|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
enough to look upon her death, had that been the sentence,
without a murmur at its severity, but had none of the
heartlessness of another social state, which would find only a
theme for jest in an exhibition like the present. Even had there
been a disposition to turn the matter into ridicule, it must have
been repressed and overpowered by the solemn presence of men no
less dignified than the governor, and several of his counsellors,
a judge, a general, and the ministers of the town, all of whom
sat or stood in a balcony of the meeting-house, looking down upon
the platform. When such personages could constitute a part of
the spectacle, without risking the majesty, or reverence of rank
The Scarlet Letter
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Foolish Virgin by Thomas Dixon:
you look at that?" he growled.
"It's too bad," she said, sympathetically.
"You know I thought a she-tiger had got loose from
the Bronx and jumped on me."
"I'm awfully sorry," she apologized. "Ella's very
fond of me. She was trying to protect me. She
couldn't see who it was in the dark."
"No; I reckon not," Jim laughed.
"I've changed our plans for the evening," she
announced. "We won't go to ride tonight. I want you
to bring my best friend to dinner with us at Mouquin's.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from What is Man? by Mark Twain:
Y.M. The first animal started it, its descendants have
O.M. How did the first one come to start it?
Y.M. I don't know; but it didn't THINK it out.
O.M. How do you know it didn't?
Y.M. Well--I have a right to suppose it didn't, anyway.
O.M. I don't believe you have. What is thought?
Y.M. I know what you call it: the mechanical and automatic
putting together of impressions received from outside, and
drawing an inference from them.
O.M. Very good. Now my idea of the meaningless term "instinct" is,
What is Man?
|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 Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians by Martin Luther:
into one brief sentence. Reason takes offense at the brevity with which Paul
treats the Law. Therefore reason looks down upon the doctrine of faith and
its truly good works. To serve one another in love, i.e., to instruct the
erring, to comfort the afflicted, to raise the fallen, to help one's neighbor
in every possible way, to bear with his infirmities, to endure hardships,
toil, ingratitude in the Church and in the world, and on the other hand to
obey government, to honor one's parents, to be patient at home with a nagging
wife and an unruly family, these things are not at all regarded as good
works. The fact is, they are such excellent works that the world cannot
possibly estimate them at their true value.
It is tersely spoken: "Love thy neighbour as thyself." But what more needs