The Li tradition of Feng Shui refers to people as ‘beings in light’, or being as ‘one with light’ – but what does this mean? Naja Li provides a workable definition for this key concept that also provides a context for understanding practices such as Tai Qi and Qi Gong. Li Feng Shui offers a very ancient way of looking at the world but this view of the world doesn’t make sense if you don’t grasp one key concept: that we are beings in light. And not just that we are beings in light, but this light is love. Now whilst some people will read this as just nice words, there will be others who would like to use this understanding to open up a new way of thinking. So how can this phrase ‘beings in light’ be meaningful for what see in front of us – fingers on keyboards, hands clutching cups of tea? And what does it have to do with Feng Shui?
Light as a key concept in Feng Shui
The answer is that this key concept of ‘light being’ is what drives the deep and meaningful connection between humanity and the bigger picture of Feng Shui. For the chief concern of the Feng Shui House that I call Li was not the living, but the dead. What these Feng Shui Masters wanted to do was to ensure that the souls of all persons who had died were transported intact to the realm beyond death – to a place described as ‘the love that exists beyond time’. In this realm, all souls would be united as one in love and light in a way that was not possible on earth. And although Li does not downplay the importance of living, their whole orientation was towards the experience of the love that exists beyond time, a realm described as ‘only light’. So much so that the system of living that is here called Feng Shui is actually a programme for living that acts as one of three gateways to this realm. The other two gateways are death and the assistance provided by the ancestors.
How we encounter light
It is important to make clear from the outset that this expression ‘beings in light’ is not some sort of existential device on which an ancient view of the universe was built: it is a description of being that comes about through consideration of the forces of the universe. For the Feng Shui Masters observed that light in its purest form is the force that enables all creation. In the first instance, light is the energy that enables form at the moment of conception. This is the start of what is meant by people being ‘light beings’. As well as providing the spark by which life is enabled, this light is described as pure love. The Li Masters describe this love as determining the path of the soul and as a force that draws the dying to their eternal rest. As well as enabling birth, this light also generates growth and repair. For some the concept of a body that heals itself will be familiar. Those familiar with Chinese Medicine will recognise that this framework is broad enough to include theories of a primordial essence with which we are each born. However this is neither a treatise on Chinese Medicine nor a defence of natural systems of health: it is simply a description of what it means to be a light being. This light is described as building ever stronger after birth. Furthermore, it may be added to through arts dedicated to the cultivation of light within. These arts – such as Tai Qi and Qi Gong – do not create light, for it is ever present, but it can make light shine brighter. So Tai Qi and Qi Gong can make your light shine bigger and brighter – but, you might reasonably ask – to what end?
Light as beacon for the ancestors
Li Feng Shui described a specific purpose for having a light that shines brightly. That purpose was for this light to act as a beacon so that your ancestors may gather when you call. For the Feng Shui Masters saw that you needed the support of your ancestors to guide you on your path. For Li emphasised, above all, the role of the ancestors in opening the doorway to both love and eternal rest.
The purpose of shining brighter is to be as a beacon so that your ancestors may gather when you call. For your ancestors guide your path and open the doorway to love and to eternal rest. By drawing together the ancestors they too will benefit for they wish to be united in death as they were in life.
In summary, what the Li Masters spoke of was knowledge of the gateways to the realm in which all brothers and sisters must one day be reunited. The gateways to that realm and the journey that accompanies it are: death, union with nature and the assistance that ancestors provide. In this way, Li Feng Shui was an understanding of the world in which death is just a gateway and the light that gives us life is a force that draws us towards a paradise, a realm existing outside of time and beyond our imagination.
Wishing you Health and Happiness,
Naja Li’s Guide to Talking to Trees is the first in a series of books about Feng Shui and the journey of the soul as it leaps from birth to birth.