“There are as many realities as there are people on earth…”
Last night, I did a one-hour Facebook Live broadcast in the Exponential Practice Group with the title, “Why do I never refer to myself as a 3 Principles Teacher / Coach / Trainer / Author?” The idea for the video came when my friend Liz Scott (who you may remember I did a coaching demo video with last year) asked my buddy Garret Kramer this question: “You seem to steer away from describing yourself under the banner of the 3Ps. I am curious. Why do you avoid being drawn into that as a category/discussion point?” You can read Garret’s extremely clear answer on his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/garret.kramer.1/posts/1462132437132939?pnref=story
My answer was longer (hence the one hour video), but the starting point was key: The term “The 3 Principles” means a number of different things.
When people ask questions like “What do the 3 principles say about X?” (where X is techniques, drugs, brain chemistry, war zones, childhood trauma, religion etc), the only sensible answer is “What do you mean by ‘the 3 principles?’) As far as I can tell, the phrase “The 3 Principles” is used to refer to a number of different things:
A. The formless principles pointed to by Sydney Banks. In the early 1970s, Sydney Banks had profound insights into the formless energy of life and its principled nature. This understanding is something I’m passionate about, and extremely grateful to have learned. What Syd insightfully uncovered and articulated holds untold promise for the future of humanity, and continues to transform my own life, and the lives of my clients.
B. The names / metaphors for the formless principles Sydney Banks uncovered. The words “Mind”, “Consciousness” and “Thought” (as well as any description we give them) are metaphors Syd used (and that many members of the 3 Principles Community use) to point to the formless principles described in A. I often use these terms, and express them in ‘small caps’ in my books to distinguish them from the more familiar meanings of these 3 words. But if someone were to refer to them as “Larry”, “Curly” and “Moe”, they’d still just be metaphors. The words are labels; they have no power in and of themselves. The power is in the formless principles the words are pointing to.
C. The community of people interested in the formless principles Sydney Banks uncovered. The “Three Principles Community” is a loose-knit group of people who are interested (often passionately so) in the principles Syd articulated. The biggest challenge any movement has is outliving the death of its founder, and when I was introduced to the 3P community in 2009, it appeared to be shrinking. That has changed radically over the past 8 years (for a variety of reasons), and this understanding is now reaching many thousands of people around the world. I am a de facto member of this community, and have many dear friends, colleagues and clients who are also members of the community (pretty much by definition).
D. The belief systems and culture of the people in that community. Like any group of human beings, the Three Principles Community has a culture. This includes all the usual things that come with cultures, including beliefs and values, tales of heroes and villains, progressives and conservatives, conformity enforcers and diversity generators. The tensions between old and new, between ‘tried and tested’ and ‘leading edge’ is similar to that found in any community. The culture – beliefs and values – of the community is something I am interested in, but do my best not to be unduly influenced by.
E. A modality of transformational change work and education. There are many coaches, therapists, trainers, educators and consultants who use an understanding of the formless principles Sydney Banks articulated as the basis of their work with individuals, companies and communities. I am very interested in this work, and have devoted inordinately large amounts of time, money, energy and effort into deepening my understanding and developing greater effectiveness as a coach and trainer of this understanding.
F. A brand. This one shocked me when a 3P Pioneer first pointed it out to me. I had recently launched “3P University” back in 2011, and many members of the 3P Community were up in arms about it. A longstanding member of that community pulled me to one side and explained that “The Three Principles” was a brand; a brand that had a certain set of qualities associated with it. These qualities ranged from ‘feeling’ and ‘volume’ to ‘marketing style’ and other factors. I reflected on it deeply. It had never occurred to me that this was a brand. If it was a brand, what did it stand for? On the one hand, I saw a number of people using ‘the brand’ that were pristine in their grounding and impact. On the other hand, I saw many people presenting themselves under this brand who didn’t have these qualities. I decided that if ‘The Three Principles’ was a brand, it wasn’t a brand I wanted to associate myself and my work with. To be clear; as I said at the outset, this understanding is something I’m passionate about, and extremely grateful to have learned. What Syd insightfully uncovered and articulated holds untold promise for the future of humanity, and continues to transform my own life, and the lives of my clients.
There’s nothing I’m more passionate about, and so I have to be true to what makes sense to me in my choice of how I talk about it, and how I share it with the people I want to reach.
If you want to watch and listen to the full Facebook Live recording, you can access it in The Thriving Coaches Community Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1559740277665123/permalink/1640763739562776/