I said to myself that it might help if it were symbolized somehow. Symbols like labels can be limiting but also if proper intent in the mind can actually be a "key" that opens the lid to the box allowing outside thinking. Cool.
The great tai chi is first a singular point that as it expanded, think of the big bang, formed this circle (clearly in the big bang theory it is more a circular sphere but lets keep it simple) that is ever expanding. It is represented by the tai chi symbol. In that circle there is life and death, night and day, sun and moon, etc. so we have the yang and the yin. As the circle expands the yang and yin grow while within seed of yang forms within the yin - the seed of yin forms within the yang. Cycles the represent birth, growth and death.
The degrees of effort, intent and attitude (not in any specific order to denote seniority for they end up being equal) determine how much one grows in martial systems. At anyone point if one or any other falters then it brings them back to "0." 0 being the symbol of birth. The degrees are also meant to represent, symbolically, time and the more time spent with effort, intent and attitude the greater the degree and the greater the level achieved.
The use of the rank system is not meant to symbolizing anything but growth in martial systems but is utilized in this symbol simply because of its recognition factor to all who participate in martial systems.
It must be remembered that this is not a symbol but rather a representation of the birth (to enter a dojo for the first time, to participate in a martial system for the first time), the growth (to diligently and wholeheartedly practice and train in a martial system) and finally death (to die is also symbolic related not to the actual life and death of the body but rather the life and death of the practice)
To die is to achieve a level that is enlightenment where one comes full circle symbolized by the meeting of Ju-kyu-n-Ju-dan. This is a complete circle where one returns to a birth, a birth that transcends the mere practice and training of a martial system. This is to master the self causing a re-birth of the heart (heart often symbolizes the soul, the spirit, the person becoming more than what they were).
If one were to consider this diligently over time - degree's of effort, intent and attitude - then it can be seen outside this simple box, content and symbolization to apply to the many facets, faces, of life - internal which reflects to the external. This is worth considering, yes?
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