|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Art of War by Sun Tzu:
the simile of energy and the force stored up in the bent cross-
bow until released by the finger on the trigger.]
16. Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle, there may be
seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all; amid confusion
and chaos, your array may be without head or tail, yet it will be
proof against defeat.
[Mei Yao-ch`en says: "The subdivisions of the army having
been previously fixed, and the various signals agreed upon, the
separating and joining, the dispersing and collecting which will
take place in the course of a battle, may give the appearance of
disorder when no real disorder is possible. Your formation may
The Art of War
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield:
"Can you do the 'Salome' dance?" she asked. "I can."
"How delightful," I said.
"Shall I do it now? Would you like to see me?"
She sprang to her feet, executed a series of amazing contortions for the
next ten minutes, and then paused, panting, twisting her long hair.
"Isn't that nice?" she said. "And now I am perspiring so splendidly. I
shall go and take a bath."
Opposite to me was the brownest woman I have ever seen, lying on her back,
her arms clasped over her head.
"How long have you been here to-day?" she was asked.
"Oh, I spend the day here now," she answered. "I am making my own 'cure,'