In 2018, George Pransky set out to clearly identify the ten breakthrough discoveries of Sydney Banks. Since we are still floating in an absolutely wonderful feeling from our recent program with Elsie, The Discoveries of Sydney Banks, we wanted to take this opportunity to share this paper with you. Presented at the 2019 3PUK Conference in London, this paper breaks down the complexity of the Principles into a practical, digestible format.
The Specific Breakthrough Discoveries
of Sydney Banks
What he Discovered from his Epiphany and Shared with Others
Section One: The Core Discoveries of Sydney Banks
Discovery One-The Nature of Thought
Thought is the gift that human beings and other creatures possess to create subjective, momentary images and words in their minds. Sydney also discovered that realizing “the fact that we think” promotes human psychological wellbeing independent of the specific thought or the specific content of our thinking.
· Prior to this discovery thought was widely seen as only one of many inputs into the formulation of people’s experience rather than the exclusive source. It was generally believed that the content of people’s thinking should be the proper focus of therapeutic intervention. This discovery suggested that the focus should instead be on “the fact” that they are the thinker rather than what they might be thinking.
· Why this discovery matters: When people discover that wellbeing comes purely through realizing the simple fact that they think, they are no longer tempted towards the effortful and ultimately unrealistic task of “managing” their thinking in the pursuit of wellbeing.
Discovery Two- The Nature of Consciousness
Consciousness brings thought to life via the senses.
· Prior to this discovery it was widely believed that our sensory data, our experience of life, came from forces outside of ourselves such as life circumstances and events.
· Why this discovery matters:Consciousness explains why thought does not look like thought but rather like an independent, freestanding reality captured by the senses just as a camera captures a scene. Thus, when people discover the nature of consciousness, they are empowered to take even the most compelling experiences in stride rather than overreacting to them.
Discovery Three-The Nature of Mind
Mind is the creative power, the essence, and the intelligence behind all life.
· Prior to this discovery, “the mind” in the field of psychology, was often seen as synonymous with the brain, limited to the brain’s analytical and memory-bank capabilities. Sydney Banks contributed to the field of psychology by stating that mind (universal mind) is spiritual in nature rather than biological and that mind is the source of all life and the fundamental intelligence behind all life.
· Why this discovery matters: Discovering mind for oneself points us towards realizing the connectedness between human beings. It awakens us to the power and the potential of universal intelligence. It gives us the freedom and power that comes with feeling a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Section Two: The Corollary Discoveries
of Sydney Banks
Derived from the Core Discoveries
Discovery Four- Principles
Thought, Consciousness and Mind together compose three principles that inclusively and exclusively explain the nature of the human experience.
· Prior to this discovery there was no established set of principles in psychology that explained our mental lives but instead an ever-increasing list of contributing factors.
· Why this discovery matters: Realizing these three principles allows a human being to be resilient, taking experiences in stride, trusting they will have the intelligent/responsive thinking to have fulfilling and productive lives.
Discovery Five-Core Feelings
Love, joy, and peace of mind as manifested in many desirable feelings like gratitude, and humility, are the core, essential feelings in human beings. Although these feelings might be overridden by people’s momentary thoughts, they are indeed the default setting, the homeostasis, in the human race.
· Prior to this discovery human feelings and emotions were commonly seen as culturally and/or individually determined. Human beings were often thought to have no core, default feelings.
· Why this discovery matters:Seeing love, joy, and peace of mind as our default setting allows people to count on those feelings as an effortless way of life in the knowledge that any negativity is by nature short lived, a temporary “mirage” that will disappear on its own.
Discovery Six- Levels of Consciousness
Human beings’ level of consciousness (level of understanding of life) can suddenly elevate to provide a nicer internal quality of life and relationships. This elevation of consciousness is a built-in potential in people. It is an effortless process that happens within a lifetime, often when least expected. It is the organic, natural method of a human beings’ evolution. When a person jumps to a higher level of consciousness, that person can count on living a new, separate, and nicer reality on a go forward basis.
· Prior to this discovery it was widely thought that behavioral change and improved internal quality-of-life required deliberately using awareness to address one’s thoughts, memories, feelings, or behaviors.
· Why this discovery matters: Levels of consciousness offers the hope of a sudden positive change/evolution on a go-forward basis without the need for willpower. Sudden, out-of-the-blue evolution is consistent with the research findings that, in the therapies tested, change happened in “discrete moments” rather than progressive, incremental change. The possibility of sudden positive change without effort, or even intent, offers the ultimate hope to anyone, at any time, under any circumstance.
Discovery Seven- Clarification of the Concept of Freewill
Sydney Banks clarified the existence of freewill in the human experience. Freewill (freedom of thought) is both the freedom to think what we want and the freedom to regard our thoughts as we see fit (act on them or ignore them as the two extremes). He discovered the link between freewill and levels of consciousness. When our level of consciousness (level of understanding) goes up we experience more freewill as we gain freedom from the prison of one’s own thinking. Paradoxically, also when our level of consciousness goes up, we become more understanding, more at peace, with the fact that sometimes we will be gripped by our thinking and won’t experience freewill in that moment. We are more comfortable and more accepting of the fact that we cannot ultimately manage or control our thinking and don’t ultimately need to control our thinking.
· Prior to this discovery and clarification about freewill, it was commonly thought that there were two mutually exclusive stances toward freewill: the total “freewill” stance that had people facing chronic frustration in their hopeless attempt to “control” their thinking. The “fate” stance asserting that we are resigned to our fate rendering freewill illusory. Thus, the “free” camp struggled with gaining more freewill and the “fate” camp struggled with victimhood and resignation.
· Why this discovery matters: Sydney Banks’ freewill discoveries freed people to live the dance of individual freedom and, while knowing they are a part of a greater system, an intelligence. They were spared the struggle associated with misunderstanding, a lack of clarity about the true nature of freewill with its connection to levels of consciousness.
Discovery Eight- The Quiet Mind
A quiet mind at peace is a human being’s default setting, our homeostasis. A quiet, reflective mind is associated with powerful benefits such as insight, stress release, and interpersonal connectedness.
· Prior to this discovery it was broadly thought that discipline, techniques, and rituals were required to access a peaceful, meditative mind.
· Why this discovery matters: The capacity for insight, the ability to release stress, the capacity for connectedness/closeness with others, and the capacity for resilience are all leveraged by a quiet mind. These associations with a quiet mind are well established by research and/or recognized in the vernacular. The capacity for insight, creative thought, greater capacity for connectedness/intimacy, are experienced first-hand by human beings. The power of a quiet mind makes it a means as well as an end. While receiving the benefits of peace of mind one is accessing the benefits of insight and perspective.
Discovery Nine-Transcendent Intelligence
Sydney Banks discovered that there exists an intelligent life energy that exists before the creation of anything on the physical level of life. This transcendent intelligence knows how to create and operate all of life. Thus, all human beings, notwithstanding their IQ, culture, gender, or age have equal access to a profound, responsive, and infinite intelligence that always dwarfs the personal databank of their life experience and education. This infinite pool of intelligence is shared by all creatures and exists before the creation of thought.