Feng Shui and Chi

  • Michael R. Matthews
Part of the Science: Philosophy, History and Education book series (SPHE)


Before its segueing into a fully-fledged metaphysical cosmology, feng shui was merely the collective, passed-down of Chinese and other Asian cultures that needed to attend to environmental realities in order to sow, harvest, herd, and build houses, tombs, and villages; and live safely with whatever comfort could be garnered. Traditionally, feng shui practitioners have distinguished good or vital chi (sheng chi) from bad or torpid chi (ssu chi) according to the function the chi is performing, and this function varies in daily and seasonal cycles. There is a certain naturalism in chi cosmology and metaphysics: change and events in the world are to be explained by procedures occurring within the world, not by intervention from outside, not by ‘non-natural’ causes. Each of the thousands of contemporary exponents of feng shui and the hundreds of feng shui schools give their own account of chi. The widespread East Asian chi (qi), and Japanese ki, beliefs and practices have affinity with versions of Hindu yogic understandings. They are components of a chi-based worldview.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. Matthews
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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