Monday, November 21, 2011


This is an article I wrote 10 years ago:

"The central idea of Yi is "change". This means that the world is forever changing. There are forever new things and new situations. We are to deal with the ever changing world and to cope with the changes.

The teaching of Feng Shui is no exception. There are things and situations today that the ancients could never have imagined. If we practise exactly the way the ancients did, then we are simply outdated.

As a matter of fact, Feng Shui is a living knowledge and from time to time there are great masters who surpass their predecessors. It is not that they are better, it is because they are standing on the shoulders of giants (Sir Issaac Newton's words).

Inventions are good but they must be based on sound principles well established by the ancients (unless such principles have been disproved and overruled). Only in this way can Feng Shui become a respectable subject to learn.

The ancients never had the problem of using boxes or wedges because these are new inventions. They are inventions to help people understand how to deal with the qi in a house. They are invented for convenience of presenting the picture. Unfortunately, they have
been taught in a dogmatic manner.

In books and on websites, we cannot expect the teacher to use a lot of words to explain how the diagrams explain the qi pattern. So it leads to the misunderstanding that the stars are confined to 9 boxes or 8 wedges. My students all understand what they are and how they should be used. This makes the distinction between learning from books and from a
living person.

To be able to read the ancient books and apply the knowledge to fit the modern situation is the way to Feng Shui. To denounce anything that the ancients did not do in their Feng Shui practices is dogmatic. It only hinders the progress. Since the ancients invented a lot of things, why should we not do the same? However, it does not mean that baseless inventions are good. We only respect those that are based on established principles and have practical results."



joey said...


The model of an egg is often used by Chinese astronomers to describe the heavens as spherical. Historian Joseph Needham quotes Zhang Heng (78-139 AD) as saying:
The heavens are like a hen's egg and as round as a crossbow bullet; the earth is like the yolk of the egg, and lies in the centre.[55]

The Yu Ji Tu, "Map of the Tracks of Yu", carved into stone in 1137, located in the Stele Forest of Xi'an. This 3 ft (0.91 m) squared map features a grid of 100 li squares. China's coastline and river systems are clearly defined and accurately positioned on the map. See Chinese geography
Zhang Heng is better known for his invention of the rectangular grid or coordinate system that was used for terrestrial maps in the same way as Marinus of Tyre and Ptolemy, who were contemporaries.[56] Cullen comments:
In a passage of Zhang Heng's cosmogony not translated by Needham, Zhang himself says: "Heaven takes its body from the Yang, so it is round and in motion. earth takes its body from the Yin, so it is flat and quiescent". The point of the egg analogy is simply to stress that the earth is completely enclosed by heaven, rather than merely covered from above as the Kai Tian describes. Chinese astronomers, many of them brilliant men by any standards, continued to think in flat-earth terms until the seventeenth century; this surprising fact might be the starting-point for a re-examination of the apparent facility with which the idea of a spherical earth found acceptance in fifth-century B.C. Greece.[57]
Likewise, the 13th century scholar Li Ye, arguing that the movements of the round heaven would be hindered by a square Earth,[50] did not advocate a spherical Earth, but rather that its edge should be rounded off so as to be circular.[58]
As noted in the book Huai Nan Zu,[59] in the 2nd Century BC Chinese astronomers effectively inverted Eratosthenes' calculation of the curvature of the earth in order to calculate the height of the sun above the earth. By assuming the earth to be flat, they arrived at a distance of 100,000 li, a value short by three orders of magnitude.

Mary Catherine Bax said...

Dear Joseph,

What has not changed in your teachings the past 10 years (which is how long I have now been studying with you) is what I heard in my very first seminar that we know the stars, their characteristics, their interaction with other stars and how they influence the people.

A new paradigm of thought for me. Life has not been the same since!

Jodi Brunner said...

Hi Joseph,

I do not get why Joey wants to quote from wikipedia, another dogmatic publication. It prompted me again to read the Feng Shui related wiki pages and I must say they are better than last time I read them, albeit coming from a different perspective. eg in our school of Flying Stars we do not say that the facing of an apartment is always the same as the facing of the building.

Everything evolves; dogma is dead.

Here's another quote:

Faith which does not doubt is dead faith.




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