Rubik's Sudoku Kenshō12 July 2013
Kenshō: a Japanese term from the Zen tradition. Ken means “seeing,” shō means “nature, essence”.
Yesterday was the final day in the academic year of my psychotherapy course and for me the last ever day of the training (as I blogged about recently I wasn’t allowed to complete the year, or as I cynically put it, was ‘kicked off’). As one would expect from such a course the last day focussed on the process of reviewing and ending. It was emotional, we looked back over what we’d all been through and contemplated our irrevocable parting of ways.
One of the things we did was talk about an object that we’d each brought in that represented something of the year. Some people had brought in pictures, some had made things, I read a wedding blessing. Dave (pictured) brought his almost complete Sudoku Rubik’s cube. He’d got it at Christmas and now, 7 months later, there were just 2 pieces left to solve. A traditional Rubik’s Cube is hard enough to solve, but this Sudoku version adds at least two more layers of complexity. Firstly, each face of the cube is a bonafide sudoku puzzle, therefore it contains one of each of the numbers 1-9. To solve a face it must not contain a repetition of any number. Therefore the first task is to solve all the faces on a separate piece of paper, the solutions are unfortunately not simply ‘1’ in the top-left corner going to ‘9’ in the bottom right. Then you have the task of solving the cube itself with the solution you’ve found on paper. This is the second added difficulty — you can neither rely on colours nor shapes, you must manually map the solution from paper to cube.
Dave described how the effort he’d put into getting the cube to within two squares of completion was analogous to the effort he’d put into the year on the course. It’s painstaking work requiring great patience and perseverance without any guarantee of success.
Then something amazing happened. Dave said, “and this is why I’m now going to jumble it up”. The room erupted with gasps and shouts of “NO!”. But it was too late, he was frantically twisting the faces beyond any hope of return. I was blown away, I loved it! I’d say he solved the shit out of that cube.