|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn:
Retribution followed me; and I long remained a fugitive in the land. Now I
often pray that I may be able to make some atonement for the evil which I
did, and to reestablish the ancestral home. But I fear that I shall never
find any way of so doing. Nevertheless, I try to overcome the karma of my
errors by sincere repentance, and by helping as afar as I can, those who
Kwairyo was pleased by this announcement of good resolve; and he said to
"My friend, I have had occasion to observe that man, prone to folly in
their youth, may in after years become very earnest in right living. In the
holy sutras it is written that those strongest in wrong-doing can become,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Middlemarch by George Eliot:
and he was a distinguished figure in the bar and billiard-room
at the Green Dragon. He knew some anecdotes about the heroes
of the turf, and various clever tricks of Marquesses and Viscounts
which seemed to prove that blood asserted its pre-eminence even
among black-legs; but the minute retentiveness of his memory was
chiefly shown about the horses he had himself bought and sold;
the number of miles they would trot you in no time without turning
a hair being, after the lapse of years, still a subject of passionate
asseveration, in which he would assist the imagination of his
hearers by solemnly swearing that they never saw anything like it.
In short, Mr. Bambridge was a man of pleasure and a gay companion.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Alcibiades I by Plato:
ALCIBIADES: With your aid, Socrates, I will. And indeed, when I hear you
speak, the truth of what you are saying strikes home to me, and I agree
with you, for our statesmen, all but a few, do appear to be quite
SOCRATES: What is the inference?
ALCIBIADES: Why, that if they were educated they would be trained
athletes, and he who means to rival them ought to have knowledge and
experience when he attacks them; but now, as they have become politicians
without any special training, why should I have the trouble of learning and
practising? For I know well that by the light of nature I shall get the
better of them.
|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 Rig Veda:
Agni to share the sacred feast.
20 So, Agni, unto thee the Priest, Invoker, strong in forays,
'nose who spin out the sacrifice.
21 In many a place, the same in look art thou, a Prince o'er
In battles we invoke thine aid.
22 Pray thou to Agni, pray to him who blazes served with sacred
Let him give ear to this our call.
The Rig Veda