Contributed by Stephen Chin
Refer from www.starproperty.my
From the very beginning of civilisation, Man has tried to understand nature and the world around him. He observed the skies, the land, the passage of time and developed theories on how to adapt to life and survive. Civilisations learned or perished from their mistakes.
Those who survive continue to refine their knowledge. Science was a lot more primitive then and unsurprisingly it is conflated with religious and superstitious practices.
Thus, every culture has its earth-science practice. The Western cultures have druidic practices and geomancy, the Middle Eastern cultures have ‘Ilm al-Raml or “science of the sands”, in Kazakhstan there is Kumalak, India has Vastu, and the Chinese have Feng Shui.
The term geomancy is linked to the idea of making divinations, and to some religions, considered a taboo. Chinese Feng Shui was translated as geomancy by 19th-century Christian missionaries in China because it was associated with local shamans and priests.
However, the right practice of Feng Shui does not have any religious, cultural or superstitious beliefs. It is practised in the Imperial Courts across many dynasties and treated as science for surveying landforms and making forecasts of weather, harvests and illnesses, based on observed natural patterns and mathematical calculations.
It has been in practice for over 5,000 years and even survived the purge of China’s Cultural Revolution.
The practice was given many names throughout history, and the one that stuck was “Feng Shui.” This came from a text on burial by Guo Pu where he was describing earth forces or “qi.” He wrote that they flow on solid ground and are stopped by bodies of water.
Strong winds can also disperse the forces. The task is to find a location that can collect and channel the energies appropriately. Therefore, when surveying landform one looks at the wind and water (or “Feng” and “Shui,” respectively).
Consequently, Guo Pu was credited as the Father of Feng Shui. His texts were merely a compilation of existing knowledge already in practice.
Unfortunately, in the present, the practice has been conflated with cultural and religious traditions. Little is explained about the scientific reasoning and mathematics behind the method.
It all became “appeasing the money god,” “not offending the grand duke” and placing religious items or trinkets like mirrors, pagodas, mythical creatures and what nots.
To truly understand the Feng Shui, one should make a visit to the Forbidden City in Beijing. The site was chosen according to proper scientific Feng Shui principles. The complex was constructed likewise. It was home to many emperors for over 490 years!
Look into the design and ornaments and there would be no hocus-pocus items used. You may find religious artefacts used for ceremonies, but they fall under a different ministry.
The stigma remains that “Feng Shui” is (a) a Chinese practice; (b) a Taoist tradition; (c) a superstitious practice; (d) not real science and is shunned by so-called modern thinkers.
I was once a sceptic until I met Prof Master David Koh. He hails from a few generations of practitioners and is one of the most respected in the industry. He questioned and challenged every teaching on Feng Shui, determined to uncover the scientific basis behind them.
He is an avid researcher, scouring books on mathematics, physics, geology, astronomy and so forth, to find evidence that can support the practice.
He was conferred a professorship by Jiaotong University and Tongji University in China.
Although Feng Shui practice is still banned in China, Professor Master Koh’s scientific approach won the approval of the academic community, and he decided to coin a new term to reflect the correct practice: Environology.
Environology today is a recognised subject at the universities. Locally, a group of architects under the auspices of Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) has completed courses on Environology so that they can apply sound principles in their design and offer an added service to their clients.
I am working with them to formulate a series of courses for the general public and to promote this branch of science among architects.
For my series of articles, I aim to continue exploring Professor Master David Koh’s work and extend a legacy he created. Hence, we will talk about Environology – the science and logic of the environment. Our interaction with our environment determines our harmony, prosperity and health, and it is about time we take this subject to a higher level.
About the Contributor
Stephen Chin is a consultant and director at Environology dot com Sdn Bhd.
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