|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Unseen World and Other Essays by John Fiske:
I have supposed this theory only as an illustration, not as a
theory which I am prepared to adopt. My present purpose is not to
treat as an advocate the question of a future life, but to
endeavour to point out what conditions should be observed in
treating the question philosophically. It seems to me that a
great deal is gained when we have distinctly set before us what
are the peculiar conditions of proof in the case of such
transcendental questions. We have gained a great deal when we
have learned how thoroughly impotent, how truly irrelevant, is
physical investigation in the presence of such a question. If we
get not much positive satisfaction for our unquiet yearnings, we
The Unseen World and Other Essays
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Recruit by Honore de Balzac:
some fatal difficulty had occurred, and the letter contained his last
wishes and a sad farewell. The paper trembled in the old man's hand.
"This is the third day," cried the countess, rising and walking
hurriedly up and down.
"You have been very imprudent," said the merchant. "Why send Brigitte
to buy those provisions?"
"But he may arrive half-dead with hunger, exhausted, and--"
She could say no more.
"I am sure of my brother the mayor," said the old man. "I will see him
at once, and put him in your interests."
After talking with the mayor, the shrewd old man made visits on