Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung - LSE podcast

The LSE podcast usually offers lectures on subjects that are laden with meaning in current world affairs. Whatever is hot in politics is discussed with scientific (most of the time) and hence you can find a multitude of talks on Climate Change, Credit Crunch, Middle-East and such. Occasionally much less trodden paths are offered and there is one I would like review here.

Professor Arthur I. Miller revealed the results of his study into the friendship between Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung. Pauli, the tormented yet brilliant physicist went to see Jung for psycho-analysis. Jung found Pauli's dreams so fascinating he paid special attention to the scientist and also when Pauli was declared healed - there are some doubts to cast on that - he and Jung remained in contact and developed a friendship or at least a regular basis to discuss his dreams.

Consequently, this talk is mostly about Pauli; a bit about physics and much about Pauli's troubled private life with bad marriages, illicit affairs, bar room brawling and a lot of excessive drinking. Jung pops up when Pauli seeks help and Jung can apply his ideas of dream interpretation. The richness of Pauli's dreams allow for full application of Jung's interest in alchemy and mythology, which in turn appeals to Pauli. Where Miller leads is that Jung's metaphysics actually may have led to some of Pauli's important conjectures. Whether Jung has really helped Pauli to become a more integrated person though, remains, as said, in doubt.

More LSE Events:
Natural Resource Management,
The Iran power struggle,
In Search of Islam’s Civilization,
Religion and the Market - John Gray on LSE.

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