The Gordian Knot

Posted: February 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

Are you familiar with the Gordian Knot puzzle?  If not, the wiki of the story is below.

“At one time the Phrygians were without a king. An oracle at Telmissus (the ancient capital of Phrygia) decreed that the next man to enter the city driving an ox-cart should become their king. A peasant farmer named Gordias drove into town on an ox-cart. His position had also been predicted earlier by an eagle landing on his cart, a sign to him from the gods, and on entering the city Gordias was declared king by the priests. In gratitude, his son Midas dedicated the ox-cart to the Phrygian god Sabazios (whom the Greeks identified with Zeus) and either tied it to a post or tied its shaft with an intricate knot of cornel (Cornus mas) bark. The ox-cart still stood in the palace of the former kings of Phrygia at Gordium in the fourth century BC when Alexander arrived, at which point Phrygia had been reduced to a satrapy, or province, of the Persian Empire.

Several themes of myth converged on the chariot, as Robin Lane Fox remarks: Midas’ was connected in legend with Alexander’s native Macedonia, where the lowland ‘Gardens of Midas” still bore his name, and the Phrygian tribes were rightly remembered as having once dwelt in Macedonia. So, in 333 BC, while wintering at Gordium, Alexander the Great attempted to untie the knot. When he could not find the end to the knot to unbind it, he sliced it in half with a stroke of his sword, producing the required ends (the so-called “Alexandrian solution”). That night there was a violent thunderstorm. Alexander’s prophet Aristander took this as a sign that Zeus was pleased and would grant Alexander many victories. Once Alexander had sliced the knot with a sword-stroke, his biographers claimed in retrospect that an oracle further prophesied that the one to untie the knot would become the king of Asia.”

Sometimes, life throws you a Gordian Knot of a problem.  you struggle and sweat and cuss and generally go at it every which way to solve it, but no go.  Most of these tend to have an Alexandrian solution to them.  If not, then you can untangle the knot.  It qualifies under something’s gotta give.  If there’s no way out, hack your way out.  Beware the repercussions, of course, but one of the two solutions will work.  Put on your Tough Bitch Bra, and find a solution, even if it’s Alexandrian.  Don’t piss and moan about it, DO IT.  Solving the problem, even in an unconventional way, means your energy has been put to good use, as opposed to trying and failing 50 bajillion ways and then whining that it can’t be done.  it’s your choice: energy well spent, or wasted time, effort, and energy?

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