The Power of Consciousness – A Book Review

 

Black and White with a sketch somewhat mimicing the cover of the book but with a representation of consciousness.

David Hawkins’ Power Vs. Force is my first introduction to David Hawkins’ ideas of applied kinesiology and the formal concept of a universal consciousness.  A consciousness that exists everywhere and we simply tap into it unable to see the broad spectrum as it is.  It brings to mind a long forgotten memory discussing on hours the idea of the Akashic Records. A plane of existence where all thoughts, emotions, and consciousness itself exist and we are logged in Matrix style again unable to see the broad spectrum of information flowing around us. It’s a fascinating idea to me and given the advances in science really resonates with the work being done relating to universes and specifically the Multiverse theory whereby  consciousness could be one universe that exists layered over our own.  I digress, but books by Stephen Hawkings, Brian Greene, and Michio Kaku fascinate me especially when they start getting into these advanced types of theories.  If you are looking for a few books on the topic of universes and how far the science is going I suggest Brian Greene’s The Elegant Universe and Michio Kaku’s The Parallel World.

The idea of applied kinesiology alone didn’t resonate with me mainly because it seems like an idea ahead of its time given how simple it ties to boil down our ability to detect the truth in something we are being told or the truth in a statement. I remember back in junior high school playing a similar game where you’d put your hand palm up on the shoulder of someone else and they would try to pull your elbow down. If you were thinking about your elbow they could pull it down but if you relaxed and focused on something else it suddenly became like a rock. It read as though an entire science had now been developed around this school yard game we played and it was hard to make that leap. If humans are ever able to identify, visualize and hold on to this new plane of consciousness perhaps we will be able to do exactly as Dr. Hawkins’ suggests and his theory will be validated further  but this to me felt a bit hokey. Doug a few google searches and a little digging thereare many out there who aim to debunk it and many Youtube videos showing various ways that people have shown that it may or may not work. It felt corny but deep down it’s something I’d love to believe possible; a way to tap into higher consciousness and really see thoughts and emotions for what they truly are.

Moving passed the ideas of applied kinesiology is where this book opened up to me. David Hawkins’ theory is foundationally based on the idea of power and force with power coming from energies ultimately consistent with the themes of all major tenets of spirituality. Love, kindness, and doing the the right thing based on principle and what’s good.  On the opposite side is force deriving itself from negative and false energies grasping to mimic those of power; hate, anger, shame, etc. The theoretical levels of consciousness align themselves to these emotional states on a scale of 0 – 1000 with individuals who have done great things for humanity existing at 1000 such as Jesus Christ and the Buddha. Advanced thought leaders in the modern world exist above mid-range with the vast majority of people existing below 200 with no awareness to thoughts living out their lives disconnected so to speak. As you read through the descriptions of the scale you can almost imagine where you might land given your current state and yet also find yourself thinking I’d be lower here because this and higher here because of that. Founders of spirituality reside at the top because their core tenets were designed to touch people and propel the human race towards growth, love, and ultimately a form of enlightenment. These spiritual fundamentals today are clouded today by layers of religion designed by men through generations who to some degree have been corrupted by the elements of force. Dr. Hawkins’ identifies the low levels of today’s militaristic fundamentalism that exists and even the struggles with the modern day church in terms of their current actions vs. the fundamental beliefs they follow.

One of the reasons I’ve always been against belonging to any specific religion was the nature of having to believe in strict rules governed by a church that in certain circumstances did not correspond to being a good human. Follow these rules even if they alienate or isolate this group of people. That was always a struggle for me. This isn’t a post from my pulpet but rather an observation and personal connection to what David Hawkins points to about the nature of humanity. The ideas of mindfulness fall in line with those that David Hawkins proposes and I think that’s why the book left me with a positive feeling after having read it.

Perhaps one of the most beautiful quotes I’ve come across in my readings of mindfulness and in this case specifically consciousness that resonated deep within me:

  “The universe holds its breath as we choose, instant by instant, which pathway to follow; for the universe, the very essence of life itself, is highly conscious.”

When you start to think of the world and the universe in these terms it makes everything including the people around us seem closer and the idea of being connected to each other at the level of consciousness is fascinating. Mindfulness and Buddhist theories typically point in the same direction that we don’t really exist as we believe and there is another level of consciousness that through meditation you approach and begin to become aware of your thoughts as separate from yourself. You begin to see thoughts as simply forms of energy that come and go but don’t define us as who we are. If you take this to the next level these energy levels are simply consciousness that exists. The consciousness isn’t us but rather the energy levels that we connect too and awareness is our ability to step outside of our mind and view them for what they are.  Cool!

Another quote that I loved from this book relates to our perception of events as they happen and Dr. Hawkins likens them to a traveler moving through the world:

“Our perception of events happening in time is analogous to a traverler watching the landscape unfold before him. But to say that the landscape unfolds before the traveler is merely a figure of speech. Nothing is actually unfolding; nothing is actually becoming manifest. There is only the progression of awareness.”

We tend to get stuck in this mentality that events are simply following along on this linear path. A happens, then B happens, then C happens, and so on; a path that we simply follow along. A traveler moving down the road experiences new things in a similar pattern however those experiences already exist it’s simply the travelers awareness that is changing. Walking down a road we approach a building and although the building is a new experience to us; it has existed before we arrived and will once we leave. An interesting way to think about how events in our life appear to us. Aware of one event to the next but not seeing any connection or recognizing that the energies already exist and we’ve now tapped into them.

David Hawkins’ book has taken a scientific approach and applied it, correctly or incorrectly, to the ideas of mindfulness and higher consciousness. It was a fascinating read and although I’m skeptical of the idea of applied kinesiology I think the fundamental belief rings true and is important for people to at least acknowledge and decide from there. Dr. Hawkins’ work takes a scientific/psychological approach based on his background but there moments that read as though Pema Chodron or Thich Nhat Hanh could have written it.

“Unless the painful lessons of life with which we deal are transformed through humility into gateways of growth and development, they are wasted.”

It’s a theme found through many books on mindfulness that unless we are willing to look deeply ino the painful lessons of our life we will be unable to grow and move forward.

For anyone interested in mindfulness books, this provides a variation on the theme. Some of the ideas may not resonate with people however it is worth a read to get a view into the world of applied kinesiology and see how some are trying to bring a scientific method approach to the idea of consciousness of the human mind. Rick Hanson’s Buddha’s Brain is another book I recommend for a scientific look at the positive impacts of mindfulness however it focuses more on the neurosciences which is also quite fascinating.  I’d give this book a 4 out of 5 and recommend it to people who have a good understanding of mindfulness or perhaps the tenets of a spirituality that are looking for something a little different. You will need an open mind and willingness to look for the high level themes but overall it’s a really interesting read.

 

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