Human beings are formed by the four elements of nature: fire, earth, water and air; plus one element of spirit which is the ether, the element that forms the foundation and bridges our mundane existence to a bigger cosmological and universal reality.
How did the Egyptians perceive the role of the four elements?
Mysticism was everywhere in ancient Egypt: in its architecture, literature, music, in their creative expressions including their imagery of the world. It permeated their imagery of the gods and their mythology. Their way of thinking and how they weaved their scientific understanding of the world is still not fully understood by modern science. Their scientific methodology made vast use of the four elements and of its quintessence, the fifth element: a mixture of magic and technology to model and administrate the lives of the Egyptian people.
It is impossible to speak about the functionality of the four elements in ancient Egypt without mentioning the procedures of the Egyptian temples, because it was from these that all the literature that has inspired various mystical schools of thoughts from diverse cultures and religions came from. In the realm of occult science, it is said that the Egyptians inherited the traditions of Atlantis.
In order to initiate a journey toward the sacred, one must acquire some control and complete an understanding of the four elements that are the fundamental blocks of our very nature. Every chela or seeker that works to apprehend the concepts that transcend the material world, the world of "imperfection", must pass through the four initiatory tasks in the mysteries. If they succeed, they were allowed to continue to study, perfecting their understanding of the mysteries of God, and the Divine Plan. If the seeker failed, they were no longer allowed to pursue their study because it was sign of a immature, or young soul, still incapable to anchor basic concepts that would be fundamental for the success of an advanced level of expansion of consciousness.