|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Atheist's Mass by Honore de Balzac:
solar plexus could supply their place without any possibility of
doubt--Desplein, thus finding two souls in man, confirmed his
atheism by this fact, though it is no evidence against God. This
man died, it is said, in final impenitence, as do, unfortunately,
many noble geniuses, whom God may forgive.
The life of this man, great as he was, was marred by many
meannesses, to use the expression employed by his enemies, who
were anxious to diminish his glory, but which it would be more
proper to call apparent contradictions. Envious people and fools,
having no knowledge of the determinations by which superior
spirits are moved, seize at once on superficial inconsistencies,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Smalcald Articles by Dr. Martin Luther:
then, is the use, or what does it profit that many decrees and
statutes thereon are made in the Council, especially when
these chief matters commanded of God are neither regarded nor
observed? Just as though He were bound to honor our jugglery
as a reward of our treading His solemn commandments under
foot. But our sins weigh upon us and cause God not to be
gracious to us; for we do not repent, and, besides, wish to
defend every abomination.
O Lord Jesus Christ, do Thou Thyself convoke a Council, and
deliver Thy servants by Thy glorious advent! The Pope and his
adherents are done for; they will have none of Thee. Do Thou,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Theaetetus by Plato:
or if treated adequately and at length, will put into the shade the other
question of knowledge. Neither the one nor the other can be allowed; but I
must try by my art of midwifery to deliver Theaetetus of his conceptions
THEAETETUS: Very well; do so if you will.
SOCRATES: Then now, Theaetetus, take another view of the subject: you
answered that knowledge is perception?
THEAETETUS: I did.
SOCRATES: And if any one were to ask you: With what does a man see black
and white colours? and with what does he hear high and low sounds?--you
would say, if I am not mistaken, 'With the eyes and with the ears.'
|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 Stories From the Old Attic by Robert Harris:
beautiful, healthy child, their eyes shone with a sparkle that they
thought had long ago disappeared forever. But even in their
delight, they recognized immediately that the child was no ordinary
foundling, for it had noble features and was wrapped in silks and
wore a gold brooch with a white lily on it.
They soon recognized that the child would need better fare than the
rough crusts and ordinary water the couple subsisted on--for they
were extremely poor--so they began to wonder how they could take
care of it.
"We could pick some of our neighbor's fruit at night," suggested the
woman, "or perhaps sell the gold brooch."