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The Three Principles

William James, who is regarded as the father of modern psychology, once wrote that the field of psychology had no true principles. He said if such principles were ever realized on a large scale, it would make the importance of every human advancement since fire pale in comparison.


As always, it’s our choice to decide what’s true for ourselves, but the three principles behind psychological life are: Mind, Consciousness, and Thought (MCAT). From formlessness, Mind produces a formed Thought and Consciousness brings this thought form to life via our senses. It’s as simple (simplistic?) as: Mind->Thought->Consciousness.

Three Principles

As long as we are alive, the MCAT trinity is in continuous operation. Whether we’re aware that this irreducible, equation-less, metaphysical system is operating silently in the background of our psyche or not, that’s how we experience psychological life moment-to-moment.

Of the three principles, “thought” is what we are intimately familiar with. Unlike formless “mind” and formless “consciousness“, we can directly “see and feel” our thought forms in real-time. Thus, from the instant we wake up in the morning until we go to sleep at night, we act on them as they spontaneously emerge during the day.


Note that the universal MCAT trio is impersonal. It doesn’t say anything… nada… zilch… about quality of “thought“. That’s where the “personal” you and I come in.

As soon as we become aware of an impersonally created thought, we instantaneously attach a level of personal “I-ness” and judgmental quality to the thought. Thus, hypothetically given the same thought, you can experience its associated feeling as joy and I can experience it as sorrow. Ergo, quality of thought is personal.

Personal Thought

  1. aawwa
    February 24, 2013 at 8:00 am

    I was quite excited to see your blog topic today! A few years ago I attended several workshops to learn about the Three Principles. I have some scratchy looking diagrams where I tried to make sense of it all – your diagrams are great. I have some of Syd’s books and a large supply of cassettes (remember them? – before CD’s :-)). I still have a cassette player so I will have to dig them out and have a listen. It is great stuff but sometimes a reminder is good – I tend to forget unless prompted, so thanks!

    • February 24, 2013 at 8:16 am

      No, thank you! I’m tickled pink that anyone would be excited to read a BD00 post 🙂

      I’ve got a boatload of audio cassettes too – mostly from Syd and George Pransky! I’ve also got a bunch of video cassettes and all of Syd’s books along with a bunch of books from 3P practitioners: Mills, Flood, Carlson, Bailey, Kausen, Spittle. Teachings based on T3P are called different names (Innate Health, Psychology Of Mind, Health Realization) so it’s nice to see them integrated under 3pgc.org. T3P have made a positive difference in my life but I am by no means “cured” – the search continues.

  1. February 25, 2013 at 5:24 am

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