|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Hidden Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac:
ideas flow from the unspeakable fanaticism produced at times in every
mind by the long gestation of a noble work? Was it possible to bargain
with this strange and whimsical being?
Filled with such thoughts, Porbus said to the old man, "Is it not
woman for woman? Poussin lends his mistress to your eyes."
"What sort of mistress is that?" cried Frenhofer. "She will betray him
sooner or later. Mine will be to me forever faithful."
"Well," returned Porbus, "then let us say no more. But before you
find, even in Asia, a woman as beautiful, as perfect, as the one I
speak of, you may be dead, and your picture forever unfinished."
"Oh, it is finished!" said Frenhofer. "Whoever sees it will find a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:
necessary evolution seems to be only the order in which a succession of
ideas presented themselves to the mind of Hegel at a particular time.
The nomenclature of Hegel has been made by himself out of the language of
common life. He uses a few words only which are borrowed from his
predecessors, or from the Greek philosophy, and these generally in a sense
peculiar to himself. The first stage of his philosophy answers to the word
'is,' the second to the word 'has been,' the third to the words 'has been'
and 'is' combined. In other words, the first sphere is immediate, the
second mediated by reflection, the third or highest returns into the first,
and is both mediate and immediate. As Luther's Bible was written in the
language of the common people, so Hegel seems to have thought that he gave