The Four Elements: Level 3
The Four Elements Are Categories
The alchemical four-elements aren't physical substances, they're non-physical conceptual-objects. They're very high-level, very generalised, conceptual categories which contain all the concepts related to that general topic.
"Fire", for example, contains all concepts to do with "will" like intent, motivation, purpose, direction, meaning...
"Air" contains all concepts to do with "design" like plan, thought, decision, blueprint, law, rules...
The Four Elements as a Fractal Tree
Reality is structured into conceptual levels of increasing detail, and the Four Elements the third level of reality.
There are four basic levels and they correspond to the Four Elements. This is a kind of self-categorisation, and we can see the fractal nature of reality begin to emerge: The Four categorises the higher levels, and itself...
Everything we experience is constructed from a hierarchy of concepts, they are the building blocks of thought and perception.
All the different parts of reality work together to provide context for each-other.
If "God is One", then by logic, reality has to be constructed this way, with self-referential connections, because of the properties of the creator Himself. More on that later...
|Level 1 - Fire||ONE - The Creator|
|Level 2 - Air||TWO - The Tao|
|Level 3 - Water||FOUR - The Four Elements *|
|Level 4 - Earth||SEVEN - The Seven Principles|
* You are here...
The Gods Have DNA Too
The saying "As Above, So Below", accredited to Hermes, is (IMO) a statement of the fractal-nature of reality. It is stating that things are self-similar at levels above and below any given level. It is stating that the rules that apply here, are universal, and apply at all levels. It is a statement of the universality of the laws of nature.
We have DNA, and so do the 'gods'. Their DNA is simpler than ours, so it's much easier to map.
The children of Yin & Yang are all possible combinations of Yin & Yang. If we create a table of all the different ways you can combine + and -, then that will give us a list of all the possible different children they could have.
This is how I have linked the Four Elements with the Two: By the simplest possible method. Even though this link seems pretty obvious, I've not seen it made anywhere else.
Each child has a Yin and a Yang property/chromosome. Those 'chromosomes' have just one 'gene' each, and they can be either Yin or Yang. This gives us four possible children, and they correspond to the traditional Four Elements.
|Element||Description||Dimensions||Yin (-)||Yang (+)|
|Fire||Will, Intent, Desire||None||Yang (+)||Yang (+)|
|Air||Design, Plan, Path, Law||One||Yang (+)||Yin (-)|
|Water||Action, Motion, Power||Two||Yin (-)||Yang (+)|
|Earth||Creation, Belonging, Object||Three||Yin (-)||Yin (-)|
The first letters of the Four spell FAWE, which is pronounced the same, and I'll use the names interchangably. I sometimes wonder if it's possible that our word 'four' actually derives from FAWE...?
How do these combinations of Yin/Yang lead to the characteristics of the FAWE?
The Genome of the Air Element
Air is the Archetype of Thought, which is a mental plan or object. When you have thoughts in your mind they have a type of solidity because they persist in the same form for many years. Richard Dawkin's 'meme' theory describes this well.
Air's Yin chromosome/aspect has one 'gene' and it's 'Yang'. It's Yang aspect has one 'gene' which is 'Yin'.
So we choose some basic properties of Yin & Yang to put into into this equation: Yin is solid-matter, Yang is activity.
The genome is saying this: It's solidity-aspect is defined as 'intangible', and it's activity aspect is defined as 'solid-fixed-unchanging'.
And this describes thoughts perfectly. They have no (visible) physical manifestation, they can't be seen or touched, but they have a type of solid form nonetheless.
The Genome of the Water Element
Water is the Archetype of Action.
Water's genome is the mirror image of Air's. It Yin aspect is 'Yin'. It's Yang aspect is 'Yang'.
The genome is saying: It's tangible-matter aspect is defined as 'solid', and it's activity is defined as 'active'.
Water is matter, and it flows / is active. Water is heavy & it carries a lot of force.
Hopefully these two examples give you enough information to see that Fire & Earth also fit into the system.
It may look at first as if I'm 'cherry-picking' attributes to fit the above, but that's just to provide a clear context. The relationships & properties of the Dao & FAWE are reinforced at every successive level of reality, they have complete integrity & form a fully logical & rigorous system, as I hope to demostrate clearly in due course.
The individual Elements represent a wide variety of the things we perceive, and they could be explored in a myriad of different ways, using other characteristics. Books could be written about it, but for the sake of simplicity I'll move on.
Only Three Spatial Dimensions
Fire is Will/Intent/Desire and it's un-dimensioned. It is undivided-potential, so it has zero dimensions - it's unmeasurable.
The subsequent 3 elements define the three physical dimensions of all realities, and they unfold one at a time, at each level.
- Will/Desire (Fire) has zero dimensions.
- Laws (Air) are one-dimensional (right-wrong) and are a manifestation of the Tao.
- Action (Water) is two-dimensional and is a representation of the Four.
- Matter (Earth) has 3-dimensions and is a representation of the Seven-Principles.
This predicts that all realities are limited to 3 spatial-dimensions, and there are no 4+ spatial-dimensional realities. It suggests 3-D realities may be nested within others (like russian dolls), with multiple realities sharing the same physical location, but how that works exactly is up for debate.
It could be as simple as scale. The reality bacteria inhabit is shared with us, but we're (mostly) oblivious to each other. What really goes on at sub-atomic scales is a mystery. The universe could be teeming with life at all scales.
It says (amongst many other things):
- All laws / relationships are 1-dimensional.
- All action / force / motion is 2-dimensional. (i.e. a vector)
- All objects are 3-dimensional. There are no higher-dimensional objects.
- And this is the order in which creation unfolded: From Will to Matter.
The "Universal Form Of Creation"
The order of the elements is important.
They form a hierarchy, in descending-order of tangibility, matching the four states of physical matter.
Fire/Will is the least tangible (touchable), and most active element. Earth is the most tangible, and least active.
This basic sequence of four-stages (the four seasons) is the Universal-Plan of creation, and all creation follows this plan.
The process of creation itself follows this plan. Let's review how things are created in the human world:
This is a trivial example, but this process applies to all acts of creation. The pressure of Fire is what drives creation, the "desire for matter". Air is the plan, the path. Water is the journey. Earth is the destination.
|Fire||Will, Intent, Desire, Pressure||The first stage in the process of creation is desire.
You have to want to create the thing. There must be a will to create.
E.g. "I'm hungry. I want a pizza."
|Air||Design, Plan, Path, Law||The second stage is to formulate a plan which will fulfill your desire...
"I'll go to the freezer, get a pizza out, and cook it."
|Water||Action, Motion, Power||The third stage is the action, to enact the plan.
I get my pizza and cook it in my oven.
|Earth||Result||I have created a hot & tasty pizza to eat.
I am satisfied. My desire is fulfilled.
The Forces of Nature
The FAWE occupy the Water level - Action/Power/Force. They are the powerhouse of the reality-algorithm. They do all the heavy lifting. They appear to us as 2-dimensional things - e.g. 'forces' (vectors).
Forces come in different forms: Falling from a tree creates a vector, but so does the appearance of a predator, i.e. 'Lion!', Run that way, as fast as possible, or 'Political Correctness' which creates a force to prevent speech. Anything that elicits an action could be considered a force.
The Water element also corresponds to the people in a society. Liguistically, Water corresponds to "pronouns", and people are the agents of action. People are a force of nature.
We shall see how the FAWE provide the different aspects of our reality such as our language & our senses in due course...
The next level is Earth. It's the 3-D, fully-detailed version of reality and it has seven aspects.
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