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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Letter from Publisher

Dec 01, 2015 02:25PM

Have you heard of the “Hundredth Monkey Effect”? It describes the phenomenon of a new behavior or idea spreading rapidly from a small number of social animals to other related groups once a critical mass is reached.

The theory stems from a 30-year research project involving monkeys on the Japanese island of Koshima. In the 1950s, scientists started to feed the monkeys sweet potatoes that they routinely dropped on the ground. The monkeys liked the taste of the new food but didn’t care for the dirt sticking to the vegetable’s skin. According to the story, one young monkey discovered she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in water. She taught this newfound technique to her mother and others; they adopted the habit and in turn taught it to other monkeys.

The idea continued to spread. The most intriguing part of the story is that once a critical mass of an estimated 100 monkeys was reached, monkeys on other islands adopted the same method, even though there is no evidence that they had any direct contact with the Koshima monkeys. The new knowledge seemed to spread via what Carl G. Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, deemed the “Collective Unconscious.”

As I write this in the wake of the latest horrific attacks in Paris, Beirut, Jerusalem and elsewhere, I remind myself that we intrinsically know that we are all connected, even as fear in all of its manifestations tries to convince us we are separate. It only takes reaching a mental tipping point and acting on it for the uplifted thinking of a relatively modest number of people to change the world.

We cannot afford to be complacent in the face of evil. Good must prevail. As expressed recently by my friend Robyn Wright, life coach and owner of kalyANa organics: “Our peace-loving nature cannot imprison us or incapacitate us in the face of atrocity and genocide. Our collective love must be large enough to protect and defend humanity.” 

For each of us, the place to start is within, being daily mindful of our thoughts, emotions and actions. The individual, collective and universal power of applied love and truth is sufficient to fill hearts with love and compassion so that anything less is unthinkable. The effect multiplies.

As we enter this cherished season of joy and celebration, I pray that the healing love in our hearts goes forth to infiltrate every corner of the globe, shining the light that dispels darkness.

In love, light and peace,

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher

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