“Train like a beast, eat like a horse” – correlative thinking in feng shui

February 14, 2014

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The other day I came across this new year of the Horse greeting card and someone asked, “So how does a horse eat? Ehhhh”.

This is an interesting question because the answer depends not on the horse but on how we think a beast should train. This is one of the curiosities of correlative thinking, which we use quite a lot in feng shui.

In the saying, “Train like a beast, eat like a horse”, the idea of training is matched with eating and a beast is matched with a horse, so if one thinks a beast should train fast and furiously then a horse should eat slow and leisurely. But if one thinks a beast is cruel and unrestrained, then conversely a horse is refined and restrained.

We use these correlations not to find out how does a horse eat, but to investigate the relationships between these metaphors, so we can express more fully the appropriate behaviors for the year of the horse.

In Flying Star feng shui we use a similar way of thinking, the water star representing wealth is matched with the mountain star representing health and the movement in the environment and in our activity (dong 動), is matched with stillness (jing 靜).

These correlations are not meant to tell us a cause or an outcome for wealth and health, but to guide us how to modify our environment and to behave in the most appropriate manner if our desire is for wealth or for health, and they mutually affect each other, like yin and yang complementing each other.

Failure to appreciate that we are using a different way of thinking in Flying Star feng shui would lead to the misconception that we can foretell the future of our wealth and health with these numbers, whereas the aim is to use correlative thinking for us to understand the past and the present and then to do some forward planning to help us to achieve what we want out of life, represented by wealth and health.

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