By Ole Bruun
Feng Shui has been recognized within the West for the final a hundred and fifty years yet has more often than not been considered as a primitive superstition. in the course of the glossy interval successive regimes in China have suppressed its perform. notwithstanding, within the previous few many years Feng Shui has develop into an international non secular move with specialist institutions, hundreds of thousands of titles released at the topic, numerous web pages dedicated to it and thousands of clients. during this ebook Ole Bruun explains Feng Shui's chinese language origins and meanings in addition to its more moderen Western interpretations and international charm. in contrast to the abundance of well known manuals, his creation treats chinese language Feng Shui as an educational topic, bridging faith, historical past and sociology. person chapters clarify: • the chinese language religious-philosophical heritage • chinese language makes use of in rural and concrete parts • the background of Feng Shui's reinterpretation within the West • environmental views and different matters
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Additional info for An Introduction to Feng Shui (Introduction to Religion)
With specific reference to feng shui, the practitioners of which he called ‘geologists’, he comments: ‘Many of their most distinguished men are interested in this recondite science and, when necessary, they are called in for consultation, even from a great distance’ (Ricci 1953: 84–5). The Jesuits’ intrusiveness and calculating use of the new sciences brought them closer to power than any other Westerners before or after. During several decades leading up to the anti-Christian movement in the Kangxi era (1662–1722), the Jesuits Adam Schall and Ferdinand Verbiest controlled the imperial Chinese Directorate of Astronomy.
Another work of his, the Method of the Twelve Lines, remained a standard work through the imperial era. Yang even held the office of Imperial Geomancer during the reign of Ji Zong (874–88). The School of Forms is also termed the ‘Jiangxi School’ or kanzhou, after the department in Jiangxi Province where Yang Yunsong worked. Zhu Xi’s metaphysics, combined with the development of the magnetic compass, gave rise to a new school of feng shui. It granted principal importance to the bagua, the Branches and the Constellations, and derives its name – the School of Orientations or ‘directions and positions’ (fang wei) – from the use of the compass.
It was privatized in a double sense: while it became open 30 An Introduction to Feng Shui to individuals, growing numbers of private diviners served the public as a means of subsistence. The Qing heterodoxy and anti-rebellion law bears witness to the intense state vigilance against popular divination, and derived forms of ‘deluding the people’. Second, the destitution of increasingly large parts of the peasantry, particularly during the course of the Qing period, is a factor of intrinsic importance to the role that folk-religious practices may have played in local communities, and to the number of rural specialists attempting to extract a living from such practices.