A Hundred Monkeys

May 10, 2009

Emu was a monkey. She lived on a small island with about a hundred of her kind. Barely visible on the horizon were other islands with more monkeys. She never saw them, nor did they ever see her. But they were of the same species and shared similar lives and behaviors. Of course, it was not her mother who had named her “Emu.” That was the scientists’ doing. They arrived one day in a large ship and anchored a short distance off the coast. A few of them had gotten into a rowboat and paddled to shore. There they placed a pile of sweet potatoes and departed. From their ship they watched, as scientists are wont to do, and observed the behavior of the monkeys. Now Emu and her clan had never seen sweet potatoes, but they soon learned to eat them and like them. Every day the scientists paddled ashore to drop off a pile of sweet potatoes and every day the monkeys would come to the beach and eat them. One day, a wave splashed up and took a potato that Emu wanted. She went after it and retrieved it. She found that the salt from the sea tasted good on the potato. The next day, she took a potato and deliberately washed it in the surf before eating it. Soon, she showed other monkeys how to wash the potatoes. Before long, all the monkeys on the island were washing their potatoes before eating. The scientists noticed how the monkeys on Emu’s island had changed their behavior because of Emu’s example. All along, they had been feeding the monkeys on the other islands as well and observing them in the same fashion. What surprised them, however, is that, soon after all the monkeys on Emu’s island started washing their potatoes, monkeys on the other islands started doing the same. Somehow, the learned behavior of one tribe had spread to the others. Far away from the islands of the monkeys, in a little town of Ojai nestled in a valley among Californian mountains, in a little house up on a hill, Pausha sat on the couch. It was an early evening, the golden sunlight filtered through the trees surrounding the house, played and sparkled on her face. Little patches of brightness and shadow danced around the room in a frantic rhythm, in time with wind shaking the branches. Pausha sat quietly, listening, feeling, opening. Opening to who she was, really, beyond her mind, beyond the story of who she is as a human, beyond any concepts and separations. Opening to herself as herself, only as herself, a unique being, God. A thought occurred to her suddenly: “I have changed reality. Just now I changed the world. It used to be a world where all that people could be was their minds, their egos, their stories. It used to be a world where it was impossible for a human being to simply be God. Now it changed. Now this is a world where humans beings can be simply who they are, who they really are, as God. Now it is possible – because I just did it.” “I am not a teacher”, Pausha thought, “not a great Guru with millions of followers, not an international authority on anything. I do not run nor work for any organization, I am not involved in any movement. Without doing anything, without proclaiming anything, without teaching or enrolling or changing or convincing anyone of anything, I just changed the reality completely. By simply being who I am.”

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