Three Principles (self-help)

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The "Three Principles" of Mind, Consciousness and Thought were first articulated by Sydney Banks, a 9th-grade educated welder, born in Scotland, living in British Columbia, Canada in the early 1970s. The Three Principles approach is also referred to as Health realization.

British Columbia Province of Canada

British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of 5.034 million as of 2019, it is Canada's third-most populous province.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Health realization (HR) is a resiliency approach to personal and community psychology first developed in the 1980s by Roger C. Mills and George Pransky, and based on ideas and insights these psychologists elaborated from attending the lectures of philosopher and author Sydney Banks. HR first became known for its application in economically and socially marginalized communities living in highly stressful circumstances.

Contents

"Discovery" of the three principles

According to Banks' verbal accounts, as recorded at lectures, he realised the three principles while attending a marriage seminar held on Cortes Island, in British Columbia, Canada.

Cortes Island island in British Columbia, Canada

Cortes Island is an island in the Discovery Islands archipelago on the coast of British Columbia, Canada. The island is 25 km (15.5 mi) long, 13 km (8.1 mi) wide, and 130 km2 (50 sq mi) in area. It has a population of 1,035 permanent residents. Cortes Island lies within Electoral Area B of the Strathcona Regional District, which provides water and sewerage systems, fire protection, land use planning, parks, recreation, and emergency response.

The seminar encouraged couples to let their feelings out, be honest, and argue with one another. Discouraged with the process, Banks and his wife prepared to leave the seminar. As they were doing so, Banks became engaged in conversation with a therapist also attending the seminar.

Describing himself as an insecure mess at that time, Banks began elaborating on all the ways in which he felt insecure. The therapist's response, I've never heard such nonsense in all my life, was a revelation to Banks:

What I heard was: there’s no such thing as insecurity, it’s only Thought. All my insecurity was only my own thoughts! It was like a bomb going off in my head … It was so enlightening! It was unbelievable … [And after that,] there was such beauty coming into my life. [1]

The three specific terms, Mind, Consciousness and Thought, were not clearly delineated during Banks' initial experience. The three words—and his definitions—would become clear later through his talks and lectures. Referring to them as the psychological trinity [2] Banks does not take credit for finding the Principles, rather the Principles found him., January 2012Missing or empty |title= (help)

Application

Roughly 40 years later, Mr. Banks' "insight" has been introduced in hospitals and hospital systems, correctional institutions, social services, juvenile justice programming, community housing, drug and alcohol prevention and treatment programmes, schools, and multi-national corporations., January 2012Missing or empty |title= (help)

Application of the Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought has spread throughout the United States, and into Canada, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Israel, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Spain. [3]

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund Strait. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. The capital city is Stockholm. Sweden has a total population of 10.3 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi) and the highest urban concentration is in the central and southern half of the country.

Norway Country in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.

Definition

According to Banks, the three "formless" principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought explain the entire range of human behaviour and feeling states. They are responsible for the creation of all human experience. [4]

The three principles are defined as:

Mind

The energy and intelligence of all life, whether in the form, or formless. The Universal Mind, or the impersonal mind, is constant and unchangeable. The personal mind is in a perpetual state of change. [5]

Consciousness

Consciousness is the gift of awareness. Consciousness allows the recognition of form, form being an expression of Thought. [6]

Thought

The power of Thought is not self-created. Thought is a divine gift, which serves you immediately after you are born. Thought is the creative agent we use to direct us through life. [7]

Three Principles Movement

The Three Principles have become the basis of a growing, international psycho-spiritual movement with centers in the United States and Europe. The fundamental premise of the movement is that life is spiritually generated into form from formless energy, and that our experience as human beings is created from the interaction of the Three Principles; including the experience of self-identity.

Practitioners of the Three Principles believe that feeling states (and all mental states) are self-created (through mental activity i.e., thought). Scientific research by Lisa Feldman Barrett supports this notion that mental states (ie. emotions) are indeed constructed from within the human mind. [8] Practitioners believe that beyond each person's limited, conscious, and personal thought system lies a vast reservoir of wisdom, insight and spiritual intelligence. No one person has greater access to spiritual wisdom than any other. Mental health is the resting state, or "default" setting of the mind, which brings with it non-contingent feelings of love, compassion, resilience, creativity and unity; both with others and with life itself. [9] Research by George Bonnano, professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University, supports this notion that resilience, not recovery is a common response to difficult life events such as trauma and loss. [10]

It would be difficult to provide a comprehensive list of centers worldwide that are dedicated to sharing the Three Principles. However, some prominent organizations are the Center for Sustainable Change, Three Principles Foundation, Three Principles Movies, and The Cypress Initiative.

Founder and Students

Banks, who died of metastasized cancer on Memorial Day, in May 2009, contradicted many traditional notions and practices of psychotherapy. Specifically, that for mental wellbeing, it was not important to process the past, nor that the content of peoples' personal thought systems had to be "worked with" and analysed.

Everyone in mental institutions is sitting in the middle of mental health and they don't know it. [11]

Banks was also averse to using techniques, or creating concepts, in order to share with others. These, he felt, contradicted the essential formless and original nature of the Three Principles, which emphasises kindness, "sharing, caring" and the simple gift of love. [12]

A number of therapists and psychologists showed an interest in the concepts, and the teachings were spread [13] into various private practices, social services, corporate training and consulting, psychiatry, education, community mental health and development work, and drug and alcohol treatment systems.

Notes on "Other Names" for the Three Principles

The Three Principles have been called by other names, including Health Realization, neo-cognitive psychology, Psychology of Mind, and Innate Health. The form of how the Three Principles has been taught has changed over the decades, with an increasing emphasis on simplicity, formlessness, and speaking from the heart. Some would say that the Three Principles is not a "technique" that can be taught but instead a paradigm that comes to be understood at increasingly deeper levels.

Bibliography

Works by Sydney Banks, currently published by Lone Pine Publishing, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Books

Audio

Video

By other authors

Related Research Articles

In philosophy, idealism is the group of metaphysical philosophies that assert that reality, or reality as humans can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing. In contrast to materialism, idealism asserts the primacy of consciousness as the origin and prerequisite of material phenomena. According to this view, consciousness exists before and is the pre-condition of material existence. Consciousness creates and determines the material and not vice versa. Idealism believes consciousness and mind to be the origin of the material world and aims to explain the existing world according to these principles.

Mind Combination of cognitive faculties that provide consciousness, thinking, reasoning, perception and judgement

The mind is the set of cognitive faculties including consciousness, imagination, perception, thinking, judgement, language and memory, which is housed in the brain. It is usually defined as the faculty of an entity's thoughts and consciousness. It holds the power of imagination, recognition, and appreciation, and is responsible for processing feelings and emotions, resulting in attitudes and actions.

Thomas Hill Green British philosopher

Thomas Hill Green, known as T. H. Green, was an English philosopher, political radical and temperance reformer, and a member of the British idealism movement. Like all the British idealists, Green was influenced by the metaphysical historicism of G. W. F. Hegel. He was one of the thinkers behind the philosophy of social liberalism.

Eight Consciousnesses

The Eight Consciousnesses is a classification developed in the tradition of the Yogācāra school of Mahayana Buddhism. They enumerate the five sense consciousnesses, supplemented by the mental consciousness (manovijñāna), the defiled mental consciousness (kliṣṭamanovijñāna), and finally the fundamental store-house consciousness (ālāyavijñāna), which is the basis of the other seven. This eighth consciousness is said to store the impressions (vāsanāḥ) of previous experiences, which form the seeds (bīja) of future karma in this life and in the next after rebirth.

<i>The Principles of Psychology</i> 1890 book by Wm. James

The Principles of Psychology is an 1890 book about psychology by William James, an American philosopher and psychologist who trained to be a physician before going into psychology. There are four methods from James' book: stream of consciousness ; emotion ; habit ; and will.

Mind–body interventions (MBI) describes health and fitness interventions that are supposed to work on a physical and mental level such as yoga, tai chi, and pilates.

Integral yoga

Integral yoga, also called supramental yoga, is the yoga-based philosophy and practice of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Sri Aurobindo finds that there has always been impulse or longings in humans in search for God, Light, Bliss, Freedom, Immortality which has presented itself in a right place in a sequence, which Nature is seeking to evolve beyond mind. This sequence on one end which depicts Life is already involved in Matter and mind in life, leading to the understanding that currently the mind is also a veil of higher states which are beyond mind. Nature via the said impulses would gradually prepare for a higher living & a diviner life.

The mental body is one of the subtle bodies in esoteric philosophies, in some religious teachings and in New Age thought. It is understood as a sort of body made up of thoughts, just as the emotional body consists of emotions and the physical body is made up of matter. In occult understanding, thoughts are not just subjective qualia, but have an existence apart from the associated physical organ, the brain.

The mental plane, or world of thought, in Hermeticism, Theosophical, Rosicrucian, Aurobindonian, and New Age thought refers to the macrocosmic or universal plane or reality that is made up purely of thought or mindstuff. In contrast to Western secular modernist and post-modern thought, in occult and esoteric cosmology, thoughts and consciousness are not just a byproduct of brain functioning, but have their own objective and universal reality quite independent of the physical. This reality itself constitutes only one gradation in a whole series of planes of existence. In most such cosmologies and explanations of reality, the mental plane is located between, and hence is intermediate between, the astral plane below and the higher spiritual realms of existence above.

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Buddhism includes an analysis of human psychology, emotion, cognition, behavior and motivation along with therapeutic practices. A unique feature of Buddhist psychology is that it is embedded within the greater Buddhist ethical and philosophical system, and its psychological terminology is colored by ethical overtones. Buddhist psychology has two therapeutic goals: the healthy and virtuous life of a householder and the ultimate goal of nirvana, the total cessation of dissatisfaction and suffering (dukkha).

The stream of consciousness is the flow of thoughts in the conscious mind. Research studies have shown that we only experience one mental event at a time as a fast-moving mind stream. William James, often considered to be the father of American psychology, first coined the phrase "stream of consciousness". The full range of thoughts—that one can be aware of—can form the content of this stream.

Mind–body problem Open question in philosophy of how abstract minds interact with physical bodies

The mind–body problem is an unsolved problem concerning the relationship between thought and consciousness in the human mind, and the brain as part of the physical body. It is distinct from the question of how mind and body function chemically and physiologically since that question presupposes an interactionist account of mind-body relations. This question arises when mind and body are considered as distinct, based on the premise that the mind and the body are fundamentally different in nature.

Joseph Bailey is a psychologist, consultant and public speaker. He is noted largely for his 1990 book about addiction and treatment, The Serenity Principle and is the author of three other books on mental well-being: Slowing down to the Speed of Life, The Speed Trap: Avoiding the Frenzy of the Fast Lane, Slowing Down to the Speed of Love and Fearproof Your Life. Joe Bailey has been a psychotherapist for thirty-five years, and is a consultant to many corporations and healthcare, mental health and chemical dependency organizations. He is a seminar leader and trainer of professionals. His practice of research and teaching an integration of psychological and spiritual health embraces many of his writing partner Richard Carlson's techniques in addressing a person's innate health, as well as those of Sydney Banks and refined by George Pransky and Roger C. Mills, known as "Health Realization."

Dhyāna in Buddhism In Buddhism, training of the mind through meditation, concentration, mindfulness etc.

In the oldest texts of Buddhism, dhyāna (Sanskrit) or jhāna (Pali) is the training of the mind, commonly translated as meditation, to withdraw the mind from the automatic responses to sense-impressions, and leading to a "state of perfect equanimity and awareness (upekkhā-sati-parisuddhi)." Dhyana may have been the core practice of pre-sectarian Buddhism, in combination with several related practices which together lead to perfected mindfulness and detachment, and are fully realized with the practice of dhyana.

This is a glossary of terms used in New Thought.

References

  1. "The Truth Lies Within," Part 2 of the "Long Beach Lecture Series, Lone Pine Publishing, Edmonton, Canada
  2. Banks, Sydney, The Missing Link: Reflections on Philosophy and Spirit, International Human Relations Consultants, p. 21
  3. See "threeprinciplesmovies.com"
  4. Banks, Sydney, "The Missing Link: Reflections on Philosophy and Spirit," International Human Relations Consultants, Publishers, 1998. Distributed by Lone Pine Publishing, Edmonton. p. 26.
  5. "The Missing Link," p. 31
  6. "The Missing Link," p. 39.
  7. "The Missing Link," p. 47
  8. Barrett, Lisa Feldman (2017-01-01). "The theory of constructed emotion: an active inference account of interoception and categorization". Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 12 (1): 1–23. doi:10.1093/scan/nsw154. ISSN   1749-5016. PMC   5390700 . PMID   27798257.
  9. See books by practitioners, including Elsie Spittle, George Pransky, Roger Mills, Joseph Bailey, Jack Pransky, Richard Carlson, Ami Chen Mills-Naim, Robert Kausen
  10. Bonanno, George A. (January 2004). "Loss, trauma, and human resilience: have we underestimated the human capacity to thrive after extremely aversive events?". The American Psychologist. 59 (1): 20–28. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.59.1.20. ISSN   0003-066X. PMID   14736317.
  11. "The Hawaii Lectures," DVD Series
  12. From tapes, lectures, etc.
  13. Oral and written testimonies from practitioners; Roger Mills' unpublished memoirs and Mills, R.C. and Spittle, E., "The Wisdom Within" pp. 16-25, Lone Pine Publishing, Edmonton, Canada, 2001.