- There are 6 matchsticks. Make 4 identical, equilateral triangles.
The hint is that you must think differently to everyone else. If you think like everyone else, you will never find the solution.
- There are 6 matchsticks. Make 6 identical, equilateral triangles.
The hint this time is quite the opposite the first puzzle: think like everyone else.
- There are 6 matchsticks. Make 8 identical, equilateral triangles.
The hint for this puzzle is that you must reflect on yourself.
Answers after the break.
1. The answer is: a pyramid. A pyramid with a triangular base has 4 sides of equilateral triangles. This solution requires that you break the assumption that the answer is two-dimensional. People have a tendency to all think in a unidirectional manner. They always see the world in one, banal view. To compare it to photography, it is like using one lens focus setting to take photos. This may be one side of truth, but one must learn to think differently it they are to gain true knowledge, that is absolute and relative.
This puzzle symbolises the recognition and knowing of others – whether they are another person with different thoughts, or a tiny ant living in its own world.
2. The answer is: the star of David. When one equilateral triangles is placed on top of another but turned upside down, it forms a six-pointed star – each point being an equilateral triangle. The star of David is a symbol of symmetry: the integration of the consciouness of the greater universe and the consciousness of the lesser Earth. The meeting of the infinitely big and the infinitesimal. The union of the sky and earth. The mixing of high and low. Yin and Yang. Light and darkness. Good and evil. Hot and cold. Wisdom and foolishness. Mind and body. Automatic and manual. Man and woman.
The star of David encompasses all of these symmetries, just as it accepts all opinions and thoughts. This is why sometimes we must think like the other person, in order to truly understand them.
This puzzle symbolisises the understanding and acceptance of others – only by seeing through their eyes and perspective will you form a true connection with their mind.
3. The answer is: a mirror. When the pyramid from the first puzzle is put next to a mirror, there are now 8 triangles yet only 6 matches were used. The other 6 matches are the byproduct of the union of the matches and the mirror. Thus, it follows the principle of 1 + 1 = 3. By combining two things, greater efficiency is reached and progress is achieved. Without this philosophy, there would be no creation, originality or change.
This puzzle symbolises the cooperation with others, while fusing the philosophies of its preceeding puzzles into one.
So much can be learnt from just six matchsticks.
~ Paraphrased from the Les Fourmis Trilogy by Bernard Werber, with original thoughts and philosophy added