Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Report (2)

I will only disclose the parts of my report that are non-specific. This is the part regarding health issues:
The numbers labeling the paragraphs are not the same as in the original report.

1. Fung Shui is not magic. What Fung Shui can do is to help people tap into the beneficial qi (energy in the metaphysical sense) so that they can perform with efficiency, enjoy a happy and successful life. Regarding illness, what Fung Shui can do is to help people distancing themselves from sickness qi (metaphysical energy) and to help people to absorb the healthy or good qi thus strengthening the body and to be lucky to receive the best medical care. Whether or not the patient can recover still depends on how serious the illness is. Fung Shui practices are usually directed at the residence of the patient, and typically involve at a minimum making adjustments in the bedroom, the kitchen and the main door. Some Fung Shui practices involve relocation of the bed/desk/sofa/stove/door so that the patient can receive healthy energy at rest. Some would involve choosing the time when health energy is strong to make the Fung Shui setting more effective. Different schools use different techniques. For many schools no special technique is required.

2. In Fung Shui practices, we cannot guarantee any result. We can just say that we can reasonably expect certain results from fung shui practices. Typical fung shui techniques might involve relocating the patient to receive healthy energy so that he can recover from illness or to enjoy better health and/or longevity.

3. It is suggested by the Plaintiff’s witnesses that the digging of holes in 2005 was related to Nina’s health problems. Digging large holes activate earth energies. In most cases, it will not help a patient to recover. There is a general principle that one should avoid any movement of the earth (動 土) when health is at stake. If the inappropriate energy is disturbed, it will make matters worse.



Fourpillars.net said...

Dear Joseph,

It appears to me that when you say: "Fung Shui is not magic.." , then you are talking about your vision of what feng shui should be.
As opposed to what "feng shui" actually encompasses today when we look at practices in Asia.

The actual "reality" today is that feng shui contains a lot of superstition and "magic", ranging from the parts you have rejected in books, all the way to "secret cures" that are being passed on in certain schools.

Wouldn't it have been more accurate to say that feng shui contains too much "magic", rather than saying it involves no magic.
Or is that covered in the next parts of your report?


Joseph Yu said...

Dear Danny,

The way some people practice Feng Shui is really abhorable. I can only say that what is popular today especially in Asia has departed from the proper path. It is necessary to go back to the basics the ancient great masters established and examine what have been added on later to see whether the practices are rightful extensions based on the foundation laid down by the honourable masters in the past.

One witness in this case testified that Tony Chan advised him to burn 15 HK$1000 bank notes everyday for several months to help him get away from criminal charges. The witness asked whether he could burn $100 notes instead and Tony Chan agreed. He burned $15000 per day until he was sentenced to jail after several months. Then Tony Chan told him that another person followed his instruction to burn $1000 notes and was found not guilty. Tony Chan denied this story altogether.

Well, I will leave to you to believe this story or not. Assuming it is true, do you consider this Feng Shui practice?

Feng Shui is now so corrupt that we need educate the public what is and what is not Feng Shui.


Annie Pecheva said...

Dear Joseph,

Wow, the money burning sounds like a new type of money laundering. If the criminals regard this as feng shui 风水, then they better call it "feng huo" 风火 ("wind and fire"). Of course, I am just kidding... :-)

Nowadays almost everything is called feng shui. I agree with what you said. It's amazing how much the people can be superstitious and believe in such things.


Joseph Yu said...

Dear Annie,

According to Tony Chan, his idea of advising his client to burn real money instead of money issued by the underworld bank 冥通银行 came from his father. His father was of the opinion that if people spent a certain sum of money buying fake money, houses and cars, then why not just burn the money as it was the money the deceased used when he was alive.

It makes sense except that burning money is illegal. If money is burnt instead of spent, it is also bad for the economy.


Fourpillars.net said...

Dear Joseph, Annie,

The problems typically appear in the "cures" part of feng shui.
It seems to have become a fashion among "masters" to sell "secret cures" at high prices.
And most masters have gladly continued to play the game of high fees for "special services" and "secret techniques".
Why kill the chicken with the golden eggs, they must be thinking?
At the most there has been some mild criticism here and there, but when these masters meet in conferences they are all nicely smiling together on the picture.


In the Middle Ages there was the practice of selling "indulgences" in the catholic church. It is not very different from this buring money.

Nothing new under the sun.


Mary Catherine Bax said...

Dear Joseph,

Most of your students warn people to not dig the earth in a certain area each year to avoid misfortune.
Some may think this is magic or superstition but, as many of us observe there is a cause and effect when digging the earth in a certain direction in a certain year and the effect is never pleasant. Time and space are the fundamental elements as they are in physics to study the force which we call qi.

I’m hoping in your quest to bring to light the corruption that surrounds Fung Shui, you will be successful with your message that Fung Shui is a sustainable energy that tapped into using the Fung Shui techniques that you teach, people will as you say “perform with efficiency, enjoy a happy and successful life."


Sunny said...

Dear all,

I suppose part of the metaphysics culture is that, we prefer harmony as far as relating to each other in this line goes. Don't really think we want a boxing arena to challenge another (unless..read below below).

Due to the presence of a "grey" region that might involve the theme innovation or "innovation", we prefer to know and/or respect what the other is doing maybe because they are catering to a certain group audiences.

What may be deplorable is when practitioners try to package everything as if it's related to Feng Shui (maybe out of ignorance or my-master-do-it-too-therefore-it-is), thereby, misguiding the masses. Some of this might be better seen as a good example of marketing strategy (e.g., "my Feng Shui employs the most advanced miracle technology") or branding exercise in work.

End of the day, people go to different practitioners for a reason. Sometimes it's just in line with the concept of (their) 4 Pillars. I would agree it is recommended to let the public understand what the Feng Shui deal is. But, if they still decided to get some neo zen fun shui pack, at least that's based on their informed decision.

Best regards,
Kah Hong

Monica said...

I would say to Danny that it all depends on what your definition of "feng shui" is.
If you include superstition...the definition widens to huge proportions.
If you only include what can be reasonably expected to work, then you've narrowed the field a lot.
It has to be defined in a more narrow context than just everything out there. Otherwise it is meaningless.

Fourpillars.net said...

@ Monica

The meaning of words often change over time. Some words have broadened in meaning, others have become more narrow in scope. Sometimes an originally positive word has evolved to gather a negative meaning, a complete change.

This is not in anybody's hands.
It has to do with changing culture, fashion, etcetera...
Words and their meaning gradually evolve..

If we look at the word "feng shui" today, it has become a household word in the West and has significantly broadened in scope. Not only classical techniques or philosophies, but also magical cures and rituals (like the ones that the other expert witness described in his testimony), have come under the umbrella of what people now understand and/or sell as "feng shui".
We can't turn back the clock on that.

With regards to this court case, the judge probably couldn't care less what Joseph, or you or me, would like to see as the one and only proper definition of "feng shui".
The only thing that interests him is what is being sold under the name "feng shui" in Hong Kong those days, because that's what might help him decide this case.


Joseph Yu said...

Dear Danny, Monica,

Definitions of terms, though may change with time, require a much more rigorous treatment than meanings of words. So far, the generally accepted definition of Feng Shui is the technique of protecting qi from being dispersed by wind and retaining qi by the use of water and such technique is used to bring blessings from the buried deceased people to their descendants 鬼福及人. Such technique is extended to houses for the living to benefit the occupants. However, most Feng Shui practitioners today include technique outside the realm of Feng Shui to provide more services to their clients. Yet responsible practitioners state clearly their services and the costs.

Regarding this court case, the judge actually is not interested to know whether the concept of a Fung Shui Will exists. He is interested to know what is written in the Will reflects Nina Wang's true wishes or is the piece of paper just an instrument used to please the gods in Heaven in exchange for longevity and that what is written in the Will is never meant to be executed.

The Plaintiff has to prove that the ceremony using a Fung Shui Will is a popular practice. Since I do not practice in Hong Kong, Taiwan or China Mainland, I have no say in this aspect. The other expert witness Mr. Szeto claims that he has performed over 400 such ceremonies each requiring 49 days to complete. You can use a little arithmetic to calculate how many years of practice it takes.


Fourpillars.net said...

Dear Joseph,

>The other expert witness Mr. Szeto claims that he has performed over 400 such ceremonies each requiring 49 days to complete. You can use a little arithmetic to calculate how many years of practice it takes.

I guess it depends how many such ceremonies he can do for different clients simultaneously. I suppose he is not needed on the job for the entire 49 days non-stop.


As for the rituals that have become part of feng shui. The reason is that these "taoist" rituals and ceremonies have not rarely been performed by the "feng shui priest", who is often all too happy to pocket his fees for it.

Our friend Howard describes one of such rituals on his blog recently:

As I have seen myself in Taiwan, these rituals are not considered separate from feng shui, because it is usually the same person delivering both "services".


As for the dilution of the term "feng shui".
Much of the blame can be put on ourselves.
You once gave us a brief course called "feng shui of cities"
Our same friend Howard published a book about qigong, the subtitle is: "feng shui for the body".
Then I have also seen terms like "feng shui astrology", "feng shui for stock markets", "feng shui for cars"..
And so on..

So, we all have been using the word fengshui as a broader generic term for quite a while.
No need to put blame on anyone.


Marianna Halassy said...

Hi Danny,

There is a huge difference between ‘feng shui of cities’ and ‘feng shui for the body’. The first one is feng shui and the second one is marketing gimmick.

But you are right; we can only blame ourselves!


Fourpillars.net said...

Hi Marianna,

Of course some of these broader topics now under the umbrella of "feng shui" still contain a certain amount of original feng shui principles in it.
But my point is how we have been gradually broadening the term ourselves.

As Joseph mentions , feng shui was originally directed at the residence of the person.
But the scope has broadened and now we talk about feng shui of cities, do feng shui of casinos, etcetera...
This is already taking the original principles outside their earlier narrow scope of centuries ago.

And the term "Feng shui of the body" would not be a succesful marketing gimmick if the word "feng shui" was not already understood in a more generic sense in the minds of the target audience.

As the saying goes: you can’t put the genie back into the bottle.