Please note, this is an edited transcription for reading purposes. We still recommend listening to the audio to capture a more complete essence of the story that is more difficult to convey by reading alone.
There were many things about interacting with Syd which I did for probably 32 years or something in that neighbourhood and there were encounters and situations and circumstances behind the scenes and in front of the scenes that really enriched my life and gave me a further clue as to what he was really pointing to and talking about and I could see him living it.
He wasn’t just a kind of normal person who was philosophizing or he had something to try to, he was trying to live by he was just naturally the way he was and so there was something about that that was very curious and interesting and I’ve always been an observer of people and so I had these chances kind of in our interactions.
I met with him in Canada, I met with him in Florida, I met with him in Minnesota, I met with him in Texas, well actually I didn’t meet with him in Texas now I’m thinking of it but Washington and so I had these opportunities to interact and you know we had countless conversations faculty meetings we had and we also had private conversations.
We’d consulted about writing, he would phone us and kind of mentor us behind the scenes and so there was just a wealth of times in interactions that were really very rewarding and I’m you know I’m relaying a few of those instances.
One of the stories that happened was he was talking in California and in this particular occasion he finished the talk and it was the end of the third day and so people kind of naturally filed up and a sort of a reception line so he kind of came down off the stage and he was just meeting with people and they were thinking him and there was a long line.
And so I wanted to just hear what people were asking or saying and what he was saying and so I kind of hung around in that particular area so I could really get the most out of what was happening here because I thought it would be interesting.
What happened is there was a group of Rabbis that liked this particular event had a large group of helping professionals, coaches, social workers, therapists that kind of thing and then there was another group of scientists and engineers and people that were more the kind of people you wouldn’t expect to be coming to this event in my opinion.
And then there was another group of religious leaders and rabbis and so it was quite an admixture of different sections of the population of really unlike anything that I had ever seen before in a public event.
There was a group of Rabbis, there were maybe eight rabbis that were in a group and in the middle of them was this really old Rabbi and they all had their yarmulkes and they were talking in Hebrew as they were coming up so I heard their conversation, and I had no idea what they were saying.
But I wasn’t just interested in their demeanour, they were all kind of encircled around this older Rabbi, he was clearly the elder statesman of the group and they really respected him to a tremendous amount, you could just tell by the way they related to him.
So eventually they got up to meet Syd and all of them kind of stood back and let this older rabbi ask the question and they were very respectful, a tremendous amount of respect.
This older rabbi he’s got a cane and he’s got to be over 90 years old, I mean he’s just a tiny little person and with a long beard and just his whole rabbinical demeanour was just perfect.
He says to Syd “you’re talking ancient Jewish wisdom” and Syd says, “yes I know” and then the rabbi says “what do you know about ancient Jewish wisdom” and Syd says “absolutely nothing.”
And when he said that, all of those rabbis and the older rabbi they burst into this flood of chatter, it was like all this all this Hebrew talk and they were thrilled that it was such a novel response probably unlike anything they could have expected yet they did totally respect it and that was their question that was the one thing that he wanted to ask and the one thing he wanted to ascertain.
We all had wondered for years how was it that Syd Banks, this common welder who was a ninth grade educated person, would come to know this profound wisdom like “what look what sort of person is this” and what happened to him that he would be in a couple of seconds according to him be permanently changed by this installation of this kind of download you might say of wisdom on an ongoing basis for the rest of his life.
What sort of phenomena were we dealing with here and that always interested me and that was a very cogent example of the power and the presence of that happening and in a way in which they related to it, it was just delightful.