"Welcome! I greet you with folded hands and humbly bow before the Inner light of your True-Self" (Savitripriya 1991)
Sydney Banks had a mystical experience in 1973 that changed his life and those around him. He felt that it was a communication from a Universal/Divine Mind that each and every one of us has within. It was not a belief stemming from the intellect but a Knowing.
Similar to "A Course in Miracles" the experience was unsolicited. Unlike "A Course in Miracles" Banks was present with family members when, for only a few minutes, his consciousness was within a brilliant light outside of space and time and he became aware of a Knowing within.
Sydney Banks was born and raised in Scotland, relocating in 1957 to Canada. He was of the working class, a tradesmen (welder), married with family concerns and responsibilities. The Knowing within enabled him to shortly afterwards leave his job with an unprecedented confidence that paradigms shift in psychology and philosophy would occur. Miraculously he was able to do what few Sages before were able to accomplish, transmit this Knowing to others. Because it is a transmission it is important to read and view Sydney Banks original books and videos.
He engaged many mental health professionals and several healing centers based on his Knowing were formed. Decades later he saw that the intellect was distorting the Knowing by focusing on the principles that were acceptable to psychology leaving dormant the foundation principle, Universal/Divine/ Mind. When mental health professionals and healing centers tried to sanitize his Knowing to be accepted as a cognitive/behavioral psychology without emphasizing Realization of Impersonal/Universal/Divine/Mind, Banks had to object. He supported those mental health professionals who realized the importance of Impersonal/Universal/Divine Mind and also set up The Three Principles Foundation.
There is a difference between the Knowing of the Sage and the intellect trying to understand the Knowing. The purpose of this presentation is to intellectually point to the Knowing of Sydney Banks and to its relationship with Meditating with Grace. Our relationship with Grace is a personal experience that each individual works out for themselves. We must be careful not to distort our experience (relationship) with neurotic or narcissistic fantasies. If a spiritual crisis emerges we should seek help. Grace manifests within and without and help can sometimes come from a spiritual adviser or mental health professional.
Banks formulated his Knowing around three facts which he called principles:
The First Gift is Universal/Divine /Mind that is always with us. Because it is within all of us, it is called the Impersonal/Universal/Divine/Mind. Then there is the personal mind of the individual which is always in flux. Going within to KNOW this Impersonal/Universal/Divine/Mind brings harmony to the personal mind. Sydney Banks emphasized that there are not two minds but two ways of using one Mind. Using is not the personal mind using Impersonal/Universal/Divine/Mind as a tool. It is the Realization that there is only Impersonal/Universal/Divine/Mind, a life force, an intelligent energy that creates and sustains, of which the personal mind is a part. Without this realization thought and awareness become tools for a separated personal mind.
The area of study concerning the mind's relationship to the physical world is called Philosophy of the Mind. Dualism is the belief that the mind and body are separate from each other. Monism is the belief that they are not.
The dominant belief in Monism is Physicalism which believes that the mind is a function of the brain. When the brain dies existence for that individual ceases. It is based in material spatiotemporal substances. Much less believed is Idealism which states that everything within existence is mental. Based on mental substances of mind: consciousness (awareness), thoughts, ideas, known and unknown states of Being.
We are a spatiotemporal culture, understanding how everything is of mental substances is counter intuitive. However, ESP research has been proven statistically. Experiment after experiment in quantum theory has favored idealism, exposing the theoretical holes within physicalism. Since the early twentieth century quantum mechanics and other abnormalities to the standard paradigm of materialism/physicalism have been ignored or shelved. During the second decade of this century those shelved abnormals are being less ignored. The idealist philosopher and computer scientist Bernardo Kastrup’s book “The Idea of the World” exposes many of those holes and postulates a working model.
Kastrup’s working model addresses the hard questions of Idealism:
Kastrup”s answer to these questions is that we are individually dissociated from Mind at Large or what Banks called the Impersonal/Universal/Divine/Mind.
In Idealism consciousness (mind) is the only substance. All information and experiences, all data, all perception is constructed by our individual consciousness. It is only within consciousness that we experience reality. Kastrup’s model explains Banks' Knowing.
Using a water whirlpool (eddy) as an example Kastrup explains that a boundary is formed within Mind at Large (Banks' Impersonal\Universal\Divine Mind). This boundary of separation happens only within biological metabolizing organisms. What we experience as non biological material is a specific species conscious representation of the inner workings (idealism) of Mind at Large. Within our boundaries (personal mind) information is exchanged and coordinated between other metabolizing organisms (idealism) and Mind at Large. Representations (forms) occur that like Mind at Large are concerned with existence and growth.
Possibly there is a developmental (beyond metacognitive) purpose to the appearance of separation but it is detrimental when it masks our collective unity to one another and to what Banks terms Impersonal/Universal/Divine Mind.
As Banks’ repeatedly emphasized, these are precious Gifts.
The second gift is Consciousness which enables awareness of Life. It is the only direct means available to an individual to experience reality. You first have to be conscious before you can perceive and produce thought. Awareness is the substratum upon which our identities are built. Many spiritual practices aim for this realization, some directly, some indirectly. The nature of awareness when intertwined with our identities can be seen within most families love for their children. Within the realized Sage it is the love for all beings.
The third gift is Thought. We have a choice of how we use our Thoughts. We may not be able to always create or change the situations we find ourselves in but we can choose the thoughts and accompanying feelings that we have concerning that situation. Going beyond, we can choose to unite the will of the personal mind with the will of the Impersonal/Divine Mind. Love and gratitude are positive thoughts that produce positive feelings. Holding onto hate and fear is negative thoughts that produce negative feelings.
There is much more to the Three Principles then this short informative summary. Syd emphasized that Knowing is accessible to all by going within rather than analysis by the intellect.
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