The Three Principles & The Three Awakenings: Groundbreaking Insight into Who We Are & Where We Are Going


By Craig Polsfuss, Three Principles first-generation practitioner & Integral Psychologist

Introduction: Higher Consciousness Appearing

The science of higher consciousness has made some radical discoveries in very recent history that will shape humanity’s experience and evolution forever. A bold statement.

higher consciousness

To those who are paying attention, the expansion and expression of higher consciousness has become more and more evident in the past century, and especially in the past several decades. All forms of inhumanity are less and less tolerated on a worldwide basis. Growing numbers describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious”. Many religions themselves have evolved to become more meaningful and relevant, rather than simply belief systems to control human behavior and produce conformity.

The organic and spontaneous appearance of profound breakthroughs seems to be occurring more often and more rapidly. One example is that of Sydney Banks, an ordinary factory worker who suddenly received such powerful insight into the true nature of reality that it propelled him to spearhead a quantum leap in the fields of mental health, addictions, and many others known as The Three Principles.


A simple way to describe what he realized is,

“The true nature of reality is inside out, rather than outside in as it appears.

It is created, enlivened, propelled and guided by three universal principles – universal mind-energy-intelligence, universal consciousness and universal thought.”

On its face this may not seem so profound to students of higher consciousness. However, I assure readers new to this subject that in-depth investigation into what is really meant by this and how it really works can spark powerful ongoing and life-changing insights and transformation. The true magic and mystery of life is clarified, and the power for individual and collective health, joy and evolution is unleashed.

The reason I cite Sydney Banks work is that I have learned directly from him and been personally transformed by it. I have used it as the basis of my psychology practice for decades, resulting in wonderful interactive experiences and client results. I also cite it because it represents what integral thinkers describe as the first of three Great Awakenings that are now afoot on the planet.

Awakening 1: Classical Enlightenment

Such profound awakening – or enlightenment if you prefer – can be called “classical enlightenment”. In my opinion, it is the only means by which humanity can mature and fulfill its organic purpose.

Classical enlightenment is what the Buddha and other great seers began to realize millennia ago. Buddha proclaimed, “The world is illusion.”  Jesus Christ said, “Believe not in appearances.” In a difficult and painful world, one could finally avoid the prevailing suffering and find some inner peace.


This is an amazing human capacity that was uncovered from the depth of need – and that need continues today! “Necessity is the mother of invention” was as true then as it is today.

Since I am familiar with the Three Principles community and culture, I understand its language (and many of its “dialects”). The following is a way that I believe most would agree is an expression of this awakening:

“Personal reality/experience is an inside-out thought-creation,

not a separate independent outside-in reality happening to us”

This can be realized (not just understood intellectually) from slight degrees to completely.

To the degree to which this is realized there is a corresponding experience of great relief and a deep enduring knowingness that remains in consciousness regardless of the details of experience that may be occurring in any moment. This gives one a sense of security, confidence and authenticity.

Modern neuroscience has now measured and verified this state and its various qualities (relaxation, alertness, gratitude and feeling blessed, feeling unstoppable, etc.) with EEG brain scans.

“The world is illusion. God alone is real.”

“The world is thought. The Principles alone are real.”

That which previously had been experienced as causing one’s suffering is now, to some degree, dissolving. Hallelujah!

Awakening 2: Unitary Enlightenment

Syd pointed to the Second Awakening but did not elaborate on it much. Once one realizes that “the world is illusion – or a dream – or thought” psychic energy is freed up to begin to experience and realize the true nature of the reality before us, who one really is at one’s core – an unborn undying Transcendent Self – “in the world but not of it” – untouched by whatever is occurring in thought at any moment.


In Three Principles community language, some would call this “the realization of The Three Principles”. Some in our community recognize that “The Three Principles” is an impersonal way to describe who we really are – not just the personal thought-created self-image with which we have identified and therefore experienced via consciousness. 

From this transcendent perspective, Syd could honestly proclaim that

“the form and formless are One – they are the same energy in two disguises”.

From my perspective, not many in the Three Principle community see that this radically turns the commonly held belief that “we are not the dream, we are something greater” on its head! Now suddenly we are the dream too!

Each of these awakenings is absolutely true on its own level, but also transcends and includes lower awakenings or understandings.

Therefore, it is true that we are not thought, we are the thinker. However, since in truth there is only one original energy and intelligence, the reality of the thought can and must exist in and as our own fundamental energy/nature/being.

So, this truth must be realized first before the second can be realized – as Syd often expressed enthusiastically in his early recordings, “We are all things”.

Many students of the Three Principles also recall that Syd often stated, “It’s all thought” – both form and formless.

What are the implications of this for personal experience and potential?

What are the implications of this for Three Principles training, coaching and therapy?

What are the implications of this for spreading the benefits of the Three Principles more quickly and effectively throughout the world?

This is the exciting threshold at which I see the present Three Principles community!


Now “the world is an illusion” suddenly changes from a perspective that could inadvertently diminish the value of our human experience – “it’s just a thought”, no meaning, no purpose, random possibilities – to one that makes it mystical and divine, full of inherent and profound meaning and purpose.

One’s life becomes re-enchanted.

“The world is illusion. God alone is real. God is the world.”

“The world is thought. The Principles alone are real.

The Principles-in-Action is the world.”

Awakening 3: Unitary Evolutionary Enlightenment

To my best knowledge, Syd did not speak of this. It makes sense then, that I do not hear his students speaking of this and its profound implications. He, and those touched by his teaching, do organically express the seeds of this in our heartfelt desire to share the Principles and their benefits with others.

  • Classical enlightenment is a true realization the “the world is illusion” and that the nature of the illusion is thought – or more precisely Mind-Consciousness-Thought. We realize we are not who we thought we were. We are something greater, with innate health, wisdom and capability yet-to-be-developed.

Because we cannot un-see what we have seen, who we thought we were dissolves into nothing – slowly or quickly or in whatever way it does, but is dissolves nonetheless. And it is replaces with true realization – or “our true selves”.

The experience that correlates with this is profound and permanently life-changing. Relief, hope, inspiration, peace.

  • Unitary Enlightenment is another dramatic shift in consciousness and therefore perspective. A singularity begins to appear and become experienced that can be called “trans-rational”. It is a knowing that is deeper than the rational thinking of the intellect. It is unbroken. One cannot be talked out of it. No wonder inner security and confidence increase.

What more could there be?!

The modern scientific understanding of two realities not known to ancient seers now have contributed to and helped usher in a third Great Awakening: Unitary Evolutionary Enlightenment,

  • Evolution: Science has brought to light the fact of evolution (far beyond Darwin’s theory). At least since the Big Bang there has been a Universal Evolutionary impulse expressing its intelligence and nature in its creation. Over 13.8 billion years this expression has been “winding up” – expressing more and more complex structures. From dispersed energy to energy and matter combinations – to stars and planets and galaxies – to what I like to call the “Second Big Bang” when out of apparently lifeless matter emerged life! – to an even more amazing “Third Big Bang” in which sentience (consciousness) appears in that life – and then a “Fourth Big Bang” (notice things are speeding up!) of self-consciousness and the ability to become conscious of the source and the whole process unfolding since the Original Big Bang.

For those who are awake enough, we sense or actually realize that we are on the precipice of the next “Big Bang”. Scientists who have studied this state that the “energy and consciousness” that will be released with the next emergence will be greater that all the previous emergences put together.

  • Neuroscience: Neuroscience has brought to light breakthrough understandings about the brain. The mind-brain system is designed by nature to function optimally. For most of us it is not. There are explanations for this and emerging remedies. When the mind-brain system can receive the inside-out energy and intelligence latent in it, the full experience of being human and fulfilling human potential can be released. This has been and will be the subject of many interviews, blog posts and a book I have in progress.

More and more are now awakening to the obvious:

“The world is illusion. God alone is real. God is the world. God is going somewhere.”

“The world is thought. The Principles alone are real. The Principles-in-Action are the world.

The Principles-in-Action are going somewhere.”

conscious creation (2)

What are the implications of this? Please help me uncover them!

Are not some of the implications as follows?

  • There is profound, innate, divine purpose in each of us and in everything. We are each created to make a unique, necessary and invaluable contribution – and it is discovered as we go. Living this can only be experienced as ecstasy or bliss.
  • We can feel relieved to no longer have to personally think our way through life. We can relax and let Life/Mind/the Universe think for us, as it has been doing from the beginning. Of course, this is experienced as the “flow” or good feeling of being in our innate health – and being drawn forward and inward simultaneously.
  • This requires a whole-being “listening disposition” in each moment. Quiet mind, open and receptive attentiveness, open heart, love-of-life welcoming each moment no matter its contents, all are qualities of this level of enlightenment – because we know we are welcoming ourselves and the Divine simultaneously.
  • We allow “where we are going” to be revealed “as we go” in each moment – a moment-to-moment enchanted discovery process. Syd called this “living in a state of insight”. We awaken to our responsibility in the process. Evolution and consciousness are no longer something “happening to us”, but rather, we are implicit in the process of living.
  • We can truly know, feel and trust that “life is on our side”.

We are Universal Evolution (the Principles-in-Action) waking up to itself!

My response to this is both exhilaration and great soberness. The wonderful possibilities are unlimited! And what we do effects not only ourselves, but everyone and everything (unitary understanding).

In the Three Principles world, we have known “we are creating, or co-creating our personal realities”, but now that we know we are really one (unitary). As such we see that we each are literally creating the future of humanity itself. We also know, however, that we do not need to fret to “think up” where we need to go from our personal minds. We are cultivating in each moment a “tuned-in receptivity” in which we flow in the wake of the Great Mind and its Great Love

Those who are awakening to this feel a strong and healthy compulsion to come together – to gather with one’s “tribe” – to share and grow not only in this understanding and “energy/feeling”, but to collaborate in fulfilling the Grand Purpose to which we are awakening.


This is why I am so open and even eager to connect with those that resonate with what is being communicated here.

“When the person is ready, the opportunity appears.”

As far as I can see, I like to call where we are going “Heaven-on-Earth”. And I am certain that it even goes beyond that.


I welcome your comments and support.

Craig B&W - Copy

By Craig Polsfuss, MA, LP, MSW, LICSW (Emeritus), Three Principles first-generation practitioner & Integral Psychologist has a clinical practice, a consulting practice and trains Three Principles and Higher Brain Living professionals.

PODCAST: See “Rethink Everything” March 2017 podcast on iTunes with Damian Mark Smyth in which we discuss this.


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