What is not Feng Shui
Feng Shui has very ancient origins, so much so that it is extremely difficult to identify the exact moment of birth and even more complicated to understand the paths of development and the growth of a discipline that, from its origins, was handed down mostly orally, as a teacher as a student, very often, if not always, with the utmost confidentiality and secrecy. Nevertheless the mission is not impossible and in recent years many scholars engaged in the search for the true roots of Feng Shui with excellent results. Understanding where we come from is extremely important for all those who wish to approach the discipline in a serious way and are not satisfied with stories and legends that, although they sometimes hide very important "secrets" of the subject, have very often been the cause of a long passing down of superstitions not attributable to Feng Shui, but certainly harmful to his fame.
In Feng Shui there is nothing to be believed as an act of faith, authentic Feng Shui speaks of man, the cosmos and the relationship between the two, a relationship of which each of us is constantly involved.
Each of us, in fact, if endowed with curiosity and a critical sense, but also with a good sensitivity, will be able to verify the truthfulness and the quality of the founding principles of the discipline. The work is not so simple, but it is certainly important and useful to know how to recognize and distinguish truthful Feng Shui methods and analysis, and therefore based on scientific-experimental data, and methods that otherwise have been handed down for generations and generations of masters, but they have no foundation and, as a logical and proven consequence, they do not bring any benefit to the individual. The latter, unfortunately, are widely distributed and often turn out to be the most famous (for better or for worse) also thanks to a wide range of misleading editorial publications.
How did we get here?
The existence of Feng Shui was revealed to Westerners towards the end of the nineteenth century, through the knowledge of travelers and explorers. Initially the discipline was the victim of misleading interpretations and disclosed superficially, as part of a local folklore.
First, the discipline captured the exclusive interest of historians and anthropologists and, only later, of the more progressive fringes of those involved in planning and living.
Unfortunately, however, the very history of Feng Shui has meant that information from the West has been fragmentary and misleading since the very beginning.
The communist revolution and the "prohibitionist" regime of Mao Tse Tung, in fact, banished Feng Shui and other traditional disciplines from the Chinese republic causing, on the one hand, a mass migration of many masters who took refuge in Hong Kong, and in all of Southeast Asia, and, on the other, the destruction of many ancient texts.
With these premises, starting from the middle of the last century, Feng Shui began to spread in the West along two main roads: Anglo-Saxon and American.
The British, thanks to the colonies of Hong Kong, were the first to come into contact with the teachings of high-level masters and to spread their knowledge in Europe.
However, the teachings are, and always have been, reserved for rather limited circles so that knowledge of the discipline among the general public is still not widespread.
But there were also many masters who migrated to the USA, as well as the Americans who traveled to South East Asia.
Between 1955 and 1985, some passionate advisers began to publish books and to spread Chinese popular culture in the States. Unfortunately, many relied on bad translations and originated a rather commercial Feng Shui tradition closely related to the New Age, from which derive the main "method problems" which today are still widespread on a large scale.
The circulation of fragmentary, confused and inconsistent information has made Feng Shui known as an apparently elementary discipline that can be used with simplicity and lightness by anyone, and, above all, easily marketed, as if it were nothing more than a style of furniture.
Since the 1980s, this type of approach has contaminated Europe by discrediting the discipline both in the eyes of the general public and the experts who, until a few years ago, kept their distance, mocking its contents and consultants.
Recent studies have meant that those who approach Feng Shui today have, if nothing else, the possibility of choosing between authentic Feng Shui and an infinity of techniques and advice derived from the New Age or from the passing on of methods, misleading traditions and superstitions.
There are currently the right basic knowledge that led to the rediscovery of the oldest Feng Shui and an in-depth understanding of the founding principles, but also to the verification of study methods and analysis of the spaces that allow us to offer the security of success of each intervention.
Now it is possible to find, on the market, a vast collection of texts on Feng Shui or cataloged as such, most of which deal with topics that do not belong to the discipline or pursue, often unconsciously, the dissemination of invalid principles that are now part of the Most common "knowledge".
It is not Feng Shui:
Ecology & bioarchitecture
Furniture and interior decoration
Hang various objects or place aquariums in every corner.
In fact, some of these disciplines have turned out to be ideal companions of Feng Shui, think, for example, of the excellent design opportunities offered by collaboration with bio-architects, geobiologists, radio-exponents; nevertheless it is important to emphasize the difference between the disciplines.
Feng Shui is not:
A style of furniture
Part of the New Age
A set of precepts for becoming, rich and famous or finding great love.
Internally to Feng Shui, it should be emphasized that it is not authentic Feng Shui if:
Lo Pan (Chinese geomantic compass) is not used.
Reference is made to the entrance door and not to the Geographic North.
It is advisable to place objects of Chinese culture such as three-legged toads or coins or similar remedies in one or more points of your home.
The founding principles of the discipline are not taken into account, but the different techniques are applied mechanically and / or one chooses to use analytical methods that are not valid.
At the same time it is important to highlight how, Feng Shui, is actually a very vast and varied material that includes innumerable methods able to respond to as many needs.
These are methods of analysis complementary to each other, such as the School of the Form, the School of the Compass, the Ba Chop, different methods of Flying Stars, the Ba Zi or Chinese Energy Astrology.
Finally it is worth mentioning that all the classical approaches refer to Lo Pan .
So what is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui deals with understanding and analyzing the relationship between man and the environment and intervening on it in order to increase the psychophysical well-being of the individual. It is a very ancient discipline whose origins can be traced back to the animist, and subsequently Taoist, culture that characterized China as early as the 4th-3rd millennium BC and was based on a profound contact with the environment and nature.
In short we could say that, for several centuries, the great masters have observed the macro environment and analyzed the birth, development and eventual decay of the villages, in relation to their position.
They assessed the quality of life of people, both on a physical and a relational level, comparing it with the dominant characteristics of the space they lived in, the positioning and orientation of the structures under examination and the landscape context in which they were inserted, drawing information and checks more and more detailed on the relationship between man and environment and mutual influences.
All this was possible thanks to the favor of the emperors who over the centuries have proven to be great patrons of the Feng Shui research.
Feng Shui is based on what today we would call " holistic vision of man ", in which the individual is considered as a system whose parts are closely related to each other, united by an inseparable bond; the idea of man as a machine, made up of isolated elements, each requiring specific maintenance, is outdated.
In this new context it is possible to identify a human micro system, constituted by the individual and characterized by its different aspects: body, instinct and psyche ; which is part of the human macro system, constituted by the relationship of the individual with the other: his living environment, the working environment and, last but not least, the social and relational environment.
Feng Shui is therefore based on a first principle that is easy to understand and recognize: man is influenced and influenced by the environment in which he lives.
The resulting influence does not depend on personal taste nor on the aesthetic judgment we make against a certain natural or urban conformation, but on the instinctive reaction that certain forms cause in the depths of our unconscious, acting on precise archetypes and associations (Jung provided a first interesting discussion on the subject, while his contemporary and fellow countryman Luscher - philosopher and psychologist - affirmed the importance of environmental influence on the modification of moods and sensations).
Just think, for example, of the effects on man generated by the climate and the different solar positions over the course of a day, or by the alternation of day and night or, larger, and more evident, from the seasonal cycle.
The weight of these effects on an individual's life depends on both the person and the intensity of the stimulation itself.
Feng Shui is concerned with studying and quantifying all the influences of the environment that act as much on the sensory and animal mind as on the physical body, and to modify them in order to create a greater well-being, physical and psychic for man.
The whole school of form, for example, is based on the understanding of archetypes, on logical and analogical reasoning and on the similarity or principle of the mirror: the dwelling is in all respects comparable to a living being and more specifically it becomes the perfect mirror of those who live there.
This assumption allows us to understand well how in Feng Shui, well-being and illness, blockage and difficulty in managing certain areas of life (relationships, work, personal growth, economic situation, etc.) are not, and cannot be, rigidly separated, but are analyzed in a broad framework of relationships that goes beyond the physical boundaries of the individual, reaching his living environment.
From this point of view there is no difference between taking care of one's home and taking care of oneself, one's life, one's relationships. There is no difficulty in understanding how wisely intervening in one's own space it is possible to foster the desired change for one's life.
In summary, we could say that Feng Shui is today a very important means for the well-being and health of individuals, regardless of the cultural background to which they belong.
The founding principles of the discipline can be summarized as follows:
- Mirror principle : environments reflect who lives them, created them and modifies them.
- Macro cosmos (environment) and microcosm (man) they are two aspects of the same reality.
- Any environment affects any man you frequent and use consistently.
- It is possible, and advisable, to create environments according to the wishes and objectives of the users, favoring their well-being.