|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Art of War by Sun Tzu:
66. Forestall your opponent by seizing what he holds dear,
[Cf. supra, ss. 18.]
and subtly contrive to time his arrival on the ground.
[Ch`en Hao`s explanation: "If I manage to seize a favorable
position, but the enemy does not appear on the scene, the
advantage thus obtained cannot be turned to any practical
account. He who intends therefore, to occupy a position of
importance to the enemy, must begin by making an artful
appointment, so to speak, with his antagonist, and cajole him
into going there as well." Mei Yao-ch`en explains that this
"artful appointment" is to be made through the medium of the
The Art of War
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Pierre Grassou by Honore de Balzac:
any notice from the eyes of the passers along the street. At the end
of a week the picture disappeared; Fougeres walked slowly up and
approached the dealer's shop in a lounging manner. The Jew was at his
"Well, I see you have sold my picture."
"No, here it is," said Magus; "I've framed it, to show it to some one
who fancies he knows about painting."
Fougeres had not the heart to return to the boulevard. He set about
another picture, and spent two months upon it,--eating mouse's meals
and working like a galley-slave.
One evening he went to the boulevard, his feet leading him fatefully