Beyond the Event Horizon of Thought

Definition: “Thought” – The energy used to form the contents of experience.

At this point in my life I find it harder to avoid feeling and thinking there can be only be one reality and one consciousness. How could you not? The answer is, by believing that Truth or Consciousness (or “innate health” as they talk about in some fields of spiritually-based psychology), or what is known, or knowable, is by Thought only, therefore one cannot know anything beyond the event horizon of one’s thinking – that world or reality formed by Thought.

I like that: “The Event Horizon of Thought” – it is a valuable insight (from psychology and skeptical philosophy) that all we can know are feelings, sensations, thoughts and perceptions formed of Thought. But – and this is a big “but” – it depends on what you mean by “know”. What if we expand from “what we can know” to “what can be experienced”? Then that would include pure awareness without content. Can that be experienced? We can put that aside as debatable for the moment and look at some other interesting observations. What is it that is knowing: thinking doesn’t know anything in itself, it’s just what’s used to form the content of what’s known – an instrument to play the music of knowingness on. So what is knowingness? Who or what is “knowing” – what is experiencing knowing? What are its limits? Does this knowingness experience always have the same limits as the thinking instrument it uses to form thoughts, perceptions, sensations – the contents of the mind in other words? What do we even mean by “knowingess”? To put it crudely, it’s the same is asking, “Who, or What is knowing?”

By using reason alone, there is no way to prove that consciousness or awareness is unlimited, universal, and not limited to this body. However, there is no way to prove it isn’t using reason alone.

But this all gets very ephemeral and “out there” – we can talk about ultimate matter or what can be known until we are blue in the face then feel like it’s just so much talk and grinding of gears. It just flows away and new thoughts come in, the car needs to be taken to the repairman and it’s time for lunch.

Like, “So fucking what?”
Because if you look closely at what you are actually believing, and at what is the basis for believing it, you might find something startling. And that startling revelation could change your entire life if you pursue it far enough. That which you held to be certain – that you are a material body in a material world, and consciousness is limited to and shares the limits of the body, and comes from the brain somehow, and that the body stops at the skin, and that there is a separate world of objects out there, and a person or self here, a human being “in here” (who is born, and is born with certain capacities such as innate health) – is not actually resting on certain knowledge at all, but on a belief that you were trained to hold and reinforced to adhere to and worship. It opens the door to the possibility that what you thought you knew is not actually a certainty at all, but an assumption held in place through repetition of habit.

We are still left with the not knowing though – reason tells us it could be unlimited – but we don’t know for certain either way.

This is where intuition and life experience come in. This is where one has to be honest about what one experiences and not try and change it to stay in line with one’s beliefs and assumption, not tow the line, not rationalize. You need to admit, “Yes, I am conscious right now” And “No I don’t ever actually remember being unconscious, only a lapse in memory” and “Yes, I’ve had a deep intuition of oneness”, no matter how fleeting, it was as real as day, and “Yes I see that it makes no sense to think there is more than one reality, because then there would have to be a higher reality encompassing both, thus always arriving at one reality.”

OK so then the one reality must be the same as the consciousness I am. I exist. Being is. I am, and I am conscious, that is Being right now. That is unquestionably real. This is a real experience. And if it’s real, and it must be the same reality as all that is real, which we have an intuition is one, therefore it is universal I AM, or universal consciousness.

However I can’t prove this except through my own life experience, since it depends on a self-proving. By experimenting with living “as if” consciousness were universal, I can see what happens. If it accords with reality, it will be a happier, more harmonious life.

The experience of oneness exists as a potential in everyone, even if they don’t remember having it. At minimum you will experience it when you die or in one of your reincarnations (if you don’t awaken in this lifetime). Since it is what we are, it is only an illusion that keeps a separate self in place, by effort of thinking.

The Simplicity of Truth: A User Guide

One of interesting things about what we call spiritual truth, is how once you see a truth, how self-evident, obvious and simple it seems. “Duh, why didn’t I see it before?” You can then not not see it. And it can be puzzling why others don’t see it when you point out the seemingly obvious to them. Why is this?

The simple answer is that the mind loves complexity.

(20) The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us what the kingdom of heaven is like.”
He said to them, “It is like a mustard seed. It is the smallest of all seeds. But when it falls on tilled soil, it produces a great plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky.” – The Gospel of Thomas

Here’s where analogies or metaphors are useful: they use images to help the mind orient to an entire situation. At some point that image can help one have an insight. So for this situation let’s use the analogy of a mountain. Let’s say you are hiking up a mountain on a new planet. No one has ever been on this planet before, so no one knows what’s up on the higher slopes. But you’ve hiked up ahead of the rest of the party. You’ve seen new sights. But then you want to walk back down to refill your supplies, to check on your friends. You hike back down, and naturally they ask you about where you’ve been and what have you seen? You tell them of the wonders and try to explain the amazing, incredible beauty of a sparkling emerald forest and the moving, glowing trees that talk to each other, and the astounding beauty, but they don’t believe you, think you’ve made it up, or even if they believe you, you know they don’t really have a sense of what you’ve seen. They say, oh, it’s like the forest I saw in Maui, I know what that’s like!” and you say “No! It’s nothing like that, it s a whole new thing, like you’ve never seen!”
How can you explain it?

You realize they just need to see it for themselves. You see there are two options: do you just keep quiet, or do you try and inspire them to see it? You love them so you point them in that direction, knowing that they have to have the motivation to get up and move their feet and walk up the slope. You can’t do that for them.

Of course, a mountain with levels is just a metaphor, and does not imply any judgement of superiority and inferiority; but it does help capture the idea that one sees more at higher “levels”. Here’s another metaphor that’s commonly used helps too: a keyhole, or the aperture of a lens. Normally, most of us are looking at reality through a keyhole, a tiny aperture. Our minds only allow us to see a tiny slice of reality. We are busy with a focus on a small portion, a small view on the totality. The mind is like the iris of a camera, allowing a certain amount of light in. When you open the attention, open the lens’s iris up, it takes in more of the scene, and suddenly a bigger context is understood. We’ve all had the experience of the “Aha!” reaction when a problem suddenly becomes clear to us, or a clear path of action pops into our head. We know what to do. It can come as a very quiet insight – perhaps we were wondering what to do, what to say to a friend who asked for help with a personal problem, and like the proverbial little bird whispering in our ear, it becomes suddenly and quietly obvious, self-evident.

Spiritual truth is like that. Since it has to do with what is already the case, what is always true, there is a sense of obviousness about it, a sense of humility before a great mountain compared to which our tiny bodies stand. But in this case it is our tiny minds, our comprehension of truth which is limited by the human mind. The mind however, is not consciousness: it’s just a word, a concept for thoughts, sensations and perceptions that appear in consciousness. It’s tempting to say that we are like babies with blank minds, but the truth is, we are in reality quite mindless.

(22) Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples, “These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom.”
They said to him, “Shall we then, as children, enter the kingdom?”
Jesus said to them, “When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom.”

This is where images break down: we cannot use the mind to picture consciousness. Since consciousness is the context, the playground, or the screen – pick your metaphor – in which all content appears; since it is the “Perceiver in Chief” reading these words and perceiving images, then it is that which is doing the seeing, ultimately, and not any object that appears in it (object meaning content of the mind: sensation, perception, thoughts). Another way to say this very difficult to grasp notion is that consciousness is “non-objective”. You can follow a perception, a thought or a sensation all the way back and never find a thing at its source, only an observer, this observer, now, always present. This simple truth is what reams have been written and spoken about (Zen and Advaita writers, mystics, etc.), and ironically its simplicity is what makes it hard to see.

It doesn’t help that seemingly scary words to the ego like “emptiness” (it can feel like that) or “nothingness” have been used. Thoughts of crazy nihilists and ascetic monks in huts, denying the pleasures of the world come to mind. Words and language break down when trying to describe Being-ness that is both that in which everything appears and yet a no-thing in itself. But we carry on, shooting arrows into the sky… (Is it any help to point out that non-being is a logical impossibility, since the notion is appearing to Being? Apparently not! Perhaps so many are heavily invested in the idea of death and drama. Fear must have a purchase in this investment. But why stop there and concern ourselves with how far so-called “others” are doing in their hike up the mountain, or become complacent with our current view. We recognize how far our feet have brought us, feel grateful for a better view, inspiring us to hike farther, and point ourselves bravely upwards).

Furthermore, to this writer, it also is self-evident that it must be the case that if there is no object “back here” (nowhere) perceiving, then there is by implication no object “out there” being perceived. And in this dissolving, clearly both the supposedly objective and subjective, observer and observed, are being two sides of the same non-existent coin! In any case we won’t go further here… hopefully you get a glimpse of what’s suggested. The point is, this direct knowing can’t be grasped by the mind. It’s simply an experienced given, and what is self-evident is also inherently simple and without form.

One of the apparent obstacles is that the human mind seems to love complexity. Think of an engineer and his toy, a complicated computer he’s made. He doesn’t want to give up his toy: this is understandable. Or think of an artist with a complex tapestry she’s made – an intricate weave they’ve worked on for years. There is an attachment to these creations. But built-in to this is also boredom: the mind will naturally tire of playing with the same thing, will want to turn to something else, then get bored with the new thing, and either go back to the old one and try and get some fun from it, maybe add more complexity, or find a new toy. This cycle goes on endlessly.

This also explains why oddly enough, we love problems. On the surface it doesn’t seem to make any sense to say someone likes problems, but if you observe it will become apparent that we are very attached and don’t want to be separated from our problems, will argue for them. A depressed person for example, just “won’t see reason” and will fight you tooth and nail for the truth of their situation, even though their friends see a brighter view. So what are they giving up if they give up the problem, the complexity? To them it feels like they are giving up who they are, their identity, their reality; they cling to a cherished sense of who they are, like a snake holding onto old skin that’s been comfortable for years. It chaffs, but what else do they know as this well-worn, smelly old blanket?

It’s a funny thing that happiness would appear unsafe to the mind. Why is this? Because it means more freedom, it inherently is more free and open, and like a small animal peeking from a burrow at a big world out there, it instinctively wants to retreat to it’s safe and familiar burrow. It’s a funny thing that peace would be threatening, would appear as a menace somehow.

Think of it like learning to ride a bike; or rather, unlearning, forgetting that it’s unsafe to ride a bike. As you see that you can go farther and farther, you forget your fear that you were going to fall: you learn to trust the stability of the bike and enjoy more and more the ability to move swiftly and feel the world flying past and the wind in your face. It’s much more direct and fun than walking. So it is with truth. One learns to trust that indeed there is true safety, that the universe is not out to get you, and that a tense and contracted self doesn’t actually work well in the long run. You learn to surf reality instead of forcing your way through, like a man with a pick axe trying to make headway on icy ground, or a jungle explorer having to chop his way through thick entangled vegetation. The ice will melt and the jungle will clear on it’s own accord, once the possibility is realized it’s not a separate icy, solid world, and not a scary jungle attacking a fragile tiny body.

All these images are to help turn the imagination towards “higher” possibilities. They are higher yet they were already there, under your feet, the whole time. IT can be hard to image that there’s nothing wrong, when there appears to be some thing wrong. But that is the whole point: it is only appearance. What “you” is, is stronger higher and freer than what appears to a small, frightened mind. If you can see it…

Intuitive Intelligence

“Ordinary intelligence is a cerebral function. It appears as the faculty of adaptation and organization. It allows complex problems to be handled by bringing into play a large quantity of givens. Linked to heredity and to acquired conditioning of the brain, it operates sequentially, in time. This kind of intelligence is responsible for performing math calculations, formulating logical arguments, or playing tennis. Operating like a super-computer, it excels in accomplishing repetitive tasks and may one day be surpassed by machines. Its source is memory, the known.

Intuitive intelligence appears as understanding and clarity. It is responsible for seeing simplicity in apparent complexity. It strikes directly, in the moment. Always creative, free of the known, it is at the heart of all scientific discoveries and great works of art. Its source is the supreme intelligence of timeless awareness.”  – Francis Lucille,   Eternity Now

This innate intelligence is something that mystic and prominent healer Sydney Banks talked about quite often (an entire field of alternative psychology and life coaching was spawned from his teachings: Three Principles Psychology). He would call it “natural intelligence” (which is a misnomer because they are both natural), versus learned intelligence. Or “plain old common sense”. He also spoke of seeing in simplicity all complexity:

“Your eyes must see in the singular if you want to find truth.” The Missing Link (p. 69)

By “eyes” of course he didn’t mean the physical eyes, but the eyes of our awareness.

One of the reasons I left the academic philosophy department was that I saw very clearly (had a massive intuition to be honest – still unfolding to this day, in this essay, 30 years later) that the academic mind, particularly in Western philosophy and psychology, had lost its soul as it were, become alienated from true first-hand experience, and only recognized “knowledge” repeated from the past, in part or in whole. This could be called a machine-type intelligence, a processing intelligence, and not intuition. I also see there was a clear reason for this prejudice or taboo: intuition, seen deeply enough, throws into question all the assumptions about the nature of intelligence and who and what we are and what reality is, since it is a direct knowledge, straight from the unlimited source, the universal Mind. That is, from Reality.

“To see a light, no other light is needed.
So also, the Self being self-effulgent, needs no other means of knowledge.
It shines of itself.” – Atma Bodha by Shankara, translated by Ramana Maharshi

But academia is committed to the material and pseudo-scientific model that reality is built up from little parts and the operation of those parts to create life, intelligence, and everything. They believe in something called “matter”, even though the physicists haven’t found it yet. It’s a faith, and I lost faith when I saw directly their dogmatism and was criticized and put down for questioning their dream of salvation in finding the ultimate material model in the future. I saw clearly that that model can’t account for my experience (what I later called “Consciousness” – that wasn’t even in the vocabulary in academia), or intuitive intelligence. This intuitive intelligence is also one and the same as the source of creativity, was operative in the formation of the first living organisms, for the creative evolution of infinite life forms, for love, for beauty, or the perception of self-evident truth of logic, reason and common sense. They had their heads up their respective asses, in short. It was a big ego game. A merry-go ‘round re-playing the same questions and answering with the same re-used tokens of “knowledge”, hollow as a coin with a hole in the middle.

After that I became interested in a more applied philosophy: the question “how to be happy,” rather than the just more cerebral and academic puzzles. As it turned out, within the realization of intuitive intelligence, is the answer to that question.

“The ego concept is the root cause of all delusion and therefore, all trouble. It is the false identifying of “I” with a body rathe than with the Self.”
– Lester Levenson, from Keys to Ultimate Freedom

However I didn’t know how to access this intuitive or natural intelligence and freedom reliably. There seemed to be interference. This “noise” I was to understand later, is a very ancient habit, laid down over millions of years as we were evolving, as a survival program. This linear program (as contrasted with the non-linear one of intuitive intelligence) – this surviving through *time* – allowed plants, animals, and humans to continue through time and space, and is the imprint of the past that brought us to the shore – the shore of the Absolute – on which I stand now as I write this. It’s the mind’s story of what we are as a body and a world, a universe seemingly “out there”: the world of appearances (of phenomena). It’s the story we learned in school and from books and was reinforced by teachers, students, friends, society, family, and so on. It’s a beautiful and brilliant story, but it’s ultimately just a story. Useful up to a point, but limited. Fear and desire lurk inside it – maintain it.

“The ego dies hard. But once you know the ego is the source of all misery and the Self is the source of all happiness, the it shouldn’t be too hard to work at letting of of the ego.” – Lester Levenson, from Keys to Ultimate Freedom

The interesting thing is that this intuitive intelligence has always been there, and peeks out in moments of love, of the perception of timeless beauty, in moments of clear understanding that come to us out of the blue, and in remarkable experiences of serendipity, and in so-called psychic phenomenon such as premonitions (which are really just a peek behind the curtain to the fact that there is no real separation in reality – no space or time except from the mind).

Can all of this be proved? Only for yourself, in your own experience. It cannot be proved to the mind, the processing mind, because the mind operates only in time and space, like a computer.

“Getting involved in intellectual questions and discussions validates the ego and avails you nothing.” – Lester Levenson, from Keys to Ultimate Freedom

This is not to say that intellectual discussion is not fun, enjoyable, and useful at the “level” of the relative (levels are only a way of seeing). The intellect is a beautiful and incredible tool, and can even be used to un-do false beliefs, or build toys or tools in the world of phenomena, and see it’s relatively sustained laws, such as in physics. But ultimately it is like becoming mesmerized by surface patterns on a ocean, when what you want, what you are, is found by looking inside, in silence, and know the ocean (sorry for re-using a popular over-used metaphor, but it’s a good one!).

Intuition or direct knowledge gives you a shortcut through time. It’s like God giving you a free pass. It’s what’s called the “vertical dimension” by psychologists (for instance George Pransky) interested in human potential. It’s easy – effortless. The only hard part is the seeming difficulty of letting go of the ego. Another name for ego is “who you think you are,” as opposed to who you are before thinking.

Have you ever noticed how the answer to a hard problem you’d been working on, or actively analyzing, or something you were trying to remember but couldn’t, came to you after you stopped struggling and working on it, stopped effort-ing? The answer came while you were doing the dishes, taking a shower, walking, or while driving, when your mind was relaxed or focused on something in the flow.

Those who are in the habit of questioning and skeptically objectifying may be asking, well why would Intelligence or Consciousness hide itself or make it hard to to realize the Self or intuitive knowledge? The answer is that this is nearly the same in essence, as the age old question about the existence of evil (if God is infinitely good and powerful then why is there suffering and evil?). That’s a question to be answered in an entire chapter, but for now, by analogy let’s say “Why do you look in a mirror? Why do you like stories and dramatic music?” Why do you like to have fun and not be bored? And as a corollary why do you take life so seriously?

Why do we like to fight, argue, create conflict? Why do we love to be miserable (admit it, when you are totally honest in your heart), be victims, point out the flaws of others? Why do we judge, feel superior or inferior, enjoy watching violence on TV, soak up the news of other’s misfortunes, laugh at cruelty and suffering, get angry at the idiot drivers, and yell at our loved ones? Why do we hate our bosses and politicians and anyone else we can think of when we run out of people to hate? Why do we indulge in guilt and remorse about the past, which we have no control over?
Answer: because it keeps the ego going, the sense of a separate self. This sense of a separate self is under the delusion that its existence – the arrogant presumption – is necessary and needed because you will absolutely disappear and not exist without it. It believes in death. Death and separation go hand in hand. If there were no separation, how can there be death? The totality is always and everywhere the totality. Therefore, we must hang on, and want to have seeming control – power over the fate of this separate entity.

To sum it up (limited in time and space as the writer and this essay are, or seem to be), in the Now intuitive intelligence knows itself in a moment of Self-revelation or uncovering. This is called insight (a sight from within), and is not only useful in self-understanding and with problems in the world when allowed, but comes with a feeling of joy. Happiness is our true nature, and its unlimited nature are present when we stop interfering in the channel and are open and giving. Love never disappears, it just gets veiled for a time. Relax and let it flow. Live from the inside out…

Definitions Are Not to be Feared

Sometimes in spiritual or transformational psychology circles you will hear people saying they don’t like definitions or to define things, or are resistant to the very idea, as it seems like it would deter from grokking the inner meaning, or some vague notion like that…for example that “it’s about the feeling” and can’t be defined, and definitions are too intellectual. This is a misunderstanding and a step backwards. 

A definition is simply to state what you mean when you use a particular word. For example one person could say “Let’s go to Mongolia” and another could say the exact same thing, yet the first speaker means the region near China and the other means the restaurant on 23rd street. Some Buddhists use the word “mind” (or it was translated that way) the same way others use the word “Consciousness”. If you are using the word “mind” to mean the sum of thinking, feeling, sensations and perception, and you use “consciousness” to mean that which is aware, then you better be clear with who you are talking, which you are referring to, or there will be confusion and going around in circles.

It’s about clarity and communication, that is all.

The fact that some experiences are hard to pin down or explain or communicate the essence of, or to understand rationally, is a different issue that has to do with the limits of language and linear thinking. But as long as we are going to attempt use language to point to truth, clearly communicated definitions are a good prerequisite for good communication that will be more likely to lead one closer to understanding (hopefully mutual!).

 

Here I’m offering some definitions to help get The Definition Project (I just made that up) off the ground: 

Happiness:  A permanent, unconditional awareness of one’s nature, an imperturbable reality called bliss, peace, etc. This is the “spiritual” or absolute definition, or unlimited happiness, in contrast to the common or world-based definitions, which are centered around external conditions, states of mind, the satisfaction of desires, and pleasures. The words “happiness” and “freedom” are synonymous, since they point to the same thing: what we are. Since what we are, what is, is uncaused, true happiness is by nature non-causal.  Since individual or separate selves would be subject to cause and effect, they cannot have any self-will or inherent freedom that is not illusory or assumed along with the self that has it. Therefore happiness is not possible for a person or human being that does not come with inherent limits. These illusory limits are not present in the experience of love. 

Consciousness: The reality that perceives. That which is reading these words right now, and is the same as the one reality. There is by definition only one reality: if there were more than one reality, such as mind and body, how would they communicate or interact or affect one another, unless there were a third reality that encompasses both? So that third reality would in fact be the one reality. So you are always back to one reality. Our intuition tells us that there cannot possibly be any separation within this one reality, other than that offered by the mind, and therefore separation is illusory and a product of the movement of thought. (The word “consciousness” is a placeholder, since what we are, this non-objective reality, cannot be named, since names only pertain to objects. So think of all the paths concepts and words as scaffolding prior to freedom). 

Real: That which exists.  That which exists is known according to self-evidence. Self-evidence is the certainty of experience of that which exists – being, or the I Am – and can never not exist.  

Body: The collection of seemingly local perceptions, sensations and feelings that is covered under the concept “my body” and agreed upon by intersubjective agreement, along with other bodies. It of course, only exists in the mind, as a concept and as a set of imagined past and future images. You could call this action figure of a body as a avatar of consciousness to play in the world.

World: That playground of consciousness that arises with the creation of time, space, and bodies. It seems to be filled with objects because the mind was created to play with something and be used by consciousness as a mirror to know itself. It can only know itself indirectly, via objects, because consciosuness, what we are, is not an object and so cannot see itself seeing, since it is the seeing. 

 

 

 

 

The Intellect and Beyond

A recent poster to a popular Three Principles forum commented:

“It seems that in the 3P conversation there’s a variety of perspectives on things like free-will, control, to do or not to do. The notion that God (as in Mind, Consciousness and Thought) is everything vs there’s God and then there’s personal thinking. Do techniques don’t do techniques. And so on. It can get really confusing. So, perhaps those conversations aren’t helpful? Perhaps the more we talk the further we move away from seeing God. Perhaps the place to see God is in nature, poetry (not specifically about 3P), in art, in babies, in bees, in animals and in ourselves and each other before we speak. Perhaps the only thing that’s useful is to know that we’re all God? I would say discuss but oh the irony of even writing this! 😂💕x”

My response:

I like to remind myself that “there are no others”. Then serendipity happens. That’s love, or “God” if you will, peeking out. 🙂
You’ve indeed also spotted something endemic Clare. Your mileage may vary but my experience was that none of these (what you could call philosophical in the original sense of the word: love of wisdom) issues can be resolved from within psychology. The intellect is a necessary tool for enquiry and ridding one of beliefs and allowing understanding and insight to shine forth, but it has to be guided by clarity and wisdom, not beliefs, concepts and formulas.
I tried for over 20 years and went in circles. It all only became clear (and what Syd was trying to say but perhaps didn’t have the tools) when I got on the direct path of self-enquiry. In any case, from the perspective of the “mind” or psychology, it will all always all be utterly paradoxical by nature. I know this can sound repetitive but truly the answer is within and not in the formula, or in objects like poetry, bees, nature, or others… as Syd used to say, simplicity resolves all complexity.
PM me if you want.
Peace & Love,
Eric

To develop this theme a little further (for the purposes of this blog):
The block for me was the opposite: not the intellect or conversation, but an anti-intellectualism encountered (often a fascist precept within within spiritual circles – “look for the feeling” taken the wrong way), dogmatism, and lack of clarity and wisdom. Even the highest feelings of love can only take you so far, if they depend on devotion – so why not go direct.

It’s a good sign the field is opening up in some places to questions and intellectual inquiry. It means greater freedom.
One will by nature have questions – basic, fundamental ones, *your* questions – until you don’t. You can try and avoid them and take solace in whatever – but your mind will not be at peace until you’ve answered your questions (even if it takes lifetimes). The questions are based on the nagging feeling something is missing or not right. and it’s true: you are still believing in false gods, meaning you hold things to be true that are not true, assumptions inherited from society or history or wrong logic or however they came to infected your mind.

Silence speaks bountifully

On Having Less Thinking: Untangling The Three Principles Psychology from Psychology

7/19/18

This post is in response to a question on a FaceBook forum.

Jennifer commented:
“I found it confusing when a 3 P teacher says for us to have less think[ing] and then say we have no control over our thinking. Because of that I think it would be helpful to be really clear they are not talking at the me self level that has no control. Not sure if I am explaining this well 🤔”

Eric:
“I never said to have less thinking. I said to have more understanding. As a seemingly separate self you can aim for that; do your best, let God do the rest.”

Jennifer:
“I was not referring to what you said. I agree with you I just think saying the other is when it gets confusing. Maybe being confused is part of the journey 😊”

Eric:
“Yes, the 3P are often a confusing teaching. It’s why I’m working to help make them more clear (I need to hone many of my blog articles down, but it’s time-consuming!) – Syd’s wisdom got mixed up with psychology and it’s been a tricky thicket (sticky wicket?) ever since. 🙂
Peace”

Jennifer
“Eric Platt I am interested to know more about this how it can be simple.”

(This article is the answer I gave):

What I was alluding to was to go beyond the mind – in other words, go beyond thought, or thinking. It seems that too often people get stuck at the level of thinking. They become aware that thinking is problematic in a sense, but don’t see how to let go or change or quiet down thinking.

Syd Banks was a natural mystic or non-dualist, but he didn’t have the tools linguistically, nor the preparation in any spiritual tradition (such as Advaita vedanta), to speak of his enlightenment experience in anything other than what he picked up in the culture around him or the collective unconscious, the zeitgeist of the time. So, for example, he speaks in his early tape of “Christ Consciousness”.

As Garret Kramer pointed out (private conversation), Syd was making a concession to the audience, putting his insights into a form digestible to whom was listening. Later, when he encountered psychologists (mid 70’s), it occurred to him (in his naïveté or outlook – a ninth grade education and welder) that psychologists were “professionals” and helpers of humanity, and that they would be the way that the teachings would spread out into the world. He felt it needed a professional face to give it legitimacy.

Unfortunately Mr. Banks didn’t realize that, while such profound spiritual insights could potentially change psychology, the outlook of psychology would also affect or often limit how a spiritual message might be heard. In essence, the spiritual is about universal reality (the Absolute), whereas psychology addresses the personal. They start from different assumptions and worldviews. Western psychology starts with the assumption that there is such a thing as a person, and they are a body, a mind (that comes from a brain and nervous system), in a world of circumstances, and so tools are needed to change and affect that body-mind (techniques, drugs, analysis, changes to lifestyle, circumstances, relationships, work, etc.). It is a materialist worldview. The 3P seemed to introduce new tools, but really it was undermining the entire reality assumption underneath. Even though psychologists who were working with Syd understood to some degree that this was a very radical change in outlook, they themselves could not shift their outlook far enough fast enough through an effort of will (and Syd was often confronting them about their lack of understanding – see the book “Paradigm Shift” by Jack Pransky), or their students (patients) would hear it from their old way of seeing things – in other words from the (small) mind, from the (small) self or ego, from their conditioned way of seeing, perceiving and acting.

By way of contrast, Traditional spiritual paths like Advaita and the yoga philosophy and practices of Kashmir Shaivism had tools to address these mental and bodily patterns of conditioning. Syd Banks and the psychologists assumed that talking and understanding would be enough to effect a radical shift, a transformation in outlook. And indeed sometimes these transformation did occur – for example from simply attending Syd’s lectures, and being around him and the people around him living their lives on Salt Spring Island – and it’s enough to keep the hope alive. But a large portion of the time, people are now wondering why they are not getting it or what exactly it is they are getting or not. It’s heard as concepts, a learning, a philosophy or psychology. However, what is needed is an unlearning: an unlearning of the forumlas for happiness we learned, the beliefs we picked up or arrived at, the habits we hold on to.

Some of the tools that traditional paths use are for example, a method of self-enquiry where one’s core beliefs are questioned, by very carefully asking, “Who Am I?”, and what are the beliefs that support the idea of being a separate entity, in a world of objects, in a dead universe (for example). In terms of the body, ways and means include the yoga of non-duality, that help one carefully observe the nature of the borderless-ness of perceptions and sensations of the body and sense perception, promoting a dissolution of those held patterns of aggression, fear and separation that live in a (seeming) body. The body itself is seen to be a set of sensations and perception and ultimately a concept. In other words there is the presumption of a body. This identification, which is false at bottom, eventually will be seen through. The assumption of being a separate entity is behind the fear of death, and the sensed feeling of separation, lack, and the fears and desires that drive thinking and behavior.

In a sense it’s great that a way, an avenue was found to try and do what psychology hadn’t been able to do very well, and point people towards a complete shift of perspective. But few realized how utterly and truly radical a shift was being talked about. Syd, in his innocence, just saw the love, beauty and truth, and forged ahead in great faith, and thought that once the world heard and understood it, psychology would inevitably change. Hopes were so high that it was felt that the problem of mental illness had been solved, and the old psychology could be left behind. The book “The Missing Link” attempt to forge a link between spirituality and psychology, and Thought was seen as the connection. But it’s a double edged sword. In my view, there is too much emphasis on Thought, and offshoots of the Three principles, such the “Single Paradigm” approach, take this emphasis – since thinking is indeed foundational to our sense of self and the world – and make a coaching model or self-improvement psychology of it.

The emphasis should really be on the non-objective nature of reality, and on a kind of self-enquiry that eventually will allow one to entirely free oneself from the central illusion that causes suffering. The question is, how many are ready for this? Regardless, which should adhere to what is true for us, to what we know.

The intent to point to an inside-out view is a good one, since the majority of humans live outside-in, particularly in a Western culture, founded on what is seen to be an objective, scientific outlook. However, science is limited in scope, as it deals only with phenomena, and not where phenomena appear, which is unlimited consciousness. Science cannot approach the qualities of truth, beauty and love inherent in our experience as revealed in self-knowledge.

As one of my teachers (Laura Lucille) likes to say “It’s simple but not easy”. It’s not easy to let go of habits accumulated for ages. And the mind is stubborn.

(This article from last Spring may be helpful – I wrote it in response to the central issue of thought-stuckness and transcendence):

On Beyond Limitations of the Three Principles Psychology Model

Thank you Jennifer for the question: it helped me put into words something that I’d see or reflected on but had been so far partly unspoken.

What is Self Love

I’ve often heard it said, for example, that in order to love another, or to find love, you have to “love yourself first” (including from prideful people that are not really loving).
It’s always been puzzling because it sounds like there are two entities: someone to love (your self) and the one doing the loving (me?). Or it sounds like an excuse for egotism (“Aren’t I wonderful, I love myself, and you need to be as wonderful as me before you love your self too!”).

When I have truly experienced self love, it is none of these. IT’s a different kind of experience. If I had to describe it, it’s more like realizing I am love – the usual “I” is not there, not in the way, you could say – a collapse of boundaries (words fail) – and love is not personal. In other words, it’s self love with a capital “s” – nothing to do with “me” or “them”. And sometimes there’s an experience of a love from an encounter that is so surprising, fresh, that one is amazed at the wonder of it. And this can happen out of the blue with a neighbor, a cashier, a total stranger… maybe the less we know them the easier for it to happen!

That being said, the mind co-opts the experience, and one is back in “where did that come from, and where did it go?” because the mind wants to see it as coming from somewhere – another apparent person – and wanting to make meaning or hold onto it.

In any case, I have no idea how this could apply to what we call “relationships” since those seem to come and go, without any sense of being able to hold to a “love” however you want to define that.

Sometimes the path of self-knowledge can be felt as a lonely one. “You have to walk that lonely valley, by yourself…” as the old song said.

But what is the “spiritual” path? You could say it’s as much as possible being honest with oneself, and sticking with facts. At some point you realize, there was never a goal or thing to get – an endpoint (realization or enlightenment) – just stuff to lose. Lose the lack, as it were. The happiness one was trying to find was there, merely temporarily infected with a self-sense that didn’t belong. A self sense pretending to be unhappy.

One of my spiritual friends said there is always a choice, at any moment, between love and control… which makes sense to me at an intuitive level. if you are already happy, and unafraid, what need is there to control? The future does not exist, or exists as something one is creating through a free will – either whay, what is there to be afraid of, or worry about? We act as if life were imposed on us, from the outside. But what if there were no outside? What is it’s all us, that is, all “I”, all self, or this?

How much do we feel that love comes from outside, someone else, or needs an object? How much does one then feel dependent on that object, or series of objects, for validation, to feel love, to feel “that feeling”.
It is never coming from them.

We Are Not Bodies

Last night after work I was sitting the chair I like to “meditate” in. What I call meditation is really just doing nothing. That is, as close to nothing as I can manage: letting the senses sense, the thoughts think, and so forth. For example, hearing happens effortlessly: none of us have to go to hearing class in order to have a perception of sounds. It just happens. Likewise we see things without effort. Seeing happens. Sensing our body happens. Now, you can seemingly direct your attention to different places, such as listening to sounds, or feeling where your butt is on the chair, or to what your eyes are looking at. But the sensing, feeling, thinking and perceiving in general happen by themselves. So my meditation is as much as possible letting it all happen. At other times, when not meditating, we may be under the impression that we are doing things and making things happen. We may be focusing our attention on tasks, such as at work. So meditation is a chance to relax the attention and let it open out to a wider aperture setting as it were. We then see everything is just happening in this “space”. The word “space” is a metaphor for the silent no-thing-ness that sees all things. Words fall short…

In any case, I was doing (this not-doing), and suddenly, imperceptibly, went into a “fugue” state: somewhat like the sense of starting to drift off to sleep, yet one is aware, but aware in a different way than normal waking awareness. You have access to a sense of self outside of, or rather dissociated shall we say, from the normal sense of self.

I suddenly saw the image of being in space, just beyond Earth, while at the same time my body was down in the chair. I was in both places at once. It was a nice feeling sense of detachment.

Here’s the insight I had: It’s funny how we talk about “connecting” with others, when the fact is there is no separation in the first place. No others. No thing to connect with. Connecting can only happen between objects.

You can prove to yourself you are not a body and not separate:
Imagine your body is like a plastic toy that has segments. Detach the lower part of your leg. Now is it your leg, or not? If you re-attach it, does it become you, magically? You could take your whole body apart. Where is “you”?

The point is, either it’s all you or none of it. Either the entire universe is you or none of it. Which is saying the same thing.
It’s self-evident “I” am not the body.

Then there is this sound in what we call the mind that sounds like “I” that we also associate with “me”. Listen to this sound. Watch it. What is it’s shape? Color? Where does it exist? I had assumed it moved through time, this sound, but if you watch it very closely you will see it’s very hard to pin down. What is it exactly, in actual experience? It has no consistent, solid, persistent, thingness about it other than any other sounds from outside or inside: it happens, then doesn’t happen, happens and doesn’t happen. It’s always in consciousness and the supposed line of time – the idea that time flows along a linear timeline – was only another image, a concept.

I hear birds singing and I hear the sound “I” which is like “eye”, and it’s supposedly some important designator, yet I can’t even find who is saying it, although “I” seems to choose to say “I” to “myself”.

This “I” that is the personal me just seems to be a myth, in “my own mind”, from nowhere built on nothing.

Suicide and The Cosmic Simulacrum

Simulacrum
1. An image or representation of someone or something.
‘a small-scale simulacrum of a skyscraper’

1.1 An unsatisfactory imitation or substitute.
‘a bland simulacrum of American soul music’

Oxford English Dictionary

Last night I learned of the 4th friend or acquaintance to commit suicide. Not to mention the list of celebrities.

This can be sad and tragic for the families and friends. I always wish that I could have said more to the friend or acquaintance, but of course the past is out of our hands.

What can be seen from this phenomenon?

I always see a pattern. It has to do with our basic outlook on life: what we think life is.

The first of them was a young woman in her 30s, a self-employed digital marketer and web developer, extremely intelligent and creative. I did some freelance work for her, and went out to lunch with and talked with her (or tried to) as a friend. She was caught up in time: time pressure, comparing herself to others, and competitiveness. She seemed to feel measured up or didn’t. She could not relax. I tried to get her interested in yoga or just doing something fun, and invited here, for example, to see a movie with me and a friend. She always had the same response: I don’t have time!! (she told me money was not a problem). It was self-created pressure, from how she was thinking about life.

Later, I heard some news about some neighbors who had become friends: a “hippie” couple in their early 60s, a freelance attorney by day and rock-and-roll drummer by night, and a housewife into gardening and her dogs. I perceived they saw one’s their lifestyle as the source of happiness: squeezing happiness from things, circumstances, or substances. The couple killed themselves together on camping trip in the mountains (a few years after I’d moved away): a suicide pact, well-planned in advance. All their friends were shocked, as they saw no warning. From our conversations, and what I gathered from friends of theirs, they had some losses from their lifestyle: a series of dogs died and they were experiencing some health problems. I also gathered from personal conversation when we were neighbors that they assumed reality was material, didn’t like religion or spirituality, and their happiness came from the health of the body, or rather was predicated on their body and the health of the body, and of their dogs they loved (their only family as it were). So they perceived losses as being related to where their happiness was coming from. When I ran into them later, after I’d moved, I noticed there was an undercurrent of fear and cynicism, a sense of drama beneath the surface friendliness and free-wheeling attitude.

Another, the latest, an acquaintance from my meditation group, a very intelligent man in his 30s, a self-employed programmer and long term yogi, widely traveled and supposedly poised to do spiritual teachings (an interesting contrast), was very serious in attitude. He appeared to be very concerned with the suffering in the world. I learned from a friend also, that sadly, he was also very preoccupied with his own psychological suffering. One’s personal misery and concern with the state of the world, as I see it, cannot be separated from what one assumes to be the cause of it’s conditions and one’s reaching for the key to freedom: if the cause is illusory and you reach within that mirage for the door, then your solution will never yield the fruit you desire.
In addition I perceived he had a sense of being somehow above it and able to know what the problem of the world was, and by and large he thought is was the capitalist political-economic-social system. Commendably, he wanted to bring balance to the world, yet could not seem to find it in himself.

Here I see a very common human practice: a habit of evaluation and judgement, of the world, of oneself and others (world & self & others) and a high regard for one’s personal opinions and beliefs. Are they really so precious such that their possible demise needs to be defended against at all costs?

But more essentially, who are these others and self and world? What is it made from? Where did it come from: are you going to believe what you were told or what someone said, that it came from a Big Bang, in time, a material process, and that is the end of the story, that science has, or even could have in theory, the final answer about ultimate question of who and what you are? Is it really believable that consciousness somehow emerged, local to brains, from what we call “matter”. Does anyone really even know what matter is? As far as we can tell it’s space with vibrations in it, a perfect dance of.. what? What we know of that dance is from math – math that came with a pre-existing harmony with a universe somehow – we can know from a mind we do not know the ultimate nature of in the first place. Mystery within mystery. Do we have to give it a name? Call it formless.

The current scientific dogma (or religion) is that consciousness arises from brains. A typical news article:

“…Consciousness is truly mysterious. It is the essence of you – the redness of red, the feeling of being in love, the sensation of pain and all the rest of your subjective experiences, conjured up somehow by your brain.” – from “Consciousness: How we’re solving a mystery bigger than our minds“, New Scientist magazine, FEATURE 20 June 2018, by Per Snaprud

Can science tell you what beauty is, what love is, and what truth is? Are you going to believe such a story, a made-up theory, so small as to be comic before the vastness of silence?

Seriousness and Control

It’s a big mistake – or should I say a basic misperception, since ultimately there are no mistakes – to take the world and oneself seriously. A mistake to feel sorry for oneself. It’s a fundamental error thinking one knows better how the universe should be according to you.

Lao Tzu, 2600 years ago:

Twenty-nine

Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it?
I do not believe it can be done.

The universe is sacred.
You cannot improve it.
If you try to change it, you will ruin it.
If you try to hold it, you will lose it.

So sometimes things are ahead and sometimes they are behind;
Sometimes breathing is hard, sometimes it comes easily;
Sometimes there is strength and sometimes weakness;
Sometimes one is up and sometimes down.

Therefore the sage avoids extremes, excesses, and complacency.

The Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu”

But who or what is this self, this “I” that wants to change things, this “I” who is supposedly, presumed or assumed to be, a persistent, self-existing (independent), bounded entity? Who has the problem, who or what created the world & self & others?

No he wasn’t attached to misery (as one fellow meditation friend claimed), he was attached to what was at the root of his misery: to who he thought he was, and therefore creating an idea of others and world.

No, it wasn’t because his family origins, or that he wasn’t “connected” with them. Psychology is not a solution nor an illuminator of cause. We must go beyond cause and effect.

If one takes seriously the possibility that there is universal consciousness, that the body is an appearance in it and not self-existent, then killing the body is not a solution. It merely perpetuates or changes the form of the currently appearing issue. In other words he was seeing it as an object problem.

But what if there are no objects (in reality)? What if this were a cosmic simulacrum?
It’s probably no accident that I watched this episode last night (nothing is random and serendipity abounds when allowed to be seen):
Existential Crisis: Black Mirror Pushes A Philosophical Hypothesis, Popularized By Elon Musk And Physicists

In this episode about a near future, a series of co-workers are placed inside a frustrated and repressed CTO’s computer game simulation, via stealing a sample of their DNA and scanning it. The simulations come alive, are sentient, inside his game world along with the creator’s character (captain of the starship they are all on). They want to escape, but cannot. They cannot even commit suicide, because they are all under the control of the revengeful techie. At the end they finally find a clever escape and get their comeuppance.

The we-are-a-simulation-in-someone-elses-computer game hypothesis veils what is more likely (and has been pointed to by sages for millennia): there isn’t a separate simulator: you are merely caught up (identifying) with your own simulation, the mind-projected self/others/world (and time and space). You are in fact the simulator and the simulated at the same time…

Therefore there is no escape from Reality.

But why would you want to escape, if what you are is causeless happiness: eternal, imperturbable, beyond space and time, absolutely free, not subject to cause and effect? We only pretend we are not happy. As hard to accept as that may be to many, I believe it is the truth.

I have glimpsed this causeless unbounded, unlimited free range happiness more than once, but am not yet living in it full time. But “I” will get there eventually, because it is who I am, already, if only the filters of thinking, the habits, the practice of self-ing, were to stop being held onto, repeated with memory and thinking. We all get there one way or another. It’s just a matter of time. Or rather, the timeless unfolding within the seeming boundaries of space and time: the infinite potential that manifests as you and I and all phenomenon, if you allow it. What are your real limits? How much love are you capable of? How much beauty can you experience? How much truth is there to be seen? Why are you here? Freedom is what we are made of. It’s a case of mistaken identity.

If you could only wake up and realize it. It’s that simple.

But this is one stubborn and incredibly detailed and compelling dream. One in which we are addicted to being a human, to being a person.
But the answer is not to try and kill one’s avatar, because it’s the nature of the game to have avatars and a world they play in. There will always be avatars in this eternal-now playing in the infinity matrix. Rather, see who is running the show.

There can be a three-part process: first you realize what you are not – the small self, the others, the world – then you realize what you are – Consciousness – then you realize they are one and the same: Self and phenomena (objects). As in the Zen parable: first the mountains are mountains…:

“Before a man studies Zen, to him mountains are mountains and waters are waters; after he gets an insight into the truth of Zen through the instruction of a good master, mountains to him are not mountains and waters are not waters; but after this when he really attains to the abode of rest, mountains are once more mountains and waters are waters.”

(D. T. Suzuki, Essays in Zen Buddhism, First Series, 1926, London; New York: Published for the Buddhist Society, London by Rider, p. 24.)”

In this I know I may be misunderstood, and a lot of assumptions and ideas and opinions and conclusions and knowledge will come into play for many readers, but I’m telling you it needs to be taken seriously: that there is, and what you are, is not what you think there is or what you are. It needs to be taken seriously that there is what we could call for lack of any adequate term for everyone for all time, Consciousness. Language is deceptive because it’s built to point to objects in consciousness (and processes in time, for bodies, selves, persons…), but in what do the objects appear? Could it be it’s not an object but the subject of all objects, and that the objects are made of this? Is it possible? Can you entertain that? At least for a moment in your busy days, with all it’s objects to attend to and evaluations going on? Yes, with all it’s seriousness about these objects and oneself and others? Is it possible you are taking the wrong things seriously? It may sound idealistic or “out there” but What If it were true – don’t wait until you are 70 years old and worried about dying, or near suicide, or recovering from a suicide attempt, or are a drug addict, or have lost one or more loved ones, or are in some other crisis like a financial or health one, to ponder these things. The time is now. Always now.

Just Say No to 3P Fundamentalism: Mistaking the Form for the Formless

 

“Your eyes must see in the singular if you want to find the truth.”
– Sydney Banks, The Missing Link, p.69

(Note: This essay has to do with The Three Principles Psychology or “The 3P”: a successful spiritual psychology teaching model used in life coaching and countless others areas of human relations, counseling and psychology worldwide. The profound epiphany of a man-turned-mystic philosopher and healer name Sydney Banks was the catalyst for what got formed into a psychology and teaching model).

Recently a long-time 3P practitioner made a post to his blog in which he “protested” the potential divisiveness and revisionism with the field, to not taint the message, and to keep the “purity”. One of the oft-heard concerns – not just from this person – is that practitioners are believing they need something else besides the 3P to help people, are are “mixing” things they learned that are “outside-in”, that practitioners are not understanding the inside-out nature of the understanding deeply enough.

This is confusing two different issues: 1. using outside-in stuff – practices, tools and techniques – and 2. understanding deeply enough. The latter issue will take care of the former. In other words, if you see deeply enough, understand the essence of the 3P, then “mixing” will not be an issue. One will see the truth (or lack thereof) across all models and within all teachings, and use whatever words are appropriate in the context of the situation and the moment, and your being-ness will be a teaching in itself. A good teacher of spiritual truth is not going to pull Freud out of the bag (except perhaps as an example of insanity). It will be obvious what is bullshit and what is real.

Others have commented or complained on confusion, divisiveness, diffusion, dogmatism, and so forth within the Three Principles Psychology. They are also concerned that it’s become just a coaching model, or a business model, and it’s getting diluted as it spreads. Of course, much of this is inevitable: a deep teaching is only going to be understood by a few, and of them a smaller number will be able to teach or write about. It took me 20 years to see through the “cruft” of my own thinking, stubbornness, social programming, bodily patterns of contractions, and the encrustation of added psychology of Syd’s message before I “got it”.

Rather than combine the 3P with something else, what is needed is to take things away from the 3P. In other words, to simplify the message to it’s essence. I’ll qualify that with “often” needed and “with many”. The 3P are seen truly only in simplicity (as Syd kept pointing out). New or fresh takes on it are helpful in this regard. But don’t mistake the form for the formless essence, the non-objective nature from which all appears.

Someone using the 3P approach and having some understanding, may eventually realize that this pointing away from or speaking out against practices tools and techniques, and pointing within, is really the same as the “direct path” spoken of by so many teachers of ancient and of today (Taoists, Buddhist, nonduality…). What we are is non-objective – in other words, alive in the moment and not a memory, not a concept. It cannot be formulated and stored away. This can seem tricky to convey since it can’t be held or grasped, but also means there’s nothing to fix, control, hold onto, solve, or figure out. You are whole and complete because you are that whole, living, free, unknowable yet all-knowing intelligent life, if you stop being that little self, that little thought…

The “old” forms that are not appropriate in this regard to combine with a spiritual psychology are the old psychologies (therapies, theories, models, practices, tools and techniques, etc.), that go into the past, focus on problems, pathology, cause and effect, and get one involved even more deeply in the endless games of the personal mind. But “old” forms of spiritual teachings, which also point to the formless, are perfectly in tune, once understood. Old spiritual traditions can be useful tools to help cut away that which is not essential, not you, not true. They also reassure us that truth is truth, tell us we are on the right track in triangulating on what is true, no matter what form it comes in, and that it’s timeless. Syd would often say “there’s nothing new” and what he was teaching has been around since time immemorial. 

In other words, it’s “safe” to mix the 3P with teachings that point towards Source (formless, context) as long as you are clear with differing concepts and words, or definitions, but it is *not* safe (does not make sense, confuses or takes away from) to mix with content-oriented teachings and techniques. That would include almost all of the old psychology, which is based in theories from a personal mind of a theoretician and a divergent interpretation of phenomenon, with no underlying common framework of understanding of where all this content is coming from, or that it’s even content. Another way to say this is that these content and concept-oriented models are thought-based and not reality-based. For example all the descendants of Freudianism and other medical or quasi-medial models, and materialist belief systems (which is what most individuals in the modern Westernized world cleave to, like a religious faith) which is I understand around 3 to 400 different schools of therapy and psychology.

“To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind is the greatest of all mistakes.” – Hsin Hsin Ming by Seng-T’san

“Wisdom is found before the formation of form.” – Sydney Banks, The Missing Link, p 132

Syd realized that the world is Consciousness in various forms, including thought-forms, and that the nature of the world is duality – suffering is built-in – as a game Consciousness is playing. Listen to early Syd tapes and you can hear him talk about poverty and sickness and wars and that there’s nothing you can do to change this. The whole point it to free yourself first, realize oneself and be happy, and that will change the world inherently, through your freedom, however that freedom manifests. The world is a sea of ignorance and bailing it out with a cup of wisdom won’t make a dent in the universe. For example, teaching is done for the inherent joy and love, the giving. Helping out of compassion happens spontaneously, if there isn’t personal thinking in the way. It’s natural to help a fallen person in the street, and does not need to be legislated by religion, psychology, or techniques.

I sometimes wonder then why there is sometimes an urge to save the world or “spread the message” by 3P practitioners. Sometimes it’s driven by compassion, or enthusiasm, or by being “true believers” that they’ve found the answer to all the world’s problems, or simply a professional desire for expansion, or a mixture. But there can be a subtle mistaking-the-form-for-the-formless again. Truth doesn’t need to be spread, it’ already here now. Removing the veils of ignorance happens in it’s own time (in the timeless) – this cannot be explained or made to happen from the small mind, their personal self. This is difficult to explain, but is worth mentioning because we have seen the dangers of those that want to save or change the world: the Hitlers, the Pol Pots, those with an agenda. Sometimes the fierce desire to change others or the world is a running from one’s own pain, grief, sadness and so forth, that has not been faced. It’s trying to change the show in the world when what’s not being seen is, where is the show coming from? The simple point of “heal thyself” first is missed because it’s unconscious, and projected outward. There are deep assumptions going on (about who one is, what the world is, what life is) and the need for escape. Spiritual leaders are not immune to addictions.

“…the purity of our understanding is the vehicle for change, nothing more. We can only change ourselves, we can’t change the world, and we can’t change other people. We can only get our minds very still, very pure, and then work through the feeling to lead others to their own wisdom.” – Syd Banks

Any teaching that shows you how to be yourself is naturally going to be paradoxical: there’s nothing to do and nowhere to go to be who you truly are. It’s like a Zen koan, yet that is the paradox that the mind sees, because the mind only sees in duality.

Come to know that you *are* the world, and not the world, in an absolute sense. That’s the whole game.

There is nothing to protect, either as an illusory person or as a field of psychology. However, if there are beliefs, and a sense of separateness, or a “brand” association (related to one’s business interests) one wants to protect, that is a tainted message with respect to Truth.

“Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists” – A Course in Miracles

What is essential in all this is to make the distinction between the 3P as a teaching model, and the spiritual truth or reality that it’s pointing to. If you don’t make that distinction you are heading to fundamentalism, or a religion. You will become bound again rather than free.

There are no authorities other than your True Self, the insights via the One Teacher: your own innate wisdom, what you are. Don’t be a follower. You have everything within that you need and want, and the whole universe as a creation from the one Mind.