"A group of scientists placed 5 monkeys in a cage and in the middle, a ladder with bananas on the top. Every time a monkey went up the ladder, the scientists soaked the rest of the monkeys with cold water.
After a while, every time a monkey went up the ladder, the others beat up the one on the ladder. After some time, no monkey dare to go up the ladder regardless of the temptation. Scientists then decided to substitute one of the monkeys. The 1st thing this new monkey did was to go up the ladder.
Immediately the other monkeys beat him up. After several beatings, the new member learned not to climb the ladder even though never knew why. After sometime,2nd monkey was substituted and the same occurred. The 1st monkey participated on the beating for the 2nd monkey.
A 3rd monkey was changed and the same was repeated (beating). The 4th was substituted and the beating was repeated and finally the 5th monkey was replaced. What was left was a group of 5 monkeys that even though never received a cold shower, continued to beat up any monkey who attempted to climb the ladder.
If it was possible to ask the monkeys why they would beat up all those who attempted to go up the ladder, I bet you the answer would be.... 'I don't know - that's how things are done around here'
Does it sounds familiar?"
Just think of how we are brought up. As children, we would have heard these things being told to us 'Don't jump and run around, everyone is looking at you', 'Don't laugh so loudly, what will people think?', 'Don't accept gifts with your left hand, it's rude' etc. etc.
The layers of conditioning gradually build up and we start using them as guidelines for survival. Are we any different from this bunch of conditioned monkeys?
Here is a related video where Swami Nithyananda talks about how we create a life style that makes us miss life. Life style is conditioning given by society. Life Style is societal and life is natural. The changes that happen naturally is life.
-- Ma Nithyananda Arpana