Monday, February 6, 2012

Feng Shui Research (4) – On Research

According to Wikipedia,

<<Research can be defined as the search for knowledge. Three types of researches are mentioned:

(1)    Scientific research

(2)    Research in the humanities

(3)    Artistic research

Artistic research has been defined by the University of Dance and Circus (Dans och Cirkushögskolan, DOCH), Stockholm in the following manner - "Artistic research is to investigate and test with the purpose of gaining knowledge within and for our artistic disciplines. It is based on artistic practices, methods and criticality. Through presented documentation, the insights gained shall be placed in a context." Artistic research aims to enhance knowledge and understanding with presentation of the arts.>>

If we replace the word “artistic” by “metaphysical”, the definition will read:

"Metaphysical research is to investigate and test with the purpose of gaining knowledge within and for our metaphysical disciplines. It is based on metaphysical practices, methods and criticality. Through presented documentation, the insights gained shall be placed in a context."

The last sentence in the quoted paragraph will read:

“Metaphysical research aims to enhance knowledge and understanding with presentation of the various fields of metaphysics.”

Therefore, please do not demand that metaphysical theories to go through the steps of validation by independent scientific tests.

Well then, how do we know that the theories are true? Through research we can enhance our knowledge and understanding. We can scrutinize documentation by our predecessors. We can practice to see whether we achieve a result and document our findings. Since the knowledge of metaphysics is not a collection of some rigid rules, it can be enhanced to perpetually improving without the goal of perfection because perfection in metaphysics does not exist.

The word Science comes from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge". The science as defined today is only one kind of knowledge that can satisfy certain definitive rules. If someone demands all other kinds of knowledge to go through the same rules, then a religion called “Science” is established. Do you want to be the founding infallible Pope of this religion?


jneurater said...

I`ve always seen metaphysics as a blend of science and art.
Insightful points you make Joseph

leegiat said...

Dear master Yu and friends here especially Howard : )
Thought I would like to share an opinion from a respected figure on Science itself:

"Every student who enters upon a scientific pursuit, especially if at a somewhat advanced period of life, will find not only that he has much to learn, but much also to unlearn. As a first preparation, therefore, for the course he is about to commence, he must loosen his hold on all crude and hastily adopted notions, and must strengthen himself, by something of an effort and a resolve, for the unprejudiced admission of any conclusion which shall appear to be supported by careful observation and logical argument, even should it prove of a nature adverse to notions he may have previously formed for himself, or taken up, without examination, on the credit of others. Such an effort is, in fact, a commencement of that intellectual discipline which forms one of the most important ends of all science."—Sir John Herschel.


Jodi Brunner said...

Hi Joseph, in the process of Feng Shui research, we can verify our findings through practical application. Then when we see the results we know that the research and theory is successful. That is why practice is as important as research.

Also, the 'user/observer' can affect the 'experiment' and thus the outcome, which is parallel with the findings in Quantum Physics.

Joseph Yu said...


Practice is part of research. it is through practice we enhance our knowledge.


Howard Choy said...

The word "metaphysics" derives from the Greek words μετά (metá) ("beyond", "upon" or "after") and φυσικά (physiká) ("physics"). So to do metaphysics we need first to understand the"physics" or the tangible working of a situation. In FS we use observation and analysis to do and that is why in the past FS is also known as Xiang Di (observation of the land) and Xiang Zhai (observation of the house).

In regarding Leegiat's comment, to unlearn one must learn first, so having some notion of FS what is about is a starting point. I learned this also from Taijiquan, to let go, physically or mentally, one must learn how to hold on to first. It is fine to put the emphasis on the Yin or the Yang but not paying attention to the complementary opposite would mean we will not be able to find the in-between, the Gold Mean (Zhong Yong).

Just my two cents.

jneurater said...

The hardest part is to unlearn.
We tend to project our own biases and conditioning in everything we research.


Joseph Yu said...

Dear Howard,

You mentioned Taijiquan and this reminded me of a famous novel written by the celebrated Jin Yong 金庸. In the book, Taijiquan was invented by Zhang San Feng 張三豐。In one chapter, Zhang taught the young hero of the story Wu Ji 無忌 his newly invented Taijiquan in front of the enemies who invaded Wu Dang Pai 武當派. When the demonstration ended, he asked Wu Ji how much had he forgotten. Wu ji replied about 50%. He then demonstrated a second time and Wu Ji told him he had forgotten 70-80%. After the third demonstration, Wu Ji told him that he had forgotten everything. He was pleased and told Wu Ji to fight against the invaders. Wu Ji won beautifully.

The moral of the story is rote learning is not the way. Understanding is.


Howard Choy said...

Hi Joseph,

Jing Yong is a family friend, he used to work in the same newspaper as my Dad, you know he doesn't do any Taijiquan nor kung fu but he is a great scholar and a wonderful writer. I got interested in Kung Fu because I use to read his stories ferociously. The Kung Fu stories he told, like this one you mentioned, are inspiring but looking back now they are a bit fanciful, especially when one has been to a few street fights. Life experience tells me real understanding came from doing, not from just watching or reading.

Joseph Yu said...

Not just a bit fanciful, Howard. They are totally Kung Fu fiction. A real Kung Fu master will not be able to write such fascinating martial art technique as he knows what can be done and what cannot be done. In the same way, someone who knows Feng Shui will not advocate something like "Feng Shui is a science that can create billionaires".


Howard Choy said...

Hi Joseph,

The same can be said about some FS writers who wrote FS books without much working experience and knowledge of how FS works.

In regard to unlearning, yes it is not easy and when beginners read these mis-informed FS books they'll find it difficult to unlearn later on when they try to use the information.

The best motivation to unlearn is when one finds out it does not work in practice.

Mary Catherine Bax said...

Dear Joseph,

It is a foolish statement to say "Feng Shui is a science that can create billionaires".

Artists such as DaVinci were both scientist and artist. He not only created masterpieces but also discovered ways to improve the quality of paints. His drawings inspired scientists to come.

From what I have gleaned from your teaching is the lives of the ancient Chinese intertwined intimately with nature and the movement of the Heavens, an understanding of the connection between Heaven and Earth formed a pattern that could be described in formulas that assisted a cultivation of life for humanity.

To all those men of greatness who used both science and art to guide us to a culture of life, I am most grateful to learn from them.