How do we “spiritually” deceive ourselves?

A lesson from three monkeys

Question: Why are these three monkeys playing deaf, dumb and blind?  

  1. So they can appear innocent while ignoring reality.
  2. So they can be sincere and phony at the same time.
  3. So they can behave disgracefully without having to notice.
  4. All of the above   

Answer:  #4

While the conventional explanation is that these three monkeys are “wisely” refraining from witnessing, hearing or speaking evil – a seemingly noble aspiration - a closer inspection reveals the theatrics of spiritual self deception. By playing deaf, dumb and blind, we monkeys can always “plead innocence” - even though in our hearts we are uneasy with the “story lines” we peddle.  We can always with a sincere heart have an excuse, make an argument, defend ourselves, blame others, skirt the real issue, ignore the message - the shenanigans are endless - because first we chose to play deaf, dumb and blind to what is spiritually obvious. Instead of being authentically open and vulnerable to our lives, we too often play innocent - like our monkeys pictured here. But in the end, such spiritual phoniness simply distorts our noble humanity into mere “monkey business”.