Synopsis

1. What is said of Pauli- Pauli is introduced by the Chorus of Electrons and Ehrenfest.

2. A Conference, 1922- Pauli meets Einstein at a conference with Ehrenfest, Heisenberg, and Bohr.  Meitner confesses to Ehrenfest her feelings of selfishness and loneliness as she strays from the caring role assigned to women by society.

3. A Club of Swindlers- Frustrated by lack of rigor in colleague’s work and his field’s absurdity, Pauli drinks the night away in the red light district while pregnant with ideas.

4. Toward the Neutrino- Bohr and Pauli debate the implications of beta decay for the concept of the conservation of energy.  Bohr’s idealism is bound to the stars and eternity.

5. Reunion- Pauli confesses his loneliness to Ehrenfest, who in turn confesses his own darkness.   Ehrenfest recasts his own role from Faust, assigned to him by students in a parody, to Gretchen.

6. The Brawler- Provoked by a discussion with young composer Lev Adrian and a racist bar owner, Pauli sings of the fleeting nature of the unique in life and in art, ending in a raucous bar fight.

7. The Analysis- After his breakdown Pauli seeks the services of Jung, but is referred to Erna Rosenbaum and undergoes a cathartic healing.

8. Unpleasant Man and Homunculus- Jung interprets Pauli’s dream a vision of Goethe’s creation of the homunculus, a humanoid, alchemical creature, who guides Pauli to his wife.

9. Franca: Escape the Orbit of Jung- While Jung and Pauli grow closer, Pauli’s new wife, Franca, warns Pauli against Jung.

10. Telegram From Meitner- Meitner sends a telegram to Bohr warning of the dangers of Hahn’s work on nuclear fission. This leads to the Manhattan project.

11. The Illumination and the Sacred Lie- Heisenberg contrasts the common man and elites of art and science, looking inward from the horrors of the Holocaust to eternity, while Irena Sendler repeats a moment of psychological eternity daily.

12. The Dream of the Basins- Pauli dreams of two women pouring water between basins.

Intermission

13. Exile – While in exile in America, Pauli learns of Hahn’s Nobel prize, meditates on Kepler, his childhood feelings of music and number and receives the news of the Hiroshima and his own winning of the Nobel Prize.

14. Sleepless Nights, A Curse Delivered- Meitner lashes out at her colleagues for their complicity in the atrocities. This letter was never delivered.

15. A Dream, the Eggs- Pauli dreams of eggs and formulas.

16. Synchronicity- Jung introduces Pauli  to von Franz and they explore strange coincidences, time and meaning.

17. The Piano Lesson- In a dream like letter to von Franz, Pauli deepens his connection to her and discusses the nature of music and meaning. They produce a child in the imagination.

18. A Strange Blend- Pauli and von Franz discuss the complex nature of emotions.

19. A Dream/Wake Interlude (The New House)- Pauli dreams of a new institution which Bohr offers to him. By day, Bohr attempts to get Pauli to sign a statement controlling nuclear weaponry while von Franz implores to join the Jungian project to save mankind.

20. My Assistant Pauli- After discussing the state of modern music with Heisenberg and renewing their collaboration, Pauli begins to lose his standing amongst his peers and renounces their joint work.

21. Four Grey Ladies Interlude- We and Pauli are visited by a vision of four archetypal women who approach Faust at his death, who seek expanded possibilities for themselves and give him advice on how he should interpret what is to come.

22. Room 137- With Pauli’s health fading, he invokes the horseshoe of Bohr.  Franca vows to safeguard Pauli’s reputation, and he in turn offers final praise to the unique and transient in the form of a woman.  Jung and von Franz celebrate Pauli’s life and visions.

23. The End of Faust-Requiem Mass

Goethe’s text is explored and reinterpreted in the context of complex systems theory. The nonlinear field Homunculus “sings” the violin part. Ancient and modern ideas of fundamental elements coexist in a ritual for the positive outcome of research in physics and mind, mirrored by the singers.

 

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