FENG SHUI CONCEPTS
Feng Shui Book Confusion
By Jenny Liu
With the popularity of feng shui in recent years, there has been a lot of confusion regarding feng shui theories. With so many books that have come out on the subject, each with its own perspective and often different school of thought, it is hard for the layman to know who is the authority and what is the truth. As with any new trend in a capitalistic society, there are many people writing about feng shui simply to fulfill the demand for information. These authors may be layman themselves who are simply curious or fascinated by the topic and have based their research on similar books or what is available in English. Unfortunately, there have been few books in English that provide substantial and resourceful information.
This can lead to over simplification or generalizations that can be misguiding or giving the impression that feng shui can be a do-it-yourself formula. Although there are some basic rules that apply to everyone, there are specific details that will vary for individuals. In the past year, I have been approached with more and more questions regarding different schools of feng shui and my qualifications. This shows that there is curiosity and confusion among the general public; however, for the serious consumer, as much as they are entertained, they are not easily duped by latest book on How to Get Rich with Feng Shui. They will do their research. These are the people who generally find their way to the right consultation and effectively adjust their feng shui to promote their life.
Many people have called me to confirm what other authors advise in their books. My answers are invariably the same. We must remember that books are in most part, written for the general public and its contents should be taken with discretion. Its information, in order to be exact for the mass, ironically tends to be very general even if they are not necessarily conveyed in that manner. The information may not always apply to the individual. In some cases, if happens to match your particular case, it will be effective. I believe, the application of “general cures” have been guilty in causing much of the confusion and skepticism of feng shui. Furthermore, there is often little discussion of the origins or why a particular cure works and when it should be used. Nonetheless, when it works, people will claim it a miracle and some become avid practitioners. Yet, when it does not work, the cure or even the whole philosophy of feng shui may be looked upon as superstition or mysticism, regardless if it has been applied correctly.
Almost all books come with the disclaimer that the advice given in the books is not guaranteed nor to be substituted for professional consultation. Many people tend to overlook or take this for granted. In reading some of the latest books, it allows me to understand the consumer’s confusion. It can be frustrating to see how many feng shui books contradict each other. Western interpretations have translated and over simplified some of the natural theories, treating them like formulas that can be applied the same way in every case. Consumers need to be aware of how our capitalistic society can dress up and convert a cultural wisdom into a commercial product. Please read with discretion when in doubt, it is in your best interest to consult a professional.
Jenny Liu holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Design from UC Berkeley and a Master’s Degree in Architecture from UCLA. She is an expert in the 8,000-year-old Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui who also shares her knowledge through seminars, workshops, periodicals and the Internet. Ms. Liu is a fourth-generation practitioner with her own consulting firm. For more information see her website www.liu-fengshui.com or call her at (626) 282-9829.
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