Energy in your living space
“By Rekha Nambiar”
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Someone recently asked me if Feng Shui or Vaastu can be taken seriously by any ‘rational’ person. I presume that all subscribers to ‘rational’ thought would accept Darwin’s theory of evolution. And wasn’t it he who first brought to us the theory of the survival of the fittest?. Whether that applies to a species that survives and adapts to its surroundings or a theory that has withstood the vicissitudes of time and has remained virtually unchanged in principle, the reasoning behind them is essentially the same. And both theories can be explained scientifically and metaphysically. And they would not have survived if humans had no practical use for them. They are not the by-products of either religion or philosophy. Their sole aim is to achieve a harmony between man and his environment; an alignment with cosmic principles and a respect for nature and its laws.
Both these ancient theories are based primarily on the theory of elements and their effects on life with respect to the magnetic axis of Earth. Everything is related to space and time and does not exist in a vacuum. Coordinates on this x-y axis are essential for any activity and it is not surprising that they form the core of these two approaches. Just like the body needs nutrition and the proper environment; a premises, commercial or residential, requires the necessary factors essential for its health. Its health, or the lack of it, has a direct impact on those who inhabit its space. And since living space is always treated as one entity just like the human body, it is essential that one ensures that all its parts are functioning at optimal levels. Vaastu and Feng Shui help us create spaces that are more conducive to our well being and in tune with cosmic order. And just as doctors cannot prevent the existence of disease or change a man’s destiny, one cannot expect these disciplines to miraculously cure all the malaises that affect a particular space. It seeks to improve with the limited tools and knowledge at its disposal.
The keywords here are tools and knowledge. Smart packaging and successful PR has led people to DIY Feng Shui and Quack Vaastu which are not only ineffective but can considerably worsen an already difficult situation. And if doing-it-yourself-home-remedies were so effective or simple one would imagine that a theory that has been around for thousands of years would have made us all ‘experts’ by now!. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. There are a lot of so called Feng Shui practitioners and Vaastu professionals who offer their ‘expert’ advice applied en masse!!!!.
The principles of Vaastu are predominantly based on the rays of the sun and the energies of five elements. And when one follows its application as a whole rather than ‘hijack’ parts to suit a specific requirement, only then will its effects be realized. And just like a peace accord signed under tenuous (and questionable) circumstances falls through at even the hint of discord, if your application of Vaastu lacks conviction and respect for its laws, your ‘remedies’ will not withstand the slightest tremor of reality.
Astrology, Vedic and Chinese, is inextricably linked to both these theories, because space and time are not mutually exclusive. In Vaastu, the significations are based on compass directions. Horoscopes are made for houses based on their ‘year of birth’ so to speak. Feng Shui asserts that significations vary with time and astrological calculations for the house are essential in determining the ‘qi’ of the house and analyzing the shortcomings. Although there are a great deal of similarities between the two theories and both are based on the elements and the flow of energy it is not advisable to follow the instructions of a practitioner who combines both disciplines to provide solutions. You can always have a second opinion before you decide on surgery but you should only have one doctor and one prescribed treatment.
Vaastu consultants are still a far more affordable option for the reasonably well-off Indian. I doubt it will be long before American consumerist ideology shall top it with pepperoni and oregano and home deliver it riding on smart packaging and global advertising budgets. So make the most of it while you can! DIY Feng Shui is already here at ‘discounted’ rates!!!. But beware, advice that is light on your pockets may not necessarily be effective for solving your problems just as consultants that charge your weight in gold need not be experienced.
And for those that balk at its authenticity in the name of defending science it would be interesting to note that the scientific principles of these theories were established and practiced long before science staked its claim upon those very principles. There is nothing mystical about them and if a practitioner has some scientific grounding he/she will be able to explain it in those terms. Yes, there have been distortions and unnecessary commercialization, but that does not detract from its primary objective. And if over the years fact cannot be separated from mythology, that is an unavoidable fallout of attempting to capture the imagination of the layman (as any student of advertising will tell you). Give computers a couple of thousand years of exposure to the masses and Bill Gates may be deified! (Certain politicians have managed that within their own lifetime so why should we be surprised). If you are willing to look, fact can always be separated from fiction and mythology seen as a language not method.
(Appeared in Interior Spaces Blog)
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