|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
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.