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The Elements of Nature - Ancient Foundations Revisited: Earth, Water, Wind and Fire
09-30-2010, 11:59 AM,
The Elements of Nature - Ancient Foundations Revisited: Earth, Water, Wind and Fire
Quote:The Elements of Nature
{The Ancient Foundations are Re-Visited}
Web Publication by Mountain Man Graphics, Australia in the Southern Spring of 1995


You may read the following and dismiss it as the idle thinking, however I would caution against this for a number of reasons. I have studied the traditional disciplines of physics and mathematics at university level and - while I do not intend to dismiss them - I do intend to establish that this pre-existent and ancient world-view may be seen to be a self consistent ontology of the kingdoms of nature. Additionally, I would also like to mention that I have pondered the following outline for a great number of years and therefore would like this to be known - not so the following should be revered - so that it might not be dismissed summarily as trivial.

It is an attempt to express the traditional and natural beliefs of all the planets' indigenous peoples by which all living beings have related to the nature of the planet's environment since the earlier times of pre-history.

It is my thesis contention that while the elite of the western intellect seek to specify the neural correlates of consciousness in terms of physical and scientific parameters, there exists a natural correlation in terms of the senses possessed by man - and other living beings. The following presentation attempts therefore to outline the sensory correlates of consciousness.


Once upon a time,
when the Mineral Kingdom was young under the sun and moon,
when the Kingdom of Plants and the Kingdom of Animals were large and extensive
in comparison to the scattered tribes of the Kingdom of Western Man,
there were the four elements.

There was EARTH which abounded in the mountains and the high places of the lands,
upon which man placed the sole of his feet.
The rock and soil, the framework of the planet, also called Earth.

There was WATER which comes down from the sky as rain, and down from the high places of land as creeks and rivers to enjoin in the great Oceans from whence, manifest as the clouds, it is returned to the mountains as rain & snow.

There was AIR, which encompasses and circles the globe as the atmosphere and the many different winds.

And then there was FIRE.

And whereas the earth and the water and the air were the elements of terrestrial existence within which all living beings on the planet contend for survival - and, by which they survive - the mastery of the terrestrial fire during the night was the key activity by which the dawn of consciousness was unlocked on this planet. The generic management of terrestrial fire (which although at first may have been trial and error) was the one single activity which distinguished the emerging race of man from the other living beings which were also emergent upon the ancient planet of Earth.

In the beginning, its mastery would have elevated both the tribe and the individual, and would have extended the hours of terrestrial light-filled durational social reflection beyond the hours of standard daylight. The mastery of terrestrial fire during the long hours of the ancient night sent up a message to the greatest of the heavenly lights of the night sky - the moon.

Of all the elements of nature, the nature of fire was least understood by the ancients - and so it remains to this very day. Hand in hand with this mis-understanding of the nature of fire, is the mis-understanding of the nature of life.

For the boundless existence of life upon the earth - the growing and moving things - is part of nature - indeed is its very essence.

Where then was the sensibility of life amidst the four ancient elements of earth, water, air and fire?


It is the EARTH into which our body was born and into which it will pass away.

You may think of the earth as the ashes or dust of stars, or you may think of it as the rock and the sand, the mantle and the crust. Perhaps you may think of the elemental earth as the land, or the planet. Perhaps the earth as being the state of decomposing humus of the ecological soil ....

The "Gaia Concept", as co-authored by Lovelock and Margulis in the 70's presents the concept of (the planet) earth being a living organism - an intricate pattern of ecological systems supporting huge arrays of interconnected and inter-related life and consciousness.

The scientific Periodic Table of the chemical elements analyses how this ancient element earth may be classified intellectually. But in using this clinical and cartesian system there is introduced the intellect, and then it remains the problem of where does non-life stop and life begin? Under analysis, in experimental and closed systems, publication has been made of more than 92 more fundamental atomic elements, within which atomic structure has been further refined to elemental sub-atomic particles which are currently ascribed to be the fundamental array of elements related by theoretical constructs of Quantum Physics.

Attendant with this quest of reason in the external world of nature, the achievements of the material western scientific revolution has generated a huge diversity of specialised disciplines. In a separate article, entitled "The Nature of the Mineral Kingdom", this evolution is covered in more detail.

Additionally, the planetary earth - the cradle of life - does not move in isolation through the cosmos. The motion of the earth and all thing which are on and in the earth is intricately also effected by the presense of the earth's natural satellite - the moon.

In fact, such is the relationship between the earth and the moon, that it is better to envisage the terrestrial environment as a binary system in which the earth and the moon orbit each other - for the center of their motion, according to modern science, is a moving point some 1600 kms beneath the surface of the earth.

In all this vast informational complexity, the ancient ways are seemingly buried with our ancestors. Or are they?

Additional to our intellectual needs, we need earth to live and to survive. That is, we naturally experience hunger. We need food to eat and survive. Our need for ingestion of earth - a substance which is "no longer alive" - and preferably vegetable - is essential to every living being. The less complex forms of life (such as the plants) can get by with simpler forms of earth, whereas the more complex forms of life (such as man) requires a "food-chain" to survive ... as is the case in all natural eco-systems.

Of the "five senses", the sense of touch relates best to the element earth.
And when this is translated to an internal need, then the name of this need is HUNGER.
If one has dominion over hunger then one is either a well trained self, or fortunate.
Either way, the ancient element of earth is fundamental to the concept of life.


The ancient element of nature called water is (again) essential to life. It has been published that water may be intellectually known (by means of cartesian anaysis) as a molecule of hydrogen and oxygen - H2O.

Water is the fundamental carrier of earth ... and this can be clearly seen when considering the fashioning of the landscape. Under the global operation of the water cycle, the snow and rain of the mountains joins in creeks and streams to form rivers which move to the great oceans of the planet. The fire of the sun raises the water back up from the vast oceans stretches and into the clouds, and the winds carry the clouds back around the planet.

And so, over the millennia, the mountains are gradually worn down - moved and reduced to the sand of the beaches.

Without water, the plant and animal life within the global eco-systems would perish, for the element of water is essential to life.

It is interesting to note that the nature of life in the kingdom of plants is such that it "embodies" this eco-systemic engine whereby water is circulated throughout the global expanses of the plant organism, and carrying the nourishment from the soil to the growing buds on high. The function of the leaves translates as a gear-box whereby the energy of fire (sunshine) is used to power this eco-systemic engine.

It is as if the plants were one primal heart, continually pumping the water of life around their internal environment.

Such great fixity to the earth permits the exchanges of the inner and outer eco-system to enjoin.

We may only guess what the mind of a plant would sense, but I would put forward that they sense the "geocentric passage of the sun across the sky" during the day, and in the vast fixity of the planetary night, the more advanced nature in the kingdom of plants would also sense the moon - both "gravitationally" and "visually".

The inexorable tidal motions of the vast oceans of the planet are attributable to the influence of the relativity of the spinning earth and the moon and the sun. The restless waters of the sea have given birth to the ancient life prior to the plant and animal kingdoms of the land. In the great crossing of the inter-tidal zone, the evolution of life on the land would have been seriously cognizant of the tides - and the cyclic patterns so created within the celestial mechanics and celestial metaphysics concerning the spinning earth and its relation to the moon and sun.

Water has natural properties which not now perceived by the intellect of man.
It changes its state from snowflakes, to water, to ice, to vapour.
It permeates and is the major constituent of living beings.

Of the "five sense", the sense of taste relates best to the element water.
And when this is translated to an internal need, then the name of this need is THIRST.
If one has dominion over thirst then one is either a well trained self, or fortunate.
Either way, the ancient element of water is fundamental to the concept of life.


Again - the ancient element of air - is essential to all living beings. It has been published that air may be intellectually known as a mixture of molecules (mainly nitrogen N2 and oxygen O2).
Air is the fundamental carrier of water - and this can be clearly seen in the fashioning of the clouds, and their motion around the terrestrial planet. Without the air masses, and their capacity to absorb and unload water, there would be no rains, and the natural water cycle would come to an end.

Without natural air, the plant and animal life within the global eco-systems would perish, for the element air is essential to life.

It is interesting to note that the nature of life in the animal kingdom is such that, not only does it share the same eco-systems as the kingdom of plants but that the internal eco-systems (bio-systems) of the plant kingdom have been improved upon to the extent that the organisms are now not reliant upon fixity to the earth through which to relate to the earth.

It is as if this primal heart of life - developed in the nature of the kingdom of plants - has been at last set free from the fixity of earth. The ancient plant "dream" of mobility, which it could not have failed to sense in the environment all about itself, had come to life.

The animal kingdom nature is the first to be able to carry their "heart" around .... and this is made possible by the evolution of an organ powered by the breath .... the lungs.

Air has natural properties which not now perceived by the intellect of man.
Of the "five senses", the sense of smell relates best to the element air.
And when this is translated to an internal need, then the name of this need is BREATHING.
If one has dominion over one's breathing then one is a well trained self.
Either way, the ancient element of air is fundamental to the concept of life.


I now declare that the natural and ancient element called Fire is the element most misunderstood by the ancients.

For it is my contention that, all along, the element of fire within nature is the simple sunshine from the sun.

However, in this regard, it has only been as recent as the last few hundred years, that the correct configuration of the earth within the solar system has been communicated to the sensibility of generic man.

The ancient's conception of a geocentric sun could not have allowed the full expression of the natural systematics to be expored.

Of course, there were some notable exceptions to this ... Buddha, Pythagoras, Jesus, Apollonius of Tyana, Mohammed ....

Imagine the dawn of "modern" consciousness, back in the ancient terrestrial Ice Age environment some 100,000 years ago ...

What singular adaptation of mankind enabled the survival of the tribes and the individuals through that long cave-dwelling winter?

Most assuredly is was the mastery of terrestrial fire. For without the warmth of the fire through the night, and its service for cooking and illumination, the race of man would have perished.

And in what fashion did the nature of this terrestrial combustible "camp-fire" influence the ancient man? Again, it was a renewed fixity of consciousness, but this time through the geocentric night, until the light of the natural sun dawned over the eastern horizons.

It was the mastery of the terrestrial night fire, around which the tribes gathered. It became the central light and warmth of the night - a companion of the moon - a transit until the dawn of the sun.

And before the mastery of fire was attained, the primitive and nocturnal mammallian ancestors sought their survival niche under the night sky in which the moon was the guiding light. But this is another thread, concerning the evolution of "ancient" consciousness within a terrestrial earth-moon system, as a response to light ...

Why did the ancients of the western world mis-understand the nature of fire?

Simply ... they suffered from "geocentricity", and could not understand the nature of the central cosmic fire, or link this nature to the sun. They could not link the moon and the stars and HEAT - for the ancient sky was simply a "cave" or a "canopy" or "tent" within which were strewn the effects of the lights of the sky .... it had no depth or configuration - except for the harmony of the spheres.

We now have "heliocentricity" and the "true" description of the configuration of the cosmic sky - the ancient fire has always been at the center. What further can be made of this apparent condition?

Fire has natural properties which are not now or previously wholly perceived by the intellect of man.
Of the "five senses", the senses of hearing and sight best relate to the element fire.
And when this is translated to an internal need, then the name of this need is CONSCIOUSNESS.
If one has dominion over one's consciousness, then one is indeed a sage and holy man.
Either way, the ancient element of fire is fundamental to the concept of life.

Although the electromagnetic spectrum of fire is infinite in its range, certain specific ranges within this spectrum are well attuned by specific sensory organs developed or evolved by terrestrial life. And these sensory organs are attuned to these particular aspects of this spectrum of "fire".

It terms of life, it could be said that fire has two major aspects ... That of heat/vibration/sound - towards the lower end of Electromagnetic Spectrum, and that of "simple natural" light - towards the upper end.

FIRE - As Heat/Vibration/Sound

Heat is the sense of vibration or energy. In raw terms, the naturally burning "camp fire" has uncontrolled energy and heat radiates a canopy of heat into the close envirnoment, warming the air, boiling the water when required, warming the earth ...

Yet in the most refined sense of physical vibration, it is the nature of sound which demonstrates the manifestation of the ancient element of fire within the "outer" terrestrial environment - and the evolving "inner" terrestrial environment of consciousness.

Fire, in the form of sound, permeates the kingdoms of nature along with its form of light. The sounds of nature are the sounds of the winds, the rumbling of the storms, the patter and thunder of the rains and floods, the babble of the brooks and the singing of the streams, the deep resonances of the rivers and the eternal sound of the ocean and its waves, sometimes peaceful and rythmic, sometimes tempestuous and chaotic.

The sense of hearing is supposedly achieved by the organ we call the ear, and both the animals and man share this faculty. Not only may life thus receive sound from the outer world and "ingest" it to their inner world, but in many cases they can also contribute to the environment of sound. The development of speach and the universality of music are related within sound.

As the life of the plant kingdom takes up the water from, and has fixity in connectivity to the earth,
And the life of the animal kingdom takes in the air from, and has mobility within the terrestrial realms,
So does the life of the kingdom of man take in the element of fire,
and has "potential dominion" in the terrestrial realms of consciousness.

It is the terrestrial world and its eco-systemic environment of the spoken word, the sound of the word is initially detected the ear,
but is assimilated and understood by the terrestrial heart and mind of man, where the pitch of the sounds is commanded, by the self of that man into its own perspectives, and it upon the foundation of these perspectives that the man will then act.

And in the generation of words from within the eco-system of a man for pitching and transmission into the outer terrestrial world, it is again the foundation of the discriminating self of man, concerning the perspectives of his or her heart and mind, which command the vocal chords to vibrate and the mouth to utter sounds.

Of the "five senses", the hearing of sound is best related to the lower aspect of the element fire.
And when this is translated to an internal need, then the name of this need is SPEAKING.
If one has command over one's speaking then one is indeed an organised man.
Either way, the ancient element of fire is fundamental to the concept of life.

It is noteworthy to mention at this juncture, that the discipline enforced by a vow of silence is such that, whereas one might want to speak or utter sound, one's self will and control prevails. This task is instructive in the actual mechanisms of speaking. The insight which is drawn by such activity concerns the mechanics of the heart and the mind of man, and their relationship to the self of that man. As such, the mechanics of consciousness are clearly perceivable.


Fire, in the form of Light makes manifest the visual environment.

Through the small portal of one narrow window in the electromagnetic spectrum of fire, the visions of the living terrestrial environment are borne. Receptive to the vibrations in this one narrow bandwidth, the sensory organ of the eye has supposedly evolved to perform this function of being the aperture for the assimilation of light.

What any living being has ever "seen" is dependant upon the assimilation of these visual phenomena, in accordance with their perspective as an "observer" of that phenomena. The constancy of the propagation of light, under close study by the physicists of this century and last, has been incorporated into Einstein's principal and theory of relativity which, in his own words, "Teaches us the connection between the different descriptions of one and the same reality" based on this principal of constancy.

Sourced from the central nuclear fire , the ever-presence of light permeates the terrestrial day from its sunrise to its sunset and affords the foundation upon which the realm of vision is constructed. In the spin of the turning earth, the day is turned to night, and the light of the sun is veiled from the terrestrial environment by the planetary earth itself.

At this time, through the vastness of the night, it is the light of the moon which has kept the eternal flame burning in the consciousness of the terrestrial life which were bourne through the darkness of each terrestrial night. For the moon is the greatest of the lights of the night, and in its reflection of the ever-present sunshine, provides the archetypal permanence of that metaphysical link to a fixity to that central fire about which all life and consciousness orbits.

As the life of the plant kingdom takes up the water from, and has fixity in connectivity to the earth,
And the life of the animal kingdom takes in the air from, and has mobility within the terrestrial realms,
So does the life of the kingdom of man take in the element of fire - by means of sound and light,
and has "potential dominion" in the terrestrial realms of consciousness.

And in reaction to our environment, at some point after the visions of the living world are contemplated by the mind and the heart and the discriminating self of man, then, in combination with all other influences, considerations and sensitivities to other elemental natures, the ACTIONS of that man are then resolved by his will and, by the light which fills the terrestrial environment, these actions are communicated in the same fashion to himself and his neighbours.

Of the "five senses", the sight is best related to the higher aspect of the element fire.
And when this is translated to an internal need, then the name of this need is ENLIGHTENMENT.
If one has command over one's path of enlightenment then one is indeed a wise man.
Either way, the ancient element of fire is fundamental to the concept of life.


The terrestrial environment is defined as the elements of earth, water and air being "permeated" by fire from the sun.
The element fire is not terrestrial - its source is from the cosmic environment.
Thus the senses which man has are both terrestrial and cosmic - for he is an "organism of life within the environment".
The "Flame of Consciousness" is the Inner Cosmic Fire .... and about this flame are circled the other more ancient senses.

FIRE (light and EM-vibration) is fundamental to the cosmos.
There is obviously far more of if it than anything else when one examines the nature of the cosmos.
It is as if the cosmos were in fact "An Ocean of Fire and Light" in which,
here and there at remote and far-flung locations within it,
are located scattered Terrestrial Islands ......

Here on earth, matter looks to be the predominant entity.
But this is an illusion - both intellectually (ie: imagine the cosmos)
and emotionally (matter was sourced originally fom the stars)
Thus nature of the cosmos is fundamentally wrapped up in the nature of light and of fire.

And while we are not yet evolved to sail away across the cosmic Ocean of Light
Perhaps it will be the destiny of our children's children to do so ....
And look out from the stars which have beckoned from the beyond the terrestrial fields since time immemorial.

But this will be a matter of survival ...

That the ancient and modern terrestrial realms are constituted by the inter-relativity of the four ancient elements - Earth, Water, Air and Fire - I have not the shadow of a doubt ...

The living nature of nature cannot be expressed by the intellect ....
Only through the fire of life - of consciousness - can this be expressed.

It is for this reason that the modern "scientific" theories are beginning to acknowledge a less mechanistic and more "mystical" nature. in relation to the observation of phenomena.

"The Turning Point" of the current flow of "conceptual evolution" is marked by the western quest for an answer to the nature of consciousness.

Slowly it will yield the trinity of the mind and heart and self to afford a foundational eco-system for the development of a more cosmic perspective of our terrestrial existence.

I'll chime in on this later, but it was interesting as to how I came across this. I was following up on The Fractal Geometry of Nature which was referenced in the MSM film Fractals: Hunting the Hidden Dimension by a programmer who designed a fractal rendering program which was the first fractal CGI (he seemed really into it reading it twice and making liner notes). In looking for a copy - haven't found a PDF yet, got sidetracked, I found a reference to Pythagoras.

"A History of Greek Philosophy", Volume I: The Earlier PreSocratics and the Pythagoreans
- by W.K.C. GUTHRIE (Published 1962) .

The article above is but an extrapolated summary / essay of a single chapter.

Quote:And they allowed Apollonius to ask questions;
and he asked them of what they thought the cosmos was composed;
but they replied:

"Of elements."

"Are there then four" he asked.

"Not four," said Iarchas, "but five."

"And how can there be a fifth," said Apollonius,
"alongside of water and air and earth and fire ?"

"There is the ether", replied the other,
"which we must regard as the stuff of which gods are made;
for just as all mortal creatures inhale tbe air,
so do immortal and divine natures inhale the ether."

Apollonius again asked which was the first of the elements,
and Iarchas answered:

"All are simultaneous, for a living creature is not born bit by bit."

"Am I," said Apollonius, "to regard
the universe as a living creature?"

"Yes," said the other, "if you have a sound knowledge of it,
for it engenders all living things."

- The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Philostratus, 220AD.

This sparked all sorts of thoughts. On Tarot, Karnak, Alchemy, Qabalah and some insights presented by Michael Tsarion, Freeman Fly, Max Igan, Alan Watts, Socrates, Plato, Terrence McKenna and Charles Giuliani.

Music, nature, vibration, energy, spirit, us, the universe are but fractals. Lots to look into here. But first I need to brush up on my math and go camping.

A change in ourselves on the tiniest levels blazes a path of individuality that can permeate the universe on a fractal level.

Was there a word the predated fractal (coined in 1975 by Benoît Mandelbrot) or was there another term for the fundamental non-linear mathematical natural order based on chaos.

"Life is Reflection. Without order nothing exists. Without chaos nothing evolves." ~Jeff Lambert

"Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the weather." ~Bill Hicks
There are no others, there is only us.

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