Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Knot - As A Symbol

The Knot is a very ancient Symbol which appears in the writings,
legends, mythology and lore of nearly all cultures. As a Symbol, the
Knot signifies complexity, confusion, completion, bindings, vows,
and hidden secrets. And although the Knot is an ancient Symbol, we
acknowledge it often through a number of our cultural Metaphors.

We use the term "a knotty problem" when referring to a complex,
baffling, or intricate, obstacle or dilemma. "Tying the knot" refers
to the marriage of a man and woman who bind themselves to each
other in the Hope of achieving Oneness with each other through
their voluntary Union. To "tie up loose ends" infers the completion
of a project or agreement in which we finalize the small details of a
task, solution or alliance.

In addition to the Knot being a Symbol and a Metaphor of myth and
legend, it is also very evident in our everyday language, behavior,
and customs.

As a Symbol for binding, the Knot represents the Promises and vows
we make. It is also an allusion to the Honorable Person whose "word
is as good as their bond". the Knot also "ties" us to the Karma we
create for ourselves, both good and ill, based upon the Threads we
use to Weave the tapestry of our lives.

We tie the umbilical cord of a newborn infant into a Knot to
celebrate, and Symbolize, the successful completion of birth. Islamic
men tie Knots in their beards in order to baffle evil demons (perhaps
a Symbol similar to that of the Labyrinth). And legend provides us
with the Gordian Knot: a Turkish Knot with both ends of the rope
concealed within the Knot itself; Symbolizing not only a difficult
problem but also the fact that the solution is hidden within, and is
thereby part of, the problem.

As a Symbol of binding and complexity the Knot has both a positive
and negative aspect:

On the negative side it represents the complications, Compromises,
dilemmas, and problems we Weave into our personal Incarnation
which tie us to the fruitless commitments, misguided ways of
thinking, and structured behaviors that ultimately stagnate us and
imperil our Spiritual Growth.

On the positive side, however, the Knot represents the threads of
good habits, noble aspirations, and Esoteric pursuits which, over
time, Weave strong spiritual bonds within us that repel and baffle
the mundane Demons which are forever attacking the Thoughts,
Beliefs, and Decision processes of our Divine Nature.

On a much deeper level, the level of hidden secrets, the Symbolism
contained within the the Knot is just as complex and intricate as the
Knot itself.

On the one hand, by way of its tightly wrapped cords of mystery,
fable, Riddle, and legend, the Knot protects the Truth and Wisdom
which lie at its center from both prying eyes and the mindless
curiosity of the common horde.

On the other hand, what better way to hide, protect, and pass down
to future generations, sacred Truth and secret Wisdom than to
conceal these priceless gems within those same tightly wrapped
cords of mystery, fable, Riddle, and legend until some future Time
when an enlightened mind can unravel the cords of the Knot and
discover the Infinite Mystery that lies within.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2010
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Melinda said...

For me, the knot has another symbolism. Yes, it represents problems, but it is also a reminder. When I was a child, I had little necklaces. I'd take them off at night and put them in a little jewelry box. In the morning, somehow, they would be full of knots. My fingers were too clumsy to undo them, but my mom had patience and could gently undo each one until the necklace had been restored. So, when I have a "knotty" problem, I am reminded to be patient, take it one thing at a time, and things will work themselves out. The key is patience.

Laurene said...

As a child I was very high strung with a wicked temper and very little patience. Conversely, I could sit and work on any type of knot, jewelry, rope, cords, anything for as long as it would take to free the knot. As an adult, your discussion/interpretation resonates metaphorically with this childhood memory. It gives me food for thought.