The Three Wise Monkeys

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The three monkeys (Japanese san saru (三 猿)), also known as the “three wise monkeys” or “three mystic apes” are represented in a wood sculpture Jingoro Hidari (1594-1634), located on the sacred stables Toshogu shrine (1636) built in honor of Tokugawa Ieyasu in Nikko, north of Tokyo (Japan).

The Japanese names of the three monkeys -Mizaru, Kikazaru, Iwazaru- mean “no see, no hear, no say”, without specifying what the monkeys do not see, hear or say. It has traditionally been understood as “not see evil, hear no evil and say no evil”; the saying originated in the Chinese translation santai moral code, the philosophy promulgated the use of the three senses in close observation of the observable world. Later this moral code was linked to the three monkeys; this association is attributed to Denkyō Daishi (also known as Saichō) (767-822), founder of the Tendai, the Japanese branch of the Buddhist Tiantai School during the Heian period (794-1185). This association comes from the homonym that between zaru (a negative case in Japanese), which appears three times in the moral code, and the Japanese word for monkey, saru, which becomes zaru when combined with certain words. The reason for the three monkeys became very popular among the Japanese people during the Kamakura period (1185-1392).

The significance of the theme of the three monkeys is complex and diverse; and for the intellectual elite were related to the above mentioned philosophical and moral code

tres monos sabios

Mizaru, covering his eyes, sees no evil. Kikazaru, covering her ears, hear no evil. Iwazaru, covering his mouth, do not talk to evil. Together, the three embody the proverbial principle of “No See (or see) the Evil Play No Evil, not talk to (or from) the Evil.” But what does this mean? Take the first sentence: “No Looking (or see) the Evil.” It means exactly what it says: “No Looking (or view) to Mal,” or do not look all that bad. Do not look evil, see no evil or gape at them too, yearn no evil, do not let evil into the system, even for a moment. Why not? Always drink milk last? Do you eat rotten meat? Bad Do Cheese? When you swallow, you digest it. And when you digest sick because of him. Your body absorbs it, and when your body realizes that it is not good, it needs to release quickly, somehow. It’s the same with evil. When we see evil, digest and digest the bad when it becomes part of us. Next, we need to release it in some way, which often has a negative result. For many, the idea that “see” evil is equivalent to “digest” the evil can sound like garbage. But there is a deep and powerful principle working here. To use a simple comparison, it is a proven fact that watching violence in the media (such as TV, movies, video games) makes us think and act more violently done:

“Literally thousands of studies since the 1950s have questioned whether there is a link between exposure to media violence and violent behavior. All but 18 have answered, “Yes.” The research evidence is overwhelming. According to the AAP, “Extensive research evidence and indicate that violence in the media can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares and fear of being harmed. Watching violent programs is also related to having less empathy for others. “-University Of Michigan Health System

Watching violence leads us to act more violently. Similarly, when “We see Evil” internalize it. And when we internalize evil, it becomes part of us, which means that eventually the evil must find their way out. If no, the evil wreaking havoc on our bodies and minds. Therefore, the old directive for “No See (or look) Evil” is a wise maxim that seeks to protect us from evil by warning us not to “look” first.


A 17th century carving over a door of the famous Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, Japan.

The following sentence, “Do not Listen to the Evil” is based on the same principle. When we hear the evil, it becomes part of us. Our body absorbs it like a sponge. Again, it’s like eating rotten food, the body can not sustain it, and have to leave. “No Talking (or) Bad with evil” is a little different. Seeing and hearing are two of our five senses (along with touch, taste and smell). But talking is not a feeling. Watch and listen at the same time involve taking something into the body, speech involves pushing something. So the principle “No Talking (or) bad with evil ” differs from the other two. In a sense, can be regarded as resulting from the other two. In other words, if you “do not see (or look) Evil” and “Listens No Evil”, then “not yet say to (or from) evill” as pure will. It is the formula of 1 + 1 = 2 The question is: Why is this simple wisdom is kept hidden from us? So well hidden that many Americans scoff at the true explanation of the Three Wise Monkeys have just give? Those who scoff must realize that this wisdom is ancient, dating back to 2500 and makes up a wise code of conduct followed by many civilizations in China, India, Japan and other countries. His wisdom has been adopted by great thinkers like Confucius

“Look not at what is contrary to propriety, not listen to what is contrary to propriety, not talk about what is contrary to propriety; do not make any move that is contrary to propriety “Confucius, c. 500 BC.

This article was written by Psalm Triginta

1 comment:

yvanmcgregorFebruary 26, 2015 at 9:16 pmReply

We must learn a whole lot more(MAS RAPIDO)
This is excellence pure,merci