|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Spirit of the Border by Zane Grey:
not used to shootin' at sich small marks."
Wetzel's rare smile lighted up his dark face. Probably he could have shot a
fly off the horn of the bull, if one of the big flies or bees, plainly visible
as they swirled around the huge head, had alighted there.
Joe slowly raised his rifle. He had covered the calf, and was about to pull
the trigger, when, with a sagacity far beyond his experience as hunter, he
whispered to Wetzel:
"If I fire they may run toward us."
"Nope; they'll run away," answered Wetzel, thinking the lad was as keen as an
Joe quickly covered the calf again, and pulled the trigger. Bellowing loud the
The Spirit of the Border
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:
we bring with us a stranger from Elea, who is a disciple of Parmenides and
Zeno, and a true philosopher.
SOCRATES: Is he not rather a god, Theodorus, who comes to us in the
disguise of a stranger? For Homer says that all the gods, and especially
the god of strangers, are companions of the meek and just, and visit the
good and evil among men. And may not your companion be one of those higher
powers, a cross-examining deity, who has come to spy out our weakness in
argument, and to cross-examine us?
THEODORUS: Nay, Socrates, he is not one of the disputatious sort--he is
too good for that. And, in my opinion, he is not a god at all; but divine
he certainly is, for this is a title which I should give to all
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Republic by Plato:
nature fitted for war rather than peace; and in the value set by them upon
military stratagems and contrivances, and in the waging of everlasting
wars--this State will be for the most part peculiar.
Yes, I said; and men of this stamp will be covetous of money, like those
who live in oligarchies; they will have, a fierce secret longing after gold
and silver, which they will hoard in dark places, having magazines and
treasuries of their own for the deposit and concealment of them; also
castles which are just nests for their eggs, and in which they will spend
large sums on their wives, or on any others whom they please.
That is most true, he said.
|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 Alcibiades I by Plato:
well agreed as to what we are, and there is no longer any danger, as we
once feared, that we might be taking care not of ourselves, but of
something which is not ourselves.
ALCIBIADES: That is true.
SOCRATES: And the next step will be to take care of the soul, and look to
SOCRATES: Leaving the care of our bodies and of our properties to others?
ALCIBIADES: Very good.
SOCRATES: But how can we have a perfect knowledge of the things of the
soul?--For if we know them, then I suppose we shall know ourselves. Can we