SOME people regard feng shui as merely the ancient Chinese science of getting people to pay money to have their furniture rearranged.
Use feng shui as a
tool of foreign policy
It is that, but more. I've studied a number of feng shui sites on the Internet, and while I'm not yet a feng shui master, capable of directing energy around other people's property for an enormous fee, I realize its power. There are some feng shui experts who believe, for instance, that feng shui was responsible for the World Trade Center attack, that the buildings THEMSELVES acted like terror magnets.
Alas, while the signs of destruction are clear now through retroactive feng shui analysis, no one conducted any pre-emptive feng shui that would have allowed World Trade Center security to move a certain coffee table in the lobby to the right or left. In that vein, the ability of feng shui adherents to foresee disaster is as impressive as that of psychics and astrologers, who also didn't see the attack on America coming.
For those who aren't into metaphysics or have not hired an interior decorator lately, feng shui is an old Chinese method of understanding and controlling chi, good and bad energy all around us. Most experts in the feng shui-for-profit game focus on helping homeowners make sure chi is in balance in the house.
It's really complicated. For instance, simply lighting a hallway is a major problem. If it's too light, yang -- strong or bad energy -- will dominate. If the hallway's too dark, "the yin chi would tend to become lazy and staid," one expert wrote. Obviously, nobody wants lazy yin chi hanging around their halls.
Luckily, there are all kinds of ways to channel chi using any manner of little knickknacks, crystals, mirrors and ornaments that can helpfully be purchased on the Internet. An amethyst tree emits calming energy and only costs $68. A "magic mirror" to create a harmony between environmental and personal chi has been marked down from $23 to only $19.80 on another Web site.
Feng shui doesn't just apply to houses, but buildings and the entire world.
Feng shui master Raymond Lo explains in detail on one Web site (wofs.com) why the World Trade Center was ripe for fire and destruction. Basically, an energy chart showed that Sept. 11 was a bad day for the northeastern United States in general and the northeastern side of buildings in particular. Why disaster struck the northeast side of the World Trade Center towers and not the northeast side of thousands of other buildings in New York he doesn't explain.
I don't know if feng shui is a real science or not. But it doesn't hurt to be careful. To possibly avoid future attacks, I suggest we hang some wind chimes in North Dakota and place a small three-legged frog statue in the southwest corner of Arizona. Decorating Afghanistan with a few yang-loaded cruise missiles might also help.
Alo-Ha! Friday compiles odd bits of news from Hawaii
and the world to get your weekend off to an entertaining start.
Charles Memminger also writes Honolulu Lite Mondays,
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