Nearly everyone in the west is famiiar with the classical notion of the 5 elements. From philosophy, from movies, the concept is so ingrained that we grow up with a knowlege of them, even though they really do not fit into our current scientific world view. The notion of all matter being composed of wind, fire, earth and water, or at least the notion that matter is composed of analagous substances is concievable, but what about the fith element? Sometimes translated as spirit, and later with a desire to relate it to the science of the times it was translated as ether, a supposed base substance that permites all matter. It it interesting to note that the five element classification of matter is also found in ancient India, and through Buddhism, worked its way into ancient China. The Indian five elements, the Pancha Mahabuddha, are all the same as our greek elements, thus suggesting a common origion. All with the slight exception of one, the 5th element which we usually refer to as spirit.

John WilsonComment