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It's not really Feng Shui, you might as well use a roulette wheel!
on 19 June 2012
This book can be a stepping stone for beginners, but after further research into the topic I have found it to be quite misleading. It should really be titled "The Western approach to the Ba Gua". Let me explain:
Apparently there is no one method of Feng Shui which is more correct than others, but research would suggest otherwise. One aspect of Feng Shui is the ancient art of using space wisely, by intelligently placing objects in harmony to gain positive results in life. (The important word here is "ancient", and its also important to note that I wrote "one aspect", as Feng Shui is so much more than this). It's a tried and tested method that's been used for thousands of years. The ancient method is known as the Compass School of Feng Shui, where the Ba Gua (a grid) is placed over the floorplan based on the building's orientation. The theory is that each direction is auspicious to particular aspects of life (Career, Health, etc).
The school of thought used in this book however is what can only be described as the "door school of Feng Shui". This is a modern / Western approach (almost exclusively adopted in America) so I'm guessing was made up in the 20th century. And yes I said "made up". This approach places the Ba Gua over the floorplan based on the Career Gua being orientated with the entrance of the building, regardless of the direction. In my opinion this approach is seriously flawed, and has probably only been adopted in the West because it's easier to do and makes Feng Shui more accessible to the masses. If the front door is South facing and you use the method in this book, this would mean the colours, shapes, materials, numbers, and most importantly, the auspicious direction are all wrong for this Gua, not to mention the entire Ba Gua itself, since North is the auspicious direction for Career. You might as well use a roulette wheel to orientate the Ba Gua (at least you might win some money at the same time!).
Writers have made a lot of money by dumbing down the topic, convincing the reader that Feng Shui is easily achieved by simply changing curtains to purple, and hey presto you're going to be rich! And this book is crammed full of this type of advice. Research the different methods of Feng Shui yourself for free online and if you feel the Door method works for you then that's great.
Feng Shui is a wonderfully complex system, which takes into account common sense and intuition too. But it is what it is. Time's change, the world changes, and architecture varies, but the principles of Feng Shui do not. As mentioned earlier the Ba Gua is only one aspect of Feng Shui but this book would have you believe it is Feng Shui, and more frustratingly it hasn't even got that right! If you are serious about learning it, learn it properly. It's complicated, it's hard to get to grips with, and it's not easy.... but that's Feng Shui!