Pondering the Fifth Element in Story

Have you ever wondered what makes certain stories more powerful than others? Could there be such a thing as a story’s fifth element. If so, what is it?

The Fifth Element in StoryAlthough in recent times, the basic elements have been recognized as four, in most ancient cultures and religions there are five. Hinduism acknowledges five great elements—earth, water, fire, air, and the ether, aka akasha. In ancient Tibetan philosophy, the fifth element is the space and in Japanese traditions, the void or spirit. In Ancient Greece, the ether was the most sacred element, for it was unchangeable as opposed to the other four.

Also, the primal geographical directions have been subject to confusion in this matter. Most Eastern and Mesoamerican natives viewed the center of the Earth as a fifth direction, the principal essence from which the other four primal directions derived. In the West, this center is called the Axis Mundi and is the connection between heaven and earth, the point where the four cardinal directions meet.

When I learned of the five elements and directions, I began wondering whether stories, being the reflection of life, could possess them as well? And if so, then what could such elements represent in regard to story?

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