In this book, Hawkins explores the nature of true power, which is always of the spirit. (Thus, true power can be attained only through spiritual practice and personal development.)
He contrasts this clearly against force, which is what we are conditioned to think of as power, that is, power over others.
As Hawkins demonstrates, force is only on the material level, and so is constantly needing to be justified and backed up with rhetoric.
Power, on the other hand, never needs justification.
But the most exciting aspect of the book is the work Hawkins has done in calibrating the energy of various emotions and states of consciousness... and what that means for the spiritual evolution of our planet.
Kinesiology and States of Consciousness
In the late seventies Dr. John Diamond developed a new discipline, which he called Behavioral Kinesiology. His startling discovery was that the human body reacts to stimuli at a muscular level.
Dr. Diamond found that muscles get stronger or weaker depending on the whether the subject is presented with positive or negative stimuli.
Even more surprising, it didn't need to be physical stimuli, like seeing something happen or feeling something in your body. Even emotional states and thoughts trigger the strength-or-weakness response.
In other words, a smile will make you test strong. The statement, "I hate you" will make you test weak. And it doesn't matter whether you're the person saying and doing it, or having it said or done to you.
A remarkable feature of Diamond's research was that the responses he would receive were consistent across all divisions of people. It didn't matter where they were from, what they believed, what language they spoke, what gender or economic class they belonged to.
It didn't even matter whether they knew the answer or not. On some level, people were accessing accurate information that they could not have any way of knowing.
And the most striking aspect? Diamond's results were predictable, repeatable, and universal... the standard for scientific validity.
Kinesiological testing is now a standard practice with non-allopathic healers. When someone holds up a food or medicine and gives you a muscle test to see whether you test strong to it or weak, you are benefitting from Dr. Diamond's work.
One other fascinating discovery came out of Dr. Diamond's research, as is described in the foreword to Power vs. Force:
"There was one other phenomenon which Diamond noted in passing, though devoting no deeper analysis to its extraordinary implications.
Subjects listening to tapes of known deceits -- Lyndon Johnson perpetrating the Tonkin Gulf hoax, Edward Kennedy stonewalling the Chappaquiddick incident -- universally tested weak.
While listening to recordings of demonstrably true statements, they universally tested strong."
Map of Consciousness
David Hawkins took Dr. Diamond's work as a starting point, and set to investigating its full potential. What can kinesiology or "muscle testing" really tell us, if we ask the right questions? How can we perfect the procedure, to get 100% accurate results?
Then, through kinesiology calibrations taken over twenty years, Hawkins analyzed the whole spectrum of human consciousness, and created a profile of human experience which he calls a Map of Consciousness.
This lists the energy calibration of various states of awareness.
For instance, guilt tests out at a calibration of 30 (out of a possible 1000) -- an incredibly low-energy emotion. Fear: 100. Anger: 150. Pride: 175.
It is only at the level of Courage, which calibrates at 200, that we arrive at a level of positive energy rather than negative energy states. This is also the level where affirmation and empowerment begins.
How Anger Can Be Negative and Positive at the Same Time?
This map clarified for me many issues that I'd been confused about. For instance, I've long been aware that anger is a negative energy state. And yet, there are times when anger seems to be a key to necessary change.
Social change, for instance, is often begun by anger over injustice. Can anger be entirely negative, if it has positive uses?
Hawkins' clear-headed analytical style spells it out perfectly. When we are in a state that calibrates lower than anger, such as fear or apathy or shame, anger is indeed a vast improvement.
Yet compared to the high energy state of courage (200) or love (500), anger shows itself to be ultimately less than beneficial.
Through this illustration of levels of consciousness, Power vs. Force has given me a much greater understanding of the human condition. It has also illuminated the roadmap to improving it.
The Evolution of Human Consciousness and Your Empowerment
Intriguingly, according to Hawkins' research the overall level of human consciousness -- which had been at 190 for centuries -- suddenly leapt to 204 in the 1980's. This means that for the first time ever in our history, humanity is operating on a positive frequency. I find this incredibly inspiring.
One of the parts of the book that I most often tell people about is the chart that shows how much one person's uplifted state helps others.
Since the calibrations show increases by geometric progression, every 10 points of increased consciousness means 10 times the benefit. So, as Hawkins puts it, "… the influence of a very few individuals of advanced consciousness counterbalances entire populations at the lower levels." (Pg 101.)
The Map of Consciousness plots out the beneficial influence of one person's personal or spiritual growth. It shows mathematically how one person can heal the world, by their own healing. In other words, it proves Gandhi's assertion that we must be the change we want in the world.
This clarifies how the most important work any of us can be doing is our spiritual work. Imagine if you were the one to tip the scales that would save the planet! Talk about being empowered!
Power vs. Force in Society
The second half of Power vs. Force I found less immediately thrilling, but still vital. While part one is incredibly mind-expanding, part two is invaluable in clarifying the subtle differences between using force and owning power.
Hawkins goes into detail on how power and force play out in various arenas of life. . . politics, sports, business, the arts and so on.
If you're interested in societal issues, you'll enjoy this in-depth exploration.
Will It Change Your Life?
The real test of any teaching is whether it affects your life in a beneficial way.
With this standard, Power vs. Force is the most influential book I've read in years.
My awareness is different since I've read it, and my behaviour reflects a new empowerment. I recognise my own tendencies to use force, and even better, I am more aware of alternatives that I could choose, to reclaim power instead.
Considering the confusion surrounding issues of power, especially in these times when true empowerment is critical to survival, I can't recommend this book highly enough. If there is only one book to read this year, I'd say this is it.
Excerpts from Power vs. Force
IMAGINE-what if you had access to a simple yes-or-no answer to any question you wished to ask? A demonstrably true answer.... Any question. Think about it. There's the obvious: "Jane is seeing another guy." (Y/N?) Johnny is telling the truth about school. (Y/N?) But it's only a short step to: "This is a safe investment." (Y/N?) or "This career is worthy of my pursuit." (Y/N?) - Foreword
Rating for Power vs. Force: 5 Stars
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Return from Power vs. Force Book Review to Silver Chalice E-Zine, June '08