From the dialectical work of forces to the archetype of Three

Post 6 – “Towards an enantiodromic approach to the universe. Jung, Pauli,​ and beyond …”

Authored by Alain Negre

Access the Synopsis: Towards an enantiodromic approach to the universe. Jung, Pauli,​ and beyond

Imperturbable sculptors and gardeners of the universe, the fundamental forces (gravity, electromagnetic, and nuclear) shape a quadruple ternary structure.

Representation of forces

Left: remote action. In the center: interaction through a field.

Right: an “exchange” of messenger particles.

The nature of forces still questions contemporary physicists in the same way as it puzzled the ancients.

For Newton, universal attraction was an immaterial power acting on matter. Of alchemical origin, this mysterious remote force acted within the framework of a fixed and absolute space.

With Einstein, it became a distortion of space, forcing bodies that pass across it to change their trajectory.

Today, it resists unification with the other three fundamental forces; hence the suggestion by some physicists that it is not a fundamental force but an emerging force that arises from the tendency of the system to return to its equilibrium state.

The archetype of Three

If the feminine Four stabilizes the totality through an inner deepening, the masculine Three evokes a dynamic totality in relation to a process that develops over time. This can be illustrated by the famous ternary dialectic, according to which “becoming” takes place in the work of opposites (thesis, antithesis) which yields the superseding synthesis.

This triad will be used for its convenience. However, it should be noted that, being of Hegelian inspiration, it connotes a thought in which the rational completely exhausts the real. This is antipodean to Jung and Pauli’s approaches. Their totality is always open, always intotalisable and, in fact, brimming over with any possibility of description.

With the reflections of the Four already glimpsed, the narrative of the evolving universe consists of a quadripartite unfolding of the totality. As with any scientific discipline, cosmologists observe the psychic image of physical reality. They thus come to psychic contents that are subject to discrimination by the four functions that orient consciousness.

As for the reflections of the Three, they appear in the ternary division of each quadrant, hence the 4 × 3 diagram below. Conflicts and superseding contradictions are engraved in cosmic matter by the fundamental forces (gravity – nuclear – electromagnetic).

The fundamental forces

The force of gravity is the weakest force in the universe, always attractive. It is the dominant force on a cosmological scale. It holds together large structures such as planets, stars and galaxies. The messenger particle that would transmit gravity is called the graviton (not yet observed).

The electromagnetic force binds electrons to nuclei in atoms. It binds atoms together to form molecules and binds the molecules to each other. It is responsible for light, electricity, magnetism, heat, and information processing. Attractive or repulsive, according to the sign of the electric charges, its messenger particle is the photon.

The strong and weak nuclear forces act over very short distances. The strong nuclear force holds protons and neutrons together in the nucleus. It is an extremely intense attraction which outweighs the repulsion due to the electric charge of the protons. Its messenger particle is the gluon.

The weak nuclear force plays a fundamental role in the universe. Its most famous manifestation is beta radioactivity, which transforms a neutron into a proton or vice versa, thus changing the composition of a nucleus. It is described by the exchange of charged/neutral W or Z “bosons”. 

The weak nuclear force is not responsible for any stable structure in nature. But without it, the sun would stop shining because it could not fuse hydrogen into deuterium. Thus, like the sculptor who models his statue by removing the superfluous part of the stone, the conscientious work of the four forces never ceases.

Never cease chiseling your statue, until there shall shine out on you from it the godlike splendor of virtue, until you see the perfect goodness surely established in the stainless shrine. Plotinus, Ennead 1.6.9.

The quadruple ternary structure

First dialectical triad

A first triad appears first at the global level of the universe. The energy of inflation (the thesis) is confronted by the condensation of material substance (antithesis) that occurs with primordial nucleosynthesis. The synthesis takes place in the matter-light “friction” which aims at the formation of the first light atoms, such as hydrogen.

Second dialectical triad

  • Gravity, attractive at the local level, brings together matter around inhomogeneities (thesis).
  • Thermal pressure increases, which triggers nuclear forces (antithesis, below in red) and creates carbon and other heavy atoms that enrich the environment.
  • A local “friction” between matter and light takes place on Earth, which develops and synthesizes better forms that are better adapted to the environment.

Third dialectical triad

Again at the global level of the universe, the explosive emergence of reflective consciousness (thesis) is confronted (antithesis) by the disorganization of material substrates, the disintegration of protons, and the black holes that swallow everything and then evaporate. Life, encoded on the remaining particles of matter (electrons and positrons), develops communication networks and “aspires” to a unity of consciousness.

The fourth did not want to come …   

We’ve brought three of them along, The fourth said he wouldn’t come: He said he was the real one, The only thinker of the squadron. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust Parts I & II)

Fourth dialectical triad

As time is no longer defined in both pre-inflationary and eschatological phases, the sequencing of events in the fourth quadrant is not easy to perceive.

One could imagine gravity (unified with the other three interactions) engaged in a dialectic with the repulsive dark energy (that may spring from quantum vacuum energy) to result in the synthesis of what God only knows. 

A quantum theory of gravity is needed to describe these events. Here we find the difficult transition from the third to the fourth, a mystery that so fascinated Jung and Pauli after Plato, Goethe, and Maria Prophetissa.

The 4 × 3 representation of the cosmological story

In the circular representation, the cosmological narrative has become a system of relationships and interactions, allowing the examination of symmetries and polarities that might suggest a better systemic understanding of the universe. Supposedly unrelated cosmological events on a linear time axis appear opposite in the circular representation.

Six pairs of opposites draw three crosses which show diametrically opposed events, successively sculpted by:

1) the force of gravity;

2) the nuclear force;

3) the electromagnetic force.

These three “moments” of the ternary dialectic correspond to the three “qualities” of the zodiacal mandala, respectively: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. 

The 4 × 3 symbolic structure is similar in form to the symbol of the Tao which, with the small circles of the vertical axis, shows that there is always Yin within Yang and vice versa. Nothing is absolute.

The cosmological symbolic structure is also isomorphic to the zodiac. The 12 events can be read through the symbols of the zodiac: the cosmic inspiration of inflation (Aries), the baryonic matter of primordial nucleosynthesis (Taurus), the matter/light “friction” (Gemini) etc. [1]  

Solsticial and equinoctial moments

The vertical IV-X axis corresponds to the two “attractor” points of the 4 × 3 structure. These points reflect the seeds of a new phase of development. In IV, the small Yin black circle represents the seeds of the future material structures of the universe. In X, where the two “ends” of linear time meet, the small Yang white circle represents both the achievement and the promise of a new attempt of the universe.

As for the horizontal I-VII axis, it sees the equality between Yin and Yang. It is a symmetry within a dynamic process which breaks down at the very moment of perfect equality, just as it does during the spring and autumn equinoxes. It is not surprising to find these two “strongly emergent” events at these two points of “symmetry breaking”. At “spring”, space emerges from the symmetrical void at the end of the “great unification” of the three quantum forces, which marks the beginning of inflation. At the other end of the horizontal axis, decision-making, permitted by the free will of reflective consciousness, also corresponds to a phenomenon of “symmetry breaking”.

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[1] See the chapter “The Archetypal Images of the Zodiac as Projection of Numbers-Archetypes” (in pp. 115-24 of my book “The Archetype of the Number and its Reflections in Contemporary Cosmology”, Chiron Publications, 2018.

William House
William is an earth scientist and writer with an interest in providing the science "backstory" for breaking environmental, earth science, and climate change news.