Power vs. Force | David R. Hawkins


Published: 2002

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David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. (1927-2012) was a psychiatrist, physician, researcher, spiritual teacher and lecturer, with an interest in the state of spiritual consciousness known as “Enlightenment”. Based on +250,000 muscle test calibrations, performed over a period of 30 years, he defined different levels of consciousness in the format of a “Map of Consciousness” designed as a logarithmic scale from 1 to 1000. Shame creates the least productive emotions and enlightenment the most productive emotions.

POWER VS FORCE. On the lower part of the “map”, life is full of friction and effort, and this is defined as “Force” (associated with condemnation and feeling bad about oneself). At the upper part of the “map”, life is more frictionless, defined as “Power” (associated with humanity and a positive feeling about ourselves).

OUR WORLD CAN BE LIMITED. Hawkins believes that the biggest obstacle to development is a lack of knowledge about how the human consciousness works – that our decision-making processes are a product of consciousness. When we don’t understand that there are levels beyond our current worldview, we do not seek.

 “The outer work can never be small if the inner work is great. And the outer work can never be great if the inner work is small” – Meister Eckhart

THE INNER WORLD PROJECTS ON PERCEPTION. To illustrate his point, the author uses an example of a supposed homeless man who stands alone, leaning against a building in a fashionable area. Hawkins believes that most things, in this case the homeless man, are like a Rorschach test, where our perception says a lot about ourselves. Below are some examples of perception depending on where on the “map of consciousness” the observer is.

”FORCE” IS NOT PRODUCTIVE. If the observer is a person with great Shame (level 20) he may consider the man to be dirty and a shame to society, and with Guilt (level 30) as primary feeling the man might be blamed for his condition. At level 40, Apathy, the situation looks desperate and a proof of a weak society, and at level 75, Sadness, the man’s life looks tragic, lonely and abandoned. Hawkins works his reasoning up on the “Map of Consciousness”. Other examples are level 125 (Desire) – “why does no one do anything?” – and Anger (level 150) and Pride (level 175).

”POWER” IS PRODUCTIVE. It is first at level 200, Courage, that emotions begin to become productive (Force transitions to Power). The homeless man will at level 250, Neutrality, suddenly look okay, maybe even interesting. At the level of Willingness (310) we may try to talk to him to make him in a better mood. At level 350, Accepting, the man seems interesting, probably with a story to tell, and possibly there for reasons we cannot understand. Even higher up the “map”, the man begins to not only look interesting but also friendly and lovable. Maybe he is a happy old man with a lot of wisdom and a face of kindness.

”Force is seductive because it emanates a certain glamour, whether that glamour is manifested in the guise or false patriotism, prestige, or dominance; conversely, true power is often quite unglamorous”

RESPONSE ENTERS THE CAUSAL CHAIN. Hawkins has a theory that an outsider’s observable attitude may vary. With some people he feels insecure or scared while with others he feels comfortable or happy. This can be based on the subtle signals he can read in from the person he is responding. Therefore, the perception of a person tends to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. We send out a subconscious signal which makes our subjective truth the objective truth; “Thus it is said that what we meet is actually a mirror”.

“When we treat a man as he is, we make him worse than he is, when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

STRESS IS SUBJECTIVE, AUTHENTICITY A DECISION. Stress is the cause of many diseases, but external factors such as jobs and relationships get too much focus when we try to locate the core of the problem. It is not the events of life but our reactions to them that activate stress. A good way to reduce stress is to be completely honest – anyone who does not have to remember their lies or defend an image frees the brain from a lot of unnecessary work. Hawkins also means that we can to a greater extent evoke a deep psychological response in others only when we are completely genuine to ourselves.

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