Zaru's

The three wise monkeys

The ancient legend tells us that the gods, unable to appear on earth, sent on their behalf three wise monkeys who had been raised and prepared by themselves. Their mission was to be observers and messengers, taking testimony of the acts of mankind, this information was sent to the gods who made a decision on whether to impose sanctions or not.

His original message was «don’t listen to what will lead you to do bad deeds». The Japanese names of the three wise monkeys are Mizaru (見猿) could not look, so his information was never visually true (he covers his eyes), Kikazaru (聞か猿) could not listen so his version was not as told (he covers his ears), Iwazaru (言わ猿) could not say what he had heard and looked at, which made his information lack details (he covers his mouth). 

In the West we have a version of this teaching with the three filters of Socrates, Are you absolutely sure that what you are going to tell me about my friend is true, Is what you are going to tell me about my friend something good, and Is what you are going to tell me about my friend useful to me? If what you have come to tell me you do not know if it is true, it is not good and it is not useful to me, why tell me?

Mizaru (見猿)

Kikazaru (聞か猿)

Iwazaru (言わ猿)