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Tetraphobia

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   Tetraphobia

It is worth noting that on the day of the worst disaster in history, the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster in Japan, the President of the U.S.A. held a news conference focused on the disaster.   Only he had scheduled the news conference prior and originally the news conference was going to be on a whole other topic.   Originally the conference was going to be about the NATO enforced no-fly-zone/armed conflict in Libya.   The discussion about that would have to wait.   The news conference transformed into an expression of compassion for and discussion on Japan.   And in the weeks following the USA and Canada turned off the radiation readings normally open to the public as if to shut our eyes.

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The earthquake and tsunami caused several nuclear reactors to fail and meltdown.   It also threatened the essential infrastructure of the nuclear experiment which could result in further more catastrophic nuclear hellfire.   The specific problem is the spent fuel pools.   Spent fuel is actually not spent at all, it is highly radioactive and unstable.   The spent fuel pools hold globe altering amounts of poison.   And unit 4 in the middle of the other five units is a crumbling, rumored to have been leaning, holds enormous amounts of radioactive material which would destroy an already permanently altered Japan and perhaps the region known as the northern hemisphere.   The radioactive material covering Japan and increasingly the world cannot be seen or detected by humans without machines and therefore it is one of the easiest things to lie about.   And it is also one of the easiest dangers to ignore.  

In numerous Asian languages the word four is a homonym with the word death.   People frequently equate the number with death and fear it and avoid it as they would death.   In Mandarin, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean the words death and four sound the same and the number is scorned as some in the west scorn thirteen.   Throughout Asia tetraphobia, fear of four, is commonplace.   People avoid the number so extensively it is omitted in elevators, in buildings and hospital room numbers across Asia.      Surely the dangers and what some are calling the inevitable disaster of Unit 4 at Fukushima Daiichi is only enhancing the fear of four.

There is an Asian image and adage which was heavily influenced by the tendency to consciously and unconsciously omit four.   The homonym might be the main reason one of the most highly regarded images and adages across much of Asia is distorted, with the fourth part missing.   The adage is about human mentality.        

It is the adage and image of The Wise Monkeys; Hear No Evil, See No Evil and Speak No Evil.   Three monkeys are depicted in a row, one covering its eyes, the other covering its ears and the last covering its mouth.   The three monkeys in the adage are reflective of human characteristics in the face of evil, an evil like nuclear experimentation say.  

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The adage of the Wise Monkeys likely originates from ideas of Confucius.   The Chinese philosophies ultimately migrated to Japan.   And in Japanese the word not and the word monkey are homonyms, just like four and death.   This is likely where the word play with the imagery originates.   

"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."   ~Confucius, Analects of Confucius

The idea of the Wise Monkeys is likely derived from this four sided Confucius notion.   The adage and image normally presents just the three monkeys, likely because of the aversion of four in the area of its origin and prominence, and potentially in relation to other philosophies which valued three.   There are many lessons and reflections which can be gained from the adage and corresponding image aside from that alliterated by Confucius.   Yet because the three monkeys limit themselves in one way or another none seem wise at all.   Ignoring inconsequence is wise however ignoring evil is a dangerous ignorance.   The Three Wise Monkeys are deaf and blind to evils of nuclear experimentation, while the third monkey keeps quiet about the evils of nuclear experimentation.

The seldom displayed missing fourth monkey, is known as Fear No Evil or Do No Evil and is the only one which seems wise at all.   It holds its abdomen, symbolic for one's center and the point where all movement originates according to Asian cultures.   The fourth monkey looks, listens, speaks, but fears no evil and perhaps thusly, does no evil.   The other three are afraid of what they might see, hear, or say.   There are many ways to interpret the image, being that it is a layered symbol.  

In much of Asia four is a homonym with death.   A similar implication of death is noted in Western cultures.   In the Bible four is the number of apocalyptic horsemen who bring death to the world.   Four is symbolic of completion, death being the ultimate completion.   Some systems denote three parts to life; birth, life and death.   And some people say that death comes in threes, pointing to a frequent aversion and power to the number as well.  

And yet there are many celebrated sets of three and for whatever reason, the unspoken fourth.     During the European Inquisitions, people were imprisoned, tortured and killed for questioning the dominant religious presentation of one God made up of the holy trinity.   To suggest there was anything other than three parts to one God resulted in a heretical death sentence.  

     Perhaps the insistence of three was based on the frequently celebrated trinity of mental, physical and spiritual.   However this trinity is a duality of polarity with an omission, a misnomer.   In fact the Hindu idea of Purusha and Prakrti breaks down this example of the duality of polarity and is an idea similar to the Yin Yang.   There is matter and nature.   And contrastingly there is spirit and consciousness.  

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The natural is omitted in this set of four.   Among the physical, mental and spiritual it is excluded and as evident by the way most of nature is treated, nature is excluded in most considerations as well.   The trinity of mental/physical/spiritual, or mind/body/spirit is incomplete without the natural, nature or mother earth.   If only they would have considered nature's fury and nature's sensitivity more when contemplating the risk and reward of nuclear experimentation.  

The promotion of nuclear experimentation is the greatest set of evils ever unleashed upon the world.   And the vast majority of people are deaf and blind to it.   A few people know exactly what's going on and keep their mouth shut about it.   The only people who support nuclear experimentation, after whole regions of earth have been lost and altered to it, are those who are ignorant about it or those who have something to gain from it.      

 

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Ethan Indigo Smith is the son of a farmer and nurse who was later adopted by artists. Ethan was raised in Maine, Manhattan, and Mendocino, California. Ethan is a proud dropout. Ethan has traveled the world and has been employed briefly as (more...)
 

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