|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Charmides by Plato:
Yes, I said, Critias; but you come to me as though I professed to know
about the questions which I ask, and as though I could, if I only would,
agree with you. Whereas the fact is that I enquire with you into the truth
of that which is advanced from time to time, just because I do not know;
and when I have enquired, I will say whether I agree with you or not.
Please then to allow me time to reflect.
Reflect, he said.
I am reflecting, I replied, and discover that temperance, or wisdom, if
implying a knowledge of anything, must be a science, and a science of
Yes, he said; the science of itself.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Parmenides by Plato:
the others, nor is not-being ever in any way attributed to the others.
Then if one is not, there is no conception of any of the others either as
one or many; for you cannot conceive the many without the one.
Then if one is not, the others neither are, nor can be conceived to be
either one or many?
It would seem not.
Nor as like or unlike?
Nor as the same or different, nor in contact or separation, nor in any of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad:
in those circumstances that what was to be my last connection
with a ship began. And after all there was not even one single
trip. It may be that it was simply the fulfilment of a fate, of
that written word on my forehead which apparently for bade me,
through all my sea wanderings, ever to achieve the crossing of
the Western Ocean--using the words in that special sense in which
sailors speak of Western Ocean trade, of Western Ocean packets,
of Western Ocean hard cases. The new life attended closely upon
the old, and the nine chapters of "Almayer's Folly" went with me
to the Victoria Dock, whence in a few days we started for Rouen.
I won't go so far as saying that the engaging of a man fated
A Personal Record
|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 Betty Zane by Zane Grey:
her she would have fallen.
"Will you--please--for some one?" she whispered faintly, at the same time
pushing him away.
"How absurd!" burst out Alfred, indignantly. "Am I then, so distasteful to you
that you would rather wait here and suffer a half hour longer while I go for
assistance? It is only common courtesy on my part. I do not want to carry you.
I think you would be quite heavy."
He said this in a hard, bitter tone, deeply hurt that she would not accept
even a little kindness from him. He looked away from her and waited. Presently
a soft, half-smothered sob came from Betty and it expressed such utter
wretchedness that his heart melted. After all she was only a child. He turned