|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Memorabilia by Xenophon:
deliberately planning the existence of living creatures.
Soc. Well, and doubtless you feel to have a spark of wisdom yourself?
Ar. Put your questions, and I will answer.
Soc. And yet you imagine that elsewhere no spark of wisdom is to be
found? And that, too, when you know that you have in your body a tiny
fragment only of the mighty earth, a little drop of the great waters,
and of the other elements, vast in their extent, you got, I presume, a
particle of each towards the compacting of your bodily frame? Mind
alone, it would seem, which is nowhere to be found, you had the
lucky chance to snatch up and make off with, you cannot tell how. And
these things around and about us, enormous in size, infinite in
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from When the World Shook by H. Rider Haggard:
must visit the place whither we shall go tomorrow, and that took
"Then it is close at hand?" I said.
"Humphrey, be not foolish. Do you not remember, who have
travelled with him, that Oro can throw his soul afar and bring it
back again laden with knowledge, as the feet of a bee are laden
with golden dust? Well, he went and went again, and I must wait.
And then the robes and shields; they must be prepared by his arts
and mine. Oh! ask not what they are, there is no time to tell,
and it matters nothing. Some folk are wise and some are foolish,
but all which matters is that within them flows the blood of life
When the World Shook
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Chance by Joseph Conrad:
all he could do was to look at the surface. The inwardness of what
was passing before his eyes was hidden from him, who had looked on,
more impenetrably than from me who at a distance of years was
listening to his words. What presently happened at this crisis in
Flora de Barral's fate was beyond his power of comment, seemed in a
sense natural. And his own presence on the scene was so strangely
motived that it was left for me to marvel alone at this young man, a
completely chance-comer, having brought it about on that night.
Each situation created either by folly or wisdom has its
psychological moment. The behaviour of young Powell with its
mixture of boyish impulses combined with instinctive prudence, had
|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 Atheist's Mass by Honore de Balzac:
me the money for my examination fees! That man, my friend,
understood that I had a mission, that the needs of my intellect
were greater than his. He looked after me, he called me his boy,
he lent me money to buy books, he would come in softly sometimes
to watch me at work, and took a mother's care in seeing that I
had wholesome and abundant food, instead of the bad and
insufficient nourishment I had been condemned to. Bourgeat, a man
of about forty, had a homely, mediaeval type of face, a prominent
forehead, a head that a painter might have chosen as a model for
that of Lycurgus. The poor man's heart was big with affections
seeking an object; he had never been loved but by a poodle that