|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Phaedo by Plato:
is nevertheless the sort of thing which happens with this foolish
temperance. For there are pleasures which they are afraid of losing; and
in their desire to keep them, they abstain from some pleasures, because
they are overcome by others; and although to be conquered by pleasure is
called by men intemperance, to them the conquest of pleasure consists in
being conquered by pleasure. And that is what I mean by saying that, in a
sense, they are made temperate through intemperance.
Such appears to be the case.
Yet the exchange of one fear or pleasure or pain for another fear or
pleasure or pain, and of the greater for the less, as if they were coins,
is not the exchange of virtue. O my blessed Simmias, is there not one true
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Aspern Papers by Henry James:
"I shall like the flowers better now that I know they are also meant for me."
"How could you have doubted it? If you will tell me the kind you
like best I will send a double lot of them."
"Oh, I like them all best!" Then she went on, familiarly: "Shall you study--
shall you read and write--when you go up to your rooms?"
"I don't do that at night, at this season. The lamplight brings
in the animals."
"You might have known that when you came."
"I did know it!"
"And in winter do you work at night?"
"I read a good deal, but I don't often write."