Chapter 43: The Monkey Is Dead
A nurse, working in a hospital with small disabled and backward children, told me of the following case which she had to take care of.
There was a small boy about four years old who was confined in a bed - not only with cot sides but with bars across the top too - like a cage. He was very small for his age, unable to speak or walk or even to sit. He was fair-skinned and was covered all over his body with long, dark brown hair, and was always hanging by his hands and feet from the roof of his cage, making sounds like a monkey. He refused all kinds of different foods except bananas - he ate nothing else; however, he was a very happy and friendly child. Early man looked similar to monkeys, and modern man often behaves like a monkey. Would you please comment on this?
The behavior of a monkey is the behavior of a frantic mind jumping from here to there, from this branch to that branch, never stable, never able to sit silently even for a few moments, always doing something, always going somewhere, continuous in activity - meaningless or meaningful, relevant or irrelevant.
Charles Darwin’s theory may be right or wrong; most probably it is wrong - because for thousands of years we have been seeing no monkey come down from the trees and start walking like a man. And why did only a small bunch of monkeys change into man and the remaining monkeys stay as monkeys for millions of years? Did it not dawn in their minds that their cousins, their brothers, their sisters, their in-laws have progressed so much and they are still hanging in the trees?
That’s why I say most probably Darwin’s theory is not right, not factually right; but psychologically it seems to have some validity.
Man’s mind is a monkey. If you watch your mind you can see. It is never quiet. The most difficult thing for it is not to do anything.
But a few men have managed to get out of this monkey mind and have been able to remain inactive as long as they wanted.
In the East for centuries all the mystics have agreed on one point: that if the mind can remain silent for forty-eight minutes non-stop you are free of its grip. Then you can eat as many bananas as you want! You will not go bananas. But for forty-eight seconds the mind cannot remain still, what to say about forty-eight minutes!
And this is the whole work of a spiritual seeker, to change the monkey mind and bring it into a state of stillness. Perhaps that is the last stage of evolution.
There are stones which have life, though it is very dormant - because they grow. Then there are trees which have life - and recent research says they have sensitivity too. Then there are animals of thousands of species. They have a certain kind of intelligence also. And then man is there. He has more intelligence than anybody else in the known world.
If he can use this intelligence to help the monkey to be still, to relax, then the super-mind comes into being and you have a clarity that was never before, a clarity that makes you aware of yourself and aware of existence that surrounds you, and fills you with tremendous gratitude.
Otherwise, Darwin may not be factually right but psychologically he is right. Looking at man, anybody could have predicted that somehow he is related to the monkeys.