- PERSPECTIVE -

- EVERYONE SEEMS NORMAL UNTIL YOU GET TO KNOW THEM! -

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Middle aged hetrosexual, WASP male. Middle of the road, reasonably sane and  reasonably employed.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The 100 Monkeys Phenomenon

I have been vaguely aware of this story for years but never really gave it much thought.

I had heard the theory a few times and sort of agreed but never got into it to the point where I could make an informed opinion and so remained ambivalent towards it.

Then yesterday, in the space of one (1) day I ran across this story four (4) times and figured that somebody, somewhere and somehow was trying to tell me something!

I will give you the story now!

The Japanese monkey, Macaca Fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years.

In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant.

An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too.

This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists. Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable.

Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.

Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes -- the exact number is not known.

Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes. Let's further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes.

THEN IT HAPPENED!

By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!

But notice: A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea...Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes.

Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind.

Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people.

But there is a point at which if only a few more persons tune-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!
Call it "cosmic consciousness," or group psychology or the herd instinct or whatever you please, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. And, the more I remember experiencing events like this myself.

There is also a good possibility that this is where fads come from. A few people start something and when it reaches a critical level.......... the next thing you know everyone and his brother is doing it!!!!!

Allan W Janssen is the author of the book The Plain Truth About God (What the mainstream religions don't want you to know!) and is available at the web site www.God-101.com

Visit the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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