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here is what i found. just wondering what yall thought about it?
the hundredth monkey phenomenon
The hundredth monkey phenomenon refers to a sudden spontaneous and mysterious leap of consciousness achieved when an allegedly "critical mass" point is reached. For example, people start thinking about ending world hunger. One person gets another to start thinking about it who gets another who gets another not ad nauseam or ad infinitum but until suddenly a breakthrough is achieved when the "critical mass" point is reached. Then, spontaneously and mysteriously, everybody starts thinking about ending world hunger.
The expression "hundredth monkey" comes from an experiment on monkeys done in the 1950's. It was alleged by Lyall Watson in his book Lifetide that one monkey taught another to wash potatoes who taught another who taught another and soon all the monkeys on the island were washing potatoes where no monkey had ever washed potatoes before. When the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes, suddenly and spontaneously and mysteriously monkeys on other islands, with no physical contact with the potato-washing cult, started washing potatoes! Was this monkey telepathy at work or just monkey business on Watson's part?
It makes for a cute story, but it isn't true. At least, the part about spontaneous transmission of a cultural trait across space without contact is not true. There really were some monkeys who washed their potatoes. One monkey started it and soon others joined in. But even after six years not all the monkeys saw the benefit of washing the grit off of their potatoes by dipping them into the sea. Lyall made up the part about the mysterious transmission. The claim that monkeys on other islands had their consciousness raised to the high level of the potato-washing cult was a lie.
The notion of raising consciousness through reaching critical mass is being promoted by a number of New Age spiritualists, including Ken Keyes, Jr. Mr Keyes has published a book on the WWW which calls for an end to the nuclear menace and the mass destruction which surely awaits us all if we do not make a global breakthrough soon. The title of his treatise is The Hundredth Monkey. In his book he writes such things as "there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!" Well, it seems to be working for spreading the word about the hundredth monkey phenomenon! In fact, there seems to be no end to those seeking spiritual transformation of themselves and the universe. Witness the M100 or Hundredth Monkeying! project. "Our prayer is to bring benefit to all of world society without prejudice or bias." Who could complain about such a goal? If you want more information on hundredth monkeying, you should read Morphogenetics and Monkeys. It has all the latest stuff on building up your inner-energy field , doors of perception, healing and the millennium. It must be very exciting to be part of a global fellowship of soul nourishers. As the Monkey Man says: "...healing the human heart is central to all other necessary changes in the twenty-first century." Amen.
The Hundredth Monkey Revisited
Follow-Up Senior Researcher Comments on the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon in Japan by Markus P?ssel and Ron Amundson
"The Hundredth Monkey" by Ken Keyes, Jr.
Amundsom, Ron. "The Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon," Skeptical Inquirer, Summer 1985. Reprinted in The Hundredth Monkey and Other Paradigms of the Paranormal, ed. Kendrick Frazier (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1991).
Amundsom, Ron. "Watson and the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon," Skeptical Inquirer, Spring 1987.
Possel, Markus and Ron Amundson. "Senior Researcher Comments on the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon in Japan," Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 1996.
Its part of our cultural mythology that things will just 'occur' or 'evolve' so that all of the problems we have created for ourselves in ignorance will just evaporate never to be heard from again. Not suprisingly, New Agism adheres to this tennant most desperately, which is fairly revealing as to the true goal of this mass hysteria.
When we believe in cute little notions like the 100th monkey or even Messiahs, which will magically (or otherwise) alleviate our need to contribute to helping 'fix' what is going on...when we believe that all it takes is everyone 'thinking positively' and 'willing positive energy' ...a peculiar thing happens. The things that were causing problems - they get /worse/.
I don't want to sound too cynical, obviously one has to understand a problem in order to fix it, but it doesn't matter how many people /know/ about the problem if /no one actually acts upon it/! Five people knowing about a problem and doing nothing are just as effective as 5 billion people knowing about a problem and doing nothing. And that's the rub. If you don't /do/ anything to actually fix the situation, all of the 'positive energy' and 'thoughts' won't matter a bit. All they tend to do is make you /believe/ you're actually accomplishing something when in fact you're not. This is the essence of delusion. This is the essence of New Agism. "Yes yes yes, the world is dying and everything is turning to shit, but the best way to /fix/ things isn't to actually change what you're doing personally - certainly not! No, you must instead keep going about your daily existance and instead pray that /someone else/ do whatever it is that needs to be done." I think that someone once called religion the Opium of the masses. New Agism is just a new spin on an old idea - they've changes the words and added enough esoterica and artifacts (tarot cards, crystals, stones, journals, books on astral projection, mushrooms) that now people can become /complacent/ again. And that is just what the powers that be wish - complacent masses who don't care that the air they're breathing is now almost as toxic as second hand cigarette smoke. Wishful thinking - hope - is the biggest gravitational well of addiction in our culture. Not actual drugs, not television, not cinema...HOPE. Hope is inaction with the belief that if we just /wait/ long enough, the problem will solve itself. And it should be obvious why Hope has a tendency to make things worse. Just thinking about Nuclear Disarmament isn't going to make it happen. Not without the associated, requisite, actions.
Every person has at their fingertips the potential energy of the universe, and that energy is called Action. You just have to take it.
I get what you're saying Ishmael, but the fact is this: 5 billion people (or even much, much less) knowing about a problem and doing nothing is a nearly impossible scenario. (When I say knowing, I mean KNOWING, not comparible to those people who all know that the earth is dying, on some level, but do nothing...) If there were 5 billion people who knew something, anything, then you'd see that whatever opposed them was quickly decimated. As soon as enough people know, things do change.
I justify it like this: 5 people who know something and do nothing will result in nothing. Five people knowing something and doing something, depending on the scale of the problem, will also result in nothing. 5 billion people knowing something, and every one of them doing nothing (though you can't truly do nothing, you're always doing something...) would cause the same problem the 5 people could do nothing to budge, to be obliterated (so much so that the problem would probably be forgotten before it was realized). I compare it to the power of the ocean. If you cordon off a part of the ocean (and ignore the rest), you will find very little happens. Let's say there is a sandcastle on the beach in the area that is cordoned off. Well, the "ocean" (that is the walled in part of the ocean, as we are ignoring the rest) can never hope to reach that sand castle, let alone knock it down. It is now basically a puddle. If you knock a hole in the wall, a small hole, it will allow for more ocean to access the beach (this symbolizes more people getting on board). Once there is enough people on board, the wall seperating the isolated part of the ocean from the rest will no longer hold, and the sandcastle will be subjected to the full power of the ocean, hence it is obliterated. Now, all it takes is one simple "wave of the finger" if you will from the ocean, where the whole might of the previous limited ocean was powerless.
This is comparable also to a dam bursting. It can have a small leak, no big deal. But once momentum builds, that leak soon escalates to an unstoppable geiser, and the dam will be demolished. There is a critical point where something can no longer be contained, except through use of huge forces... There is no force that could stop the collective will of so many people, except the death of all those people, and all those who might be further inspired by the death of the first group. It's much like removing a brain tumor, you'll have to remove a lot of tissue to contain it, and when you're done you might find that the brain has been too heavily damaged. If you could find a way to live with the tumor, it would make much more sense. (This also is applicable to the current war on terrorism, which though theoretically may be a good idea, is deeply flawed. So much so that we may not see the impending reprecussions...)
Unfortunately, this does not mean that all is good, for we are clearly losing this "ocean race", if you will, to greed and technology... Things are going in the wrong way, the wrong ocean is developing, and if we don't take action, we will be the ones swept away... I don't see how people think that we are all going to evolve or be shown the light or whatever, and that we will all be open minded psychedelic using shamans restoring the earths health... This is clearly wishful thinking.
So, I guess I don't disagree with you all that much afterall Ishmael.