What a way to let people know what is deep down my heart! I will share my views on Chinese metaphysics with my audience without reservation. Please treat this blog as a public park where friends can exchange ideas.
I read an article written by Jan Cisek about what Feng Shui is - Philosophy, Art or Science. The author uses different metaphors to support his idea that there is no ‘authentic’ Feng Shui and that anything that works is good Feng Shui practice.
He says, “Feng Shui is like cooking. There are lots of different styles of cooking. They all work, in context. But there is not one ‘authentic’ way of cooking, is there? "
Well, there is! Although there is no ‘authentic’ way of cooking, there are basic principles that must be followed in cooking. There are certain steps a good cook must follow to prepare delicious food.
The principle is that the food must be well presented, must smell good and must be tasty. In Chinese it is called 色 香 味 俱 全.
The steps to follow are: 1. Selection of fresh and good raw materials. 2. The right temperature must be used in preparing every dish. 3. The moisture in the food must be retained and not lost in cooking. 4. The recipe must make sure that the various ingredients go well with each other. 5. The sauce must bring out the taste of the food but not to cover up the original taste. 6. The presentation must be good looking. 7. The fragrant of the food must arouse the appetite of people. 8. The nutrition of the food must help people to be healthy.
There are different recipes and different ways of presentation. Yet, they all must satisfy the basic principle and the essential steps.
In Feng Shui, it is the same. There are different formulas. There are different ways to practice Feng Shui. However, the result must help people to enjoy harmony and success. Parallel to the eight steps in cooking, we have:
1. Selection of site - a beautiful environment. 2. A good design to receive wind and light. 3. The house must retain sheng qi. 4. The formula used must bring yang qi to meet yin qi in a loving manner. 5. The decoration must be beautiful. 6. The landscaping must be nice and appropriate. 7. People must feel the good qi and fall in love with the house. 8. There is active qi to help people to create fortune and inactive qi to enjoy success.
These "steps" can be refined as they just popped up from my mind. These are the draft of guidelines to follow when we practice Feng Shui. There is "authentic" Feng Shui.
Although we cannot say that Feng Shui theories satisfy the rigorous scientific discipline, we still want to use a logical system to develop the subject.
The concept of Yin and Yang is fundamental in metaphysical studies. Once the concept is misunderstood, all theories will be built on a loose foundation. Let us examine how Mr. Li Dingxin understands Zhou Yi from what he wrote:
“本来根据《周易》的含义，对世界的事物都可分辨阴和阳，例如，重为阳，轻为阴；上为阳，下为阴；明为阳，暗为阴；强为阳，弱为阴；主为阳，从属为阴……等。” “According to Zhou Yi, everything in the world can be categorized as yin and yang. For example, heavy is yang, light is yin; above is yang, below is yin; brightness is yang, darkness is yin; strong is yang, weak is yin; boss is yang, followers are yin…. Etc.”
A logical system does not allow contradiction within the system. The sentence “Heavy is yang, light is yin; above is yang, below is yin.” is already self-contradictory.
We all know that what is light rises to above and what is heavy stays below because of the different densities. You can clearly see the contradiction:
Heavy = yang Heavy = below Therefore, yang = below But, below = yin Therefore, yang = yin.
The misunderstanding leads to the wrong concept of mountain = yang while water = yin. Mr. Li conjectures that mountain is the boss while water is the follower and the boss is yang while the follower is yin.
Let us examine what happens in a company. The boss sits in his office to gives orders. The staff follows his orders to do the work. The boss stays quietly in his office and makes his staff running around to do work. Who is yang and who is yin?
When there is internal contradiction, the system is simply wrong. We cannot say that there are different systems and all systems work. A system that is based on self-contradictory statements is simply wrong.
Everyone can claim that his system works because he has many years of practical experience. Such claims are worthless. If someone practiced Feng Shui as a profession after 1949 in China, then he should have died during the Cultural Revolution.