Quadrant Winter 2001

All-Purpose Dirt: An Apologia

— Beverly Bond Clarkson
One day a couple of summers ago, I looked at the plants in my consulting room and realized, with some guilt, that they needed fresh soil. They’d been growing for seven years in the same pots in earth which had become depleted and dense. So I went off to the supermarket and picked up a bag labeled All-Purpose Potting Soil. The young man at the check-out counter took a look at my purchase – then at me – and said, pointedly, “All-Purpose Dirt”!…

Barnstock’s Progeny: The Sword Of Incest and the Tree of Life in Freud, Jung, and Spielrein (Part 2)

— Greg Mogenson
“Psychology,” according to Jung, “…operates with ideas which in their turn are derived from archetypal structures and thus generate a somewhat more abstract kind of myth.” Part I of this essay examined the life and thought of Freud, Jung, and Sabina Spielrein in light of specific archetypal themes imaged in the Volsunga Saga of Norse myth. That discussion broke off with a comparison between Freud and the Norse god Odin. Just as Odin plunged his sword, Gram, into the trunk of Barnstock, the great oak that grew from the center of the home of the Volsungs, so Freud forcefully reiterated his views about infantile sexuality and the oedipus complex. Following the plot of the saga, Part II continues with a discussion of how Jung enacted Sigmund’s drawing forth the sword from Barnstock by reinterpreting many of Freud’s theories. …

At the Threshold of Psycho-Genesis Cedrus N. Monte

For some of us, if not for all, meaning in life periodically finds its way through a piercing and deadly darkness. Hopelessness and despair can descend like a toxic cloud, even in the midst of a joy-filled life, a life of spiritual discipline and intent, and dedication and commitment to conscious growth. Dark moments can strike like a sudden, rending eruption from mysterious and subterranean places. Without warning, the crust of a forever-healing wound, or an old insidious trauma is torn open unexpectedly, and we bleed again. We feel that we have entered into the abyss, body and soul. In the darkest of these times, nothing – no word, no prayer, no loving gesture, no therapeutic intervention – reaches the mark. Everything is lost, crumbled and gray, pointless – our life hopelessly flapping in the maw of a terrifying yet welcome annihilation. …

Mnemosyne, the Mother of the Muses: The Role of Memory in Greek Mythology and Religion (Part 2)

— Gary D. Astrachan
In part one of this paper on the goddess Mnemosyne, Memory, the mother of the nine Muses, we re-viewed some of the deep structure and background of ancient Greek mythology, ritual and religion in which she is imaged as the sustaining source for all efforts aimed at attempting to come to an original and grounding sense of self, individually and collectively. Beginning with a leap to Virgil and Dante, part two then retraces Mnemosyne’s trajectory from the Orphics through Plato and into contemporary literature and scientific theory where the confluence of psyche and matter reveals the presence of memory as the unifying, connecting and fragile thread in the ongoing human discourse and dialogue with(in) “nature.” …

Movie Review

Reflections on the Movie The Cider House Rules

— Bernice H. Hill

Reader Letters