Three central ideas provide the essential platform that support all the rest of feng shui's concepts and principles. These ideas involve Chi, the "stuff," the dynamic energy that flows through and is part of absolutely everything ... animate and inanimate, tangible and intangible. It's like one of those inscrutable, circular Oriental notions: If something exists, it has Chi; and only because something has Chi ... it exists. That, in fact, is basically the first principle.

Chi Exists Everywhere and in Everything

All material objects contain Chi ... a unique spiritual essence that is part and parcel of the individual item. It's easy to point out and believe in the life force of entities that are, in fact, alive: plants, animals, people, even bacteria. But Chi also exists in things we don't normally consider "alive" -- rocks, furniture, machines, even the Earth itself. Even geographical locations have Chi ... which you can feel in the "atmosphere" they contain -- or create. You react emotionally to the Chi of a place when you feel comfortable and at peace there ... on, conversely, when you feel apprehensive, uneasy, or threatened for no clear reason.

The Chi of One Thing Interacts with the Chi of All Others

There is a deep interconnection between all things, and the exchange of feeling (or information or reaction) takes place through the Chi of each. Thoughts, responses, feelings, emotions, and memories contain Chi ... and therefore the very fact that you react to something, someone, some place -- positively or negatively -- gives information about how your Chi and the Chi of the "other thing" affect one another. When you feel an immediate kinship with another person, when you fall in love with a new possession, when you are at peace, comfortable and serene in a certain place ... your Chi and that other Chi are in harmony. You support, nourish, and blend well with one another.

But we've all had the opposite reaction, too. When someone we know (or just met) "gives us the creeps," when we take an instant dislike to something, when some place we're in just "makes our skin crawl" ... our Chi and that Chi clashes. The continued presence of this incompatible Chi will drain, deplete, and even harm you.

Thus feng shui teaches you to surround yourself with congenial people, objects that are beloved and beautiful in your eyes, and to live in places that give you the serenity and protection you need to thrive. On the other hand, feng shui also counsels you to avoid toxic people and relationships, to discard or give away objects that don't please or serve you well, and to stay away from places that agitate your spirit. Simple, huh? In fact, it's common sense when you think of it that way.

Chi is Constantly in Motion and Constantly Changing

The one great truth we can all see, understand, and appreciate is that ... nothing is permanent. Everything changes. That's part of its vitality ... its connection to the great eternal cycle of creation, development, decay, destruction, and renewal. But contained subtly within this concept is another one ... which is fundamental to the philosophy and practice of feng shui: because all things have Chi, and because Chi is dynamic and vital, and because Chi blends and interacts, changes in one source of Chi necessarily bring about changes -- and reactions -- in the Chi around it.

This is why changing the Chi inside your home can change the Chi in you and your life. Feng shui, the Oriental art of conscious design and placement, is rooted in this concept.

(c) 2007 by Enchanted Spirit, Inc. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Chynna Dahl is a staff writer for Enchanted Spirit, where she shares her love of feng shui through her articles. Enchanted Spirit offers astrology, tarot, feng shui, alternative health, metaphysics, and self-improvement. Stop by and subscribe to the free new age ezine: New Age -- New Horizons