When I first started this column, one of the earliest issues I addressed was the misconception most people have about Feng Shui and Wealth. If there are two things in this world that can make people try anything, it is money and love. Feng Shui, unfortunately, has been used as a means to sell people all kinds of items, in the name of helping them acquire more of one and find the other.
So this week, I want to talk about what ‘wealth’ means in classical Feng Shui, and what is the rationale behind certain common practices that have become associated with ‘wealth enhancement’. By understanding these basic fundamentals and appreciating the philosophy of Feng Shui, I hope that people will then be able to understand how to respond when they are faced with a ‘Feng Shui’ wealth-enhancing claim, or offered a magic ‘Wealth’ formula.
Think Vibrant Qi, not Wealth
The word ‘Wealth’ has sort of crept into the technical vocabulary of Feng Shui. Feng Shui practitioners use it as a short-form to explain the outcome of using certain energies or sectors in a property. Rather than getting all technical, they cut to the chase. Somewhere along the way, the concept of ‘Wealth Sector’ turned up. As I have said in my previous article on this subject, Feng Shui doesn’t actually in any of the classics speak directly of ‘Wealth’ or ‘Money’. So a Feng Shui magic money-making formula is something that should definitely make you ask question rather than reach for your wallet.
What then do the classics like Di Li Bian Zheng speak off? They speak of ‘Prosperous Qi’ (or Wang Qi) and means of identifying where Prosperous Qi resides. They speak of techniques and methods for gathering the Qi, and avoiding or transforming negative Sha Qi.
The Book of Burial (one of the oldest 風水擺設 classics on Feng Shui), by Kuo Pu, which explores the central tenets of Feng Shui, says Qi gathers at the boundaries of water, and is dispersed by wind. It does not say, MONEY appears wherever there is an aquarium. It does not say, put 8 goldfish into the aquarium and you will inherit a thousand/million bucks. It does not say anything about ships of gold, paw-waving kitty cats above cash registers and building a fountain in your backyard.
Getting the Vibrant Qi
Feng Shui, like many Chinese Metaphysical sciences, is one of those practices in which complexity and simplicity are embedded within each other. You need to understand the basics to appreciate the complex formulas. But at the same time, mugging formulas and being able to recite them by heart, without understanding the fundamentals of Feng Shui, is of no benefit either. That is why formula books are not the answer to successfully applying Feng Shui, because without an understanding of the fundamentals, the formula is just a bunch of numbers. A cookie recipe doesn’t make much sense to a person who doesn’t know how to bake.
When it comes to using Feng Shui to enhance Wealth opportunities, first, we need to understand the type of Qi that can promote Wealth opportunities. In Feng Shui, we need to locate the ‘Prosperous Qi’. To the average lay person, this is usually called ‘Yang Qi’. However, Feng Shui practitioners refer to it by its more technical name, ‘Prosperous Qi’ or ‘Wang Qi'(in Chinese) because Qi can be classified into 5 types of Qi, according to its timeliness and at the professional level, it is important to know exactly what type of Qi and what stage of timeliness it is at.
I must dispel the notion that ‘Prosperous Qi’ can be somehow ‘created’. You cannot ‘create’ Prosperous Qi by making an area more ‘Yang’, say by putting red lights or bright lights in a certain area. The Qi has to have the Prosperous quality in the first place, based on the time period. Remember, in Feng Shui, it is about what is natural, and prevailing in the environment that we are interested in, not the artificial or the man-made. In any case, you cannot simply decide that you want your Front Door to be where the Prosperous Qi is located and try to force the situation. The location of the Prosperous Qi is not dictated by convenience, but by the Qi map, as derived from the calculations. The name of the game is to work with what you have, without having to make costly and needless aesthetic changes to your house that make it obvious you are trying to ‘Feng Shui’ the place!