|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Euthyphro by Plato:
countries, and not at Athens only. In the course of the argument Socrates
remarks that the controversial nature of morals and religion arises out of
the difficulty of verifying them. There is no measure or standard to which
they can be referred.
The next definition, 'Piety is that which is loved of the gods,' is
shipwrecked on a refined distinction between the state and the act,
corresponding respectively to the adjective (philon) and the participle
(philoumenon), or rather perhaps to the participle and the verb
(philoumenon and phileitai). The act is prior to the state (as in
Aristotle the energeia precedes the dunamis); and the state of being loved
is preceded by the act of being loved. But piety or holiness is preceded
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy:
into that; but though she tried a dozen different houses she
fared far worse alone than she had fared in Jude's company,
and could get nobody to promise her a room for the following day.
Every householder looked askance at such a woman and child
inquiring for accommodation in the gloom.
"I ought not to be born, ought I?" said the boy with misgiving.
Thoroughly tired at last Sue returned to the place where she
was not welcome, but where at least she had temporary shelter.
In her absence Jude had left his address; but knowing how weak
he still was she adhered to her determination not to disturb him
till the next day.
Jude the Obscure
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain:
nobility together and be moving."
"Wherefore, fair sir and Boss?"
"We want to take them to their home, don't we?"
"La, but list to him! They be of all the regions of
the earth! Each must hie to her own home; wend
you we might do all these journeys in one so brief life
as He hath appointed that created life, and thereto
death likewise with help of Adam, who by sin done
through persuasion of his helpmeet, she being wrought
upon and bewrayed by the beguilements of the great
enemy of man, that serpent hight Satan, aforetime
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
|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 Collection of Antiquities by Honore de Balzac:
Blondet's marriage with Mlle. Blandureau depended on his nomination to
the post which his father, old Blondet, hoped to obtain for him when
he himself should retire. But President du Ronceret, in underhand
ways, was thwarting the old man's plans, and working indirectly upon
the Blandureaus. Indeed, if it had not been for this affair of young
d'Esgrignon's, the astute President might have cut them out, father
and son, for their rivals were very much richer.
M. Blondet, the victim of the machiavelian President's intrigues, was
one of the curious figures which lie buried away in the provinces like
old coins in a crypt. He was at that time a man of sixty-seven or
thereabouts, but he carried his years well; he was very tall, and in