|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Alcibiades I by Plato:
back to Perseus, son of Zeus?
ALCIBIADES: Why, so does mine go back to Eurysaces, and he to Zeus!
SOCRATES: And mine, noble Alcibiades, to Daedalus, and he to Hephaestus,
son of Zeus. But, for all that, we are far inferior to them. For they are
descended 'from Zeus,' through a line of kings--either kings of Argos and
Lacedaemon, or kings of Persia, a country which the descendants of
Achaemenes have always possessed, besides being at various times sovereigns
of Asia, as they now are; whereas, we and our fathers were but private
persons. How ridiculous would you be thought if you were to make a display
of your ancestors and of Salamis the island of Eurysaces, or of Aegina, the
habitation of the still more ancient Aeacus, before Artaxerxes, son of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Figure in the Carpet by Henry James:
missed my little point with a perfection exactly as admirable when
they patted me on the back as when they kicked me in the shins.
Whenever since I've happened to have a glimpse of them they were
still blazing away - still missing it, I mean, deliciously. YOU
miss it, my dear fellow, with inimitable assurance; the fact of
your being awfully clever and your article's being awfully nice
doesn't make a hair's breadth of difference. It's quite with you
rising young men," Vereker laughed, "that I feel most what a
failure I am!"
I listened with keen interest; it grew keener as he talked. "YOU a
failure - heavens! What then may your 'little point' happen to
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Anthem by Ayn Rand:
It has always given us wishes which men
may not wish. We know that we are evil,
but there is no will in us and no power
to resist it. This is our wonder and our
secret fear, that we know and do not resist.
We strive to be like all our brother men,
for all men must be alike. Over the portals
of the Palace of the World Council, there
are words cut in the marble, which we
repeat to ourselves whenever we are tempted:
"WE ARE ONE IN ALL AND ALL IN ONE.
|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 Atheist's Mass by Honore de Balzac:
of that busy life, the schemes of that sordid avarice, the hopes
of the politician who lurked behind the man of science; he was
able to foresee the mortifications that awaited the only
sentiment that lay hid in a heart that was steeled, but not of
One day Bianchon spoke to Desplein of a poor water-carrier of the
Saint-Jacques district, who had a horrible disease caused by
fatigue and want; this wretched Auvergnat had had nothing but
potatoes to eat during the dreadful winter of 1821. Desplein left
all his visits, and at the risk of killing his horse, he rushed
off, followed by Bianchon, to the poor man's dwelling, and saw,