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The 100th Monkey Theory -- was: Break and entry

To: alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan
Date: 10 Mar 2003 01:04:59 GMT
Subject: The 100th Monkey Theory -- was: Break and entry (was Re: Vajrayana)
From: pemavajra@aol.comnojunk (J. Wagner B.)

In article , "o"

>yet something is changing
>evolution is rapid
>man is evolving
>it's the 100 monkey syndrome
>the tipping-point has been reached
>many will go down in a heap screaming
>some will evolve to a higher stage
>each of us is personally responsible
>for which side we will be on

  What follows is from a post of mine on another ng, but I thought it was just
so appropriate, considering the topic.

>The 100th Monkey Theory

  Oh, no.  Not the 100th Monkey.

>(note: please read my comments at the end of this segment before

  Ok, I'll be quiet. *Me sitting here with my fingers shoved in my mouth so I
don't rapidly start tapping out a response.*

>The 100th Monkey Theory is a story about social change and critical
>mass consciousness shifting. by Ken Keyes, jr. 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 monkey 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 one more person tunes in to a
>new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is
>picked up by almost everyone! Maybe you are the 100th Monkey for the

  Please, please, please! read Ken Wilber's novel 'Boomeritis.'  The problem
with the 100 Monkeys is that it is an urban myth of cultural studies.  It never
happened.  It just resonates so strongly with the green meme that it has been
used as evidence in many green theories. 

>now, i find the above to be in essence something very true, but i have
>read some skeptical voices that i trust which say that the sponteneous
>learning of monkeys on different islands did not actually occur. 

  Actually the whole thing was a hoax.  
>my perception of the phenomenon is that one "genius" monkey learns an
>innovative approach, and only after some time does one other follow
>its lead.  it takes a very long time a small few to catch on...years
>go by, and only 99 monkeys out of say, 10,000 have learned the
>behavior...then, one day, the critical mass is reached, and all the
>rest monkeys learn overnight.  

  Sorry no, doesn't work like that.  Innovation builds upon innovation due to
the conditions and stresses of the times.  While I do believe that we are
heading for a critical mass, a significant nexus point in the continuing
development of consciousness, I see this as the natural growth of development,
it is simply the next step.

>in this version, there is no mysterious telepathic conveyance of knowledge,
>the principle is still the same. 

  If the principle is still the same ... as a mysterious telepathic conveyance
of knowledge, how can it be "no" mysterious telepathic conveyance of knowledge?
 I know you hate it when I quote Ken, but this is just too appropriate.  
  From the novel, 'Boomeritis' page 171 -- 173:
  "The first words out of his mouth were, 'Every person with boomeritis is the
hundredth monkey.'
  Van Cleef paused for effect; the audience visiby winced.  The confrontation
had begun, the surgeon's scalpel had just touched flesh.
  'The hundredth monkey is the rather extraordinary tale of what happened to
the Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscatta, in 1952 on the island of Koshima. 
Scientists were giving the monkeys sweet potatoes by tossing them into the
sand.  An eighteen-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem
by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream."
  [Snip the story of the hundredth monkey.]  Continuing ... 
  "As a favorite Boomer book explained, 'The added energy of this hundredth
monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!  Thus, when a certain
critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated
from mind to mind.  There is a point where if only one more person tunes in to
a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness reaches almost
everyone!  You may be the Hundredth Monkey!
  The monkey phenomenon, it turns out, was not true; the story was a hoax.  But
the story spread like wildfire, to become what was probably the most often
repeated Boomer story of all.  Why?  Because it was a myth made to order for
boomeritis.  Because you, your very own ego, can be pictured as the crucial
change agent that will alter the entire world.  Boomeritis won't make a move
unless it is assured that every gesture of its ego means world transformation.'
 The audience shifted, groaned, and through its discomfort seemed, at this
point, decidedly uncertain about whether to cheer or boo.
  'What is so disturbing about this story is not just the narcissistic
domination involved, but the lack of moral sensibility displayed in it.  My
actions alone will transform 'almost everyone!'  The simple idea that my
consciousness will automatically change yours to conform to mine is the heart
of the narcissistic power to dominate; and so excited was boomeritis by the
thought that it could be the hundredth monkey, it didn't even pause to consider
whether other monkeys would in fact appreciate having their consciousness
determined by Boomers.
  'Of course it is important that individuals feel that their actions make a
difference, that they are contributing, in some small measure, to the
betterment of humankind -- and all sentient beings, for that matter.  But in
the hands of boomeritis, that impulse turned omnipotently ugly: my every
gesture will make the world replica of me.  The hundredth-monkey myth became
the most-told story in new-paradigm circles, and its exposure as a fraud was
attributed to a bunch of un-spiritual skeptics; it was still a fraud.  But the
myth spread like wildfire, not because it was true, but because it spoke deeply
to boomeritis and the insatiable demands of an engorged ego.'
  'Is it all this brutal?' I asked Kim.
  'Gets worse.'
  'But why?  He's being deliberately inflammatory.  Is this like, you know,
tough love or something?'
  'Not really.  Its a test."

>there is a certain point where a rare form of behavior shared
>by few suddenly reaches a point of growth where a total shift of
>consciousness spreads to the entire population.   

  There is no evidence of this effect.  There is evidence that at a certain
point, we could call it a critical mass, new behavior can "catch on quickly,"
it gains momentum, but this new behavior must lead to new insights into/about
the problems of the day, and they must become a part of natural cultural
behavior.  This is important -- It has to become a cultural practice that is
supported by the culture/social world, and for that to happen the practice must
lead to new knowledge about real problems.  
  There is no evidence of spontaneous shifts due to a critical mass of numbers.
 Is there a critical mass that is reached that causes all of the flowers to
bloom at the same time in springtime?  Or could it just be the natural next
step in their own development.

>i firmly believe we are on the precipice of just such a critical mass
>and transformation (within the next few years to a decade).  i doubt
>it will mean peace for all time, but it will definitely mean an
>overall shift upward on the chart for all humanity.  

  I also believe we are on the edge.  I think it will be several decades, three
or five generations possibly, before the full effects of this transformation
are felt, but I do think it will effect the whole of humanity.  Like all great
shifts in the cultural/socal world, the change can manifest in the American
Revolution form with its foundation of the Declaration of Independence and the
U. S. Constitution, "or" it can manifest in the French Revolution form with its
nightmare of the blade.  Both expressions, manifestations, of the orange meme,
the French let lose the seeds of years of suffering, the Americans set the
seeds of an almost impossible goal, the universal rights of man, and I think it
is one of America's saving graces.  The American Dream in its many forms, the
good life in all the many ways we, as Americans, have attempted to live it.  As
you point out later on -- "For the root matter is the mother of all things." --
C.G.Jung.  America's founding principles set American's course.  There have
been many times when I wondered if the founding fathers knew fully well the
task they had set for us.  To live more in accord with the principles that all
human beings are created equal, that all beings are endowed with the natural
rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We are haunted by these
words, they are both a curse and a blessing.  When the U. S. Constitution was
ratified perhaps only 10% of the population was at the same level of
development expressed by the principle found in the U. S. Constitution.  
  "The brilliance of this document [U. S. Constitution] is that is found a way
to institutionalize the worldcentric, postconventional stance and let it act as
a governance system for people who were not, for the most part, at that higher
level.  The Constitution itself thus became a pacer of transformation, gently
encouraging every activity within its reach to stand within a worldcentric,
postconventional, non-ethnocentric moral atmosphere."  From 'A Theory of
Everything,' by Ken Wilber.

>i don't know if you read all of my posts, 

  I have.

>but there is an awful lot of hope mixed in with my criticisms.

  Desperate hope leads you to grasping at views, rather than holding views you
are held by views.  Just like everyone else at first-tier, you still have a
held-fast ideal that you are promoting.  What is important is that everyone
begin to follow green principles, be sensitive, focus on relating rather than
  "The GREEN vMEME is structured in egalitarian fashion, underpinned by
processes that are both experiential and consensual, and driven by a
communitarian ethic."  From A Summary of Spiral Dynamics Compiled by Ronnie
Lessem.  Managing COMPLEX SYSTEMS through Spiral Wizardry.

>i don't understand your puposes in trying to disparage or discourage me.

  Really there is no need to take it personally.  My purpose is not to
discourage you, in fact I would encourage you.  I guess you could claim that I
disparage your faulty meme specific solutions, but I do not disparage you.  

>>>as important and interesting as our exchange has been, sometimes those
>>>purposes get a hold of my attention, and take priority over my own spiritual
>>  Not that I think it is easy, and this is something I have to remind myself
>>often, but everything needs to become a part of one's spiritual path. 
>i have no conflicts with this idea.

  Haha!  Sorry, the phrase "no conflict."  Well that should help you then. 
Still, it is hard to put into practice.

>>>in any case, i value this discussion, and will attempt to set aside
>>>time to continue it in a spirit of openmindedness.  i know that may
>>>sound somewhat contradictory to some of my other statements, but i
>>>stand by it.  
>>  I accept that.  As much as we could be at odds, there is one thing I do
>>not question -- your intentions.  I may question you principles, your
>>even your attitude, but your intentions -- I believe those are good.
>"the road to hell" -- right?  well, you may want to make it out that
>it is just my limitation that won't allow me to see it your way, but i
>have questioned myself unreservedly, and i think my methods are like
>the accupressure our society, and people in general need in these times.  

  Which is, just another rationalization for your behavior.  You are still
attempting to judge and apply green meme values and principles on all other
meme specific truths.  Using green methods on a predominantly blue/Orange
society slowly deconstructs (desolves) the blue/orange structures that hold the
cultural conditions together, that are necessary for a blue/orange society to
maintain itself.  Society regresses, it falls down.  Purple and red begin to
dominate, with an extreme green minority giving the battle cry.  Unless there
is a social backlash were blue/orange reasserts itself,
_in_their_healthy_forms_, bringing the whole spiral back into alignment,
healthy green development doesn't have a chance.  The green meme rests on the
development of all of the proceeding memes. For there to be more of us, we must
honor the healthy forms (manifestation, expressions, truths) of each meme. 
Only by passing through each meme (developing through) by passing through each
meme, is continuing development possible.  Each builds upon the last, so if
there is faulty development at a lower egocentric meme, this will effect higher
meme development.  If there is no cultural/social support for healthy
blue/orange expression, the center of gravity falls to the purple/red and
unhealthy blue tyrannies, higher growth becomes culturally repressed.  No blue,
no orange, means no green.  
  From the Shambhala website Ken Wilber: Endnotes of the novel 'Boomeritis' 
  "Chapter 3. 

  1. p. 67: "We will continue to use the research of Spiral Dynamics...
actually something we call Integral Psychology... since we have already
introduced it." 
Hazelton: "See Integral Psychology for a summary of this cross-cultural
  2. p. 67: "You can easily see all of this on slides 1.1 [page 23] and 4.1
[page 118]."  Hazelton: "Much of the wording of the charts is taken from, or
paraphrased from, Beck and Cowan, Spiral Dynamics, with the permission of Don
3. p. 98: "What we really see with the healthy green meme... often extended
even to children's rights and animal welfare." 
  Hazelton added (from Kim's margin notes): "The green meme is an
intensification of the postconventional, worldcentric, universal care of
consciousness. Although green claims that all truths are socially constructed,
pluralistic, and relative, those items are said to be true for all cultures,
with no exceptions--hence, green actually has a universal, postconventional
stance. Green makes a series of strong claims that are said to be true for all
cultures, such as the fact that all knowledge is culturally situated; multiple
interpretations are possible for any event; intersubjectivity is constitutive
for all experience; there are no unmediated, pure experiences; knowledge is
socially constructed--and so on. Those claims are universally true, according
to these theorists, who then claim that there are no universal truths (except
their own--hence, boomeritis)." 
  4. p. 101: "In the end, the only justifications...have the form 'justified
for me.'" 
Kim's margin notes: "See One Taste, Nov. 23 entry, for references and extended
  5. p. 102: "And there... is the tragedy of the Me generation." 
Joan Hazelton continued (from Kim's notes): "Another real problem with green is
its tendency, as Don Beck puts it, to 'talk turquoise.' That is, it is not
uncommon for green theorists, especially ecotheorists, to use the terminology
of second-tier thinking and thus appear more integral than they perhaps are. In
teasing apart these claims, I have remained close to Beck's memetic analyses,
since he has had several decades of experience with this." 
  6. p. 107: "These nested hierarchies are often called growth hierarchies,
such as... ecosystems to biosphere to universe." 
  Hazelton added (from Kim's notes): "Students of Sex, Ecology, Spirituality--a
book written by one of the members here at IC--will notice that in that series
I am not differentiating individual (upper quadrants) and collective (lower
quadrants). In actuality, the organism is NOT a part of the ecosystem, but
rather individual and collective are correlative aspects of all holons at every
level of development. But for the simple example given in the text, the
conclusion remains the same." Kim's margin notes say, "See 'On Critics,
Integral Institute, My Recent Writing, and Other Matters of Little
Consequence,' at" [along with the above

>it is not enough to approach each individual in a way that
>will be comfortable to them, depending on where they are in their own
>road of progress...sometimes what seems to be poison truly is the best
>medicine -- "if it doesn't hurt, its not working."

  So, if my ass is on fire, I shouldn't worry about the pain?  Of course it
isn't enough to approach each individual in a way that will be comfortable to
each of them, but you will take that into consideration if you want each
individual to become comfortable with the ideals you're promoting.

  Pema Doru (And the Monkey bows).

Rest in a sky-like mind.
Sit like a mountain floating on the earth.
Breathe like the wind circling the world.

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