"Power Vs. Force:" by David R. Hawkins, M.D. 

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Power vs. Force:The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior

by David R. Hawkins, M.D.

First published 1995, reprinted 1998.  311 pages.


Book review by Mari Smith.  All comments in blue by Mari.   

The highlight of this book is Hawkins' discovery – or creation – of a scale of human consciousness. That is, he has calculated the various levels of human awareness ranging from "Shame" to "Enlightenment". The scale goes from 1-1000 which represents the degree of power of all possible human awareness.   

These numbers were calibrated through millions of kinesiological tests on thousands of people over 20 years of research.  Kinesiology is often referred to as "muscle testing" where you press down on someone's extended arm to test the resistance level of the muscle; strong means "yes", weak means "no". A more detailed description of how to do muscle testing is included later in this review. 

What seems to be at work is a form of communal consciousness, or as Hawkins calls it following Jung, a "database of consciousness." This phenomenon is common in other social animals whereby a fish swimming at one end of the school will instantly turn when its fellows a quarter-mile away flee a predator.   

It seems this same "knowing" is also available to humans. At a level far below human awareness (consciousness), our bodies KNOW what is good and bad for it.  The human brain, at some primal level, is a wondrous computer linked with a universal energy field that knows far more than it knows it knows! 

The unlimited information contained in the "database of consciousness" has now been shown to be readily available to anyone in a few seconds, at any time and in any place.   

(Children get this right away and follow with delight. There's nothing here that is surprising to them; they have always known they were connected to the database; we adults have merely forgotten it). 

Recall all the times you thought of someone and shortly thereafter they call you or you run into them.  We call this synchronicity. And what of the times we have a gut feeling to go the other way and take a different course of action than we originally intended – just like the fish turning away automatically, it was our intuition that guided us.  This is evidence of our connection to the universal energy field, the collective intelligence.   We are always at all times connected to this universal energy field; this database of consciousness has the infinite ability to guide us towards good (power) and away from bad (force).


Enlightenment 700-1000
Peace 600
Joy 540
Love 500
Reason 400
Acceptance 350
Willingness 310
Neutrality 250
Courage 200




Pride 175
Anger 150
Desire 125
Fear 100
Grief 75
Apathy 50
Guilt 30
Shame 20

The average level of human consciousness today is approximately 204.  A collective level of consciousness of mankind remained at 190 for many centuries and, curiously, only jumped to its current level of 204 in the late 1980s). 

Eighty-five percent of the human race is below the critical level of 200.  The extreme negativity of a few perverse individuals can sway entire cultures and produce a global drag on the general level of consciousness, as history illustrates to well. 

The awareness level which is calibrated for an individual at birth only INCREASES BY ABOUT FIVE POINTS, on average. 

That an individual's level of consciousness is already in effect at birth is a sobering idea with profound implications. 

NOTE: It is very important to remember that the calibration figures do not represent an arithmetic progress, but a logarithmic progression.  Thus, the level 300 is not twice the amplitude of 150; it is 300 to the 10th power (10300). 

An increase of even a few points represents a MAJOR ADVANCE IN POWER;the rate of increase in power as we move up the scale is enormous.   The difference in power level, for instance, between 361.0 and 361.1 is very significant and capable of transforming both one's life and one's effect on the world at large. 

All levels below 200 are destructive of life in both the individual and society at large.  The primary impetus at these levels is survival.   

At the level of Pride (175) the survival motive may expand to comprehend the survival of others as well. Pride has enough energy to run the United States Marine Corps. People feel positive as they reach this level, in contrast to the lower energy fields.  This rise in self-esteem is a balm to all the pain experienced at lower levels of consciousness. 

All levels above 200 are constructive expressions of power. The decisive level of 200 is the fulcrum that divides the general areas of FORCE and POWER.  At the level of Courage (200) an attainment of true power occurs; therefore it is also the level of EMPOWERMENT.  This is the zone of exploration, accomplishment, strength and determination.  As we cross the line between negative and positive influence into Courage, the well-being of others becomes increasingly important.   

People at the level of neutrality (250) have a confident capability to live in the world. People at this level are easy to get along with, safe to be around and associate with, because they're not interested in conflict, competition or guilt.  Their attitude is nonjudgmental and does not lead to any need to control other people's behaviors.   

By the 500 level the happiness of others emerges as the essential motivating force. This level is characterized by the development of a love which is unconditional, unchanging and permanent. Love has the capacity to lift others and accomplish great feats because of its purity of motive.   

The person who has arrived at a habitual state of unconditional Love will experience anything less as unacceptable. As one advances in the evolution of his individual consciousness, the process becomes self-correcting, so that self-improvement becomes a way of life

500 is the level of true happiness, but although the world is fascinated with the subject of love, it is interesting to know that only 0.4% of the world's population ever reaches this evolutionary level of consciousness. 

The high 500s are characterized by interest in spiritual awareness for both oneself and others.  

By the 600s the good of mankind and search for enlightenment are the primary goals. Only one in 10 million reaches a level of consciousness calibrating at 600 or over. 

From 700 to 1000 life is dedicated to the salvation of all humanity. True enlightenment at these levels has really only been achieved by a few spiritual masters throughout the ages; these are the Great Avatars to whom the title "Lord" is appropriate: Lord Krishna, Lord Buddha and Lord Jesus Christ. 

A thorough absorption of the material presented in this book has been shown to raise one's level of consciousness by an average of 35 POINTS. This is profound given most people will only increase their level by five points in a lifetime!  Because we are all interconnected, any individual increase also raises to some degree the consciousness of everyone on the planet. 

To become more conscious is the greatest gift anyone can give to the world. 

The power of the relatively few individuals near the top of the consciousness level counterbalances the weaknesses of the masses toward the bottom to achieve the overall average of 204. 

Although only 15% of the world's population is above the critical consciousness level of 200, the collective power of that 15% has the weight to counterbalance the negativity of the remaining 85%.  Kinesiological testing has shown that: 

One individual at level 700*…                  counterbalances…                  70 million individuals below level 200.

One individual at level 600…                   counterbalances…                  10 million individuals below level 200.

One individual at level 500…                  counterbalances…                  750,000 individuals below level 200.

One individual at level 400…                   counterbalances…                  400,000 individuals below level 200.

One individual at level 300…                   counterbalances…                  90,000 individuals below level 200.

Twelve individuals at level 700*…                   equals…                  one Avatar at 1,000.

*There are currently 12 persons on the planet who calibrate at 700. 

We can see from the analysis above that even a few loving thoughts during the course of the day more than counterbalance all of our negative thoughts. 

The only way to enhance our power in the world is by increasing our integrity, understanding and capacity for compassion.   

Nothing out there has power over you.  It is not life's events, but how we react to them, the attitude that we have about them, which determine whether they have a positive or negative effect on our lives, whether they are experienced as opportunity or stress

Nothing has the power to "create" stress. The loud music that raises the blood pressure of one person can be a source of delight to another.  A divorce may be traumatic if it is unwanted or a release into freedom if it is desired. 

Our decision-making process is a function of consciousness itself; with enormous rapidity, the mind makes choices based on millions of pieces of data and their correlations far beyond conscious comprehension. The new science of nonlinear dynamics calls the energy patterns attractors

All of the Great Teachers throughout the history of our species have merely taught one thing, over and over, in whatever language, at whatever time. All have said, simply: Give up weak attractors for strong attractors. 

Alignment with high energy attractor patterns results in health; with weak ones, in disease. 

So how do we overcome negative attitudes?  Clinical observation indicates that the patient must reach a decision point. A sincere desire for change allows one to seek higher attractor energy patterns. 

We do not get over pessimism by associating with cynics; the popular idea that you are defined by the company you keep has some clinical basis!   

All that is really necessary is to expose oneself to a high energy field and one's inner attitudes will spontaneously begin to change. 

This is a phenomenon well known among self-help groups – as reflected in the saying, "Just bring the body to the meeting."  (Or as Woody Allen says, "80% of success in life is just showing up!") If you merely expose yourself to the influence of higher patterns, they begin to "rub off;" as it is said, "You get it by osmosis." 

This is why it is so important to look around at the company you keep. As someone once said, "If you want to fly with eagles, don't scratch with turkeys!" Take a millionaire out for lunch. Form a mastermind group of powerful, successful people.  Step outside your comfort zone and start hanging out with people brighter, more experienced and more successful than you are.  

If you wanted to improve your tennis game, you wouldn't play with a beginner. The best way to improve, in any area of life for that matter, is to learn from (or at least emulate) those who have mastery in that area.  


Facts are accumulated by effort (force),

but truth reveals itself effortlessly (power). 

Power is unassuming; force is arrogant. Power attracts; whereas force repels. Power serves others; force is self-serving.  Power always results in a win-win solution; force produces win-lose situations. 

Mahatma Gandhi expressed universal principles which calibrate at 700; he forbade the use of violence and united the will of the people, which brought the British Empire to its knees.  Colonialism calibrated at 175.  This is a classic example of Power accomplishing with ease that which force is unable to accomplish even with extreme effort.  

The Constitution of the United States calibrates at 700.  The source of its power is the concept that all men are equal by virtue of the divinity of their creation, the same principle that Gandhi expressed. 

Hawkins goes into great detail of the implications of Power (strong attractors) vs. Force (weak attractors) in Politics, Social, the Human Spirit, the Marketplace, Sports, the Arts, Health and Wellness, Genius, Success and Creativity.   

Hawkins also includes an illuminating chart of contrasting pairs of words: power/strong words vs. force/weak words. 

Mere reflection on the many contrasting pairs of qualities can start to raise your consciousness, so that you gradually become more aware of the words you use in relationships, business affairs and all the various interactions that make up the fabric of life. 

Socrates taught that man's purpose is to dedicate his life to the enlightenment of his soul (the light) rather than the pursuit of materialism and the senses (which leads to darkness). 


It takes two people to perform a kinesiological test.  Use a friend or a family member for testing. We'll call him or her your subject. 

  1. Have the subject stand up straight with his right arm relaxed at his side and his left arm held out from the shoulder, elbow straight.  (He may use the other arm if he prefers.)  

  1. Stand facing your subject and place your right hand (or just two fingers) on the subject's extended arm just above the wrist.

  1. Tell the subject you are going to try to push his arm down as he resists with all his strength.  Now push down on his arm fairly quickly, firmly and evenly. The idea is to push just hard enough to test the spring and bounce in the arm, not so hard that the muscle becomes fatigued.  It is not a question of who is stronger, but of whether the deltoid muscle can "lock" the shoulder joint against the push.

  1. Tips to maintain the accuracy of muscle testing include:

    1. Remove eyeglasses, especially if they have metal frames;

    2. Remove hats (synthetic materials on top of the head make everyone go weak);

    3. The testing arm should be free of jewelry, especially quartz wristwatches;

    4. Be impersonal during the procedure to avoid transmitting positive or negative feelings;

    5. To improve concentration, have the test subject close his or her eyes;

    6. Keep the environment free of noise, background music, or distractions; 

    7. If subjects repeatedly go weak, be aware that unusual stimuli such as a tester's perfume, aftershave lotion or voice may affect the test results.

  1. A statement may be made by either party. If the statement is negative or false, or reflects a calibration below 200, the test subject will "go weak."  If the answer is yes or calibrates over 200, he will "go strong."

    1. To demonstrate the procedure ask your subject to think of someone they love in contrast to someone they fear or dislike strongly.

  1. Questions should always be posed as a declaration of fact. (It is useless to ask questions about the future as the test results will have no reliability).

  1. The test can also be performed by holding test objects next to the subject's solar plexus.  (Note that the test objects can even be concealed in a manila envelope and the test will still be accurate).

Using the numeric scale of consciousness, calibrations can be arrived at by stating, "This item is over 100… over 200… over 300…" until a negative response is obtained.  The calibration can then be refined: "It is over 220? 225? 230?" etc. Tester and testee can trade places and the same results will be obtained.   

Once one is familiar with the technique it can be used to evaluate companies, movies, individuals, events in history, or for the diagnosis of current life problems.  Because the test is rapid, actually taking less than 10 seconds, it is possible to process an enormous amount of information in a short time. 

Imagine the implications of being able to discern with 100% accuracy true from false. You need never take a course of action that you are unsure about. Jobs, relationships, opportunities, decisions all can be tested first. 

Test results are independent of the test subject's knowledge, opinions, belief systems or attitudes.  For example, the music of Bach makes everyone go strong, even if they do not personally like it, just as heavy metal music makes all subjects go weak, even if they personally prefer it

The test response is independent of the subject's physical strength. It is frequently dumbfounding to well-muscled athletes when they go just as weak as anyone else in response to a noxious stimulus. 


I have only scratched the surface of the book in this review; it is extremely content rich and is a handbook you'll want to reference time and again.

If you are on a path of personal and spiritual growth, if you are a seeker of truth, and if you want to help increase the consciousness level on this planet – this book is a must read!   

Mari Smith


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