Legalizing Feng Shui

Last month Assemblyman Leland Yee introduced a bill in the California legislature to put Feng Shui principles on the books.

State officials were speechless “We know earthquakes knock down buildings, we know fire burns down buildings. We don’t know what feng shui does to buildings.”

As Assemblyman Yee responded, “A lot of the principles of feng shui are common sense. You should have light, air, and you should not have people’s backs to the door.”

Cut away the mysticism, the compasses, the octogans, and the core of feng shui describes common sense ways to prevent yourself from being surprised and startled during the day.

Like all media, buildings facilitate relationships between people. Make a small change in the environment and you’ll transform the relationship of the people within that space. I remember a dramatic example a few years ago. I was working for a small firm – in a small, single-room office. All the desks were along the perimeter of the blank cinderblock walls. It was difficult to talk with any one about anything – your back was to them and their’s to you. Not the type of climate conducive to a successful start-up.

After about a month of being forced to ignore the others in the room, I pushed the tables together and offset the workspaces. Within a week, we went out to lunch together more and started to gel as a team. Things were going so well, we moved into a new, larger space – with built-in desks forcing us into the corners, backs to each other. We lasted 3 months in that space before disbanding.

3 Replies to “Legalizing Feng Shui”

  1. Why is this an Issue?

    While I don’t necessarily keep up with trends such as Feng Shui, I’m having a hard time figuring out why exactly the Califonia legislature need be bothered with something so trivial as the arrangement of ones furniture in ones personal space. Since there are no obvious reprocussions caused by Feng Shui (such as a principle involving the placing of highly flammable fabrics in close proximity to intensely warm heating units) I don’t see the need for it to be addressed on a governmental level. Maybe I don’t look at things close enough or endeavor to see far reaching effects, but the mere fact that California is ‘dealing’ with this issue, suggests a lack of more pressing matters and I know that just isn’t the case.

  2. I can see the value in this.

    I don’t think they are talking about enforcing Feng Shui in everyday citizen’s homes. Rather, I think they are talking about using Feng Shui in the design of public spaces. This, to me, could make sense. It seems like the “old ways” are often resurected for their common sense practical uses. Feng Shui, to my understanding, is all about the use of space to control the flow of energy… which sounds like a mystified way of saying the flow of people or the internal states of individuals. I know California has a lot going on but maybe it’s good for them to do something that could help people move around or feel more “in tune” with their environment. Maybe if spaces are created with Feng Shui, and done well enough, Californians will have a relaxing break from thinking about the fact that they are under control of The Governator!!!

  3. Sjohn, I agree with you. There is more inportant things that need to be addressed then the nature of how desks are arranged. Although I think that Feng Shui is interesting, I and I’m glad that the California Legislative branch is now getting along better there is more pressing matters that probably should be looked at.

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