In the Mahapunnama Sutta - MK the buddha says;
"The four great elements, bhikkhu, are the cause and condition for the manifestation of the material form aggregate"
I cant work out how the elements are the cause for the material form, arent the four elements earth, fire, wind, water with, for example, earth just standing for skin, nail etc and so just characteristics of the material aggregate?
"Oh, threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing at least is certain — This Life flies;
One thing is certain and the rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown, forever dies."