|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin:
a perfectly fertile hybrid animal can be considered as thoroughly well
authenticated. It should, however, be borne in mind that, owing to few
animals breeding freely under confinement, few experiments have been fairly
tried: for instance, the canary-bird has been crossed with nine other
finches, but as not one of these nine species breeds freely in confinement,
we have no right to expect that the first crosses between them and the
canary, or that their hybrids, should be perfectly fertile. Again, with
respect to the fertility in successive generations of the more fertile
hybrid animals, I hardly know of an instance in which two families of the
same hybrid have been raised at the same time from different parents, so as
to avoid the ill effects of close interbreeding. On the contrary, brothers
On the Origin of Species
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Parmenides by Plato:
and the beautiful and the good, and of all that class?
Yes, he said, I should.
And would you make an idea of man apart from us and from all other human
creatures, or of fire and water?
I am often undecided, Parmenides, as to whether I ought to include them or
And would you feel equally undecided, Socrates, about things of which the
mention may provoke a smile?--I mean such things as hair, mud, dirt, or
anything else which is vile and paltry; would you suppose that each of
these has an idea distinct from the actual objects with which we come into
contact, or not?
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Anthem by Ayn Rand:
the metal cobwebs inside, such as we had
seen in our tunnel.
We found the sleeping hall and we stood
in awe upon its threshold. For it was a
small room and there were only two beds
in it. We found no other beds in the house,
and then we knew that only two had lived
here, and this passes understanding.
What kind of world did they have,
the men of the Unmentionable Times?
We found garments, and the Golden One
|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 Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving:
clouds floated in the sky, without a breath of air to move them.
The horizon was of a fine golden tint, changing gradually into a
pure apple green, and from that into the deep blue of the mid-
heaven. A slanting ray lingered on the woody crests of the
precipices that overhung some parts of the river, giving greater
depth to the dark gray and purple of their rocky sides. A sloop
was loitering in the distance, dropping slowly down with the
tide, her sail hanging uselessly against the mast; and as the
reflection of the sky gleamed along the still water, it seemed as
if the vessel was suspended in the air.
It was toward evening that Ichabod arrived at the castle of
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow