The Three Principles

Mind + Consciousness + Thought


In the early 70s, Sydney Banks, a welder with only a ninth grade education living in Canada had a series of profound spiritual experiences. In these enlightening moments, three fundamental principles that empower all humans to experience life were revealed to him. 

The three principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought are what we use all the time, without exception, to experience reality. They are the psychological building blocks that power our mental functioning - our lifeline to existence.

Understanding the interplay of these Three Principles and their nature enables us to see creation, access our wisdom for insight and be guided through life. They are the source of all creativity and innovation we humans have access to. 

What are these Three Principles?


The Three Principles are spiritual and formless and probably beyond words. But words are what we use to communicate, so please allow me to attempt to describe the indescribable; knowing that words are only pointers to their essence.


Universal Mind

The intelligence behind life, spirit, light or simply: the formless energy that creates, grows, reproduces everything and then transforms itself back into nothing. From the emptiness of no-thing something emerges, again and again.

The Principle of Universal Mind is what we may call God, Spirit, Tao, the Universe, Chi or Life Force. It's the energy powering our brain, our heart and all our vital organs - the same energy making plants grow, the sun to shine, the Earth to spin. It's the order in all things and the universe.

Universal Mind is not only what we use, is what we are - or perhaps, what uses us. It is essence. Without it nothing exists.



Knowing that we are alive, that we exist, that we are here and now is the Principle of Consciousness. Awareness of our thoughts, our basic knowing, witnessing the experience of being alive is possible through the Principle of Consciousness.

In a lower state of consciousness our understanding, capacity to love and optimum psychological functioning are clouded. Higher consciousness gives us a broader perspective, more understanding and more access to wisdom within.



Thought is an energy, the essence we use to paint the picture of our world. The Principle of Thought colors every experience and feeling moment to moment.

Our thinking shapes our perception of reality. We don't experience reality - we experience our thinking of reality. Stuck in the misunderstanding that what we experience is what the world out there brings to us puts us in a constant chase to 'fix' the world and our circumstances to feel OK. 

Understanding that our experience of life is generated 100% from the inside-out gives us access to unimaginable freedom. Uncovering our spiritual nature puts is touch with deep peace, joy and well-being.

Thought is an ever-flowing energy. Its nature is one of constant change. This means that when we allow the flow to run, one new thought - an insight - can change our life forever. 


What are the consequences of knowing The Three Principles?


There are very important implications of knowing the Three Principles and understanding their interplay in how we experience our world:

  1. We are alway experiencing ONLY Thought in the moment
  2. Whatever it is we think (experience) will change if we let it
  3. When our mind settles we have access to more fresh thinking and wisdom

We think that what we experience is reality, but we are really experiencing is our interpretation (our own version) of reality via Thought. This fact helps us navigate the world more consciously knowing we don't have to make the external world fit our expectations in order to be OK.

We are always only feeling what we're thinking in any situation or circumstance. And the good news is that our thinking changes and with it our experience.

When our thinking slows down - which it always does when we let it - we have space for fresh thinking, new ways of seeing, creative ideas, a knowing of what to do next, the complex becomes simple. And with this our possibilities expand!

Mind, Consciousness and Thought are the three principles that enable us to acknowledge and respond to existence.
They are the basic building blocks, and it is through these three components that all psychological mysteries are unfolded.
— Sydney Banks, Discoverer of The Three Principles
Tao is indefinable original totality.
Ideas create the appearance of separate things. Always hidden, it is the mysterious essence. Always manifest, it is the outer appearances. Essence and appearance are the same. Only ideas make them seem separate. Mystified? Tao is mystery. This is the gateway to understanding.
— Freke Tim. Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching
I can say I am a human, I am male, I am a medical doctor, I am an author, I am a shaman, I am energy, spirit, light, whatever, but all of these are just words. The truth is that I really don’t know what I am, but I am here now. And it’s the same with all of you.
— Don Miguel Ruiz Jr., Don Miguel Ruiz's Little Book of Wisdom: The Essential Teachings
When our thoughts look real, we live in a world of suffering. When they look subjective, we live in a world of choice. When they look arbitrary, we live in a world of possibility. And when we see them as illusory, we wake up inside a world of dreams.
— Michael Neill. The Inside-Out Revolution: The Only Thing You Need to Know to Change Your Life Forever

Read my account on how I came to know these Three Principles and the impact they've had in my understanding: Stumbling Upon The Inside-Out Understanding.