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The Rule of Four

Four Essays on the Principle of Quaternity


Robert L. Berner

Many American Indian cultures define material and spiritual reality in the symbolism of the four seasons and the four directions. The Rule of Four examines the implications of this conception of time and space to suggest a model quaternity which informs the structure of much religious and other thought, as well as patterns of characterization and plot in many mythic and literary narratives. This wide-ranging exploration suggests that an understanding of quaternity as a cultural principle makes possible a less divise definition of a multicultural America than we have seen so far.