Monthly Archives: November 2012

The 100th Monkey

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.


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.

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, 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!

Public Health and Change



The great public health advances of the past are different from just changing public perception.  The old joke is that public health doesn’t make you live longer, it just feels like it.


We need commitment devices to helps us change – diet sheets, marriage.  As society changes we need commitment devices.


There are three approaches to ethics – individual rights, utilitarianism and virtue ethics.  Increasingly we need to head towards virtue ethics.  We need a re-imagination of what a good life is.  We need the true, the good and the beautiful.


Two Greeks and a Jew:

Jesus the truth

Plato the beautiful

Aristotle the good

With God – Law

– the offering is costly worship, and there is even the thing here that the Israelites bring so much that Moses doesn’t know what to do with it.

– takes a $100 bill, his own money, and says to someone, what are you going to do with this.  What happens when you realise that what you have been given is from God, and is precious, you want to do the very best with it, and you keep giving.  And so, people give and give.  What if people said to us “stop” because we were giving so much – there were no more homeless people to shelter, no more hungry people to feed, no more unreached peoples to tell about the gospel.

– worship is central because the tent is at the heart of the community, because God is at the heart of the community

– turn the central places in your life – your desk, your car, your kitchen, into places where you worship

– make worship pure

– make worship joyful, when the Church has suffered, you see joy like you can’t imagine because of the way that people have discerned God in terrible places.  They caught a vision of what God is doing in this world.

When we sing and we dance and we confess and we pray and we give and we love and we the hurting and the left out and the shut out and the unwanted and the unsung and the unseen and the celebration of the crucified, suffering, risen King’s presence into our world, into the needs of the poor and We make it joyful when we do not just worship for ourselves.

We make it joyful when we bring our celebration of the crucified, risen King’s presence into the world, into the needs of the poor and the hurting, and the left out and the shut and the unwanted and the unsung and the unseen and the unwanted.  When we sing and we dance and we confess and we pray and we give and we love and we sacrifice, then the curtain comes down all over again, and the Holy of Holies keeps spreading and God is glorified and heaven rejoices and we have some little sense of what lies before us in an eternity of limitless love and our victorious God. We worship him then.