As the final part of this series of posts, i’m going to talk about an understanding that i’ve found to be highly effective for generating profound and lasting insights into the nature of how we experience the world. This understanding is called the 3 Principles, and was uncovered by the late Sydney Banks in the 1970s. It has since been introduced in hospitals, correctional institutions, social services, juvenile justice programs, community housing, drug and alcohol prevention and treatment programs, schools, and multi-national corporations throughout the world.
I was introduced to the understanding by two friends, Jenny and Rudi Kennard, who have developed an incredible resource for learning about the 3 Principle via their website Three Principles Movies. They are also fantastic facilitators of the understanding, offering training via their company Innate Wellbeing. I won’t say too much here about the details of the 3 Principles, as there are far more eloquent speakers and facilitators that you can listen to for free on their site, but I will at least highlight some of what I currently understand.
What appeals to me about this understanding is that it is free of any ‘baggage’, it doesn’t require any particular faith or religion and can be embraced by anybody regardless of belief system. It doesn’t teach any complex techniques or theory, in essence, it simply talks about how we are creating our experience of life from the inside-out – with our thoughts being the lens via which we perceive quite literally everything. Our thoughts are intimately connected with our feeling state, indeed this simple yet profound statement offers a huge amount of wisdom – “our feelings are always coming from thought in any given moment”. We don’t need to try and control or manage our thoughts, we simply recognise that whatever we are thinking, even though it can seem to be the absolute truth in that moment, is really just a perception, one of many possibilities. So by not getting caught up in thought as being so substantial, we allow for new perceptions to arise. A simple example of this is the intuitive notion that it may be more beneficial when annoyed with someone to sleep on it rather than act straight away- in the morning we often find that our perceptions have shifted. Fundamental to this understanding is the notion that we all have psychological wellbeing as our default setting; the implication being that no one is psychologically broken beyond repair. Our state of wellbeing can certainly be lowered by negative thoughts, but these are like clouds in the sky, obscuring the sun; the sun is still there, just as our innate wellbeing is everpresent behind any negative thinking. This may seem fanciful until you take a look at the transformations that this understanding has generated in correctional institutions and mental health services.
The real key to getting what is being talked about here is through personal insight. For a long time I thought I ‘got’ what was being described, but it wasn’t until I had an internal insight that went beyond an intellectual comprehension that I really started to appreciate how this understanding can radically change perceptions, behaviours and sense of wellbeing without needing to employ specific techniques. For me, sharing this understanding, together with providing acupuncture and Qigong, is a wonderful way to correct imbalances that have arisen via mental, emotional and physical stress and offers a path to maintaining health and harmony at all levels of our being.