|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:
30. 1. He who would assist a lord of men in harmony with the Tao will
not assert his mastery in the kingdom by force of arms. Such a course
is sure to meet with its proper return.
2. Wherever a host is stationed, briars and thorns spring up. In the
sequence of great armies there are sure to be bad years.
3. A skilful (commander) strikes a decisive blow, and stops. He does
not dare (by continuing his operations) to assert and complete his
mastery. He will strike the blow, but will be on his guard against
being vain or boastful or arrogant in consequence of it. He strikes
it as a matter of necessity; he strikes it, but not from a wish for
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Call of the Wild by Jack London:
others tried it in sharp succession; and one after the other they
drew back, streaming blood from slashed throats or shoulders.
This was sufficient to fling the whole pack forward, pell-mell,
crowded together, blocked and confused by its eagerness to pull
down the prey. Buck's marvellous quickness and agility stood him
in good stead. Pivoting on his hind legs, and snapping and
gashing, he was everywhere at once, presenting a front which was
apparently unbroken so swiftly did he whirl and guard from side to
side. But to prevent them from getting behind him, he was forced
back, down past the pool and into the creek bed, till he brought
up against a high gravel bank. He worked along to a right angle