Are You the Hundredth Monkey?

Are You the Hundredth Monkey?

I was staying in a cottage in northern England when the news came in. He won the election. I collapsed into a heap on the kitchen floor and wept as wildlife and wild places entered my vision and flooded my heart with grief. I knew what he would do, what he’s always done in business. Ruthless, reckless development and profit at any cost. NO! I cried.

As I wept I felt a Presence touch my shoulder and say, Go to the Stone Circle. My friend and I were only a mile or so away from Castlerigg Standing Stone Circle. She was in her room asleep after staying up late to check on the election results. I quickly ran up to my bedroom and got dressed in layers…it was November and snowy. Within a few minutes I was out the door and defrosting the windshield.

I arrived at the Circle before anyone else. I entered and walked clockwise around the huge circle and came to what I came to call the Priest Stone. I knelt there and placed my hands on it and wept and cried out…WHY!?!?! Then I listened.

What I heard as clearly as if someone was standing there talking was this: This will speed up the awakening process. Do not despair. He will be used to awaken the masses to action. As I knelt I began praying and then singing….help us, help wildlife, help wild places.

Those paying attention knew this would be bad. And actually it’s worse than I ever imagined. And yet, in the end I suspect the guidance was correct. He will unite us, even though it appears quite the opposite.

There’s a theory called the Hundredth Monkey Effect. Basically there was a group of monkeys on an island and they learned to wash sweet potatoes. Once a critical mass of monkeys learned to wash sweet potatoes on the island, the behavior instantly spread across the water to monkeys on a nearby island. This was a study that has been popularized with the idea that once enough people awaken, there will be a massive awakening that happens spontaneously.

This idea answers those that say their efforts cannot make a difference, that we are too far gone, that humans can’t change. For many years I have suspected that the only way this great awakening will happen is for individuals to take responsibility for their own healing, to clean up their inner worlds. This light will be reflected to the outer world and when enough people do this…BAM!

I’m not saying it’s going to be a magical cure if there is a massive awakening of consciousness. But the cure can be found within that awakening….by all of us working together to heal our lives, support others who wish to heal and then collectively we can hold a space for planetary healing.

I know…I know. It sounds a little fluffy but know this, the work of self-change changes the world around us. Not from outside us, but from within us. Each of us is an important part of the whole and when we begin to see ourselves connected to all life, then real change can begin to take root and grow.

After documenting the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill for a year, I was completely burned out. After spending a week with Joanna Macy in workshop and healing space, I had a vision. I imagined myself standing in the board room of BP. I looked around the room at all the people in suits and made eye contact with them and said,  You are my brother, you are my sister. I consume fuel, use plastic, enjoy air conditioning and heat…as a consumer I am part of the problem…but I can also be part of the solution.

If you embark on the journey of self-change it is guaranteed to be the most challenging journey you ever undertake but it is also the most rewarding, the most freeing. Don’t give up on yourself because you, my friend, just might be the hundredth monkey.

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