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Feng Shui

While I really don’t have much experience with Feng Shui I have read a little and watched one program on PBS recently. What Feng Shui appears to do is understand that certain shapes and patterns correspond with an individual’s visual field. It combines pattern recognition with eye movement, which apparently unknown to practitioners and followers corresponds to cognitive functional orientation. In the diagram to the right it is obvious that the concepts presented and their positions correspond nicely to the location of the cognitive functions.

When a person enters a room and there is an object in an area of their field of view that conflicts with their cognitive function there is internal psychic disharmony or conflict. I think Feng Shui calls this bad chi. Chi I believe refers to “energy”. Many “ancient” or even new age spiritual practices refer to “energy” and that typically confuses an objective thinker. When you consider the enormous amounts of glucose and oxygen your brain uses in order to process information it’s not difficult to see what this “energy” is referring to.

As I said I really don’t know much about the actual techniques of Feng Shui but I would propose arranging something like a bedroom by standing at the doorway to your room and just to your left you could put a bookcase representing knowledge (S), to the far left corner you could place your desk and personal computer (T), to the far right could be a window outdoors or a landscape painting in order to let your imagination wander (N) and directly to your right could be your bed or a plant or something (F). The point being that certain shapes represent and stimulate certain thoughts and those thoughts correspond to cognitive function location, which is externally reflected in a person’s visual field. I think all internal spaces should be arranged with such things in mind.

See how this same shape and the attributes it contains are analogously represented in the Intel Pentium processor on the next page.

Other pages:

Discussion of Topic

Below is a portion of a response to a request to comment on a post to the INTP list by a self-identified INFJ.  I thought the material was relevant to Feng Shui specifically chi, so I've included it here.


"Each of us is born into an environment that shapes our perception. We choose within that environment, what we agree with and what we don't."
- CnP. Fri, 25 Jul 2003

    True. However in probably the majority of instances the choosing is done at an unconscious level. Significant insight can be gained by considering the physiology that manifests itself in behavior we call ‘personality’. Please make use of the following when considering an individual’s unconscious drives;

- While comprising ~2%-5% of the bodies mass, the brain ‘at rest’ consumes ~20% of the oxygen/glucose (i.e. energy).
- Each of the four (multi-dimensional) cognitive functions are localized to distinct ‘quadrants’ of the neo-cortex.
- Apparently 1 of these 4 quadrants is 100% more efficient then the other three in each individual. This most efficient function is naturally an individual’s ‘dominant’ function.

    The natural preference and ability to utilize the dominant function results in energy savings. This conservation of energy is often described as an acquisition of energy. For example, people are often encouraged to pursue the things they love and they often describe being ‘energized’ by such endeavors. People who are unable to pursue activities they are naturally attuned to must utilize the other functions, which consume considerably more oxygen and glucose. This results in them feeling ‘drained’ and exhausted, because they are. Benziger and Taylor describe symptoms associated with prolonged excessive use of these less efficient functions as, Prolonged Adaptive Stress Syndrome (PASS), see: .

    If you factor in this physiological explanation for ‘choosing’ and incorporate it with environmental influence (external conditioning) you’ll be able to create a more reliable model for predicting human behavior.  Consider that the human mind was originally formed and conditioned by a diverse and challenging ‘natural’ environment. However in a ‘civilized’ world such as the ones exemplified by wealthy developed nations, individuals are often able to customize their environment to match their cognitive preferences. These external modifications reinforce and exercise their natural abilities, strengthening them and consequently leaving the others less challenged/utilized. This results in a collective of highly specialized individuals. The collective itself is likely to progress in predictable directions however this degree of specialization is almost always harmful to each individual.


"There are certain assertions of the nature of reality within our childhood environment and this assumption is our natural state of being. To *not* refute that reality as presented is passive. To refute is active."
- CnP. Fri, 25 Jul 2003

"What objectivity and the study of philosophy requires is not an 'open mind,' but an active mind - a mind able and eagerly willing to examine ideas, but to examine them critically."
- Ayn Rand, "Philosophical Detection," Philosophy: Who Needs It

“An unflinching determination to take the whole evidence into account is the only method of preservation against the fluctuating extremes of fashionable opinion.”
- Alfred North Whitehead

    Ah, the nature of reality. Something I realized as a child growing up with an INTJ mother and three brothers each of whom extroverted a judging function, ESFJ, ESTJ, ISTJ, is that there is one ‘objective reality’ and each individual perceives and expresses their own unique (and limited) perspective of it, that is, their ‘subjective reality’. (There were ‘many’ disagreements in my family.)

    The MBTI type designations describe an individual who manifests only two function/attitude combinations. For example an ESFJ in functional notation could be said to describe only (Fe Si) the J behavioral score helps to identify which function they (e)xtrovert, and the E identifies that their extroverted function is their dominant. A complete sequence for an ESFJ would be (Fe Si Ne Ti – Fi Se Ni Te)

    For an individual to function productively, especially in a culture that encourages specialization, it is only necessary for an individual to utilize one judging-perceiving combination. If you consider everyone in this way then you can simplify behavior into either (internal perceptions-external judgments) or (internal judgments-external perceptions). Grouped this way then INFP and INTP belong to a group that judge inwardly and perceive outwardly. INTJ and INFJ would belong to the group that perceive inwardly and judge outwardly. The paradox here is that the group that constantly question themselves and consequently gathers more and more evidence does not usually express themselves with the same conviction as those who perceive inwardly and judge outwardly. Keep this in mind when discussing a subject with someone who holds fast to their view regardless of the views and even the evidence presented by others. Present these people with the external evidence they are not likely to consider and let them draw their own conclusions. These people will seldom admit publicly that they were mistaken (in their mind they never made a mistake, instead their judgments were based on an incomplete set of data) but you will know you have influenced them when they incorporate the new evidence in their response.

    The objective reality I spoke of includes of course every individual’s subjective reality, it in fact includes everything, this is the Tao. In order to extend/improve upon our own subjective reality and incorporate the Tao we must suppress our desire to understand it as we want it to be and instead except it for what and all that it is. I’ve always found the scientific method invaluable for testing my views and the claims of others and the use of philosophy for understanding and improving my use of the scientific method.

    Here are a few quotes and citations I’ve collected on the subject of understanding reality. One must continually utilize an understanding of both the objective and the subjective.

“Reality exists as an objective absolute—facts are facts, independent of man's feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.”
Ayn Rand, "Introducing Objectivism" The Objectivist Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 8 August, 1962 p. 35

“We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.”
- Anais Nin

“What is real? How do you define real? If you are talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste, and see then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”
- Morpheus from The Matrix

"Reality is a fluid - perception designs the shape of the container into which it's poured.... "
- Whispery Cat

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
by Ludwig Wittgenstein
1 The world is everything that is the case. *
2 What is the case, the fact, is the existence of atomic facts.
3 The logical picture of the facts is the thought.
4 The thought is the significant proposition.
5 Propositions are truth-functions of elementary propositions.
(An elementary proposition is a truth-function of itself.)
6 The general form of truth-function is: [missing logic characters, see site].
This is the general form of proposition.
7 Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

“The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
Is not the eternal Name

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestation
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.”
- Lao-tzu , Tao-te ching “The Book of the Way and Its Power”

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