The Three Principles (The Life-Changing Building Blocks)

The Three Principles of Health Realization…the inside-out revolution!

Three Principles

I recently stumbled upon the works of theosopher, Syd Banks. 


==> The Missing Link: Reflections on Philosophy and Spirit 

==> The Enlightened Gardner

==> Second Chance

My initial opinion of the philosophy Syd pitched was that the core concepts failed to reek of novelty. I did, however, enjoy the new and refreshing way these ideas were presented. 

Little did I know that this seemingly insignificant thinker in the 1970’s had such a momentous impact. I soon discovered an entire network of thinkers all of whom are building upon this one man’s understanding of life. 

In academic circles it’s referred to as Health Realization. I’ve also heard it called Psychology of Mind. 

Nonetheless, for a short time, I was immersed in various books and talks all discussing what these authors and lecturers traditionally referred to as “The Three Principles.” 

The Three Principles of Sydney Banks

Three Principles

Syd’s philosophy is built upon an emphasis of presuppositions or first principles. 

All systems of thought are built upon certain first principles that are assumed to be true in order for the system to exist at all. 

In this manner, every system of thought intentionally argues for what it already assumes. 

Circular reasoning, though fallacious in a sense, seems inevitable at a fundamental level. 

This is even true in other systems. 

For example, euclidean geometry presupposes a point-line-plane postulate to exist at all. 

You can’t find a point, line, or a plane out in nature. Rather, it’s starting points that make geometry possible. 

It’s generated from the inside-out, from idea to reality, from concept to creation, as are all systems.

What about human experience?

What are the starting points that make human experience possible? Are there first principles we can point to?

Syd Banks believe there to be. 

He proposes these principles are indispensable and irrefutable.

They are: 

  1. Principle of Mind
  2. Principle of Thought
  3. Principle of Consciousness
Three Principles

The Principle of Mind

He may want to avoid using the term God due to the cultural and religious baggage associated with the name, but this is ultimately what he means. 

Banks defines the principle of mind as the intelligence behind all life and all things, form and formless. 

Moreover, this intelligence is inside of every human being. 

Thus, all individuals come with the standard equipment for mental health, well-being, and wisdom. 

The Butterfly

This is analogous to the caterpillar who is created with the standard equipment to become a butterfly. 

The caterpillar doesn’t become something new, instead she becomes what she always was. 

The information and intelligence was already there within the caterpillar.

In becoming a butterfly, the caterpillar doesn’t slowly grow from one state to the other, as we can observe in a tadpole growing into a frog. The caterpillar is completely lost, replaced by something beautiful that has been forged in loss, struggle, and potentially pain…

The loss of the caterpillar is full: inside the chrysalis, dormant genes within the caterpillar are activated, which then begins to dissolve its own tissue into a genetic soup. Then that free-floating material that was once a caterpillar begins to recreate itself into something new entirely.For the butterfly to remake itself, the caterpillar must be completely undone.

Three Principles

The intelligent design that performed this magical transformation is the same that exists within all human beings. 

The butterfly also provides a wonderful analogy of the blueprint to enlightenment.

It’s a trajectory that enables one to break into their true nature, one of happiness, contentment, and infinite possibilities.

It’s a path of removal, eliminating all the lies we’ve been conditioned to believe and uncovering the innate truth, wisdom, and health that resides within us.

Quick Recall: the divine intelligence, the principle of mind, is formless but also is the source that makes form possible.

Three Principles

Big Mind/Little Mind

It’s hard to imagine the concept of mind as being that which liberates and guides us, when most of our experiences seem to cement the idea that our minds not only mislead us but drive us crazy. 

In one of Syd’s talks, he helps clear up the confusion, 

“You know the eastern philosophers say: “big Mind, little mind”. And here’s the paradox. The little mind is the ego mind, that’s the self-centered “me” the big hotshot, the only thing in the world worth looking at in the mirror, is me.

The big Mind is the Divine Mind-the Universal Mind, which is the intelligence of literally all things in this world or any other world. That’s the Mind you should be looking for. That’s the Mind that has the power to guide you through life, and if you can see that, life becomes simple and you’ll find your happiness. Cause happiness is inside, honestly…it’s inside.”

Three Principles

The Principle of Thought

Thought is the divinely given gift from which a human being can craft the formless energy into form.

We see form all around us. 

All matter is form. 

This universe and its constituent parts are of all the same material – form.

Yet, in the same vein the form is composed of the formless. 

Parmenides once argued that “out of nothing nothing comes.”
I know, impressive.
But this was all the rave in ancient Greece. 
You know, “whatever is is, and what is not cannot be.”

What I am trying to say is that it’s only logical to conclude that all things are created or generated by something. 

Per Banks, it is Mind, Thought, and Consciousness that generate and create. 

The best metaphor to illustrate how Mind, Thought, and Conscious generate and create form is by comparing it to an old film projector.

All form is generated by thought (the film reel) leveraging the mind (the electricity that powers the movie projector) and actualized by consciousness (the experience of the film on the big screen).

Three Principles

So what is thought, just mental images?

Thought is the form-manufacturer.

Any experience you have of any given situation is all generated by thought, using the ingredients of the mind, projected into the world via consciousness. 

In other words, if feeling-states are created by thought, then all experience is from the inside-out. 

This is quite contrary to our experience and the implications are far reaching.

Three Principles

The Outside-In Paradigm.

I’ve racked my brain to come up with the perfect example of how we are all innocently indoctrinated into the idea that all experience, particularly happiness, is generated from the outside-in. 

The insight I received was so basic and laden with common sense that I imagine we all miss it because it’s so damn obvious. 

The Bad Sibling

To be honest, I wasn’t the easiest child to raise. But neither were my siblings. I learned real fast that their behavior affected my life, for better or for worse. 

For example, if I wanted to watch cartoons on a Sunday morning but my brother was acting like a jackass, my blessed mother would shut down the TV. We were forced outside to face the elements. 

However, if I could somehow keep my brother maintained and well behaved, I got what I wanted. 

I learned quickly that if I could control others, I could get what I want, and I could be happy, at least for the time being. 

Control Others > Get What I Want > Be Happy 

The Right Conditions Are What Make Me Happy > Control Conditions > Be Happy

Wow, that escalated quickly!

Fast forward twenty years to my young adulthood, I operated under the assumption that my well-being was contingent upon the behavior of others. 

So, I tried to control them, they rebelled, and my life was a constant shit storm. 

Shocker, right?

That’s just one example. Tack on a million other similar experiences that reinforce this perspective throughout a lifetime and it’s easy to see why most people are a big emotional mess. 

It’s simply misinformation!

Three Principles

Quick Recall: thought is the form-manufacturer, it is the missing link between the formless and the form

We can spend our lives needlessly trying to control the conditions around us to produce happiness. 

We can dive into the past, tweak the narrative a bit and see if we can arrive at a better present. 

Or…we can change our thoughts and manufacture a new form, a new experience. 

It’s that simple.

As Syd Banks remarked, “we are only one thought away from happiness.”

Brilliantly, if thought is what gives expression to form, then we need not be afraid of our experience.

Why be afraid of something you ultimately created? 

If you paint a picture of a monster I doubt it would keep you up at night. 

Along these lines, Syd remarks, “If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world.”

Three Principles

This is not to say the real world doesn’t exist, only your individual reality is experientially molded by thought. 

But how does this work? How can mere thought possibly be the conduit to happiness?

*Enter stage right, consciousness*

The Principle Of Consciousness

Syd Banks illustrated it wonderfully with an analogy of an elevator; it perfectly captures the dynamic power between thought and consciousness.

The Elevator of Consciousness

“The way I see it, levels of Consciousness are similar to an outside elevator on a tall building. It goes up and it goes down all day, every day. The higher the elevator car ascends, the more can be surveyed. Views that may be blocked from the fourth floor can easily be seen from the tenth.

Similarly, the higher your level of consciousness, the more understanding will be in your heart. The higher the consciousness elevator ascends, the more you see and understand, allowing you access to more common sense and wisdom. That is, when your consciousness ascends to a higher level, it assists you to see beyond whatever misled thoughts were obscuring your vision yesterday.

How do you know when your level of consciousness is elevated? 

Well, per Heath Realization, one’s mood is the best barometer for level of consciousness.

Consciousness Is Intimately Tied To Mood

George Pransky, one of the early pioneers of the 3 Principles, wrote: 

“Moods are the constant shifts in perspective built into our experience of life. Our thinking and therefore our perceptions of life are a function of mood changes. Our thoughts are more optimistic, lighthearted, and wise when we are in a high mood…

Often people think of feelings as things to work through or deal with. But feelings were meant to be a barometer to help us maintain our emotional equilibrium. Feelings provide our moment-to-moment experience of life. They tell us the extent to which our perceptions are distorted by our moods and thought systems”

If consciousness is that which projects thoughts, and if mood is that which indicates our level of consciousness, then mood is the easiest metric for establishing right thinking. 

If your mood is sour, this is an indication that your level of consciousness is low and therefore your thought is likely contaminated; too far removed from the “big mind.”

You may come up with a host of so-called great ideas from this state of mind, but making decisions and taking action from it will likely result in frustration, anxiety, depression, and all the other deadly sins that spring from thought removed from the universal mind. 

For Clarity’s Sake – A Synopsis 

  • As form manufacturers we ultimately determine the feeling-state of our experience. 
  • Our experience is developed from the inside-out rather than the outside-in.
  • Low feeling-states (low moods) indicate low levels of consciousness. 
  • Higher feeling-states (high moods) indicate higher levels of consciousness. 
  • The higher the level of consciousness the more pure the thought, the more it reflects the divine mind. 
  • Higher levels of consciousness are the wellspring of understanding and insight. 
Three Principles

So, How Does This Help? 

For starters, stop trying to figure everything out in low feeling-states. 

There is nothing “out there” to figure out. 

The more you push and prod the longer you’re stuck at the lower level. It’s equivalent to pressing the emergency button on the elevator of consciousness.

Rather, simply recognize that thought has gone astray, wrapped up in externals and thus contaminated from the outside. 

Three Principles

Acknowledge that you are only as effective as your ability to pause. 

Shift gears and direct your attention inside. 

Grow in awareness that your thoughts simply reflect your mood and your mood reflects your attention: is it directed to the external world or the internal one? 

Three Principles

As you begin this journey within, your consciousness begins to rise, your mood and thoughts with it, and your relationship to the world as well. 

And always keep in the forefront of your mind that your experience of the world always reflects your relationship to thought. 

Change your relationship to thought and, just like magic, change your world. 

Three Principles