DietHobby & The Three Principles
- POSTED ON: Nov 03, 2017

DietHobby sells nothing.
No advertisements.
No specific diets, ways-of-eating, lifestyles, or non-diets. No books, clubs, supplements, foods, memberships.
DietHobby   is my personal experience in weight-loss and maintenance blog. All issues are addressed in a one-size-does-NOT-fit-all way as they interest me or apply to me.  I use DietHobby as a digital scrapbook, where I post and index - in a way that I find artistically satisfying - my thoughts, as well as writings, pictures and videos that I consider interesting or helpful.

Although this website is open to interested others, and it has many members and subscribers, all posts at my DietHobby website are first and foremost for me, personally. At age 70 I've lost any desire I ever had for fame and fortune, so although I sometimes share DietHobby posts in specific online groups, I make no efforts to "promote" this website.  At any time, a DietHobby member can easily change their choice to receive or not receive e-mail notifications of new posts.

As the many posts in the DietHobby ARCHIVES will show, I do lots of personal experimenting with different types of diets, lifestyles, ways-of-eating. I find that reviewing my previous posts is personally very helpful.

When I am involved in specific diet experiments, my posts tend to focus on that particular area.  I've been interested in learning about how a Three Principles approach might help me better deal with food issues, so there are frequent additions to my Blog Categories: "The 3 Principles"  collection here in my DietHobby scrapbook.

Note: This article has been bumped up for new viewers.  It was originally posted in June 2015.

Train of Thought
- POSTED ON: Nov 02, 2017

My emotions come from my own thoughts.  I am always feeling my own thinking.

I feel fear when the world I create inside my head seems like a dangerous place.

All kinds of thoughts pass through our minds, and as a part of the human design, those thoughts get experienced as feelings.

Imagine that the mind is like a train station. There are trains leaving all the time to any destination you can think of. Some trains will take you up into the mountains of ecstasy; others will take you down into the depths of despair. Some leave the station quickly but then lose steam and drop you off in the middle of nowhere. Others are slow to start but over time take you exactly where you want to go, even if you didn’t know where that was when you first got on board.

Now, imagine there was a foolproof way to instantly know whether a particular train of thought was taking you somewhere good. You wouldn’t have to ride the train all the way to its destination to find out where it was headed; you could simply hop off at the next station and wait for another train to come along.

 This is the role of fear in the human system:

Whenever you feel fear (or despair, or hopelessness, or anger, or any of the variations on that theme), it’s the design of the human system letting you know where that train of thought is heading.

It’s telling you to be still – to hop off that train as soon as you can, and wait for a new stream of thinking to come along.

It’s not telling you anything about the world or even about your capability – it’s simply telling you there’s nothing good waiting for you at the end of this particular train of thought.

It’s like pain – you feel a little bit of pain when you accidentally put your hand too close to a flame to prevent you from feeling a lot of pain if you continue on towards the fire. The discomfort of fear is there to warn you of the larger pain you’ll feel, if you continue on down that same thought path.

When I feel unwelcome emotions, and I remind myself that I am feeling my own thinking, it actually does reduce the intensity of that unpleasant emotion.  I’ve learned that If I remember to do this when I feel afraid, my fearful thoughts do become less frightening, and they go away more quickly.

We live in a world of thought. Every thought we have will eventually pass and will then be replaced other thoughts.  Thoughts come and go at random, and the more we focus on any particular train of thought, the longer it will stick around.

A great deal of human suffering is caused
by two misunderstandings:

1.  that our thoughts are meaningful;
          2.  that we can do anything about them.





This article contains paraphrases
of a post by Michel Neill,
author of “Inside Out” (2013)



This article was originally posted in 2016, and was bumped up for new viewers.

Review of the Three Principle Concept - Diet Review
- POSTED ON: May 04, 2016

As part of my ongoing Dieting Hobby, and my personal weight and food struggles, I've been investigating and experimenting with the Three Principles concept, which involves a shift away from the techniques of traditional Psychology.

The following article is an interesting, and thoroughly researched, overview of these concepts by a Cal Poly professor. He does not appear to a "practitioner", nor does he seem to support or to oppose the "Three Principles", and I find his outside perspective to be of value.

A Unified Field Theory of the Interior Life  (The 3 Principles)

         by Robert Inchausti, PhD

“Everything rests on a few ideas that are fearsome and cannot be looked at directly.” —Paul Valery

Sydney Banks (1931–2009) was a Scottish welder who had a mystical experience in 1973. He wrote a few books about his spiritual revelations and gave lectures. More importantly, he transformed the lives of a cadre of “post-therapy” psychotherapists who recast his ideas under variety of names, most notably “Health Realization Therapy” and “The Psychology of Mind.”

Banks’ ideas are currently experiencing a new resurgence under the moniker “The Three Principles.” Put simply, “The Three Principles” are a way of looking at the relationship between mind, thought, and consciousness that offers a kind of unified field theory of the interior life. Human beings are experience-generating animals, but the individual experiences we generate are the product of thoughts. It is our thoughts that shape the formless unknown into meaningful events and images. This is both a useful and disorienting thing since the process of human thinking takes us away from the limitless potential of absolute reality for the sake of a single, limited event or interpretation.

As a result each one of us lives in small, separate, psychological worlds of our own making. The problem is that we innocently believe that these worlds are outside of us, shaping our lives, when they are actually created from the inside out. When we move more deeply into these little worlds by thinking, we move even further from reality (limitless potential) into various narrow, imagined roles, needs, and identities.

This is really not something we can overcome. Human beings, by nature, must give up consciousness to engage in tasks and projects, and so end up innocently assuming their perceptions reflect reality when they are almost always and inevitably what the psychologists call projections.

We take our moods and insecurities as directives to think harder or take even more control over our lives — lives which we have already cut down to fit our small, particular culture-bound ambitions. The better road to mental health and happiness is to see these uncomfortable feelings as a signal to question our beliefs in order to rise to a higher level of consciousness.

According to Banks, our insecure feelings and anxious perceptions are always the product of emotionally driven ego states. In order to experience the deep security and peace of mind innate to every human being, we need only take our personal thoughts less seriously which, in turn, opens our minds up to natural contemplation and present-mindedness.

As human beings, we don’t know we have chosen such limited awareness or made habits of our fears, anxieties, and addictions until someone points this out to us because it seems so natural to be perpetually stressed and unhappy. It is only when something breaks through the complacency of our everyday lives — an illness maybe or a death in the family, great love or exceptional beauty — that we see through our false selves and limited worlds. Until this happens, we continue to blame our feelings of futility on the human condition. In fact, until we wake up from ordinary everyday despair, we will continue to imagine that all our problems are coming at us from the outside world and not through us via our own thoughts, ideas, and assumptions.

This is the “innocent” mistake all human beings make: forgetting that we are experiencing our thinking and taking our thinking for reality, and it takes a rebirth of innocence to overcome this convincing illusion.

Many of us, it turns out, are relatively high-functioning depressives suffering from general anxiety disorder and don’t even know it. And yet once we wake up to the fact that there is another part of us that sees through the roles we play and the thoughts we have, a formless consciousness peeking out at the world through a limited meat-spirit overlay conditioned and hypnotized by a conspiracy of illusions — we find our lives instantly transformed and return to our “normal” state of natural contemplation and psychological health.

Suddenly the hope we may have talked ourselves out of ten years earlier returns as an antidote to a self-inflicted despair. Or the dark thoughts we once worshiped shrink down to human size as we now realize how limited they are.

All human thoughts — even the thoughts of our so-called geniuses — are mere moments in the eternal, formless scheme of things. Once we see how we are situated with respect to thought, mind, and consciousness, we begin to appreciate — perhaps for the very first time — our own originality and existential uniqueness. We begin to see the ignorant perfection of ourselves as ordinary people whose ideas are just as limited and contingent as those of Kant and Hegel, but whose souls are just as limitless and large.

Luckily, as God and or as nature would have it, our feelings of alienation drive us to seek out a sense of true being to replace our limited thinking. This intuition of a transcendent absolute is our experience of the universal mind. It is that part of us that remains unconvinced by the world and unconvinced by our mere thinking. It is that part of us that recognizes the truth when we see it and connects us with being rather than becoming. This innate psychological health — or natural contemplation — then replaces the stressful thoughts born of our anxious, ego-driven attempts at self-management with present mindedness. In a phrase “The Three Principles” teach what Teresa of Ávila called “the thinking without thinking.”

Unlike other psychological systems that advocate various practices and protocols for achieving such liberation, Sydney Banks taught that it is enough just to see how we are situated within our own minds for the trance to be lifted. Any attempts to control thinking adds fuel to an already runaway fire of self-involvement. To get to our second innocence, we need only recognize ourselves as partial, yet unique, manifestations of universal divinity. Once we do this, even if just for a moment, we cannot go back to believing in our self-generated worlds of experience.

When this happens, all our private perceptions become suspect, and we suddenly find ourselves looking down upon and through ourselves from a new state of intellectual freedom. This gives us enough distance from our mistakes and life-long illusions to undo years of false posturing and self-limiting beliefs. Our anxious feelings settle down as our neurotic thinking becomes less real to us, and life’s hitherto unseen possibilities become present in ways not experienced since childhood. The unknown — which once frightened us — shows us a positive aspect we had previously. in our fear-driven state, not dared to take seriously.

Admittedly, there is not much new here, only the succinctness of the formulation and the operational definitions of the terms. Perhaps, most importantly, the willingness to believe in innate human goodness.

Sydney Banks, in a way, discovered a country already inhabited by every mystic, artist, and enlightened sane soul that ever lived. But what makes him important — and useful — is that the post-therapeutic therapy born of his revelation speaks directly to the prevailing neurosis of Western civilization: its self-mystification by its own ideas and media which have become echo chambers of false consciousness and fear.

Banks and his followers have not only noted, but described and explained exactly how this false one-dimensional emotionally driven consciousness multiples itself within and around us. In our ego-driven, meme overloaded lives, we have become occupied from within by false names and pseudo-hierarchies — by thought idols, images, heroes, and terrifying systems — which take precedent over our own native intelligence and self-worth.

The good news announced is that our depression, self-doubt, and addictions all exist in our consciousness first and foremost as thoughts we choose to entertain, and so we can decide whether or not we wish to be duped by them. We are the ones creating the pain and suffering for ourselves held hostage by our intellectual interpretations. Michael Neill, author of The Inside Out Revolution put it this way:

“When our thoughts look real, we live in a world of suffering. When they look subjective, we live in a world of choice. When they look arbitrary, we live in a world of possibility. And when we see them as illusory, we wake up inside a world of dreams.”

As any meditator or contemplative will tell you, thoughts condition our experience but thoughts are not who we are nor do they accurately mirror the world. Thoughts are partial, functional, and transitory metaphysical fixes and forms — momentarily efficient causes and disposable mantras that make up our fleeting experience of formless existence.

Our so-called identities are composed of the thoughts we choose to take seriously. Knowing this, we can unravel the imaginary selves we believe ourselves (or others) to be, the selves we struggle against or despair over. Our minds can then take their rightful place as servants to the universal mind, and when this second innocence occurs, we begin to live unconventionally again, spontaneously, joyfully, and creatively.

I do not think it was any accident a Scottish Canadian welder formulated these ideas in 1973 at the height of the counter-culture where thoughts such as these were floating around in the lyrics to almost every song one heard on the radio. Sydney Banks wasn’t the only one enlightened in those days, but he was unique in the way he articulated what he had come to see, and he was able to inspire an impressive array of authentically inspired students and disciples who continue his work.

In the 1980s Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys rock 'n’ roll band coined the slogan “Don’t Fight the Media, Become the Media,” and that turned out to not be the best advice. It matters very little who broadcasts illusions or how large an audience one garners for one’s thoughts if those thoughts merely spread more false beliefs and negative values. And although in a media culture, it may seem that perceptions are reality, in an enlightened state of consciousness and being, they never are.

The so-called war of ideas that makes up the intellectual life of our republic is a war of thoughts. And thoughts are never what they appear to be, never the solid things our egos think they are.

Thoughts, as Sydney Banks has pointed out, are merely projected illusions that have at best a temporary usefulness but no actual metaphysical substance. Seeing their true relationship to pure consciousness should breed in all of us a tolerance for one another’s tiny thought-driven lives, for our own past blunders, and from the intellectual overreach of both our friends and enemies
. Only then will the war of ideas give way to a world where no one takes themselves or their leaders too seriously, and we all recognize each other for who and what we truly are: equally empty, equally divine, equally becoming the Christ-Buddha.

The human mind, as it turns out, contains its own self-correcting mechanism in its perpetual longing for beauty and truth — feelings that take us back to natural contemplation if we would only get out of its way.

Robert Inchausti
is a professor of English at California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly). He is the author of five books and the editor of two anthologies of Thomas Merton's writings. His first book The Ignorant Perfection of Ordinary People was nominated for a National Book Award. His book on classroom teaching, Spitwad Sutras, is taught in teacher education programs across the country.

Books by Robert Inchausi:

  • Thinking through Thomas Merton: Contemplation for Contemporary Times (2014)
  • Subversive Orthodoxy: Outlaws, Revolutionaries, and Other Christians in Disguise, (2012, 2005)
  • Echoing Silence: Thomas Merton on the Vocation of Writing (2007)
  • The Pocket Thomas Merton (Shambhala Pocket Classics), (2005)
  • Breaking the Cultural Trance (Insight and Vision in America), (2004)
  • Seeds (2002)
  • Thomas Merton's American Prophecy (1998)
  • Spitwad Sutras: Classroom Teaching as Sublime Vocation (1993)
  • The Ignorant Perfection of Ordinary People (Suny Series in Constructive Postmodern Thought)  (1991)


For more about my personal struggles and the 3 Principles concept, see my previous article: Beliefs.  Also, my article on Navigation issues could be helpful.

Here in my digital scrapbook, DietHobby, the collection of articles and videos involving that Three Principles issue are under BLOG CATEGORIES - The 3 Principles so that clicking on that link on the right-hand side of this page will provide easy access to all of them.

Also, the link on the right side of this page entitled:
Contents Directory
can help with DietHobby Navigation issues in general.

NOTE: Originally posted earlier in 2016, and reposted for new viewers.


- POSTED ON: May 03, 2016


I’ve been researching the Three Principles concept and how it might be useful to me in my struggles with food and weight. This has led me to reflect on the issue of beliefs… the beliefs that we all carry around with us.

A belief is just an idea that, for various reasons, we have picked up and entertained. Basically, we’ve picked up a thought and repeated it inside our heads so many times that we come to believe it is true. When people hear or see something a great many times, they often mistakenly consider it to be Truth.

We are often totally unaware of many of the beliefs we carry around, and even when we see how they limit us, we are not inclined to let them go.

If we feel really threatened we can think some seriously stupid things in order to defend our Beliefs. Like: “I’d rather be dead than be fat”.  Even if we don’t mean it literally (although some people do), and that statement merely resonates within us, there’s no mistaking the fact that a Core Belief is inside us, which is a belief we are willing to fight for.

We tend to protect our beliefs because even when we know they limit us, they give us a feeling of safety. Sometimes we don’t care how strange we might act, or how miserable we make ourselves, just as long as we feel safe.

We have blind spots about many of our beliefs. Deep down inside we might know they’re there, but at best, we only can get a sense of them. They hide in the shadows of our minds, creating confusion with whispering voices. While not all beliefs cause discomfort, it could be useful to be able to see the ones that do.

Recently, I heard a Three Principles person say:

…That the first step to freedom from our limiting and unwanted beliefs is to see them; that when they become clear to us, it is easy to determine which ones we might wish to keep, and which ones we want to get rid of.

…That once we see the true nature of such a belief, it goes away all by itself,…. because it is merely an idea, made of thought. And because beliefs=thoughts have no life of their own they hold no power over us once we decide to let them go. It is like having unwanted guests in your home, like thoughts, the best way to get them out of your home is to stop entertaining them. A thought cannot think itself.

When unwanted guests leave your home it’s a big relief. Your home gets more quiet, you have more space. Life is also better without the burden of thoughts which are unwanted guests in our minds.

Treat your thoughts and ideas as guests in your home.

Be kind to all and stop entertaining
the ones that you don’t care for,

they will leave by themselves.

You Get What You Get (and don't throw a fit)
- POSTED ON: Apr 30, 2016


I need
to remember this.


You Get What You Get
(and don't throw a fit)
by Dr. Amy Johnson, PhD

A couple years ago my daughter, Willow, came home from preschool repeating something her teacher had said in class.

You get what you get, and don’t throw a fit.

Maybe you’ve heard this before. I hadn’t, and I instantly loved it. Not only because it put a stop to a lot of “it’s not fair” arguments (it really did!), but because it struck me as an incredibly helpful and accurate statement about life in general.

You get what you get. You can throw a fit…but what good will that do?

All of our suffering comes from getting what we get and throwing a fit. When I say “all”, I mean 100%.

We’re going to feel pain. Pain is fine—it’s human, safe, and naturally pretty short-lived. But suffering is different. Suffering is the byproduct of arguing with reality. When we cling to what our mind wants and tell life that it messed up—it wasn’t supposed to be this way—we suffer.

We get what we get.

We get what we get from the world around us—things happen, people leave, bodies get sick, companies downsize, feelings and minds change. Life unfolds as life unfolds and it isn’t about us. We just stand in the middle of it, feeling whatever thinking happens to be passing through our minds in each and every moment.

Life unfolding as it unfolds, and us in the middle feeling our thinking, are two totally independent things.

You get what you get, so why throw a fit?

And we get what we get from our inner worlds too—thought arises, brains revert to old patterns, emotion lingers, we fall into behaviors that we later regret. We aren’t in control of what shows up within us any more than we’re in control of the world outside of us. Seeing that provides a choice—throw a fit vs. don’t throw a fit.

When you see that you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit, you find that you’re incredibly, unbelievably resilient. What you get no longer looks like such a problem. You might like it or you might dislike it and that’s fine too, because you get what you get and then you get something else.

Don’t dig your heels in the ground and fight it. Be like water. Let it all flow, flow with it, and look upstream toward the source of what’s next.

You get what you get and life is far easier when you don’t throw a fit.

By the way…since the original “you get what you get” statement seriously decreased the fighting and resistance in our house, we’ve come up with several others (you eat what you eat and don’t stomp your feet; you sleep when you sleep so don’t make a peep; you’re quiet when you’re quiet so don’t cause a riot…). Feel free to use these to promote peace in your home too. They work equally well with children and adults.


NOTE:  Originally posted in October 2015.  Reposted for new viewers.

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2000+ Blogs and 500+ Videos in DietHobby reflect my personal experience in weight-loss and maintenance. One-size-doesn't-fit-all, and I address many ways-of-eating whenever they become interesting or applicable to me.

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