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Putting The "Put Theory" In Its Place

Saturday, July 3, 2010
Creative Home X

One of the questions I am most frequently asked is what objects I have in my office or home. Bemused expressions follow when I reply that I have some sci-fi figures (purely because I like them and they give me pleasure) but apart from that, there is nothing else. I cannot repeat often enough that classical Feng Shui isn't about the placement of objects. In fact, you can wager your last dollar that if a Feng Shui practitioner starts asking you to buy ornaments or jewellery to enhance your Qi, he's probably as bogus as they come.

Practised at the highest level, classical Feng Shui is nuanced and almost imperceptible, and as far from the in-your-face tackiness of object placement as is humanly possible. It's like shoulder pads in fashion: they should subtly enhance the curve of your shoulders, but so many women look like rugby players with overly bulky pads that the whole purpose of incorporating them into their attire has been defeated. In the same way, Feng Shui when skillfully applied should enable you to tap into the natural energy of your environment. It definitely isn't about converting your home into a temple of kitsch ornaments.

Object placement in Feng Shui is applicable when it is used to draw people into a certain room where the Qi is good. In the old days, Feng Shui masters would advise owners to put a fine antique vase in a room where good Qi was known to collect so that guests and residents alike would be drawn into that room to admire the vase. Unfortunately it is extremely likely that the Feng Shui master's intent (to encourage his client to utilise the room more) was misinterpreted as an advocation to place a certain object because the latter was responsible for the resulting good Feng Shui and that's when all the confusion starts.

Quite apart from the ludicrous notion that an object can be responsible for generating wealth, there is also the danger of placing inordinate faith and import on an object which completely subverts the essence of classical Feng Shui, which is purely and wholly about natural energy that is inherently present in the environment. The minute exponents start to objectify Feng Shui and worship 'things', superstition will soon follow. And if indeed an object can make you successful, then why work at all? In fact, if everybody bought the same object, then poverty would cease to exist and everyone would be millionaires!

Simply put, there is "no one object that rules them all" in classical Feng Shui. Different techniques are employed to tap into Qi, such as water placement for example, but from my personal standpoint, I have always been a firm believer that things should be kept as natural as possible. After all, if the Qi is good, then no further cure or embellishments are needed.

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