoretically, the same logical operation could be performed for each of the following conceptions of number, but in practice the process soon comes to an end because of the rapid increase in complications, which become too numerous to handle.

Every further unit introduces new properties and new modifications.

Thus, it is a property of the number four that equations of the fourth degree can be solved, whereas equations of the fifth degree cannot.

The necessary statement of the number four, therefore, is that, among other things, it is an apex and simultaneously the end of a preceding ascent.

Since with each additional unit one or more new mathematical properties appear, the statements attain such a complexity that they can no longer be formulated.

The infinite series of natural numbers corresponds to the infinite number of individual creatures.

That series likewise consists of individuals, and the properties even of its first ten members represent if they represent anything at all an abstract cosmogony derived from the monad.

The properties of numbers are, however, simultaneously properties of matter, for which reason certain equations can anticipate its behavior.

Therefore I submit that other than mathematical statements (i.e., statements implicit in nature) are likewise capable of pointing to irrepresentable realities beyond themselves such, for example, as those products of the imagination which enjoy universal acceptance or are distinguished by the frequency of their occurrence, like the whole class of archetypal motifs.

Just as in the case of some factors in mathematical equations we cannot say to what physical realities they correspond, so in the case of some mythological products we do not know at first to what psychic realities they refer.

Equations governing the turbulence of heated gases existed long before the problems of such gases had been precisely investigated.

Similarly, we have long been in possession of mythologems which express the dynamics of certain subliminal processes, though these processes were only given names in very recent times. ~Carl Jung; Memories Dreams and Reflections