|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James:
threw myself exhausted on my bed, I seemed to feel my earlier
life, so smiling and so full, go out like a fire, and before me
another life opened, sombre and unpeopled, where in future I must
live alone, alone with my fatal thought which had exiled me
thither, and which I was tempted to curse. The days which
followed this discovery were the saddest of my life."
 Th. Jouffroy: Nouveaux Melanges philosophiques, 2me
edition, p. 83. I add two other cases of counter-conversion
dating from a certain moment. The first is from Professor
Starbuck's manuscript collection, and the narrator is a woman.
"Away down in the bottom of my heart, I believe I was always more
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Meno by Plato:
SOCRATES: And yet, as we were just now saying, he did not know?
SOCRATES: But still he had in him those notions of his--had he not?
SOCRATES: Then he who does not know may still have true notions of that
which he does not know?
MENO: He has.
SOCRATES: And at present these notions have just been stirred up in him,
as in a dream; but if he were frequently asked the same questions, in
different forms, he would know as well as any one at last?
MENO: I dare say.