|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Woman and Labour by Olive Schreiner:
these myriad toilers, each working in her own minute sphere, with her own
small outlook, and out of endless failures and miscarriages, that at last
the enwidened and beautified relations of woman to life must rise, if they
are ever to come.
When a starfish lies on the ground at the bottom of a sloping rock it has
to climb, it seems to the onlooker as though there were nothing which could
stir the inert mass and no means for taking it to the top. Yet watch it.
Beneath its lower side, hidden from sight, are a million fine tentacles;
impulses of will from the central nerve radiate throughout the whole body,
and each tiny fibre, fine as a hair, slowly extends itself, and seizes on
the minute particle of rough rock nearest to it; now a small tentacle slips
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:
predecessors, or from the Greek philosophy, and these generally in a sense
peculiar to himself. The first stage of his philosophy answers to the word
'is,' the second to the word 'has been,' the third to the words 'has been'
and 'is' combined. In other words, the first sphere is immediate, the
second mediated by reflection, the third or highest returns into the first,
and is both mediate and immediate. As Luther's Bible was written in the
language of the common people, so Hegel seems to have thought that he gave
his philosophy a truly German character by the use of idiomatic German
words. But it may be doubted whether the attempt has been successful.
First because such words as 'in sich seyn,' 'an sich seyn,' 'an und fur
sich seyn,' though the simplest combinations of nouns and verbs, require a
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Koran:
what your souls love not, proudly scorn him, and charge a part with
lying and slay a part?
They say, 'Our hearts are uncircumcised;' nay, God has cursed them
in their unbelief, and few it is who do believe. And when a book
came down from God confirming what they had with them, though they had
before prayed for victory over those who misbelieve, yet when that
came to them which they knew, then they disbelieved it,- God's curse
be on the misbelievers.
For a bad bargain have they sold their souls, not to believe in what
God has revealed, grudging because God sends down of His grace on
whomsoever of His servants He will; and they have brought on
|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 Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:
softly. Oh, why, why had they shut the door?
While they were playing, the day had faded; the gorgeous sunset had blazed
and died. And now the quick dark came racing over the sea, over the sand-
hills, up the paddock. You were frightened to look in the corners of the
washhouse, and yet you had to look with all your might. And somewhere, far
away, grandma was lighting a lamp. The blinds were being pulled down; the
kitchen fire leapt in the tins on the mantelpiece.
"It would be awful now," said the bull, "if a spider was to fall from the
ceiling on to the table, wouldn't it?"
"Spiders don't fall from ceilings."
"Yes, they do. Our Min told us she'd seen a spider as big as a saucer,