|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Padre Ignacio by Owen Wister:
patriots away over on the Atlantic edge of the continent, declared
ourselves an independent nation, a Spanish ship, in the name of Saint
Francis, was unloading the centuries of her own civilization at the
Golden Gate. San Diego had come earlier. Then, slowly, as mission after
mission was built along the soft coast wilderness, new ports were
established--at Santa Barbara, and by Point San Luis for San Luis Obispo,
which lay inland a little way up the gorge where it opened among the
hills. Thus the world reached these missions by water; while on land,
through the mountains, a road led to them, and also to many more that
were too distant behind the hills for ships to serve--a rough road, long
and lonely, punctuated with church towers and gardens. For the Fathers
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Message by Honore de Balzac:
ferocious hunger familiar to convalescents, sheer animal
appetite, had overpowered all human sensibilities. In that little
space I had seen frank and undisguised human nature under two
very different aspects, in such a sort that there was a certain
grotesque element in the very midst of a most terrible tragedy.
The evening that followed was dreary. I was tired. The canon
racked his brains to discover a reason for his niece's tears. The
lady's husband silently digested his dinner; content, apparently,
with the Countess' rather vague explanation, sent through the
maid, putting forward some feminine ailment as her excuse. We all
went early to bed.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:
sightedness; the guarding of what is soft and tender is (the secret
5. Who uses well his light,
Reverting to its (source so) bright,
Will from his body ward all blight,
And hides the unchanging from men's sight.
53. 1. If I were suddenly to become known, and (put into a position
to) conduct (a government) according to the Great Tao, what I should
be most afraid of would be a boastful display.
2. The great Tao (or way) is very level and easy; but people love the
|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 Main Street by Sinclair Lewis:
popped up and down. He interrupted himself, "Must stir
'em up." He worried at his wife, "Don't you think I better
stir 'em up?" He shouldered into the center of the room, and
"Let's have some stunts, folks."
"Yes, let's!" shrieked Juanita Haydock.
"Say, Dave, give us that stunt about the Norwegian catching
"You bet; that's a slick stunt; do that, Dave!" cheered
Mr. Dave Dyer obliged.