|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Menexenus by Plato:
greatest differences in dramatic power, in the formation of sentences, and
in the use of words, if his earlier writings are compared with his later
ones, say the Protagoras or Phaedrus with the Laws. Or who can be expected
to think in the same manner during a period of authorship extending over
above fifty years, in an age of great intellectual activity, as well as of
political and literary transition? Certainly not Plato, whose earlier
writings are separated from his later ones by as wide an interval of
philosophical speculation as that which separates his later writings from
The dialogues which have been translated in the first Appendix, and which
appear to have the next claim to genuineness among the Platonic writings,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Case of the Registered Letter by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:
weakness, as towards that of others. You are right, oh, you must
be right. Oh, if you could take this awful fear from my heart!
Even my grief for John would be easier to bear then."
Muller rose from his chair. "I think I can promise you that this
load will be lifted from your heart, Miss Roemer."
"Then you believe - that it was just a case of murder for robbery?
For the money? And John had some valuable jewelry, I know that."
"I do not know yet," replied Muller slowly, "but I will find out,
I generally do."
"Oh, to think that I should have done that poor man such an
injustice! It is terrible, terrible! This house has been ghastly
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Phaedo by Plato:
In speaking of divine perfection, we mean to say that God is just and true
and loving, the author of order and not of disorder, of good and not of
evil. Or rather, that he is justice, that he is truth, that he is love,
that he is order, that he is the very progress of which we were speaking;
and that wherever these qualities are present, whether in the human soul or
in the order of nature, there is God. We might still see him everywhere,
if we had not been mistakenly seeking for him apart from us, instead of in
us; away from the laws of nature, instead of in them. And we become united
to him not by mystical absorption, but by partaking, whether consciously or
unconsciously, of that truth and justice and love which he himself is.
Thus the belief in the immortality of the soul rests at last on the belief
|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 A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson:
And marching in so grand a way,
You never saw the like by day.
So fine a show was never seen
At the great circus on the green;
For every kind of beast and man
Is marching in that caravan.
As first they move a little slow,
But still the faster on they go,
And still beside me close I keep
Until we reach the town of Sleep.
A Child's Garden of Verses