05 February, 2010

damn those bath monkeys

reading in the bath has proven to not be the best idea in the world so now i've been forced to just thinking there, to pass the time. i do my best work there actually. anyway whilst washing my hair i was hit with a conundrum. we are all familiar with the japanese proverb, 'sanbiki no saru' that translated literally means 'three monkeys'.

the three wise monkeys, embody the proverb, 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' and shows each of the three monkeys covering their eyes, ears and mouth. in some cases there is also included a fourth monkey covering its stomach, meaning 'do no evil'.

so this got me thinking, whilst soaking in bubbles, if evil is all about the senses what about the other two? touch has massive biblical connotations. being touched by the devil, in monotheistic religions, is the way satan (judeo-christian) or iblis (islam) enter the body of innocent people. during the salem witch trials in new england, freckles and moles where physical indicators of people who had been touched by the devil. so where is the 'touch' monkey? maybe it's a historical thing, the east and west had not met when the maxim was first developed in the 8th century. but that's for history nerds far smarter than me.

but if im perfectly honest, this whole dilemma did spring from the idea. if the devil exists, he is a bad dude and surely personal hygiene isnt at the top of his 'to-do' list plus sulphur is smelly and hell is littered with it (apparently). therefore....'smell no evil' monkey is just smart philosophysing. right?!

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