|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from What is Man? by Mark Twain:
O.M. But isn't spiritual enough to learn what is happening
in the outskirts without the help of the PHYSICAL messenger? You
perceive that the question of who or what the Me is, is not a
simple one at all. You say "I admire the rainbow," and "I
believe the world is round," and in these cases we find that the
Me is not speaking, but only the MENTAL part. You say, "I
grieve," and again the Me is not all speaking, but only the MORAL
part. You say the mind is wholly spiritual; then you say "I have
a pain" and find that this time the Me is mental AND spiritual
combined. We all use the "I" in this indeterminate fashion,
there is no help for it. We imagine a Master and King over what
What is Man?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Pool of Blood in the Pastor's Study by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:
it were not for the absurd nonsense that he talks when he has one
of his attacks, and which frightens those who do not understand him,
I could let him go free altogether."
"Then you never let him leave the asylum grounds?
"Oh, yes. I take him out with me very frequently. He is a man of
considerable education and a very clever talker. It is quite a
pleasure to be with him. That was the opinion of my poor friend
also, my poor murdered friend."
"The pastor. He often invited Cardillac to come to the rectory
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Bucolics by Virgil:
I, simpleton, deemed like this town of ours,
Whereto we shepherds oft are wont to drive
The younglings of the flock: so too I knew
Whelps to resemble dogs, and kids their dams,
Comparing small with great; but this as far
Above all other cities rears her head
As cypress above pliant osier towers.
And what so potent cause took you to Rome?
Freedom, which, though belated, cast at length
|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 Christ in Flanders by Honore de Balzac:
more as in the days of old!--Nay, thou art dead, and by thy own deed!'
"Is not this thy story?" so I ended. "Decrepit, toothless, shivering
crone, now forgotten, going thy ways without so much as a glance from
passers-by! Why art thou still alive? What doest thou in that beggar's
garb, uncomely and desired of none? Where are thy riches?--for what
were they spent? Where are thy treasures?--what great deeds hast thou
At this demand, the shriveled woman raised her bony form, flung off
her rags, and grew tall and radiant, smiling as she broke forth from
the dark chrysalid sheath. Then like a butterfly, this diaphanous
creature emerged, fair and youthful, clothed in white linen, an Indian