|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Smalcald Articles by Dr. Martin Luther:
the remission of sins and grace (for thus the Mass is observed
when it is observed at the very best; otherwise what purpose
would it serve ?), for this very reason it must and should
[certainly] be condemned and rejected. For this directly
conflicts with the chief article, which says that it is not a
wicked or a godly hireling of the Mass with his own work, but
the Lamb of God and the Son of God, that taketh away our sins.
But if any one should advance the pretext that as an act of
devotion he wishes to administer the Sacrament, or Communion,
to himself, he is not in earnest [he would commit a great
mistake, and would not be speaking seriously and sincerely].
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:
Exposition. All of a sudden Mademoiselle Amelie Thirion, the leader of
the aristocrats, began to speak in a low voice, and very earnestly, to
her neighbor. A great silence fell on the group of patricians, and the
commercial party, surprised, were equally silent, trying to discover
the subject of this earnest conference. The secret of the young ULTRAS
was soon revealed.
Amelie rose, took an easel which stood near hers, carried it to a
distance from the noble group, and placed it close to a board
partition which separated the studio from the extreme end of the
attic, where all broken casts, defaced canvases and the winter supply
of wood were kept. Amelie's action caused a murmur of surprise, which
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert:
trees, beating down the branches with blows of the dagger.
The traces of the feast of the Mercenaries were everywhere still
manifest. The parks were broken up, the trenches drained, the doors of
the ergastulum open. No one was to be seen about the kitchens or
cellars. They wondered at the silence, which was occasionally broken
by the hoarse breathing of the elephants moving in their shackles, and
the crepitation of the pharos, in which a pile of aloes was burning.
Matho, however, kept repeating:
"But where is she? I wish to see her! Lead me!"
"It is a piece of insanity!" Spendius kept saying. "She will call, her
slaves will run up, and in spite of your strength you will die!"
|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 Sophist by Plato:
yourself and without any argument of mine, to that belief which, as you
say, attracts you, I will not forestall the work of time. Let me suppose,
then, that things which are said to be made by nature are the work of
divine art, and that things which are made by man out of these are works of
human art. And so there are two kinds of making and production, the one
human and the other divine.
STRANGER: Then, now, subdivide each of the two sections which we have
THEAETETUS: How do you mean?
STRANGER: I mean to say that you should make a vertical division of