Meaning is Cosmological: Pauli and Jung

Meaning is an ambiguous concept, and part of Zizek’s problem with Deleuze lies in the Slovenian philosopher’s desire to confine meaning in Deleuze to a manageable domain. The complexity of the opposition and interplay between meaning and causality leads Zizek to regret that Deleuze did not stay with the simple theory of LOGIC OF SENSE, where meaning occurred as « the flow of sense as infertile, without a proper causal power » (ORGANS WITHOUT BODIES, p48). Zizek senses that the cry of ANTI-OEDIPUS, « everything must be interpreted in terms of intensities », plays havoc with his own principle that « everything is to be analysed » (a notion that he stole from Jung, though in practice he severely limits its scope). For Deleuze meaning is not just limited to language, but emerges out of the encounters between linguistic and material fluxes.

Discussing Jung’s ideas on meaning Hillman describes a similar situating of meaning outside of the linguistic or, more generally, signifying sphere. He comments

« Meaning is more than semantic, contextual, or even hermeneutic; it is cosmological, so that the soul’s struggle with meaning … is ultimately a struggle with God, the spirit, the cosmos » (ON PARANOIA, p35).

It is this elevation of meaning to equal status with causality that is thrashed out in the 26 year long correspondence and collaboration between Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Gustav Jung. Pauli’s sentiment is that the concepts of Jungian psychology are not limited in scope to the domain of the psyche but are of essential heuristic value in the elaboration of a cosmology or worldview that would unite physics and psychology in a more general framework, employing a « neutral language », a « psychophysical language », englobing both domains.

« More and more I see the psycho-physical problem as the key to the overall spiritual situation of our age, and the gradual discovery of a new (« neutral ») psycho-physical standard language, whose function is symbolically to describe an invisible, potential form of reality that is only indirectly inferable through its effects, also seems to me an indispensable prerequisite for the emergence of the new ἱερὸς γάμος predicted by you » (THE PAULI/JUNG LETTERS, p81-82).

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4 commentaires pour Meaning is Cosmological: Pauli and Jung

  1. dmf dit :

    Jung, vitalism and ‘the psychoid’: an historical reconstruction.
    Addison A.
    This paper traces the history of Jung’s ideas concerning the psychoid unconscious, from their origins in the work of the vitalist, Hans Driesch, and his concept of Das Psychoid, through the subsequent work of Eugen Bleuler, Director of the Burghölzli Asylum, and his concept of Die Psychoide, to the publication of Jung’s paper On the Nature of the Psyche in 1947. This involves a review of Jung’s early work and of his meeting with Freud, when apparently the two men discussed calling the unconscious ‘psychoid’, as well as a review of Jung’s more mature ideas concerning a psychoid unconscious. I propose to argue that even at the time of their meeting, Jung had already formulated an epistemological approach that was significantly different from that of Freud and that clearly foreshadowed his later ideas as set out in On the Nature of the Psyche.


  2. Ping : FEYERABEND ON PAULI AND JUNG: Cosmology X and the Principle of Abundance | AGENT SWARM

  3. Maurício Santos dit :

    I’d like to read the article too.


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