A Funny Thing About Feng Shui (Humor)

Feng shui is the ancient Far Eastern art of home design and furniture placement. It is pronounced FUNG SCHWAY. Though there is no logical reason why Asian character symbols should be translated into non-phonetic forms of English, it is usually written the other way.

The term feng shui (which I will henceforward refer to as fung schway, in an attempt to correct a phonetic injustice), means "wind and water" referring to the influential flow of mystical affirmative energy or ch'i ( which should be spelled and pronounced CHEE) throughout a living space.

Now I have nothing against positive energy and the unimpeded flow of prosperity and auspicious harmony, but if homes are built to keep wind and water out, the basic concept seems a bit off base.

So while the fung schway concepts usually exclude the actual rush of wind and water through your house, they claim to promote the flow of positive chee in and around your living quarters, permitting it to circulate, pool up and overflow whenever possible. Do not be alarmed by this, it will not require the services of a professional plumber.

While you may think that this is a wacky New Age trend invented by a victim of an aromatherapy overdose, it apparently has ancient origins.

One story of how the term originated, involves the legend of an ancient Chinese man who got up in the middle of the night to relieve himself of an impending positive flow, not realizing that his wife had rearranged the furniture that day.

"FUNG SCHWAY ! " he hollered vehemently, as he tripped over a futon and barked his shin on a tea table which had not been there the night before. The art of auspicious interior arrangement was therefore born to prevent inauspicious midnight shin banging.

The idea of creating a balanced beneficial environment full of abstract energy which can favorably affect our fates, dates back 3,000 to 5,000 years, yet fung schway principles have been cleverly adopted by modern home sellers who are integrating contemporary building design, with complex, prescribed, and idiosyncratic rules as well as trying to find new ways to hoodwink buyers.

These principles involve the dragon's celestial breath, 12 beasts of the Chinese horoscope, eight trigrams, five elements, two opposing harmonizing powers and a partridge in a pear tree .

Venerable fung schway precepts are now being used as marketing strategies appealing to otherwise logical and practical people. The buyers attracted by this ruse are normal boring individuals who are likely to have bumper stickers promoting random acts of indifference.

These are the same people who have finally decided that Karma is now outdated and overdone, but they are now being subtly convinced to believe that chee is in.

Some fung schway design principles are both basic and mystical. In no case should stairs face the front door. This is because answering the front door will result in the chee rolling down the stairs, breaking every bone in it's body, and tumbling out the front door while knocking down your guests or the pizza delivery guy.

The front door should not form a straight line with the rear door of the house, since chee will absent-mindedly pass straight through without even stopping to say hello. Never build a multi-story house without a stairway . Do not place laundry appliances in the bedroom . Do not locate the guest bed in the master bath.

Do not keep goats in areas where food will be prepared or eaten. To select the most auspicious location of the master suite and avoid the traditional migration routes of water buffalo.

Some design preclusions can be corrected by modifying furniture placement and lighting to offset negative chee. Other taboos cannot be so easily corrected and should be arduously avoided.

Your home should not be built at the end of a dead-end road, especially one favored by drag racers. It should not be situated adjacent to the county landfill, because guests will stop by and say "Chee, what is that smell?"

Houses should not be built in the path of proposed interstate highway projects. Round pillars are better than square, though square rooms are OK. Go figure. Ceilings should be high enough to allow people of average height to stand comfortably upright when adjusting suspenders or pulling on panty hose. All rooms should have at least one door.

Hundreds of auspicious principles can be incorporated into home design starting with selection of a lot according to propitiousness of shape, auspiciousness of directional orientation, and proximity to a major mall.

In purchasing a new house, fung schway fundamentals are decidedly more important than compliance with local building codes because they can increase your chances of winning the lottery. They will give you a long, successful, joyful and prosperous life. They will make your goats pregnant, your fields fruitful and your children dutiful and obedient. Structural engineering concepts, as practical as they may be, can never compete with that.

Your acceptance of these principles will also make the real estate marketing people perform celebratory hand slaps which are usually only executed by inebriated English soccer fans. They will be joyful, prosperous, and able to afford a luxury vacation in Hong Kong.

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Comments 24 comments

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Disclaimer: I am almost totally ignorant about this subject and have only given my humerous interpretation. Please excuse my ignorance and insensitivity if you find this insulting to your core beliefs. I am not trying to demean anyones beliefs or philosophies and if you feel insulted and wish to complain, i will consider removing this post.

al1801 8 years ago

Like it or not, humor can be cruel. Rochelle has chosen to have a crack at Fung Schway - good on her. Some purists ain't gonna like it - well, stiff bickies. Chee, it's a dull old world we live in unless we can look at things both seriously and light hearted. 'Chelle, your article, even with humor has told me more about FS than the so-called experts have. Hubba! Hubba!

PS: Er, do you mind if I don't show this to my Residsent Redhead , she's very Fung and extremely Schway :)

DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 8 years ago from Central North Carolina

LOL, Rochelle, you've done it again!

Vikki Albers 8 years ago

Might this hub have been more appropriately placed under "Humor"?

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Yes, I think it is placed under humor. . . . but I'm new, and I might have misplaced it.

Maylinda Arons profile image

Maylinda Arons 8 years ago from India

I think the best part of this hub was the repeated usage of the modified spellings. Hilarious.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country Author

The spellins only underline my total misunderstanding of the concept.

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 8 years ago from USA

My Russian friend told me once that all those troubles in Russia were due to the fact that Lenin’s body (their communist leader) was placed in the Mausoleum not according to fung schway laws. Haha. Laugh and tears.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Hmmm. If true, that would be rather ironic.

I wonder what Lenin would have thought.

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 8 years ago from USA

Lenin would, probably, say,”Guys, just bury me! Please! I don’t care if you put me head north or south, just dispose my body”.

SoulaBee profile image

SoulaBee 7 years ago from United States

I'm not proficient at it, but I do get it and I can work it. Not offended in the slightest though. Actually I find this so hysterical. Your sence of humor is beyond lovely. Waterbuffalo. And don't forget fowl, as in watery fowls (could be why Basil had such bad luck, yes?)

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

God I'm glad you are not offended. I just read your 'fung shway' article and wondered if you had read this. This was published in a regional publication once and the editor said she got some mail from people "who didn't get it". She wouldn't show me the letters, though.

Whikat 7 years ago

I really enjoyed this Rochelle, I attempted Feng Shui years ago. It wore me out, too many rules to follow. I guess I will always be a rule breaker. :-) Funny article, you have a great sense of humor.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks Whikat-- Now I think i will rearrange my computer desk and see if it helps me any. I've been away for a couple of days and I think the energy has left the building.

quicksand profile image

quicksand 6 years ago

Congratulations Rochelle, you have a great way of presenting an opinion! :lol:

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Presented with many disclaimers, as you may have noticed. I certainly don't know what I'm talking about.

astrostar profile image

astrostar 6 years ago

I like your humor. (Never remove your post! This is your space to post YOUR opinion) I'm a feng shui (or fung schway:) enthusiast, and I found it funny. Also, as a former real estate agent, I can appreciate this aspect... I often would show homes and apartments and the 1st thought that would come into my head is.. "This is bad feng shui!" hahaha, very funny.... :)

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks so much, astrostar. I receive this comment with great appreciation for your good humor.

masmasika 5 years ago

Wow, amazing hub. I am interested in feng shui since many chinese people in my country are practicing it and I find them very successful but then I don't practice it the way they religiously do.

Great hub. voted up.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country Author

I hope you realize that I was not trying to be disrespectful of anyone's beliefs-- but perhaps only showing how ignorant the Western mind may be of cultural differences.

I was having, perhaps too much, fun with a subject that was unfamiliar to me.

On the other hand, I think we have to be open to the humor in all aspects of life. I appreciate you comment. Thank you.

masmasika 5 years ago

I enjoyed reading it. In fact it is an interesting topic that anyone can write about.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, Masmasika.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

This is pretty funny. I like your article about not carrying a purse best, but this one is pretty funny too. Enjoyed reading it and going to post it on FB, and share withHP followers too.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks, Au fait. This is an old one that hasn't had much attention. I'm glad you found it funny -- unfortunately, a few people were offended.

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