|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Marriage Contract by Honore de Balzac:
attention to the reading of the documents. Equally childish and
equally happy, regarding life as a cloudless sky, rich, young, and
loving, they chattered to each other in a low voice, sinking into
whispers. Arming his love with the presence of legality, Paul took
delight in kissing the tips of Natalie's fingers, in lightly touching
her snowy shoulders and the waving curls of her hair, hiding from the
eyes of others these joys of illegal emancipation. Natalie played with
a screen of peacock's feathers given to her by Paul,--a gift which is
to love, according to superstitious belief in certain countries, as
dangerous an omen as the gift of scissors or other cutting
instruments, which recall, no doubt, the Parces of antiquity.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Touchstone by Edith Wharton:
weeping. "It was for the money--?"
His lips shaped an assent.
"That was the inheritance--that we married on?"
She drew back and rose to her feet. He sat watching her as she
wandered away from him.
"You hate me," broke from him.
She made no answer.
"Say you hate me!" he persisted.
"That would have been so simple," she answered with a strange
smile. She dropped into a chair near the writing-table and rested
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Some Reminiscences by Joseph Conrad:
unrealised and desired sea of my dreams escape from the unnerved
grip of my will.
The enthusiastic old Englishman had passed--and the argument went
on. What reward could I expect from such a life at the end of my
years, either in ambition, honour or conscience? An unanswerable
question. But I felt no longer crushed. Then our eyes met and a
genuine emotion was visible in his as well as in mine. The end
came all at once. He picked up the knapsack suddenly and got on
to his feet.
"You are an incorrigible, hopeless Don Quixote. That's what you
|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 The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James:
one of the characters proper to religion."
 Auguste Sabatier: Esquisse d'une Philosophie de la
Religion. 2me ed., 1897, pp. 24-26, abridged.
It seems to me that the entire series of our lectures proves the
truth of M. Sabatier's contention. The religious phenomenon,
studied as in Inner fact, and apart from ecclesiastical or
theological complications, has shown itself to consist
everywhere, and at all its stages, in the consciousness which
individuals have of an intercourse between themselves and higher
powers with which they feel themselves to be related. This
intercourse is realized at the time as being both active and