How Feng Shui became superstitious
December 7, 2009
Superstitions in Feng Shui come about when technical application of a philosophical concept is misunderstood. The Toilet Sha is a good example in which the modern inventor misunderstood the meaning of Sha Qi.
Sha Qi 煞氣 is “above form (“xing-zhi-shang 形之上), it is a philosophical concept expressing the undesirable state when things are out of balance and harmony. It is complementary opposite to Sheng Qi.
Toilet Sha turned this metaphysical idea into a “below form” (xing-zhi-xia 形之下) physical agent (a “vessel” or a “qi” 器) that can cause sickness if it is in line with a toilet bowl. That becomes a superstition because it misinterpreted a metaphysical concept and turned it into an irrational belief that a toilet bowl can “kill” (sha 殺).
Some people tried to bring in good hygiene to explain the Toilet Sha but the health effect of air-borne bacteria is a scientific observation that does not need the Toilet Sha to explain its working nor the other way around.
This lack of understanding of the key concepts in Chinese philosophy often turned Chinese metaphysics into superstitions, and it not only happen in “New Age” Feng Shui but also in folk Feng Shui in China and SE Asia.