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Today's Stichomancy for Steven Spielberg

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:

by the sense, and the sense would have no power of distinguishing without the mind.

But prior to objects of sense there is a third nature in which they are contained--that is to say, space, which may be explained in various ways. It is the element which surrounds them; it is the vacuum or void which they leave or occupy when passing from one portion of space to another. It might be described in the language of ancient philosophy, as 'the Not- being' of objects. It is a negative idea which in the course of ages has become positive. It is originally derived from the contemplation of the world without us--the boundless earth or sea, the vacant heaven, and is therefore acquired chiefly through the sense of sight: to the blind the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from 1492 by Mary Johntson:

under the mountains, and there he found a river and his canoe. He rowed all night until he came to his town. Then he ate cassava cakes and rested, while the green and gold and red Lizard [These were ``Lizard'' folk. They had a Lizard painted on a great post by the cacique's house.] went ahead to say that he was coming. Then he rose, right out of the great water, and there was day again! But we must know about the sun's town; we, the gods!

Luis and I could have stayed long while and disentangled this place and loved the doing it.

But it was to return to the Admiral and the waiting ships.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sanitary and Social Lectures by Charles Kingsley:

thoroughly carried out, you would see a sensible and large increase in the rate of population. When you have saved your children alive, then you must settle what to do with them. But a living dog is better than a dead lion; I would rather have the living child, and let it take its chance, than let it return to God--wasted. O! it is a distressing thing to see children die. God gives the most beautiful and precious thing that earth can have, and we just take it and cast it away; we toss our pearls upon the dunghill and leave them. A dying child is to me one of the most dreadful sights in the world. A dying man, a man dying on the field of battle--that is a small sight; he has taken his

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 A Heap O' Livin' by Edgar A. Guest:

An enemy ambushed to shatter your will; Its prey is forever the man with a mission And bows but to courage and patience and skill. Hate it, with hatred that's deep and undying, For once it is welcomed 'twill break any man; Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying And answer this demon by saying: "I _can_."

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

_Written July 22, 1916, when the


A Heap O' Livin'