The level of consciousness scale described below (the Hawkins Scale) is not intended to pigeon hole you into a numerical framework that defines you as a person — it is merely a highly accurate and useful way to understand where one is in terms of conscious awareness. Furthermore, a higher level of consciousness is not necessarily ‘better’ than a lower level. Each persons unique choices and experiences are valid as they contain a different set of learning opportunities that teach an individual a specific set of lessons that are tailored to their unique level of consciousness. We have all been at low levels of consciousness in certain lifetimes as it is a necessary requisite for achieving the higher planes of awareness. The lower levels contain core lessons that we all must learn at some point in order to attain the full realm of the human experience with all its highs, lows and challenges. These ultimately provide the foundation for elevated consciousness. One can not truly know something until they have experienced it and so we must all eventually pass through every level, from the lowest, fear based realms to those of the highest enlightened consciousness. It is only then that we become complete.
Dr. David Hawkins’ Map of Consciousness
By Scott Jeffery |
Understanding the Levels of Consciousness
Dr. David R. Hawkins, MD, PhD developed a “map” of the levels of human consciousness (also called the Scale of Consciousness) that uses a muscle-testing technique called Applied Kinesiology (AK) to document the nonlinear, spiritual realm. The research was scientifically-validated and published in Dr. Hawkins’ doctorate dissertation titled Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis and Calibrations of the Level of Human Consciousness, an elaborate discussion of the Scale of Consciousness and its significance as outlined in his groundbreaking book, Power vs. Force: The Anatomy of Consciousness (Veritas Publishing, 1995).
Briefly, each level of consciousness (LOC) coincides with determinable human behaviors and perceptions about life and God. Each level represents a corresponding attractor field of varying strength that exists beyond our three-dimensional reality. There’s a critical point within each LOC from which its field gravitates (or entrains).
The numbers on the scale represent logarithmic calibrations (measurable vibratory frequencies on a scale which increases to the tenth power) of the levels of human consciousness and its corresponding level of reality. The numbers themselves are arbitrary; the significance lies in the relationship of one number (or level) to another (e.g., Dr. Hawkins’ scale is from 1 to 1000).
The Great Barrier
Dr. Hawkins points out that the two greatest spiritual growth barriers seem to be at level 200 and 500. Two hundred, the level of courage, represents a profound shift from destructive and harmful behavior to life-promoting and integrous lifestyles; everything below 200 makes one go weak using kinesiology. Currently, approximately 78% of the world’s population is below this significant level. The destructive capacity of this majority drags down all of mankind without the counterbalancing effect of the 22% above 200. Because the scale of consciousness is logarithmic, each incremental point represents a giant leap in power. As such, one person calibrated at 600 counterbalances the negativity of 10 million people below 200.
The second great barrier is level 500 —Love. Love in this context is a way of being in the world—not an emotionality as most of us perceive it. According to Dr. Hawkins, the reason the level of love is so difficult to achieve is because our ego is so rooted in the physical domain as opposed to the spiritual domain, which emerges at 500. The 400s represent the level of reason, guided by the linear, mechanistic world of form (our modern society that includes advancements in medicine, science, government, etc). Interestingly, the top echelon of intellectual genius, including Einstein, Freud, Newton, Aristotle, etc., all calibrated around 499. The 500s represent a very difficult hurdle as only four percent of the world’s population calibrates in the 500s. This level denotes a shift from the linear, provable domain (classic physics or Newtonian physics) to the nonlinear, formless, spiritual realm.
A person’s LOC remains rather steady through the lifetime. Emotions come and go like the passing wind, but a person’s calibratable LOC is governed by specific energy fields in the nonlinear domain which generally doesn’t waver. Over the course of a lifetime, the average person’s LOC will change approximately five points (this is not a statistical derivation, but an average discovered through Dr. Hawkins’ kinesiologic research). However, it is possible for an individual (such as a spiritual aspirant) to have their LOC jump (or drop) hundreds of points in a single lifetime. -RE: Power Vs. Force, by Dr. David Hawkins, scribed by Scott Jeffery
I was lucky to experience Dr. Hawkins while attending his lecture on Transcending the Levels of Consciousness three years ago in Novato, California. His Joy for life radiated into the audience during his lecture. There is something about the beauty of ‘truth’ that is recognizable. I’ve never been so excited about life and the path towards more knowledge of our existence! I nearly levitated out of my seat! Hawkins stated that once given a glimpse of the state of Enlightenment, nothing on earth will ever quench your thirst again! 🙂
The following information is designed as a quick reference tool for Dr. Hawkins’ students who are familiar with the Map of Consciousness. To fully understand this Map of the Scale of Consciousness within the proper context, it’s important to read Dr. Hawkins’ book, Power vs. Force.
(Below the critical level of integrity):
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Gandhi and Mother Theresa are examples of people who were living at this level. Only 0.4 percent of the world will ever reach it.
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 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.
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.
In the 1960s, Dr. John Goodheart developed Applied Kinesiology (AK) into a practical diagnostic technique used mainly by chiropractors and holistic health practitioners. Based on the principle that “your body doesn’t lie,” AK or muscle testing assists these practitioners in uncovering what is going on in the body as well as determining whether or not a specific remedy would be beneficial. By testing the instantaneous response of a particular muscle, AK practitioners are able to more clearly navigate the complexities of the human body: If a tested muscle stayed strong, a substance was good for the body, and if it went weak, it was not.
Psychiatrist Dr. John Diamond further expanded Dr. Goodheart’s work by discovering that different images, paintings, music, games and material affect the body. For example, he found that classical music makes people go strong, while rap music makes everyone go weak. Similarly, synthetic clothing makes you weak and natural fibers make you strong. The implications of Dr. Diamond’s work, called Behavioral Kinesiology (BK), were profound: Everything we interact with either strengthens or weakens our life energy.
Psychiatrist Dr. David R. Hawkins realized the universality of muscle testing response—“what is good for you is good for me.” To test the hypothesis, Dr. Hawkins put a thousand people in a room, each with a sealed envelope. Half the room was given organic vitamin C and the other half a packet of NutraSweet. None of the participants were aware of the content of their envelope. Each person was tested using muscle testing (as described in the next section). The result was that half of the room went weak while the other half stayed strong. The 500 hundred people who went weak were holding the envelope with NutraSweet and the 500 hundred who stayed strong had the organic vitamin C—Dr. Hawkins had uncovered physiologic testings usefulness as the ultimate truth detector.
By following a simple procedure and making a clearly defined statement, one’s muscles either stay strong or go weak. Statements can be asked about anyone or anything from past to present. You can calibrate the level of truth of a politician, a Fortune 500 CEO or your next-door neighbor. Want to determine the validity of a new scientific theory? Test it. You don’t need to know anything about the topic in order to test a statement. The answer you receive from the kinesiologic response transcends your own knowledge and beliefs; you are accessing the infinite intelligence of the collective field (or Collective Unconscious) that binds us together.
Interestingly, physiologic testing calibrates at 600—the level of nonduality—which means the technique itself transcends a complete intellectual (i.e. linear) understanding of the phenomenon. When one muscle-testing in the above fashion, one is accessing the timeless, spaceless, database of consciousness itself.
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