By Special Permission of Ken Keyes Q.M.I. Presents

the hundredth monkey

by ken keyes, jr.
This book does not deal with petty matters.
It tells how to operate our lives --- and our world. It tells us how to stay alive!
The mess we've brought upon ourselves is a most perilous and challenging one. The broad picture pieced together here will show you the immensity of the nuclear dangers, the futility of any defense or protection, the power of the new awareness and your role in the unfolding drama.
There is a phenomenon I'd like to tell you about. In it may lie our only hope of a future for our species!
Here is the story of the Hundredth Monkey.
The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, has been observed in the field 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 firt unpleasant.
An 18-month old female name 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 dritysweet 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. Let's further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash 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. The most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then spontaneously jumped over the sea -- Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes!
(Lifetide,, Watson, pp. 147-148, Bantam Books, 1980. This book gives other fascinating details.)
Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind. Although the exact number may vary, the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the consiousness 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!
© Copyright 1982 Ken Keyes, Jr. Vision Books
The remainder of this book can be found at
"The 100th Monkey" continues (complete book)
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