Feng Shui – The Dilemma Of Adapting Old Wisdom To Modern Day Societies
Once a secret technique used by the Chinese emperors, Feng Shui has become widespread and acknowledged even in the Western world. When Mao Tse-tung rose to power in mainland China, most Feng Shui masters flew away from China, as the new political climate was not necessarily auspicious to the use of such traditions. This became a blessing in disguise for Feng Shui, as other parts of Asia became more exposed to its principles: Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Honk Kong all became important Feng Shui hubs.
At the same time, Feng Shui principles started to penetrate Western countries. Blending nicely with ecological movements and New Age considerations, Feng Shui became a new “hyped” art of living for westerners and Asian expatriates. Feng Shui at a distance, Feng Shui paints, Intuitve Feng Shui, Feng Shui burgers and sushi, you name it, everything became Feng Shui in our lives when the hype took the world by storm in the eighties and nineties. Unfortunately Feng Shui also became very watered-down in the process, and a lot of people turned themselves into “masters” overnight.
That was not the first hiccup in the history of the Chinese metaphysics. Important teachings were lost several times, and then rediscovered. However, the situation that arose in the 20th century was quite unique. Feng Shui suddenly moved from its highly specialized and secretive tradition to a tool used by everyone, a home-enhancement technique to bring magic into empty lives.
What Westerners lacked to understand was the spiritual connection of Feng Shui with a bigger picture that is Taoism and the Chinese religion. The ties with destiny and karma were totally emasculated in the western approach, as they were probably deemed too demanding and difficult to market. Feng Shui then became a get-rich-quick scheme, and a marketing branding for any New Age products. Expressions like “space clearing” and “clear the clutter” became epitome of the Westernized Feng Shui, while they were never part of the traditional approach in the first place. I cannot help but smile when thinking of a Chinese Emperor being told by his Feng Shui master to “clear his clutter”!
When looking at the History and development of Feng Shui, it is obvious that the DIY approach does not work. Likewise, the lack of foundation and traditional learning cannot provide consistent results. The old Chinese way was for a novice to follow his master for years, and to learn from the pearls of wisdom he was willing to slowly deliver. Masters were held in very high respect and their reputation was based on their credentials and results. This is a far cry from the state of Feng Shui in modern societies; fortunately more and more people, disappointed by the lack of results they have experienced, understand that we have to go back to the basics and hire masters with credentials.
One word can summarize it all, and this word is lineage. An authentic Feng Shui master must have learned through a known and historical lineage that can prove consistency in results and direct transmission of techniques. This is where the Chinese world differs from the Western one. In Western society, the emphasis is put more and more on youth, speed, and glamour. Even if modern day China, and Asia as a continent, tend to adopt this approach more and more, the Chinese culture also understand the importance of history and the legacy of the past. Besides the cult toward the ancestors, wisdom brought by age and experience is still valued and held in high regard in the Chinese world. Feng Shui as a technique can be marketed, and used for business purpose, but results can only be achieved through age-old techniques learned from a lineage.
It is also important to reintegrate Feng Shui back to where it belongs, in the concept of 3 lucks: Heaven, Earth and Human. This more spiritual dimension is something we will explore in my article The Concept Of The Three Lucks And Their Interaction In Our Lives.
About the Author
By Laurent Langlais, Feng Shui Consultant
Laurent Langlais is an accredited Feng Shui, Bazi and date selection expert trained in Asia under the Han Wu San Yuan lineage. He is available for home and business consultations in Feng Shui, date selection and destiny analysis. He is based in London UK and Vancouver. To learn more about Laurent or book a consultation, please visit his websites www.spacessential.com & www.fengshuibc.com