|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Songs of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson:
And played alike the leader's part
In lawful and unlawful art.
His soldiers with emboldened ears
Heard him laugh among the spears.
He could deduce from age to age
The web of island parentage;
Best lay the rhyme, best lead the dance,
For any festal circumstance:
And fitly fashion oar and boat,
A palace or an armour coat.
None more availed than he to raise
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:
of) bending a bow? The (part of the bow) which was high is brought
low, and what was low is raised up. (So Heaven) diminishes where
there is superabundance, and supplements where there is deficiency.
2. It is the Way of Heaven to diminish superabundance, and to
supplement deficiency. It is not so with the way of man. He takes
away from those who have not enough to add to his own superabundance.
3. Who can take his own superabundance and therewith serve all under
heaven? Only he who is in possession of the Tao!
4. Therefore the (ruling) sage acts without claiming the results as
his; he achieves his merit and does not rest (arrogantly) in it:--he
does not wish to display his superiority.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Of The Nature of Things by Lucretius:
Along the illimitable inane afar,
Or rather, in fact, would ne'er have once combined
And given a birth to aught, since, scattered wide,
It could not be united. For of truth
Neither by counsel did the primal germs
'Stablish themselves, as by keen act of mind,
Each in its proper place; nor did they make,
Forsooth, a compact how each germ should move;
But since, being many and changed in many modes
Along the All, they're driven abroad and vexed
By blow on blow, even from all time of old,
Of The Nature of Things
|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 Travels with a Donkey in the Cevenne by Robert Louis Stevenson:
land. Cheylard scrapes together halfpence for the darkened souls
in Edinburgh; while Balquhidder and Dunrossness bemoan the
ignorance of Rome. Thus, to the high entertainment of the angels,
do we pelt each other with evangelists, like schoolboys bickering
in the snow.
The inn was again singularly unpretentious. The whole furniture of
a not ill-to-do family was in the kitchen: the beds, the cradle,
the clothes, the plate-rack, the meal-chest, and the photograph of
the parish priest. There were five children, one of whom was set
to its morning prayers at the stair-foot soon after my arrival, and
a sixth would ere long be forthcoming. I was kindly received by