The Elements



According to the mystical idea there are four principal elements which can be distinguished

and one which is indistinct.  The distinct elements are earth, water, fire, and air. 

They are not elements in the sense which a scientist would use this word,

but according to the meaning that the mystic attaches to it. 

The indistinct element is the ether. 

All these elements are in the body of man, in his mind, and in his deeper self.

(The Path of Initiation, Vol. X, Art: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow)


From the point of view of a mystic, yellow is the colour of the earth, green or white the colour of the water elements,

red that of the fire element,and blue of the air element. 

If asked what the colour of the ether element is the mystic would answer grey,

because by grey one may think of anything one likes. 



There is also the phenomenon of four elements, besides one which is the source and goal of all elements: 

Nur, the ether; this makes them five.  aad the air, Aetsh the fire, Aab the water, Khaak the earth. 

These elements have worked in consonance with one another

in order to bring about the results desired by the divine wisdom working behind them, 

In every Akasha or Asman they have been present either more or less;

one without the other did not exist; the four together brought the fifth. 

In this way the whole manifestation has taken place through a gradual process of development.

(The Inner Life, Vol. I, The Soul, Whence and Whither?)


‘Ether” is not ether in scientific terms, it is capacity. 

Water’ is not water as we understand it in everyday language, it is liquidity. 

‘Fire’ is understood differently; it means glow, or heat, or dryness, or radiance, all that is living. 

All of these words suggest something more than what is meant by earth, fire, water, etc.

(The Mysticism of Sound and Music, Vol. II, Music)


The direction taken by every element to make a form depends upon the nature of its activity. 

For instance an activity following a horizontal direction shows the earth element,

a downward direction the water element,

an upward direction the fire element;

the activity that moves in a zigzag direction shows the air element,

and the form taken by the ether is indistinct and misty. 

Therefore the nature of all things is made plain to the seer by their form and shape,

and from their colour their element is known…

The Mysticism of Sound and Music, Vol. II, Music)

Our physical body is composed of the five chief elements, which compose even the whole universe.

(Spiritual Liberty, Vol. V, Metaphysics, The Experience of the Soul Through the Different Planes of Existence)


The great seer and mystic of Persia, Jelal-ud-din Rumi,

he says that fire, water, earth and ether are dead things

to those who see in them no person. 

But before the Creator, they are all living beings.  They are his obedient servants. 

And the great thinker of the Hindus says in Sanskrit language

that this whole creation is the dream of Brahma, the Creator.

(Social Gathekas, The Power of Thought)



©2003 The Ziraat Concentration of North America