Will LeStrange was recently interviewed by Natural Awakenings magazine on the topic of how feng shui connects with eco-build/sustainable design. The following is a transcript of that conversation.
I’m writing an article, the natural awakening, that’s an article about an eco-friendly twist on feng shui design. It’s been really frustrating because the more I’m learning about feng shui as I was talking to people, it doesn’t really require a twist, right? It’s just a natural marriage between nature and the design and bringing nature into your home.
So I would just love to speak with you a little bit about how you see that connection between the natural element and the way they come into feng shui and then maybe we can get into a couple of specific ideas of little spring cleaning times of designs people could do in their own home.
Sure, okay. As you’ve probably find out, if you’re doing any research into feng shui, that there’s many different approaches and many different schools of feng shui or schools of thought or different techniques or practices from feng shui simply because it was a tradition that evolved in the Orient over about 4000 years.
That was a lot of different…if you go back 2000 years if you go back to the birth of Christ and most of the planet at that time thought that the world was flat. And so the perceptions around some of the earliest concepts of feng shui and also it was used a lot for power, traditionally, in China. The emperors could see that it was a hidden knowledge which could be used for power and for advantage. And so they used that to keep themselves in places of power and also to subjugate other people. It’s got a very mixed history.
But basically what it boils down to in terms of this conversation, from my perspective, is feng shui was the first original eco-science. It was the early man’s first perceptions about how to live in harmony with the environment. If you want to track it back to the very beginnings, we can go right the way back to the beginnings where hunter-gatherer became farmer-settler. And so a culture whereby the culture of that time was you and your herd of animals would follow the seasons. You would move your location in a nomadic lifestyle to support your own livelihood.
And then at some critical point, over probably, who knows how many hundreds or possibly thousands of years, humankind made that transition – rather than moving around, they chose to settle in one place and then cultivate a good existence in more than a subsistence life better than that; in a work that they sit and prosper in an environment.
That’s a big deal. That crossover is a big deal. If we try to do that in this modern life, if you and I suddenly said “we’re going to become nomads.” We’d switch it and we go off and we’d have to learn all these new skills and we’d have to learn how to live that lifestyle so that we could thrive. It was a big choice.
That thing, I liken that experience to a modern-day setting like when we go camping. We’re so used to living in the security of four walls, but if you go out to a campsite and if you go out with a family, I don’t know if you’ve done this with your family, but the first thing that normally happens when you get to a campsite is an argument breaks out about where you’re going to pitch the tent for the night because everybody has very specific needs that almost wakes up this original, what I call our original ability that’s part of our being, that is somehow still attuned to how we should respond when we’re kind of raw in nature.
And so the ancients, I call them the ancients, the early cultures, the early civilization where this understanding of how to cite your dwelling or your village, which ultimately became your city, with the knowledge of what was the best place in that given landscape to put that house in that space. In modern days, we can look at places like Hong Kong.