Origin of the Gordian Knot

By: Amelie Mag

Undoubtedly, the Gordian knot has become one of the most known and most frequently used metaphors. It concerns an issue which is apparently unsolvable, something which requires a radical and brilliant solution. However, the less known aspect concerns the actual origin of the whole legend and the evolution of its perception in time.

The story behind the Gordian knot supposedly took place about 400 B.C. An oracle predicted that he who will ride up to the city of Phrygia in a wagon will become the king of ancient Greece. A man who went by the name of Gordius fulfilled the prophecy and, as a tribute to Zeus, tied his cart to the temple - but he didn't use just any type of knot. He used what later became known as the Gordian knot - a brilliant employment given to a piece of rope with apparently no end and no beginning. The (same or other) oracle foretold that whoever would be able to untie it would rule all of Asia. Needless to say, numerous brave men attempted the deed - without success. All until Alexander the Great made his way to the Gordian knot - and simply slashed it in half with his sword.

Throughout history, perceptions and perspectives upon the Gordian knot have been diverse. It's been labeled both as a cheap cheat and as an exquisite example of revolutionary thinking. Suppositions have been many, but the highest probability, as recently proven, was as it follows: Gordius may have used a piece of a special kind of wet rope which was later left to dry in the sun until it tightened the Gordian knot. Alexander, on the other hand, had been a disciple of Aristotle, so obviously riddles of all kinds couldn't have been an ultimate mystery to him. So the possibility must be admitted that he simply found there was no way of untying the knot.

In any case, the practical course of events is most likely less important than the mystical side of things. For above all the mathematical suppositions and practical speculations, the significant aspect about the Gordian knot is not concerned with the material out of which it might have been made, but it is rather concerned with the concept. The idea of finding a solution like that brought awe; the solving method was controversial but efficient; though apparently thoughtless, some people see it more like a spark of genius.

It's a clear example of thinking outside the box. When in front of a puzzle like the Gordian knot, one must, ideally, exactly like Alexander, be rid of pre-supposed rules. He had not assumed any such complicated rule; therefore he applied the simplest of solutions.

Sacred mathematical symbols such as the Gordian knot are no longer inaccessible concepts - or, at least they are not entirely inaccessible. And that's because of the overwhelming benefic effects they seem to acquire, when worn as jewelry, upon their possessors.

Any symbol from the Tree of Life to the Gordian knot has a specific influence on its owner. The widespread practice of wearing such symbols as spiritual jewelry has been bringing overwhelming effects for years now. From the better understanding of one's inner self to good luck and success, any aspect of one's life can be greatly improved under the protection of such symbols.

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