Fengshui talk with Dr. Hsu, Jenny, Taras & Justin via Zoom on May 12, 2020. All Zoom talks and Q&A sessions with Master Hsu you can watch here.
What is beauty? What is the experience of beauty?
Philosophers, both in the East and West, have tried to address this subject: in the West, Plato and Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Hegel; in the East, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Chuang Tzu, and more recently Cai Yanpei, Wang Guowei, and Zhu Guangqian.
In earlier postings we mentioned the Four Features of Feng Shui, and that they apply at any scale, from the largest to the smallest.
Some readers have pointed out that many Feng Shui books talk about Five Features – and that the fifth is orientation.
In fact, that fifth feature came along much later, when people tried to apply astrological ideas to Feng Shui. This was the beginning of what we now call the Cosmological School.
In earlier postings, we’ve said that Natural Law was one of the main pillars of Feng Shui. Natural Law consists of the Yin-Yang theory and Five Element theory.
Even though the Five Element theory is concerned with dynamic transformation, the mechanisms of change, it is still associated with specific things: colors, forms, seasons, and so on. And Feng Shui is basically about form.
In an earlier article, we said that everything in the universe is composed of Chi. It has matter, Chi energy, and information (consciousness or thought). These three aspects exist together.
Chi energy can be recognized through form, that is, the material manifestation. Different forms manifest different Chi. When the form is wholesome, the Chi is wholesome.
Let’s look at the following drawings.
In the first row, the forms are wholesome: when we look at it, we feel comfortable.
In the second row, the forms are distorted rather than wholesome: it creates a less comfortable feeling.
This is also true in architecture. Let’s look at the following two buildings.
The first is pleasing to the eye; the second is strange.
These different forms manifest different Chi, and transmit different information. The impact on the people who live in these buildings is also different.
In China, there is a long tradition of face-reading practice and has amassed a great body of knowledge. In ancient times, the Emperor usually cultivated the skill of face-reading. The great Qin Dynasty general, Zhen Guofan even wrote a face-reading book called Bing Jian.
Face-reading basically looks at the form of the facial features and assesses their character and personality. It also reads if a person will be rich or poor, noble or ordinary and so on.
In the same way, we can look at the “personality” of a house or building. Basically, we try to personify that building, and look at it as though it were a human. It then becomes possible to gain a sense of the personality of the building – cocky or humble, friendly or hospital, melancholy or lively. Just by looking at the outside, one can get a sense of the inside. When the outside is not good, one can be sure that there are problems inside as well. It might not provide full information, but it can provide basic clues about its nature.
So: we can read a house as we read a face. The secret is to take the house as a person, and then we can recognize who it is that we are looking at.
In the 90’s of the last century, I was invited to participate in a conference about water (Water Symposium). Some 50 experts and researchers were invited from around the world, and the discussion was based around, “What is good water?”, and “The Energy of Water”.
Each presenter was allowed forty minutes to present. My theme was Form Energy. Actually, this had nothing to do with water, but the organizer insisted that my topic was new and exciting, and wanted me to share it with the other scientists and researchers.
In Seattle, an American architect friend complained to me.
“This Feng Shui is really killing me!”
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
He explained that a client from Hong Kong had commissioned him to design a house – and insisted that, for the sake of good Feng Shui, the door had to face south. But on that particular piece of land it made no sense to have the main door facing south.
A newlywed niece asked me about bedroom design. How should the bedroom be arranged to be supportive for her new family? She said there was so much information on the internet that she was confused about what to do.
She was right to be concerned. The bedroom is one of the most important three features of Feng Shui. It affects health, relationships, emotions, and child-bearing.
When William Blake wrote, “To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower,” he was reflecting on the holographic concept of the universe where each part of the whole contains the complete information that reflects the whole.
In practice, this means that everything we observe on one scale can be translated to a smaller or larger scale.