|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Ion by Plato:
ION: And I will, please heaven.
SOCRATES: I often envy the profession of a rhapsode, Ion; for you have
always to wear fine clothes, and to look as beautiful as you can is a part
of your art. Then, again, you are obliged to be continually in the company
of many good poets; and especially of Homer, who is the best and most
divine of them; and to understand him, and not merely learn his words by
rote, is a thing greatly to be envied. And no man can be a rhapsode who
does not understand the meaning of the poet. For the rhapsode ought to
interpret the mind of the poet to his hearers, but how can he interpret him
well unless he knows what he means? All this is greatly to be envied.
|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 Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:
SOCRATES: And was not the poet whose words I originally quoted wiser than
we are, when he bade us (pray God) to defend us from evil even though we
asked for it?
ALCIBIADES: I believe that you are right.
SOCRATES: The Lacedaemonians, too, whether from admiration of the poet or
because they have discovered the idea for themselves, are wont to offer the
prayer alike in public and private, that the Gods will give unto them the
beautiful as well as the good:--no one is likely to hear them make any
further petition. And yet up to the present time they have not been less
fortunate than other men; or if they have sometimes met with misfortune,
the fault has not been due to their prayer. For surely, as I conceive, the