Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese skill of keeping balance of forces in the land or surroundings. In Feng Shui the land is regarded as living and as reflecting the pattern of heaven, and any development must be in harmony with this pattern when building.
Feng Shui as we know it today was derived from the concept of yin yang from 6000 BC.To fully appreciate the philosophy of Feng Shui ,a knowledge of the basics of yin yang is necessary.
So what is this thing called yin yang? It is opposing and complementary forces in Chinese thought. Literarily, it means’ shaded’’ and ‘’sunny’’.
Beginning in the early 4th century BC, Chinese philosophers wrote about the precursor of Feng Shui in terms of the environment, especially the shaded and sunny side of a hill. By the end of the century yin became associated with every thing dark, moist, receptive, earthy, and female. Whereas yang was bright, dry, active, heavenly, and male.
Yin and yang were believed to combine in various proportions to produce all the various objects in the universe. There is always an element of yang in yin and vice-versa. Together they are symbolized by a circle depicted in black and white sections; with a dot of black in the white portion. This intersection indicates that the characteristics of yin cannot exist without those of yang and vice versa.
Chinese philosophers stress the importance of balance between the two to ensure social and political harmony.rebellions, floods, and diseases were said to be caused by an imbalance of yin and yang. Fortune tellers and doctors in China and later Japan advised governments and individuals on ways to restore harmony in relationship to yin yang.
The concept of yin and yang was expanded further by the philosopher Laozi, who probably lived during the 6th century BC, and is usually regarded as the father of Daoism.
While Confucianism, the theory of the great philosopher Confucius, sought the full development of human beings through moral education and the establishment of an orderly hierarchical society, Daoism sought to protect human life by following the way of Nature and reverting to the old agrarian communities and a government that did control or interfere with life.
Daoism attempted to bring the individual into perfect harmony with nature through a mystical union with the Dao.
This mysticism was carried further by Zhoangzi, a Daoist philosopher of the late 4th century BC. During the 4th century BC, naturalism offered an analysis of the workings of the universe based upon certain cosmic principles. And the best known of these were…you guessed right… in and yang.
The passage of time has transformed the Feng Shui philosophy into a theory of design and placement. The time was 1905, and the new idea was qi, (pronounced chi ),and it means the life force. This grew largely from observations that an individual’s surroundings elicit positive and negative effects.
The idea of qi is said to possess two properties- yin, which can be termed as receptive and yang (active) – both are opposites and cannot exist without the other. And within the qi, eight constituents are thought to make up the universe.
Presently, Feng Shui, as it is known today, is becoming useful in architecture and decoration. This is evident by the use of bagua- which is the arrangement of the energy trigram so that they exist in harmony and balance.
All over the world, people who practice the art of Feng Shui today use the bagua to determine the energy flow throughout the home and other living spaces. How? By corresponding the trigram pattern to the different parts of a room, a practioner determines whether a room is in harmony with the universe.
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