Upstream to the Source

When Syd lived


Since coming across the Three Principles and meeting Sydney Banks in the early 1980’s, I have always loved hearing Syd share his insights and understandings of the Principles.

In the early days, Syd used to share his personal story of awakening much more than in the later days, when he seemed to actually avoid it. My guess is that he saw people comparing their experiences to his and judging themselves – often harshly. However, it is a powerful story and I encourage everyone to get a hold of as many of those early recordings as possible.

The reason I am bringing this up is twofold:

  1. I have always had a personal interest in what actually triggered Syd’s awakening. What came of that — a powerful life-changing understanding of the Three Principles — was a Godsend! What intrigues me most, however, is that which poured Itself into Syd’s consciousness — the “Giver” of what he referred to as the “gifts” of the Three Principles.
  2. I see the Three Principles community (understandably) using, teaching and making the most of their understanding of the Principles, yet not exploring or encouraging exploration into what was “upstream” and delivered the Principles to humanity through Syd.

I understand that any insight into the Principles by any means is possible and priceless. So what Syd offered was priceless – but in my view not limited to that alone.

Are we as a growing worldwide community open to new even unexpected insights and possibilities? Have we as a community subtly become caught in a powerful but limited understanding of the Principles?

Some are trying to “preserve the Principles” – as if there would be a need to “preserve gravity”. I understand and actually support that effort though. Perhaps we should describe this as “preserving Syd’s unique expression of the Principles” and promote his work as a primary resource.

In my mind we should preserve the core elements of Syd’s gift to us: His place it its emergence, his work as the original and primary resource, the terms “Mind, Consciousness and Thought”, and our best efforts to share our best understanding, while remaining open, even eager, to see beyond them.

However, we should avoid getting caught in the belief that Syd’s was the one best and forever best expression. This, in fact, would be going against his very teaching.

The student can go beyond the teacher. How long you have been learning the Principles has nothing to do with your level of understanding.

Details: What do you think of the following?

“You are not insecure. You just think you are.”

When Syd’s awakening was triggered, the thought that “he was not insecure, he just thought he was” was so intriguing to him that it captured his interest on an extremely deep level. (Syd said he discovered a “formula” for life “deep in our souls”.)


As he let go to this interest he described being “literally sucked down a tunnel” of energy that resulted in his body being “shrouded in light” (that only he could see) and hearing a “buzzing sound” (that only he could hear). He said the “breath of life” came alive in him and “swept away negativity”.

A life-review followed (one’s life events flashing before one’s eyes/consciousness from the present back to birth) and concluded with a profound and apparently total “clearing”. Then he said, “And then I died, but I didn’t die.”

“And then I died, but I didn’t die.” 


He described his actual awakening as very brief (“maybe 4 seconds”). The resulting “cleansing process” described above occurred over a three-day three-night period in which he said he did not sleep, because it felt too good. (He felt like “university courses” were coming into his head and, in a private meeting with me said it felt like “an orgasm of the heart”.)

He also said, “Once you have this understanding, you have to go through all the old thoughts at least once.”


Shifting focus to the Brain

Given my neuroscience knowledge, every element of this experience had a neurological correlate. 

Syd’s “divine thought-experience” revealed to him that “it is All thought” — and that has a neurological correlate in the brain as well. The realization transformed his brain (as well as all aspects of his life)!

  • What if some in the field could discover the specifics of these correlates?
  • What if in discovering these correlates we were able to use them to create the physiological conditions for such true inside-out awakenings (a super-advanced version of what yoga and meditation has attempted to do)?
  • What if we found the key neurological correlates to “upstream” and “Source” experiences?
  • Is not the human brain called the “crown of creation” because it appears to be the only brain/mind capable of knowing not only the world of creation, but the Creative Power and Creative Source itself?
  • Would exploring this take us away from the “pure” study of the Three Principles — or, perhaps, help us more readily go where they are pointing?
  • Syd was very interested in neuroscience (per Chip Chipman). Would Syd have encouraged such exploration?


Is this not a fascinating possibility? And does this not open a plethora of fascinating insights and discussions? And not just for the fun of it, but to awaken and serve humanity at ever higher levels.

Take Away: As Syd said, there is no end to the investigation of the true meaning and potential of the Principles.


Craig Polsfuss is a first generation student of the Three Principles, an integral psychologist and is published in peer-reviewed professional journals applying the Three Principles to leadership and high-performance. He is also a Mastery certified Higher Brain Living facilitator and trainer. 



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