Tuesday, August 22nd 2017
Sep
2008
18

Don’t fall for the monkey trap

An excerpt from Vaishali’s upcoming book, Wisdom Rising, one woman’s manual for reinvention and realization

PART 1 of 2 — In Taiwan there is a device known as a Taiwanese monkey trap. It is a simple box made of open wooden slats. A banana is placed inside the box, and it is clearly visibly through the open slats. There is a hole in the box just large enough for a monkey’s open hand to reach through. Once the monkey has a grip on the banana, the trap is sprung: the monkey now finds the hole is too small for a closed fist clutching a banana to pass back out again.

There is actually nothing holding the monkey in the trap — except for its attachment to the banana. The monkey will stand there, one arm in the box firmly clutching the banana, for hours, even days. The monkey will remain there until the trappers return to bag the poor distressed creature, easily, for the monkey will not relinquish its grip on the banana.

Before you laugh too hard at the monkey’s behavior, consider that all human beings have much in common with both the monkey, as well as the trap.

How could we, the vastly superior beings, possibly be emulating this monkey business, you ask?

Well, once we get our perceptual grip on something, we often will not let go of it to save our lives. For us ‘more advanced’ monkeys, the wooden, open-slat box corresponds to a life of suffering; and our inability to let things go is represented by the banana. As long as we have a death-grip on taking everything in life personally, we’re caught in a life of suffering and limitation.

Basically, we are trapped by our mind — our thought and beliefs. If we would only open up our perception, we could then release what is holding us hostage, to our detriment and discomfort.

According to Vedic psychology, what most of us are experiencing as personal events are not even personal. They are universal, but once again our perception gets in the way.

It may not be personal, but we “take it personally,” as my banana.

For example, air, fire and water are all universal elements. We all universally experience them. So, when was the last time you saw someone running around, holding their breath in a constant inhale, informing all around them . . .

This is my air! My air! You just wouldn’t understand it, because it is my air!

Most likely never. We would immediately recognize such behavior as misplaced identification, and move as rapidly as possible away from the deluded offensive party.

So it is with taking life personally; it is misplaced identification.

NEXT: The art of not taking life too personally


Vaishali’s first book, You Are What You Love, is also the name of her weekly radio show on Clear Channel, which you can hear in webcast at this link

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One Comment on “Don’t fall for the monkey trap”

  1. Why do I feel like I'm sitting here with egg on my face? I always take things way too personally and I really liked what was said about: "According to Vedic psychology, what most of us are experiencing as personal events are not even personal. They are universal, but once again our perception gets in the way."

    I was bitterly complaining one time about my son's behavior to a friend and he asked me if I thought my son had my behavior? "Absolutely not!" said I... "my son's behavior is his own fault!" "Exactly," said he.

    Sheesh. :)

    Thanks for this!
    SueAnn

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