Chapter 5: Monkey Mountain
Chuang Tzu always watched monkeys. He was deeply interested in them because they are the forefathers of man. And a monkey is hidden in you! This whole world is nothing but a monkey mountain; all around are monkeys. What is the characteristic of a monkey? What is the deepest character in the monkey? It is copying. Gurdjieff used to say that you cannot become a man unless you stop being a monkey - and he was right. Somebody asked him, “What is the deepest characteristic of a monkey?” He said, “Copying, imitation.”
The monkey is a perfect imitator. What have you been doing your whole life? Have you been a man or a monkey? You imitate, you just look around and you follow; following, you become false. You see somebody walking in a certain way, you try to walk that way; somebody is wearing a particular dress, you would like to have that dress; somebody has got a car, you would like to have that car - everything!
You never look at what your need is. And if you do look to your need, life can become a blissful existence, because needs are not much. Imitation will lead you on a path which reaches nowhere in the end. Needs are not much, needs are always few; if you look to your need, you can be satisfied. Contentment is easy, because what is needed? Few are the needs. But if you imitate, then millions of unnecessary needs crowd all around. And there is no end to them, because there are millions of people and you would like to imitate everybody. It becomes impossible; you start living everybody’s life and then you forget that you were here to do your own thing, and you have become an imitator.
You are here to fulfill your own destiny and that destiny is individual, it is nobody else’s. This existence has given you birth to fulfill a particular destiny which cannot be fulfilled by anybody else. No Buddha can do it, no Jesus can do it, only you can do it. And you are imitating. That is why Hindus say that unless you stop imitation you will be thrown again and again into existence - that is the theory of rebirth. You will be thrown in again and again unless you fulfill your destiny; unless you flower, you will have to come back. How can you flower if you imitate? You see a musician and you want to be a musician; you see an actor and you want to be an actor; you see a doctor and you want to be a doctor. You want to be everything except yourself - and that is all that you can be, nothing else. Nothing else is possible, and nobody else is like you, so nobody can become your ideal.