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  • Writer's pictureAntti Vanhanen

Over 130 Sydney Banks Quotes

Sydney Banks (1931-2009) was an ordinary working man who experienced a sudden and profound spiritual enlightenment in 1973.

In the 36 years that followed, he shared unparalleled insights about who and what we are as human beings, and went on to articulate the understanding known as the Three Principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness.

Known as the theologist who wrote more books than he read in his life, Sydney's ability to articulate his insights in simple, plain language has helped countless people realize their true nature.

This is an extensive collection of Sydney's best quotes and insights.


Note: Some of the quotes are from Sydney's books, which means they have been proofread and edited by people who may not have had the same level of understanding as Sydney. Please use your own judgement when reading, and don't take everything as gospel.

Sydney Banks (1931-2009)

“If the only thing that people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world."

“We are one with no separation except for the illusion we have of our bodies.”

“If we can forgive everyone, regardless of what he or she may have done, we nourish the soul and allow our whole being to feel good. To hold a grudge against anyone is like carrying the devil on your shoulders. It is our willingness to forgive and forget that casts away such a burden and brings light into our hearts, freeing us from many ill feelings against our fellow human beings.”

“Wisdom is available everyday throughout the world... if you can hear it.”

“You must put action to your thoughts in order for them to come alive.”

“What you're looking for is in the most hidden place...right under your nose.”

“As the human mind ascends in divine consciousness the gap between subject and object begins to vanish and the oneness of life emerges.”

”You are as close to Truth right this second as you ever will be. Why don’t you just learn to relax and appreciate what you have in life? When you do, I guarantee that you’ll stand a far greater chance of finding what you are looking for than by running all over the world looking for it.”

“It is the now that takes you from living in the darkness of yesterday’s negative memories and turns the darkness into light. Remember, my friend, darkness cannot survive in the midst of light snd living in the now is that light.”

"Ego is only what you think you are and what you think of life, nothing more, nothing less.”

"Love is a mind free of all negativity.”

"The solution to outwardly complex problems created by misguided thought will not arise from complicated analytical theory, but will emerge as an insight wrapped in a blanket of simplicity.”

"To hold a grudge against anyone is like carrying the devil on your shoulders.”

"When the answers are complicated, it's the Intellect. When the answers are simple, it's the Spirit."

"You've got to die, to live."

“All you have to do is realize that the past is now only a ghostly memory kept alive by digging into the archives of your stagnated memories.”

“An important thing to realize is that Universal Mind and personal mind are not two minds thinking differently, but two ways of using the same mind.”

“From the tiniest atom to the greatest mountain on earth, all life is one infinite ball of pulsating consciousness.”

“Humility isn't thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

“Let your negative thoughts go. They are nothing more than passing thoughts. You are then on your way to finding the peace of mind you seek.”

“It is forgiveness that allows you to see today as a new experience.”

“Mental health lies within the consciousness of all human beings, but it is shrouded and held prisoner by our own erroneous thoughts.”

“In clearing our minds, we may have to give up something to receive something.”

“Mind is the spiritual power that activates the human brain. Mind is one of the greatest mysteries on earth.”

“One of the most beautiful things that any human can realize is the mystical bridge between the form and the formless. Thought is that bridge.”

“Our eyes are the windows to the soul, and only when our eyes are free of yesterday's scratches will we see today with any clarity.”

“Self importance is thinking you are important in this life. You must realize that in reality we are nothing but pure energy playing the game of life with the illusion of the body. One must get away from the body into self.”

“The belief that it takes time to find wisdom is one of the greatest fallacies on earth. Wisdom is not learned - it is unfolded from within.”

“Limitation is always illusion. Relax. Stay still. Wait until the wisdom talk to you, as it will.”

“Universal Consciousness enables us to perceive existence; personal consciousness allows us to deal with our circumstances.”

“Thought is not reality; yet it is through Thought that our realities are created. It is what we as humans put into our thoughts that dictates what we think of life.”

“We all have what we call a free will and a free mind. And this free will and free mind, nobody but nobody can take it from you. It is yours. But there’s a little trick to this free will and free mind. Because this free will and free mind is what holds you prisoner. It’s what keeps you in hell. It’s what keeps you in ignorance. Because you have chosen to use your own free will in this game of life, this illusion, instead of submitting this so called free will to the will of God. Because the will of God in actual fact is the only will that exists.”

“You are one thought away from happiness, one thought away from sadness. The secret lies in thought.”

Sydney Banks

"Someone once said to me, 'Are you telling me that chair isn't real, that it's only thought?' I said 'Of course the chair is real. But it comes to you via Thought’.”

“Life is like any other contact sport; you’re gonna get your knocks. But it’s not the knocks that count, it’s how you handle them. If you handle them with anger, distrust, jealousy, hate, this in return is what you’re going to get. But if you handle these knocks with love and understanding, they don’t mean much. They just dissipate.”

“Mind is not brain. Neither is it a thing or a thought. It is a psychic force which acts as a catalyst and turns thought, whether conscious or unconscious, into the reality you now see.”

“In every area of life everyone is capable of seeing from a higher perspective than they do now. You are never stuck. You're simply limited by the level you are seeing from. Limitation is always illusion. Just wait. Relax. Stay still. Wait until the wisdom talks to you.”

“Take that rose bush, for example. We are all looking at the same plant, but our perception of it varies according to the way we each think and see. One person may see a vigorous rose, another may see a rose that could benefit from a little pruning, and a third may see a mess that no amount of attention would save. The rose bush isn't changing; it's the way we personally perceive it that differs, the way each of us thinks that colors our perception.”

“Somewhere in the innermost recesses of our consciousness lie the answers to the questions all mankind seeks. As our consciousness descends, we lose our feelings of love and understanding, and experience a world of emptiness, bewilderment and despair. As our consciousness ascends, we regain purity of Thought and, in turn, regain our feelings of love and understanding.”

“The state of no thought is when the personal thought system finds perfect stillness, transcending time, space, and matter and finds the true nature of Mind.“

“Followers fail. They readily adopt another’s beliefs and cease to think for themselves. Never follow the words of others blindly, or you will take on another person’s reality. You will only hinder your progress by seeking fool’s gold. Use your own common sense.”

“Love and understanding harmonize the mind of humanity to its true inner nature. What you give in life is what you receive. To give love is to receive love. A mind full of love and good feelings can never go wrong. Love and forgiveness go hand-in-hand. Without them, life is encumbered by ill feelings and unhappiness.”

“When our minds are in unity with that which is good, then our thoughts no longer hold us prisoner to that which is evil. When you start to see the power of Thought and its relationship to your way of observing life, you will better understand yourself and the world in which you live. To find that which you seek, discard all thought that there is a separation between the spiritual and the physical world.”

“Throughout time, human beings have experienced insights that spontaneously and completely changed their behaviour and their lives, bringing them happiness they previously had thought impossible. Finding wisdom has nothing to do with time. Achieving mental stability is a matter of finding healthy thoughts from moment to moment. Such thoughts can be light years or a second away.”

“Within the soul of all human beings, there lies an innate spiritual knowledge that has the power to repair mental disturbances … not through analyzing their thoughts, but by seeing the power of thought itself.”

“It is listening that allows you to receive the feeling. It is the feeling that has the power, not the knowledge.”

“Happiness does not depend on worldly possessions. Nay, my daughter, happiness lies deep in the recesses of your soul and emerges as a gift.”

“If you have bad thoughts, and you don’t do anything about them, you’re ok.”

“Gratitude is the lubricant for a happy life.”

“As the human mind ascends in divine consciousness, the gap between subject and object begins to vanish and the oneness of life emerges.”

"You are society. Change yourself and the world will change.”

"There is no human being more spiritual than you. Everybody is equal. You are as good as anybody on this earth. The only reason you don’t see it is because of your thoughts.”

"Everyone is doing the best they can giving the thinking they have that looks real to them."

"Going back into the past to fix yesterday's negative memories is like trying to blow out an electric light bulb.“

"Life is like any other contact sport. You may encounter hardships of one sort or another. Wise people find happiness not in the absence of such hardships, but in their ability to understand them when they occur."

"Our feelings are evidence of our mental well-being. Find positive and loving feelings, for they will guide you through life far better.”

"Somewhere in the innermost recesses of our consciousness lie the answers to the questions all mankind seeks.”

"There is an enormous difference between finding your own inner wisdom and adopting someone else's beliefs."

"To find wisdom, elevate your consciousness. Seek a grateful feeling for what you already have in life.”

“A mind full of love and good feelings can never go wrong.”

“All feelings derive and become alive, whether negative or positive, from the power of Thought.”

“Desirelessness is… love, happiness, beauty, contentment, being now.”

“Every one of us has a mental waste basket and we would all be a lot healthier if we learned to use it.“

“Forgiveness releases you from mental anguish and pain, and all the horrible negative feelings an unforgiving mind experiences.”

“I do not ask anyone to ignore their past experiences. Instead seek a clearer understanding of the past, realize that the negative feelings and emotions from past traumatic experiences are no longer true. They are merely memories, a collection of old, stale thoughts.”

“Knowledge without feeling is simply memorized words, and is of little value. Positive feelings make words come alive.”

“It is said that the truly wise do not see the form, but the formless, seeing each other as the true aloha spirit, encased in human form.”

“Lives have changed because they heard something REGARDING their thoughts - not thru analyzing their thoughts but by seeing the POWER of Thought.”

“It doesn't seem to matter who they are. As soon as they connect their own thoughts to their way of seeing life, they just seem to change.”

“Life is like any other contact sport, you may encounter hardships of one kind or another. Wise people find happiness not in the absence of such hardships but in their ability to understand them when they occur.”

“Neither I nor anyone else can communicate True Knowledge with mere words because it is not an intellectual hearing.”

“Original thought lies deep within the soul of all human beings and is revealed by a true realization - an insight beyond the intellect."

“Similar to the artist's painting, the words of the wise have created only a psychological illusion. A psychological illusion is our personal interpretation of such knowledge. The knowledge you seek can only be explained as a metaphor.”

“Our feelings are the barometer of the soul. They are the measure of our thinking.“

“So, like the blind man, close your eyes. Like the deaf man, block your ears, go inside and realise… that which you seek has been there within.”

“Our feelings are evidence of our mental wellbeing. Find positive and loving feelings, for they will guide you through life better than grudges.”

“That the deaf man cannot hear the sound of the crashing ocean waves, or the blind man cannot see the beauty of an autumn sky, does not mean that the sea and the sky do not exist.”

“Sometimes one genuine insight is worth all your previous experiences in life.”

“Our thoughts are the camera, our eyes are the lens. Put them together and the picture we see is reality.”

“The ego and our intellect are functions of our personal minds, whereas wisdom is a function of the spirit. One is mortal, the other immortal.”

“Universal Thought, accompanied by our free will, gives us the ability to experience life. How you use this gift is entirely up to you.”

“Thought is the missing link that literally everyone is looking for.”

“We must be willing to give up our body and life as we now see it. When we do this, we find out we haven't given up anything at all.”

“This knowledge I leave to you cannot be bought for silver or gold. This knowledge I speak of lies within the very soul of all human beings.”

“When people search for truth, they often look in two directions - at the form and at the formless - creating the idea of duality in life.”

“There is a vast difference between forgiving a person, and forgiving an act.”

“Wisdom is the antibiotic of the soul.”

“This inner world, is a spiritual world, it’s a spiritual reality and it actually exists. As a matter of fact, it is the only thing that does exist. And this spiritual reality is found through your own mind, not your personal mind, but your own mind. This own mind is the only mind that exists, this own mind belongs to the “I am”. The only existence that lives is the I am-ness. And it’s found through giving up the little mind, to find the true mind, which is the mind of God, which is all things.”

“Words are merely a form. Listen not to words, but to that which words attempt to convey. Remember… it is not the clay that represents the sculpture, but the form the artist has molded it into. Just like the clay of the sculpture, thought is not reality. However, our personal realities are molded via our thoughts.”

“Among the greatest gifts given to us are the powers of free thought and free will, which give us the stamp of individuality.”

“Everybody in the world seeks happiness whether they know it or not, because if they ever find out how their mind works, this is the first major step to happiness.”

“And in this game of life, we all search for our selves. When I say selves, I mean inner selves, the thing that created the life in the first place. Now consciously, most of us are not aware of this. But if you’re searching for happiness, if you’re searching for tranquility, if you’re searching just to have a nice, peaceful, loving, understanding life… in actual fact, you’re searching for your inner self.”

“If you wanted to replace a glass of stale wine with fresh wine, first you must pour out the old wine. It is the same with clearing our minds.”

“Our thoughts are the divine paintbrush we use to paint a picture of how we observe and relate to this reality we call life.”

“The malfunction of our own personal thought system instigates the breakdown of personal relationships and leads to the crumbling of societies.”

“What if I told you that you are just as wise as any of the teachers you met in India - or any other place - but just don't realise it?”

“The sages from the past never spoke in the personal. You go to the impersonal. And the impersonal is a spiritual knowledge before the contamination of human thought. You have to go before time, space and matter.”

“Our intellect and our inner wisdom should work together to create harmony in our lives. However, if the intellect lacks wisdom, chaos reigns.”

“The fool only knows what he thinks; the wise man knows he's the thinker.”

“We experience our thoughts within our consciousness as reality.”

“Thought is a divine tool that is the link between you and your divine inheritance, and is at the core of all psychological functioning.”

“Your own inner beauty will increase and grow as you recognise the beauty in others.”

“Through the centuries, the wise have told us to live in the now. This is why I say to you the past is a ghost that cannot be held in the palm of your hand. The future cannot be grasped, no mater how desirable or enticing. Nor can the present be held, no matter how beautiful or exciting. Begin the process of nourishing the soul by living in the now.”

“As you think, so you shall hear.“

“There are limitless ways to attain true knowledge, yet no matter how it is done the result is the same. All who find it are very stable happy people, with an insight into something that is beyond our reasoning.”

“When you learn to forgive, you see with clarity the ignorance and the innocence of those who trespass against you.“

“The Universal Mind, or the impersonal mind, is constant and unchangeable. The personal mind is in a perpetual state of change.”

“In the silence of our minds lies creative incubation, bringing the wisdom and the joy we all seek.”

“Do not try to understand the words of the wise from an intellectual perspective. Listen for a positive feeling.“

“Everything on earth comes from one divine source. Our personal thoughts determine what we think of the form it has taken in our lives.”

“Nature is a cosmic illusion suspended within the boundaries of time, space and matter.”

“The words of the wise are metaphorical clues that can guide us to a higher level of consciousness, if we can see or hear beyond their words.”

“When the wise tell us to look within, they are directing us beyond intellectual analysis of personal thought, to a higher order of knowledge called wisdom.”

“True wisdom is not discovered, but uncovered from an uncontaminated innate intelligence.”

“Wisdom is not found in the world of form, nor in remote corners of the globe. Wisdom lies within our own consciousness.”

“There are those in this world who believe miracles do not happen. I can assure such skeptics that they do. With hope and faith as beacons anything can happen. If these writings bring a second chance of life to just one human being, my work has not been in vain.”

“The truth you seek does not come from books or the spoken word but from within the soul of humanity.”

“There is one Universal Mind common to all, and wherever you are it is with you always. There is no end or limitation, nor are there boundaries.”

“It is a misconception to think that if you forgive someone who has harmed you, you are somehow condoning their behaviour.”

“With our intellect, we discover. With an insight, we uncover.”

“Thought is a divine tool, nothing more, nothing less, only a tool. A wise person, like a good tradesman, uses this tool to the best of his or her ability.”

“And in this game of life, we all search for ourselves. When I say selves, I mean ‘inner selves’, the thing that created the life in the first place. Now consciously, most of us are not aware of this. But if you’re searching for happiness; if you’re searching for tranquility; if you’re searching just to have a nice, peaceful, loving, understanding life... in actual fact, your searching for your inner self.”

“What we are talking about is learning to live in the present moment, in the now. When you aren't distracted by your own negative thinking, when you don't allow yourself to get lost in moments that are gone or yet to come, you are left with this moment. This moment-now-truly is the only moment you have. It is beautiful and special. Life is simply a series of such moments to be experienced one right after another. If you attend to the moment you are in and stay connected to your soul and remain happy, you will find that your heart is filled with positive feelings.”

“Thought is the missing link that gives us the power to recognise the illusionary separation between the spiritual world and the world of form.”

“Never never put yourself down. There is no one who has done any better or any worse than you.”

“It is through Universal Mind, Universal Thought and Universal Consciousness that we transform the invisible spiritual energy into our personal reality.”

“The tormented mind, which entertains love and forgiveness as guests, will surely attain new heights.“

“Words are merely a form. Listen not to words, but to that which words attempt to convey.”

“Your thoughts are like the artist's brush. They create a personal picture of the reality you live in.”

“The sickness of the mind are feelings that we create and put onto objects. But if you see the objects without the feelings, then you are healthy.”

“The past is dead. Forget what is old and dead, and start life anew.”


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