WHO AM I?
THE TRUEST ANSWER IS…
I am a manifestation in form (body and brain) of the form-less, intelligent, conscious creative energy of Divine MIND, which many call ‘God’.
Pssst….so are you and everything you see.
When you see that is true, feel free to share it with others.
Meeting Sydney Banks and the Three Universal Principles
For nearly twenty years I had struggled with intermittent depression, which had at times almost immobilized me. During this time, I sought help from six different psychiatrists. Each of them was a caring professional who had helped me stay afloat so that I had not required hospitalization or even a break from my educational and professional life. I had come to fear that my life would be like this until I died.
Mr. Banks was pointing to fresh hope.
It had appeared to me, reinforced by those I sought help from, that the intermittent bouts of depression were inevitable. You see I was told that I was in fact ‘broken and lacking. The causes of my depression were genetic, hereditary, and biochemical combined with the omnipresence of ‘stress-causing circumstances and challenges that faced anyone who engaged in life fully.
Mr. Banks was pointing to fresh hope that there was an answer.
Prior to that day, I had been on the road to getting to be ‘right’ about all of this. In my ignorance and thought-created insecurity, I had often lumbered, rumbled, stumbled, tumbled, and bungled along and many times had run into, bumped, and been hurtful to others. All the time appearing to be ‘successful’ to many.
I had been married for 10 years, divorced for three years, and remarried my first wife Sue about one year before. Despite the love that had brought us back together, we were once again struggling in our relationship and likely heading toward a second divorce. By the way, there were two precious children involved in this drama, Ann 6, and Dan 4 1/2
Mr. Banks was pointing to fresh hope that this could change.
I do see now that our caring and love were genuine but that it was often shrouded and out of sight due to our innocent misuse of the powerful and creative gift of Thought. Me more than she!
Not understanding the connection between our spiritual nature and our psychological nature has significant repercussions in every aspect of life. Despite twenty-six and one-half years of formal education, I had no clue that;
- Every human being experiences their own unique and separate realities.
- No One was Broken or Lacking, in what was important.
- Everyone had a Wisdom-based guidance system pointing the way at all times.
- All my feelings were thought-created phenomena.
- Happiness was inside of me and not in the external world.
- Every experience I have is thought-created (either conscious or unconscious).
- Love and understanding are the source of creation, life, and experience.
- Every person is an expression in form of the formless energy of life.
Mr. Banks was pointing to all this and much more.
Within thirty minutes of listening quietly, I felt a lightness, and hope that I had not felt since early childhood and the fear-filled indoctrination of a judging and punishing God.
Metaphorically speaking, hundreds of pounds fell from my chest and I felt the breath of life and light pulsating through me. I recalled experiencing this feeling before as a four-year-old standing in shallow water on the bank of the Mississippi River ‘fishing’ with my father and great uncle, Barney.
Sometime later I heard Mr. Banks say that one genuine insight can bring more change to one’s life than an entire lifetime of experience and education. I often wonder if he had said that in some form early on. For in retrospect that is what happened. I truly had been granted a ‘Second Chance’ and a fresh start in life.
The guilt and shame of my past mistakes and failures began to fall away as I saw my own ignorance, lostness, and yes ‘psychological innocence’. That day I began my journey to a place of more consistently accepting ‘responsibility’ both for my experience and my behavior, without burden.
I had left the practice of psychiatry after realizing that it did not have the answers for me or others who were hoping to experience mental well-being on a consistent basis.
What I heard on April 1, 1983, from this ordinary man who had an extraordinary experience in August of 1973 awoke a new awareness — this was accompanied by the insight that significantly changed the course of my mental well-being, my approach to clinical practice, and my life.
As I spent more time in conversation with Syd, l started to incrementally change how I navigated my closest relationships and responded to troublesome emotions. I started listening to others with more respect and less judgment. I reacted less to anger and other negative feelings. I began to trust that leaving my thinking alone when upset allowed my mind to quiet and more often brought me to the feeling, and solution that I desired.
In short, I was beginning to see that my mental health was not something that needed constant monitoring and repairing, but rather, something that was always innate and whole.
I returned to the clinical practice of psychiatry, experiencing a renewed level of personal well-being and a previously unappreciated awareness of the spiritual nature of life. I also began to see this same fundamental well-being at the essence of EVERY client who came to my practice.
For nearly 40 years now, I have seen people’s innate mental well-being reawakened, despite the labels and diagnoses given to them. I have witnessed countless stories of hope and change, inspired by individuals who found understanding and peace of mind when they (and others) previously thought it was impossible.
These stories of hope, and the important message that they convey about the true nature of mental health, are what move me to continue joyfully sharing what I have realized.
In December 2018, I retired from the clinical practice of psychiatry. Since then I have continued to share the metaphor of the 3 Universal Principles of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought, which endeavor to explain the connection between our spiritual nature and our psychological and physical natures. I do this as a mentor and mental health educator in the immense value and rewards of ‘rested well-being’
I have done so through the creation of five online courses, individual and group consultations, podcasts, programs, and presentations nationally and internationally.
Having celebrated my 80th birthday this May I have created a four-year plan of writing, chronicling my 40-year journey since the 1983 April Fool’s day that, over time, radically transformed the quality of my life. For this, I am deeply grateful.
My Professional Bio
I had shared the Three Principles within my psychiatric practice for more than 35 years at the time of my retirement from clinical psychiatry in 2018. I was mentored personally for over 26 years by Sydney Banks. I earned an undergraduate degree from Creighton University and an M.D. degree from the University of Illinois. I was previously board–certified in adult, adolescent, geriatric psychiatry, and psycho-somatic (mind-body) medicine. I was twice certified in addiction medicine. I have over 20 years of experience as an academic teacher and presently hold an appointment as an Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Creighton University School of Medicine.
After graduating from medical school in 1969, I spent two years (of a five year residency) in general surgery before resigning in a state of physical and emotional ‘burnout’. I received an award as an outstanding resident in my first year. However, the intense work schedule combined with my level of understanding led to the decision to start fresh. After a brief stint as a Chicago area Emergency Room physician, I was drafted into the U.S Navy where I served from 1971 to 1980. These 9 years were divided into three-year periods. The first three years were spent as a Navel Flight Surgeon, a physician for a squadron of pilots. It was during this time that I came to realize the connection between our mental state and our physical state. This was a major factor in my choice to become a psychiatrist. Thus, the next three years were spent in residency training in Psychiatry. After completing my residency, I served my final three years as the Chief of Psychiatry at the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine base in Groton, Connecticut.
Since 1983 I have been a student and sharer of the connection between our spiritual nature, and our psychological and physical natures, as pointed to by the metaphor of the Three Universal Principles. I have presented at many national and international programs, and consulted with individuals and organizations both locally and abroad.
Since June of 2017, my wife Linda and I have been residing in Pheonix Arizona. Presently, I am devoting my time and energy to chronicling my 40-year journey exploring and sharing the Three Universal Principles, creating and presenting Master Mentor Courses, and consulting with individuals and small groups.