A time of unlearning

Mind is the universal intelligence behind life, Consciousness creates an awareness of what we call reality, and Thought is the power to create our moment to moment existence.” – Sydney Banks

At the age of fifty one I had my first introduction to the three principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought, as articulated by Sydney Banks. He explained how these are fundamental truths of how we experience life. He also explained how we all have innate well-being, with our most natural state being one of pure love, peace and light-heartedness Know that, this state of being is available to all, and, we have the capacity to return to this state, the one before our intellect, our experiences in life, our learning and our belief systems, which has been hidden by our over-thinking. We cover this natural state by ruminating over the past or worrying about an undetermined future.

I’ve come to understand if I want to get back to this natural state of peace, I just need to let go of my habitual, negative thinking and to stop reacting so quickly to memory triggers, which often led me to assume the worst, while trying to guess the outcome, or find a solution to any perceived problem I had with someone or some situation.

Over the years I had tried hard not to react to, or take offence from, someone’s behaviour, I considered bad. Now with my new understanding that only people who are hurting, hurt others, and reminding myself that in our thinking, we are all living in different perceptions of the world, with their’s most likely being a more frightening or troubled version than mine, has made it growingly easier for me to react in a more compassionate way. Leading to nicer interactions with family, friends and even strangers throughout my day.

Over the years I have completed many holistic, spiritual growth and self-improvement courses, along with reading many insight provoking books by authors from all around the world. A misunderstanding I was hearing a lot, was about controlling your thoughts, by using affirmations or changing negative thoughts to positive ones as quickly as possible, which I worked really hard to do, but could not sustain for long periods, leaving me to feel disappointed in myself and exhausted from the effort.

It was when I came across an on-line course called “The Path of Effortless Change” by Michael Neill, and his understanding of the “three principles” that I realised I had been trying to achieve the impossible. He explained the principle of thought, describing how thoughts are transient energy, which come and go throughout our minds all day long, and how we are not responsible for them.

It is only when we get stuck in our thinking about them, that they become movie like stories we believe and feel to be real, often causing us a lot of unnecessary worry. He went on to explain how when we find ourselves stuck in our thinking, we can simply quieten our minds, allowing our thinking to settle and our thoughts to flow again.

While this sounded too easy to be true, within days of trying, I caught myself many times trapped in my thinking and he was right, as soon as I quietened my mind, the thought storms in my head settled, leaving me in a calmer more peaceful state of mind.

As I am gaining a better understanding of the principle of thought and the thinking it triggers in me, I now let my thoughts flow more freely, realising I no longer have to stay stuck in my thinking, trying to find solutions to any perceived problems I would have ruminated over in the past.

I have also found by quietening my thinking it allows space for a creative or clarifying insight to either resolve what’s bothering me or for the realisation that the problem is only in my thinking.

I’ve also come to know that like our thoughts, our moods change often too. I now see that when I am in a low mood, I am more likely to have fear based, worried, and anxious thinking.

In the past I would have reacted to this kind of thinking with negative self-talk, criticising and berating myself for not being more positive, or for not being grateful enough for all the good things in my life. I would get caught up in insecure thinking, questioning my abilities, or a decision I had made while in a more positive mood, seeing it now as a bad idea, often creating obstacles I would put in my way, telling myself I’m not capable of doing it, or that I would not see it through, all of which left me feeling even more insecure.

Now that I better understand the nature of the human experience, I realise our moods are a natural part of it too, I also understand that like thought, it’s not something I can control. Now, during these low times I am gentler on myself, knowing it will pass. I have become more aware of how something as simple as hearing a song I love on the radio, or coming across a funny clip on Facebook can lift my mood and while my external circumstances are still the same, they suddenly don’t seem anywhere near as troubling, the higher my mood gets.

Any impending doom-like thoughts and feelings are soon replaced by better feeling ones, leading me back to my most natural state of well-being. I liken this to a cloudy summers day, understanding the sun is always there, and at any moment, the clouds will move on, allowing the sun to shine through again.

Thanks for reading,


Namaste– I honour the place in you, in which the entire universe resides. I honour the place in you, of love, of light, of truth and of peace. And when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.

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