The Oxymoron of Being Home and Alone


In the Tao de Ching, Chapter 47, Lao Tzu says “Without leaving your home, you can know the whole world.” This is quite a puzzling statement since travel is a big part of our lifestyle – often considered a life-saving aspect that gives us new perspectives on the world as well as a greater appreciation of where we live. Yet, a man from 2500 years ago professes that we can plumb the depths of the universe just from our own home.

What would cause us to find such fulfillment and insight in a place we see all the time and often take for granted? It wasn’t until my studies of Feng Shui deepened through various perspectives and practical experiences that I realize that the place we call home is very much alive and welcomes interaction. Mark Twain discovered this concept and, in one of his essays, wrote the following about a home he and his wife had designed and built, a space for which they obviously had strong feelings:

“Our house has a heart and soul and eyes to see us with; and approvals and deep solicitudes and deep sympathies; it is us and we are in its confidence and live in
its grace and in the peace of its benediction. We never come home from its absence when its face does not light up and speak out its eloquent welcome, and we cannot
enter it unmoved.”

This anthropromorphism of their home underscores the importance of personal space and how deeply it can be felt and how much it can influence our lives. I call it a quantum entanglement between self and space not only in my own home but also with specific Feng Shui clients who have found support and answers and comfort from the energy of their home. This intimate connection between self and space is called chrysalism. Our home, our chrysalis, is not only a physical sanctuary but a psychological one as well. It’s where we find such strong support and clarity that we can confidently welcome its wisdom and strength, leading to our own deep transformations.

home but not alone living space feng shui

A space – whether a home, a room, an office, or a corner – when asked, can reflect to us our values, our dreams, and help us remember who we truly are and what’s important to us. When we lose our way, listen to what your space is telling you. There’s deep transformational wisdom available if you ask and pay attention – it’s a ‘coming home’ when you’re already home.

Alain de Botton wrote in The Architecture of Happiness:
“Returning home at the end of the day,
we can slowly resume contact with a
more authentic self, who was there
waiting in the wings for us
to end our performance.”

G. I. Gurdjieff, an early 20th century Armenian spiritual master, refers to this system as ‘reciprocal feeding’ – an exchange of information, a two-way street providing opportunities for both sides to communicate. Communicating with your home/space is a learned experience which means it takes practice. Think of the Velveteen Rabbit – you don’t make contact right away but with time and patience the communication becomes real. Beginning with an appropriate application of Feng Shui principles, your home can then transcend the geometry of the physical and, with its innate sense of grace, it can help to guide your trajectory to one that provides the next step.

It is a guardian of your identity, a champion of your cause, a light in the darkness. Being alone in your home means there is an opportunity to remember who you are and where you’re going. You are never alone when at home – the space waits for your acknowledgement. That’s all it needs. As Lao Tzu says: “without leaving your home, you will never be alone again.”

Check out our listing of qualified and experienced Feng Shui practitioners in The Edge Partner Directory and design a chaos-free space today!

Carole Hyder integrative feng shui home consultations

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