Six Commandments of an Obscure Primate Religion Discovered in East Indies

By Martha Williams

Linguists and archaeologists working together on an island in the Malay Archipelago have discovered the Six Commandments of a religion practiced by tarsiers, a small leaping primate found only in remote, peaceful areas of Southeast Asia.

A tarsier pondering its fate

A tarsier pondering its fate

Digging on the island of Sumbawa, about 475 miles east of Surabaya, the excavation team unearthed a stone tablet on which Six Commandments were chiseled in an archaic tarsierian “chirp” or “yip” language. A yip linguist on site translated the commandments as follows:

  1. Do not for a minute think that love of God is anything other than showing love and concern for your tarsier sisters and brothers everywhere
  2. Do not for a second think that God delights in your belief in God if such belief is not a spur to action in behalf of the poorest tarsiers among you
  3. Do not for a moment think that God cares which version of God you believe in, as long as the particular version requires of its followers an active role in easing the suffering of other tarsiers
  4. Do not for a millisecond think that God is pleased by your observance of laws and rituals in honor of God, if such laws and rituals preserve a quiet sense of smug righteousness among any group of tarsiers
  5. Do not for a microsecond think that the few who accumulate vast wealth and power and resources (be they individual tarsiers, corporations, or countries) are free from an urgent obligation to use their money and influence to better the world and to improve the condition of all tarsiers
  6. Do not for a nanosecond think that life is anything other than a summons to love and to help and to tolerate (and, in some cases, to deal with) other tarsiers by means of empathy and intelligence, generosity and imagination