|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Laches by Plato:
doing: he who does not fly from reproof will be sure to take more heed of
his after-life; as Solon says, he will wish and desire to be learning so
long as he lives, and will not think that old age of itself brings wisdom.
To me, to be cross-examined by Socrates is neither unusual nor unpleasant;
indeed, I knew all along that where Socrates was, the argument would soon
pass from our sons to ourselves; and therefore, I say that for my part, I
am quite willing to discourse with Socrates in his own manner; but you had
better ask our friend Laches what his feeling may be.
LACHES: I have but one feeling, Nicias, or (shall I say?) two feelings,
about discussions. Some would think that I am a lover, and to others I may
seem to be a hater of discourse; for when I hear a man discoursing of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Master Key by L. Frank Baum:
to feed cannibals. Wish I was at home with mother and dad and the
girls. Wish I'd never seen the Demon of Electricity and his wonderful
inventions. I was happy enough before I struck that awful Master Key.
And now I'll be eaten--with salt and pepper, probably. Wonder if
there'll be any gravy. Perhaps they'll boil me, with biscuits, as
mother does chickens. Oh-h-h-h-h! It's just awful!"
In the midst of these depressing thoughts he became aware that
something was hurting his back. After rolling over he found that he
had been lying upon a sharp stone that stuck out of the earth. This
gave him an idea. He rolled upon the stone again and began rubbing
the rope that bound him against the sharp edge.
The Master Key
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum:
all that it contained.
"Your cat is a nice cat, Claus," he said, at last. "Let me hold it."
But puss objected and ran away.
"The other cat won't run, Claus," continued the boy. "Let me hold
that one." Claus placed the toy in his arms, and the boy held it
lovingly and kissed the tip of its wooden ear.
"How did you get lost in the storm, Weekum?" asked Claus.
"I started to walk to my auntie's house and lost my way," answered Weekum.
"Were you frightened?"
"It was cold," said Weekum, "and the snow got in my eyes, so I could
not see. Then I kept on till I fell in the snow, without knowing
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
|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 Christ in Flanders by Honore de Balzac:
The soldier, holding fast to the vessel's side, never took his eyes
off the strange visitor. He copied on his own rough and swarthy
features the imperturbability of the other's face, applying to this
task the whole strength of a will and intelligence but little
corrupted in the course of a life of mechanical and passive obedience.
So emulous was he of a calm and tranquil courage greater than his own,
that at last, perhaps unconsciously, something of that mysterious
nature passed into his own soul. His admiration became an instinctive
zeal for this man, a boundless love for and belief in him, such a love
as soldiers feel for their leader when he has the power of swaying
other men, when the halo of victories surrounds him, and the magical