1 THE FOUR PRIMARY ELEMENTS
|For Buddhists these do not mean literally the natural
earth, water, fire and air. Rather, they symbolise four behavioural properties of matter
common to all material phenomena, the properties that every material body exhibits.
(b) Water element
(c) Heat element
(d) Air Element
Now all material phenomena possess these four elements to some degree. What distinguishes them is the proportion in which the primary elements are combined. We discriminate the types of matter on the basis of the dominant element. Thus we find solid bodies, liquids, gases and forms of energy depending on the proportions or predominance of the four primary elements. But all four elements are present to some degree in every unit of matter.
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