Editor’s Note: Contributor Christine Moughamian is blogging each day of Lent about her progress becoming “one brave Christian.” Follow her experiment on Twitter @1bravechristian.
By Contributor Christine Moughamian
What do 100 monkeys, two disciples and one meditator have in common?
Even if you’re not good at math, you may find the
"The Exhortation to the Apostles" by artist James Joseph Jacques Tissot from The Brooklyn Museum. Image via Wikipedia.
answer in Matthew 18:19 where Jesus tells his disciples:
“Again I say to you that if two of you are worthy on earth, anything that they would ask will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
Sam Teague’s selection for today’s meditation resonated with me. It brought back references to “The Hundredth Monkey” story and the “One Percent” study I was familiar with.
The next verse tied it all together:
“For wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
THE HUNDREDTH MONKEY
The story of “The Hundredth Monkey” was made popular in the USA when Ken Keyes used it as a title and opening to his 1984 book on social change.
Macaca monkeys in the Jigokudani Hotspring in Nagano, Japan. Image via Wikipedia.
In 1952, on the island of Koshima, Japanese scientists observed a change in the behavior of wild Macaca monkeys. It all began with a dirt-sensitive 18-month-old female. Unlike the other monkeys, she washed her sandy sweet potato in water before eating it.
A social trend was born.
By 1958, when the hundredth monkey adopted the trend, the behavioral change spread across the water to affect monkeys on other islands and even on the mainland.
Keyes concluded: “The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough.” Keyes used this “Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon” to propose that “When a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind.” (Bold words are in the original text)
Although the “Hundredth Monkey” story was later criticized, the point it made was validated by subsequent scientific studies of – not monkeys – but HUMAN behavior.
When critical mass is reached, behavior is modified across distance.
ENTER THE MEDITATOR
In the 1970’s, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a colorful Hindu master, talked
An early morning group meditation in Sri Lanka in 2005. Image via Wikipedia.
about the practical benefits gained from having a critical mass of the population engaged in regular meditation.
“Through Transcendental Meditation, the human brain can experience that level of intelligence which is an ocean of all knowledge, energy, intelligence, and bliss.”
He said that one percent of the population would have an impact on themselves and the people around them, but also “on the collective consciousness of the society.”
He predicted that “practicing Transcendental Meditation would result in reduced violence in the community and increased positive, cooperative behavior.”
It wasn’t too long before the master’s predictions came true.
WHEN ONE PERCENT…
John Davies, an internationally recognized expert in conflict management at the University of Maryland, conducted an experiment during the 1983-85 Israeli-Lebanon war.
In an interview titled “The Real War on Terror” published in June/July 2005 Yoga International, Davies said they brought “a group of more than 200 experienced meditators to Jerusalem from all over the world who were trained in the Transcendental Meditation tradition.”
Results showed the level of violence in Lebanon went “down by 40 to 80 percent on average.” They were “replicated seven times from 1983 to 1985 with seven different groups of meditators.”
Davies states “the quantitative 66 percent increase in cooperation into real-world terms indicates a huge change, resulting in major breakthroughs for peace.”
Based on this and other scientific studies, a group of meditators called “When One Percent” formed in Raleigh to promote meditation for peace. Their site says “This internal peace comes about through coherence of mind, heart, emotions and body. Research shows that when one percent is coherent, the effect ripples through the whole community.”
PHYSICS CATCHES UP WITH METAPHYSICS
In his 2005 interview, Davies put this spiritual truth in scientific terms:
“When the unified field from which all phenomenal fields emerge is in its ground state, by definition, there is no distance between the observer and the observed.”
Isn’t that what the Yogis experience as “union” and Christians call God?
Two thousand years after Christ’s message, physics catches up with metaphysics.
And it’s no “monkey business!”