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 they found the dirt unpleasant.
An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too.
This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists.
Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable.
Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.
Then something startling took place.
In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes – the exact number is not known.
Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes.
Then it happened!
By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them.
The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough! But notice…
A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea.
Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes.
Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people.
But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!
The Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon points out our responsibility and our power.
We are not separate. What we say & do, can [will] affect the well-being of all of us.
We know that our health may be affected if we live among diseased people.
We are beginning to learn that our peace of mind may be affected if we live among disturbed people.
From the book The Hundredth Monkey by Ken Keyes, Jr.
This book can only hope to inspire you to take the next steps in your own development, for your sake and for everyone else on the globe.
This content was originally published here.