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In the book 'The Ancient Wisdom of Harmonized Living for Modern Times', the author has in a great way showed how the practices of Feng- shui, that have been there for centuries, can be applied in modern times in construction of buildings, home design and the way to keep the environment better for relaxed mind and good working environment. The book clearly explains the tradition practices by Taiwanese that had been researched for many centuries and hence proven the work and how the mind works (Wong, 1996).
The argument in the book tries to show how the Taoist culture, art and science of imaginative do balance can be harmonized as practiced by China for centuries. This art called Feng-shui has for over many centuries been practiced to build tombs, villages, offices to do businesses and homes that will stay strong for long and will tend to have a good environment. According to the book, the arrangement and the layout of the homes and buildings, in a great way influnces the lives of all those that live in those homes and buildings. Still inside the homes, the colors schemes, the way the furniture have been arranged and the accessories, they all play a great role in ensuring the environment makes the lives of the people living there relaxed and stimulated.
The book gives a summary of the Feng-shui as practiced in China many centuries ago. It states that Feng-shui canons were developed like forty decades ago. The principles, in a way revolved around the five elements that the people recognized. The elements included wind, water, earth, wood and fire. Everything on earth could be categorized to any of the five elements and in a way, all the elements are related to each other in a great extent. Water and wind were assumed to greatly impact life. For instant, if there was a gentle wind blowing in a given season, it was believed that a good harvest was on the way but if there existed a pool of stagnant water, that meant diseases were bound to attack the residents.
From the given argument, when the wind blows gently, it does not lead to excessive water loss and also it does not break the growing crops, hence all crops would grow healthy and eventually lead to a good harvest. The stagnant water eventually gets contaminated with germs. This definitely means that if one takes such water they may end up getting sick. Moreover, the stagnant water is a good habitat for mosquitoes and other pests and eventually they lead to residents getting succumbed to diseases like malaria or even Bilharzia and any other water borne disease.
Another argument by the book is that if buildings were built facing north they would tend to look so boring. The reason for the boredom was that there was a storm of dust usually referred to as Mongolia that blew from north. But for the houses facing south, they were very relaxing and had great warmth from the sun. From this argument, the way this worked is that when the house would be facing north, where the storm came from, the doors and the windows would in most of the times be letting a lot of wind inside the house making it cold inside hence not comfortable to live in. On the other side, when a house faced south, the wind from north would be blocked from entering the house and the rays of the sun would be able to enter the house always making it warm mostly in cold seasons, hence making the house warm in all seasons.
The book adds that Feng-shui principle was based on the realization that life would be made easier by living in harmony with the surrounding. To support this argument, by building a house or situating a village among hills, this ensured the village would be protected from the many elements mostly water and wind and even attackers from outside villages. The application of this theory is that, a village between hills is blocked from strong storms and even from floods as most part of China is full of plateau. Moreover, it would be easier to realize attackers coming in such a place than in an open place. The rules of Feng-shui were brought about by Chinese kings who had mastered the powers of the elements and the cycles of the seasons over the years.
Applying this to the modern times, the book tries to show how the Feng-shui principles could be applicable in recent times when arranging the house or even when constructing a building. The book goes ahead and gives each element a color where fire is symbolized by red, water by black, metal by white, wood by green and earth by yellow. This symbolizes the cycle of life. When constructing a building, one should look at the topography and even the location he or she want to locate the building and chose that location beneficial to his or her liking. If one chooses the best place to situate a building, it generates positive energy that brings happiness and good fortune for those dwelling in that building. For this argument, one living in places where there are things that he or she likes, they make him or her feel relaxed always and do not end up frustrated or annoyed hence one is always happy when in such a place. The person ends up gaining positive energy as applied in feng-shui principles.
When applying the Feng-shui in modern times, things that are put inside the house can either cause generation of positive or negative energy. As given in the book, placing of healthy plants inside a house and ensuring entry of sunlight rays inside a house makes the house produce the positive energy making the house relaxing. It also advices that ensuring the doors and windows are free from any obstruction , fitting the front door well and placing mirrors in some places of houses like toilets and drains ensures deflection of bad power.
The book also shows a compass of the Feng-shui principles that can be used by a person in order to know the direction, color and the elements that are beneficial to a person. The compass is like the modern compass and it has eight sides. Applying the compass, one can use the compass to superimpose the plan of where to locate his home in order to improve the environment of the house in accordance to a person's aspects like relationship, family, wisdom, children, creativity, health and career. Comparing the argument and the evidences given like buildings in Hong Kong that have been build with a hole in between to ensure good working environment, the application is practical.
The book goes ahead and argues on the application of Feng-shui principles when decorating the inside and outside of one's house. The colors and the designs used during decoration do have a lot of meaning to the energy the house has towards a person. If one need a place that will sooth him or her he should paint the house blue as it taken to reflect love that heals, relaxes and that which brings peace and trust. For a person oriented for more income and money, he should choose a black color as in feng-shui principles for his room, black represented power and emotional protection. For a spiritual place, the favorite color would be purple as is taken to boost awareness spiritually and is good in mental and physical healing. The book adds that combination of white with gold or silver when decorating a house generates energy in the atmosphere bringing control and influence power. Also, these colors do symbolize trustworthiness and purity.
Each and every color when used to decorate a house do bring make the house atmosphere be different and hence when painting a house, one need to choose the best color. Other colors and their effects as stated in the book include, red symbolize fortune and confidence. It is also taken as color for joy, money and protection. Green is a color to bring about harmony, growth and expansion. Lavender for sexual indecisiveness and silver symbolizes romance. Hence when one is painting or decorating a house, one should put in place the effect he want the house to bring to him or her and hence paint that color that brings that effect (NJB6656, 2011).
Another argument made by the book is that one should be careful when choosing a number as different numbers have different meanings. Some are termed as approving than others mostly due to some mystical characters. For instance, nine is taken to mean good luck because if it is multiplied by any single digit number, the two digits making the answer, if they are added together, the answer is nine. On contrary four as a number is associated with bad luck. The reason for this is that its pronunciation in Chinese produces a sound similar to a sound produced by the Chinese word for death. Moreover, the numbers and even the colors are linked to the eight compass sides of the feng-shui.
On another argument, the five elements should be mixed, arranged and separated in a given way according to the suitability indicated by the compass points inside the house. This ensures the five elements interact in a destructive or a constructive cycle hence their presence affecting the balance of the atmosphere within the home. The interaction of the five elements either produces bad energy or positive one to the house environment.
According to the feng-shui principles one can either choose to let the interaction of the five elements bring positive results or negative. For instance, to bring positive energy, metal element found in the earth make water nourished, water sustains wood in form of vegetation, wood makes fire burn, fire turn wood to ashes which end up making part of earth and lastly the earth forms the metal ore and the cycle is repeated. For a negative energy cycle, fire melts the metal element, metal is shaped to cut wood, the trees making wood, and their roots strangle the earth making earth muddy water. Then the water is used to put off fire. From the two cycles, it is clear that the interaction of the elements can lead to positive results or negative ones and hence one should put that in mind before to ensure he does construct a home ensuring the elements interact positively.
The Feng-shui principles were formulated after many years of observation of the things making the earth and the season changes. The application of these principles in modern ways is seriously essential owing to the continued varying of people's needs and preferences. Moreover, the busy life of modern people require at the end of the day a place one can go and relax ensuring a good start of the next day. Although some arguments are not realistic like that one on the effect of numbers, the rest are essential and many people even in western countries are applying them in a great way.