“Five Elements” of Wosite and Other Traditions


Mandala of Yungdrung Bon by Gyalshen Institute


From the writings of the classical Greek period, we know the term “Five Elements.” The concept is found in many other cultures. Wosite, too, has its version. In this essay, we share some observations about these various views of the universe and humans.

Greek Five Elements

According to Aristotle, the Five Elements which are the basic building blocks of the physical world are:

Aether, Air, Fire, Water, Earth

These were part of the system of explaining observed phenomena in Greek physics. As Wikipedia notes, Plato used the term “element” in reference to air, fire, earth, and water. The ancient Greek word for element, stoicheion (στοιχεῖον), meant a letter or a syllable, the smallest component of a word.

Tibetan Prayer Flags

We received a string of paper prayer flags from ICT, the International Campaign for Tibet. The enclosure, shown here, explains the symbolism of…

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