|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ion by Plato:
SOCRATES: And do the Epidaurians have contests of rhapsodes at the
ION: O yes; and of all sorts of musical performers.
SOCRATES: And were you one of the competitors--and did you succeed?
ION: I obtained the first prize of all, Socrates.
SOCRATES: Well done; and I hope that you will do the same for us at the
ION: And I will, please heaven.
SOCRATES: I often envy the profession of a rhapsode, Ion; for you have
always to wear fine clothes, and to look as beautiful as you can is a part
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain:
all could be saved, but that to land against the bluff bank
of the river would be to insure the loss of many lives.
He reached the bar and grounded the boat in shallow water;
but by that time the flames had closed around him,
and in escaping through them he was fatally burned.
He had been urged to fly sooner, but had replied as became
a pilot to reply--
'I will not go. If I go, nobody will be saved; if I stay,
no one will be lost but me. I will stay.'
There were two hundred persons on board, and no life was lost but the pilot's.
There used to be a monument to this young fellow, in that Memphis graveyard.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:
long. Say 'perhaps.'"
"Prince, what I have said is all there is in my heart. I thank you
for the honor, but I shall never be your son's wife."
"Well, so that's finished, my dear fellow! I am very glad to have
seen you. Very glad! Go back to your rooms, Princess. Go!" said the
old prince. "Very, very glad to glad to have seen you," repeated he,
embracing Prince Vasili.
"My vocation is a different one," thought Princess Mary. "My
vocation is to be happy with another kind of happiness, the
happiness of love and self-sacrifice. And cost what it may, I will
arrange poor Amelie's happiness, she loves him so passionately, and so
War and Peace
|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 Unseen World and Other Essays by John Fiske:
"the enthusiasm of humanity." And we shall find no better
language than that of the writer just mentioned, in which to
describe Lessing's conception of faith:--
"He who, when goodness is impressively put before him, exhibits
an instinctive loyalty to it, starts forward to take its side,
trusts himself to it, such a man has faith, and the root of the
matter is in such a man. He may have habits of vice, but the
loyal and faithful instinct in him will place him above many that
practice virtue. He may be rude in thought and character, but he
will unconsciously gravitate toward what is right. Other virtues
can scarcely thrive without a fine natural organization and a
The Unseen World and Other Essays