The History of Feng Shui
With its origin in China, and developing over 2,000 years as a system on how to survive, excel and live in harmony with nature, the Chinese has practiced Feng Shui for thousands of years. It started during the Han Dynasty (206BC – 220AD) as Chinese Philosophy about the relationship between humans and their environment; about how everything is connected and affects our well-being. Based on the Laws of Nature, its theories offer us a way of understanding why certain things occur and how to create a comfortable environment that lets us live and work efficiently and progressively.
The word ‘Feng Shui’ derived during the reign of Jin Dynasty (265 – 420AD) when Guo Pu, the author of the book Zhang Jing (Study of Burial Ground) first used it. In the book he says, “The travel of Qi is conducted by air and water. When the air is dispersed, the Qi too is dispersed; when the water is stagnant, the Qi too is stagnant.”
Feng Shui is based on the Taoist philosophies of nature; these include the Yin-Yang Theory, Five-Elements Theory and The Trigrams based on Yi Jing. Feng Shui literally means (the flow of) ‘wind’ and ‘water.’ It takes into account many different elements affecting your environment. Good Feng Shui is where the balance of Yin and Yang achieves harmony and the Chinese believe that everything has Qi or cosmic energy and all that has Qi has Yin and Yang qualities. The Qi is divided into three categories: The Tian Qi (Heaven’s Qi), Di Qi (Earth’s Qi) and Ren Qi (Human’s Qi). Yin and Yang are both opposites and complimentary. When we practice good Feng Shui, we attract and cultivate positive energy called ‘Sheng Qi’ and dispel or eliminate negative Qi called ‘Sha Qi.’
Today, Feng Shui is a multi-disciplinary study encompassing architecture, urban planning, geography, astrology, electromagnetism, landscaping, environmental psychology and many others. In the wake of these realities, it is gaining more and more popularity in the West. Like most martial arts disciplines, Feng Shui consists of various system, some good, some not-so-good and some a mixture of both. It is only through years of studies and practical experiences that one can be accredited a Feng Shui expert. Even then, there are very few genuine Feng Shui experts around. Traditionally, Feng Shui was passed down from one master to another and never through a classroom setting.
Feng Shui can be classified into the Theory School, which has three different aspects: The San He, The San Yuan and The Nine Star and The Form School with its emphasis on the study of landscaping. The Theory School was practiced more in the North and Central China while The Form School in the South. After the Ming Dynasty they were merged as one to give a wholesome picture and study of Feng Shui, which was until then sort of incomplete.
The subject of Feng Shui has been well publicized with substantial number of books written, both with complimentary and most of the time conflicting views. Today, however, many claimed to be trained by true Masters of Feng Shui. For such claims to be authentic, the disciple of the art may in turn desire to be a master him/ herself must be able to provide a track record or written record of the master under whom they are trained or the credibility of the school they go to.
To counteract such adulterant and dubitable teachings, a more favourable and unadulterated approach has been taken with more and more traditional masters coming forward.
At the beginning when Feng Shui was popular, many believed that they were into genuine and traditional Feng Shui and gained certificates and became practitioners very quickly. Unfortunately with the passing of time, the master himself became confused and his clients disillusioned and negative results and news started to spread through friends and contacts. Most of them were not even ‘in the know’ of the Feng Shui compass, let alone the usage of it. There was no need to, as their systems did not require it. Instead of suggesting proper remedies, their proposals were in conflict with the Feng Shui of the place.
In other words, instead of using ‘soya source,’ they were using ‘tomato ketchup;’ instead of using ‘paracetomal’ (panadol), it was ‘ponston.’ As a result, Feng Shui fell as fast as it has risen. As Feng Shui is an intricate art, such practitioners must be honest enough to put aside their worthless certificate and start anew.
There is still good news for those genuine and well-established practitioners, for those interested in the knowledge and authentic learning of this intricate art, please contact The Central Academy of Feng Shui, Malaysia & Classic Feng Shui Mastery, Singapore.