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Long before words like gravity, kinetics, heat or even energy were invented, ancient man knew how nature worked by simple observation of his environment. This was the basis of all philosophy. For instance, he knew that water was very different from fire and that bronze or metal was very different from wood. He knew that the world he lived in was in a constant state of change. Some changes were natural and in harmony, like spring changing to summer, when all life flourishes. Some changes were unnatural, like excessive heat evaporating water supplies. From this understanding, he gained incredible insight into how nature worked and developed a system called the five transformational phases. There is no real name for this process in the west, however the term "five elements" has been adopted. But whereas five elements implies something tangible and unchanging, the five transformational phases are not. This knowledge together with yin and yang principles has formed the backbone of all Chinese culture, including Feng Shui, the I Ching, Chinese medicine and Chinese philosophy for the past 5 000 years.
Basic science tells us that energy cannot be created, only changed from one form to another and this is what the transformational phases refer to. Life flourishes when this happens naturally. When it happens unnaturally through the use of incorrect structures, colours or placement, pressure builds and stress is created. We have already seen that humans absorb this stress as easily as we absorb laughter or other emotions. Feng Shui analyses homes and businesses to find these stress points and by adding simple, subtle cures, feng shui consultants can balance any environment and relieve this stress. The basic tool kit for dealing with this is the Sheng Cycle of the five transformational phases. Literally, everything in our world can be classified according to these principles. Let us look at this in detail.
The 5 Elements are
gives birth to Wood
gives birth to Fire
gives birth to Earth
gives birth to Metal
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|The Sheng cycle of harmony will have at least two elements together in this order.|
|Water creates wood, wood creates fire, fire creates earth, earth creates metal, metal creates water and so the cycle continues.|
The Control Cycle
When structures, shapes (or forms) and colours appear in a different order to this, one element will control another, leading to an increase in pressure and stress and causing inherent weaknesses in man made objects. The control cycle consists of the arrangement of water and fire, wood and earth, fire and metal, and earth and water.
Inherent weakness caused by the control cycle
To illustrate weaknesses in man made structures, let us look at the five phases as applied to normal everyday things.
You can apply this methodology to any product just by looking at its' colour, shape and use. The best and longest lasting will be those in the Sheng cycle arrangement.
The Five Elements in your Home
Just by analysing the home and arranging things in the Sheng cycle, immediate results can be made. In the above table we have shown you some colours and shapes for each different element. You should now be able to analyse your own home to see if you are suffering from needless stress. To cure this, simply add the missing element from the Sheng cycle arrangement, either in terms of shape, or colour and you will immediately feel the difference. Just getting this balance right creates a huge difference in peoples' quality of life, just try it and see.
To learn about these principles (and much more besides) at a deeper level, see the highly acclaimed Feng Shui Key Concepts Course. which takes this knowledge to a professional level and allows you to classify everything in terms of the five elements. Further, all energy (elements) are subject to magnetism, which means that certain elements do extremely well in certain parts of your home, whilst others do not. The Key Concepts Course will show you which areas are best for each element and will also allow you to perform a basic consultation in your own home. It is also the first step to becoming a fully fledged Professional Feng Shui Consultant.
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