I am reposting a light article I wrote about the two Koreas at the end of 2019. I thought of it because I recently had the experience of flying Korean Airlines!
Coming out of the US, the calm and order of the KAL flight felt oppressive, but after experiencing the lively Himalayan lifestyle for a few weeks, the KAL sense of calm and order was instantly soothing on the way home!
The two Koreas, separated at birth, have grown up squeezed apart by a global struggle between superpowers.
The ancient Hermit Kingdom, so called because of its isolation on the Korean peninsula, was host to international politics and foreign invasion for millennia before the Japanese annexation in 1910, or the Korean war in 1950. The two Koreas’ ability to play international politics so adroitly and to cope within their situation stems from this history.
In a beautiful landscape, rich with natural resources, 76.5 million people call the Korean peninsula home, 50 million of them in South Korea. The occupation by the Japanese (1910-1945) divided the economy of the Korean peninsula into mining in the North, and agriculture and manufacturing in the South.
Over time, the two halves of Korea consolidated their power and proceeded on different paths. North Korea, under the patronage of communist superpowers China and the Soviet Union, grew into a paranoid Stalinist regime trapped with a disastrously mismanaged economy. Under the patronage of the USA, South Korea has recently blossomed into a self-sustaining capitalist system and an increasingly inclusive democracy.
Until it was sanctioned by the international community, North Korea was an exporter of weapons and natural resources. During the 80’s, North Korea exported $1 billion in arms annually. As recently as 2016, a ship heading from North Korea was discovered carrying 2,300 tons of iron ore with 30,000 rocket-propelled grenades hidden in it.
Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union and reforms in China, North Korea stubbornly stayed behind, a failed communist state. Conditions in the “Stalinist Utopia” of North Korea are desperately severe. The limping economy was blown apart by a famine in the 90’s that killed over 500,000 people. Ironically, a small middle class emerged, sustained by a grey market in cosmetics and electronics following the collapse of the communist rationing system.
Meanwhile, a robust industrialized economy emerged in South Korea in the 90’s, thanks to governmental economic oversight and discipline, after a previously slow start under chaos and autocracy.
Even in medieval Korea, the North had a relatively negative reputation compared to the South. Because they had to fend off repeated invasions from their neighbors, government officials considered it a hardship post and political outcasts were sent away to the North. The southern provinces of Korea were safer from foreign incursion.
Korean traditional values emphasize diligence, stoicism and modesty, subordinating the individual to community norms and expectations. Koreans tend to sacrifice their ability to think critically and express their individuality. They feel they must swim with the other fish because they have no choice.
The two systems deny the stress that a history of war, Japanese occupation and deprivation have imposed on them, but the emotional strain is well known. South Koreans are stressed by a highly competitive society and intense social pressures. In North Korea, the merciless regime imposes constant terrifying propaganda, in addition to the endless stresses of shortages and a failed totalitarian state.
It seems as if the village life of Korea lives on, as everyone self-consciously checks themselves, and each other, in the mirror. A Korean can always feel the eyes of his peers on him, watching to make sure he saves face.
In the North it really is a life or death proposition, in a society where life is cheap and lived close to the margin of starvation. In the South, people jockey for position, depending on social status and ability to make it in a high pressure society.
Highly competitive education and testing have been a central Korean value as far back as the golden age of the Joseon Kingdom when the great Korean writing system was invented and civil service examination was painfully competitive.
North Korean children receive 12 years of mandatory public education, plus hours of “social education” after school. South Korean school children anxiously study into the night in response to intense competition.
Only one in five applicants is admitted to the North Korean Kim Il Sung University. South Koreans liken the process of competing for admission to the top schools and top jobs to going through a funnel; only the best are able to make the cut.
Combined with too few spots at top universities and top companies, impossibly high standards of perfection result in the majority eventually feeling frustrated. People resort to desperate measures in order to succeed. Because honest effort is futile, they resort to bullying each other or other emotional tactics to gain social standing.
It’s no wonder that some sensitive souls commit suicide. South Korea has the highest suicide rate in the world, at 4 per 100,000 annually. And North Korea’s suicide rate is estimated to be about the same.
An Unlikely Union
People have debated the possibility of reconciliation between the two Koreas since the armistice of 1953, but the desperation of North Korea is really the sticking point.
North Korea lacks arable land, and languishes in a deficit of agricultural and mining technology as well as modern medical equipment. North Korea was a failed state even before sanctions.
And yet, if genuine reforms were implemented, it would destabilize the Kim regime. As people came out of their desperation, they would demand regime change.
So, with no other way to receive desperately needed help, North Korea has made a profession of blackmailing adversaries and allies alike. Like a child threatens to throw a temper tantrum if his demands are not met, North Korea flashes its missiles and nukes to get its way.
The North Korean leadership have mastered the game of playing the surrounding states off of one another. They’ve leveraged their pivotal position between four great superpowers, China, Russia, Japan and the US proxy, South Korea.
And yet, their situation really is untenable. North Korea is so close to the margin of life and death that one bad crop could send refugees pouring in to neighboring countries.
South Korea experimented with opening a few test factories in North Korea, in an effort to assist North Korea and give them access to the skills, technology and wage levels of the South. In exchange, the South would gain access to cheap labor and great deposits of rare earth metals.
The experiment had disastrous results.
Unprepared for the oppressive North Korean bureaucracy, the South was hit with lots of red tape; the workers’ wages were absorbed into a corrupt maze of bureaucracy, and profits swallowed by endless fees, “taxes” and bribes.
The factories were subsidized by South Korea and never proved economically viable. Only North Korea profited from the experiment, and it ended up being perceived as a hand-out to the corrupt northern regime.
After All, They Are Family.
And yet they must, somehow, eventually reconcile.
Could a bond be built between them, and the rift between the two sides ever be closed?
Despite improving relations, unification remains as tricky as ever. Both sides know that a true union of North and South Korea would be impossible.
Support among the new generation in South Korea wanes every year. They view the idea of unification as a political football with little meaning to their everyday lives. After all this time, there is not much sentimentality toward North Korea.
Some in South Korea see economic opportunity in unification, but many worry about the economic burden and about wasted government money, believing that unification would mean a flood of workers to the South. More likely, North Korea will open to South Korean companies, and allow workers to travel, with special permission.
South Korea does not want to reunite with a poor partner, though they are interested in cheap labor and minerals. That is why it is in the South’s interest to see North Korea gradually strengthened with trade.
Despite the difficulty in providing aid to North Korea, there are many enthusiastic takers, for the resources of the North are highly valuable, namely their great deposits of rare earth metals. Russia’s trade would be important, and they are eager, but their influence dwarfs in comparison to the potential trade with China, a much bigger economy.
Every interest group wants reconciliation on their own terms, but in a true compromise, all sides make concessions. Everyone agrees the rapprochement will be cautious and gradual.
And yet, they must somehow eventually reconcile.
After all, they are family.
This is an excerpt from 2010.
Traditionally, Thunder (in the I Ching trigram system) is depicted as something startling and terrible happening.
Descriptions of Thunder in the I Ching (hexagrams 16 & 24) make reference to music and drumming, and this links it to timing or rhythm. According to the Family Style Bagua, it is the yang, initiating, and vital phase of the yang journey, and most closely associated with “pure” or “true” yang. Therefore it could also be found in change, a surprise, a joke, an itch, or a sneeze.
Thunder represents the NOW.
I used to think thunder meant something intimidating, like “Buy 100 shares of IBM stock!,” but now “the Arousing” represents something much more innocent to me; it means waking up to the moment.
In contrast to the holistic trend over time illustrated by the Wind/Wood trigram, Thunder represents the emergence of focused awareness on the current moment, also known as “the time.” The identity of thunder changes with each moment.
Sade sang “Its never as good as the first time!” and this describes the identity of Thunder well.
I find the challenge is to not get stuck in some moment or fantasy other than now. I have to refrain from trying to prescribe or control the moment; too often I take action that is prescribed by a reality other than the current reality!
Gone wrong, Thunder manifests as impulsivity. I can barely stand to stay in the moment, and have to DO SOMETHINGANYTHING, even if it is the wrong thing!
Many of us spend time trying to reproduce that happy moment in the past, getting into all kinds of trouble trying to relive it. It seems true that “it’s never as good as the first time!” What a blessing to realize that this encounter has no comparison, because it IS the first time.
Stop trying to make things happen. Enthusiastically pursue what is. Perfected, the thunder experience can become manifestation and co-creation as we participate fully in the moment, aligning our will with that of the Tao.
"The rain begins to fall. The peach tree begins to blossom.
The oriole sings. Hawks are transformed into doves."
Out of the mists of time comes the Yueh Ling, the 500 year old description of life lived according to the Feng Shui Bagua, as applied to the seasons of the year.
The venerable Chinese science of correlation considers the Feng Shui Bagua a guide to planting and harvesting, treating the five visceral organs, balancing the five tastes, colors, tones, areas of the home, and seasonal rites.
This ancient Chinese document holds that each of the five seasons has its function, and each task its correct time of year.
What are the five elemental seasons of the year for running a household, or an ancient Chinese Kingdom? The familiar Feng Shui Compass, or Bagua, shows us the seasons of the year, each with its corresponding Feng Shui color.
"𝗜𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗦𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘃𝗮𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗰𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗮𝘀𝗰𝗲𝗻𝗱.
𝗛𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗺𝗼𝗻𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗰𝗼-𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻.
𝗔𝗹𝗹 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗯𝘂𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘄."
"𝗧𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝘀𝗸𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗳𝘂𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗲𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝘀, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗹𝗲𝘀, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗲𝘀, 𝗱𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘄 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁."
This is the living Feng Shui document, known since the time of Confucius, but clearly with ancient roots, going back to the neolithic.
The misty, distant imagery of husbandry and cottage industry in medieval China, and the view it gives us of nature and the pageantry of human culture adds another dimension to the study of Feng Shui!
In the spring , a season of growth, care of the young, including orphans, was paramount. In fall, the elders were particularly looked after. In winter, things to do with water management and fisheries were important.
It is a kind of civil code- a way to properly conduct the culture, including ritual musical performances:
"𝗢𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗺𝗻, 𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗲𝗳 𝗱𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗴𝗲, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗽𝘂𝗽𝗶𝗹𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀."
"𝗜𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗼𝗮𝗿-𝗳𝗿𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗯𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗻𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗳𝗮𝗹𝗹; 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗹𝗮𝗯𝗼𝗿𝘀 𝗰𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝘀𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻."
"𝗢𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗲𝗿𝘀, 𝘀𝗮𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴,
'𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗮𝗶𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗯𝗲 𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺.
𝗟𝗲𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲.' "
The seasonal pageantry was impressive. The king or emperor’s procession featured horses dressed to emphasize the feng shui color, and all rituals appropriate to the season were observed:
"𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗼𝗰𝗰𝘂𝗽𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗳𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗤𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗬𝗮𝗻𝗴 𝗪𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗧𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲; 𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗵𝗼𝗲𝗻𝗶𝘅 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗹𝘀, 𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘄𝗻 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝘇𝘂𝗿𝗲-𝗱𝗿𝗮𝗴𝗼𝗻 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗿𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗳𝗹𝗮𝗴; 𝘄𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗿𝗼𝗯𝗲𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗶𝗲𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗷𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗮𝗽 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗴𝗶𝗿𝗱𝗹𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗻𝘁."
"𝗛𝗲 𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝘂𝘁𝘁𝗼𝗻.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗹𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗵𝗲 𝘂𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝘃𝗲𝗱, 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗻𝘁𝘀."
"𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗼𝗰𝗰𝘂𝗽𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗳𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗮𝗻𝗴 𝗕𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗛𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗧𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲; 𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗲, 𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘄𝗻 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗯𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗹𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗳𝗹𝗮𝗴."
"𝗛𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗱𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗿𝗼𝗯𝗲𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗷𝗮𝗱𝗲.
𝗛𝗲 𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝘄𝗹𝘀.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗹𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗵𝗲 𝘂𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗹, 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗮𝗿𝗴𝗲 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘄𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀."
"𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗼𝗰𝗰𝘂𝗽𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗮𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗧𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲; 𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘄𝗻 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘆𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗯𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗹𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘆𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄 𝗳𝗹𝗮𝗴; 𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗹𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘆𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄 𝗿𝗼𝗯𝗲𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘆𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄 𝗴𝗲𝗺𝘀."
"𝗛𝗲 𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗹𝗲𝗱 𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗲𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗳.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗹𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗵𝗲 𝘂𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗵."
"𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗼𝗰𝗰𝘂𝗽𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗳𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗭𝗼𝗻𝗴-𝘇𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲; 𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝗿 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗼𝘁, 𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘄𝗻 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗯𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗲𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗳𝗹𝗮𝗴."
"𝗛𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗹𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗿𝗼𝗯𝗲𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗷𝗮𝗱𝗲.
𝗛𝗲 𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗵𝗲𝗺𝗽-𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗱𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗼𝗴'𝘀 𝗳𝗹𝗲𝘀𝗵.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗹𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗵𝗲 𝘂𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗴𝘂𝗹𝗮𝗿, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗱𝗲𝗲𝗽."
"𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗼𝗰𝗰𝘂𝗽𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗳𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝘀ü𝗮𝗻 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲; 𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝗿𝗸-𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗲, 𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘄𝗻 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗶𝗿𝗼𝗻 𝗯𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝗿𝗸-𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗳𝗹𝗮𝗴; 𝗶𝘀 𝗱𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗿𝗼𝗯𝗲𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝗿𝗸-𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗷𝗮𝗱𝗲."
"𝗛𝗲 𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗲𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝘂𝗰𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴-𝗽𝗶𝗴.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗹𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗵𝗲 𝘂𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗹𝗮𝗿𝗴𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗱𝗲𝗲𝗽."
Each section on a feng shui compass is assigned one of the five elements, but also pertains to a season. On a Chinese compass, south is located at the top, reflecting the point of view of a Chinese Emperor:
Green/Wood, to the East, is for Spring.
Red/Fire to the South is for Summer,
Yellow/Earth in the Southwest for Harvest time,
White (Silver)/Metal to the West for Fall, and
Blue (Black)/Water to the North is Winter.
The Center was the place of the human being or emperor, serving as the channel between Celestial Realm and the Earthly Realm.
The seasonal proscriptions are based on the colorful five elements over the course of a year. They unfold organically, following along with nature. At the same time, the Son of Heaven and his nobles are obliged to maintain their sacred duties to guide the people through the seasons.
Describing the first signs of Spring, it states:
“The east winds resolve the cold. Creatures that have been torpid during the winter begin to move.
The fishes rise up to the ice. Otters sacrifice fish. The wild geese make their appearance.”
It also discusses astrological timing, associated creatures, musical notes, tastes and smells:
“In the first month of spring the sun is in Shi, the star culminating at dusk being Shen, and that culminating at dawn Wei.
Its days are jia and yi. Its divine ruler is Dai Hao, and the attending spirit is Gou-mang. Its creatures are the scaly."
"Its musical note is Jiao, and its pitch-tube is the Dai Cu. Its number is eight; its taste is sour; its smell is rank.”
Corresponding to the compass direction of the trigram Thunder and the rising sun, it has the “son of Heaven” occupying the corresponding area of the nine chambered temple:
“The son of Heaven occupies the apartment on the left of the Qing Yang Temple..."
Spring, according to the Yue Ling, should be in full swing. Agriculture is commemorated:
"In this month the son of Heaven on the first day prays to God for a good year. Afterwards, with the handle and share of the plough in the carriage, he conducts his three ducal ministers, his nine high ministers, the feudal princes and his Great officers, all with their own hands to plough the field of God.
The son of Heaven turns up three furrows, each of the ducal ministers five, and the other ministers and feudal princes nine. When they return, he takes in his hand a cup in the great chamber, all the others being in attendance on him and says, 'Drink this cup of comfort after your toil.' "
It was important, not only to observe and harmonize with the current season, but to do nothing to spoil the chi or counteract it:
"If in the first month of spring the governmental proceedings proper to summer were carried out, the rain would fall unseasonably, plants and trees would decay prematurely, and the states would be kept in continual fear.
If the proceedings proper to autumn were carried out, there would be great pestilence among the people; boisterous winds would work their violence; rain would descend in torrents; orach, fescue, darnel, and southernwood would grow up together.
If the proceedings proper to winter were carried out, pools of water would produce their destructive effects, snow and frost would prove very injurious, and the first sown seeds would not enter the ground."
These taboos were based on centuries of observation, and the key to Chinese mystic culture is their meticulous record keeping, in a still-living language that has persisted from at least 1,000 BC.
Each season’s activities are harmonized to the Feng Shui compass or map, which has its basis in ancient, neolithic numerology and geomancy, as seen on this ceramic piece from the Chinese middle neolithic:
Each season’s activities are harmonized to the Feng Shui compass or map, which has its basis in ancient, neolithic numerology and geomancy, as seen on this ceramic piece from the Chinese middle neolithic.
In the southwest corner of the Bagua nine-square (illustrated in slide 3), after the height of summer, we come around to the yellow Earth element time of year, which I have called Harvest. The physical location of the Earth element is in both the Southwest, the Northeast, and the Center: the center of the home, and the temple. This is the earth upon which the whole drama of life is played, beneath the great circle of the horizon!
"Summer: Right in the middle between Heaven and Earth, and the other elements is earth. Its days are Wu and ji. Its divine ruler is Huang Di, and the attending spirit is Hou-tu.
Its creature is that without any natural covering but the skin. Its musical note is Gong, and its pitch-tube gives the gong note from the tube Huang Zhong. Its number is five. Its taste is sweet. Its smell is fragrant. Its sacrifice is that of the middle court; and of the parts of the sacrifice the heart has the foremost place.
The son of Heaven occupies the Grand apartment of the Grand temple; rides in the great carriage drawn by the yellow horses with black tails, and bearing the yellow flag; is clothed in the yellow robes, and wears the yellow gems. He eats panicled millet and beef. The vessels which he uses are round, and made to resemble the capacity of the earth."
My favorite selection has to do with the womanly art of dyeing. This selection reflects that experimenting with dyes was edgy and officially forbidden! Some things never change:
"In this month, Summer, orders are given by the officers of women's work, on the subject of dyeing.
They are to see that the white and black, the black and green, the green and carnation, the carnation and white be all according to the ancient rules, without error or change; and that their black, yellow, azure, and carnation be all genuine and good, without any presumptuous attempts at imposition.
These furnish the materials for the robes used at the sacrifices in the suburbs and the ancestral temple; for flags and their ornaments; and for marking the different degrees of rank as high or low.
We can all learn from this original Feng Shui document, the "Yueh Ling," not just the correct positions and materials, but to live in harmony with our environment!
Yueh Ling: https://ctext.org/liji/yue-ling/ens
My correlation vid: https://youtu.be/v2v5NAnUO4s
Warning: this video contains hetero normative content. But need not be limited to that. Take what you like and leave the rest!