Nobel prize-winning atomic physicist Wolfgang Pauli experienced a moral crisis over what he called the "dark side of science,"shortly after his 1932 prediction of the existence of the neutrino, a particle of cosmic importance to physics. Located at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton during the Manhattan Project—the initiative which drew scientific luminaries like Robert Oppenheimer to oversee the development of the atomic bomb—Pauli was curiously withdrawn, alienated by the military’s increasing influence over the pursuit of science.
Following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Pauli’s dreams illuminated his primary concern, what he termed the "psycho-physical problem," or the need for science to become morally accountable by considering "irrational phenomena." This dilemma led Pauli to the prominent depth psychologist C.G. Jung, whose own pioneering theory of synchronicity posited coincidence as a reliable supplement to rational thought. Over the next twenty years, the two great thinkers exchanged letters detailing their philosophical differences regarding the psycho-physical problem, Pauli’s dreams and the symbolic relation of psyche and matter at the archetypal level.
Author David Lindorff supplements the remarkable letters Pauli and Jung exchanged with his own insightful interpretation. By illustrating how Pauli’s dreams complemented and informed his groundbreaking ideas, Lindorff skillfully supports both Pauli and Jung’s perspectives of reality and suggests the dire importance of unifying the rational scientific approach of physics with the irrational influence of the unconscious.