As I was saying…The Three Principles…what are they and why should you care? The Principles are Mind, Consciousness, and Thought, which if understood, have the potential to change your life dramatically for the better (disclaimer to follow). Briefly, Mind is the formless energy and intelligence behind all life. Some may refer to this energy as God, a physicist might describe it as the quantum field, Luke Skywalker knows it as The Force. Whatever you choose to call this intelligence, it existed before time and beyond space and exists now as You.
Consciousness…what is it, why do we have it, and where does it come from? Still baffles philosophers and scientists after millennia of reflection, research and debate. Zombies don’t seem to need it. You’ve often driven to destinations, lost in thought, only to arrive safely and without incident with no memory of how you got there. In the Principle’s sense consciousness means “awareness,” the experience of life. It supposes the changeable levels of our consciousness (awareness) will determine the quality of our experience.
Thought…Banks refers to Thought as the missing link, between the formless world of pure potentiality and the created world of form. Sounds a bit esoteric but basically it means don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not reality, but they create the reality we live in, like an artist uses his brush to create her personal masterpiece. We see the world not so much as it is, but as we are. Higher levels of consciousness bring more clarity of thought.
Now for the disclaimer. This is all deceptively simple. There is nothing really new here. No mysteries resolved, at least not yet. When I first came upon The Principles I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about, largely because it largely mirrored my own thinking and ideas, ideas which have been advanced quite literally for thousands of years. Ask any Hindu holy man worth his salt about illusory thoughts and the unity of being and he’ll be happy to explain “Maya.” The Buddha may have wordlessly offered you a flower to explain the same principles. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy similarly focuses on the transformative power of thought, although Syd Banks would reject that approach as a mere technique. The Principles are intellectually sound even though they cannot be apprehended through the intellect. The Understanding he speaks of needs to be “understood,” not correctly identified on a multiple-choice quiz. There’s always a catch! I don’t know that you really even need three interdependent principles to explain what is essentially a single Truth. When Syd had his revelation, I’m pretty sure the words Mind, Consciousness and Thought did not leap to mind. They are simply words not scripture, teaching tools, meant to reveal but not revere, so be careful not to mistake the menu for the meal. Like the Buddhist admonition not to mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself, remember you are only being given the finger!
What I’m somewhat irreverently trying to point to, is that the Principles are not simply a description of how the mind works, or how thought creates our feelings and perceived reality. We are much more than that, not so much bodies with a soul, as divine spirits within, at times, a cumbersome body. As Syd described it in the anthology Handbook for the Soul…
“The soul is the only true source of spiritual nourishment. There are many ways to connect with and rekindle your relationship with your soul, but the most effective way is to rid yourself of the obstacles that come between you and your purity of thought. You can begin the process of nourishing your soul by living in the present moment, in the now. And if your mind wanders, don’t take theses thoughts too seriously. Just let them go, realize that they are nothing more than fleeting thoughts, and you will soon be on your way to finding the peace of mind you seek, with loving thoughts for yourself and others bringing joy and contentment to your life.” Like I said, always a catch!
With your permission, I’d like to share some ideas on what it means to “live in the moment,” but I’d prefer to explore them further next time. Or maybe we should drill down further into each of the Three Principles separately. I’m not sure. I’d be grateful to hear your comments or recommendations.
In the meantime, let me leave you with the musings of another fellow traveler known for his deep thinking on the subject.
“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want, and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics!”