Sydney Banks was a minimally educated Scottish labourer who, in the 1970s, had a spontaneous and inexplicable spiritual awakening. He truly was an enlightened man – a master wilfully reincarnated into a lowly station, no doubt – and shortly after his experience he quit his long term labouring job and, with no plan, embarked on his life’s work of spreading the truth about the nature of reality. He founded the Three Principles philosophy and spent the remainder of his life lecturing. He repeatedly taught that enlightenment could not be communicated through words – because words are form, and enlightenment entails understanding the true spiritual reality, which exists before form came into being. It is formless. That is why in the below quote, he says that the problems of the universe can be solved “only from here” – that is, only from within.
I found his words about the dream state being more real than the waking state to be particularly striking. With only a superficial understanding of their meaning, the words may sound like a vacuous Instagram quote – but with a deeper understanding, they become powerful fuel for meditation. With a true spiritual understanding, they contain the essence of all there is to be known about the true nature of life. This is one of my favourite sections from all of Banks’ lectures. Its true meaning will reveal itself with multiple readings, and some meditation.
Read on for the enlightened words of a truly humble, generous man – a true master, Sydney Banks:
“What everybody searches for lies within their own self. It’s an identity that you’ve lost. That’s what it is – it’s an identity that you’ve lost. It’s you – you’re lost. Not you the body; not you the little mind; but the energy – the true you – the true self. That thing that lies inside is a spiritual reality that lies within. And if you can see past what you see now and look within, and find a spiritual reality then the reality that you now see changes. Because the reality that you now see is the illusion – it is a dream. It’s called life. And it’s perfect. It’s a perfect dream. And nothing in this dream can be wrong. Nothing. It only appears wrong to the mind because only from the mind are there wrongs. And it’s the same mind that has created the life that we now see. It’s the creator of its own fear; but if you look within, there’s a greater creation. There’s the very essence of life. There inside you lies the place of the space where the dream is dreamt. And all you have to do is wake up. It’s like when you’re having a nightmare – and it’s real. You feel the pain. You feel the fear. You feel the hate. You feel everything in the nightmare – and it’s true. What you see is true; it really is – it’s as true in that reality as it is now. As a matter of fact, in the dream state, you are closer to the true reality of life than you are when you’re awake focusing only from your mind. But if you’re having a nightmare and you wake up, you know the feeling – you say ‘thank God it was just a nightmare.’ And this is the same as waking up spiritually. You start to wake up. The second you see your first spiritual fact – your Christ consciousness is touched. And at that second, that is when you start to wake up. And if you ever truly wake up, you’ll wake up from the nightmare to the beautiful, absolute truth of the inner self – the oneness; the realisation that all things are one single divine thought, broken up into pieces via Christ conscious states and the illusion of mankind. We have forgotten how to wake up to see what is instead of what isn’t. Because what we see really – really – isn’t real. The true reality lies within. And if you can go within, from here – and only from here – only from here can the troubles and the problems of the universe be solved.”