6 Jun 2016

Feng Shui is NOT a Religion. It's a Science



This statement may come as a surprise to many people but Feng Shui has absolutely nothing to do with Religion – nor does it have any religious components to it at all. I feel it is important to address these misconceptions about Feng Shui because many people have reservations or are negative about Feng Shui because they perceive it to carry some religious connotations. So let's clear the air once and for all. 


Firstly, many people see Feng Shui as a cultish practice as it seems to involve being a part of a following and having to 'believe' or have faith in order for it to work. Naturally for many people, this concept of Feng Shui suggests the need to change one's faith or accept another faith. Thus, for many people, Feng Shui and their personal faith are not reconcilable or do not share a common ground.


Secondly, many people see Feng Shui as paganistic. As a result of excessive commercialism, Feng Shui has also been perceived as a practice that requires 'worshipping' wealth objects, placing items around one's home and placing one's faith entirely in an item to resolve one's problems in life, or bring luck in life. Of course, this is not reconcilable with a person's personal faith, especially if those objects are seemingly derived from a Religion like Buddhism or Taoism or involve using symbols from these Religions. For those who are non-religious, this implies the need to insert some religious overtones into their life, which they do not find acceptable.


Thirdly, many people have a profound discomfort with something that is ritualistic in nature. Therefore, the perception of Feng Shui as something that involves chanting, doing 'love rituals' or 'love chants', or using mirrors to reflect energies off a person or object, is a big turn off to many level- headed, practical people.


For those who are religious, Feng Shui seems contradictory to their religious beliefs. For those who are not religious, the practices of Feng Shui seem kooky, if not borderline loony and hence unacceptable. All these actually stem from one basic but huge misunderstanding and that is a misunderstanding of what Feng Shui really is. The truth is, Classical Feng Shui is none of the above!


It is for a combination of these reasons that people think Feng Shui is related to Buddhism and Taoism or some form of Chinese Religion or practice. It is not. It has its roots in the philosophy of Yin and Yang, which also happens to have some cross-over with Taoism. There is no God in Feng Shui, no spirits in Feng Shui...just the natural environment. You see, many theories and practices relating to Chinese medicine, martial arts, health, religion and science overlap – almost all are premised on the backbone principles of Yin and Yang and the Five Elements. So while the Ba Gua does have some application in Taoism, it is ALSO a mathematical model used to calculate and ascertain different types of energy patterns in Feng Shui! 


Let's talk about the facts when it comes to Feng Shui. Feng Shui is a science – in fact, it is a metaphysical science that has a clear methodology, based on the principles of Yin and Yang, the Five Elements and the use of direction to tap into Qi, which is simply the natural energies found in the environment. Feng Shui has clear theoretical and basic principles, all documented in classical texts predating to the Tang Dynasty such as the Green Satchel Classics, Purple White Scripts, Entering Earth Eye and empirical evidence, outlined in various other classical texts.


Classical Feng Shui, as explained in all the ancient texts written from the Tang Dynasty all the way to the Ming Dynasty, does not contain any religious element, does not contain any reference to placing your faith in an object or symbol and certainly doesn't require you to chant anything or flash mirrors in people's faces. It is patently incorrect to perceive Feng Shui as contradictory to a person’s religious faith or involving the acceptance of a religious belief before we make use of it.


In Classical Feng Shui practice, the use of cures is highly restricted and always related to the Five Elements – Metal, Fire, Water, Earth and Wood. Most of the time, there's nothing to put in the house, no special colours to paint and certainly no need to hang something or cram an object into every corner of the house. 


In a proper Classical Feng Shui consult, the best 'cure' is using natural Qi, through alignment, changing directions or making use of the strategic positioning of your house or office or room, or bed, or desk.


Feng Shui is about using space and land, making use of what is natural and what is readily available from your environment. Now, it is up to you to ponder upon what or whom these energies are made by – God, a higher being, part of the natural universe – whatever you are comfortable with. The key point to note here is that Feng Shui is really just about making use of the natural energy that already exists in the environment.


In this day and age, it is perhaps more relevant for people to see Feng Shui as technology (which is Applied Science) rather than a pure science. It affords a means through which one can improve one's quality of life – health, wealth and even relationships. It is the science of ensuring that one's home or office is located in an area with a living environment that supports one's personal goals and endeavours.


Now, I am not suggesting that people who are into crystals, space clearing, dousing or the 'alternative' practices are in any way wrong or misguided. Or that is it wrong to believe or accept such practices. Rather, I want to make it clear that these practices are not what could be called 'Classical Feng Shui'.


Similarly, if you are told that bringing Feng Shui into your life involves worshipping an inanimate object, placing your faith in a pile of trinkets or living your life in constant fear of shifting even a stick of furniture in your house lest you 'upset the energies', then this is not Classical Feng Shui as practiced since the Tang Dynasty. Classical Feng Shui involves using directions to tap into the prevailing Qi of the environment, which stems from the Mountains and Rivers. Classical Feng Shui always makes reference to the Time Factor, the Residents, the Directions and Location of the property. Practices that incorporate these elements along with spiritual rituals, chanting or object placement are NOT considered 'Classical Feng Shui'.


Feng Shui is culturally neutral, non-religious in nature and certainly does not require you to compromise your principles or faith. Using Feng Shui is about benefiting yourself, helping yourself and making use of the natural energies that already exist in nature; not changing or compromising your beliefs in God. As long as we keep Religion and Feng Shui separate, each can co-exist peacefully in our life.