|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Phaedo by Plato:
which to my mind is so patent as that beauty, goodness, and the other
notions of which you were just now speaking, have a most real and absolute
existence; and I am satisfied with the proof.
Well, but is Cebes equally satisfied? for I must convince him too.
I think, said Simmias, that Cebes is satisfied: although he is the most
incredulous of mortals, yet I believe that he is sufficiently convinced of
the existence of the soul before birth. But that after death the soul will
continue to exist is not yet proven even to my own satisfaction. I cannot
get rid of the feeling of the many to which Cebes was referring--the
feeling that when the man dies the soul will be dispersed, and that this
may be the extinction of her. For admitting that she may have been born
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Sydney bookseller: about two months ago he advised me that his
copy was in the post; and I am still tragically museless.
News, news, news. What do we know of yours? What do you care for
ours? We are in the midst of the rainy season, and dwell among
alarms of hurricanes, in a very unsafe little two-storied wooden
box 650 feet above and about three miles from the sea-beach.
Behind us, till the other slope of the island, desert forest,
peaks, and loud torrents; in front green slopes to the sea, some
fifty miles of which we dominate. We see the ships as they go out
and in to the dangerous roadstead of Apia; and if they lie far out,
we can even see their topmasts while they are at anchor. Of sounds
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Rivers to the Sea by Sara Teasdale:
RIVERS TO THE SEA
And little birds before they learned to sing
Drowned in the sudden ecstasy of spring.
I love to think that with a wistful wonder
She held her baby warm against her breast;
That never any fear awoke whereunder
She shuddered at her gift, or trembled lest
Thru the great doors of birth
Here to a windy earth
She lured from heaven a half-unwilling guest.
She caught and kept his first vague flickering smile,
|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 Lin McLean by Owen Wister:
was, rose and undressed the boy and laid him between the sheets. The arms
and legs seemed aware of the moves required of them, and stirred
conveniently; and directly the head was upon the pillow the whole small
frame burrowed down, without the opening of an eye or a change in the
breathing. Lin stood some time by the bedside, with his eyes on the long,
curling lashes and the curly hair. Then he glanced craftily at the door
of the room, and at himself in the looking-glass. He stooped and kissed
Billy on the forehead, and, rising from that, gave himself a hangdog
stare in the mirror, and soon in his own bed was sleeping the sound sleep
He was faintly roused by the church bells, and lay still, lingering with