paradigm shifts

100th Monkey – A Story about Social Change

The Hundredth Monkey is a book about social change by Ken Keyes Jr. A story about the danger of nuclear power and nuclear weapons. A simple story about a complex situation, with a simple plea and a simple idea. If enough of the human population cared about the threat of the mushroom cloud, then the rest of the world would spontaneously come to the same conclusion.

It is based on the Hundredth Monkey Effect, as espoused by Dr Watson – that at a certain tipping point, when enough of a species have internalized a certain new idea or knowledge, that information is available to everyone else. The transference would be not be geographically isolated.


We are the bearers of a new vision. We can dispel the old destruction myths and replace them with the life-enriching truths that are essential to continued life on our planet.


The book, published in 1984, is not copyrighted as the author felt the “alerting of all humankind to nuclear realities is supremely urgent”. After all, “if we are wiped out by nuclear destruction in the next few years, how important are the things we are doing today”?

Since the book was written, the Cold War had ended, though not the dangers of nuclear power and the threat of nuclear terrorism and warfare. The accident at Fukushima highlights the unpredictability of nature’s awesome force, in shaping the future of humankind. But as the author wrote, the point is not to be resigned to an apocalyptic destiny or be frozen in fear.

While we don’t know where the tipping point lies, whether it is 1 million people or 3.2 million, or whether the transference of knowledge is spontaneous, it is beside the point. What is the point? To be open and embrace the possibility of infinite pathways. To awaken to the amazing awareness we actually possess….Will you be the “Hundredth Monkey”?