|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Unseen World and Other Essays by John Fiske:
as was afforded to Eckermann by his daily intercourse with
Goethe? The breadth of culture and the perfection of training
exhibited by John Stuart Mill need not surprise us when we
recollect that his earlier days were spent in the society of
James Mill and Jeremy Bentham. And the remarkable extent of view,
the command of facts, and the astonishing productiveness of such
modern Frenchmen as Sainte-Beuve and Littre become explicable
when we reflect upon the circumstance that so many able and
brilliant men are collected in one city, where their minds may
continually and directly react upon each other. It is from the
lack of such personal stimulus that it is difficult or indeed
The Unseen World and Other Essays
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Parmenides by Plato:
heard Zeno practise in the days of his youth (compare Soph.).
The discussion of Socrates with Parmenides is one of the most remarkable
passages in Plato. Few writers have ever been able to anticipate 'the
criticism of the morrow' on their favourite notions. But Plato may here be
said to anticipate the judgment not only of the morrow, but of all after-
ages on the Platonic Ideas. For in some points he touches questions which
have not yet received their solution in modern philosophy.
The first difficulty which Parmenides raises respecting the Platonic ideas
relates to the manner in which individuals are connected with them. Do
they participate in the ideas, or do they merely resemble them? Parmenides
shows that objections may be urged against either of these modes of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
flew away, crying, "Peep, peep, pe--weep," more dolorously than
"That bird," remarked Eurylochus, "knows more than we do about
what awaits us at the palace."
"Come on, then," cried his comrades, "and we'll soon know as
much as he does."
The party, accordingly, went onward through the green and
pleasant wood. Every little while they caught new glimpses of
the marble palace, which looked more and more beautiful the
nearer they approached it. They soon entered a broad pathway,
which seemed to be very neatly kept, and which went winding
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Koran:
we have become dust, shall we really then be created anew?
These are they who disbelieve in their Lord, and these are they with
fetters round their necks, and these are the fellows of the Fire; they
shall dwell therein for aye!
They will wish thee to hasten on the evil rather than the good;
examples have passed away before them: but thy Lord is possessor of
forgiveness unto men, notwithstanding their injustice; but, verily,
thy Lord is keen to punish.
Those who misbelieve say, 'Unless a sign be sent down upon him
from his Lord....'- Thou art only a warner, and every people has its