|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:
knowledge, and has he taught you to discern the just from the unjust? Who
is he? I wish you would tell me, that I may go and learn of him--you shall
ALCIBIADES: You are mocking, Socrates.
SOCRATES: No, indeed; I most solemnly declare to you by Zeus, who is the
God of our common friendship, and whom I never will forswear, that I am
not; tell me, then, who this instructor is, if he exists.
ALCIBIADES: But, perhaps, he does not exist; may I not have acquired the
knowledge of just and unjust in some other way?
SOCRATES: Yes; if you have discovered them.
ALCIBIADES: But do you not think that I could discover them?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:
her at last, and touched her arm.
"When thee comes back," she said, in a low, sorrowful tone, like
one who speaks from a strong heart deeply moved with remorse or
pity, "thee shall begin thy life again,--there on the hills. I
came too late; but not for thee,--by God's help, it may be."
Not too late. Three years after, the Quaker began her work. I
end my story here. At evening-time it was light. There is no
need to tire you with the long years of sunshine, and fresh air,
and slow, patient Christ-love, needed to make healthy and
hopeful this impure body and soul. There is a homely pine
house, on one of these hills, whose windows overlook broad,
Life in the Iron-Mills
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche:
decided within myself what it is, by what standard could I
determine whether that which is just happening is not perhaps
'willing' or 'feeling'? In short, the assertion 'I think,'
assumes that I COMPARE my state at the present moment with other
states of myself which I know, in order to determine what it is;
on account of this retrospective connection with further
'knowledge,' it has, at any rate, no immediate certainty for
me."--In place of the "immediate certainty" in which the people
may believe in the special case, the philosopher thus finds a
series of metaphysical questions presented to him, veritable
conscience questions of the intellect, to wit: "Whence did I get
Beyond Good and Evil
|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 Jungle by Upton Sinclair:
head of a city department; and for the horde who could find no
room in these, there was the world of vice and crime, there was
license to seduce, to swindle and plunder and prey. The law
forbade Sunday drinking; and this had delivered the saloon-
keepers into the hands of the police, and made an alliance
between them necessary. The law forbade prostitution; and this
had brought the "madames" into the combination. It was the same
with the gambling-house keeper and the poolroom man, and the same
with any other man or woman who had a means of getting "graft,"
and was willing to pay over a share of it: the green-goods man
and the highwayman, the pickpocket and the sneak thief, and the