Some thing interesting:
However, for some reason or other, perhaps due to the influence of
some Indian schools of philosophy with a slant towards materialism, some
Buddhist sects indulged in academic subtleties which seem to obsess the
mind with the four elements with concepts about them, instead of the
simpler reflection on elements characteristic of the suttas. Originally the
purpose was to erase the four elements from the mind.
The original purpose was to make the four elements, the amorphous
primaries which masquerade as form in the minds of beings for
incalculable aeons, to fade away from the mind. But what happened later
was to revel in atomistic analyses, which more or less followed the way of
thinking peculiar to materialism. It ended up in hair-splitting analyses
even literally, painting for instance the earth element all the more vividly
in the mind.
We have to assess this academic trend against the original
purpose, unbiased by the traditional predilection for it. It is no
exaggeration to say that all this tended to obscure the path to Nibbana in
the course of time.
P606:http://www.seeingthroughthenet.net/file ... led_VI.pdf