David Hawkins

Introduction to David Hawkins

David Hawkins (or David R. Hawkins) is a psychiatrist who not only tackled years of clinical experience, but has conducted extensive research. His career spans from 1952 when he earned his MD from The Medical College of Wisconsin (established as Marquette University School of Medicine). In 1995, he also earned his PhD. in Philosophy from Columbia Pacific University. In his lifetime, he has founded and led several research laboratories and clinics.

Levels of Consciousness in "Power VS Force"

The most well known publication of Dr. Hawkins is "Power VS. Force - The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior" (Hawkins, 2002). In the book, Hawkins extrapolates a hierarchical model of personality development. Hawkins argues that the personality can be described in a scoring system which ranges from 0 to 1000 (0 being the lowest score, 1000 being absolute enlightenment or pure awareness) (Hawkins 2002, 75-85). It is of interest to note that Hawkins argues that objective truth is not only existant, but may be reached and understood by any individual using a technique called kinesiology. By accessing the "Database of Consciousness," an individual may have questions answered with 100% certainty. His research shows that results are repeatable and accurate (Hawkins 2002, 29-30), regardless of the individual who performs the kinesiologic testing.

Each energy level outlined by Hawkins is extrapolated in the book. These levels of consciousness permeate the individual's entire perspective and dictate the way they relate to their life experiences. For Hawkins, moving upward into higher states of consciousness is the only way to make meaningful progress in one's life. Sadly, the average individual only moves up 5 points in their entire lifetime. However, a focused effort to move into higher states can lead to incredible leaps of awareness in relatively short periods of time. Individuals will fluctuate between different points on the scale, but an overall average number can be calculated using kinesiological testing. Briefly, here are the energy levels outlined by David Hawkins:

  • 20: Shame
  • 30: Guilt
  • 50: Apathy
  • 75: Grief
  • 100: Fear
  • 125: Desire
  • 150: Anger
  • 175: Pride
  • 200: Courage
  • 250: Neutrality
  • 310: Willingness
  • 350: Acceptance
  • 400: Reason
  • 500: Love
  • 540: Joy
  • 600: Peace
  • 700-1000: Enlightenment

Although Hawkins goes into great detail about the various levels of consciousness, he points out two turning points as most crucial.

"On our scale of consciousness, there are two critical points that allow for major advancement. The first is at 200, the initial level of empowerment: Here, the willingness to stop blaming and accept responsibility for one's own actions, feelings, and beliefs arises - as long as cause and responsibility are projected outside of oneself, one will remain in the powerless mode of victimhood. The second is at the 500 level, which is reached by accepting love and nonjudgemental forgiveness as a lifestyle, exercising unconditional kindness to all persons, things, and events without exception." (Hawkins 2002, 238).

These two thresholds are primary challenges for many individuals today. Moving beyond them represents a significant barrier which can only be overcome through a significant shift in personality. After moving beyond these realms, progression into increasingly higher states is very natural and less challenging.

Measuring Collective Consciousness

Through kinesiological testing, David Hawkins and his researchers estimate the energy state of humanity's collective consciousness to sit around 207 (Hawkins 2002, 95). This is just above the 200 threshold, in which we move from an overall destructive force to an overall creative force on the planet. Therefore, Hawkins is very optimistic about the progress being made. However, Hawkins warns that "Any meaningful human satisfaction cannot commence until the level of 250, where some degree of self-confidence begins to emerge as a basis for positive life experiences in the evolution of consciousness." (Hawkins 2002, 96).

Counterbalancing Lower States of Consciousness

Individuals in states below 200 are explained as counterproductive to society. Their actions, in general, cause more harm than good. Furthermore, Hawkins warns that more than 85% of humans alive today still calibrate below the critical 200 level threshold (Hawkins 2002, 95). This is not surprising given that the majority of humanity still lives in extreme poverty, in which development of consciousness is nearly impossible.

The reason that our collective score sits at 207 is because the scale is logarithmic. Individuals who maintain higher states of awareness counterbalance large numbers of minds in lower states. Although only 4 percent of people alive today have reached the critical energy field of 500, individuals in these states have extremely powerful influence on the well being of society as a whole. In fact, Hawkins points out that only .4 percent of the population reaches 540, and only 1 in 10 million people will ever reach the level of 600 (Hawkins 2002, 95). He also points out that there are currently 12 persons on the planet who calibrate at 700 (Hawkins 2002, 282).

To gain perspective of the power of individuals who reach higher states - and it emphasize the importance of our individual capacity to reach these higher states - Hawkins lays out the mathematics (Hawkins 2002, 282):

  • One individual at 700 counterbalances 70 million individuals below level 200
  • One individual at 600 counterbalances 10 million individuals below level 200
  • One individual at 500 counterbalances 750,000 individuals below level 200
  • One individual at 400 counterbalances 400,000 individuals below level 200
  • One individual at 300 counterbalances 90,000 individuals below level 200
  • Twelve individuals at 700 equals one avatar at level 1000

Because of the logarithmically increasing power of individuals at higher states of consciousness, humanity has finally reached a level above the critical threshold of 200. Hawkins stresses that each person has the capacity to have significant influence on the well being of society by prioritizing progression of their individual consciousness.

David Hawkins and Attractor Fields

Rather than simply affecting events on the linear physical level, Hawkins (Hawkins 2002, 46-53) argues that alignment with "attractor fields" is a much more wise approach to accomplishing peak performance in one's life. While there is no doubt that Newtonian physics accurately describes events as happening in a sequential fashion, Hawkins argues that this is a gross oversimplification of the way we interact with the environment.

Physics correctly predicts the following:


Hawkins argues that underlying this physical chain of events are fundamental forces which can be amplified in one's life. In other words, awareness upon the attractor field [ABC] necessitates A->B->C. The entirety of Hawkins' work can be conceptualized as an effort to encourage others to align themselves with powerful attractor fields which necessitate positive outcomes. Entertaining higher attractor fields is a natural co-requisite to personality development and progression into higher states of consciousness. Indeed, our attitudes will change as we embrace different attractor fields. He describes the attractor fields as the determinants of human behavior (the subtitle of his book on the topic).

David Hawkins: Power VS Force

A person who is powerful engages from the level of higher attractor fields. Their lives are lived in synchronicity and joy, their work is effortless and fruitful, and their success is continuous and always growing. Again, entertaining higher energy fields progresses the personality on both the level of individual awareness and external success. As the individual moves into higher states of consciousness, they embrace power over force as the means to accomplish their goals.

"Power is associated with that which supports the significance of life itself. . . Power appeals to what uplifts, dignifies, and ennobles. Force must always be justified, wheras power requires no justification. Force is associated with the partial, while power is associated with the whole. . . Because force automatically creates counter-force, its affect is limited by definition. We could say that force is a movement - it goes from here to there (or tries to) against opposition. Power, on the other hand, is still. It's like a standing field that doesn't move. Gravity itself, for instance, doesn't move against anything. It's power moves all objects within its field, but the gravity itself does not move."

"Force always moves against something, whereas power doesn't move against anything at all. Force is incomplete and therefore has to be fed energy constantly. Power is total and complete in itself and requires nothing from outside. It makes no demands; it has no needs. Because force has an insatiable appetite, it constantly consumes. Power, in contrast, energizes, gives forth, supplies, and supports. Power gives life and energy - force takes thes away. We notice that power is associate with compassion and makes us feel positively about ourselves. Force is associated with judgement and makes us feel poorly about ourselves."

"Force always creates counterforce; its effect is to polarize rather than unify. Polarization always implies conflict; it's cost, therefore, is always high. Because force incites polarization, it inevitably produces a win/lose dichotomy; and because somebody always loses, enemies are created." (Hawkins 2002, 132-133)

Here, we can see that a person who lives in lower states of awareness is caught in endless cycles of fruitless labor. Surface level, superficial accomplishments may come to pass, but there is no real intrinsic reward and inner happiness is never achieved. This is the unfortunate result of engaging reality from lower attractor fields. Rather than harnessing the true "power" of higher states of consciousness and elevated attractor patterns, an individual continuously uses "force" to endlessly fight external circumstances from lower states. Although the effort might be significant in terms of the physical and psychological exertion associated with forceful work, no meaningful progress can be made until the individual engages higher attractor patterns. Societal development is only possible as an increasingly large portion of individuals embrace higher attractor patterns and can therefore support each other in moving into higher states.

The natural consequence of embracing power over force is development of consciousness.

The Intellect

Although intellectualism can only occur in relatively higher states of awareness (in the 300s and 400s), its power is limited.

"The achievements of pure reason are the great landmarks of cultural history. They've made man the master of his external environment; and to some degree, on the physical plane, of his internal environment. But reason has its limits, in more ways that one: The intellectual brilliance of the 400 level, so dazzling and enviable to those in the 300s, quickly pales for those who have transcended it. From a higher perspective, its all too clear how tedious and trivial reason's infatuation with itself can become. Reason is the mirror of the mind's vanity; ultimately, there are few things more boring than to observe self-admiration." (Hawkins 2002, 268)

Hawkins returns to this topic later in the book:

"Contrary to its delusions of grandeur, the intellect not only lacks the ability to recognize falsehood, but it also grossly lacks the necessary power to defend itself, even if it had the capacity for discernment. . . And it's clear from the common human conduct that even if the intellect could reliably arrive at this basic conclusion, it still lacks the power to stop the effect of negative fields. We remain unconscious of the causes of our afflictions while the intellect dreams up all kinds of plausible excuses, hypnotized by these same forces. Even when a person intellectually knows his behavior is self destructive, this knowledge has no necessary deterrent effect whatsoever; intellectual recognition of our addictions has never given us the power to control them." (Hawkins 2002, 287)

Athleticism and Higher States of Consciousness

Hawkins notes that sport provides a clear example of the difference between power and force. Many athletes remain within the level of pride and view their marginal success as a result of strictly individual will, hard work, and dedication. In other words, they consider themselves to be great, rather than seeing their success as a natural manifestation of elevated attractor patterns - which is the result of the development of both individual and collective consciousness:

"The most highly developed martial arts clearly demonstrate how motive and principle are of ultimate importance in extraordinary athletic achievement. The most frequently heard admonition to trainees is: "Stop trying to use force." Schools devoted to these arts produce masters whose oeverriding concern is voctory fot the higher self over the lower thorugh control, training, and commitment to goals aligned with true power. Alignment iwht these high-power attractor patterns isn't limited to the exercise of the discipline itself but becomes an entire lifestyle. Thus, when the power of the principle is transferred to the practitioner, the results begin to be manifested everywhere in his life."

"The hallmark of true greatness in athletic achievement is always humility (such as that exhibited by Pablo Morales after winning his gold medals in the 1992 Summer Olympics). Such athletes express gratitude, inner awe, and an awareness that their performance wasn't merely the result of an individual effort - that maximum personal effort brought them to the breakthrough pint from which they were transported by a power greater than that of the individual self. This typically is expressed as the discover of some aspect of the self hitherto unknown, or unexperienced in its pure form." (Hawkins 2002, 174)


Hawkins, D. R. (2002). Power versus force. Hay House Inc.

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