|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Turn of the Screw by Henry James:
"That one night?" I couldn't look as straight as he.
"Why, when I went down--went out of the house."
"Oh, yes. But I forget what you did it for."
"You forget?"--he spoke with the sweet extravagance of childish reproach.
"Why, it was to show you I could!"
"Oh, yes, you could."
"And I can again."
I felt that I might, perhaps, after all, succeed in keeping
my wits about me. "Certainly. But you won't."
"No, not THAT again. It was nothing."
"It was nothing," I said. "But we must go on."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:
way home, and had even gone so far as to think of getting into his
slippers, since practically he was, he told himself, chucked out of
that case. He indulged in some scornful and in a few angry
thoughts, and found the occupation so unsatisfactory that he
resolved to seek relief out of doors. Nothing prevented him paying
a friendly call to Mr Verloc, casually as it were. It was in the
character of a private citizen that walking out privately he made
use of his customary conveyances. Their general direction was
towards Mr Verloc's home. Chief Inspector Heat respected his own
private character so consistently that he took especial pains to
avoid all the police constables on point and patrol duty in the
The Secret Agent
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Theaetetus by Plato:
both, I fail to identify the impression and the object. But there could be
no error when perception and knowledge correspond.
The waxen block in the heart of a man's soul, as I may say in the words of
Homer, who played upon the words ker and keros, may be smooth and deep, and
large enough, and then the signs are clearly marked and lasting, and do not
get confused. But in the 'hairy heart,' as the all-wise poet sings, when
the wax is muddy or hard or moist, there is a corresponding confusion and
want of retentiveness; in the muddy and impure there is indistinctness, and
still more in the hard, for there the impressions have no depth of wax, and
in the moist they are too soon effaced. Yet greater is the indistinctness
when they are all jolted together in a little soul, which is narrow and has
|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 Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians by Martin Luther:
spirit of the first commandment of God: "Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God,
with all thy heart." It would do you no good. A person simply is not justified
by the works of the Law.
The works of the Law, according to Paul, include the whole Law, judicial,
ceremonial, moral. Now, if the performance of the moral law cannot justify,
how can circumcision justify, when circumcision is part of the ceremonial
The demands of the Law may be fulfilled before and after justification.
There were many excellent men among the pagans of old, men who never
heard of justification. They lived moral lives. But that fact did not justify
them. Peter, Paul, all Christians, live up to the Law. But that fact does not