Feng Shui: A Chinese System of Luck
Updated: Dec 14, 2020
Feng shui is not a science but a pseudoscience originating from ancient China, which claims to use energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment. Pseudoscience means statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. The feng shui practice discusses architecture in terms of "invisible forces" that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together, known as qi. Qi is a movable positive or negative life force which plays an essential role in feng shui.
The term feng shui literally translates as "wind-water" in English. It is a Chinese system of luck and with the help of laws, one can improve luck. Historically, feng shui was widely used to orient buildings often spiritually significant structures such as tombs, but also dwellings and other structures in an auspicious manner. Depending on the particular style of feng shui being used, an auspicious site could be determined by reference to local features such as bodies of water, or stars or the compass.
Invented by the Taoists, many people implement its philosophies in their every day lives. Feng Shui has five basic "elements", they are: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. These elements are set up in a specific way so that it shows Fire makes Earth, Earth creates Metal, Metal holds Water, Water nurtures Wood, and Wood feeds Fire. Also, Earth dams Water, Water extinguishes Fire, Fire melts Metal, Metal cuts Wood, and Wood consumes Earth.
As of 2013 the Yangshao and Hongshan cultures provide the earliest known evidence for the use of feng shui. The history of feng shui covers 3,500+ years. Until the invention of the magnetic compass, feng shui apparently relied on astronomy to find correlations between humans and the universe. It originated in Chinese astronomy. The astronomical history of feng shui is evident in the development of instruments and techniques.
Many Asians, especially people of Chinese descent, believe it is important to live a prosperous and healthy life as evident by the popularity of Fu Lu Shou in the Chinese communities. Feng shui is so important to some strong believers, that they use it for healing purposes (although there is no empirical evidence that this practice is in any way effective) in addition to guide their businesses and create a peaceful atmosphere in their homes, in particular in the bedroom where a number of techniques involving colours and arrangement are used to achieve enhanced comfort and more peaceful sleep. In 2005, even Disney acknowledged feng shui as an important part of Chinese culture by shifting the main gate to Hong Kong Disneyland by twelve degrees in their building plans.