|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Alcibiades I by Plato:
SOCRATES: And is the good expedient or not?
SOCRATES: Do you remember our admissions about the just?
ALCIBIADES: Yes; if I am not mistaken, we said that those who acted justly
must also act honourably.
SOCRATES: And the honourable is the good?
SOCRATES: And the good is expedient?
SOCRATES: Then, Alcibiades, the just is expedient?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Cratylus by Plato:
custom and convention. And even supposing that you distinguish custom from
convention ever so much, still you must say that the signification of words
is given by custom and not by likeness, for custom may indicate by the
unlike as well as by the like. But as we are agreed thus far, Cratylus
(for I shall assume that your silence gives consent), then custom and
convention must be supposed to contribute to the indication of our
thoughts; for suppose we take the instance of number, how can you ever
imagine, my good friend, that you will find names resembling every
individual number, unless you allow that which you term convention and
agreement to have authority in determining the correctness of names? I
quite agree with you that words should as far as possible resemble things;
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Disputation of the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences by Dr. Martin Luther:
all the blessings of Christ and the Church; and this is
granted him by God, even without letters of pardon.
38. Nevertheless, the remission and participation [in the
blessings of the Church] which are granted by the pope are in
no way to be despised, for they are, as I have said, the
declaration of divine remission.
39. It is most difficult, even for the very keenest
theologians, at one and the same time to commend to the people
the abundance of pardons and [the need of] true contrition.
40. True contrition seeks and loves penalties, but liberal
pardons only relax penalties and cause them to be hated, or at
|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 New Arabian Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson:
perplexities; he remembered that he knew a jeweller, one B.
Macculloch, in Edinburgh, who would be glad to put him in the way
of the necessary training; a few months, perhaps a few years, of
sordid toil, and he would be sufficiently expert to divide and
sufficiently cunning to dispose with advantage of the Rajah's
Diamond. That done, he might return to pursue his researches at
leisure, a wealthy and luxurious student, envied and respected by
all. Golden visions attended him through his slumber, and he awoke
refreshed and light-hearted with the morning sun.
Mr. Raeburn's house was on that day to be closed by the police, and
this afforded a pretext for his departure. He cheerfully prepared