Sunday, 8 May 2011

The Four Elements/Experience

I was thinking today about the four elements and how during times of stress when we need to unwind we usually want to be near one of the four elements. Walking through a forest, on a beach or out in the air. Swimming in the sea, lake or pool. Sitting beside a fire. All of these elements help to relax and centre our minds and bodies. They can bring peace but at the same time complete destruction in the form or hurricanes, volcanoes, floods and earthquakes. 

I was chatting the other day to a friend of mine about artists and the pressure they put themselves under leading to a lot of self destructive behaviour and we were discussing a video that Elizabeth Gilbert made on TED about the same topic. Elizabeth Gilbert was discussing how to take the pressure away from these creative people by giving them another entity or genius to explain their inspiration and work meaning that they don't have the whole burden on themselves to create and create well all the time but rather something outside of their control. This could then help lessen the self destructive behaviour, depression and overall negativity that can sometimes be attributed to creative people. While I like this idea I have to argue that it seems to be trying to shut out a whole aspect of life that we need which is negativity. We need to experience the bad, the depression, the melancholy to really appreciate the positive, make us stronger but also to just experience. These artists usually create some of their greatest works when they are wallowing in the depths of depression close to suicide. I don't mean to sound morose but it is a huge part of life to experience these things and sometimes that is just their path. Usually creatives and artists want to experience these extremes in order to experience life. I have gone through some tough times and some severe pain but I would do it all again just to experience like that regardless of whether it is a positive or a negative experience because we are here to experience everything life has to offer. This is why we are alive.
I see this dance between positivity and negativity expressed perfectly through the four elements...I found some great shots online of women representing them...


Photo found on

Photo found on


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photo found on by Bigfoot112


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photo found on by Dezera
Photo from by Silent_Reverie


photo from by Naive CRIMSON

Photo found on by chenoasart

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