|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Long Odds by H. Rider Haggard:
the dead woman, I went down on my hands and knees and crept into the
hut. It was so dark that I could not see anything, though I could smell
a great deal, so I lit a match. It was a 'tandstickor' match, and burnt
slowly and dimly, and as the light gradually increased I made out what I
took to be a family of people, men, women, and children, fast asleep.
Presently it burnt up brightly, and I saw that they too, five of them
altogether, were quite dead. One was a baby. I dropped the match in a
hurry, and was making my way from the hut as quick as I could go, when I
caught sight of two bright eyes staring out of a corner. Thinking it
was a wild cat, or some such animal, I redoubled my haste, when suddenly
a voice near the eyes began first to mutter, and then to send up a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Emma McChesney & Co. by Edna Ferber:
coffee-slopped saucer was a matter of course.
It had been her habit during those ten years on the road as
traveling saleswoman for the T. A. Buck Featherloom Petticoat
Company, to avoid the discomfort of the rapidly chilling car by
slipping early into her berth. There, in kimono, if not in
comfort, she would shut down the electric light with a snap,
raise the shade, and, propped up on one elbow, watch the little
towns go by. They had a wonderful fascination for her, those
Middle Western towns, whose very names had a comfortable, home-
like sound--Sandusky, Galesburg, Crawfordsville, Appleton--very
real towns, with very real people in them. Peering wistfully out
Emma McChesney & Co.
|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:
Murray calls "instinct" is really not a vestige but a new thing
arising out of our increasing understanding, an intellectual
penetration to that greater being of the species, that vine, of
which we are the branches? Why should not the soul of the species,
many faceted indeed, be nevertheless a soul like our own?
Here, as in the case of Professor Metchnikoff, and in many other
cases of atheism, it seems to me that nothing but an inadequate
understanding of individuation bars the way to at least the
intellectual recognition of the true God.
6. RELIGION AS ETHICS
And while I am dealing with rationalists, let me note certain recent
|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 Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe:
legs broken; so that it is evident they fight with inexpressible
rage and fury. We found not one man that was not stone dead; for
either they stay by their enemy till they have killed him, or they
carry all the wounded men that are not quite dead away with them.
This deliverance tamed our ill-disposed Englishmen for a great
while; the sight had filled them with horror, and the consequences
appeared terrible to the last degree, especially upon supposing
that some time or other they should fall into the hands of those
creatures, who would not only kill them as enemies, but for food,
as we kill our cattle; and they professed to me that the thoughts
of being eaten up like beef and mutton, though it was supposed it