|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac:
"Keep a girl of twenty-three on bread and water!" cried Monsieur de
Bonfons; "without any reason, too! Why, that constitutes wrongful
cruelty; she can contest, as much in as upon--"
"Come, nephew, spare us your legal jargon," said the notary. "Set your
mind at ease, madame; I will put a stop to such treatment to-morrow."
Eugenie, hearing herself mentioned, came out of her room.
"Gentlemen," she said, coming forward with a proud step, "I beg you
not to interfere in this matter. My father is master in his own house.
As long as I live under his roof I am bound to obey him. His conduct
is not subject to the approbation or the disapprobation of the world;
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Ursula by Honore de Balzac:
While Ursula was playing variations on Weber's "Last Thought" to her
godfather, a plot was hatching in the Minoret-Levraults' dining-room
which was destined to have a lasting effect on the events of this
drama. The breakfast, noisy as all provincial breakfasts are, and
enlivened by excellent wines brought to Nemours by the canal either
from Burgundy or Touraine, lasted more than two hours. Zelie had sent
for oysters, salt-water fish, and other gastronomical delicacies to do
honor to Desire's return. The dining-room, in the center of which a
round table offered a most appetizing sight, was like the hall of an
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Where There's A Will by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
between gymnasium and military walks, and the silence hour, and
eating, which took a long time, everybody being hungry--and going
to bed at nine, she didn't see how she could have worried with
it, anyhow. The fat ones, of course, objected to an apple and a
cup of hot water for breakfast, but except Mr. Thoburn, they all
realized it was for the best. He wasn't there for his health, he
said, having never had a sick day in his life, but when he saw it
was apple and hot water or leave, he did like Adam--he took the
The strange thing of all was the way they began to look up
to Mr. Pierce. He was very strict; if he made a rule, it was
|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 Varieties of Religious Experience by William James:
more and more of it by moving always in the right direction, I
believe as much as any one, and I hope to bring you all to my way
of thinking before the termination of these lectures. Till then,
do not, I pray you, harden your minds irrevocably against the
empiricism which I profess.
I will waste no more words, then, in abstract justification of my
method, but seek immediately to use it upon the facts.
In critically judging of the value of religious phenomena, it is
very important to insist on the distinction between religion as
an individual personal function, and religion as an
institutional, corporate, or tribal product. I drew this