1. Is Feng Shui a science?
In Western Science, you start with an observation of an effect. You then postulate a hypothesis to explain the effect and then, you devise a test to validate this hypothesis. When validated, it comes a theory.
For example: Sir Isaac Newton observed that apples always falls to the ground. He postulated the hypothesis that bodies attracted each other. He tested this hypothesis with observations on the universe. Planets orbited around other bodies. These observations confirmed the hypothesis which then became Newton’s “Law of Universal Gravitation”. Independently, other scientists confirmed these observations. The key feature of Western Science is the need to replicate the results.
Chinese metaphysics rely on Qi (energy) as the main driving force. For example, in Qi Gong or Tai Qi exercises, it produces Qi which you can feel and possibly see.
In Feng Shui, Qi is the driving force in the environment. Some persons have the ability to visualise this Qi and see the Feng Shui effect. Therefore, it is not easy to replicate the Feng Shui observations. It therefore, cannot to be considered to be Western Science. However, Chinese have always considered the environment to be involved in their culture from the start some 4000 years ago.
Therefore, Feng Shui is not a western science but it is integral part of Chinese culture. The rules of Feng Shui work. If it did not, it would have been discarded centuries ago.
2. Is Feng Shui really effective?
Feng Shui is really effective when it is practised by a skilled and reputable practitioner.
Feng Shui has been part of Chinese Culture for more than 4000 years. Since the latter half of the 20th Century, it has spread to all parts of the world. It is being used by successful major corporations in the US, UK and other western countries including those in the Far East.
If it was not effective, Feng Shui would have been ditched a long time ago.
3. Why do western people think Feng Shui is a mystery?
Feng Shui is not only difficult to describe and also, it involves an intangible – energy or the Chinese term – Qi.
4. What is the rationale behind Feng Shui in China?
Feng Shui and the environment has been part of Chinese Culture for more than 4,000 years. It is through observation and study of the patterns of how the environment influences man. An example of an environmental influence is the 4 seasons that occurs in a yearly cycle. It would be extremely helpful to know the date when to start planting the crops. Likewise, the date to start the harvesting of crops.
5. I have tried to DIY Feng Shui, but the books give contradictory information
There was an explosive growth in the number of Feng Shui books. At the start of the 1990s, there were less than a dozen books on this subject. In 1997, 54 titles published, 1998, 73 titles published, 1999 (Jan to Apr) 40. (Ref: Feng shui makes publishers feel good (Apr 1999)
https://www.theguardian.com/uk/1999/apr/24/ameliagentleman. The authors were under pressure to get the relevant information of a Chinese subject. To justify authorship, they had to produce original material.
I have read a number of these books and found the “core information” is based on these source books (books that had been published earlier). Also, the authors had to put their own spin on the matter to show originality to the publisher.
Secondly, authors have been adding procedures from other cultures into the Feng Shui Books – for example, Balinese Space Clearing, North American spiritual chants, Japanese Shinto rituals, western dowsing etc. This has added to the confusion to the knowledge core of Feng Shui which is of a Chinese Origins.
This, in my opinion, is the cause of contradictory information of this generation of books.
6. Difference in practise between the past and now
I will use the 19th Century China for the Past. The practise of feng shui was regulated and the knowledge not easily available. At that time, literacy was not universal and the Chinese were very protective of their knowledge. They do not share their knowledge easily.
Feng Shui was passed on from generation to generation in closed lineage societies. Students were selected or chosen for their potential. The training was led by a practising member where the knowledge was passed on orally. To maintain accuracy of interpretation, this was based on poems of rhyming couplets.
Scholars or writers, not trained in feng shui, studied the work of these trained feng shui masters like Shen Zhu Ren.
In the 21st Century, the situation is so different. The literature on feng shui is abundant but the difficulty is finding the effective and relevant practise of this Chinese Subject. There are thousands of books, and possibly millions of articles on the internet. Literally, anyone, after attending a few classes can call themselves to be a feng shui consultant.
Hence there has been the need in various countries for standards or accreditation associations which have a code of ethics as well.
- UK – Feng Shui Society
- USA – International Feng Shui Guild
- Australia – Association of Feng Shui Consultants
7. Feng Shui is Chinese, does it only work for China and not in the rest of the world?
Although Feng Shui is Chinese, its application is used throughout the world. Feng Shui is about the environment and it follows the laws of physics. The laws of physics works in China, the world and the universe.
8. I had a number of estimates to carry out a Feng Shui audit of my house. It varied from £100 to £1000. How do I make a choice?
In the UK, it is a free market and you make your own choices.
At one time, there were consultants using unorthodox methods or had a very different standard of ethics.
With stories like this occurring, the Feng Shui Society started an accreditation scheme for its consultant members. It acts as a screen so that consultants with a basic qualification are allowed to enrol. There is a standard on ethics.
However, you have to bear in mind, what are you paying for and the size of the project.
You have a property worth say half a million pounds. You employ a consultant to help you achieve an aspiration like better wealth or a better paid job? How much do you expect? Perhaps £100,000 and you selected the consultant charging £100. Is this logical?
Nothing is free. You get what you pay for.
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