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this is the monkey which was told of in another story- in the other story he was trapped in a bottle which was dug in the ground. he was trapped, because in the bottle there was a banana, and keeping hold of the banana meant he couldn't get his hand out of the bottle and just go. as stories usually tend to, this too ends just there where things get interesting. he was captured. he became a pet for a person who treated the monkey fine and good- just as if he was a friend, and who also had big interest in religion and philosophy. but the story of monkey's capture, and he man who kept him as a pet and how he escaped as the wisest and best informed monkey on theological and philosophical matters is, well, another story. in this one, this monkey has decided to visit the termite in search of wisdom. he made a long journey in the forest till he found the termite and they started talking. and maybe there is a story of that as well, but not ours right now. "hey termite!" said the wisest monkey, "reverend and wise termite of the woods and everywhere else. i am here to seek information, and ultimately wisdom. i need to ask you a question... will you please help me." the termite was surprised. it wasn't often people came seeking help to him. "how can i help you? you yourself are so wise, that it is hardly imaginable that you could need any further knowledge, let alone wisdom. how can i help you?" monkey was not aware that his story became famous, and some people really knew of him, which made him proud, and seemed to justify the hardship he suffered while he was still the pet of the man, and the effort it took him to learn the human wisdom. he said "during my days with the humans, i have heard of the wisest of stories, and had a lot of time to listen to human debates on philosophy. and yet there seemed to be a point where even humans were helpless finding out the answer of a simple question, which i want to ask you, so that i can understand it." the monkey went on "there is a branch of budhism, which is a very glorious philopsophy, called the zen budism, and there the moks are trained with questions, called koans, which they need to find an answer for, in order to find enlightenment. i have such a question for you- if you care to listen to..." the termite was intrigued, what could be the question the humans not answer, and he could? what kind of wisdom was that? the monkey went on "imagine there is a tree in the forest, and it falls down... and nobody is around to hear of the falling tree made any noise or not. does a falling tree make a noise, if there is nobody around? you are at every tree in the forest, you live and die with every single one of them. you could tell." a termite is not an intelligent animal, but a colony of termites is. the collective is its intelligence and its wisdom. its state of being an individual in a collective, where the whole is more than the sum of its parts, is its intrinsic wisdom, which many has to learn later on. it is often just simple sentences which make wisdom after all. very simple sentences, which can be found practically everywhere. they are used so often that they tend to lose their meaning. "but tell me monkey, why do you want to know? will knowing make you any wiser?" asked the termite
"oh, yes! of course it will. imagine, my master could not answer this particular question, although very wise and informed. knowing the answer to the question, i will master my master, and wiser than him. you could help me." termite said, it would have to consider the answer to this question. he would ask other termites for their opinions, and the collective of the experiences made with falling trees. he said he would come when he knows the answer, and went. sometime later, as time is an insignificant factor in stories, the termite was back. the monkey, who had seen the opportunity to excel in human philosophy, who could become even wiser than his master, was still waiting, of course. termite came and announced, that the collective has been aware of every single tree falling in the forest, and as a member has always been around, they could also say, that they had heard a sound, the typical sound of a tree falling in every of them. except for one case where the termite was deaf and couldn't tell. how a deaf termite can talk with others is one of the great mysteries of termites, and is something which certainly has to be explored... but this too is not our story, of course. the monkey was very happy. now he knew. now he was wiser. just as he was considering a way of thanking the termite for his help, the termite went on... "i am afraid we couldn't be much of help. i am sorry." the monkey was surprised now- why should this answer not help him after all? "how do you mean termite? you just answered the question i have been trying to find a solution for. that was indeed a big help. i don't know how i could express my thanks to you." "i don't think you get it. there have been great deal of trees falling in the forest, and now you know for sure that there has been someone around in every one of them. you still haven't found a case where no one was actually around which would help you to judge." the monkey considered this, and said, "if there was no one around, then there would also be no one to tell if there was a sound or not. nobody could answer this question." "only nobody, actually." asserted termite. "in that case, this question is actually absurd, and cannot be answered after all. how could it be wisdom?" "not entirely right." said the termite. "we thought that the question is actually designed to be absurd, so that the individual seeking answer to it, has to face the absurdity of the whole, and find conviction in the great plan." it was now time for the monkey to be intrigued. "tell me more about the great plan" he asked, "i want to know everything about it." "termites are born to their colonies and altered to become whatever is currently required- fulfilling the needs of the colony and therefore making tiny knots in the fabric of existence. same is true for the trees in the forest, which is made of trees. their role in the great plan is to be, give shelter to animals, and die becoming food for the termites. termites decompose the trees, so that the soil is fertile, and more trees can prosper. other animals have to be as well, so that the
trees can reproduce, and grow, to give shelter and everything else we need for living. everything there is, has a sense, a role, a part in the whole equilibrium of existence. and of course also their duties, so that existence, as it is, can continue" began the termite. what else could an animal of the collective believe after all. an animal which is perpetually part of a great plan, ceaselessly working for it, and in which his individual efforts count. you could almost say, that purely the belief that there is a great plan and that the individual termite is part of it, is his drive after all, what else could he believe. what else could his wisdom be. "and the great plan requires of the trees to make a noise while they fall, so that the animals can hear and come along to trees corpse, get it decomposed quickly to become part of the life- this time with its material, recycled and restored to life. therefore, the real answer to your question is, yes. trees always make a noise when they fall, as it is part of the great plan, part of continuity, and therefore their duty. and also yes, there is always someone to hear to noise, for no tree may go wasted, and will have to be restored back to life. therefore someone has to be there to hear and do what is necessary. if you understand the great plan, you will also understand that the question is designed to provoke realization of the great plan. its existence... which is a great wisdom." the monkey was amazed of the wisdom of the termite. his inevitable wisdom, which he inherited from his colony, which also dictated him for almost every second of his life what his responsibilities would be, made him amazingly wise as well. the following days, monkey asked many more questions to learn about the great plan, and how it worked, how to read and understand it, how to accept and worship it, be a real part of it. the monkey learned a great deal, and was happy. and when the time came, he bade his farewell, and gratitude and left. what he didn't learn reamins the fact that your nature is inevitably part of your wisdom, and termites nature, being a collective one, just had to contain a big plan. and of course, just like all stories, this too has to end, right now, just before things turn interesting.
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