|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Land of Footprints by Stewart Edward White:
value in the way of generalization. Before he has reached that
solid ground, a man's opinions depend entirely on what kind of
lions he chances to meet, in what circumstances, and on how
matters happen to shape in the crowded moments.
But though lack of sufficiently extended experience has much to
do with these decided differences of opinion, I believe that
misapprehension has also its part. The sportsman sees lions on
the plains. Likewise the lions see him, and promptly depart to
thick cover or rocky butte. He comes on them in the scrub; they
bound hastily out of sight. He may even meet them face to face,
but instead of attacking him, they turn to right and left and
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas:
months before had no desire but liberty had now not liberty
enough, and panted for wealth. The cause was not in Dantes,
but in providence, who, while limiting the power of man, has
filled him with boundless desires.
Meanwhile, by a cleft between two walls of rock, following a
path worn by a torrent, and which, in all human probability,
human foot had never before trod, Dantes approached the spot
where he supposed the grottos must have existed. Keeping
along the shore, and examining the smallest object with
serious attention, he thought he could trace, on certain
rocks, marks made by the hand of man.
The Count of Monte Cristo
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Grimm's Fairy Tales by Brothers Grimm:
years, and at length came to the desert where Rapunzel, with the twins
to which she had given birth, a boy and a girl, lived in wretchedness.
He heard a voice, and it seemed so familiar to him that he went
towards it, and when he approached, Rapunzel knew him and fell on his
neck and wept. Two of her tears wetted his eyes and they grew clear
again, and he could see with them as before. He led her to his kingdom
where he was joyfully received, and they lived for a long time
afterwards, happy and contented.
There was once a forester who went into the forest to hunt, and as he
entered it he heard a sound of screaming as if a little child were
Grimm's Fairy Tales
|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 A Straight Deal by Owen Wister:
of condensed and hoarded understanding lie far apart, are never
confluent, and also differ in their details; while the whole of England
is confluent, and the details have been slowly worked out through
centuries of getting on together, and are accepted and observed exactly
like the rules of a game.
In America, if the American didn't know, he would have answered, "I don't
know. I think you'll have to ask the conductor," or at any rate, his
reply would have been longer than the Englishman's. But I am not going to
accept the idea that the Englishman didn't know and said so in his brief
usual way. It's equally possible that he did know. Then, you naturally
ask, why in the name of common civility did he give such an answer to the