Power vs. Force: The
Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior (Paperback), by David R. Hawkins,
Veritas, 1995/Hay House, 2002, 343pp.
“Imagine – what if you had access to a simple yes-or-no
(Y/N) answer to any question you wished to ask?
A demonstrably true answer to
Think about it…” According to
David Hawkins, applied kinesiology supplies humankind with just such a
method, and this method is infallible, making possible what Hawkins calls “a
new era of truth.”
The implications of
this simple procedure extend into law, criminal justice, scholarly research,
psychotherapy, interpersonal relationships, parenting, medicine, politics, and
The foundation of this simple
method lies within the incredible power of the body itself and, in particular,
the unexplored and untapped mind-body connection. To quote him: “[T]he body can
discern, to the finest degree, the difference between that which is supportive
of life and that which is not.”
Power vs. Force, which is based on David
R. Hawkins’ later-life doctoral dissertation within the field of applied
kinesiology – after decades as a successful psychiatrist – offers this
technique and its scientific explanation as its first major theme.
But there’s no spoiler here – read the book
to find out what it is!
The second major theme of
Power vs. Force is “levels of consciousness.”
According to Hawkins, invisible energy fields
that correlate with people’s vibratory energy are the primary determinants of
Drawing from chaos
theory and quantum physics – in particular, nonlinear dynamics, critical point
analysis, and attractor field research – plus his own kinesiological findings,
Hawkins developed a logarithmic scale to measure the magnitude of people’s
invisible energy fields.
or levels of consciousness, are labeled (for heuristic purposes only): shame,
guilt, apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, pride, courage, neutrality,
willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy, peace, and enlightenment.
Using the kinesiological “truth technique,”
Hawkins is able to calibrate the consciousness of any particular person, living
or deceased, revealing a new explanatory structure for both human relations and
The point “200” on the scale serves as a critical dividing
line between negative and positive influence; at levels below 200, personal
survival is the main objective and the common good is less of a concern.
According to Hawkins, approximately 85% of
humanity calibrates below 200, although rapid rises in the collective
calibration of humanity are occurring at this time.
In fact, within the last few decades, the
collective calibration level of humanity has finally risen above the 200
Another dividing line occurs at
“500,” the point at which the happiness and well-being of others eclipses
self-interest and becomes the primary life motivation; spiritual rather than
material concerns also assume center stage.
According to Hawkins, individuals at the high end of the
scale (for example, Jesus or Gandhi) “balance out” the energies of individuals
at the lower end of the scale. One individual at level 300 counterbalances
90,000 individuals below 200.
individual at 400 counterbalances 400,000 individuals below 200. One individual
at 500 counterbalances 750,000 individuals below 200. One individual at 600
counterbalances 10 million individuals below 200. One individual at 700
counterbalances 70 million individuals below 200. One avatar at 1,000 (which is
the point beyond which human consciousness can no longer withstand the limited
existence of human form) can theoretically counterbalance all humankind at
The third major theme of the book concerns the subject of
the title, namely, the distinction between “power” and “force.”
In a nutshell, power emanates effortlessly
and generates no counter-force, whereas force requires effort to have effect
and always generates counter-force.
Force, therefore, is the exercise of dominance, whereas power is simply
This distinction is
reminiscent of Audre Lorde’s distinction between “power over” and “power with”
To quote Hawkins: “Power gives life and
energy; force takes these away.”
“True power…emanates from consciousness itself; what we see is the visible
manifestation of the invisible.”
human psychology and human history are, to a large extent, the result of the
interplay between power and force among various human actors.
Thus, the power vs. force distinction is at
the heart of Hawkins’ theory regarding “the hidden determinants of human
By positivist standards, Hawkins’ research methods and
resulting theory are indisputably radical, because they require the
acknowledgment of a reality that is inaccessible to the five senses. Yet, as he and other like-minded researchers
show, acknowledgement of such a reality, in conjunction with applied uses of
conventional science, pushes the boundaries of what science can achieve in
terms of human betterment. Admittedly,
readers may disagree with certain conclusions Hawkins draws about the
calibration level of particular people, ideas, events, or activities. Some readers may also detect a Western bias
in his thought. However, the value of
his work is in the way it challenges us to think beyond the confines of a
narrow empiricism. As daring
interdisciplinary scholarship like his shows, even the most “empirical” of our
sciences, such as physics and medicine, are coming to similar conclusions about
the role of mind and other “invisible” energies in both our physical and social
realities. Thus, one who reads
Power vs. Force
risks becoming a living
embodiment of Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous observation: “A mind stretched to
a new idea never returns to its original dimensions.”