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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Carl Jung on “Numbers” – Anthology





In the evening after dinner, we somehow got onto the subject of numbers which, C.G. said, had a life of their own. ~E.A. Bennet, Meetings with Jung, Page 158

Whole numbers may well be the discovery of God's "primal thoughts," as for instance the significant number four, which has distinctive qualities. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 301-302

Numbers are autonomous. They had their life, their significance before men used them as instruments. The mathematicians continue to use them as instruments, so in that instant they become dry. Before they had their proper significance. C. G. Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff - A Collection of Remembrances; Pages 51-70.

There is no reason why whole numbers possess certain meanings or qualities, and no reason why elephants or men should exist. These arrangements are simply there as given facts, like the crystalline systems or the discontinuities of physics, even as the whole of creation is a "just-so story." ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 355.

I have got stuck, on the one hand, in the acausality (or "synchronicity") of certain phenomena of unconscious provenance and, on the other hand, in the qualitative statements of numbers, for here I set foot on territories where I cannot advance without the help and understanding of the other disciplines. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 351-352.

Like all the inner foundations of judgment, numbers are archetypal by nature and consequently partake of the psychic qualities of the archetype. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 327-329.

It would be a worthy task for a mathematician to collect all the known properties of numbers and also all their "inescapable" statements which should be quite possible up to 10-and in this way project a biological picture of whole numbers. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 327-329.

It is a mathematical structure, which first made me hit on the idea that the unconscious somehow avails itself of the properties of whole numbers. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 327-329.

From this it appears that whole numbers are individuals, and that they Possess properties which cannot be explained on the assumption that they are multiple units. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 327-329.

The idea that numbers were invented for counting is obviously untenable, since they are not only pre-existent to judgment but possess properties which were discovered only in the course of the centuries, and presumably possess a number of others which will be brought to light only by the future development of mathematics. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 327-329.

The fact is that the numbers pre-existing in nature are presumably the most fundamental archetypes, being the very matrix of all others. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 325-327.

Archetypes are not mere concepts but are entities, exactly like whole numbers, which are not merely aids to counting but possess irrational qualities that do not result from the concept of counting, as for instance the prime numbers and their behaviour. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 22.

Hence the mathematician Kronecker could say: Man created mathematics, but God created whole numbers. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 23.

Where numbers indicate a measure we move into the material. A concrete image is a manifestation requiring space in which the spirit clothes itself in the material in order to draw to man. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Ostrowski, Page 60.

Images and numbers are doors through which the spiritual can reach man. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Ostrowski, Page 60.

It is characteristic of the transcendent that it can be pictured and described by numbers; the passage of time, quantity, and identity, are spiritual substances. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Ostrowski, Page 60.

The character of the image is not determined by numbers. Pure spiritual substance is eternal. An image as such needs neither time nor space. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Ostrowski, Page 60.

I should like to study the theory of numbers. What is a number, an entity, a sequence, an archetype? We think we can perceive and grasp a number logically and suddenly it behaves quite differently from the way we expected. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Ostrowski, Page 55.

It is a fundamental phenomenon of mathematics that numbers are not just mathematical entities but individualities. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Ostrowski, Page 55.

We believe we are playing with equations and suddenly it transpires that certain equations express the laws of electric currents. God played and formulated currents. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Ostrowski, Page 55.

It is characteristic of the transcendent that it can be pictured and described by numbers; the passage of time, quantity, and identity, are spiritual substances. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Ostrowski, Page 60.

Do not forget that the original meaning of all letters and numbers was a magical one! Hence the "perils of the soul." ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 528-529.

A concrete image is a manifestation requiring space in which the spirit clothes itself in the material in order to draw to man. Images and numbers are doors through which the spiritual can reach man. ~Carl Jung, Conversations with C.G. Jung, Page 60.

Numbers are autonomous. They had their life, their significance before men used them as instruments. The mathematicians continue to use them as instruments, so in that instant they become dry. Before they had their proper significance. C. G. Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff - A Collection of Remembrances; Pages 51-70.

A mathematician once remarked that everything in science was man-made except numbers, which had been created by God himself.
~Carl Jung, CW 8, ¶356, note 24.

… number and synchronicity… were… always brought into connection with one another,… both possess numinosity and mystery as their common characteristics. Number has invariably been used to characterize some numinous object, and all numbers from 1 to 9 are ‘sacred,’ just as 10, 12, 13, 14, 28, 32, and 40 have a special significance. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 870.

The very numbers you use in counting are more than you take them for. They are at the same time mythological entities (for the Pythagoreans they were even divine), but you are certainly unaware of this when you use numbers for a practical purpose. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 461