My take on the Three Principles
Updated: May 12
Ideas and concepts have shelf lives. They fit the world order for a period of time and either evolve or get replaced by new ideas and concepts. We see it all the time, there’s nothing new there. These concepts are usually trying to describe something not fully known or understood and, as a result, have assumptions built into them. Over time, those assumptions get forgotten. We take those ideas as gospel truths and we stop questioning them. Well the Three Principles are a concept. On paper they have no more or less validity than the next concept. However, those of us working in this field know this. We’re excited by it. We know we’re on a voyage of discovery… So this is my take on them today, Wednesday 3 November 2021, and I’m in no doubt that I’ll be rewriting this in the future when I see something new.
What the Principles try and point to is the essence of what allows us to experience life. The intangible thing that allows the collection of atoms that constitute us to be alive, sentient and able to feel experience. That thing that distinguishes a living person from a lifeless corpse. Science is still struggling to pin down the spiritual essence of this amazing phenomenon – what turns a collection of stardust from the big bang into something that can walk, talk and feel alive.
Some of the greatest scientists have grappled to try and understand how we work. The famous physicist David Bohm wrote:
“The field of the finite is all we can see, hear, touch, remember and describe. This field is basically that which is manifest, or tangible.
The essential quality of the infinite, by contrast, is its subtlety, its intangibility. This quality is conveyed in the word ‘spirit’, whose root meaning is ‘wind or breath’. This suggests an invisible but pervasive energy, to which the manifest world of the finite responds.
This energy, or spirit, infuses all living things, and without it any organism must fall apart into its constituent elements. That which is truly alive in living systems is the energy of spirit, and this is never born and never dies.”
The Three Principles of Universal Mind, Universal Thought and Universal Consciousness were the realisation of Sydney Banks in the early 1970s. I won’t attempt to paraphrase Syd’s experience; you can hear it from him in ‘The Experience’ video. However, through a shift in his understanding of life he transformed from an insecure man struggling with life, to a man who saw life full of abundant opportunity. What is most important, is that Syd also saw that his discovery was relevant to every single person on this planet; that everyone is mentally healthy at their core, they have lost sight of it through an innocent misunderstanding about the origins of human experience.
The Three Principles essentially help to describe the spiritual nature of all human beings. When I say spiritual, I mean it in David Bohm’s sense above, not in a religious sense. However, there is a great deal of crossover between where the Principles are pointing and where all religions are guiding their followers.
As the Principles are nothing more than a concept, I am not asking you to believe any of what I am writing or anything Syd said. I’m merely inviting you to sit with an open mind, not judging what is said against any previously held knowledge, but to see if anything feels fresh or true. This isn’t an intellectual exercise, it’s one based on what feels right. That magic when we move from intellectual understanding, to truly knowing something having felt it; eg shifting from understanding the mechanics of riding a bike, to knowing what it feels like to maintain balance by gaining enough momentum. As Albert Einstein said, “I believe in intuitions and inspirations. I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am.”
What are the Three Principles?
Mind is the energy or spirit that David Bohm described. It is 100% neutral, runs though out the universe, and powers everything. It’s what operates all the chemical reactions in our cells. It’s what turns acorns in to oak trees. It’s the power behind the workings of our solar system. Mind is not the fact that you have a mind and I have a mind, it is much greater than that. It is the energy that runs through literally everything.
Thought is what our reality is made from moment to moment. It is not the personal thoughts we have – the content – it is the fact that we think. Thought is how, as humans, we experience Mind flowing through us; it makes our experience possible. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to interpret our five senses or form opinions. Thought is our lens, and it’s the clarity of the lens that determines the feelings we create moment to moment. Thought is completely neutral until we become aware of it, at which point we start to innocently manipulate it as personal thoughts.
Consciousness is our level of awareness moment to moment. It is not the fact that we are physically conscious, more that we have the capacity to experience life. Consciousness is constantly shifting, constantly evolving and again completely neutral. It is Consciousness that allows us to experience Thought. We have all experienced feeling low and grouchy, and when we are looking at the world from that level, things feel uncomfortable, they tend to conform to our level on Consciousness in that moment. Conversely, we have probably all felt in a high state of Consciousness and taken uncomfortable thoughts in our stride and not given them a second glance.
As you can see, the Three Principles work on concert with each other. It’s through them that all our experience is created.
If the direction the Three Principles are pointing is true then we live in our own separate realities. We view the world through our own thoughts based on our level of consciousness moment to moment. Why is this important? It means that we experience the feeling of our thinking about the world, our situation, our memories. That also means that we are not the victims of circumstance, which is a commonly held belief. It also means that the person we’re arguing with isn’t making us feel upset, we are innocently doing that to ourselves based on the thoughts we have about the argument.
This is a very different way of looking at the how we experience the world. However, it has enormous possibilities for unlocking people from things they fear, or ideas that stop them reaching their full potential. It allows us to be more gentle with ourselves, see that other people are also grappling with their own thought created experience, and crucially, that their view could easily be different from our own. With this understanding, we are less likely to try and defend our position and more likely to become curious in an effort to try to understand the other point of view.
For the veterans I speak to, this understanding helps them see that they are not at the mercy of their memories and that there is nothing to do other than be aware of how they’re feeling in the moment. If they’re feeling low, then there’s a chance they may experience some unpleasant thoughts… those thoughts don’t define them, they, themselves, aren’t broken and they don’t need to do anything to make those thoughts go away.
Thought flows through us moment to moment, and a fresh thought is right on the tail of the one we are experiencing now. Have you ever tried to will a thought away? How did it go? When we engage our thoughts we give them energy and they stick around… As David Bohm points out, “Thought creates our world and then says, I didn’t do it”.
Exploring this understanding has huge potential for anyone willing to venture in to what is currently unknown and see what shows up. How much have we learned in our lives to date? How much of that knowledge has shifted and evolved as we’ve seen more, or as other humans have explored the boundaries of what’s known?
Every day we all have the capacity to learn more, to see more, to grow. I love that I’m not the finished article and that there is an energy flowing through me, guiding me and helping me thrive, whether I know it or not. What I love more is helping people see the same for themselves, to watch their curiosity flourish and their horizons open up.
If this has sparked your curiosity let’s start a conversation and see where it takes us.