Sunday, April 24, 2011

Feng Shui and Mandala

In the previous post, I discussed about the physical aspect of founding the Dragon hole in Feng Shui (風水) using the old city of Kyoto as an example. In this post I shall discuss some of its psychological significance. The primary objective of Feng Shui for city planning had been for the safety and good fortune of the city and in particular for the safety and good fortune of the ruler. You can imagine a ruler of the past, although having built a strong fort with a strong army, adequate food reserve to withstand a lengthy siege, and above all friendly with his neighbors, he would have bad dreams sometimes (if he was conquered, he would lose everything, and no amount of physical protect would be completely sure). Carl Jung would have to say: he might be frightened by frightening images from his personal unconscious arising from his occasional immoral acts (and he was powerful, so he could get away from being punished); and worse yet, from images from the collective unconscious, autonomous beings that threatened to split up his ego! The Feng Shu master came to his rescue.

First and foremost, with a good Feng Shui site situated at a good Dragon hole, the ruler would have support and blessing from the Dragon, a legendary power that supported and blessed whoever that could maintain a good Dragon hole! One requirement is that the Dragon hole has to be protected from left and right (former being a protecting mount called left green dragon 左青龍, latter being also a protecting mount but called right white tiger 右白虎. The originating mount should be towering with the descending ridges showing strength, resulting is a secondary high mount (called Father and Mother mount 父母山) just at the back of the Dragon hole. This relates to the "health" of the Dragon, the ruler would be warned not to harm the Dragon's health through works on the mounts (a kind of environmental protection). And of course water must be provided for the Dragon around the Dragon hole, and the water must be clear and clean too. Moreover, in front of the Dragon hole that must be a small low mount (called Table mount 案山). It is interesting to note that this low mount has no practical value for defense. According to Feng Shui theory, it is for keeping the chi of the Dragon around the Dragon hole. And its psychological significance for protection is apparent - protecting the front, resulting in all round protection from all sides.

The following is a schematic representation of a Dragon hole. It is interesting to compare it with one of Carl Jung's mandalas (drawn by Jung himself, and was used in the Cover of Jung's "Psychology and the East", a collection of interesting essays). Nowadays, modern Feng Shui masters have modified the requirements of a Dragon hole for the benefits of his contemporary clients (for example a man-made pond of even a bowl of water can serve the water requirement, and buildings or other structures can replace mounts). A Feng Shui master will help his client find a right (meaning with safety and good fortune) stand-alone house or apartment-house in a high-rise. The services of psychological protection is everywhere (or wherever there is demand). If you're satisfied with the services of your Feng Shui master, you can always go to see a Jungian therapist instead, perhaps he will ask you to draw your own mandala!

Dragon hole (龍穴)

A mandala drawn by Carl Jung

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