Jung Institute, Zurich
F. David Peat, a theoretical physicist who worked with the legendary physicist David Bohm in the 1970s, wrote Synchronicity: the Bridge Between Science and Matter, one of the seminal books about synchronicity. He now lives in Pari, Italy and runs the Pari Learning Center. Given his scientific background, his insights into synchronicity are unique.
He sent the following story to us in an e-mail. It’s about his visit to the Jung Institute in Bollingen, Switzerland, where Jung lived during the last years of his life. Peat gave a lecture there to celebrate the institute’s 50th year. He refers to Wolfgang Pauli in this story, a physicist and early supporter of Jung’s research into synchronicity. Peat’s previous story on this blog is Golden Scarab. The reference to 137 is the topic of a February 21 post, Wolfgang Pauli and 137.
You may know that Pauli was very interested in the size of the Fine Structure Constant 1/137 because all the other constants of nature are very large or very small, but 137 is a human sized number. When Pauli was ill, he went into hospital and asked his assistant what room they had put him in. It was 137. Pauli said “Now
I know I’ll never leave.”
I arrived at the hotel next to the institute, was given a key and told my room was on the second floor of the annex. I didn’t go to my room at once but went down to the lake. The idea was to get something of the spirit of Jung – but after half an hour, nothing happened at all. So I thought I’d go back to the hotel, sleep and maybe have a dream about Jung. I took the elevator to the second floor, removed the key from my pocket and it was 137! And so I realized I was there to talk about Pauli and not Jung.
That evening I told the story about the key and an old man at the back laughed. Later when I wrote an equation on the board, the same old man said, “It won’t work.”
I replied, “Oh, the spirit of Pauli is in the room.”
At the reception I asked who the old man was. It turned out that he was an assistant who was with Pauli in the hospital.
The occasion of the various talks at the Institute was its 50th anniversary. Some time later I learned that Pauli had given the inaugural talk. While he was speaking he felt “let it all pour out” and at that moment a vase of flowers broke and water poured over the table.