Remo F. Roth

Dr. oec. publ., Ph.D.

dipl. analyt. Psychologe (M.-L. v. Franz)

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© copyright 1996 by Remo F. Roth, Zurich, Switzerland


Synchronicity Quest (Die Gottsucher)

The Common Depthpsychological Background of Alchemy, Christian Mysticism and Quantum Physics

Summary of the Manuscript

by Remo F. ROTH


"(...) Jung found further that the mandala does not only mirror an inner state of order, but that its harmony or disharmony encompasses also the surroundings of the individual. Thus a mandala needs a symbol in which the outer and inner world merge. There is for Jung a ultimate reality beyond matter and psyche which he called the unus mundus, its empirical manifestation is the principle of synchronicity because in synchronistic events the inner world behaves as if it were outside and the outer world as if it were inside. As the mandala symbolism expresses the holistic order of matter and psyche it should have been investigated by physicists as well as psychologists because the mandala reappears in their hypothetical models of the atomic world. The atomic model of Niels Bohr is already a cosmic mandala and the models which the physicists construct nowadays to visualize the quarks are also mandalas. It is therefore a merit of Dr. Remo Roth's book to pick up that neglected subject which is of the utmost importance, and I hope that it will provoke further widespread serious discussion of the subject (...)"

From the foreword by Marie-Louise von Franz

German title:

Die Gottsucher

Eine Vereinigung der christlichen Mystik

und der Quantenphysik

in der Synchronizität C.G. Jungs

Verlag Haag & Herchen,Frankfurt, 1992


Italian translation:

I cercatori di Dio

Una riunificatione della mistica cristiana e della fisica dei quanti

nella sincronicità di C.G. Jung

Di Renzo Editore, Roma, 1994


Why are young people of the twentieth century suddenly so interested in Sufism and Tantrism? What prompts Fritjof Capra to compare the discoveries of quantum physics with the representations of Far Eastern mystics? What deeper reality might lie behind the disaster of Chernobyl?

It is one of the purposes of this manuscript to demonstrate that these phenomena are all expressions of an unconscious transformation of the god image (the Self of C.G. Jung) which has occurred during the two thousand years of Christian history. We can recognize this archetypal process in the beliefs of the mystics of the Heart of Jesus Christ in the 12th century, and it had already existed in the early ideas of the Gnostics of the first centuries. In the Middle Ages this process culminated in the visions of the Swiss mystic Nicholas of Flüe and in the alchemical symbolism of Paracelsus. Since this process is deeply archetypal, it is relatively independent of cultural differences. This is why we also find this transformation of the god image in Buddhistic Tantrism and in Muslim Sufism.

When the spirit of the collective unconscious desires such a process of transformation, consciousness can indeed repress it, but it will succeed in an unconscious and therefore mostly destructive form against the intentions of the collective consciousness. Because the Church Fathers refused to accept this necessary process, it seems to have disappeared since the time of Nicholas of Flüe. But the central symbolism of the transformation of the god image, that is, the central symbolism of Paracelsus' alchemy and of the visions of Nicholas of Flüe, appears again in one of the latest theories of quantum physics, the quark model of Murray Gell-Mann. In the model, quarks and antiquarks constitute the so-called mesons, which are nothing less than nuclear force. The liberation of this force occures uncontrollably within the bomb, and in the nuclear reactors it is freed under control. One of the most important results of the repression of the transformation of god's image therefore is the fact that man, for the first time in his history, is capable of destroying himself and his planet.

In Synchronicity Quest (German title: Die Gottsucher) I establish a correspondence between the central symbols of Christian (and of some Tantric an Sufic) mysticism and several of the central ideas of quantum and elementary particle physics by means of Jungian psychology. When applied to the central contents of cultural development, this method can be represented as follows: At the beginning of a cultural era some central ideas - the paradigma of this particular culture - are constituted. This Zeitgeist consists of archetypal ideas that are believed in without demonstrable proof. As time passes, these ideas change. Psychologically seen, this process corresponds to the transformation of the god image (the Self). But collective consciousness is unaware of this transformation. Certain individuals, the mystics of the culture concerned, are overwhelmed by visions, which are compensatory to the Zeitgeist, and are rooted in the collective unconscious. By means of the so-called amplification method developed by C.G. Jung, I endeavor to decode these symbolically encoded visions of Paracelsus and Nicholas of Flüe. In this manner I determine the psychological content of these ideas which are compensatory to the Christian Zeitgeist. Comparisions with the Germanic God Wotan and with Buddhist and Hinduist Tantrism are essential, and parallels with the mystics of the Heart of Jesus Christ and with Muslim Sufism can be demonstrated. The principle result of the psychological interpretation of these compensatory ideas from the collective unconscious consists in the transformation of the old Zeitgeist into the new, a transformation which is constellated today. This new Zeitgeist corresponds to a new collective consciousness, the paradigm of the post-Christian era, which so many people are searching for today.

In Chapter One of Synchronicity Quest (Die Gottsucher) the example of the early Christian gnostics will be used to demonstrate the method adopted. In this manner one can precisely reveal the phenomena of "absolute" or "preconscious knowledge" in the collective unconscious and its compensatory function in relation to consciousness, both recognized by C.G. Jung.

The second chapter deals with the Christian idea of the trinity, which consists of two hypotheses. In the idea of the homoousie, the same essence constitutes the three persons of the godhead; in mathematical terms the three are one. This paradox is solved by postulating one unique energy behind the three. The second idea is that of the so-called filioque, which sees the Holy Spirit as originating from the Father and also from the Son. Symbolically seen, "father" and "son" are opposites. In a psychological language the filioque states therefore that the archetype of the spirit as the third symbolizes the union of these opposites. This leads to the important conclusion that, with the inclusion of the third (the archetype of the Spirit) within the first and second, we must take into consideration the ambivalent twoness of the third. The third and therefore the number three are always duplex. The Fathers of the Church could not accept this conclusion. Therefore, as an archetypal necessity, a compensatory antitrinity of matter was postulated in alchemy. Since then this trinitarian "spirit of matter" lives as the hostile brother of the Christian Trinity. One of the most important tasks of the post-Christian era will therefore be to effect a union of the Christian Trinity and the alchemical antitrinity on a higher level. This union occurs as the phenomenon of the so-called synchronicity as delineated by C.G. Jung (See below).

Chapter Three describes the archetypal process of the transformation of the god image which, because of the resistance of the Church Fathers, developed unconsciously. The Fathers could not accept the archetypal, ambivalent twoness of the third (of the Holy Spirit or the archetypal spirit); consequently, the dark side of the spirit was cut off and devoured by evil. This "spirit of the earth", which the Fathers of the Church falsely called Satan, was projected onto women and the lower classes. The consequences of this diabolizing and repression of the "light of nature" (Paracelsus) were the Inquisition and the burning of witches.

In contrast, the alchemists dealt with this diabolized aspect of the ambivalent archetype of the spirit and by doing so followed the archetypal process of God's transformation, constellated since the turn of the millenium. This myth begins with the fall of the divine man (Anthropos) into matter (macrocosmic level) or in the instincts of the human body (microcosmic level). From there the Anthropos must be liberated by the human being and led back to the realms of light. To do this the alchemists at first had to differentiate this earthly aspect of the spirit into an antitrinity.

HTMLIconSubsequently, this god hidden in matter, in the drives of the human body and in the female principle was able to return to the heavenly realms. Psychologically, this process involves the construction of a renewed upper image of God, consisting of the three principles, logos, meditation and eros, which develop out of the socalled triad of drives: aggression, exploration and sexuality. This renewed image of god implies a reunion of the opposites of the two trinities, a reunion represented by the famos distinctive sign of alchemy, the Seal of Solomon.

Symbolically seen, the third represents the concept of energy, which is why this new image of god has to contain the ambivalent energy. In addition to the concept of physical energy it also contains what Jung called objective psychic energy. The relatively simultaneous effects of these energies can be observed in synchronistic phenomena.

HTMLIcon Chapter Four (see Paracelsus and the Renewed Image of God, Chapter 4 of Synchronicity Quest) describes how, in Paracelsus, an antitrinity of matter developed compensatory to the Christian trinity, which we can equate with the instinctive principles of aggression, exploration and sexuality. Out of this compensatory antitrinity a renewed upper trinity, composed of logos, meditation and eros, is built up in the four-step alchemical opus. In this renewed image of God the upper trinity replaces the old Christian, exclusively male one, and with eros it also contains the female principle. Together with the instinctive trinity of aggression, exploration and sexuality it forms the new double trinitarian image of God - the new Zeitgeist is born. The principle tool for developing this new Zeitgeist is my Body Centered Visualisation or - in the case of illness - the Symptom Symbol Transformation, a method that combines the method of active imagination developed by C.G. Jung with intuitive concepts of Paracelsus about the subtle body, and is based on the concept of synchronicity.

The fifth chapter (see also The Wheel Image of Niklaus von Flüe as Symbol of the Subtle Body) deals with the visions of the Swiss mystic, Nicholas von Flüe, with how the new and double triadic image of god developed in him and how he finally found his famos Radbild (image of the wheel), which seen symbolically is an equivalent of the alchemical seal of Solomon. HTMLIconIn the visions of this Swiss saint we not only recognize this goal of god's transformation, but at the same time the visions show us the process which leads to this goal. In symbolic language this process can be described by a metaphor, "the lance pierces the heart", and the goal of the process by the statement, "the seal of Solomon in the heart", an image which corresponds to the Radbild of Nicholas of Flüe. The process as well as its goal can also be seen as the central contents of the heart chacra (anahata) of Buddhist and Hindu Tantrism and of Moslem Sufism and in the Germanic myth of Wotan. In psychological language this myth represents the transformation of affective impulses and therefore of the psychic energy contained in the instinctive triad of aggression, exploration and sexuality into the upper principles of the renewed god image, that is, into the principles of logos, meditation and eros.

To accomplish this the first step is to introvert the drive to explore. This leads into the meditative technique of active imagination developed by C.G. Jung. In the near future - at the beginning of the post-Christian era - mankind will be forced to begin this transformation process, since identifying with collective aggression is no longer possible because of the nuclear bomb and since collective (extraverted) exploration will be halted by pollution and collective (promiscuous) sexuality by AIDS.

Active Imagination is based on synchronicity, a principle which compensates the casuality - the desolate clockwork fantasy (Jung) - of today's scientific Zeitgeist. Both Nicholas' Radbild and the seal of Solomon symbolize the principle of synchronicity, in which relatively simultaneous inner (dreams, visions) and outer events indicate the way out of the crisis of our day. In the synchronistic event, the two above mentioned energies the physical and the objective psychic coincide, and experience shows that by observing these paranormal events a potential, new creation of the godhead is discernable. Therefore, synchronicity compensates the creatio ex nihilo (the unique creation of the world by God out of nothingness) and replaces it with the idea of the creatio continua. This revolutionary new principle means nothing less than that the empirical human being is forced to observe the transformation of the god image. In this way new creation is initiated, a creation whose effects we are unable as yet to observe.

The process thus described in the first five chapters was repressed by the Christian Fathers' dogma of God's immutability which prevented the transformation of the deity from incarnating in the consciousness of human beings. HTML Icon But, as I will show in Chapter Six, during the 20th century, towards the end of the Christian era, the process of God's transformation was, with the tools of modern science, once more observed in a totally unexpected place. For the accelerator and the bubble chamber, the epistemological instruments of quantum and elementary particle physics, correspond symbolically to the metaphor "The lance pierces the heart"; and the goal of the process, the seal of Solomon, reappears as the so-called quark-antiquark-sextette, a result of the observation of newly created elementary particles in the bubble chamber. The quark-antiquark-sextette parallels the main structure of the atomic nucleus and nuclear force. It corresponds exactly to the alchemical seal of Solomon and to the Radbild of Nicholas of Flüe. As mystic symbolism requires, it arises in the "heart" of the bubble chamber as a result of the piercing lance process. Psychologically seen, this process involves the introversion of psychic energy through active imagination, which should begin with the introversion of the exploratory instinct in order to build up the upper principle of meditation.

Physics, however, has not yet been able follow this first of the four steps of Paracelsus' opus. That is why the process of God's transformation at the end of the Christian era appears as a projection into matter. Psychologically seen, Fritjof Capra's "cosmic dance of matter" turns out to be that unconscious mixture of aggression and sexuality which Paracelsus had already diagnosed as the principal illness of Christian man. This eternal dance of matter corresponds also to the prima materia of alchemy, which Paracelsus meant to transform through his opus. We see further that Capra's mythological interpretation of physics regresses behind the insights of the alchemical physician. So the principle of eros remains projected onto matter into the quark-antiquark-sextette and into nuclear force. This suggests a great danger, in that western civilization may fall out of the hitherto existing identification with logos into an identification with collective eros, which would mean a regression into the magic world of the Middle Ages. In this way, ethically responsable consciousness - the great achievement of Christian culture would be destroyed.

When we examine the symbolism of the quark-antiquark-sextette from the perspective of Jungian psychology, we reach the same conclusions we did with the Radbild of Nicholas of Flüe. There are many indications that the quark model of quantum physics is comparable to the synchronicity concept of C.G. Jung, a concept which is strongly connected with the principle of eros. In order to experience synchronicity consciously, it is necessary to bild up a new kind of consciousness. This consciousness ist double, that is, it is simultaneously oriented outwards and inwards (extraverted and introverted), and it underlies the condition of the so called "contingent spacetime". In this way, it is also able to transform instinctive energy by means of active imagination. This transformation appears to be sufficient for consciously observing the phenomena of synchronicity.

Nuclear force is acausal, because it is only possible as the result of the uncertainty principle, formulated by Werner Heisenberg. I will show that this physical nuclear force, phenomenologically seen, corresponds to the principle of acausal orderedness, postulated by C.G. Jung. After a certain level of energy, nuclear force is accompanied with so called strangeness, which itself corresponds to the principle of synchronicity. And behind this principle lies objective psychic energy.

Therefore we must expect that, after a critical point, parallel to the energizing of matter and the production of artificial radioactivity in the nuclear reactors, events will occur in which objective psychic energy is manifested. It is very likely that mankind will experience this objective psychic energy in the mass hysteria of a supposed invasion of extraterrestrials with their UFOs. The only chance of avoiding this catastrophe lies in an appreciation of the reality of objective psychic energy and the above mentioned transformation of the ego, which corresponds to the transformation of the god image during the 2000 years of Christianity.

A dream of Wolfgang Pauli, the famos physicist and Nobel Laureate, which he had in the early fifties (that is, prior to the formulation of the quark theory) verifies the hypothesis that quantum physics is unconsciously seeking synchronicity as a supplementary principle of explanation. Further this dream shows, that we will find this new principle - and in this way find the consciously lived principle of eros - only by a new science, a reunion of physical theory and depthpsychological experience, which begins with the introversion of the exploratory instinct. This new science deals with the nonphysical role of so called "negative energy" of physics in the subtle-body reality of the objective psyche beyond the split between matter and spirit.




Englisch Homepage of Remo F. Roth

The Connection between Radioactivity and Synchronicity in the Pauli/Jung Letters

Deutsche Hompage von Remo F. Roth

Radioaktivität und Synchronizität im Briefwechel zwischen Wolfgang Pauli und C.G. Jung