|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Euthydemus by Plato:
understood; in which there was no analysis of grammar, and mere puns or
plays of words received serious attention; in which contradiction itself
was denied, and, on the one hand, every predicate was affirmed to be true
of every subject, and on the other, it was held that no predicate was true
of any subject, and that nothing was, or was known, or could be spoken.
Let us imagine disputes carried on with religious earnestness and more than
scholastic subtlety, in which the catchwords of philosophy are completely
detached from their context. (Compare Theaet.) To such disputes the
humour, whether of Plato in the ancient, or of Pope and Swift in the modern
world, is the natural enemy. Nor must we forget that in modern times also
there is no fallacy so gross, no trick of language so transparent, no
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Children of the Night by Edwin Arlington Robinson:
World-refuge that will never come.
And if there be no other life,
And if there be no other chance
To weigh their sorrow and their strife
Than in the scales of circumstance,
'T were better, ere the sun go down
Upon the first day we embark,
In life's imbittered sea to drown,
Than sail forever in the dark.
But if there be a soul on earth
So blinded with its own misuse
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche:
Slow is the experience of all deep fountains: long have they to wait until
they know WHAT hath fallen into their depths.
Away from the market-place and from fame taketh place all that is great:
away from the market-Place and from fame have ever dwelt the devisers of
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude: I see thee stung all over by the
poisonous flies. Flee thither, where a rough, strong breeze bloweth!
Flee into thy solitude! Thou hast lived too closely to the small and the
pitiable. Flee from their invisible vengeance! Towards thee they have
nothing but vengeance.
Raise no longer an arm against them! Innumerable are they, and it is not
Thus Spake Zarathustra
|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 Wrong Box by Stevenson & Osbourne:
cold luncheon in his basket. In case of any subsequent inquiry
into the fate of Jimson, It was desirable he should be little
seen: in other words, that he should spend the day entirely in
the house. To this end, and further to corroborate his fable, he
had brought in the leather case not only writing materials, but a
ream of large-size music paper, such as he considered suitable
for an ambitious character like Jimson's. 'And now to work,'
said he, when he had satisfied his appetite. 'We must leave
traces of the wretched man's activity.' And he wrote in bold