By Arthur I. Miller
Title note: initially released in 2009, in hardcover as Deciphering the Cosmic quantity: The unusual Friendship of Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung
Is there a host on the root of the universe? A primal quantity that every little thing on the earth hinges on?
This query exercised many nice minds of the 20 th century, between them the groundbreaking physicist Wolfgang Pauli and the well-known psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Their obsession with the ability of yes numbers—including 137, which describes the atom’s fine-structure consistent and has nice Kabbalistic significance—led them to enhance an not likely friendship and to embark on a joint mystical quest achieving deep into medieval alchemy, dream interpretation, and the chinese language booklet of adjustments.
137 explores the profound intersection of contemporary technological know-how with the occult, yet exceptionally it's the story of a rare, fruitful friendship among of the best thinkers of our instances.
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Extra info for 137: Jung, Pauli, and the Pursuit of a Scientific Obsession
In fact, the quotation rather ennobles this perversion – after all, if Freud only wants to exemplify normality, the allusion to Faust, a character both fictional and superhuman, is not ideal. It is, however, not the literary context, but the invocation of Goethe that is the keynote here. ) (VII, –) It is difficult to see why Freud implies that his use of this quotation is selfexplanatory here. It may correspond to an interpretation of the whole of Faust as an allegory of sublimation. However, many of his readers who are unable to make such a connection will still recognize the words as Goethe’s, and this alone is enough to serve Freud’s primary purpose of undermining moral objections.
He attributes the possibility to ‘the fragment of cryptomnesia which in so many cases may be suspected to lie behind apparent originality’ (XVIII, ). Cryptomnesia, whereby the source of an idea is forgotten and the idea is subsequently experienced not as a memory, but as an original conception, may indeed be more widespread in Freud’s development of psychoanalysis than even he appreciated. He is well known for his capacity to ‘forget’ suggestive ideas – innate bisexuality, for example, or destructive drives – which then germinate unconsciously within him only to bear fruit much later.
Like Freud, he demonstrated the factual basis of a Greek myth – and, moreover, his breakthrough was due, at least in part, to the fact that he took a Greek poet, Homer, at his word. Other critics have recognized the importance of literary sources in the theory of the Oedipus complex. 25 This is indeed a radical assessment of the literary contribution to Freud’s theory, but there is some evidence to support it. For example, just three weeks before Freud first proposed the Oedipus theory in October , he wrote another letter to Fliess telling him that his ‘seduction theory’ of neurotic aetiology had collapsed.