Does Feng Shui affect me if I don't believe in it?

Yes. Feng Shui and Paht Chee are systems of analysing energy. Energy will have an impact on you if you admit it exists or not. Just as gravity will be working on you long before you learn about it in school.

When I have looked at charts of people who are not that interested in the concept of Feng Shui, it is often for one of two reasons. Opposites of the same coin really. One is that the destiny charts are already very good and when no ill effects are felt there may be an attitude of “if it ain’t broke why fix it?”

The other major cause of a block to the information is just the opposite. The destiny charts are not favourable and “bad luck” is what is due for this person. For one reason or another the time is not right and they are unable to change what the charts have already identified. No problem, the information will reappear when the time is right.

The people I find that get the most from this, are the ones who take it with an open mind and see what works for them. The great thing about Feng Shui is you have nothing to lose by giving it a go.

It is just a matter of choice and priorities. Let’s face it, there are so many things competing for our time that we all have to do this to some degree.

Feng Shui – Science or Superstition.

Feng Shui certainly qualifies as a science under the broader definition of the dictionary as “any body of systematically organised knowledge.”* However it is in the more usual, restricted sense of science, referring to a “system of acquiring knowledge based on scientific method and research”*, that it falls short.

So is it a science? The short answer is Yes and No. This was the topic at the 2008 International Feng Shui conference in Singapore.

How then does Feng Shui make its way in the western world and the world of business?

In Singapore and Hong Kong little is built without consideration to the form and the environment. In this highly measurable and competitive world of business it would be unwise to proceed without a comprehensive business plan and of course a Feng Shui Master.

Is it possible that the success of cites like Singapore and Hong Kong and their place in the world markets is due to their ability to marry the strength of the thinking of both the east and the west?

It is the western mind that believes everything must be defined, proved mathematically, statistically and beyond reasonable doubt before it is credible.

There are certainly a great many formulas involved in the study of Feng Shui and the observations are based on the influences of the planets and the physics of astronomy. The psychology involved in symbolism plays another part so perhaps Feng Shui is more closely linked to the ‘pure” sciences than it would appear at first.

But another answer seems to lie in the fact that the eastern, and in particular, Taoist way of thinking, does not require western style proof. This is not how the eastern mind works and certainly not the Tao. "The Tao of course that can be named is not the Tao" as Lao Tze wrote.*

Or to put it another way “It is …..Except when it is not.”
A lovely expression. Simple, complete and completely simple.

Coming from this type of thinking, if something occurs, in most cases this is the way it will be, in most cases. The burning desire to measure all that moves, and push and measure all that stands still, does not come into it.

We can all observe an object falling 20 times out of 20 and that is all the proof most lay people will need regarding gravity. Whilst we know that there is mathematical proof of gravity we, in most cases, do not need to know more. Very few of us would be able to recite or explain the mathematical equation of mass, velocity and gravitational pull involved in this operation. Surely then, we can rely on our own observations when working with Feng Shui. When results happen on a consistent basis is it really necessary to know more than this?

To appreciate Feng Shui as a science of observation, we need to integrate some of this thinking. It does not need to be a competition, but more the cooperation of East and West, that is the answer.

The concept of Yin and Yang, balance and harmony are central to the world of Feng Shui and it is only by acknowledging both worlds that this can be achieved. One does not exist without the other and is, in fact, defined by the existence of the other. Without light, dark has no meaning.

To force Feng Shui to be measured by western systems, are we trying to put a square peg in a round hole? Do we miss the essence of Feng Shui when we translate it into a mathematical language?

It does start to sound like one of those discussions on ‘What is Art?’ But some will say that is exactly where we find Feng Shui. Categorised as an art… the art of placement of elements and objects. Funny isn’t it, that art is credible and in fact valuable in the western world, but Feng Shui is not so readily accepted. Why are we so resistant?

Perhaps it is, that in truth, Feng Shui sits somewhere between science and art, having aspects of both and not falling completely into either. This may be the reason it has stood the test of time and remains relevant after so many centuries of changes in every aspect of our lives.

Art and Science in one. Simple, complete and completely simple.

* Dictionary definitions are from Wikipedia
* Lao Tze Quote from Feng Shui World 2008

Symbolism - Substance or Superstition?

How can simply placing objects in certain areas of your home or office change what happens to you? That even sounds strange, so it is no surprise that the symbolism aspect of Feng Shui is one that attracts a good deal of scepticism.

We all grow up with the cultural or religious symbolism of our families. Not really noticing it is there because it has always been that way. Red roses for love, white for purity, religious symbols are used extensively in churches and homes. People wear medals like St Christopher for protection of travellers even if they are not of that particular faith. All these symbols are readily accepted. But we will notice symbols if they are new, unfamilar or attract attention for some reason.

But to the question of do they work, I remember an interview with a member of the Australian swimming team just before the last Olympics. She was being asked about a new swim suit for the team which was supposed to give the swimmers an extra time advantage of something like 0.005 sec. The interviewer asked her did she think the suit really gave a time advantage or was the advantage psychological she replied, “I don’t know but either way I’ll take the 0.005”. So here we have a swimsuit acting as a symbol to all in the pool that this person will be faster.

In another instance, I placed a Kuan Yin (for the support of the primary female) in the south - west of the family room of a friend of mine, who happens to like Asian-style objects. A couple of weeks later I asked her if she thought it had made any difference. She replied, "I am not sure but every time I look at it I know it is there for me and that makes me feel good."

Surely that is exactly what these symbols are supposed to do. To make us feel good in our homes and workplaces. Increasing happiness and wellbeing is exactly what this subtle science is all about.

When we look at symbolism in Feng Shui, if we are not from the Asian culture these symbols can look strange and out of place. If you feel that way, don’t use them. If you want to have a symbol at all, you can use one that is from any culture or religion you like, or even something you make for yourself. Some people may like Roman style objects while others prefer a minimalist look to decorating and objects displayed are few and highly stylised. You choose what you like, after all it is your home.

Think about the objects you already have in your home. What do they represent or symbolise to you? How do you feel when you look at them? Make sure they are working for you. I studied with an Interior Designer who often said, "Have things in your home only if you know them to be useful or believe them to be beautiful.”

If it does not fit into one of these categories it is probably clutter and may need to be relocated.