Talks on Feng Shui with Dr. Hsu
8: What is the Ideal Size for a Human Dwelling?
Natural laws (Yin-Yang theory and Five Element theory) are the foundation of Feng Shui. According to Yin-Yang theory, balance creates harmony. Therefore, in nature, a place with both mountains (Yin) and water (Yang) is the ideal.
In terms of people living on the land, people are Yang, land is Yin. When there are too many people overcrowding a small place, Yang overpowers Yin. In this situation, Yin and Yang are not balanced. This creates social issues: conflicts, violence, and so on. On the other hand, if the land is too big, and there are too few people, it doesn’t amount to a good settlement.
In terms of a dwelling, if the house (Yin) is too big, the Yin overpowers the people (Yang). In this situation the energy is scarce. It is not good for the health of the people who live there. On the other hand, when too many people are squeezed into a small dwelling, Yang overpowers Yin, and it is easy for friction and conflict to arise.
With respect to furnishings and the house, the house is Yin, and the furnishings are Yang. These too, need to be in balance.
In other words, Yin-Yang balance is the first principle, no matter what the scale, or the particular elements involved.
From a Feng Shui point of view, a dwelling that is too big or too small, too Yang or too Yin, is not ideal. What, then, is the ideal size?
People naturally prefer something large to something small – as long as they can afford it. This tendency is the origin of the basic mistake that rich people make: to choose a big place for the sake of bigness, because they can.
There is no absolute rule. In addition to the number of people in a dwelling, it also depends on the activities and qualities of the people who live in the space. Quiet people require a different kind of place than socially active people who entertain a lot.
There are three basic criteria: necessity, comfort, and waste.
People may choose a big house because of vanity, rather than necessity: to show off, or to impress. If a house is bigger than it needs to be to accommodate the lives of the people who live there, it may well be too big.
A house may be the right size for a large family – but as the children grow and move out, the house may become too big, and it is probably good to think about downsizing.
It is wasteful for a house to have many rooms that have never been used or occupied. This can affect the emotional and physical health of the people who live there. When such health issues arise, it is a definite sign that there is an imbalance.