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A Brief Study of Chinese Feng Shui


The ancient Chinese believed in all sorts of things. Of special concern to the Chinese civilization were the forces of the wind and the water and the name “feng shui” means “the way of the wind and the water”. Originally, feng shui was concerned about living in balance and harmony with the wind and the water. Thus, homes and shops were built in a way to provide a good protection against the power of very strong winds and flooding. Over the very long course of time, feng shui began to evolve to include living in balance and harmony with many other things of a material nature. In China, there are many books written about feng shui since ancient, medieval, and renaissance times.

Feng shui began to become incorporated with early Chinese philosophy that mingled within Taoism. Taoism would teach about the “yin” and the “yang”. The yin is the passive female principle of the universe that is associated with darkness, passivity, coldness, and absorption. Yang is the dominating; highly authoritative male principle of the universe that is associated with light, coercion, manipulation, heat, and penetration. Fung Shui preaches for the forces of yin and yang to work harmoniously together to act as a united unit.

In ancient Chinese philosophy, which combined with Taoism, there are five elements that interact and have relationships with things. These five elements are as follows: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Feng Shui teaches people to live in balance and harmony with the five elements. Balance can be construed to mean moderation. Harmony can be construed as a helpful thing, force, or influence that causes satisfaction and contentment. An example of feng shui in using fire would be to use fire with extreme safety procedures, and using fire in moderation.

The ancient Chinese believed that everyone and everything throughout the universe has a life force or energy( a cosmic current) which is called “qi” (also known as “ki”) or called “chi”(pronounced as “chee”). Modern science has validated that everyone and everything produces gravity energy. Fung shui practitioners believe in operating in a harmonious flow of chi, if possible, for everyone and all things for a common good, But, the early Chinese people developed the idea that there are two types of chi: positive chi and negative chi. The positive chi is to be allowed as it produces good benefits. The negative chi is to be blocked; kept away as it produces bad effects. In order for positive energy to flow, there needs to be open pathways. Thus, feng shui people do not believe in allowing clutter in their homes. Clutter is regarded as blockage of the good chi. Be organized and tidy.

In a bedroom, feng shui advocates for soft, gentle, calming colors that help a person relax. Colors such as ocean blue, lavender, meadow greens, and sunny yellow are recommended. Pink is another favorable color. But, there are some people who also see the bedroom as a highly amorous; passionate place and under feng shui can place a strong, bold, intense color therein as red. Even some black can be considered because black is the opposite of white and white characterizes purity and virginity. Here, with certain individuals, feng shui has taken a different turn in the power of influence. In feng shui, a bed is to be kept away from a window, One reason is that a person who is outside the window can feel inclined to look in and then, inappropriately, see a person sleeping and if the person viewing is a man and the sleeping person is a young person, he might feel roused to do a sexual crime. Another reason against a bed in proximity to a window is that when the sun comes up early in the morning, the sun will shine directly into someone’s closed eyes, and force a person to get up from the bed very early; maybe even too early in the morning, as in the summertime.

In the nations of the far west, people will, at times, in their homes, have a bed near a window but also have thick curtains on a rail system with open and close draw cords.

In all rooms of a house, feng shui favors a good amount of natural light to enter the windows during the daytime.
Separate the work place from the bed and bedroom, which is really the resting place. A considerable amount of instruction from feng shui is based on common sense and logic that the vast majority of people naturally agree upon.

Simple tastes in a Feng Shui bedroom’s décor. Lot’s of windows, plants & natural light.

Furniture and decor is to be arranged in positions in which the person of the room feels the most acceptable. But, people, at times, have conflicting attitudes of the most appropriate areas for furniture and decor in a room. So feng shui then becomes a matter of one’s personal; opinionated preferences, rather than a standardized; fixed set of principles, take for instance, the attitude of some feng shuists regarding mirrors, Some feng shuists regard a mirror or mirrors in a bedroom as acceptable, while other feng shuist’s are against the idea.

A large volume of feng shui beliefs which are ancient, have been discovered to go against the results of modern science. At least some of these discrepancies, deviations, and falsehoods, which shall be examined, are as follows: The doors of dwellings in Banpo, during 4,000 B.C., were aligned with the asterism feng shuijust after the winter solstice for solar gain, but the solar gain did not occur. The thinking in feng shui is that chi, also known as qi or ki, is a force or energy that deals with wealth, good luck; good fortune, and fame. The placement of tombs and buildings along a north and south axis to correspond to the Dragon and Tiger asterisms and the Beidou; the constellation of the Bigger Dipper, Ladle or Bushel) to receive beneficial energy therefrom.

The presence of both round and square shapes in the very ancient Puyang, Mawangdui, and beyond tombs and graves; the round shapes indicate the heavens above and the square shapes indicate the earth below to try to tap into the powers of the heavens into the earth. In feng shui, the Chinese would try to align buildings according to a magnetic pole based upon the indication of a compass. Such a debatable thing is called “geomancy”. The superstition here is that good blessings such as wealth, peace, and happiness would follow outward in the direction of the buildings. Thus buildings would be “harmonized” by the universal energy or force. This ancient practice and belief are highly controversial in terms of modern science. Modern science knows magnetic waves of force from upon the general cardinal points; those magnetic energies are far, far too weak to physically influence the human body.

An ancient Chinese Compass.

The ancient Chinese were the first people known to create and use the compass. The compass was invented during the Han Dynasty (202 B.C. to 220 A.D.) The first compasses’ were made for purposes of feng shui, many centuries before compasses were used for navigation on ships.

Today, in mainland China, there are restrictions on feng shui practices. In the People’s Republic of China, it is illegal to register feng shui consultation as a business and advertising feng shui practices are banned. Mainland China government officials who have consulted feng shui practitioners have been expelled from the Chinese Communist Party. The official line in the People’s Republic of China is that feng shui is a feudalistic superstition that has no place in modern Chinese society. Most people in mainland China do not even believe in feng shui.

In Nationalist China, The Republic of China in Taiwan, feng shui has a certain amount of popularity, which has been diminishing over the years, as in Taiwan traditional culture is not suppressed. In the West, there seems to have been a much greater public interest in feng shui years and years ago than in today’s western world.

Feng Shui consultants tend to be very exorbitant in their prices and very controlling of their clients.

Time will tell how it all works out.

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