|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Koran:
will guide me:' and he made it a word remaining among his posterity,
that haply they might return.
Nay; but I let these (Meccans) and their fathers have enjoyment
until the truth came to them, and an apostle. And when the truth
came to them they said, 'This is magic, and we therein do disbelieve!'
And they say, 'Unless this Koran were sent down to a man great in
the two cities....'
Is it they who distribute the mercy of thy Lord? We distribute
amongst them their livelihood in the life of this world, and we
exalt some of them above others in degrees, that some may take
others into subjection; but the mercy of thy Lord is better than
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Statesman by Plato:
in order that we might have a clearer view of him who is alone worthy to
receive this appellation, because he alone of shepherds and herdsmen,
according to the image which we have employed, has the care of human
YOUNG SOCRATES: Very true.
STRANGER: And I cannot help thinking, Socrates, that the form of the
divine shepherd is even higher than that of a king; whereas the statesmen
who are now on earth seem to be much more like their subjects in character,
and much more nearly to partake of their breeding and education.
YOUNG SOCRATES: Certainly.
STRANGER: Still they must be investigated all the same, to see whether,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Reason Discourse by Rene Descartes:
sense, if, for the reason that I approved of something at a particular
time, I therefore bound myself to hold it for good at a subsequent time,
when perhaps it had ceased to be so, or I had ceased to esteem it such.
My second maxim was to be as firm and resolute in my actions as I was
able, and not to adhere less steadfastly to the most doubtful opinions,
when once adopted, than if they had been highly certain; imitating in this
the example of travelers who, when they have lost their way in a forest,
ought not to wander from side to side, far less remain in one place, but
proceed constantly towards the same side in as straight a line as
possible, without changing their direction for slight reasons, although
perhaps it might be chance alone which at first determined the selection;
|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 Z. Marcas by Honore de Balzac:
"No cloak!" said the Keeper of the Seals.
"Ah, you rascals, you would dress as the postillion de Longjumeau, you
would appear as Debardeurs, sup in the morning, and breakfast at night
at Very's--sometimes even at the /Rocher de Cancale/.--Dry bread for
you, my boys! Why," said I, in a big bass voice, "you deserve to sleep
under the bed, you are not worthy to lie in it--"
"Yes, yes; but, Keeper of the Seals, there is no more tobacco!" said
"It is high time to write home, to our aunts, our mothers, and our
sisters, to tell them we have no underlinen left, that the wear and
tear of Paris would ruin garments of wire. Then we will solve an