I was introduced to the Three Principles in 2011. I wasn’t looking for an introduction. I was simply pursuing a coaching certification to add to my qualifications. Steve Hardison recommended Michael Neill’s Supercoach Academy, and who was I to argue with “The Ultimate Coach.” Little did I know that Michael Neill was in the midst of his own “inside-out revolution” and was in the process of reorganizing his school around the teachings of the Three Principles. On one of the Supercoach weekends, I heard George and Linda Pransky speak. I was drawn in. I wanted to learn more. I could tell by my feeling state that I was being impacted, but my intellect had no idea why.
I went on to study with Michael individually, and then to complete the Pransky Mentorship program. It took me a long time to see the difference in what the Three Principles offered. I am so grateful for my training at the University of Santa Monica in Spiritual Psychology. This laid the foundational understanding of a spiritual context, and at first I could not see the difference between the two teachings. This is understandable since no one person or teaching owns the truth. In fact, the truth can’t even be spoken. We can only do our best to point in the direction of truth so that people can have their own experience of it.
What captured me with the Three Principles is the teaching’s fundamental commitment to not use a technique or techniques to support awakening in consciousness. Their methodology is one of conversation and education. There is a clear commitment to not adding on anything unnecessary. The use of techniques is seen as moving further away from the experience of a quiet mind and peace that is our natural state.
I know it is possible for me to sound like a born-again Three Principles zealot because of the profound impact the teachings have had on my life. I am, however, clear there is no one way. It is only my intention to share the simplicity of the understanding because of its impact on my peace of mind and the quality of my life.
I saw from my understanding of the principles that we are already awakened. That is our natural state. We do not need to work at our awakening. Having an understanding of what gets in the way of us experiencing our authentic self is what helps.
This understanding doesn’t mean that we drop into the experience of our true nature and never come out of it. It does mean that when I am not experiencing the loving of my authentic self and suffering on some level, knowing what is happening to me is helpful. Even if I can’t help myself from being temporarily gripped by illusory thoughts that look like reality, knowing this is what is happening, helps me to not take my experience so seriously and to ride it out more gracefully.
This allows me to be less anxious and scared when I get upset so the natural buoyancy of my authentic self can rise more easily to my conscious awareness. The more relaxed I am, the quieter my mind is, and the easier it is for me to regain my natural state. My wisdom will guide me. Knowing I will always eventually stabilize allows me to let go rather than be tense and freaked out as I was in the past.
Previously, I thought I had to do something when I was upset. I thought my upset meant something was wrong, and it was my job to work on myself so that I didn’t get upset. Now I see I don’t need to work at this at all. I don’t need to stress over my humanness and my capacity to get gripped by illusory thoughts and feel disconnected from my true nature. I understand what is happening when it happens. By having this awareness, I find I am accepting myself more and getting upset less. Not because I am working at it, but because I understand the dynamics of what is going on. The understanding is what has changed my experience.
This is the power of the Three Principles, and of all the spiritual teachings that illuminate the power of thought in our lives. The leverage is in the description of how our human operating system works. There is no prescription because awakening occurs through a shift in perception. It is an inner transformation that transpires independent of anything outside of us. Just as Marcel Proust stated, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
With this understanding, I am empowered to choose. I know my natural state will eventually come into the foreground. I don’t need to make that happen. It will happen naturally. Just like water settles, so will my mind. I don’t need to work at it. This is my birthright, just as it is yours.
I am the only one who can separate myself from the experience of my natural state. I have to put effort into the illusion of being separate from my true self. It takes work to not experience what is.
When I put effort into fixing myself, I am forgetting there is no self in the first place. This is the difference between an orientation toward self-improvement and self-awareness versus understanding.
Self-improvement is such a lot of work for a self that doesn’t exist. The real liberation comes from seeing there is nothing there to fix — only pure potential to bring to life.