- The Washington Times - Monday, July 29, 2002

It may be time to get in touch with that inner dial tone. Cellular phones have taken a cosmic turn.
"Your phone is a reflection of your mind," counsels Paul Darby, an expert in feng shui. "Everything, especially your phone, connects us to our surroundings and each other."
For the uninitiated, feng shui is the 4,000-year-old Chinese practice of creatively placing beds, mirrors and other accoutrements in a manner meant to promote harmony and positive energy across one's personal domain.
It has become a force to be reckoned with among interior decorators, swank landscapers, imaginative business owners and troubled city planners who will do just about anything to keep peace in their towns.
Mr. Darby is calling his philosophy "phone shui," promoting the idea that one's choice in cellular phones should hinge upon emotions and personal outlook. Needless to say, he already has the backing of a major European electronics supplier that is eager to cooperate.
And woe to those with lousy feng shui.
In recent years, Mr. Darby has straightened out the domestic energy flows for several notables, including actors Larry Hagman and Jackie Collins, singer Lisa Stansfield, the reality TV show "Big Brother" and even Britain's Millennium Stadium, which apparently had a "cursed" dressing room.
"Phone shui has three jewels: vitality, energy, spirit. The right phones will capture these," Mr. Darby notes. "Integrate the inner and the outer, choose a phone that reflects the image and reality."
For those who are unsure of either their inner or outer, Mr. Darby has conveniently allied himself with Phones 4 U, which has 270 stores and 84 million customers in Britain and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, he is encouraging potential phone shui customers to take a 10-question quiz to understand themselves, their cellular phone needs and how this all relates on the cosmic plane:
"Have you found the love of your life?"
"Do you know a few good people, a couple of close friends, lots of colleagues or important people at work?"
"Does your energy as the day goes on stay the same, lift, fall or get really low?"
"Do you feel happy, relaxed, driven or in charge?'
Such queries have yet to appear in the typical phone book.
All of this makes sense to feng shui aficionados, who view the telephone itself as a significant point in "lines of energy" which tranverse a house right along with the TV, electrical wiring, satellite dish, stereo, computer and other devices.
The phone itself should be placed in the southeast corner of a room or office, the "wealth" area of the space, according to one Tokyo-based feng shui consultant. Another advised hanging a crystal over the phone "to promote more calls with good news."
But consultant Mr. Darby is not the only entrepreneur who has tapped into the mystical possibilities of the telephone.
Nokia recently unveiled a "Feng Shui" decorative phone-cover collection featuring five Chinese symbols for health, wealth, love, happiness and long life all part of the company's sizable "image maker" accessory category.
German telecommunications manufacturer Siemens, meanwhile, has introduced the C2118 a new mass-market cell phone aimed at Chinese consumers. The choice of number, the company noted, was based on feng shui principles.


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