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FENG SHUI : What it is, What it is not

January 01, 2006

Feng Shui is an old Chinese philosophy that takes roots thousands of years ago, but which holds promise for meaningful abundance, prosperity, and happiness to those who practice it even in modern times. It literally translates to “wind” and “water”, and is a distinct way of viewing the universe where all things on Earth are categorized into five basic elements: water, fire, wood, metal, and earth. Each of these elements take on implications of natural energy called chi, which can either be positive (yang) or negative (yin).
Contrary to what many might believe, feng shui cannot create overall good fortune on its own. It can only create favorable energy around our surroundings, so that when bad luck strikes, it tempers the ill fortune and reduces the impact, making things easier to bear. On the other hand, when one goes through a period of good fortune according to one’s destiny, then feng shui even enhances the good fortune.
This can be explained further by the philosophy of tien, ti, and ren – the Chinese terms for heaven, earth, and mankind, or the Trinity of Luck.
Heaven luck (tien) is the luck we are born with, and thus, is beyond our control. We cannot reverse the circumstances of our birth, nor the good and bad periods of our lives. Divine providence, however, is not to be confused with feng shui. Earth luck (ti), on the other hand, is the luck that comes from the environment and gets strengthened when our surroundings are auspicious. This is where feng shui takes on significance, for if earth luck is within our control, then we can create good energy in our surroundings, or positively do something to improve our luck. With better opportunities and improved chances of success, we create peace and goodwill in our relationships. Mankind luck (ren) is the type of luck that results from what we do. An excellent ren, which is within our control, therefore helps feng shui reach its maximum potential.
This goes to show that while having good feng shui opens opportunities for prosperity and happiness, if we do not seize those opportunities, or complement them with hard work, a positive attitude, and determination, then all those good feng shui factors amount to nothing. Good luck is the luck we create for ourselves – with a little help from feng shui.
All things said, feng shui is only one third of the overall luck that determines how prosperous and successful we can be. Added to the luck that we create through our conscious actions and decisions, however, feng shui becomes a powerful and benevolent ally.

Trivia Questions:

The Chinese term feng shui literally means:

  1. wood and metal

  2. earth and fire

  3. wind and water

  4. wood and fire

 

According to feng shui principles, all things in our surroundings can be classified into how many elements?

  1. two

  2. three

  3. four

  4. five

 

Positive energy is also called

  1. yang

  2. yin

  3. chi

  4. tai chi

 

The Chinese terms tien, ti, and ren refer to what philosophy?

  1. The Four Pillars

  2. The Trinity of Luck

  3. The Eight Mansions

  4. The Flying Stars

 

Which of the following explains why some people are born richer or with better looks than others?

  1. Tough Luck

  2. Mankind Luck

  3. Earth Luck

  4. Heaven Luck  

Which of the following is closest to what feng shui is all about?

  1. Earth Luck

  2. Heaven Luck

  3. Mankind Luck

  4. Better Luck

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