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Tresan, D.I. (2002). MEIER, C. A. (ed.). Atom and Archetype. The Pauli/Jung Letters, 1932-1958. With a preface by Beverley Zabriskie. Translated by David Roscoe. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001 [1992]. Pp. lx + 250. Hbk.£24. 95.. J. Anal. Psychol., 47(1):115-116.

(2002). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 47(1):115-116

MEIER, C. A. (ed.). Atom and Archetype. The Pauli/Jung Letters, 1932-1958. With a preface by Beverley Zabriskie. Translated by David Roscoe. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001 [1992]. Pp. lx + 250. Hbk.£24. 95.

Review by:
David I. Tresan

This book presents great stirrings of knowledge from two intellectual greats of the 20 th century, Jung and Pauli. It illustrates the extraordinary extent to which Jung systematically strives to ground his psychology in physics and also stands as strong evidence that he is more successful than even a reasonably informed student of Jung might imagine. The letters are a fascinating exchange of erudition and a very serious dialogue between Jung and Pauli in pursuit of the reality behind both psyche and matter. For those who have been tilling ontological ground on their own, the search is a delight to track. As Jung uses the brilliant Pauli as co-instructor, so too is the reader instructed without having to seek out his own private Nobel laureate.

Jung always claimed his psychology was empirical science. As he grew older, one could say that his interest in the pursuit of objective reality took precedence over his clinical interests, and the exchange between him and Pauli from 1932 to 1958 around the relationship between microphysics and psychology tracks this line of inquiry during the last half of his life probably better than through any other avenue. In its spirit and letter, the correspondence is almost purely an ontological quest, although in the early letters one can discern Pauli using Jung as analyst both explicitly for his dreams and implicitly as lesser man to greater. The abiding question for both though is the truth of reality. What is the urgrund beyond matter and psyche and what is its ‘neutral language’? For Jung there could have been no better companion for the search than Pauli whose demand for scientific rigour is matched only by his fascination with the psyche, his admiration of Jung, and his ability to express himself in writing.

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