In this spiritual ghetto of the cosmos called Earth, are men who are intelligently stupid. They are intelligent in as much as they have the ability to understand – and stupid because they often react negatively to what they hear.

Why? Because they are controlled by a gang of sub-intelligent thoughts known as Monkeys.

I tried this statement on several groups of people. The overall reaction of the majority of them to “intelligently stupid” was a spontaneous eruption of negative responses and defensiveness. Try it yourself.

This proves the point. If men were intelligently smart, they would react differently by asking questions like: Hey, how did you come to this conclusion? How interesting, can you prove your point? What do you mean by this? I don't agree, here's why... Or other questions that indicate that their intelligence is in motion.

An intelligent man would not have feelings of vulnerability, or of being attacked whenever any kind of statement is made by anybody – even a negative statement. If he reacts spontaneously to stimuli without forethought, his intelligence would be no higher than that of an ape.

“An ape lives in his feelings, is his feeling, and possesses nothing which can detach itself from his feelings – in short, an ape completely identifies himself with his subconscious images. Alas, most men also live in this state,” declared Dr. Rolf Alexander, M.D.

Hence, we need to raise our intelligence above that of an ape, and not be at the mercy of our biased or limited perceptions if we are to evolve in the ghetto.

The fact is, there is an ongoing, undeclared war between man and his real masters: the Monkeys that govern his life and rob him of his progress and the good feelings he constantly seeks.

In my own search, I came across a few paragraphs in a book that challenged me to re-examine my own thinking and convictions. In those small paragraphs was a rare admission by Dr. Timothy Leary, who had just joined the Department of Social Relations at Harvard University. I felt exactly as he did. Here is what he said:

“I would like to share with you some of the historical background of my immobilization as a psychological scientist.”

He then described the three stages he went through before finally arriving at a disturbing discovery. The first, which was by far the happiest, was what he called “the stage of innocent ignorance”, when he thought there were some secrets of human nature that he would be able to find through study, experiences and reading, and apply to help other people.

The second stage was the period of “illusion of non-ignorance”, when he knew that he didn't have the secret, but suddenly realized that people were turning to him thinking that he did… But he could always say: “Well, we didn't have enough cases,” or “we must improve the methodology.”

But eventually, in the third and most painful stage, he realized that though people were turning to him for answers, he began to think that maybe, maybe he didn't know what he was talking about.

This is in fact a “rare and revealing admission of doubts that few psycho-therapists dare state but many have felt,” wrote Dr. Thomas Harris, the author of The Book of Choice, in which he quotes Timothy Leary.

My own experience at the time was like helping others find a black cat in a dark room. Imagine the scene? To help others feel good I first had to help myself! So I started by asking “Dan, why are you reacting this way?” each time I caught myself behaving irrationally and feeling bad.

In difficult situations, I noticed that I forgot all the fancy theories about human behavior – which therefore could not help me. So, in had to come common sense and strategic reasoning. And this, essentially, is what we should be doing if we want to progress or attain our objectives in life: apply common sense and strategic reasoning – going beyond what seems obvious, because Monkeys are very short-sighted! Our own Monkeys are completely irrational and stupid.

The tyranny of our Monkeys and how to disarm them...

Ever felt like talking to someone you were attracted to, only to receive a heavy pounding on your chest? Seen street violence and felt your legs turning into jelly? Had the urge to get up and dance only to be discouraged by the sight of no one on the dance floor? Given up when you were close to succeeding at something? Or been hit by feelings of guilt, anger, jealousy or uneasiness?

If you have, you will realize that Monkeys are the most deadly, self-destructive thoughts roaming your subconscious. They can force you to eat, drink or smoke excessively. Create anxiety. Cause pains, headaches, nausea, ulcers and even cancer... Rob you of your chances for success and happiness.

The average person gets hit at least twice a day. That's 730 times a year! Some are disabled for life. This is hardly surprising, considering that many of us are fully unaware of our sub-intelligent masters who have been preventing us from obtaining what we want and from feeling good.

Now, the question you need to ask yourself is: Who's in charge? You or your Monkeys? Though they are powerful at intimidation, they can be disarmed! That's if you decide not to be a slave to them anymore.

So how do you disarm the Monkeys that prevent you from shaking your body – alone on the dance floor?

Step One, identify them!

The first Monkey to launch an attack could be What are they going to think? You could put a hood over your head to avoid being identified while you dance, and still get battered inside by Everybody's looking at you / You'll make a fool of yourself! / You're not good enough / You should / You shouldn't.

To hood or not to hood you have to know that we were all pre-installed with Monkeys Inside!

Step Two, reason with them!

So what if everybody's looking at you? Can you lose your hair? Or break an ankle because someone looks at you? Why don't you let them look? You're allowed to look back. So why don't you allow them to look at you?

Yeah, but what are they going to think?

Why don't you let them think? Why think for them? Are you getting paid for thinking for others? How the hell do you know what they are thinking? Did you go up and ask what they were thinking? They may be thinking “Boy, I wish I could be that confident!” Or, “I'm dying to take a leak!” So, you don't know what people are really thinking unless you ask.

Yeah, but you'll make a fool of yourself, you're not good enough.

So again, you're afraid of what people are thinking! Are these people here to play jury while you dance? Why do you need their approval? They are just like you. They are here to enjoy themselves. Most of them would love to get up and dance. They have the same problems and desires as you do! They eat, sleep, itch and worry like you do. And you're not in a contest to win a million. You don't need to be a John Travolta and this is not Saturday Night Fever. It's Friday, your day off.

No, you shouldn't get up to dance! Who says you shouldn't? Again, what makes you think people are so terrifying? It's all in your head. Get those Monkeys Inside! uninstalled and start dancing – and living!

This is just one example of how common sense, strategic reasoning and identification of our thoughts can free us to enjoy life. And being our real masters again – in our public and private life.

Author's Bio: 

Dan Low, self-improvement & behavioral expert, is author of «Maximize Your Potential with Powerful Tools... And No Stress». His bio is available at SelfGrowth's Self-Improvement Experts Directory under Mental Health, and at