By Arthur I. Miller
“The heritage is interesting, as are the insights into the personalities of those nice thinkers.”―New Scientist
Is there a bunch on the root of the universe? A primal quantity that every thing on the earth hinges on? this query exercised many nice minds of the 20th century, between them the groundbreaking physicist Wolfgang Pauli and the well-known psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Their obsession with the facility of sure numbers―including 137, which describes the atom’s fine-structure consistent and has nice Kabbalistic significance―led them to advance an not likely friendship and to embark on a joint mystical quest attaining deep into medieval alchemy, dream interpretation, and the chinese language publication of alterations. 137 explores the profound intersection of contemporary technology with the occult, yet mainly it's the story of a rare, fruitful friendship among of the best thinkers of our occasions. initially released in hardcover as Deciphering the Cosmic Number. sixty six b/w illustrations
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Additional info for 137: Jung, Pauli, and the Pursuit of a Scientific Obsession
Pauli additionally mentioned his suggestions on psychology with von Franz. She had helped Pauli with translations from Latin to German for his article on Kepler and Fludd. a part of her paintings with Jung involved the goals of the French thinker René Descartes. She had written a piece of writing at the topic and was hoping to post it in Jung and Pauli’s joint paintings, the translation of Nature and the Psyche, in 1952. Pauli spoke at a few size together with her in regards to the article yet finally it was once no longer incorporated of their publication. Von Franz was once very upset and there has been a quick disruption of their courting. yet by means of the top of 1952 that they had resumed their friendship, taking lengthy walks, tours, and boat journeys jointly on Lake Zürich. Their dating was once a tumultuous one. the 2 had very assorted issues of view and frequently argued approximately Pauli’s desires and Jung’s psychology. Pauli’s research was once that they have been either considering forms. From their correspondence, it sort of feels transparent there has been a mutual appeal, notwithstanding Pauli attempted to maintain his emotions serious about highbrow concerns. a few humans have instructed that sooner or later that they had a sexual dating, yet von Franz insists differently. As to what particularly occurred, we'll by no means be aware of, for Pauli’s widow burned all von Franz’s letters to him whilst she stumbled on them in a field in Pauli’s place of work on the ETH. Once—it used to be in 1952—von Franz mentioned to Pauli that “nothing a lot has been performed at the archetypal that means of numbers. ” encouraged by way of her comment, Pauli grew to become to a booklet at the heritage of arithmetic, technology Awakening, by means of a Dutch colleague of his, B. L. van der Waerden. There he discovered that Pythagorean quantity mysticism used to be a “further improvement of Babylonian quantity mysticism. ” in keeping with the e-book, the chinese language originated the concept that even numbers have been female and unusual numbers masculine. The Babylonians took the belief from them. yet Pauli thought of this line of improvement “improbable. ” It was once much more likely that the concept arose from the “presence of pre-existing (archetypal) photos, that are published via numbers. ” therefore “the archetype of ‘oneness’ and the archetypes of opposing pairs” could lead at once “to the options ‘even’ and ‘odd,’” he wrote. 4 being the quaternity denotes a wholeness since it contains the anima. From those archetypes—of oneness and of opposing pairs—Pythagoreans studied the divisions among even and bizarre numbers and geometrized definite mixtures within the tetraktys, the mysterious equilateral triangle representing the equation 1 + 2 + three + four = 10. From entire numbers “emerged such special summary suggestions” as pleasant numbers. In mathematical parlance, a couple of numbers is “friendly” if each one of them is the sum of the other’s divisors. He instructed von Franz a narrative approximately “friendly numbers”: “Someone requested Pythagoras even if he had a pal. He answered i've got . He named the pleasant numbers 284 and 220. ” The numbers 284 and 220 are pleasant as the numbers during which 220 should be divided to yield a complete quantity (1, 2, four, five, 10, eleven, 20, 22, forty four, fifty five, and one hundred ten) upload as much as 284; and the divisors of 284 (1, 2, four, seventy one and 142) upload as much as 220.