Revisiting the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon

"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are." ~ Anais Nin

In a bazaar turn of events in 2016 election, we of like minds sit together in

shock and disbelief. For many, something died for our country on November 8, 2016 as almost half of the population unveiled itself to be closet bigots, misogynists and so much more. With the election, for many came the death of a set of shared values, a belief in the goodness of people, dignity and rights for everyone, and the value of women, their bodies, their minds and spirits. As we each sort through our thoughts in stunned silence, we will find ways to move through the cycle of grief in our own unique ways. Some experience a sense of fear, anger and sadness, while others shrug it off with another election down the tube, never completely understanding the depth of what of what has occurred or what is at stake globally. Over half the country is in grief, in painful recognition that something is terribly wrong. Expert in the grief cycle on death and dying, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross a Swedish doctor, now deceased, whose work with dying patients would say that many are in a cycle of emotional states often referred as the Grief Cycle. Yes, something has died.

I sit with a deep knowing that there are no accidents in life. That the veil is lifting and the Universe will provide great understanding soon enough as we lift to the opportunities for learning. We expected a union of opposites that was thought to be the union of masculine and feminine energy, and perhaps this will still come, through a back door, if you will. I know many will say, " it doesn't feel much like a coming together, a potential for union?" However, I believe especially now that we are moving towards a growing awareness and unity of spirit, and that we must see how it unfolds. These are the moments in time that we have been waiting for, waiting for a rebirth of a new nation, a new planet and a new humanity. Fortunately, we get to choose how it unfolds with our thoughts, actions and grace. Our old world of division and strife must be brought out of the shadows, seen and understood first, (the dysfunction explored) as we open our minds and hearts to the light of the Universe. It is up to us to keep our minds open, peaceful and devoted to the light as we make this journey through uncertain times. This is part of the lesson we are here to take part in. We are One and can't leave anyone behind.

I decided to meditate to get clarity, and as sat I wondered silently, waiting for my thoughts to settle into an observer stance. Why this election? The thought drifted past me as my mind quickly disengaged with it. But not quick enough, because a sharp reply came as swiftly: Because Hillary Clinton needs to rest and feel and Donald Trump needs to learn to care for others. These are their tests. I didn’t respond, just let those thoughts lay there in a heap, churning in the pit of my stomach. The next day I had a text from my sister with an amazing event of her own. My sister is a rational, logical person. She emailed this recording wondering if I heard of anything like this? So, what do you think of this different set of sounds in an otherwise quiet townhouse, including a word. (As an aside, she went through a host of research and calls to find a rational explanation for her experience.)

“I’ve never heard anything out of the ordinary, especially not an audible event complete with bells and whistles, as well as scurrying across the floor, she said.” The events unfolded when she retired for the night and decided to videotape her cats and view any orbs that may be floating by in the darkness. There were no orbs until she decided to shut down and go to sleep. It was at that moment when a small orb floated by catching her attention. Then there was a large white light emanating from her bed which also caught her attention. It was at that time, that she heard scurrying across her tile floor downstairs like small feet with metal taps, followed by an extremely loud foreign women’s voice saying “Chusti” (unknown spelling) very melodic. It was at that time that she heard a series of very loud beeps, four each in a sequence of five times. (The video has been edited to shorten it, just before and after the main phenomenon.)

We looked up a variety of spellings, including Chusti, Schutze, which is what we thought it sounded like in the beginning to us. Online, I found this word in German, which meant, "adorable, loving pet" or something like that and there was a cat on the couch at the time the word was spoken. We needed more help with this unfolding drama, so I sent the recording to a friend in Holland who is fluent in 7 languages for his interpretation. Gerard private messaged me saying, “You mean Schätzchen that’s the German word for little darling? I think it’s not that word. Right before the word I heard a sound like the doorbell rang and he said to the cats; she has keys!” Fascinating, I thought, what in the world could that mean? I didn’t know, but I did feel that if I let it lay, something would reveal itself. I do believe when a spiritual message comes forth like this, it has different meaning for each of us. I won’t speak to how my sister interpreted this phenomenon, but I will share my insights.

We let things lay, but I felt there was more to this experience, so during my meditation yesterday morning, I began settling in to center, and a random word passed through my mind: “monkey” bubbled up, then “the 100th Monkey” and I sat their stunned by the recognition that this parable was studied and written as an experiment in the mid 1970s by several authors. It was revived in the 1980s by Ken Keyes, as a story of social change. The parable of the 100th Monkey, is also known as a theory, phenomenon or experiment, but few see it as a legitimate study, because it didn’t have the requisite research methodology. Then, research is not the point of this phenomenon and here is my original rendition from my book, Journey of Soul: 2012 and Beyond.

The Parable of the 100th Monkey 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 found the dirt unpleasant. An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in the salty ocean water, improving the taste of the potato. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates learned this trick and taught their mothers too. This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by numerous monkeys in the troop and observed by the scientists.

Between 1952 and 1958, all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes and make them more palatable. Only the adults who imitated their children learned this cultural improvement. Other adult monkeys kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes. In autumn of 1958, something startling took place. A certain number of Koshima monkeys were already washing their sweet potatoes, the exact number is not known. The hypothetical number given was 99. Then it happened. The hundredth monkey learned to wash the sweet potatoes. The added energy of that hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough. Almost everyone in the tribe was washing their potatoes before eating them, but these scientists observed a surprising occurrence. The habit of washing the sweet potato had jumped overseas to where monkeys had not met each other. Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop at Takaskiyama began washing their sweet potatoes as well.

This story was further popularized by Ken Keyes, Jr. with the publication of his book The Hundredth Monkey. Keyes's book was about the devastating effects of nuclear war on the planet. He presented the hundredth monkey effect as an inspirational parable, applying it to human society and the effect of positive social change; he also went on later to write some early work on consciousness. This theory couldn’t be more important today, considering the bomb dropped on our country on November 8th. Within the past 20 years or so, many others have researched the slip stream of consciousness, the energy within and around us. While there are many examples, I’ll offer a few, from both a human and nonhuman perspective. Lynn McTaggert, MD offers some powerful research in her book, The Field, which “speaks to the paradigm that the human mind and body are not separate from their environment, but a packet of pulsating power constantly interacting within this vast energy sea.” She states, “Consciousness may be central in shaping our world.” HeartMath, of Stanford University also works with and researches this phenomenon, using biofeedback to manage these states.

From a biological standpoint, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, explains what he calls the Morphic Resonance Fields, which explores why birds fly in symmetry or herds of animals run together systematically. He cites that a phenomenon like the hundredth monkey effect would be evidence of the energy of flow, the field or Morphic resonance, now in animals, and the non-local effects in consciousness and learning. Criticism of the 100th Monkey effect, claims that the proportion of potato washers (monkeys) in the first population were exaggerations of a much slower, more mundane effect in learning. That might be, but it is certainly not the moral of the story. The parable was not just about the transfer of learning, in this case, monkey to monkey bringing heightened skill sets. It is about the manifestation of critical mass, of emotion or thought that brings people together for a common good. HeartMath works planet wide to document the findings of their combined research.

Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon stands and its meaning does as well. From a human perspective, when only a limited number of individuals know a new way, it remains the conscious property of those individuals. However, when one more individual manifests this new awareness, new knowledge, new understanding, the energy field is strengthened, a critical mass is reached, and the awareness becomes the conscious property of all living beings. This new awareness communicated mind to mind within the slip stream of consciousness, in mass expands all awareness for a transfer of knowledge energetically from person to person.

What does this mean to the elections? The Law of Attraction or the Law of the Universe still applies here. The Law in a negative form: What you resist, persists! It leads us to a great truth, be careful what you wish for! Not wishing for Trump? Unfortunately, what we focus on is attracted to us! What we attend to and concentrate on draws us closer! What energizes us, moves us, is also magnetically charged. Good energy or bad energy, does the same work of the Universe, and doesn’t distinguish those needs within us. So now what? The road is the same as if you were wishing for a million dollars. Stay focused when you work for change. It is more important than ever to keep your emotions clear, stay focused on acceptance, yet do the work that will create our new tomorrow. Fill it with the change that we want to see happen, because ignoring things festers. Will you protest? Then do it for what you want to see and create your signs for that purpose: Not Trump must change to “Enact the Popular Vote.” “Keep LGBT Marriage Rights. “Roe vs Wade Forever.” Change the Electoral College could be: “Keep EC--Allow Individual Votes for President.” Will we boycott stores? Get a list and get moving. We must use new language to address our needs. We are in this together and as we move forward together; integration of our similarities will outweigh the differences. We are Stronger Together and we can fly.

Side Note: I am more hopeful then I was a few days ago. I watched with empathy on 60 minutes a demure Trump, discussing his awe in recognition of the enormity of the job of POTUS. The seriousness of what he has gotten himself into, and without the adoring crowd of people watching, he was very ordinary, somewhat passive and reneging on so many of his promises. He was beginning to see what at least over half of us already knew: What he said he could do, he can’t do. Like he said at one point, “Well, those are already laws, we can’t change that!” The uninformed will be no doubt upset with this as time goes on.

Shirley Ryan, PhD, CCHt is a practicing hypnotherapist and spiritual mentor. See more at

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