Actually your word choices are interesting, particularly if you pay attention to how the wizards use those phrases.
There are the “Planes of Men” which are all the various alternate realities of the physical world, the conflux of the 5 Elemental planes.
The elemental planes are: Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Spirit
In wizard speak, they often refer to the manifestation of “Spirit” in the planes of men as “the Element of Man” etc.
It’s basically the way the the elemental plane of “fire” (or any of the others) aren’t really just fire…they are also lightning and plasma and all sorts of things. Fire the stuff that burns wood, chars flesh etc. Is just the “manifestation” of the raw element of fire on the planes of men.
Same for the various forms of “Air” Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide; and “Water” water, acid, blood, wine, vodka and “Earth” dirt, marble, granite, quartz.
So you will see wizards talk about the Element of Man, but what they real mean is a significant concentration of Spirit manifesting on the material plane as to engender sentience…
To be honest, they’re sort of winging it on this front, but it works for them.