Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Eriata Oribhabor writes

The Fire Within

They found themselves in a poetic cave where words alone would save them from words threatening the health of the cave. All five held their words to their chests awaiting a savior.

Raging words needed to fire as a body to stay alive. One of them covered his words with a steel hat swelling like bloated bread headed for the bin.

Eyes of a second was sun colored. They pierced the overwhelming heat of the cave scoring for anyone belonging to his circle of friends. In vain, he huddled up to himself.

A third was known far and wide trading creative endeavors for societal good. He shook the cave's foundation saying; "do what I say, not what I do.''

The fourth grinned ear to ear boasting source of 21st century poetry. He brandished a certificate of award sent him by a foreign body for writing them a "good poem.''

The fifth didn't prove icing on the cake of an ego bunch sailing rivers of blind selfishness. He said, "With words, I built this cave. I have no words to contribute.''

The fire raged uncontrollably. Steel heads of words burnt to ashes leaving creativity on the cave's floor. Everyone died. Not from the fire of words but from lack of sharing and spreading words loaded with fire of inspiration.

Inspired by " The Cold Within'' (Written by Nathan Perry, a black inmate serving time in Arkansas state prison)

 Gandhi’s three monkeys (detail), 2007—2008 Bronze, old utensils, steel Balaclava head: 200 x 131 x 155 cm / 78 3/4 x 51 5/8 x 61 in Photo: A. Burger 
Gandhi's Three Monkeys [detail] -- Subodh Gupta


  1. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi acquired the honorific name "Mahatma" (Sanskrit for "high-souled, venerable") while he was a lawyer in South Africa fighting for Indian civil rights. He was also frequently called Bapu (Gujarati for "papa"). He pioneered nonviolent civil disobedience as a method of achieving swaraj (Indian self-rule), easing poverty, expanding women's rights, building religious and ethnic amity, and ending untouchability. His actions were based on his tactic of "satyagraha" (truth-force, in hus tanslation, though literally it is truth + insistence). He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven imself with yarn hand-spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food and also undertook long fasts as a means of social protest and self-purification. In August 1947 the UK granted independence to India but divded it into two new nations, a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan, leading to sectarian violence in the Punjab, Begal, and elsewhere. Rather than attending the official celebration of independence in Delhi, the goal he had devoted himself to for decades, he toured the disaffected areas in an effort to provide solace, undertaking a new series of fasts to promote religious harmony. The last of these began on 12 January 1948, when he was 78, but he was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist on 30 January. The one notable exception to his lifestyle of non-possession was a small statue of the three wise monkeys that represented the principle "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." (A larger representation of the statue is now prominently displayed at the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, where Gandhi lived from 1915 to 1930 and from where he departed on 12 March 1930 and led thousands of Indians 388 km (241 mi) to Dandi on the coast to make salt himself in defiance of the 1882 Salt Act which taxed salt production. This was the first of his acts of large-scale satyagraha and the beginning of widespread opposititon to British rule. The government responded by imprisoning 60,000 people; Gandhi was imprisoned for almost a year.)

  2. The three monkeys ("sanbiki no saru" in Japanese) are Mizaru, who covers his eyes, Kikazaru, who covers his ears, and Iwazaru, who covers his mouth, derived from "mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru" (see not, hear not, speak not). Sometimes a fourth monkey, Shizaru, who symbolizes the principle of "do no evil,"is shown crossing his arms or covering his genitals. (More humorously, a fourth monkey with a sulking posture is captioned "have no fun.") According to Osho Rajneesh, the four monkeys had a Hindu origin that sharply differed from the Buddhist proverb about not dwelling on evil thoughts: the first monkey denoted "Don't listen to the truth because it will disturb all your consoling lies," the second one, "Don't look at the truth; otherwise your God will be dead and your heaven and hell will disappear," the third one, "Don't speak the truth, otherwise you will be condemned, crucified, poisoned, tortured by the whole crowd, the unconscious people. You will be condemned, don't speak the truth!"and the fourth one, "Keep your pleasures, your joys, hidden. Don't let anybody know that you are a cheerful man, a blissful man, an ecstatic man, because that will destroy your very life. It is dangerous." The popular version of the slogan probably originated with a Tendai Buddhist legend that went from China to Japan in the 8th century, perhaps originating from a maxim by Kong Fuzi ("Confucius") in the 6th century BCE ("Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety"). Four golden statues from the 6th-8th centuries ("no see, no hear, no say, no do") are housed in the Zelnik István Southeast Asian Gold Museum in Budapest, but they resemble apes less than human tribal people with strong phallic symbols. The Tendai monks combined Buddhism with Chinese Taoist and Japanese Shinto practices to forge the Kōshin rite of Japanese folk religion, which held that the Sanshi (the Three Corpses living in everyone's body) would leave a person's sleeping body every 60 days to report that person's deeds to Ten-Tei, the Heavenly God, who would then decide to punish bad acts by making the person ill, shorten lifespans, or ending lives immediately; the Sambiki Saru ("The Three Mystic Apes"), the attendants of Saruta Hito no Mikoto (Kōshin, the God of the Roads) would preven the Sanshi and Ten-Tei from seeing, saying, or hearing the person's bad deeds. The pictorial maxim was popularized in the 17th century by Jingoro Hidari's door carvings at the Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan.


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