There was a time when I thought I understood what a principle is, and what it meant. After all, my father taught me, “It’s good to be a person of principle.” And I knew he was saying something because I could hear it as well.
As a result, I sometimes wondered what a principle meant. And the only evidence I had was how my father was being, particularly during times I was troubled. This was before I became a teenager, so I’m talking about something a few decades ago! One of the things that struck me about my father was how “unmoved” or “unaffected” he was, and there was something that made him very strong in that sense. For me personally, I found that to be a source of great comfort during my troubled times. I knew I wanted to be like him in that sense. However, I could never figure out what his principles were, so I never got to be as strong or as resilient as my father was.
Fast forward to late 2011, when I first came across these Three Principles. Very few people spoke of what a principle is, much less say what it is, instead referring to the explanation found in a dictionary. For me though, if the Three Principles are supposed to be “different” to anything else about human experience, I kind of knew that that if the Three Principles are different to everything else, it also had to apply to the word Principle.
The way I went about it though, at this moment in time, seems very unusual. I picked up some clues from Sydney Banks, when he used words like neutral and constant to describe these principles. You can read The Enlightened Gardener and The Enlightened Gardener Revisited to see that Sydney Banks was quite keen to point these words out. What struck me were sentences like these:
However, the source called Universal Thought is spiritual by nature and completely neutral, just like Mind and Consciousness.
Sydney Banks – The Enlightened Gardener.
“Try to see that every human being on this planet functions using the same three gifts. Now remember, on their own, these gifts are completely neutral. It is how we, as human beings, personally use them that is significant in our lives.
“And, remember, both of you: The Three Principles I speak of are universal constants that can never change and are never separate entities from us. From the cradle to the grave, they totally encompass the reality we observe and experience in this lifetime.”
Sydney Banks – The Enlightened Gardener Revisited.
I noticed how it seems that when Sydney Banks was using the word neutral, he was using them for ALL three principles. Not once did he ever “pick and choose” (“being selective”) which principle gets what and which principle doesn’t. And that spoke to me. There was something all encompassing about it. I knew at this point I was onto something, and it turned out to be the beginning of learning about the word principle, in the context of the Three Principles.
Fast forward to today, I call these words “Properties” that are included in a Principle. Becasue when one discovers a property of a principle, it must apply to all three principles. There is never a property that applies to just one or two principles. Always all three. Which is excellent news because it saves us from having a lot of “picking and choosing” according to what we think or what feels good and we can better stay on “true wisdom path” of what these Three Principles truly mean.
In the above example, clearly he used the word neutral several times, and he also used the word constant too. That was the beginning of a surpringly clear sense of direction about learning what the word Principle means. It’s Properties of a True Principle that matter, not a definition of “Principle.”
One of the main outcomes of “Properties of a True Principle” is to establish more deeply what can be considered a principle, and what cannot be considered a principle (“non-principle”). The more clearly we see, having the distinction between “Principles” and “Non-principles” is very helpful.
The quote above is especially telling. If you truly know that problems can only be solved by a Principle, then you’ll have to look towards the Principles, and not towards the non-principles.