Kikazaru is one of the three wise monekys. He hears no evil by covering his ears.

In Japanese legend, the Sanshi are the Three Corpses or worms, living inside everyone’s body. The Sanshi keep track of the good deeds and particularly the bad deeds of the person they inhabit. They report these deeds to the god, Ten-Tei. The three wise monekys caused the Sanshi and, ultimately, the god, Ten-Tei not to see, say or hear the bad deeds of a person. Protecting them from judgement or persecution.

When I was a child I had imaginary friends who I thought provided good thoughts and bad thoughts to me. I was the third, neutral person who could be influenced either way. In a way my imaginary friends operated like the three monkeys – giving me an excuse for bad behavior. I also experienced name-calling and bullying from children and teachers at school. The idea of being able to choose not to listen to those cruel and damaging voices is encouraging. That we have a choice to allow our protective inner voices to be louder and more powerful.

This partially ties into modern psychology which talks of the vulnerable child, the nurturing parent and the critical adult inside each personality. The idea of there being multiple facets to ones personality fascinates me. We are not just driven by one inevitable force. We have options if we tune into the different voices in our heads.

The three monkeys proverb is sometimes used to refer to a lack of moral responsibility on the part of people who refuse to acknowledge impropriety, looking the other way or feigning ignorance. Perhaps a result of not being in touch with their more kind, empathetic inner voices?

Posted on

February 15, 2021