Jung's Theory of Personality -or- Pauli's Johari Window

Jung and Pauli in Search of a Unified Theory of Mind and Body

Studying at the University of Zurich in Switzerland it would be hard not to hear about Carl Jung's theory of personality and individuation. Jung knew many famous personalities such as Sigmund Freud, Hermann Hesse and Wolfgang Pauli. Jung who had collaborated with Freud, broke off the relationship, because of his views differed on how to interpret the meaning of dreams. Many years later Jung would collaborate with the physicist Wolfgang Pauli in search of a unified theory of the psyche's aspects of personality, mind and body. In "Psychology and Alchemy" Jung analyses a series of Pauli's dreams. Here is one of them; 

Dreams of Wolfgang Pauli -or- A Medical Case Study of Dreams and Personality 

Jung reports Pauli's dream; "The dreamer is going on a railway journey, and by standing infront of the window, he blocks the view of his fellow passengers. He must get out of their way." 

Jung's interpretation of Pauli's dream begins with the idea that the therapeutic individuation process has begun to move forward. By blocking the light of those with him, Pauli's personality is effectively not letting others see his memories, personality and personal psychodynamic process. The archetype of the persona or mask is shown covering up Pauli's true inner face, which he allows noone to see. From a psychoanalytic point of view this represents a person's psychological resistence to the therapeutic process of transference, the corner stone of psychotherapy. 

Showing and telling the truth, or alethia, is equivalent of disclosure. When people actively hide, or do not disclosure information, this leaves lacunae in understanding the medical case history. The TV character Dr Gregory House's credo says it best; "everybody lies". 

My own reading of Pauli's dream, builds on Jung's ideas about personality and the archetypal aspects of vision. The train, from a metaphoric visual perspective, is Pauli's train of thought or stream of consciousness. The Johari window provides a much more accurate interpretation of the psychological defense strategies Pauli has employed of what he wants to disclose and what he wants to hide or keep others in the dark about himself. Such defense strategies can be seen as "transference neurotic". A symptom reading of the dream identifies Pauli's "alethophobia", the fear of telling the truth. 

Pauli's Johari Window -or- Interpersonal Obfuscation of the Truth 

The Johari window was reportedly derived from Jung's theory of personality and allows us to understand the transference psychodynamics and visual and verbal defense strategies at work. Said differently, transference is another way of saying interpersonal exchange. We all keep other people in the dark about aspects known to one's self. The social mask or persona is seen symptomatically at work, operating in this obfuscated transference space of the dream. 

Said differently, Pauli attempts to obfuscate his personal truth being seen by others, thereby effectively providing a therapeutic obstacle. Jung then is effectively telling the patient, that he needs to get out of the way of the therapeutic disclosure process, so the therapist can see what the truth is, and see what problems and conflicts they are dealing with. In reality, what Pauli is trying to hide in part, was his leading a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde double life, one as physicist during the day, the other as someone who frequented the "red light" district at night. If this information were to have come to the light, Pauli's career might have been ruined. 

Further Reading: 

  • Carl Jung, "Psychology of Transeference".


All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.