Where the monkey puts his hand

By Paulo Coelho

I said to a friend:

‘It’s odd that proverb, “An old monkey never puts his hand in the pot”.’

‘Yes, but it has its own logic,’ he replied. ‘In India, hunters make a small hole in a coconut, put a banana inside and bury the whole thing. A monkey finds the coconut, puts his hand in the hole to grab the banana, but then can’t get it out because his closed hand is too big for the hole. Instead of letting go of the banana, the monkey stays there wrestling with the impossible and gets caught.’

The same thing happens in our own lives. The need to have a particular thing – often something small and useless – ends up making us prisoners of that need.

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  1. Marie-Christine says:

    on n’apprend pas a un singe a faire des grimaces –
    utilisez votre pouvoir d’imagination. ca y est l a machine est en marche? Oui,
    ‘”hou hou hou”

  2. Marie-Christine says:

    what do you think?

  3. Marie-Christine says:

    At the super market, yesterday a lady gave me a good tip about how to make bananas go ripe. All you need to do is to put an avocado (a ripe one) in with the green bananas. It works!
    Have a nice Saturday. Smile too.:)

  4. Marie-Christine says:

    I just ate a banana to night.

  5. fLUXman says:

    my dear friends ,
    let us not forget that monkey which first learned to wash his banana before he ate it.
    let us also not forget that primal monkey who ate the first magic mushroom.
    what so you say have we started to be one mind ???
    love & sound

  6. Marta says:

    Olá Paulo! Namaste! :)

    Hi everybody! :)

    When I realize that I’m in the same situation of that monkey, I ask to myself why I’m in “need” of that thing, person, situation, feeling, sensation, energy, etc. And I try to be aware with what’s going on outside but mainly inside my mind. The deep reasons for that need. People often use to “just live” without think too much in what they’re really doing or getting or why they’re needing certain thing.

    The master key here is to try to don’t be paralized because you’re thinking too much and doing less then you could, but at the same time, paying attention in what you’re doing, discovering your reasons to act in that way. The middle path, the harmony between the two ways of act. And it’s a daily “fight”, at least to me.

    Thanks for the wisdom tip again!

    Love & Light!

    Marta :)

  7. asha says:

    Indeed ,an old monkey never puts hand inside the pot coz maybe he had put there before and couldn’t escape and is scared to face same thing again.Or the monkey is indeed too old that he is not sure that he can escape again or is self coneited that the result of putting the hand in the pot is always a trap.There are many ways to see the same thing.The old monkey might save himslef from a trouble by not putting his hand in the pot thinking he is old and have enough experiences or he might have found something else’s for change and would have really found a banana without a trap waiting for him to capture.I am just trying to see the same story with optimism hehe.All things might not have same consequences as we presume,but yes indeed it’s is the small things that matters in the end.One score less makes 99 hang on to the line of 9 and not be perfect 100,there is always something 1 is lacking or 1 is over.It’s how we want to see things.Anyway the fact the monkey is not trying to grab the banana indeeed proves that he is old coz he is self conceited and thinks that he has enough experiences and need not learn more coz we learn many things from trouble as well.It might not be negative all the time and the things we see as trap might be another gate of learning experience.

  8. Juneli says:

    I had read something different story.

    There was a boy and he saw food in a pitcher. He put his hand inside and grab a handful food and try to take out it but he could not. He tried a lot but he could not take his out. He cried. And his sister came and asked what happened. When she found he truth then she instructed her brother to drop the food and hold only a pinch. He did the same and his hand was out.

    The moral of the story was we should not be too much greedy. If we then we could not free ourselves. We have to make habit to take what really need.

  9. Dinsan says:

    quite often.. we dont realize whats important for us.. but considers what others think important for us… ?

  10. Bubbles says:

    I am the Monkey. This makes me seriously want to reconsider my 9 to 5, every day job, and the monotony of the life that I do actually enjoy but could make so much more of. Perhap I work to live the life I think I want/need. I too am a little trapped, and just need that push, and of course the confidence to change it.

  11. Karen says:

    It all atarts with this 4 letter word…


    the “need”… what a dangerous word!

    Depending on the end result, one might end up happy or miserable, but wait a minute;

    once satisfied, he/she is happy and we become free… but it never goes away…

    the “need” only sleeps for a while and then begins to take over slowly again… pushing our thoughts and emotions further more… sometimes, it will leave us on edge, and at some point, it will go beyond our reach and capabilities, we become fixated…. that it “ends up making us prisoners”

    the “need”… what a dangerous word!

    …a luring entrapment

  12. Paulo that’s so true…we need to find our real inspirations and try to do the best that we can to achieve what we REALLY want!
    And I WANT (I would want…) you to come to Genoa…you will receive a comment almost everyday…
    if you want something you shouldn’t let it go..you should fight for it!!!
    Diana – Genoa – ITALY