Friday, February 10, 2006

Riding the Eternal Thread

What is it that makes our brains jump around from one idea to another -- or one image to another? How do those gray cells turn into magical gymnasts in infinitely branching protoplasm?

Is there some sort of meaning to any of it?

Today I was wondering what to blog. My mind kept landing on the image of the three monkeys of "Hear no evil. Speak no evil. See no evil," fame. Could this be because I have been so aware of my need to not contribute negativity to the world (as much as I can avoid it anyway)? I have given that a lot of thought of late - wanting to make my own lifespace as peaceful as possible, as reflective of love as possible. Is that why I have this image gripping me?

Maybe.

I do trust that images will unfold their own intent, so I proceeded to just "ride the thread" of thought to see where it took me. I went to the web looking for images that I could use of the 3 monkeys. I found this one through sheer chance taken at the Toshogu Shrine in Japan. The shrine was built in the early 1600's and is meant to honor the 1st Shogun of Japan. That's all well and good -- but here is the ironic part.

Almost to this exact day, 20 years ago, I was standing in front of that very carving at that precise shrine in the midst of a snowy day in Japan.

Is that day calling me for some reason? Is there something there in the past that I am supposed to learn from now? Or, is the connection a way that the idea of the monkeys gets emphasized or undescored as being important - like the Universe hitting me over the head with a cosmic frying pan "just to get my attention" about the image. Is this how God sends messages, coded into the fabric of ordinary memories?

Or, is this just a random connection?

A friend of mine who is an artist says that she gets certain "image hits" that she follows to their conclusion until she feels they have revealed what they are meant to. An "image hit" for her is a fascination with one sort of image that won't let go. Like my monkeys. She says that usually they end up unearthing something of value.

Let's say that every memory is a collection of images and feelings. And each image and feeling is deposited in the brain, or the body, as some sort of electrochemical imprint.

What if the memory lands there and then starts branching out to anything that references it - so for me, the monkeys branch to Japan, and to a spiritual position, and to the little brass monkeys my Uncle Mac used to have on his shelf, and to every other memory about monkeys that I have.

What if I share a memory with other people? What if my memory of these three shrine monkeys is shared by everyone else that has ever seen them, and those memories are all linked up somewhere in the great Collective Unconscious. Then when I think about the monkeys, a little blip gets ignited which lights up my monkey-mind and connects me with every other person's monkey-mind.

Maybe I was thinking about monkeys because somewhere in Japan, 20 years ago, a woman stood next to me who today is looking at her old pictures. There I am, over to the left, in the corner of one of her pictures of that day.

I am waving. Hello Hello Forever.

4 Comments:

Blogger Andy said...

I work with a gentleman from India who talks about chaotic situations as having "turned into a big monkey dance." I was home sick this week and I saw that on two different shows that my daughter watches there were characters this week doing a "monkey dance".

4:35 PM  
Blogger Mata H said...

melancthon -- so you get the drift here -- there is something behind all those times we see something in the world and say "I was just thinking of that .." or "So and So just mentioned that..."

Maybe.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Religionfree said...

We have each had occasion to experience the "knowing" that someone was about to call or drop by. I sometimes wonder if these experiences are little exercises to "awaken" our sensitivities. Just curious, mata, as to what your animal totem is, if you are interested in this. Could it be the monkey? Your thoughts of your trip to Japan nearly 20 years ago may simply be a gentle reminder of the beauty and grandeur of your experience there. The number three also seems to have significance. Why not just one monkey instead of the three? Spirit is interesting and complex.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Maggie Rose said...

these sorts of sudden connection points in life are things I pay very close attention to as well...so I really enjoyed reading your reflection on this experience.

and somewhat not really connected to your point about the monkey image yet slightly so, I would love to post a photo of the 3 See-Hear-Speak No Evil that I have...but of the laughing buddha rather the 3 monkeys...unfortunately I haven't a clue as to how to post an image in a comment section at Blogger.

bummer. Maggie Rose

12:04 PM  

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