|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Gorgias by Plato:
outspoken enough, and they are too modest. Why, their modesty is so great
that they are driven to contradict themselves, first one and then the other
of them, in the face of a large company, on matters of the highest moment.
But you have all the qualities in which these others are deficient, having
received an excellent education; to this many Athenians can testify. And
you are my friend. Shall I tell you why I think so? I know that you,
Callicles, and Tisander of Aphidnae, and Andron the son of Androtion, and
Nausicydes of the deme of Cholarges, studied together: there were four of
you, and I once heard you advising with one another as to the extent to
which the pursuit of philosophy should be carried, and, as I know, you came
to the conclusion that the study should not be pushed too much into detail.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James:
In the wonderful explorations by Binet, Janet, Breuer, Freud,
Mason, Prince, and others, of the subliminal consciousness of
patients with hysteria, we have revealed to us whole systems of
underground life, in the shape of memories of a painful sort
which lead a parasitic existence, buried outside of the primary
fields of consciousness, and making irruptions thereinto with
hallucinations, pains, convulsions, paralyses of feeling and of
motion, and the whole procession of symptoms of hysteric disease
of body and of mind. Alter or abolish by suggestion these
subconscious memories, and the patient immediately gets well.
His symptoms were automatisms, in Mr. Myers's sense of the word.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift:
hand in the posture of a suppliant, "Godlike Pindar," said he,
"spare my life, and possess my horse, with these arms, beside the
ransom which my friends will give when they hear I am alive and
your prisoner." "Dog!" said Pindar, "let your ransom stay with
your friends; but your carcase shall be left for the fowls of the
air and the beasts of the field." With that he raised his sword,
and, with a mighty stroke, cleft the wretched Modern in twain, the
sword pursuing the blow; and one half lay panting on the ground, to
be trod in pieces by the horses' feet; the other half was borne by
the frighted steed through the field. This Venus took, washed it
seven times in ambrosia, then struck it thrice with a sprig of
|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 Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde:
night, and the wind was blowing and roaring round the house so
terribly that at first he thought it was merely the storm. But a
second rap came, and then a third, louder than any of the others.
"'It is some poor traveller,' said little Hans to himself, and he
ran to the door.
"There stood the Miller with a lantern in one hand and a big stick
in the other.
"'Dear little Hans,' cried the Miller, 'I am in great trouble. My
little boy has fallen off a ladder and hurt himself, and I am going
for the Doctor. But he lives so far away, and it is such a bad
night, that it has just occurred to me that it would be much better