Applying the “Hundredth Monkey” Phenomenon

“The liberation of the individual soul is therefore the keynote of the definite divine action; it is the primary divine necessity and the pivot on which all else turns.” This is the first step but what must also be recognized is that as individuals here and there achieve new states of consciousness and begin to integrate it into their life and action, it also extends itself horizontally and begins to replicate itself. Every liberated soul becomes a focus point for a radiant action that leads to similar liberation. This is not just done through immediate physical contact but through a more occult action at the level of life-force and mind-force, affecting this world and potentially even beyond the consciousness of terrestrial life.”

There is a phenomenon that has been recorded of a specific group of monkeys that learned how to wash fruit before eating it. The immediate group, directly affected by the new technique, of course picked it up quickly. But what startled the researchers was that once enough monkeys in the species adopted the practice, it suddenly and without direct transmission on a physical level began to arise in other similar groups of monkeys elsewhere. This led to the formulation of the “hundredth monkey” phenomenon and illustrates the point Sri Aurobindo is making about the replication of the liberated state, both here and in other worlds potentially, as individuals begin to achieve that liberation. Sri Aurobindo describes clearly here the working of this “hundredth monkey” phenomenon as part of the occult process of the evolutionary force bringing a new capacity of consciousness into being, manifesting it, and then replicating it in other receptive souls.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 5, The Destiny of the Individual


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