Living in harmony with the 4 elements
The 4 elements of life : meaning
The four elements, earth, water, air and fire, exist in every material creation. They are present in both the visible and invisible world. They are the very constituents of our being
Man has always been in contact with four elements that are essential to his material, psychic and spiritual life
For the Chinese, the elements are five and not four as our Western society. They are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. These elements are the pillars of Chinese civilization and from which they draw the fundamental notions of their medicine, notably that of the energy that animates the living body and its meridians along which it circulates
India also knows five elements which are earth, water, wind, fire and space. Ayurveda is a medicine that has been practiced in India for more than 500 years. This medicine closely unites the body, the soul and the spirit where the place of the breath is predominant.
In our physical body we will find:
- Earth: the skeleton with its bones and all the solid elements of the body.
- Water: the blood, the lymph and all the water contained in our cells.
- Air: the air we breathe and all the gases that will appear with the biological and chemical functions of the body.
- Fire: the energy in the body brought by our food and used by our cells, muscles, brain and body functions.
What we have on the physical level can also be transposed with all the elements that constitute the human being.
- Earth: our physical and energetic body (also called etheric)
- Water : our astral or emotional body
- Air : our mental body
- Fire : our spirit (will, love, wisdom)
The 4 elements and the astrological signs
in astrology we will also find the 4 elements which will manifest themselves in our personality when planets will be present at our birth in the associated signs.
Earth : Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Water : Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Air : Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Fire : Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
The theory of the 4 elements and Aristotle
The theory of the four elements as constituent units of matter was proposed 2500 years ago by the Greek Empedocles.
All matter is then composed of more or less of these four elements: the different properties of two substances can be explained by the difference in the mixture.
According to Wikipedia, this theory was based on the fact that all materials constituting the world would be composed of four elements, each of which is represented by a different symbol in the alchemical tradition.
How to represent the 4 elements?
Each substance present in the universe would be made up of one or more of these elements, in greater or lesser quantity. This would explain the more or less volatile, hot, cold, wet, or dry character (= the four elementary qualities) of each matter. The theory is based on philosophical and speculative arguments.
The pre-Socratic philosophers imagined a primary essence in everything. Thales, the first to seek the first element, chose water; Heraclitus saw in fire the first element at the origin of all matter; Anaximenes, him, envisaged air as the essence of all things; finally, Empedocles, at the beginning of the 5th century BC, admitted that the four elements joined together composed the universe. For Democritus, the universe was composed of atoms (in Greek a-tomos, "which cannot be cut"), that is to say of microscopic particles which are inseparable and eternal, which would compose matter as bricks form a wall and which would have the general shape of the object (round, pointed, concave...).
This theory had the advantage of being based on tangible notions, accessible to everyone.
More or less similar theories were used by other cultures in Egypt, Japan and India. The Chinese had a five element system: air, water, wood, metal and fire.
The elements were also supposed to manifest themselves in the gods, and in human temperaments.
Aristotle adopted Empedocles' ideas by adding a fifth element, quintessence, which characterizes celestial objects. The quintessence, under the name of ether, resurfaced during the 19th century during the work on electromagnetic radiation.
Some Eastern philosophies also retain the notion of the void, analogous to the ether.
In parallel, there was another theory:atomism.
What did it consist of?
Well, according to Democritus' theory, matter is composed of atoms in constant motion, and of the void. There are several types of atoms. The atom is almost indefinitely small and therefore indivisible, hence its name. Matter is formed by the association of atoms.
The reasoning of the atomists sounds good to modern scientists, even though there was little experimental evidence to support their theory.
Aristotle did not accept the arguments of the atomists, and Plato even thought that the work of Democritus should be burned.
The Epicureans, and in particular Lucretius in "The Nature of Things", were on the other hand in favor of the atomic theory, and Lucretius gives a good defense of it in his poem.
The writings of Democritus having been largely lost, Western thought was dominated by the writings of Aristotle, and the theory of the four elements accepted for centuries, even though alchemists also considered sulfur, mercury and salt as elements.
The 4 elements of nature in man
I found this experience of Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov to be both very simple but so meaningful. So I'm sharing it with you!
"We can say that the four elements are found in man himself: to earth corresponds the physical body; to water corresponds the astral body (the heart); to air corresponds the mental body (the intellect); to fire corresponds the causal body (the spirit).
one day someone was returning from a walk by the sea. I said to him:
"So, what did you see there?
- Oh, nothing in particular.
- What do you mean, you saw nothing there?
- No, there was nothing to see: the sea was calm, the sun was shining, that's all.
- But there was something essential, something that, if you had seen and understood it, could change your whole life, transform your whole being.
- Obviously he looked at me astonished. I asked: "
Did you see the rocks?
- And did you notice how their shapes are cut?
- Who did that?
- The water, of course, by coming down on them.
- And who pushed the water?
- The air.
- And who set the air in motion?
- Well, it must have been the sun.
- That's right!
The sun sets the air in motion, the air acts on the water and the water acts on the earth. Let's translate: the mind acts on the intellect, the intellect acts on the heart and the heart acts on the physical body. That is why you must learn to work with your mind, because it is the mind that will illuminate the intellect, the intellect in turn will illuminate the heart, and the heart will purify the physical body. Yes it is by understanding the work of the four elements that you can transform yourself."
The Earth Element
The earth element speaks to us of stability, power of realization, and greater concentration. It is an experience of reconciliation with the mother, but also of overcoming one's inner limits. The gentleness of the Mother protects, envelops, and makes the one who approaches the earth grow.
You must have not only an earth under your feet but also an earth within you. Working with the earth element is about developing that stability that will allow you to remain steadfast in the face of all the trials of life. You must first learn to walk with awareness and develop the sensitivity of the feet. The feet are closely linked to the earth element.
The feet are the seat of healing because they contain all the centers and organs of the human being. They represent the totality of the human being. To work with the earth element, you must learn to walk. You must seek contact with the earth and with the elements through your feet.
Our feet have a multitude of nerve endings (202 per square centimeter - over 7000). The free electrons of the earth penetrate directly into our nervous system and soothe it instantly.
After a walking session on natural soil (earth, grass, sand...) our cortisol level, stress hormone, tends to decrease and our heart rate to be regulated. The quality of sleep is also improved and we feel a general sense of well-being.
The quality of the walk and the rolling of the foot on the ground will also contribute to massage all the reflex zones of the foot in relation to all the parts of the body. Moreover, the stimulation of the arch of the foot ensures venous return and stimulates blood circulation.
Take advantage of every moment when you have the opportunity to walk barefoot on the earth. If you have the opportunity, try to do it in the morning dew because, beyond the pleasure that this moment of grace and connection to nature can bring, the dew will increase the conductivity of the electrons transmitted by the earth to our body.
To go further and to heal the earth element in you, here are some additional tracks:
- Do not be diffuse, remain centered, focused, internalized, in silence and inner calm.
- Don't cultivate thoughts of the world of men, but rather try to cultivate greater, impersonal and pure thoughts.
- Be one with nature, open yourself to it!
The Mother is sensitive to a man's feet. The way a man walks on the earth determines his whole life. The basis of working with the earth element is to discover the wisdom of the feet.
Feel the earth beneath your feet, feel the nature around you and connect with what is alive and pure.
The water element
This element is much more subtle than that of the earth. It brings purity and the awakening of consciousness, of the inner life of sensitivity.
The water inside us is the water of our inner life, the mirror of our consciousness, that which enlightens and structures us. It is the water of thoughts.
Water gives life and nourishes the interior as well as the exterior, it takes care of everything that is precious. Through it you can develop great discernment.
The world of water, which influences man's environment, is a world that is much less closed, less delimited than that of the earth. To work with the element of water is to enter a more malleable, less rigid world.
There is a subtle world around you made of influences, forces, inspirations that surround you and direct you. This is the world of water and this water keeps the memory of everything that is imprinted in it.
Clarity and purity are fundamental to crossing the water worlds. Water shows us the importance of virtues, noble things, clear thoughts, beautiful feelings, because any influence can taint it.
To go further and to heal the water element in you, here are some additional tracks:
Sit in nature near a place you will be in contact with water: a river, a lake, a spring. Listen to the sound of flowing water or watch the sun shine on the surface. Imagine the water flowing inside you and cleaning all your thoughts and feelings.
Working with the element of water brings us fluidity, a clearing of stagnant inner waters as well as a great healing of the soul. We experience a great purification, a deep cleansing of all the waters charged with memories that constitute our subtle bodies. It is also a rediscovery of flexibility and letting go.
Study the water of your relationships and when you see that something is not clear, in the unseen, cleanse that relationship with the pure water of a lake or river.
Whoever wants to awaken in this water must carry the idea of being a dancer, like a seaweed that moves with the current without resistance but remains elusive. Do not allow influences, forces, intelligences with which you do not want to be associated to approach your lives.
The air element
Air is even more subtle and delicate than water. It opens the spheres of the distant world.
Air requires being subtle, hypersensitive, feeling what is in the air, being intuitive, being in the knowledge that cannot be learned, in the obvious, in the secret, in the silence, in the communion.
This element brings a subtle discernment in speech, thought, and action. You must know what is true and what is false, what breathes and what does not, what is alive and what is dead.
The man who develops this element sees his thoughts become clearer, more refined. He understands that they are only a seed and that through them lives a much larger, more aerial world. His attitudes and gestures become more flexible and subtle. He becomes lighter when he walks, talks, acts, works. He becomes aware that he is not only carried by the earth but also by a force that carries his life, his activities, as if a superior world held him by threads that made him lighter on the earth.
To vivify this element, one must awaken the consciousness. Air is something that likes to fly away, to enter into higher and higher regions, into things that are not really understandable for the earth. That is why man must have a solid base where his consciousness can be fixed. Stability is fundamental in the air.
Air is the world of inspirations. Often artists capture what is in the worlds of air.
To go further and to heal the air element in you, here are a few more tracks:
If you can, get out into nature and try to connect with the air element by going to the top of a hill or into a large space. Take a deep breath. Feel the air entering you, nourishing you, and then coming out of you, feeding the universe a part of you.
Sit by a tree and ask it to teach you stability. If you don't work on stability to enter the air worlds, then you may get swept away in a whirlwind. Why do you think people go crazy in mistral weather? I assure you that the wind blows really hard on those days!
The Fire Element
The fire element allows one to re-establish contact with the divine within. It is the very principle of divine wisdom. It is the flame of life, of intelligence. It brings the primordial energy of the present moment, the awakening and the discernment in life.
The man who has balanced this element in him has, inside him, a strength. He is determined, settled in his convictions, in what he knows to be true.
To work with the fire element is to take care of one's inner flame, of the sacred within and around oneself.
The fire of the guardian of a sacred world. Accomplished with awareness and respect, the act of lighting a fire in the outer world becomes an act of magic that can unleash powerful forces of purification, healing and creativity. It opens the path of transformation: through the external gesture, man learns to light the divine fire of intelligence, love and will within himself. If one knows how to do it, by lighting a simple candle one can trigger forces and receive help, energies, protection, inspiration in life.
And if we go a little further, the candle, somewhere it is us... to us to light the divine fire in order to radiate our true being.
Fiery prayer, deep meditation, intense joy, sacred enthusiasm for a beautiful idea can truly strengthen this fire within you. Man must cultivate lightness in his life but also the concentration of what is essential, that is the flame. He must preserve the flame in him while being light in life. He must not let himself be caught and invaded by external circumstances.
To go further and heal the fire element in you, here are some additional tips:
Sit in front of a burning flame in consciousness, or go out into nature and connect with the fire element by lighting a small bonfire.
You have to have faith. It's about how we do things. It is not just a matter of lighting a candle, but of calling the being of the fire, of communicating with it. Faith is an inner fire that needs to be fed, nurtured. The secret is hidden in the knowledge of the inner fire.
Thought is the key to the inner fire. It is necessary to develop a new thought, to muscle it, to make it powerful and alive.
The fire consumes all that is false. Go into introspection and try to identify what is false in your life. You can also work with the Mandala of Purity, Authenticity and Clarity.
Trials related to the 4 elements
"In order to evolve we must pass exams, face great trials.
We will suffer, of course, but if we overcome them, we will at least know what we are capable of. These tests are related to the four elements: earth, water, air and fire. Throughout our lives they keep coming up to us.
The trials of the earth are like earthquakes, they test our will, our patience and our stability. Are our foundations, like the pyramid, solid enough?
The trials of water touch the world of feelings. They plunge us into the dark waters of hatred and betrayal, and the love in us must be able to neutralize all these poisons.
The trials of the air are produced by tornadoes and hurricanes. Will our intellect lose its direction or will it continue to see clearly and reason correctly?
The trials of fire are the most terrible. They burn away all impurities that prevent our soul from uniting with the First Cause, the Source of all existence. To find God, we must pass through the purifying fire."
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
The key to approaching and balancing the 4 elements
Man carries within him the four elements. Earth, water, air and fire are alive and we must approach the elements with great respect, love and humility.
If we look at our present world, unfortunately man has enslaved the elements and the beings that live in them. He has exploited them without asking for their opinion or caring about their well-being. By developing the right attitudes, then little by little you will perceive that fire, air, water and earth will speak to you and reveal to you what lives in you and around you, what is going well and what is not. They will help you to cleanse yourself. If we find the language to communicate with the elements, it is with life itself that we relearn to speak and it is the force of true healing that is offered to us.
The imbalance of one or more of the elements can cause disharmony in your life. Heal the elements and thus you will heal your life.
Cultivate a different inner state
The Wisdom of Nature invites us not to pollute the water by our feelings, not to pollute the air by our thoughts, not to pollute the earth by our unconscious acts, and not to pollute the fire, the eternal essence of our being by our ignorance.
The elements inside us have been polluted just like the physical elements have been polluted on our earth. Man is always talking about ecology but the real ecology is the inner ecology because when man succeeds in healing himself he will succeed in healing the planet.
To cut oneself off from living nature is to cut oneself off from one's own inner nature. In our western civilizations, everything is done to cut us off from ourselves, to cut us off from others. Have you noticed that when you are in a waiting room, in public transport or elsewhere, everyone is riveted on the screen of his cell phone? We don't even dare to look at the people around us anymore. It's crazy, isn't it?
This world that surrounds us aspires to capture us, to lock us in something dead, sterile. Our inner life is like petrified. The inner life? This word is even foreign to many people.
To get closer to living nature is to re-establish a connection with ourselves, which is essential. Look at the plants, the shapes, the colors, the smells. Listen to the sounds, soak up what surrounds you. Feel the earth under your feet, feel the nature around you and connect with what is alive and pure.
Whoever approaches the elements must be relaxed, put on the Mother. To do this, one can consciously land on the earth and ask the mineral kingdom to bring us the stability we need. We must follow the rhythm of nature, it is she who will show us the way, she who is truth, love and blessing. We must place our whole being on the Mother because then the elements within us can be cleansed. In nature, we become aware that what we touch, taste, smell, hear and see is true.
One must open a space to reach the center, his center, his inner being. It is important not to take the world of man with its concepts, but to be open to the unknown, to be like a child who discovers a new world. It is necessary to accept not to know, not to know what the elements really are and to be in humility.
We can bring our loving attention to the element we wish to work on or strengthen, also by focusing on the Mandala associated with it.
"It is necessary to know that the universe is like a big body where everything corresponds to each other"
What are the 5 elements of nature and life and their symbols?
I have indicated 5 elements but they are in fact the 4 elements and the fifth is the one that contains them all: Mother Nature. But we can also evoke the Quintessence.
To each element corresponds a vibratory Mandala which was inspired by nature itself. And to each element corresponds a word of wisdom that you can use to connect with the element and enliven it within you.
The vibratory mandalas are fragments of the great mandala of man and the universe: they are the colors, the sounds, the forms thanks to which everything can be written and drawn. It is an art of dialogue with oneself and with the world. Through them, man can contact his inner universe and harmonize it with the great universe in which he lives, breathes and thinks. As long as a man does not activate this dialogue within himself, does not make it conscious, he cannot take his life into his own hands, because he is directed by external influences that exploit his unconsciousness.
The symbol of the Earth
Man is the earth set in motion. You see, man is considered as an earth that comes to life and moves. But he is not only an earth separated from the earth: he carries within him an intelligence that allows the access to a superior world for the earth.
This intelligence is the invisible in him, which is much greater and more vast than the simple visible and mortal organism. Man is a real laboratory which allows the earth to sublimate itself and to touch the subtle spirit of the universe.
The symbol of Water
Water descends from the sky to water the earth in the depths. It flows from top to bottom out of humility and love before the Most High. Its aspiration is to serve the divine in everything.
That is why God gave it the power of life and the ability to be in all beings to protect the divine essence in everyone. Water wanted to take care of the divine in the smallest and God raised water and put in it the path of the soul that leads to greatness.
Do not try to follow the one in you who wants to rise and grow before the world, but in the silence find the friend who constantly watches over you and takes care of the divine in you. Find the one who purifies you, cleanses you even in your physical body.
By discovering the being of water in you, you will meet the love and the birth of the Light.
The symbol of Air
When you breathe in the air, think of your divine origin and connect in consciousness to the source of Being in all beings. When you exhale the air, think of your purpose and be true to who you are. Remember that life in the body is only a part of your life. In your essence, you are greater than the body. You were alive before it and you will be alive after it.
Get rid of the illusion that you are the one who breathes. In truth, it is your body that breathes you.
When you enter your body, wake up.
When you leave your body and enter the non-body, wake up.
Thus, you will be conscious in both worlds and you will understand that you are a breath lost in the world or connected to the word of origins.
The symbol of Fire
Light inhabits fire and reveals the sacred presence of the Father. Without the flame of the spirit, no life is possible. This is why the fire of the Father is also called the flame of life. The Light emanates from the flame, fills the ether and nourishes life even in the earthly form, even in the opacity and darkness.
The symbol of the Mother
Your body is the wonder, the very presence of the divine on earth. You are divine, not through your soul, but through your body. Your body is a perfection, an incredible, wonderful work. Your body is the visible manifestation of God the mother. Your body is a superior wisdom that even the greatest scientists cannot understand
They don't know who created the brain, who created the heart. They cannot enter into a higher knowledge, because they only know how to dissect. They cannot go back to the origin, go higher and see the pure intelligence. This can only be done through meditation, when you enter into calm, into silence, into wisdom
Through meditation, the mother will show you that there is a higher world. She will bring you solutions because she is omnipresent. She will talk to you, she will teach you to calm down, to step back, to look at yourself.
Quintessence, also called ether or aether, is the supreme element, the combination of the 4 elements. The stone corresponding to the Quintessence is the diamond, because the diamond is a pure stone, the most solid known to date.
Peter Deunov said: "If the body is born of God, it is a wonder. But if God is born of the body, it is the wonder of wonders. How can divine splendor be born from this poverty that is the body? It is possible when the body is in harmony with the divine and superior world. When the whole body is created for a divine and higher world, man begins to breathe with the gods.
How to use the 4 elements?
We propose several supports with which you can work.
With the harmonizing wooden disc for example, you will be able to concentrate on the corresponding element. But you can also energize your water or your drink with the vibration, the energy that corresponds to the element.
If you have a meditation space, you can hang the 4 elements canvas on your wall. That's what we did at home.
Œuvres Complètes T.21 ; Veuzdouh, L'Air - O. M. Aïvanhov, Éditions ProsvetaLes
4 éléments, vivre en harmonie avec la terre, l'eau, l'air et le feu - O. Manitara, Éditions Essenia
The healing of the soul and the body - Essenia Editions