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Aside from the science of things - in the interdisciplinary spirit of the ancients - Ip is always furthering his studies and learning more about building materials, geography, architecture and last but not least local city planning. As Qi itself is not static, the Feng Shui of an entire city can change along with the erection of new buildings and especially with the establishment and extension of infrastructure and transportation; bad or good Feng Shui can come or go with new highways, tram lines, airports and bridges.
The last step in devising a Feng Shui chart for a client is the client himself. In the final stage of Feng Shui, Ip takes the person’s Ba Zi into consideration, which further determines how he is to proceed on many levels, from the elements to the colors. “After all, I would never build a home with good Feng Shui if no-one can live in it”, Ip remarks. Fate dominates Feng Shui, so it cannot be changed but enhanced by it. And as Feng Shui concerns places and not people, it cannot change lives but influence them positively. However, it works on us whether we believe in it or not: if we have a good and successful life, it will automatically draw us to places with good Feng Shui. Those who are already in bad luck will tend to move to a place with bad Feng Shui. In contrast to popular (Western) belief, Feng Shui concerns health and well-being before wealth. “My rich clients don’t ask me to consult them on Feng Shui because they believe it will change their already good fate; they use Feng Shui because it creates pleasant work and living spaces.”
Feng Shui, Naturally
If we return to the origins of this art and science, that is its main premise: that the harmony between humans and their natural – or artificial – surroundings, a natural equilibrium between that which surrounds and what lies within, is the paramount ambition. Feng Shui makes perfect sense in that it’s all about whether you feel comfortable where you are sitting right now as you are reading this article, how you feel when you enter a park, a building, an office or a home. Feng Shui, naturally, is inside all of us – and our shared desire to lead a better life. “Consider our planet itself ”, Ip points out, “it has extremely good Feng Shui; a perfect balance of elements and gases that enable life.” A place in which humans would feel absolutely comfortable if only there wasn’t such a thing as casinos. When Mr. Ip is not at work in his office, lecturing or studying, he likes to take extensive walks through Macao and study the new casinos that are popping up like mushrooms on every corner of the small autonomous region. His favorite specimen is the Sands: “The Feng Shui master they consulted before building it is one hell of a man”, he asserts, “the Northside of the casino directly catches the Qi from the Mainland. A golden wall symbolizing the element of metal which attracts water, and a black wall facing the ocean create a very strong backing by the water element that is vital for successful business. However the location of the entrance door right at the center of the site is terribly unbeneficial to any good Qi…brilliant! The perfect constellation for ‘killing’ the patrons with tons of Sha Qi!”
Reversed Feng Shui has its fascination, too.