Beyond Quantum Physics

My mother stimulated me into the direction of astronomy and physics. I had asked for a book about what did exist, but could not been seen. I could have meant the unconscious. But I received a book about the cosmos. From that moment on I wanted to know the secret of the cosmos. During the years in secondary education I understood that I had to understand the relativity theory of Albert Einstein. In 1970 I started to study physics, astronomy and mathematics. That was the only way to follow the footsteps of Einstein. He had discovered some equation that seemed to rule the cosmos.

John Bell and the Pauli-effect

When the depth psychologist Carl Gustav Jung in 1937 gave his Terry Lectures at Yale University in New Haven, it became clear that the world of alchemy was as alive as ever. Jung commented on three dreams by Wolfgang Pauli, taken from the period when he had been in analysis with Erna Rosenbaum and Jung himself. The analysis with Rosenbaum started in February 1932 and lasted five months. Then Pauli worked for three months alone on his dreams. Only after a period of eight months did he begin to see Jung on a regular basis, till he ended the analysis in October 1934. The selection of Pauli’s dreams that was published by Jung with a commentary in Psychology and Alchemy covers a period of nearly ten months. Since Pauli was born on the 25th of April 1900 most of the published dreams are from the 32nd year of his life.

Wolfgang Pauli and the light-dark stranger I

After his marriage to Franca Bertram the theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli kept seeing the depth psychologist Carl Gustav Jung for dream analysis during the months May until October 1934. Since a few letters by Pauli were misdated in the German edition of the Pauli/Jung letters, it is easier to follow Pauli’s development during these months in the English edition. In April 1934 Pauli has travelled to London for his marriage. On the 28th of April he has returned to Zürich and writes a letter to Jung to resume their Monday meetings. He still struggles with the underdevelopment of his feeling function, but what bothers him really are phenomena of a parapsychological kind which are connected in his dreams to certain abstract figures:

Wolfgang Pauli and the light-dark stranger II

In July 1954 Pauli starts to study Jung’s essay ‘Transformation Symbolism in the Mass.’ He is now really interested in the psychology of sacrifice. His relationship with von Franz improves. They are now on familiar terms with each other and on August 24 he gets a dream about a new ETH. The dream points to phase D in the symbol of the Self. Instead of a stone a new house can just as well mark a phase of realization of unconscious contents in our three-dimensional reality. The difficulty is not to dream, but to arrive at a new standpoint. Pauli’s dream of a new ETH clearly demonstrates what he has to do for his own rebirth.

Interview with Marie-Louise von Franz

Interviewer Hein Stufkens and film producer Philip Engelen went to Küsnacht to interview Marie-Louise von Franz in English about her former relationship with Wolfgang Pauli. Parts of the interview appeared in the documentary series Passions of the Soul which was broadcast by IKON for the first time in November 1991. WOLFGANG PAULI, THE FEMININE AND… Lees verder Interview with Marie-Louise von Franz

Introduction to ‘the Piano Lesson’

Harvest. Journal for Jungian Studies, Vol. 48 No. 2, 2002.

Theoretical physicist and Nobel prize winner Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958) was the young neurotic scientist of which Carl Gustav Jung published a series of dreams in Psychology and Alchemy. Between 1931 and 1934 he was in analysis with Erna Rosenbaum and Jung himself. Pauli ended the analysis in October 1934 after he met Franca Bertram and married her. She was his second wife. At that time Pauli felt a need to get away from dream interpretation and dream analysis. He knew that his feeling function was not well developed, but he hoped that life would resolve the remaining problems in his relationship with the unconscious. To his embarrassment, however, the unconscious started to send him dreams with mathematical and physical symbols. In an essay of June 1948 he called this dream-symbolism ‘background physics.’ (Meier, 2001, 179) A detailed study of Pauli’s thoughts on “background physics” is the subject of a recent thesis (Meijgaard, 1998).

Commentary on ‘The Piano Lesson’

      Harvest. Journal for Jungian Studies, Vol. 48 No. 2, 2002. 

The active imagination starts with the unhappiness Wolfgang Pauli must have felt for many years. He could not bring the two schools together. By the older school Pauli means theoretical physics. The modern school stands for depth psychology. The girl from Küsnacht is Marie-Louise von Franz. Pauli hopes that she, as a reflection of his soul, can help him to bring theoretical physics and depth psychology together. To that end he enters in his imagination the house of von Franz. Immediately he hears the voice of his inner master. The conical paper bags of the master refer to the so-called Minkowski light cones in relativity theory (Rohrlich, 1987, 75-86**)**. The sheets of the conical bags seem to connect events that occur at different points of time but are related to each other through their common meaning. The year 1913 is the year in which Pauli’s godfather Ernst Mach introduced young Wolfi into the world of classical physics. He was used to sit with his grandmother, a singer at the Imperial Opera in Vienna, at the piano (Enz, 1994, 14). But apparently he stopped piano playing at the age of thirteen.


An active fantasy about the unconscious

Dedicated in friendship to Miss Dr. Marie-Louise v. Franz

Translated from the German by Frederik W. Wiegel,

Herbert van Erkelens and Jos van Meurs.

Harvest. Journal for Jungian Studies, Vol. 48 No. 2, 2002.

It was a misty day and I had been seriously troubled for quite some time. There were namely two schools: in the older school they understood only words but not the meaning. In the modern school they understood the mea­ning, but not my words. I could not bring the two schools together.


The book by Ken Wilber I especially value is Grace and Grit. It is a book about living, loving, death and resurrection, the central theme of Jungian psychology. Death and resurrection also concern me personally. The first dream I ever recorded as a student in physics was about a mummy in a subterranean chamber, coming to life again under the influence of love. Marie-Louise von Franz, the former co-worker of Jung, told me about the dream: ‘What has been dead comes to life again in a creepy way. The physicists have, during the Enlightenment, declared matter dead. But matter is alive.’

Depth psychology and mathematics

I was born in 1952 in Alkmaar. In 1970 I started to study mathematics and physics. I took my doctor’s degree in theoretical physics at the University of Amsterdam. In 1984 I left this academic specialty in order to concentrate on the relationship of modern physics and depth psychology. For some time I worked as a science journalist. For ten years after 1985 I got grants from the Free University Amsterdam. First I did research into the god-images present in the debate around nuclear armament. Next the Free University asked me to start an investigation into the relationship of modern physics and religion.