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Chapter 9: Awakening the Hundredth Monkey

The future enters into us in order to transform itself in us long before it happens. — Rainer Maria Rilke, German Poet, (1975-1926)

This little story has always intrigued me, and I love to share it. It may be true, or it may not. It may be an urban legend, or it may be what change is all about. In any case, even as a parable, it reinforces what I wrote in the last chapter. This little story gives me hope.

It has been told that on a small island north of Japan, a young female monkey dug up a tuber and was rushing off to eat it. (How we know this was a female or what she and the other monkeys did is anybody's guess.) As she leaped to grasp a hanging vine, the tuber fell into a rushing stream directly beneath her. She saw it hung up on a shallow ledge, and she climbed back down to retrieve it. By now, the rushing water had washed the tuber clean. Eating it, she became aware that it tasted much nicer without the soil clinging to it, so she took to regularly washing her tubers in the rushing water.

Soon the other monkeys noticed what she was doing, and being monkeys, they began to mimic her actions. Soon all the monkeys on that small island were washing their tubers before eating them. Then monkeys on the adjoining islands got wind of it somehow and began to do the same. There followed an exponential process that spread until all the monkeys of the world suddenly began to wash their soiled tubers before eating them. And now, I am told, it is a way of life in the monkey world to wash tubers.

Gregg Braden and a few of his colleagues have frequently e-mailed large groups of people asking that we pass on their message for global prayers at a given time. He says, "Statistics have shown that a specific number of people, joined in a focused, unified consciousness of non-denominational mass prayer, produce effects that extend well beyond the room or building where the prayer has occurred."

These studies add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that focusing our feelings and prayers, with the sense that they have already been answered, has a predictable and measurable effect on the quality of life. These findings invite us to feel appreciation and gratitude for peace, as if the peace in our world already exists, and we give thanks for that peace. In this way, we open the door for even greater peace to be present. Scientists suspect that the relationship between mass prayer and the effect of those prayers is due to a phenomenon known as "the field effect of consciousness."

The book, A Course in Miracles, Manual for Teachers (Book 3) asks, "Who are God's Teachers?" And it answers, "They come from all religions and from no religion. They are the ones who have answered."

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