Tales : Monkey Spirituality

It happened once upon a time that a certain band of monkeys began to discuss deep questions, such as philosophy and spirituality. After exchanging many opinions, one of them said, “Brothers and sisters, it is easy to talk, but what does it accomplish? Nothing at all! If we wish to speak of spirituality, we should put ourselves to the test, and try to live in a spiritual way.”

“Yes, brother,” the other monkeys said, “you are right.”

“But,” said one of them, “how can we do that?”

“I have heard,” said the first monkey, “that it is highly spiritual to fast.”

“Very well,” they all agreed, “then we will fast! We will be the most spiritual monkeys the world has ever seen. From this very moment, not a morsel will pass our lips.”

And with that they immediately began to fast. But after a minute, one of them said, “Brothers and sisters, now we are fasting – but it is also spiritual to think of the future. We should prepare for the moment when we end the fast.”

“This is true wisdom, brother, but how do we do that?” asked another.

“We should each have nearby a banana so that when the moment to end the fast arrives, we do not need to go in search of food. After all, we may become quite weak from this difficult spiritual trial.”

All the monkeys thought this was very sensible, and so they each secured a banana and held it near them as they continued their fast.

Then a moment later another monkey said, “Brothers and sisters, what would happen if from this harsh discipline we become too weak to peel the banana?”

“Then we would die,” the monkeys replied. “From starvation. A terrible way to end our lives.”

“That cannot be the aim of our spiritual practice,” said this monkey. “So to prevent that disaster, we should each peel our banana now, while we are able.”

“Very good advice,” all the monkeys chorused, and immediately peeled their bananas.

“But,” said another monkey, “what if we become too weak to place the banana in our mouths?”

“We must prevent such a tragedy,” all the other monkeys agreed. “We must prepare properly for the end of the fast!”

And with that, they all popped the bananas in their mouths. And afterward, they felt very spiritual, and boasted to all the animals of the jungle about the great benefits of fasting.

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