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Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil and The Hidden Wise Monkey

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The Matrix of Four of Consciousness

Idiots, Zealots, Elitists and Patriots

​Throughout recorded time, and probably since the beginning of The Neolithic Age, there have been four types of people in the world, idiots, zealots, elitists, and patriots. The only legitimate way to understand individuals is through how they respond to information. Idiots refuse information, zealots refute information, elitists misuse information, and patriots seek and distribute information.

These archetypes are true of patriarchal societies around the world, and has probably been the case since homo habilis was a boy. While consistent across cultures, these archetypes have been subdivided in many ways, have borne countless different names, and their attitudes toward one another have varied (slightly) from age to age. But the essential dynamics of society has never altered. Even after enormous upheavals and irrevocable changes, the same pattern has historically reasserted itself over time, just as gravity finds equilibrium.

“Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low. They have been subdivided in many ways, they have borne countless different names, and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude towards one another, have varied from age to age: but the essential structure of society has never altered. Even after enormous upheavals and seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope will always return to equilibrium, however far it is pushed one way or the other.” From the book within the book, 1984, by George Orwell 

Idiots, Zealots, Elitists and Patriots

These four societal archetypes are inevitably intertwined, and their aims entirely reconcilable. Although their behaviors are dissimilar, their differences fit together into one dysfunctional whole, comprising a society’s collective relationship to information, and indeed, its own truth.

​To expand on the definitions offered above, idiots avoid all new pertinent information in order to maintain their perspective, never questioning the status quo. Zealots ask certain questions of certain information, ignoring unaligned information in order to maintain their perspective, supporting the status quo at all costs. Elitists question information in order to manipulate and reap gains off those who don’t know, benefiting from the status quo. Patriots question information to educate themselves and share it with others, in order that we might progress beyond the status quo.

Despite dramatic alterations in the world’s geopolitical landscape, and some fluctuation of individuals from one group/role to another over time, the dynamic between these groups has historically remained the same. What has changed in the technological age is simply that we have more ways and means to use, misuse, refute and refuse information.

Today, just as ever, idiots avoid all new pertinent information in an attempt to maintain a limited, comfortable perspective. Zealots believe they have “the answer”. They ask certain questions of certain information, but ignore and dissociate from information that is unaligned to their pre-determined perspective. Elitists question information in order to manipulate those who do not have that information, to their own benefit. Patriots question information to educate themselves and share it with others in order that all may progress.

These archetypes may seem like generalizations; and they are. They are also ancient and universal in structured societies. How people interact with new information is a result of both primal response and experiential programming, so understanding these archetypes can reveal a great deal about people and their character. In my experience as a truth-seeker and an activist – a patriot – this is the only thought-model or assumption that can truly help us understand how people relate to information, and therefore how we can best relate information to them.

 The Four Wise Monkeys

There is an ancient adage and image that depicts the thinking and being of people through a series of archetypal monkeys; Hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil. Commonly known as The Wise Monkeys or The Three Wise Monkeys they are typically depicted sitting next to each other in a row. One covers its eyes, blinding itself. The second covers its ears, deafening itself. The third covers its mouth, gagging itself. Of these supposedly wise monkeys, none seem much the wiser for its ignorance.

In fact, each character is hampering itself and its experience of its surroundings, of truthful information in one way or another. And yet this adage of ‘wisdom’ is still widely accepted. What most people don’t realize, however, is that the depiction of these ‘Three Wise Monkeys’ is a deliberately incomplete narrative; there is actually a fourth Wise Monkey that is seldom depicted in western interpretation. Representing the virtue of ‘fear no evil’ the fourth monkey sits with its arms folded over its abdomen. It is the patriot who, fearing no evil, questions information to learn and share it with others, in order that all may progress. It is indeed the only of the monkeys that shows any wisdom at all! The Four Wise Monkeys are hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, fear no evil. And the four wise monkeys are reflective of the four archetypal reactions to information. 

In an oligarchical society structured to benefit a few at the expense of many, idiots shut their eyes to all information that puts this reality in their face and simply refuse to learn. Zealots fervently support the official narrative; they close their ears and do not hear what’s really going on, but tend to keep speaking nonetheless. Elitists keep their mouths shut and do not disclose what is seen and heard, understanding what is happening but opting rather for silence. Patriots, the least common of the monkeys, use all their senses; they observe but do not react in fear. The archetype of the four wise monkeys is considered to be one of the oldest axioms with a corresponding image.

The original concept has its roots in Chinese philosophy and can be
traced back to at least the 8th century. In Japan, it is interpreted as akin to The Golden Rule and is also a play on words. The Japanese word for monkey is saru and the expression in Japanese uses verb forms that sound like the word monkey; mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru and shizaru. Outside Japan, the predominant presentation of the wise monkeys around the world lacks the fourth monkey, fear no evil, shizaru.

Buddhists and many others interpret the wise monkeys as a karmic reminder of sorts not to participate in any form of evil, but it is more than that. This traditional interpretation states that one should not see, hear or speak of inconsequential concepts. It is true that avoiding irrelevance is wise, but this is only part of the truth. In Asia people conceptualized that all movement, physically and metaphysically, begins and is anchored in the abdominal region or dantien, an energy point just above the belly button. The fourth monkey is unafraid and unflinching, and watches and listens calmly, with hands resting on the dantien. Like his companions in varied measure, the fourth monkey looks, listens and communicates, but does not react in fear of what is seen, heard and said.

It is no wonder the fourth monkey has been all but deleted from the archetypal presentation of the wise monkeys adage. He is the only truly wise monkey of the four, the patriot. The fourth wise monkey faces the truth without fear, a distinct contrast to the other three, apparently frightened monkeys. It is an old example of a missing whole truth and a partial presentation. The absence is normally unconsidered or trivial, but helps to point out the very lesson of the wise monkeys maxim. Similarly, in George Orwell’s seminal fiction/warning 1984, the Brotherhood (who are working to bring down the fascist rulers, ‘The Party’) are similarly deleted through the admission of language.

1984, by George Orwell, tells the story of an imagined dystopian future. The Telescreen, which constantly transmits as well as oversees its audience. The “Theory and Practice to Oligarchical Collectivism” is the book within the book, providing the guidelines for this distopian society, which posits that there are three types of people in the society: the high (the Inner Party), the middle (the Outer Party) and the low (the Proles). Each conforms to the will of the collectivist society.

According to the Inner Party and the Telescreen it controls, any who might challenge the system are said to simply not exist; there are no patriot, nor fourth fearless monkey, and any who think that way are therefore isolated; a common divide-and-conquer tactic of empires past and present. The Brotherhood – the organization of patriots – are portrayed by the controlling ‘Inner Party’ as a rumored group, and the notion of their existence is belittled by the Inner Party, via the Telescreen, and they are ‘disappeared’ from the mainstream society altogether. The story’s protagonist, patriot Winston Smith, is made to believe he is the last person who questions, who looks, who listens and who speaks. The rebellious Brotherhood is known only as a rumor, a fourth vague possibility, and Smith believes himself to be ‘The Last Man in Europe’ (the title originally intended by George Orwell, instead of 1984.)

“The Most dangerous person is the one who looks, listens, thinks and observes.” ~Bruce Lee

“A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.” ~ Albert Einstein

Four is symbolic for completion. The pronunciation of the word “four” in Japanese and Mandarin is similar to the word for death. In Japan and most of China, death and four are near homonyms and the relation instigates fear and aversion of the number. Four is a number that evokes fear in parts of Asia and is superstitiously avoided as one would avoid word of death. The missing fourth monkey and the archetype of the suppressed fourth patriot are both prime examples of partial truths being used by those in power – particularly those in control of media – to psychologically eliminate their opposition. In particular, the absence of the fourth wise monkey helps to point out the very lesson of the wise monkeys maxim itself: Observe reality and openly communicate with others about the nature of the conditions around you. By observing and speaking without fear, you will find what is hidden, by way of what is already known.

​When we stop and consider what is “already there” in our modern world, it becomes obvious how regularly institutions maintain lies by partial presentation of fact and proceed, as if the absent piece never existed and therefore does not matter. For example, did Iraq actually have weapons of mass destruction? No, but the partial presentation of fact on the part of the U.S. government and their media (the Telescreen) meant that war was carried out in the name of protection, despite the omitted absence of any genuine threat. The occupation of Iraq continues long after those facts were revealed.

When power is at stake, institutions always insist that there are three when there are four. They insist that they have the correct formula, and that there is no reason to question it — only a need to believe it.

Ignorance is temporarily bliss, until the moment arrives when knowledge is needed, at which time one inevitably pays for their ignorance. Ignorance is strength to institutions. Institutions instill ignorance because ignorance results in fear and fear results in dependence, and dependence creates profitable, compliant societies. And if all else fails, they send in the military.

Gandhi was a true patriot. While he was not without fault, he functioned as a fourth monkey in every facet of his public life. Unlike the idiot, zealot and elitist, Gandhi lived a lifestyle of few attachments, and in his public life embodied the characteristics of the fourth monkey; Fear No Evil.

The lesson of the wise monkeys is layered in its interpretation, but what cannot be debated is that the truly wise maintain all of their senses. The wise do not participate in evil nor ignore evil in one way or another; they do not observe evil in fear of it, but in calm, determined awareness. Like the fourth wise monkey, they stay informed and alert. They ignore only irrelevance. They listen and observe without prejudice, not hindering their own senses for fear. They are characterized by discerning vision, an understanding ear, thoughtful speech and the courage to hold their ground.

“Non-cooperation with evil is a sacred duty.” ~ Gandhi

People are not monkeys. People are people; it is our reaction to information that defines us. We are all alike; we all want food, and clean water, and personal freedom for instance. The difference between people is in how they react to information. Our reactions are often based on prior information, experience and acquired tolerations or fears, and people can transpose from one to the other depending on the conditions and circumstances.

Thinking as a patriot does not necessarily mean you want change for its own sake, only when change is necessary to make a right or cancel a wrong. They are able to embrace change, including stopping, by openly questioning new information. Patriots are willing to implement change through their action and inaction. Patriots use their senses and cease participation in the perpetuation of manipulated information. Patriots are a rarity in society, like four leaf clovers in the forest, but they indeed exist. Patriots are not afraid to stop, look, listen and speak up. Patriots do not fear repercussions of their speech, they are unafraid to speak the truth.

“I do believe that where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence I would advise violence,” Gandhi wrote in Doctrine of the Sword.

Most everyone is afraid of something; afraid of what evil they might see or hear, or have to speak out about. Patriots may be afraid at times as well; everyone is afraid sometimes. But only true patriots are not afraid of obtaining or sharing information, and speaking out on their perspective of truth. Patriots are unafraid of taking right action, or halting action on behalf of what is right. If patriots are wary of anything, it is the outcome of the fear and ignorance that continues without the freedom and availability of information. The Fourth Monkey looks, listens, speaks up so that other individuals may benefit.

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are headed.” ~Lao Tzu 

The strength of patriots is revealed in the lessons of history. Exploitative institutional mechanics can be dismantled and bettered, and individuals can ascend institutional walls. Just as people are capable of creating institutions, people are capable of halting or developing exploitative institutions as well. Institutions after all, are only a human structure — a social machinery.

When evil is about, the only way to cancel it is to look, listen, speak up about it and cease support of it without fear. Stand up forthrightly, unafraid. Do not cooperate with evil, but face it head on. When evil becomes institutionalized, by governments and corporations, it must be confronted by the people with foreknowledge of their surroundings and conditions. Only by using the senses and refusing to serve evil, can one make monkey-work out of canceling the evil that lurks behind the shadows of our society. 

The political and social lessons of The Wise Monkeys reveal a pattern at play and reveals how to raise the bar to the pattern. If we remain in the hyper politicized and institutionalized construct we will inevitably be reacting out the simple layer of The Wise Monkeys, playing the game if you will, at best being a peaceful warrior and righteous rebel that is The Fourth Monkey and as the suggest, most likely being most frequently one or the other monkeys, the deaf, the blind and the dumb. Or as I elaborate in The Complete Patriot’s Guide to Oligarchical Collectivism; the idiot, the zealot and elitist. The Fourth wise monkey equating to the patriot in the set discussed

    The pattern is revealed in the monkey mind relations of the external and exoteric worlds. The format to develop ourselves internally and esoterically is also revealed via The Wise Monkeys set of four, in inspiring one not to be like a monkey with eyes, ears or mouth shut out of fear. The best way to develop ourselves and then raise the bar of our relationships and our surroundings is to develop self, The Wise Monkeys exemplify one manner to do so.

    How do we practice self-development? If we release the potential of The Wise Monkeys the process is revealed. The first step is to focus, to open your eyes and maintain a steady focus on practice. The second step is take responsibility for all around you and not be deaf to the lessons offered and potentials revealed. The third step is to care to elevate others, and care to share information on the process with those around you. With steady focus of vision, clarity of hearing, and caring to share comes the love of the fourth monkey.

    At the heart of the heroic nature of the fourth monkey is the contrast of seeking to do no wrong. If we imagine only doing things we know are not wrong we can relate to the loving nature of the fourth monkey. Many institutionalized warriors will do what they believe is right, not the fourth monkey. The fourth monkey only acts on what is not wrong.

    The somewhat hidden esoteric self-development layering within The Wise Monkeys symbolism is mirrored in The Four Powers of The Sphinx, in Eliphas Levi’s work Key to The Mysteries. The Four Powers of The Sphinx are Knowledge, Will, Courage, and Silence, corresponding to the four elements of air, fire, water, and earth. These powers or attributes are, in a way, the contrasts of the Three Wise Monkeys failings, and altogether the enhancement of The Fourth Monkey.

“To attain the Sanctum Regnum, in other words, the knowledge and power of the Magi, there are four indispensable conditions–an intelligence illuminated by study, an intrepidity which nothing can check, a will which cannot be broken, and a prudence which nothing can corrupt and nothing intoxicate. To know, to dare, to will, to keep silence – such are the four words of the Magus, inscribed upon the four symbolical forms of the sphinx.” ~Eliphas Levi

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