Psychotherapist and playwright Elizabeth Clark-Stern was inspired by Jungian Analyst Laura Lewis Thayer's use of Jung’s number theory to link the “observable world” of touch, sight, scent, and sound to the spiritual reality of the unconscious mind. It was a revelation to realize that there is no separation between the world we see and feel, and the world of our dreams, our experience of synchronicity, and our knowledge of the divine.
The result of much research is a play with a cast of characters that include Jung himself, Marie-Louise von Franz, Barbara Hannah and the physicist Wolfgang Pauli.
Approaching the decade of the 1970’s, Jung’s close confidant, Marie-Louise von Franz, struggles to write the book that would become NUMBER AND TIME. She promised Jung before he died, that she would create a text exploring how a Number Theory could be used to illuminate the unity of matter and psyche. As our play begins, von Franz tells her long-time friend, analyst and author, Barbara Hannah, that the task is too formidable, and threatens to abandon it.
A knock on the door reveals an unexpected visitor, Jewel Carver, a young woman from Montana who is grieving the loss of her brother in the horror of the Viet Nam War. She asks von Franz and Hannah how they have lived so long is such a violent world.
With that, the two analysts invite Jewel on a journey of imagination through time, beginning with von Franz’s first meeting with Jung in 1933. Shortly thereafter, Wolfgang Pauli stumbles into Jung’s office tormented by his double life as a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who spends his nights drinking, getting in bar fights, and womanizing. Jung and Pauli discover a common passion for the interrelation of microphysics, and psychology’s world of the unconscious.
Von Franz and Pauli also share a passion for these ideas, and develop an intimate soul connection, even as von Franz remains loyal to her dear friend, Barbara Hannah. These relationships play out against the nuclear blasts of World War II, and the conflicts that continue to define our world today. Each character comes to know the psychological imperative of facing one’s own shadow in a world far more interconnected than we can imagine.
After a screening of the play we will have Q/A with the cast members. We hope you can explore how to integrate the larger world of the psyche into your own daily lives.
Cast: Ann Blake as Barbara Hannah, Robert Bergman as Carl Jung, Tim Nelson as Wolfgang Pauli, Karlie Markendorf as Jew Carver, Elizabeth Clark-Stern as Marie Louise von Franz. Directed by Kevin Filocamo. Sound by Donna Lee.