The Three wise monkeys and why I find them Fascinating.
Why am I so obsessed with the three wise monkeys and find it so engaging as an image?
The original story comes form a Buddhist proverb, but on reading the Wikipedia description you find it has many connotations and roots.
As a student of Buddhist scriptures I do see the similarity between Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil and See no Evil with the associations of being of good mind, speech and action. Around my ankle I have the Buddhist saying om mani padme hum, which I believe has a similar meaning, mind of a Buddha, Speech of a Buddha, Body of a Buddha.
Having said all this and loving it’s Buddhist connotations that is not why I use it. In modern society I feel it speaks of the inability of a large portion of society to see, hear and speak of what is really going on in the world or in themselves. Of the Governments control over 99% of the population.
I grew up believing that we voted for a representative in Parliament, he/she, represented those in his constitution, and voted for what they wanted, I felt he was bound to the people he represented and in a way should have no opinion of his own but like a lawyer, had to fight for his clients. Was this ever true? I don’t know, it may be the belief we are fed, why else would we vote? But if it ever was true it certainly isn’t now, politicians vote for their own interests or ideology, millionaires looking after the welfare of other millionaires, allowing us to be poisoned on every front, our water, food, air are all toxic, all killing us slowly and the politicians do nothing about it, they act out the farce of Prime Minister's Question Time, digging at each other as if our lives were just a game of chess with no consequences. Winning the game is far more important than how many pawns you lost. Pawns are for sacrificing and we are the pawns.
No one wants war, so how is it possible for it to go ahead? Because politicians don’t face the consequences of their actions, the bombs don’t fall on their houses or their children.
People have relinquished their power, this is why I see Hear No Evil, See no Evil, Speak No Evil as the slogan for the modern generation, give them X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, give them reality TV where the only problems are your fake Tan not being dark enough or your teeth not being white enough, give them Snapchat filters where they can look like a cute kitten and everyone is happy. Meanwhile the powers that be make sure that real wages fall exponentially, health is declining to the point where children will start dying before their parents at an unprecedented rate, mental health becomes an ever bigger problem not because it is now being diagnosed more but because society does not fit with human needs, the mind forced to shut down to protect the owner, if you can keep your mental health when forced to work 45 hours a week for just enough money to pay your bills then your mind is not healthy it is brainwashed, you are anaesthetised and probably spending any excess money on alcohol in order to cope.
This for me is the true meaning of Hear No Evil, See no Evil, Speak No Evil, today. Can art wake people up from this sedation? My hope is yes, it can needle its way in on a subconscious level, niggle away at the viewer until they wake up and say no. Take back their power. Hear the bullshit, See whats going on and Refuse to keep quiet.