A Wake-Up Call for Feng Shui.

February 6, 2010

“Fung Shui is not a universally accredited discipline being taught in our formal education system. As far as Hong Kong is concerned, any person can run a Fung Shui class or held himself out as a Fung Shui practitioner or master based on his or her own knowledge or understanding of Fung Shui. There is no independent objective assessment (and by the inherent nature of the subject I doubt if there can be such assessment) and thus no quality assurance whatsoever. Against such background, it is rather futile to debate whether a person is a good Fung Shui master or whether a particular Fung Shui theory or practice is sound.”

The above quote is part of the verdict given by the High Court Judge Johnson Lam (courtesy of Joseph Yu’s blog) on the role of the Feng Shui expert witness in the Nina Wang case, in his report Judge Lam gave us a very clear clue of what we, as educators of classical FS, should aim for in the future and that is to make FS an accredited discipline to be taught at the tertiary levels

Acupuncture was not accredited 20 years ago; now one can study it as a Health Sciences degree in an Australian university (that much I know, because I taught FS and Taiji/Qigong at UTS, Sydney, as an elective in the Acupuncture degree). TCM was not accredited up to 10 years ago either, but now the situation has also changed.

Given another 20 years, may be we can do the same for FS and make it one of the degrees that can be offered in the Environmental Studies to be taught at a university or a technical college.

At present Feng Shui is mixed up with all the other Chinese Metaphysics like Bazi Suanming, Face Reading, Palmistry and Yijing divination, etc. which deal more with human potentials than with man’s relationship to the environment. I am of the opinion we should distant Feng Shui from the esoteric practices and restore Feng Shui to its original character and that is a tool examine our relation to nature and how to modify our environment in a harmonious way.

Lee Sang-Hae, in his PhD thesis “Feng Shui: Its Meaning and Context”, 1986 defined Feng Shui as “the canonical sets of ideas of Chinese Architectural Planning. Its theory is based in Chinese natural philosophy and cosmology. It is a mediator relating Chinese ideational systems to the planning of traditional architecture. It is, at the same time, a device for ordering the environment”. All this is worthy of our study.

Instead of complaining about the charlatans, the marketing gimmicks and the superstitious nature of human kind, let us do something pro-active about it.  Otherwise Feng Shui will always remain in the shadow of superstition and continue to be corrupted to a point of ridicule by the public.

I think this court case is a wake-up call for all of us and we should heed its warning before it is too late.


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