By Ina Woolcott
Chimpanzee’s medicine includes intelligence, understanding societal complexity, language skills, dexterity, connection to the forest spirits, problem solving, ability to balance compassion and aggression.
Chimpanzees come close to humans on the evolutionary scale, and the gifts they bring when they enter our lives can help to remind of the simple ways of life that create joy. They are highly intelligent beings. In us they can awaken our playfulness, curiosity, and self-expression. Chimp’s can also cultivate our ability to be full, active members of the human and natural community.
Understanding the qualities of chimpanzees can bring us new views of our own place on this planet. They are toolmakers, using the resources available to fulfil tasks. They eat fruits bearing poisonous seeds without crushing those seeds. They also treat themselves with medicinal herbs – little homeopaths! They are also emotionally complex animals, displaying almost as wide a range of feelings as humans.
When the details of modern life make us feel uncertain or doubtful, it may be useful to remind ourselves that every complexity in life is a human creation. We can always choose to simplify our lives, we are the creators of our lives and destiny.
Chimpanzees also give us another very important lesson to be learned. So often, human beings consider themselves to be superior to all beings – the masters of the physical world. The great intelligence and emotional range of the chimpanzee and also other beings can help to gently put us in our place. When he have a less egotistical, self-important view on life, we are finally able to appreciate and wonder at the unique gifts of EVERY being inhabiting this planet and experience ourselves not as apart from the natural community, but as A-PART of the whole, in harmony with all of life.