|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Parmenides by Plato:
assumption that the doctrine of the Ideas was held by Plato throughout his
life in the same form. For the truth is, that the Platonic Ideas were in
constant process of growth and transmutation; sometimes veiled in poetry
and mythology, then again emerging as fixed Ideas, in some passages
regarded as absolute and eternal, and in others as relative to the human
mind, existing in and derived from external objects as well as transcending
them. The anamnesis of the Ideas is chiefly insisted upon in the mythical
portions of the dialogues, and really occupies a very small space in the
entire works of Plato. Their transcendental existence is not asserted, and
is therefore implicitly denied in the Philebus; different forms are
ascribed to them in the Republic, and they are mentioned in the Theaetetus,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Euthyphro by Plato:
EUTHYPHRO: You understand me capitally, Socrates.
SOCRATES: Yes, my friend; the reason is that I am a votary of your
science, and give my mind to it, and therefore nothing which you say will
be thrown away upon me. Please then to tell me, what is the nature of this
service to the gods? Do you mean that we prefer requests and give gifts to
EUTHYPHRO: Yes, I do.
SOCRATES: Is not the right way of asking to ask of them what we want?
SOCRATES: And the right way of giving is to give to them in return what
they want of us. There would be no meaning in an art which gives to any