|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Father Sergius by Leo Tolstoy:
morning, were a difficulty, they certainly calmed him and gave
him joy. This was the result of his consciousness of humility,
and the certainty that whatever he had to do, being fixed by the
starets, was right.
The interest of his life consisted not only in an ever greater
and greater subjugation of his will, but in the attainment of all
the Christian virtues, which at first seemed to him easily
attainable. He had given his whole estate to his sister and did
not regret it, he had no personal claims, humility towards his
inferiors was not merely easy for him but afforded him pleasure.
Even victory over the sins of the flesh, greed and lust, was
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Mucker by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
himself from Barbara Harding who in her terror had
clutched his arm, he ran forward to the head of the stairway.
The men of the Lotus looked on in mute and helpless rage.
All were covered by the guns of the boarding party--the still
forms of two of their companions bearing eloquent witness to
the slenderness of provocation necessary to tighten the trigger
fingers of the beasts standing guard over them.
Billy Byrne never hesitated in his rush for the upper deck.
The sight of the man awaiting him above but whetted his
appetite for battle. The trim flannels, the white shoes, the natty
cap, were to the mucker as sufficient cause for justifiable
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from God The Invisible King by H. G. Wells:
delaying the relief of Kut-el-Amara, and he has not thought of the
difficult question why the Deity, having once decided upon
intervention, did not, instead of this comparatively trivial
meteorological assistance, adopt the more effective course of, for
example, exploding or spoiling the German stores of ammunition by
some simple atomic miracle, or misdirecting their gunfire by a
sudden local modification of the laws of refraction or gravitation.
Since these views of God come from Anglican vicarages I can only
conclude that this kind of belief is quite orthodox and permissible
in the established church, and that I am charging orthodox
Christianity here with nothing that has ever been officially
|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 The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:
"You may even be nothing at all," said Gaudissart, going on with his
phrases, "but you are conscious of yourself; you feel yourself--"
"I feel myself," said the lunatic.
"--you feel yourself a great man; you say to yourself, 'I will be a
minister of state.' Well, then, you--painter, artist, man of letters,
statesman of the future--you reckon upon your talents, you estimate
their value, you rate them, let us say, at a hundred thousand
"Do you give me a hundred thousand crowns?"
"Yes, Monsieur, as you will see. Either your heirs and assigns will
receive them if you die, for the company contemplates that event, or