|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:
6. The valley spirit dies not, aye the same;
The female mystery thus do we name.
Its gate, from which at first they issued forth,
Is called the root from which grew heaven and earth.
Long and unbroken does its power remain,
Used gently, and without the touch of pain.
7. 1. Heaven is long-enduring and earth continues long. The reason
why heaven and earth are able to endure and continue thus long is
because they do not live of, or for, themselves. This is how they are
able to continue and endure.
2. Therefore the sage puts his own person last, and yet it is found in
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad:
fair wind! Who would dare to grumble at a fair wind? It was a
favour of the Western King, who rules masterfully the North
Atlantic from the latitude of the Azores to the latitude of Cape
Farewell. A famous shove this to end a good passage with; and yet,
somehow, one could not muster upon one's lips the smile of a
courtier's gratitude. This favour was dispensed to you from under
an overbearing scowl, which is the true expression of the great
autocrat when he has made up his mind to give a battering to some
ships and to hunt certain others home in one breath of cruelty and
benevolence, equally distracting.
"No, sir. Can't see very far."
The Mirror of the Sea
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson:
And now the Barons and the kings prevailed,
And now the King, as here and there that war
Went swaying; but the Powers who walk the world
Made lightnings and great thunders over him,
And dazed all eyes, till Arthur by main might,
And mightier of his hands with every blow,
And leading all his knighthood threw the kings
Cardos, Urien, Cradlemont of Wales,
Claudias, and Clariance of Northumberland,
The King Brandagoras of Latangor,
With Anguisant of Erin, Morganore,
|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 Awakening & Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin:
away from you. I can't live any longer here at Cote Joyeuse. "
A spasm passed through Mam'selle Pauline's delicate frame. La Petite
could feel the twitch of it in the wiry fingers that were intertwined
with her own. Ma'ame Pelagie remained unchanged and motionless.
No human eye could penetrate so deep as to see the satisfaction
which her soul felt. She said: "What do you mean, Petite?
Your father has sent you to us, and I am sure it is his wish that you remain."
"My father loves me, tante Pelagie, and such will not be his
wish when he knows. Oh!" she continued with a restless, movement,
"it is as though a weight were pressing me backward here. I must
live another life; the life I lived before. I want to know things
Awakening & Selected Short Stories