The conceptual framework for a man's search for meaning

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Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru

May 16th, 2011 by dimpledbrain

Mizaru is the monkey covering his eyes, Kikazaru is the monkey covering his ears and Iwazaru is the monkey covering his mouth. Together the three wise monkeys form the proverb, “see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil”.

The monkeys are quite cute, aren’t they?


Oh yes,

  1. Mizaru – the monkey who covered his eyes. We tend to cover our eyes or our entire face whenever we hear a bad news or witness something bad. The gesture is to symbolically block ourselves from seeing or hearing the bad news.
  2. Kikazaru – the monkey who covered his ears. A child tends to cover his/her ears to block out the noise when he/she doesn’t want to listen to a reprimanding parent. The picture below shows Victoria Beckham fiddling with her ear every time she sees a photographer.
  3. Iwazaru – the monkey who covered his mouth. A child who lies tends to cover his/her mouth to stop the deceitful words from coming out.

As we grow older, these gestures become less obvious and quicker. For instance, when we lie we may look away from the person being lied to and gently touch or rub our eyes hoping that the lie will disappear.

Similarly, when we are told some absurd things, we may gently touch our ears to block out the words we are hearing although we may say something along the line ‘Yes, that sounds absolutely fantabulous.’

Lastly, someone pulling an Iwazaru is indicative of covering up a lie/hiding something. If I gently touch my mouth after replying a convincing “Yes” to the question “Do you think that job is worth taking up”, you may want to double check on that again. Chances are I am trying to lie or hide something.

There is a famous Chinese saying that goes something like this – we shouldn’t have the desire to hurt others but at the same time we should protect ourselves from others’ malice. In the same vein, the intent of this post is not to teach us to be better con men but rather more to protect ourselves from others who may take us for a ride.

I am also duly reminded of a quote that I like a lot in the the book The Prince by Machiavelli that said: If men were entirely good this precept would not hold, but because they are bad, and will not keep faith with you, you too are not bound to observe it with them. 

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