|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Theaetetus by Plato:
and the like. It is remarkable how Plato in the Theaetetus, after having
indulged in the figure of the waxen tablet and the decoy, afterwards
discards them. The mind is also represented by another class of images, as
the spring of a watch, a motive power, a breath, a stream, a succession of
points or moments. As Plato remarks in the Cratylus, words expressive of
motion as well as of rest are employed to describe the faculties and
operations of the mind; and in these there is contained another store of
fallacies. Some shadow or reflection of the body seems always to adhere to
our thoughts about ourselves, and mental processes are hardly distinguished
in language from bodily ones. To see or perceive are used indifferently of
both; the words intuition, moral sense, common sense, the mind's eye, are
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Works of Samuel Johnson by Samuel Johnson:
TO THE RAMBLER.
SUCH is the tenderness or infirmity of many
minds, that when any affliction oppresses them,
they have immediate recourse to lamentation and
complaint, which, though it can only be allowed
reasonable when evils admit of remedy, and then only
when addressed to those from whom the remedy is
expected, yet seems even in hopeless and incurable
distresses to be natural, since those by whom it is
not indulged, imagine that they give a proof of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Simple Soul by Gustave Flaubert:
her in the cabin of a customs officer, which was used for that purpose
by other bathers.
In the afternoon, they would take the donkey and go to the Roches-
Noires, near Hennequeville. The path led at first through undulating
grounds, and thence to a plateau, where pastures and tilled fields
alternated. At the edge of the road, mingling with the brambles, grew
holly bushes, and here and there stood large dead trees whose branches
traced zigzags upon the blue sky.
Ordinarily, they rested in a field facing the ocean, with Deauville on
their left, and Havre on their right. The sea glittered brightly in
the sun and was as smooth as a mirror, and so calm that they could
A Simple Soul
|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 Call of the Canyon by Zane Grey:
waterfall--and Lolomi Lodge!
Nothing had altered. But Carley seemed returning after many years. Slowly
she dismounted--slowly she climbed the porch steps. Was there no one at
home? Yet the vacant doorway, the silence--something attested to the
knowledge of Carley's presence. Then suddenly Mrs. Hutter fluttered out
with Flo behind her.
"You dear girl--I'm so glad!" cried Mrs. Hutter, her voice trembling.
"I'm glad to see you, too," said Carley, bending to receive Mrs. Hutter's
embrace. Carley saw dim eyes--the stress of agitation, but no surprise.
"Oh, Carley!" burst out the Western girl, with voice rich and full, yet tremulous.
"Flo, I've come to wish you happiness," replied Carley, very low.
The Call of the Canyon