Wise Monkeys

From left to right: Kikazaru, Mizaru, Lauriearu, Iwazaru

Kikazaru covers his ears to HEAR no evil. Bombarded endlessly with negative messaging, this is probably the hardest wisdom to accomplish.

Mizaru covers his eyes to SEE no evil. I don’t know about you, but once I see something, it’s imprinted on my mind. As such, I’m rather selective about what I let in.

Lauriearu — child, sibling, parent, partner, friend — endeavors to DO no evil. Rather, she makes a conscious effort to be positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing to those she encounters on life’s journey.

Iwazaru covers his mouth to SPEAK no evil. If communication is the currency of life, it’s imperative to not shortchange anyone.

Which monkey do you resonate with the most?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” — Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2013

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66 thoughts on “Wise Monkeys

  1. well, here’s one of the benefits of being furloughed: first to comment on Laurie’s blog! I am guilty of all four at some level, but as a student of the Jesuits, I am working to see, hear, do, and be health, goodness, prosperity, abundance, and love regardless of what might be happening. It is not easy because the world resonates with an on-the-edge-of-annihilation-at-any-moment semi-consciousness. It takes conscious effort and work to be the good, love, and abundance that is available if we choose them.

    • Barbara – Ohhhhh, you bring up some really good points here. It takes a CONSCIOUS EFFORT. It’s a CHOICE. The choice is OURS. Thank you for being the first to throw your hat into the ring today 🙂

  2. That is the cutest picture, Ms. Laurie! Which monkey do I resonate with? Well, different monkeys at different times. I am learning how to listen to “evil” and negativity without attaching or pushing it away. it IS the most challenging! But it feels like the next lesson here.

  3. Perhaps at the heart of each is BE no evil. It is the internal reactive or judging thought that I am always wanting to catch before it leads to speaking or doing the unwanted. Being faithful (even in short time bits) to meditative practices is my best path.

  4. Hi Laurie . I find this a little difficult, but after reading your wonderful posts over the last few weeks, I know there is no right answer to your questions . So for me it’s… To See No Evil.
    I can not bring myself to watch evil on telly whether it is on the news or film , it makes me so ill I just can’t sleep . I keep seeing images in my head and yet some men and women around our world can throw themselves into the horror and really make a difference . I wish I could be a little braver .
    Cherry x

    • Cherry – You’re absolutely accurate in that the Internal Inventory questions I pose each week do not have “right” or “wrong” answers.

      Like you, I have something that falls just short of a photographic memory — what I see is permanently etched in my mind. That’s why I’m selective about what I let in.

  5. If we don’t see evil, how can we act to make necessary changes?
    If we don’t talk about evil, how can we heal?
    If we don’t hear evil, how can we recognize the voice of goo? How can we recognize the call for help?
    Sometimes even by endeavouring to do good our actions resound in another’s life and that person interprets our actions as evil.
    What is evil? Can one person’s evil be another’s good?
    Thank you for this thought provoking post.

  6. Ah what a brilliant post today Laurie, and what a fabulous photo! Well, there can be no doubt that we all strive to be Lauriearu and probably succeed a good part of the time, but too often we find ourselves in the unenviable position of these other well-intended primates. Managing a blogsite has had me assuming the role of Kikazaru a bit more than I would like, but I am guided by the impeccable vision of Lauriearu to get me through it all.

  7. Having just passed through both Dulles International Airport last night and Heathrow in England this morning, I noticed the signs: “If you see something, say something.” This is of course in regards to seeing suspicious activity which might give a hint of an act of terrorism. Speak no evil is the one that resonates with me as I can complain about things that I think should be different than they are. Sometimes my complaining is evil because it speaks of my inablility to tolerate another’s opinion. At other times it is something that needs to said in order to assist in important change … like reporting that suspicious activity.

    When saying something negative or perhaps evil, one must consider if saying whatever one wants to say is what is necessary or is just a dagger being used to stab at something that we don’t agree with. It’s a dance with positivity and negativity as dance partners. It is necessary to ask oneself if what one is about to speak is really necessary or is just a moment of anger and being disagreeable.

  8. Lovely post!
    All the monkeys are wise.
    As much as we can, we must remain innocent.
    It does no harm to be knowlege, but it pays much more to use all that we encounter and experience positively.

  9. In my work life, I endeavored to do them all – even lauriearu! I am finding it so much nicer to choose what I read and share, what I see and share, and what I say…while being at home ( there is a freedom I find with writing on the computer and other places to share what I want to share and work at the most positive expression)
    Gotta love your picture.

    Today’s book review is a story written by Jamie Ford who spent years and years studying to be an artist – now he paints stories with words –
    Your picture is worth a 1000 words for sure.
    Thank you

  10. What a lovely post! We can learn much from all of them. Like you, I am very selective about what I “let in”, for example, I choose to not watch or listen to news very often. And I choose not to perpetuate negativity by discussing it. I choose to focus on that which makes me feel good and to spread joy and love and positive energy as much as possible.

    • Kathy – Oh Lordy, me too! I talk with my hands moving a mile a minute. I’ve been told that if I sat on my hands, I wouldn’t be able to speak. There are full days where it would probably be best if I simply sat on my hands and kept my lips zipped 🙂 Thank you so much for your visit and comment.

  11. Interesting question, which begs the question, what is good and evil?
    Is good a feeling?
    If so, is it a pleasant feeling, like those that come with sex?
    Evolution seems to have given us pleasant feelings around sex because it results in matings and further generations. So the process of life continues.
    So is good merely about survival?
    Vasectomies and contraceptive pills allow us the pleasures of sex without the probability of children. That is certainly a change from our evolutionary past, but is it evil?

    I think most of us would agree that killing other people is not a powerful long term survival strategy, and most would call it evil.
    I think most of us would agree that behaviours that support life and freedom, our own and those of others, are good.
    Yet cancer is the unrestrained multiplication of a line of cells that endangers the lives of all cells in the organism.

    There is certainly a strong sense in which we as humanity are a single cooperative entity, yet we are still in our very early stages of development, and some lines of us are still engaging in behaviours that in a lower organism would be defined as cancerous.

    The Greeks had the idea of the virtuous mean, between the vices of excess and deficiency, which works well with ideas like courage (an excess being recklessness, and a deficiency being cowardice), yet far less clear with ideas like freedom, how tightly does one constrain it around a mean between rigid law following and reckless disregard? Who gets to make the laws?

    It seems that there are many states and stages of development available to us as human beings, perhaps an infinite series, and it seems that within any single stage, there is infinite room to explore the possibilities available within that stage. The infinite range of action available within any stages makes it entirely possible that those at much higher stages may be completely unable to comprehend what someone at a much lower stage is doing, because that individual is exploring something in entirely new conceptual territory for that stage. So just because someone is at a “higher” stage of awareness, do they have an unimpeded right to constrain the freedoms of those at lower levels? I think not.

    One aspect of personal development is cultivating the ability to hold ones own mental and intellectual course in any environment, independent of external happenings, and it is certainly much easier to do that in some environments than others.

    I have mixed in many aspects of society, those who are lawful, those who tolerate the law, those who make the law, those who enforce it, those who ignore it, those who consider themselves above or beyond it, those who work within its systems and those who work outside them. I have seen aspects I like and aspects I dislike in individuals in each of those groups. People seem to be diverse, whatever group they may choose to associate with at any particular time.

    The idea of good and evil seems far too simplistic a notion to apply to real people, or to have much real meaning once we pass childhood. We are all extremely complex individuals, and how we behave varies greatly with time and context for most of us. We all make mistakes.

    And we all seem to contain a multitude of “mental monkeys” that will happily copy anything from any context, so some contexts are best avoided if we are not yet ready and able to handle them with equanimity.

    My chosen objective is to empower everyone, myself and all others, with the time, resources, freedom and ideas to choose our own paths to self actualisation.

    I wouldn’t call that a good path necessarily, and it is a path that appeals to me, calls me to it (so to speak), and it is a choice.

    • Ted –

      Talk about “new conceptual territory” — my understanding of your well stated response is a perfect example of lower stages being completely unable to comprehend what someone at a much higher stage is doing 🙂 But I always have a complete and total blast trying to hang on to your coattails as you soar through intellectual space!

  12. The one I’ve struggled the most with is “speaking no evil.” I really want to be an encourager and to exude positive energy when around others, but some days I can be too judgmental. Great post; it really made me think.

  13. I am the one likely to cover my ears to hear no evil but also to block out what I don’t want to hear. I find this can sometimes be a blessing and a curse, however… if I really need to hear certain things I avoid.

  14. I like to think I am the one that does no evil. When I wake up every morning I make a mental review of how my day is going to look with a focus on being positive and how I can make a difference to myself or someone else’s day. It usually works!

  15. Just found this blog… hope it’s not to late to respond. “Lauriearu — child, sibling, parent, partner, friend — endeavors to DO no evil. Rather, she makes a conscious effort to be positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing to those she encounters on life’s journey.”

    That is the one I resonate with the most… you… the do-er, have-er, and be-er of this most exclusive blog visit of all to me.

    What a fun read scrolling through the comments. The 3 monkeys Hear, See, Speak no evils sculpted out are cool. I relate as life lessons we learn along the way on when it’s safer to chose when to communicate or not.

    • Kathy – It’s never too late to respond to a post, and I’m so glad you did 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed reading through the comments as much as I did — we learn so much for each other 🙂

  16. I’m not sure how to answer this one – in my work as a therapist, I hear evil all the time (abuse, etc.), I see evil on the world news each night, I do my best to remain apart from doing evil, and I always try to make someone happier about themselves (again, in my work). I suppose my biggest challenge, even though I strive to see good in everyone, is to not see evil from outside sources and become cynical.

    • Theresa – As a holistic health practitioner and transformational life coach, I hear similar horror stories (physical, mental, and emotional abuse; betrayal, addictions, etc). The key for me is keeping my personal energy signature higher and faster than the lower/slower energy of negative people, places, things, events, and opportunities.

  17. Hi Laurie! I agree with you, when I see something it also gets imprinted on my mind. I would probably be the monkey closing my eyes >.< I would rather not see things that I don't need to see. It's like a spanish saying that my grandpa use to say, "eyes that don't see, heart that does not feel."

    Cute picture by the way 🙂

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