Click To Enlarge Pictures
The first meeting at Advent Heights
June 24, 2010
This site is for people interested in learning more about the Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought, as first articulated by the late Sydney Banks.
This site is in early stages of develpoment, videos in the fields of mental health, business, the criminal justice system, homeless projects and numerous others are currently being developeed and will be on-line as soon as we are able to complete them. The current video on communities is not yet complete.
To view research articles about the Three Principles please view: www.threeprinciplesresearch.com
The following is a Concept Paper from the Center for Sustainable Change website at www.centerforsustainablechange.org
“Those who wish to achieve harmony and liberation will be obliged to abandon any mental bias born of cultural or religious belief.” --Lao Tzu, from the “Hua Hu Ching”
We suspect that some kind of a “peace movement” has existed probably since the beginning of human warfare. Many people share peace as an ideal: there are peace marches and demonstrations, peace organizations and peace accords. However, the world as a whole does not seem, despite these noble efforts, to be any more at peace!
It has been said that we must “be the change we want to see in the world.” And having observed our own lives and minds, we humbly notice how often we are not peaceful … with ourselves, with our spouses and loved ones, with neighbors, strangers, and fellow drivers on the road. Until humanity becomes peaceful on the inside, true and lasting peace will not manifest “out there.” Of this, we are certain. “Peace” movements have not gone far enough to shift human beings, at the psychological level, into peace of mind.
We quote Lao Tzu, above, not just because Ami is half-Chinese (!), but because our work is in sharing an understanding of the profound role of Thought in human perception, feelings and behavior. Lao Tzu was pointing to a kind of freedom, or flexibility of Thought that leads to an enlightened mind, and thus enlightened behavior.
When we become attached to our way of thinking—when we believe our own judgments and opinions, assumptions about others (and ourselves), we become vulnerable to fear, division, anger and conflict. Thought also creates desire, and the idea that we are not complete without something outside of us that we “need” to make us whole: power, territory, money, “love,” even security—emotional, physical or military.
When we are rigidly attached to religious, ethnic or cultural ideas (thoughts) about “others,” or to the exclusive rightness of our own “way,” the door is wide open for ego, irritation, argument, conflict, violence and even war. And while all that is true, it is also our position that people are not “too” religious, but fundamentally not religious enough to generate sustainable peace among people.
At the heart of every major religion lie what we see as not concepts, but “absolute” truths about spirituality and human beings, which—if adhered to “religiously”—would indeed bring about world peace … and enable people of different cultures and religions to live in harmony. All of the major religions (with which we are familiar) point to a common humanity or sameness about humans. If we all deeply recognized and felt this sameness, love and compassion, selflessness and peace would manifest in our outward behaviors. Anger and conflict would lessen. Understanding, forgiveness and dropping the past would be the norm.
However, attachment to our thinking and a sense of feeling insecure or threatened because we identify with, or “own” our thoughts, causes humans to attack one another—and this is what we see in the world today. Frankly, this is what we see in homes and offices, classrooms, bus stops and on the freeways today.
We feel grateful to have stumbled across common principles, first articulated by Mr. Sydney Banks, that we believe underlie all human concepts (thought forms), feelings and behaviors … and that connect us all … without reference to religion or culture. Meaning, students and clients resonate with these principles no matter what their spiritual or religious, ethnic or cultural leaning (or lack thereof). And still, they speak directly to a fundamental or transcendent intelligence that flows through us all.
We have observed over decades of learning and sharing these “Three Principles” across ages, cultures, classes and religions, that the neutrality and neutral language of these principles helps people connect to the ideas or meanings behind the words, without getting caught up in the words themselves. Because these principles are formless, there is literally “nothing to hang your hat on” here. They are accompanied by no ritual, no method, no baggage, no organization, no duty nor particular responsibility—except to listen deeply to, and be true to Oneself.
Mind: All human beings share in being a part of, and connected to Mind, the universal Life energy and source of intelligence beyond the brain. Because of Mind, we share in an endless flow of wisdom—each of us equally capable of being wise.
Consciousness: All human beings share in the principle or fact of Consciousness. We experience life. We also experience life from different levels of consciousness—from truncated and fear-based, angry and insecure “levels” to grounded, secure, safe, wise and even enlightened states (Buddha Mind, Christ Consciousness, the “Father within,” the Kingdom of Heaven.) If humans lived even a little more often in this last state of mind, the impact on world peace, from a personal to a global level, would be significant.
The principle of Thought, as a universal function, guides humans either toward or away from non-violence, love and compassion. The existence of a personal thought system, or “ego”—which we see as simply being a sticky attachment to, or identification with thoughts—trips up our noble aspirations for peace. Yet we have found that teaching people about the neutral fact of Thought, and how it creates reality for each of us (rather than attempting to change “content”), allows people to shine the light of this principle on all their thinking. Levels of consciousness jump as people gain understanding about the formless source of all ideas, beliefs and opinions.
When humans understand that a thought is just a thought, just a creation from formless energy, the iron grip the ego can have on us begins to lessen. Lighter, gentler, more inspired feelings arising from impersonal, or universal thoughts create kind and selfless behaviors. We begin to realize we are so much more than our limited thoughts. So much more than we ever “thought”! While respecting our own and others’ traditions, cultures and preferences, we see beyond the forms that humans have created—and to the deeper truth of our common divinity, our shared existence in universal Mind, Consciousness and Thought … or in Life. From this vantage point, there is no reason to argue, to fight, to hurt another. When I hurt you, I diminish me.
So, our personal answer is to share with people these simple principles that govern their states of mind. Because, beneath it all, all humans are already wise, good, generous, kind and even enlightened. When the clouds of thought begin to part, they each take their unique and radiant place in being one in “six billion paths to peace.”
See also Sydney Banks, “The Missing Link: Reflections on Life and Philosophy” & other works.