|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:
not abandoned by it.
3. Therefore when the sovereign occupies his place as the Son of
Heaven, and he has appointed his three ducal ministers, though (a
prince) were to send in a round symbol-of-rank large enough to fill
both the hands, and that as the precursor of the team of horses (in
the court-yard), such an offering would not be equal to (a lesson of)
this Tao, which one might present on his knees.
4. Why was it that the ancients prized this Tao so much? Was it not
because it could be got by seeking for it, and the guilty could escape
(from the stain of their guilt) by it? This is the reason why all
under heaven consider it the most valuable thing.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass:
him, requires watching. Their safety depends upon their
vigilance. Conscious of the injustice and wrong they are every
hour perpe<214>trating, and knowing what they themselves would do
if made the victims of such wrongs, they are looking out for the
first signs of the dread retribution of justice. They watch,
therefore, with skilled and practiced eyes, and have learned to
read, with great accuracy, the state of mind and heart of the
slaves, through his sable face. These uneasy sinners are quick
to inquire into the matter, where the slave is concerned.
Unusual sobriety, apparent abstraction, sullenness and
indifference--indeed, any mood out of the common way--afford
My Bondage and My Freedom
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia by Samuel Johnson:
"Ladies," said Imlac, "to mock the heaviest of human afflictions is
neither charitable nor wise. Few can attain this man's knowledge
and few practise his virtues, but all may suffer his calamity. Of
the uncertainties of our present state, the most dreadful and
alarming is the uncertain continuance of reason."
The Princess was recollected, and the favourite was abashed.
Rasselas, more deeply affected, inquired of Imlac whether he
thought such maladies of the mind frequent, and how they were
CHAPTER XLIV - THE DANGEROUS PREVALENCE OF IMAGINATION.
"DISORDERS of intellect," answered Imlac, "happen much more often
|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 Poems of Goethe, Bowring, Tr. by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
I could not bear at the piano to see her, or list to her singing."
But the father sprang up, and said, in words full of anger
"Little comfort you give me, in truth! I always have said it,
When you took pleasure in horses, and cared for nothing but fieldwork;
That which the servants of prosperous people perform as their duty,
You yourself do; meanwhile the father his son must dispense with,
Who in his honour was wont to court the rest of the townsfolk.
Thus with empty hopes your mother early deceived me,
When your reading, and writing, and learning at school ne'er succeeded
Like the rest of the boys, and so you were always the lowest.
This all comes from a youth not possessing a due sense of honour,