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I just recently read a book written by David Hawkins entitled, Power vs. Force. Hawkins, using applied kinesiology tests, was able to determine the different levels of consciousness in which we as individuals function. These levels determine the reason why people behave the way they do.

These levels can be divided into positive energy-giving levels and negative energy-taking levels. The negative levels from the lowest to the highest are: shame, guilt, apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, pride. The positive levels are: courage, neutrality, willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy, peace, enlightenment.

He claims that, although there may be times when we function at different levels of consciousness, we in general operate at one particular level. This can be considered our core level. It is here where I would like to explain these different levels and hopefully inspire you to move beyond your current state.

Shame

According to Hawkins, this is one step above death. At this level, the primary emotion one feels is humiliation. It’s not surprising that this level, being so close to death, is where most thoughts of suicide are found. Those who suffer from sexual abuse are often found here, and without therapy they tend to remain here.

Guilt

Not too far from shame is the level of guilt. When one is stuck in this level, feelings of worthlessness and an inability to forgive oneself are common.

Apathy

The level of hopelessness and despair; this is the common consciousness found among those who are homeless or living in poverty. At this level, one has abdicated themselves to their current situation and feels numb to life around them.

Grief

Many of us have felt this at times of tragedy in our lives. However, having this as your primary level of consciousness, you live a life of constant regret and remorse. This is the level where you feel all your opportunities have passed you by. You ultimately feel you are a failure.

Fear

People living under dictatorship rule or those involved in an abusive relationship find themselves at this level. There is a sense of paranoia here, where you think everyone is out to get you. Suspicion and defensiveness are common.

Desire

Desire is a major motivator for much of our society. Although desire can be an impetus for change, the downside is that it leads to enslavement to ones appetites. This is the level of addiction to such things as sex, money, prestige, or power.

Anger

As one moves out of Apathy to Grief and then out of Fear, they begin to want. Desire which is not fulfilled leads to frustration which brings us to Anger. This anger can cause us to move out of this level or keep us here.

Pride

According to Hawkins, since the majority of people are below this point, this is the level that most people aspire to. It makes up a good deal of Hollywood. In comparison to Shame and Guilt, one begins to feel positive here. However, it’s a false positive. It’s dependent upon external conditions such as wealth, position or power. It is also the source of racism, nationalism, and religious fanaticism.

Courage

This is the level of empowerment. It is the first level where you are not taking life energy from those around you. Courage is where you see that you don’t need to be tossed to and fro by your external conditions. This empowerment leads you to the realization that you are a steward unto yourself, and that you alone are in charge of your own growth and success. This is what makes you inherently human: the realization that there is a gap between stimulus and response and that you have the potential to choose how to respond.

Neutrality

Neutrality is the level of flexibility. To be neutral, you are, for the most part, unattached to outcomes. At this level, you are satisfied with your current life situation and tend not to have a lot of motivation towards self improvement or excellence in your career. You realize the possibilities but don’t make the sacrifices required to reach a higher level.

Willingness

Those people around you that are perpetual optimists – this is their level of consciousness. Seeing life as one big possibility is the cornerstone of those operating here. No longer are you satisfied with complacency – you strive to do your best at whatever task you’ve undertaken. You begin to develop self-discipline and willpower and learn the importance of sticking to a task till the end.

Acceptance

If Courage is the realization that you are the source of your life’s experiences, then it is here where you become the creator of them. Combined with the skills learned in the Willingness phase, you begin to awaken your potential through action. Here’s where you begin to set and achieve goals and to actively push yourself beyond your previous limitations. Up to this point you’ve been generally reactive to what life throws at you. Here’s where you turn that around, take control, and become proactive.

Reason

The level of science, medicine, and a desire for knowledge. Your thirst for knowledge becomes insatiable. You don’t waste time in activities that do not provide educational value. You begin to categorize all of life and its experiences into proofs, postulates, and theories. The failure of this level is you cannot seem to separate the subjective from the objective, and because of that, you tend to miss the point. You fail to see the forest because you’re tunnel-visioned on the trees. Paradoxically, Reason can become a stumbling block for further progressions of consciousness.

Love

Only if, in the level of Reason you start to see yourself as a potential for the greater good of mankind, will you have enough power to enter here. Here is where you start applying what was learned in your reasoning and you let the heart take over rather than the mind – you live by intuition. This is the level of charity – a selfless love that has no desire except for the welfare of those around them. Ghandi and Mother Theresa are examples of people who were living at this level. Only 0.4 percent of the world will ever reach it.

Joy

This is the level of saints and advanced spiritual people. As love becomes more unconditional, there follows a constant accompaniment of true happiness. No personal tragedy or world event could ever shake someone living at this level of consciousness. They seem to inspire and lift all those who come in contact with them. Your life is now in complete harmony with the will of Divinity and the fruits of that harmony are expressed in your joy.

Peace

Peace is achieved after a life of complete surrender to the Creator. It is where you have transcended all and have entered that place that Hawkins calls illumination. Here, a stillness and silence of mind is achieved, allowing for constant revelation. Only 1 in 10 million (that’s .00001 percent) people will arrive at this level.

Enlightenment

This is the highest level of human consciousness where one has become like God. Many see this as Christ, Buddha, or Krishna. These are those who have influenced all of mankind.

Hawkins’ Power vs. Force and his associated map of consciousness has been a groundbreaking work for those interested in human-consciousness development. In this continuum we can clearly see where we as individuals function and where we can arrive. A view into what could be our potential is inspiring.

It’s interesting to note that according to Hawkins, everything that is around us can effect our level of consciousness: the music we listen to, the people with whom we associate, the books we read, the shows that we watch, etc.

After reading this book, I began to see myself and those around me in a different light. I guess you could say I felt more compassion for others. We are all at different levels of consciousness and are functioning according to the light and knowledge that we’ve obtained. This has helped me to better understand what drives people and why they make specific choices.

How can you raise your own level of consciousness? I would suggest first to figure out where you presently are – awareness is always the first step. Learn from the Great Ones who are the source of the ‘wisdom literature’ of your tradition and try to live the principles taught in those books. As you raise your own level, you will discover a desire to help others and you’ll be a source of positive change for yourself and the world.

Do not forget to be prepared with a 72-hour kit or Bug Out Bag.

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