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TUTORIALS

Under Water Taboo

Monday, April 21, 2003
By: Joey Yap
Feng Shui is neither magical nor mysterious. Feng Shui works as a natural consequence of consistently applying basic 'fundamentals'. These fundamentals refer to the principle of balance, equilibrium (yin/yang), Qi, Trigrams and theories of the Five Elements. These are also the fundamentals of the I-Ching (Yi-Jing).

And true enough, there are no new fundamentals. I often get a little suspicious of students who say, "I've found a new fundamental." It's like someone telling you he or she has found a new way to manufacture real historical artifacts.

Feng Shui is about application and is often nothing more than a few simple applications of fundamental principles. Practiced correctly and applied in your home, it can often lead to success. Any failure in Feng Shui is often attributable to certain judgmental errors, caused by misguidance or the wrong interpretation of the fundamentals.

This was the case with one of our Mastery Journal readers when he asked me just the other day whether he should be getting rid of his aquarium. His unique house had the dining room above the living room (due to a split level) and he had his aquarium in the dining room.

He had heard somewhere that it was a Feng Shui no-no to have water situated above you - he couldn't reason out why this was so. But he was obviously worried since this 'advice' seemed to specify that this denotes 'danger' if one should have water located above you.

He went on a long explanation of his basic studies in Feng Shui and how he had heard it mentioned that having water above you is bad since in the I-Ching (or Yi Jing, Book of Changes), having water on top is a sign of suffocation and danger. He was convinced that all fundamental Feng Shui stemmed from the theories of the I-Ching, so this must be an evident taboo in Feng Shui.

I reassured him and let him know that it was perfectly fine to have water in the dining room even if it was above you, as long as the area was suitable for water. The purpose of water in Feng Shui is to help collect and gather auspicious Qi. If a particular area in a property is identified as an area where the Qi is beneficial, water would be well suited in that sector of the house.

As one of my Hong Kong teachers always like to say - don't take things literally. Reading just one sentence from the I-Ching and coming to a conclusion is like staring at the Mona Lisa's hands and deciding that it is not a masterpiece. You need to see the whole picture. Water above does not necessarily denote disaster or danger.

Plucking a single sentence from the whole volume of the I-Ching and trying to plug it into Feng Shui is irresponsible and can be dangerous at times. One needs to carefully refer to the particular situation in the I-Ching where water above may have been described as being bad.

Here's why common sense debunks this little 'Feng Shui Taboo:

· If this so called Feng Shui taboo is true, a great majority of the houses in the world would be stricken with very serious problems. In fact, if this myth is to be believed, we should all be dead by now!

Why? Because most houses have a tendency to have their water tanks placed on the top of their house. Usually this is located on some small section of the ceiling, just beneath the roof or at times, in the attic. This is necessary for the operation of the tanks as the gravity ensures a reasonable water pressure. Very few sensible architects would design houses with the Water Tanks UNDER ground.

· If you really do decide to adhere to this taboo.what option do you have left besides removing the tank from your roof? Besides the heavy cost, you're also going to have problems when it comes to the water pressure in the house's taps.


· And let's not even get into what we're going to do about all the Jacuzzis and bathtubs located in the upstairs bathrooms. How about sinks? Are we expected to remove those as well?

I can't imagine it now...running to the downstairs bathroom in the middle of the night since the one upstairs is not functional.

It's not hard to find people of various walks of life living in homes where the water tank is located on the roof. So, tell me, are they all doing terribly for themselves? How then can we logically conclude that 'Having Water Above' is a Feng Shui taboo?

Quoting 'raw' theory out of the I-Ching and passing it off as Feng Shui is misguided. The whole context of it must be read and understood before arriving at any theory. Bear in mind that most I-Ching books today are written in the context of divination and not in the perspective of Feng Shui. Many principles need some adjustments before using them as Feng Shui principles. Again, one should look for the fundamentals and not go about irresponsibly creating 'new' fundamentals.

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