The Forgotten Wisdom
by Dr. Scott Zarcinas, Founder, Unlocking Your Life seminars
#10 The Ape & The Banana Trap
In the jungles of Africa, the local inhabitants are said to have unique method of catching chimpanzees. In a small cage, hunters secure a banana to one of its bars as bait. The cage itself is also fixed, usually to a branch of a tree, so that it cannot be wrenched loose.
Once set, there is only one way to access the banana: the chimpanzee must place its hand through an opening to grasp the bait. The chimpanzee is free to let go of the banana whenever it realizes it’s fixed and is just as free to remove its hand from the cage and flee to safety.
Yet the chimpanzee will not let go of the banana, even when the hunters have returned and are poised to bag their prey.
Herein lies the beauty of the banana trap: the chimpanzee has been trapped by nothing other than its own self – it is a prisoner of its own desire.
This parable may be urban myth (or jungle myth?). No one knows for sure if chimpanzees are actually captured this way. Nonetheless, it does highlight a truism of human psyche: we can easily be held captive by nothing less than our own desires, needs and wants.
Dr. Scott Zarcinas is the Founder of Unlocking Your Life seminars. He is the author of numerous books, including Your Natural State of Being.