|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:
we arrive at the great Socratic thesis that virtue is knowledge. This is
an aspect of the truth which was lost almost as soon as it was found; and
yet has to be recovered by every one for himself who would pass the limits
of proverbial and popular philosophy. The moral and intellectual are
always dividing, yet they must be reunited, and in the highest conception
of them are inseparable. The thesis of Socrates is not merely a hasty
assumption, but may be also deemed an anticipation of some 'metaphysic of
the future,' in which the divided elements of human nature are reconciled.
|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 Philebus by Plato:
relation to the present and the past, or in relation to the future also?
PROTARCHUS: I should say in relation to all times alike.
SOCRATES: Have not purely mental pleasures and pains been described
already as in some cases anticipations of the bodily ones; from which we
may infer that anticipatory pleasures and pains have to do with the future?
PROTARCHUS: Most true.
SOCRATES: And do all those writings and paintings which, as we were saying
a little while ago, are produced in us, relate to the past and present
only, and not to the future?
PROTARCHUS: To the future, very much.
SOCRATES: When you say, 'Very much,' you mean to imply that all these