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Philip So Fu-cheung, a 59-year-old civil servant, has been a feng shui lover for more than 10 years. He learns feng shui from a friend who is a feng shui master and attends courses that take his fancy.

So was a feng shui sceptic until he experienced how it could help him when he fell on hard times after 1997. He says feng shui helped him get over the difficulties he had after his mother’s illness and death several years ago.

Now, So puts feng shui decorations in his office to prevent bad incidents and shares what he knows with those who are in need and those interested in feng shui. He has given feng shui advice to his wife and sister-in-law to help them through tough times financially and conflicts at work.

But while So believes in feng shui, he repeatedly emphasises that it is crucial not to be superstitious about it. “You can believe in feng shui, but you shouldn’t have blind faith in it,” he says. “We should not attribute everything that happens to feng shui.”

So ridicules those who blame feng shui for all the misfortunes in life. He says he once followed everything that his feng shui master told him in relation to a business transaction, but still lost $3.5 million. However, he does not blame the loss on feng shui. Instead, he accepts his failure was due to the lack of experience in doing business.

Rather than being dependent on feng shui, So thinks outcomes in life ultimately depend more on individual effort. “As the proverb says, one’s appearance reveals one’s heart, it is more important for people to have spiritual cultivation [in order to be successful],” says So. “Feng shui can only act as assistance.”

When it comes to the assistance people seek from feng shui, there are certain areas of life where people tend to ask the most questions.