Power vs Force - Waves crash against a rocky shore.

Power vs Force: A Summary of David Hawkins work on Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior

Kimberley Lehman

In “Power vs Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior,” David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., delves into the unseen influences that govern our actions and our life’s journey. He raises compelling inquiries about the essence of human suffering, the cyclical nature of detrimental behavior, and the possibility of a spiritual realm that permeates our existence.

Hawkins introduces a novel perspective on the nature of human consciousness. He posits that our behaviors, dreams, health, and spiritual inclinations are all driven by underlying forces that, once understood, can be harnessed for profound personal transformation. His work aims to decode the enigma of why humans act the way they do and how they can break free from the shackles of negative patterns.

The distinction between ‘power’ and ‘force’ is central to Hawkins’ philosophy. He describes ‘power’ as an inherent quality that emerges from authenticity and alignment with the universal virtues of truth, compassion, and love. This form of influence is selfless, generative, and expansive. In contrast, ‘force’ is characterized as being manipulative, self-centered, and ultimately destructive. It’s an attempt to control and dominate, inevitably leading to conflict and human suffering.

Hawkins argues that by recognizing and choosing ‘power’ over ‘force,’ individuals can transcend their pain and limitations. This choice propels them towards a greater expression of their true selves, fostering a life filled with greater purpose and joy.

Introducing David R. Hawkins, trailblazing psychiatrist and spiritual teacher

David Hawkins is a man whose professional and personal odyssey took him far beyond the conventional boundaries of his initial medical training. “Power vs Force” is perhaps his most influential work, reflecting a lifetime of inquiry and insight into the human condition.

Dr. Hawkins’ journey began with the traditional path in the field of medicine, leading to a distinguished career as a nationally renowned psychiatrist. However, his experiences stretched the bounds of traditional psychiatry, as he provided care not just to many patients but also to individuals such as Mother Teresa, who herself was a beacon of spiritual service. These encounters with people of profound spiritual presence impacted Hawkins deeply, propelling him to explore the more esoteric aspects of human consciousness.

His investigations took him into spiritual awakenings, where he probed the depths of what it means to attain higher states of consciousness. Hawkins needed to be more content with subjective or anecdotal evidence.  This led him to adopt and adapt techniques like applied kinesiology or muscle testing, which he believed could objectively assess not just physical responses but the resonance of truth and consciousness in individuals.

Hawkins’ prolific writings cast a wide net over the topics of consciousness, spirituality, and the process of healing. His books and lectures spoke to the intricate ways these realms intersect and influence our daily lives, from our individual struggles with health and well-being to our collective endeavors in society and culture.

As founding director of the Institute for Spiritual Research, Hawkins transitioned from a traditional psychiatric practice to a more holistic approach to mental and spiritual health. The institute became a platform for him to further his research and share his findings with those eager to understand the deeper layers of existence.

Throughout his life, Hawkins sought truth in the most profound sense. His work reflects a dedication to uncovering the underlying principles that govern our lives, both seen and unseen. With “Power vs Force,” Hawkins provided a framework for understanding how our consciousness shapes the problems we face in our reality and how, by elevating our consciousness, we can not only improve our own lives but also contribute to the evolution and betterment of humanity as a whole. His legacy is that of a pioneer who ventured into uncharted territories of the human psyche, mapping out a route for others to follow toward greater awareness and fulfillment.

The Map of Consciousness

Power vs Force Map of Consciousness. A method to evaluate the varying degrees of enlightenment or spiritual awareness a person may hold.

David Hawkins’ “Map of Consciousness” is a cornerstone of his philosophical and spiritual framework, an ambitious attempt to quantify the qualitative aspects of human experience. By calibrating consciousness on a scale from 0 to 1000, Hawkins proposes a method to evaluate the varying degrees of enlightenment or spiritual awareness a person may hold.

The lower end of the scale of consciousness is mired in the dense energies of negative emotions. Shame, which vibrates at the bottom, is characterized by a sense of worthlessness and humiliation. Guilt follows closely, trapping individuals in a cycle of self-recrimination and regret. Apathy, a state of listlessness and resignation, indicates a lack of motivation or desire to engage with life.

In contrast, the higher levels of consciousness are where positive emotions and virtues flourish. Reason, a quality associated with rationality and understanding, marks the beginning of the higher levels of consciousness. It reflects a capacity for objective thought and a desire for knowledge. Joy is higher still, representing a state of serenity and well-being that transcends circumstances. At the pinnacle is unconditional love, an expression of pure, selfless affection that sees beyond the Self to the intrinsic worth of others.

Hawkins’ Map suggests that our personal reality is shaped by where we fall on this spectrum of consciousness. Each level acts as a lens through which we perceive the world, influencing our thoughts, behaviors, and interactions. For example, a person rooted in anger will perceive and interact with the world very differently from someone who operates from a place of peace.

The implications of this model are profound. It means that by elevating our consciousness, we not only transform our personal experience but also contribute to a shift in the collective consciousness of society. As individuals climb the scale, they shed limiting beliefs and behaviors. This personal evolution can result in the healing of deep-seated wounds, leading to greater harmony within and among individuals.

Hawkins’ work suggests that such transformation is not merely an internal process but one with social ramifications. By moving toward higher consciousness, individuals can contribute to resolving conflicts, overcoming societal limitations, and fostering a sense of unity. In this way, the Map of Consciousness serves not only as a tool for personal introspection and spiritual growth but also as a blueprint for a ripple of societal healing and advancement.

Discerning Truth Through Applied Kinesiology

David Hawkins’ endorsement of kinesiology as a gateway to understanding deeper truths is a striking proposition. He postulates that the human body has an innate ability to respond to integrity with strength and deceit with weakness. Applied Kinesiology, as he refers to this method, leans on the premise that energy fields are within and around us that are attuned to the frequency of truth. According to Hawkins, these fields are not merely metaphysical concepts but tangible forces that influence our physical responses.

In practice, Applied Kinesiology involves muscle-testing techniques where an individual responds to statements or questions with physical resistance or relaxation. For instance, when a person is asked to hold their arm outstretched. At the same time, another exerts downward pressure, and the arm’s ability to maintain its position is tested against various affirmations or negations. Hawkins claims that muscles will inherently weaken when faced with falsehoods or concepts that resonate with lower levels of consciousness, such as fear or deceit. Conversely, when engaging with truths or higher consciousness principles like love or integrity, the muscles will remain robust.

This technique, Hawkins argues, allows for a form of empirical verification of the principles outlined in his Map of Consciousness. By using muscle testing, he asserts that one can assess the truthfulness of statements and thereby determine their level of consciousness. This method provides a quantifiable means to probe metaphysical concepts and existential questions, bridging the subjective and the objective.

Hawkins extends this claim to the lofty realms of divinity and the cosmos, using Applied Kinesiology to explore questions that have traditionally been the domain of religion and philosophy. In his view, the muscle’s response to such queries can validate the levels of truth these concepts hold, thereby grounding them in the form of physical reality. This notion suggests that as one’s consciousness ascends the scale, becoming more aligned with truth and awareness, there is a corresponding alignment with the objective reality of the universe.

While his claims are undoubtedly unconventional and have been met with skepticism from the scientific community, Hawkins’ theories resonate with those seeking a tangible connection between the spiritual and the empirical. By proposing that the body itself can act as a barometer of truth, Hawkins provides a provocative and enticing approach to exploring the vast landscape of human consciousness and the eternal questions that have captivated humanity throughout its history.

Transcending Human Suffering Through Higher Consciousness

As each person rises in consciousness, they contribute to a reservoir of positivity that can uplift others.

The profound narrative of “Power vs Force” suggests a paradigm shift in understanding human suffering. Hawkins posits that much of our pain is not merely psychological but spiritual in origin, stemming from what he defines as lower levels of consciousness. These lower levels are saturated with emotions and attitudes that distance us from the quintessential qualities of love, truth, and vitality.

Hawkins asserts that our subjective perception of reality is often clouded by these lower states, which can manifest as depression, anxiety, addiction, and various health challenges. These states are not isolated symptoms but reflections of a deeper malaise—a disconnection from a higher state of being. He advocates for a conscious recalibration, where addressing our inner turmoil is as much a spiritual quest as a psychological one.

According to Hawkins, as we elevate our consciousness, we shed the layers of negativity that bind us. This ascension is not a passive process but an active engagement with our inner world.  As we do so, we transform the fundamental dynamics of our relationships and begin understanding our life’s purpose through a lens of clarity and insight.

This awakening process is likened to aligning with our “core divine essence,” a term Hawkins uses to describe our most accurate, most authentic Self.  As we peel back the layers of materialistic illusions, we begin to see the spiritual dimensions that underpin our lives. We recognize that our desires and pursuits, when misaligned with this essence, only serve to perpetuate our disconnection and discontent.

Hawkins offers a vision where individual evolution is inextricably linked to the elevation of collective consciousness. As each person rises in consciousness, they contribute to a reservoir of positivity that can uplift others. This collective ascension has the potential to transform societies, reshape cultural values, and redefine what it means to live a meaningful life.

In essence, “Power vs Force” is a clarion call to humanity to embark on a journey of self-discovery and self-transformation. By doing so, we not only liberate ourselves from suffering but also become beacons of light, guiding others toward the path of higher awareness and ultimate liberation.

The Difference Between Power and Force

Hawkins’ discourse on power versus force is a profound dichotomy that challenges our fundamental understanding of influence and control. He elucidates that true power emanates from within, resulting from being in harmony with the most profound aspects of existence—truth, love, and the very essence of life itself. This kind of power is inherently positive, uplifting, and expansive. It is not enforced but naturally emerges from a place of integrity and authenticity.

On the other hand, force is characterized by an external exertion of control, often rooted in deception, coercion, and a desire to dominate. It is the might that seeks to bend the will of others to shape outcomes through fear rather than persuasion. Force is reactionary and relies on the manipulation of perceptions and circumstances to achieve its ends. It is not sustainable, as it often leads to resistance and decay.

Hawkins clearly distinguishes between the generative nature of power and the consumptive essence of force. Power is seen as a creative force in the universe, fostering growth, healing, and unity. It is causal because it originates from a higher source of wisdom and consciousness, and it flows through actions that are aligned with the greater good of all.

In stark contrast, force is mechanistic, operating like the cogs in a machine, devoid of empathy or connection. It is driven by fear and the primal instincts of survival and aggression. Where power nurtures, force depletes. Where power builds, force breaks. Power is the hand that soothes and comforts; force is the hand that strikes and wounds.

Hawkins’s insight is transformative: when we understand the detrimental impact of force, we are inclined to abandon its destructive path. We choose instead the way of power, which aligns us with the divine grace that permeates existence. This grace is not a passive state; it is dynamic and active, compelling us to engage with the world from a place of deep compassion and understanding.

Our lives, according to Hawkins, are not meant to be driven by the egoistic desires that force engenders. Instead, they are to be guided by the transcendent qualities that power represents. When we embrace this authentic power, our purpose is redefined. We recognize that our highest calling is to serve the light that dwells within us and within all beings, to become instruments of peace and spread joy, expressing the positive vibrations of our inner transformation to the world around us. In doing so, we not only enrich our own lives but also contribute a beautiful gift to the elevation of humanity as a whole.

Key Takeaways of Power vs Force

Hawkins’ “Power vs Force” has the potential to transcend levels of consciousness, revolutionize our understanding of Self, divinity, and the universe. Here are some expanded key lessons from the book that stand out:

1. Divine Attraction: Hawkins suggests that as we cultivate higher levels of consciousness, we naturally gravitate towards the divine, or what may be perceived as God. This ‘attractor pattern’ is not a place but a state of being that we evolve into, a journey towards enlightenment that aligns us more closely with the qualities of the divine.

2. Subjective Reality: Our experience of reality is filtered through our personal lens of consciousness. Hawkins argues that suffering stems from our attachments to lower states of consciousness. By transcending these states, we can alter our experience of reality and reduce our suffering.

3. Nonduality: At the core of Hawkins’ teachings is the principle of devotional nonduality—the understanding that all existence is one unified field of consciousness. As we progress in our awareness, the illusion of separation dissolves, and we begin to perceive the interconnectedness of all life.

4. Evolutionary Purpose of Life: According to Hawkins, the ultimate driving force of life is the evolution of consciousness. Our spiritual growth is not random; it is a directed movement towards rediscovering our divine essence. Kinesiology, as Hawkins presents it, is a tool that can measure our progress on this evolutionary path.

5. Ego Transcendence: True power is found not in the ego’s quest for control but in transcending the ego altogether. It is in this act of surrender that we find alignment with a deeper, more universal form of wisdom and compassion that Hawkins identifies with love.

6. The Power of Now: Hawkins echoes the spiritual teaching that by letting go of the past and future and fully embracing the present moment, we access a form of power that is infinitely available. This ‘infinite power of now’ is a source of profound peace and potential.

7. Impact on Human Endeavors: The implications of consciousness research are vast, according to Hawkins. By incorporating a deeper understanding of consciousness into fields such as medicine, politics, and science, we can fundamentally change how these domains function, leading to more holistic and beneficial societal outcomes.

“Power vs Force” invites readers to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery, offering a map for navigating the complexities of human consciousness with the ultimate goal of achieving personal and collective enlightenment.

An Extraordinary Revelation of Hidden Truths

Since its debut, David R. Hawkins’ “Power vs Force” has burgeoned into a seminal work, resonating with an ever-widening audience seeking more profound understanding and personal transformation. This significant book challenges entrenched beliefs, offering a radical new perspective on the inner workings of the human psyche and the universal laws that govern our existence.

Hawkins’ profound exploration into the nature of consciousness and the true source of personal empowerment extends an invitation to the reader to embark on a journey of self-exploration. The book has catalyzed countless individuals to question and redefine their views on life, spirituality, and the unseen forces that influence our daily experiences.

“Power vs Force” presents an inspiring message: within each individual lies an authentic Self, a core being that resonates with the vibrations of truth and love. By aligning with this authentic Self, one can transcend the myriad forms of suffering that plague humanity. Hawkins asserts that it is through the elevation of our individual consciousness that we can contribute to the collective evolution of humanity.

The influence of “Power vs Force” is not limited to its spiritual tenets; it also proposes practical applications that readers can incorporate into their lives. Hawkins provides tools and insights for accessing the innate power of awareness, which can lead to healing, personal growth, and an awakening to a more enlightened state of being.

Over the years, “Power vs Force” has become more than just an interesting book; it has morphed into a movement, with its principles integrated into various fields such as psychology, holistic health, and personal development. Its enduring appeal lies in its ability to provide a framework for understanding the complex interplay between the material and spiritual aspects of life, empowering individuals to unlock their potential and embrace a journey toward higher consciousness.

Power vs Force, a lighthouse on a rocky shore, wave crashing. A metaphore for understanding the complex interplay between the material and spiritual aspects of life.


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03/27/2024 09:22 am GMT
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