Friday, July 6, 2007

Unseen Forces

We should not presume that what we cannot see does not exist. It is usually the deeds of our conscious minds that make fools of us all, in failing to realize that some happenings in the physical world can be related to the unforeseen forces which surround us.

Before China opened its doors to the rest of the world, it was seen as a land of myth and mystery. "Secrets" like kung fu, the balancing of yin and yang in maintaining health and the science of acupuncture drew large crowds of westerners to China to seek knowledge of these mysteries.

Of the many who came, one particular group of professionals comprising doctors, dietitians, biologists, chemists and geologists bundled themselves into jeeps and embarked on a low-profile expedition. Their journey took them into uncharted territory, over unfamiliar mountains and across inhospitable desserts, before they finally came to a village where an unusually high number of twins had been born.

After a day of much-needed rest, the team set about its business. The doctors lined up the village to examine them; the chemists tested the wells and river water; the geologists examined the mineral contents of the soil; and the dietitians just queried the villagers on their eating habits.

After two weeks, the team members met to discuss what they had discovered. Each member came forth to disclose his findings, and the group realized there was nothing special about the water, soil, diet or even the people.

The leader, Kent Mcdonald, told the rest of them to pack up for the return trip. While everyone went about the business of pulling stakes, Mcdonald stood atop a high vantage point outside the village contemplating the forces of nature that had given this place its particular distinction.

Eventually, he decided to join his colleagues but as he walked towards them, he heard a shrill voice from behind him. Turning, he saw an old woman gesturing wildly towards him and trying to reach him.

He decided to find out what she wanted and was joined by his interpreter. The interpreter spoke to the old woman at length, then turned to Mcdonald and told him the villagers frequently bore twins because of the two identical mountains that stood tall and proud in front of the village. Whether or not Mcdonald believed this, he at least had an unusual tale to relate to his family and colleagues when he got home.

When the ancient Greeks were at the peak of their civilization they too had their own beliefs which closely matched those of the Chinese, especially when it comes to child-bearing.

Bedrooms and other main rooms in a house often had paintings and busts of handsome Greek Gods and beautiful Goddesses at strategic points. By decorating their homes in this way, the Greeks believed that during a woman's pregnancy, the expectant mother would somehow subconsciously "programme" the looks of the Gods and Goddesses into her unborn offspring.

When the baby was born, it would have the profile of a handsome Greek God or, if a girl, the beauty of a Goddesses. How much truth there is in these ancient ways, we certainly do not know.

Among the Chinese, there are also many beliefs surrounding pregnancy. One of them calls for a "ban" on any renovation work in a house where a pregnant woman lives.It is held that the noise and dust will cause the expectant mother much discomfort and consequently, her irritation will have a negative effect on the baby's appearance. Mirrors and glasses are also treated carefully so that they do not shatter and cause scarring of any sort on the child's face.

Whether or not these things are to be believed is not the point; to most Chinese, they would just assume not to take the risk that it might be true after all. Similarly, we should not scoff at things that are said of unseen forces and elements simply because we cannot detect them with our own limited senses.


Yasmin said...

Hello Nihal.

I didn't know you were into Feng Shui. This is quite interesting I must say.

Well written :)

NIHAL said...

Hi Yasmin,

Glad you liked the post. I admit I'm not a guru or anything, but basically simply love the uniqueness bout the whole thing.