What are the Three Principles anyway?
I always begin the answer to this question with the suggestion that you look at the original works of Syd Banks and go directly to the source. Having said that, when I first looked at Syd’s work, I would have passed on by and missed the incredible beauty which lies therein, if I hadn’t been looking in other directions at the same time. I simply didn’t ‘get it’ at first. It took a few looks and some other Three Principles teachers ways of sharing the gift before I grasped the immense power and depth of Syd’s own words.
Having been around the understanding for a while now, here is my own take on the Three Principles of Mind, Thought and Consciousness - I hope it goes some way to helping you see the incredible beauty of this truly wonderful gift Syd has given us to wake up to our own true nature.
[Note: go back to Syd afterwards... always!]
Now, importantly, the Three Principles are descriptive, not prescriptive. They don’t tell us to do anything and you don’t use them for anything. They are merely a description of something which is already happening whether we know it, realise it or believe it (or not).
They are also metaphors. All words are in fact, metaphors. They point towards the thing they represent without being the thing itself. Please bear this in mind because many people begin to conceptualise the Principles and they are not a concept. Like gravity and mathematics, they are a pre-existing truth - discovered by the human mind - which we use to describe the truth, using the inferior words we have at our disposal.
First up, a Principle is a part of the system upon which all other parts of the system rely. Without it, the other parts would not function properly.
The first Principle, therefore, is Universal Mind, or the spiritual (formless) energy behind life itself. There is an intelligence behind this life force, in that it appears to have wisdom built into it. You don’t have to do anything to grow your skin and heal cuts, the seasons change of their own accord and small animals know how to hibernate to survive. This pre-existing wisdom is part of us all and runs through everything. It is what gives us insights and helps us navigate life. Without this first Principle, you would not be alive or able to experience life in the first place.
The second Principle is Universal Thought, or the power to think. We’re not talking about ‘thoughts’ here, they are the product of the power of thought and are impermanent. The permanent power ‘to think’ is different. It is constant and unchanging. It is before the form and spiritual in nature. Without this power to think, we would not experience life itself.
The third and last Principle is Universal Consciousness, which brings the power of thought to life. This is also before form and permanent and gives life to our thoughts by making them real for us. We become aware of thought by feeling them through the power of consciousness. Without this final Principle, we would be unaware of thought and unaware of reality in the moment. It is the final, vital piece of the jigsaw which gives us our own version or take on life itself.
The Three work in unison to bring the formless into form and give us an experience of life as humans, but they also work for every other living creature in the same way.
Syd ‘saw’ the Three Principles as a way to point humans back to our own true, spiritual essence. Don’t forget, they are words, metaphors for the thing itself which (as Syd said himself) cannot be explained using words.
How can you possibly point to the truth, God or the infinite and describe it with suitable representations?
But they are what we have to work with and we do our best with what we’ve got.
So at any given moment, at the zero point of creation, the Three Principles combine to bring the formless energy of creation into existence through us.
This all happens within each of us. We are infinite creators having a human experience using the Principles to bring the formless into form, utilising the power of the infinite to create our own experience.
The Three Principles are a description of this constant and unchanging process at work in all of us at all times.
Like gravity is working as a constant principle force of nature, so too are the Three Principles working to bring reality into existence from the beginning of time.
They are the bridge between the formless and the form, the doorway to God... and we are ALL using the same process as each other in every moment.
They are the common denominator in the human experience which connect us all.
Have a look at some of the other pages to get an idea of the implications and applications of realising this extraordinary gift.