|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Edingburgh Picturesque Notes by Robert Louis Stevenson:
to the Holes in each of their Heads, which the Hangman
broke with his Hammer; and according to the Bigness of
their Sculls, we laid the Jaws to them, and drew the
other Half of the Linen above them, and stufft the Coffin
with Shavings. Some prest hard to go thorow the chief
Parts of the City as was done at the Revolution; but this
we refused, considering that it looked airy and frothy,
to make such Show of them, and inconsistent with the
solid serious Observing of such an affecting, surprizing
unheard-of Dispensation: But took the ordinary Way of
other Burials from that Place, to wit, we went east the
|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:
"Oh, if you don't want to go," began Rob, "I can easily--"
"But I do! I do! I do!" cried the little man, interrupting him. "I
shall die if you leave me behind!"
"Well, then, get your ropes, and we'll do the best we can,"
said the boy.
They ran to the trees, around the trunks of which were clinging many
tendrils of greenish-brown vine which possessed remarkable strength.
With their knives they cut a long section of this vine, the ends of
which were then tied into loops large enough to permit the sailors to
sit in them comfortably. The connecting piece Rob padded with seaweed
gathered from the shore, to prevent its cutting into his shoulders.
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 Art of War by Sun Tzu:
Tzu-ch`an says: "If you have a piece of beautiful brocade, you
will not employ a mere learner to make it up."
69. Cf. TAO TE CHING, ch. 31.
70. Sun Hsing-yen might have quoted Confucius again. See LUN
YU, XIII. 29, 30.
71. Better known as Hsiang Yu [233-202 B.C.].
72. SHIH CHI, ch. 47.
73. SHIH CHI, ch. 38.
74. See XIII. ss. 27, note. Further details on T`ai Kung will
be found in the SHIH CHI, ch. 32 ad init. Besides the tradition
which makes him a former minister of Chou Hsin, two other
The Art of War
|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 Monster Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
of Professor Maxon. As the man stepped backward
to recover his equilibrium both feet struck the obstacle.
For an instant he tottered with wildly waving arms
in an endeavor to regain his lost balance, then,
with a curse upon his lips, he lunged across the box
and over the side of the prahu into the dark waters
of the river.
The great chest in the bottom of Rajah Muda Saffir's
prahu had awakened in other hearts as well as his,
The Monster Men