|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Charmides by Plato:
enable him to test the knowledge which others have of what he knows
himself; whereas the enquirer who is without this knowledge may be supposed
to have a feebler and weaker insight? Are not these, my friend, the real
advantages which are to be gained from wisdom? And are not we looking and
seeking after something more than is to be found in her?
That is very likely, he said.
That is very likely, I said; and very likely, too, we have been enquiring
to no purpose; as I am led to infer, because I observe that if this is
wisdom, some strange consequences would follow. Let us, if you please,
assume the possibility of this science of sciences, and further admit and
allow, as was originally suggested, that wisdom is the knowledge of what we
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Democracy In America, Volume 1 by Alexis de Toqueville:
exercise of power, and that they made it the pride of their
profession to abstain from politics.
[Footnote f: Unless this term be applied to the functions which
many of them fill in the schools. Almost all education is
entrusted to the clergy.]
[Footnote g: See the Constitution of New York, art. 7, Section 4:
"And whereas the ministers of the gospel are, by their
profession, dedicated to the service of God and the care of
souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of
their functions: therefore no minister of the gospel, or priest
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift:
passed between me and my friends upon this occasion, and rallied
me very pleasantly; wishing I could send a couple of STRULDBRUGS
to my own country, to arm our people against the fear of death;
but this, it seems, is forbidden by the fundamental laws of the
kingdom, or else I should have been well content with the trouble
and expense of transporting them.
I could not but agree, that the laws of this kingdom relative to
the STRULDBRUGS were founded upon the strongest reasons, and such
as any other country would be under the necessity of enacting, in
the like circumstances. Otherwise, as avarice is the necessary
consequence of old age, those immortals would in time become
|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 One Basket by Edna Ferber:
The person at the piano, openly reproved thus before her friend,
lifted her uninspired hands from the keys and spake. When she
had finished she rose.
"But you can't leave now," the megaphone man argued. "Right
in the rush hour."
"I'm gone," said the girl. The fat man looked about,
helplessly. He gazed at the abandoned piano, as though it must
go on of its own accord. Then at the crowd.
"Where's Miss Schwimmer?" he demanded of a clerk.
"Out to lunch."