Recognition - 承認 - Chéngrèn
Intricately designed universe,
continual, ordered expansion-
Only a special organism
recognizes its place.
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
Those who follow Tao progress through phases. By applying this principle to all levels of one's outlook, from cosmology to spiritual growth, one can maintain the balanced path. On the macro level, we can point to the movement of the stars as a confirmation of ordered progression. In our own lives, we can recognize our own aging process from childhood, to adolescence, through adulthood, and finally, towards infirmity. Death is the last stage, currently incorporeal but threatening to interject at any time.
We all must go through different phases in our development. If we stay too long in one stage, we will become warped, our growth stunted. If we try to rush through a stage, we will gain no rewards, learning nothing from the experience. Subsequent growth will be affected, thrown off-balance by useless momentum. We will be forced to backtrack to fix our mistakes or we will lose out in the end. We cannot go on forever, forgetting mistakes. The proper method for discerning these transitions is essential.
Mark the shift from each stage to the next. Recognize this growth. Understand that you are leaving a part of your life behind, in order to move on to another. This may be a social rite of passage, such as a graduation or marriage, or it could simply be a personal declaration you make in private. Whatever the reason for this epiphany, it is important to know that you have reached the threshold before you step over. This is why the sage says to count the spokes of the heavenly wheel: it may also serve as a measure for our own lives.
“When the people of the world all know beauty as beauty, there arises
the recognition of ugliness. When they all know the good as good, there
arises the recognition of evil.”