keep your eyes upon the donut, and not upon the hole!’ Dr Murray Banks.
Dedicated to Nick S-G, who borrowed my copy of
How to Live with Yourself … or … What to do Until the
Psychiatrist Comes some ten or more years ago ...
and never returned it. You can keep it, mate.
I've since bought another copy.
Still, many of Dr Banks' recordings are available today on iTunes, eBay and Amazon.com, as well as on YouTube, and secondhand copies of his books are also available on various sites, including Amazon.com. The titles of his recordings and books say much about the man himself---titles such as How to Live with Yourself … or … What to do Until the Psychiatrist Comes, Just In Case You Think You're Normal, The Drama of Sex, Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Dr Murray Banks Tells How to Quit Smoking in Six Days or Drop Dead in Seven!, and Anyone Who Goes To The Psychiatrist - Should Have His Head Examined!
I live in Australia, and I am aware that Banks lectured here in 1961, 1965, and 1971, and possibly in other years as well. In that regard, I have seen a reference on the internet to the effect that he made personal appearances in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia in the mid-1990s. I do know this---his appearances at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne outsold the hit musical of the day, Hello, Dolly! Yes, he left quite an impression here in Australia on the occasions he was here, and his lectures in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and South Africa were extremely successful as well. Indeed, it is said that Banks, who was always a most powerful and entertaining presence on stage, spoke in every English-speaking country in the world. One thing is clear---while he lived he addressed some of the largest audiences ever gathered to hear one person’s thoughts on the workings of human mind and on how to stay mentally well.
The redoubtable Dr Banks was also for a time a visiting professor of psychology and/or special lecturer on psychology and other subjects at a number of American higher educational institutions including San Diego State College, Memphis State University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, the University of North Carolina, New York University, New York Institute of Technology, Temple University, New Jersey State Teacher's College, the University of Pittsburgh, and Brooklyn College. All very impressive. Yet, having said all that, there is precious little on the internet about the man---not even a Wikipedia profile. Not much hope for me. I am a forgotten man already.
You know, that word ‘learn’ is so very important. Banks would make the point that whilst none of us are born insane or even mentally maladjusted, we still need to learn how to stay mentally well. (That’s right. He says it doesn’t seem to come naturally, and I agree.) He identified our basic human needs as being these four: the need to live, the need to love and be loved, the need to feel important, and the need to experience variety in our lives.