|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:
Or he may be descended from the acquisitive art in the combative line,
through the pugnacious, the controversial, the disputatious arts; and he
will be found at last in the eristic section of the latter, and in that
division of it which disputes in private for gain about the general
principles of right and wrong.
And still there is a track of him which has not yet been followed out by
us. Do not our household servants talk of sifting, straining, winnowing?
And they also speak of carding, spinning, and the like. All these are
processes of division; and of division there are two kinds,--one in which
like is divided from like, and another in which the good is separated from
|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 Art of War by Sun Tzu:
midst of thick vegetation is a sure sign that the enemy has fled
and, fearing pursuit, has constructed these hiding-places in
order to make us suspect an ambush." It appears that these
"screens" were hastily knotted together out of any long grass
which the retreating enemy happened to come across.]
22. The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an
[Chang Yu's explanation is doubtless right: "When birds
that are flying along in a straight line suddenly shoot upwards,
it means that soldiers are in ambush at the spot beneath."]
Startled beasts indicate that a sudden attack is coming.
The Art of War