The Rivered Earth contains four libretti written by Vikram Seth, a celebrated Indian novelist and poet, designed to be set to music by Alec Roth. The final libretti is called ‘Seven Elements’. It is a song cycle that includes seven poems – Earth, Air, Wood, Fire, Metal, Water and Space.
Nearly 50 years ago, Professor Bill Jackson published the paper ‘Fire, air, water, earth – An elemental ecology of Tasmania’. With a title like that, one could say he was ahead of his time.
‘Fire Up Water Down: An exploration of the elements’ was launched on the first day of autumn in the southern hemisphere, five months ago to this day. Now well into winter, we have been experiencing very elemental weather with wild winds, torrential rain, thunder, lightning and pounding seas. Something to be appreciated with awe and wonder.
Come with me on a journey that includes California, Japan, Australia and Google to solve the mystery of an interlocking six pointed star.
Prakrti is a concept I was blissfully unaware of until beginning my exploration of the elements. Praktri has been translated from Sanskrit as ‘nature’ or ‘matter’. I have also seen it referred to as the source of material existence and the primal motive force. It is an important concept that I am pleased to have discovered. To my delight it came into my life through a five-volume work titled ‘Praktri: The Integral Vision’.
What would you say if asked “what does ‘the fifth element’ bring to mind”? For many in the west, quintessence would be the answer. Or alternatively the 1997 movie “The Fifth Element”. This story is set in the twenty-third century, when the universe is (still) threatened by evil. The only hope for mankind is the Fifth Element, who comes to Earth every five thousand years to protect the humans with four stones of the four elements: fire, water, earth and air.