Saturday, September 29, 2007

Science and Feng Shui (2)

Some Feng Shui schools brag about the authenticity of their teaching by examining ancient temples. According to their theory, the temples should face the so-called Xiao Kong Wang or Da Kong Wang. They use their luopans to verify their findings.

Well, if a temple was built several hundred years ago, the luopan reading today can be different from the reading when it was built by a few degrees. What is facing Kong Wang today probably did not face Kong Wang when it was built. This simply shows that their great grand masters did not practice the same kind of Feng Shui as they are now practicing.

If we assume that Yang Yun Song invented the Tian Pan according to the astronomical north, then the angle of declination at that time in Ganzhou where he researched Feng Shui theories should have been 7.5 degrees. Today, the angle of declination is about 4 degrees. Well, well!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Science and Feng Shui

Imagine that there are scientists claiming to have learnt all secrets in Physics from Nicolas Copernic (1473-1543) and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and say that their knowledge of physics is from the most authentic source. They further state that Issac Newton (1643-1727) twisted the physical laws to establish fake physics and that he has departed from the lineage of Copernic-Galilei. Of course, to their eyes, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) is just a fake scientists because his knowledge is so different from the grand fathers Copernic and Galilei.

This is what exactly is happening in the Feng Shui world. Ever since Deng Xiaoping 鄧小平(1904-1997) pushed the reform in China after the death of Mao Zedong 毛澤東(1893-1976), Feng Shui masters emerge like sprouts of bamboo shoots after the rain. To establish fame followed by fortune, some overnight Feng Shui masters suddenly claim that they have practiced Feng Shui for 50-60 years and are now taking indoor disciples. They must think that everyone is a dumb fool not knowing that Feng Shui practices were forbidden after 1949 until Deng Xiaoping “let some people get rich first“.

To stand out, some of these masters claim that they inherited the original Feng Shui knowledge form Guo Pu 郭璞(276-324) and Yang Yun Song 楊筠松(834-900?). All other Feng Shui masters in history were fake except those holding the lineage of Guo-Yang. So, all of a sudden, San He 三合 Feng Shui is fake. San Yuan 三元 Feng Shui is fake. Only Guo-Yang 郭楊 Feng Shui is authentic. They shamelessly call Jiang Dahong 蔣大鴻 a Feng Shui crook. It is the same as saying Issac Newton is a fake scientist and Albert Einstein is a crook. Only the lineage holders of Copernic and Galilei are true scientists.

Fortunately the lineage game is not played in science.

Wake up Feng Shui enthusiasts!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


“I am the only one who is right 為我獨尊” is an attitude problem some Feng Shui masters have. They can make statements from their own misunderstanding to declare that others are wrong. They are just using their own mistakes as the standard to claim that the correct ideas of others are wrong 以己之非,非人之是. They also like to step on famous forerunners to make themselves known.

For example, Song Dynasty scholar Cai Yuan Ding 蔡元定 explained that when a mountain was compared to water, then the inactive mountain was yin while the active water was yang. Water is approaching and wooing a mountain like a man wooing a woman. The water embraces the mountain just like a man would embrace a woman whom he loves. This is a vivid example illustrating the concept of yin and yang.

The self-crowned greatest Feng Shui master in 600 years Mr. Li Ding Xin 李定信 says that Cai was wrong. He made statement that the opposite is true: Mountain is yang while water is yin. His basis is from the Burial Book 葬書:

"Earth is the mother of qi. There is qi because there is earth. Qi is the mother of water. There is water because there is qi.”

How does it prove that mountain is yang while water is yin? Mr. Li explains:


“This means that earth (dragon) gives birth to qi. Qi gives birth to water. Dragon is the boss and water follows. Therefore, dragon (mountain) is yang and water is yin.”

To annotate his explanation he also says:


“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.”

This is Mr. Li’s understanding of Zhou Yi. No wonder he talks about himself,


Twenty or thirty years ago, I also was a “Feng Shui“ master making a living in the rivers and lakes”

You bet, Mr. Li still is today.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Guo Pu

Guo Pu 郭璞 was born in the year 276 AD during the reign of Jin Wu Di 晉武帝. After the death of Jin Wu Di, his mentally retarded son Wei Di 惠帝became the emperor. The Huns invaded China and Jin Dynasty collapsed.

Wei Di’s cousin became the emperor with capital Nanjing. The empire was known as East Jin. It depended its safety on the powerful warlords. Among them general Wang Dun 王敦 was the most powerful. Guo Pu became Wang Dun’s advisor.

In the year 324 AD, Wang Dun planned to overthrow the East Jin Dynasty. Since Guo Pu was renowned in divination, Wang Dun asked him to predict the outcome of the rebellion.
Guo Pu cast a hexagram and told Wang Dun that it would not be successful. Wang suspected that Guo Pu was loyal to the emperor. He then asked Guo Pu to predict how long was Wang’s life. Guo Pu said, “If my lord turns against the emperor, misfortune will be at hand.”

Wang Dun was angry and asked, “Then how long will you live?”
Guo Pu replied, “My life will come to an end today.” He was hoping that Wang would destroy his reputation by allowing him to disprove his own divination.

Wang Dun decided to have Guo Pu to be executed although this meant that his divination was accurate. Two months later, the rebellion led by Wang Dun was crushed and Wang Died. So, Guo Pu predicted accurately his own death and Wang Dun’s death.

Feng Shui masters are of the opinion that the Burial Book 葬書 was written by Guo Pu. Ji Yun 紀昀, the chief editor of Si Gu Quan Shu 四庫全書 was of the opinion that the book was written by someone many hundred years later. According to official history, Guo Pu wrote quite a number of books but the Burial Book was not mentioned.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

What suffocates the learning of Feng Shui?

It is the learning system adopted by Feng Shui masters in the past that suffocates the Feng Shui knowledge.

If Feng Shui knowledge was passed on to the first Feng Shui master by an alien who was much more advanced than human civilization, then such knowledge can be considered secrets. When it is passed down the generations, it becomes practically zero after 50 generations due to the inevitable loss between generations.

If Feng Shui knowledge is human invention, then there should be no secret. It cannot be the invention of one person. It is the joint effort of many intelligent human beings. It is no different than the way any other science subject is developed. It is only in this way, Feng Shui education has a future.

The most glorious academic era in China was the Spring-Autumn and Warring-States Era 春秋戰國時代 described as hundred flowers blossoming with hundred schools honking 百花齊放 百家爭鳴. Although Confucianism and Daoism emerge as outstanding schools, the others all have their respected historical position.

Feng Shui should be the same had it not been suffocated by some selfish masters in the past. Qing Feng Shui scholar Shen Zhu Reng 沈竹礽 said these masters were honorable contributors to Feng Shui but at the same time convicts of Feng Shui.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


The secret is in Time and Space.

There is no fixed direction that is auspicious. There is no fixed time that is auspicious. When the direction and time match, then it is auspicious. This is the entire secret in Feng Shui.

The question is "How?!"

There are many good restaurants where people enjoy the good food. The chef in each restaurant claims to have secret recipes handed down from generation to generation. I love food and therefore have eaten in many good restaurants. When I have a chance to chat with the chefs, I find that they all keep their trade secrets tightly and would not disclose a bit. One day I was invited to eat in a canteen and found that the food was exceptionally good. I chatted with the cook and to my surprise he told me he would teach me goumet cooking.

The first lesson I learned that there was no secret recipe to learn.

The second lesson I learned the different kinds of fish in the market place.

Then the different parts of a pig. Then the different parts of a cow. Then different vegetables.

Well, I spent one whole year in the market place with the cook just to learn the raw materials.

Then I watched him cooking different dishes. There was no teaching and no recipe.

Ha! One day the cook asked me, "Did you see any important thing I did in steaming a fish?" When he was satisfied with my observation, he continued to ask me why he did that. He never told me the right answer. He only disagreed with my answer until I got the right answer and the right explanation to the answer.

After many years, I realized that the secret is in Time and Space. The raw materials must be timely. The temperature and other ingredients must be right for the dish.


Monday, September 17, 2007

About Lineage

The traditional Chinese Feng Shui Pai - Teaching is passing down the "secrets" orally from master to disciple (Shifu Kou Zhuan Dizi 師父口傳弟子).

All Feng Shui practitioners honour Yang Yun Song 楊筠松 as the greatest Feng Shui Master of all time and claim that their Feng Shui technique comes from him. San He Pai claims that Yang was the founder of their school. San Yan Pai claims the same. They both say that the other school modified Yang's teaching to suit their purpose. They both claim they hold the real lineage from Yang.

A little mathematics will be enlightening.

Let us assume that Yang is the greatest Feng Shui master. How much of his knowledge did his disciples get? I would say that 90% is a generous number as none of his disciples is close to 90% as famous as he is. We also acknowledge that his disciples Liu Jiang Dong 劉江東, Ceng Wen Chan 曾文辿 were much more famous than their respective disciples as most of their names are unknown. Therefore, the assumption that each generation receives 90% of what the previous generation knows is a reasonably generous suggestion.

We further assume that from Yang Yun Song to today there are about 30-50 generations in between. How much does a present day lineage holder know even if we acknowledge that such a lineage exists?

0.9 ....= 0.042

We can safely conclude that the lineage holder today does not possess even 5% of Yang Yun Song's knowledge.


Thursday, September 13, 2007


We all have played this game when we were young.

10 -20 people line up and a message is passed from one person to the next in line in a whisper. The message is passed on and finally returns to the person who started the game. 10 out of 10 times the message is totally unrelated to the original message.

This is the lineage game in Feng Shui. The teaching is passed on from one shifu to one disciple verbally and secretly. You can imagine how much Feng Shui you can learn that resembles, say, Yang Yun Song's original teaching if you learn from someone who claims to be a lineage holder of Yang Yun Song.

Get the moral of the game?


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Q and A about Feng Shui (2)

Q: Is the use of a three-legged toad Feng Shui practice?

A: In Hong Kong, when a patient goes to see a doctor, he expects to get medicine or even injection. One doctor told me if a patient does not need medication, he also gives him some vitamin pills and sometimes an injection with just distilled water. The patient will get well faster. Is this medical practice or malpractice?

If your answer is yes, it is medical practice because it cures the patient, then the use of a three-legged toad is Feng Shui practice. If your answer is that it is malpractice, then the use of a three-legged toad is also Feng Shui malpractice.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Q and A about Feng Shui (1)

Q: Is clutter removal Feng Shui?

A: Yes and no. If the clutter blocks the flow of qi in a house, then removal of the clutter is a Feng Shui practice. If the clutter reminds people of sad things happened in the past, then removal of the clutter is to stop generating sha qi in the mind of people and it is Feng Shui practice. We can compare clutter to the high cholesterol in blood vessels that may cause blockage of the blood vessel. We can also compare clutter to toxic materials in our body. Removal of such medical practice just as removal of clutter is Feng Shui practice.

Some people define clutter as something that you do not use for a certain length of time and it should be removed. Well, not everything in your house is frequently used. As long as it does not obstuct the flow of qi and it does not cause sha qi to be generated in the mind of people, why do we need to remove it?

On the other hand, if something is ugly, even though it may be something that you use everyday, it should be removed. The removal of ugly objects is Feng Shui practice.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The line drawn between Feng Shui and ...

Undeniably the term Feng Shui has been abused in recent years. Here I am referring to both yin and yang house Feng Shui, particularly the latter.

The scholarly term of Feng Shui is Kan Yu 堪輿 which means the way of Heaven and Earth.
We can loosely connect wind to Heaven and water to Earth. We can say that Kan Yu is the study of the way of living in harmony in a certain space at the current time.

The basis of the study and practice is that qi 氣 comes to a house according to the orientation of the house and the location of mountains (walls) and waters (doors and windows). It is about the approach of yang qi towards yin qi and the characteristics of the embryo formed as a result of the intercourse. These characteristics change with time. These characteristics also change with the environment. The environment includes the forms outside and inside the house.

By the forms we mean the mountains and waters, the buildings and the roads. the partitioning walls, large objects and the interior pathways, doors and windows inside the house. These affect the characteristics of the qi coming into a house. These also affect the qi generated in the mnds of the occupants.

Religious beliefs and shamantic practices that have no relationship with the environment should be excluded from the Feng Shui realm. No one has the right or authority to define what is and what is not Feng Shui just in the same way as to define what is and what is not Science (remembering that it comes from the Lation word "scientia" meaning "knowledge"). However, we must respect the origin of the term and the way the knowledge is developed through time. At times, the development may be led to the wrong path and it is our responsibility to bring it back on track. The path should not depart from the study of environment and its changes with time.


Monday, September 3, 2007

Half full =/= Half empty

Half full = Half empty is reality.

Full =/= Empty is also reality.

Two person are having dinner together.
After the first course, person A says, "I am half full."
He stops eating feeling satisfied.

Person B says, "My stomach is half empty". He is eagerly waiting for the next course and feels hungry.

The way they think makes half full not equal to half empty.

Our mind can make things happen. This is because our mind can create qi.
Feng Shui deals with qi. Therefore saying that the use of symbolism is not Feng Shui is not right.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Full = Empty?

Mathematically, if ab = ac, then b = c.

Take a bottle of wine. Pour away half a bottle. You have a half full bottle of wine but you can also call it half empty bottle of wine.

Therefore, half full = half empty.
Mathematically, then full = empty.