Feng Shui – The Law of Heaven and Earth
Feng Shui is also known as The Law of Heaven and Earth. It is the science of placement. Beginning with Chinese astrologers who were studying the effects of the suns place in the sky, they began to notice a definite connection between the placement of objects and the energy of a space. As the science grew, it came to include the five elements of water, rain, wind, fog and sun. Though many practitioners consider Feng Shui a field of scientific study, many critics argue that there are to many interpretations for it to be called science. With no definable boundaries or controls, it is often called a pseudo science.
The idea of Heaven on Earth is related to how the placement of objects, both in architecture and in space, creates a sense of fluid motion. If heaven is a place of perfect peace and peacefulness, then Feng Shui is the method by which you can create your own little piece of it on earth. The proper placement of the basic elements can help you create a space that is perfectly appropriate to you and your rare temperament.
Though Feng Shui is becoming enormously popular in the fields of design in Western culture, this is a fairly recent development. In fact, it was as a consequence of President Nixon’s visit to China in the 70’s that Western designers first recognized the practice. As the doors to trade with China began to open, so did the interpretation of their design. Chinese architecture became more than just a fad, as there seemed to be some inherent quality to it that couldn’t be described. Slowly, the Western world came to understand that this was Feng Shui.
Before Communism came to China the Western world seemed to overlook the value Feng Shui and did not already recognize it’s existence. This is in spite of of the fact that one of the main reasons behind The Boxer Rebellion was related to Feng Shui. As trade routes were established across the interior of China and railroads were built to span the enormous bulk of the country, locals began to complain, and ultimately rebel against the progress, because the seemingly random placement of the railways was destroying the natural Feng Shui of the countryside. They felt the very energy of their lives was being disrupted by these tracks. At that time, the value of Feng Shui was lost on those who only saw the value of commerce that could take place by dissecting the country with railroad tracks.
Now, as Feng Shui has become a mainstay in the design terminology of Western architects and interior designers, many New Age practitioners of the art are creating hybrid versions of the original to fit their own eclectic lifestyle. While there is clearly some truth to the placement of objects in design, what many now know as Feng Shui is only marginally similar to the original art practiced in China for thousands of years. Like so many other Eastern philosophies, we in the Western world have seen it fit to put our own rare twist on it to make it fit our lifestyle.
Now a bastardized version is used in design and decorating and already in art. The true character of Feng Shui and its placement of the elements in living space has become nothing more than a marketable catch phrase used to attract clients who don’t really understand. It may seem easy for those whose lives are truly guided by this ancient science to estimate or to dismiss these practices, but they truly stand as great opportunities to teach and to let the meditative character of true Feng Shui make itself known.