‘Huang Tang, Pu Huan Yao’ – an old Chinese saying meaning ‘Change the soup’s essence whilst retaining the water’. Royston Low (PhD) explains the connections between Feng Shui and AcupunctureThat which is active is yang, the kinetic expression of the yin potential, and the yang rays of Heaven radiated downwards to react with the slumbering yin of the Earth and humans were the result of that union.
The Five Elements
The cosmic influences can manifest in many ways, but the most noticeable are what the Chinese term the ‘external devils’, or the atmospheric influences of the Five Elements. These are Wind (associated with the East, Wood, and Springtime), Heat (associated with the South, Summer, and Fire), Humidity (with the Centre, Long Summer and Earth), Dryness (with the West, Autumn, and Metal) and Cold (with the North, Winter and Water), and these will have their effect upon the energy qualities of the earthly recipients.
‘As above, so below’, and humans themselves are the result of the constant interplay between yin and yang, with their limbs and organs showing a preponderance of one or the other depending upon their basic function and activity but also upon their state at any particular time.
The energy (or ch’i) in the body flows in regular pathways which the West terms meridians and the Chinese the ching-lo, and any interference with the smooth flow of the ch’i energy creates a disease in whichever of the meridians, or their associated organs, is affected. Any blockage will cause a build-up of noxious ch’i which needs to be dispersed. The excess of ch’i in one part can cause a deficiency in another with an imbalance in the relative yin/yang picture, and this must be corrected.
The pathways of the meridians can actually be mapped out electrically as lines of decreased electrical resistance (or increased potential!) and along those lines are places where the electrical activity is still greater. These are the acupuncture points, where any interference can have a magnifying effect. It’s as well to remember an old Chinese statement affirms that ‘the yin engenders the yang’, and that without the potential energy of the yin the kinetic energy of the yang could find no expression. There is, after all, only one energy, but this expresses itself in many ways. The one thing we should not do is to act in any way that is injurious to the energy itself.
The Earth is no exception to these rules, but reacts to a different time scale. The energies in humans respond within hours, but the energies within the Earth act more slowly and deeply, some of the changes being measured in years, others in millennia.
Earthy And Bodily Meridians
It is interesting to see how most Eastern philosophies have a similar approach to the concept of creation. The basic Hindu approach places Brahma at the centre, representing Air or Vayu; Brahma gives rise to Siva, representing Fire (Agni), the yang aspect, and Vishnu, who is Water (Jula), the yin. Fire cannot burn without Air, Water cannot move without Air (it becomes stagnant).
Life is Wood, from the combination of Air and Water. It is the activity of Fire – the molten plasma beneath the surface – and of Water, which has shaped the Earth as we know it, and it is the movements of the earthly currents which create the Earth’s meridians, the counterparts of the acupuncture meridians in the body.
Just as we possess a superficial defensive wei energy which resides in the superficial tendino-muscular meridians, so the Earth possesses a superficial network of energic pathways known as the ‘ley lines’, which can be detected by dowsing in a similar manner to the detection of the meridians by electronic means.
This Earth energy has been detected electrically by such pioneers as Tesla, George Starr-White and Wilhelm Reich. Tesla and Starr-White actually tapped it and made use of its effects for increasing plant growth, whilst Reich termed it the ‘Orgone Energy’ and channelled it for use in healing. And just as the deep yin energy in humans lies deep in the body in the internal organs, so the deep yin energy of the Earth lies in the subterranean rivers and lakes locked in the crystalline structure of the rocks (formed by the action of Fire and Water).
It is possible that this is the reason for certain geological sites being unfavourable for health. It is recognised that a damp climate can be the cause of such complaints as arthritis – on a deeper level, underground pools, in the absence of air or movement, may cause a blockage of the local ch’i energy and give rise to trouble with the joints.
The Flow Of Life
It is interesting to equate the Chinese concept of the cycle of ch’i energy through the Five Elements with the effect of each of the elements on the Earth. In the Chinese cycle Metal (Air) is the mother of, and supplies energy to, Water, which in turn feeds Wood, which is life.
This implies that anything which interferes with the flow of energy is inimical to life, and just as a stagnation of energy in the body can have its effect upon the physical organs, so a stagnation of ch’i energy in a location will effect the lives of those living there.
This, of course, is the basic concept upon which feng shui is founded. Stagnation of this energy can actually have an effect on such things as the accumulation of wealth or one’s marital happiness. Mind, body, and spirit are an indivisible unity, and any blockage of energy surrounding one of the triad must inevitably cause a deadening of the spirit and have a deleterious effect upon that life as a whole.
It all began with the Tao (pronounced ‘dao’), the unknowable essence from which all had its origin. Yet the Chinese predated Einstein and de Broglio by several millennia when they asserted that matter and energy were interchangeable, and that all matter is still basically energy-like in nature.
But the Tao is changing, ever changing, and as Joseph Needham wrote in his Science and Civilisation in China (Vol 2), ‘Western philosophers laid down as a basic principle of thought that a thing cannot both be and not be at the same time. Chinese philosophers, on the other hand, laid down that a thing is always “becoming” or “debecoming”; all the time on its way to being something else’, and it manifests itself in both the cosmos and in the myriad forms of life which developed in it.