One of my favourite books of all time is the book Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinations of Human Behaviour, by David R. Hawkins M.D. Ph.D. The book is a meditation on the evidence that the emotions we choose for ourselves determine at what level we resonate inside of ourselves for our own growth, and how our choices towards negativity creates sickness in us, and decides our fate in our relationships to everything in our life. The choice towards higher powers, on the other hand, is available to us all, says Dr. Hawkins, who presents us with the range of human emotions and their effects on us from the lowest to the highest, and some of the historical and near history people who exemplify, in their behaviour, the highest regions of human potential. He shows by example that while there are only so many Buddhas, everyone can aspire to become one, because aspiring changes the individual and the community around them. The climbing up or down is the thing. Down is hate and fear, which weakens the individual to their core, and impedes their growth to harmony and beyond that. Lower emotions keep you down. On the other hand, choosing love heals and empowers the individual, and sets them on a higher path, somewhere. The opportunities come with the choices. Professional efficiency, being good at your job, would resonate below a basic happiness line, according to Dr. Hawkins. But your work life happiness can be improved by choosing joy instead of resentment, for example; or compassion over anger. Love, being somewhere in the middle of the pack of human potential, lifts you up, and leads to that web effect or network effect, I alluded to moments ago. It’s a hard thing to do, conjure love, as an example, judging by today’s divorce statistics, or even the dehumanization of the modern workforce, layoffs of real people in favour of more automation. The modern world makes it hard on the individual to rise above. But, then again, maybe not so. The change does happen on the ground floor, with you, and me, and within each of us. For most of us, a basic and fundamental change in attitude would be a good start in completely changing our personal fortunes for the better, exactly by how we really interact with the world. In a brief introduction on Amazon, Dr. Hawkins’ book is described this way:
“David R. Hawkins details how anyone may resolve the most crucial of all human dilemmas: how to instantly determine the truth or falsehood of any statement or supposed fact. Dr. Hawkins, who worked as a “healing psychiatrist” during his long and distinguished career, uses theoretical concepts from particle physics, nonlinear dynamics, and chaos theory to support his study of human behavior. This is a fascinating work that will intrigue readers from all walks of life!”
This description hardly does justice to Dr. Hawkins’ important work. Within, what you’ll find is a guide who’s created a kind of guidebook to recognizing that our feeling emotions are the most vital part in achieving our ultimate selves, which means transcendent happiness in every human person, in higher spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical health and resonance.
Dr. Hawkins notes that there are very few individuals on the planet who have ever resonated at the highest levels available to people, beyond even the high resonance of love, well above, in fact. It’s these individuals whom billions follow and idolize down the centuries and forever since. These people, like Jesus and Gandhi, become spiritual guides and gods, or virtual gods, to the billions. This doesn’t happen by accident, says Dr. Hawkins. Down the line from the top of the truly illuminated few, there are then the many well-known and famous people, known for their intellectual giftedness, who have changed the way the world thinks; people like Rousseau or Voltaire, he says, resonate at high intellectual levels and we remember them and idealize them for their high achievements. But we also don’t revere them, in the way we do the truly Enlightened Ones, the luminous prophets of the world.
Then there’s you, and me, reacting in our lives, every day. Life is hard. Things happen. And I know It seems just automatic sometimes in our day-to-day lives to choose fear before hope, jealousy before acceptance, hate before love. Yet it’s these very choices, down or up, that become our mental habits, that then become persistent physical and spiritual weaknesses or strengths. Our reality is shaped by our choices. There are a lot of health benefits to thinking healthily. The way up is the hardest, because started a new habit is always the hardest, but the way up is the only way. The world is full of negative thinkers, negative words, negative feelings, which means it’s easy to find a way of thinking that will bring you down, if you let it. The choice begins with each of us, and it’s a reflected habit that becomes, as Ovid said, character.
The most negative emotions, like fear, hate, jealousy, control, and envy, resonate at such a low level that these emotions make us sick if we choose these levels or stay at these levels for long.
The choices we make daily affect ourselves and our lives so radically, argues Dr. Hawkins, that it’s in everyone’s interest to work on evolving into the powerful emotions, the positive ‘Power’ emotions from his title, and away from the negative ‘Force’ emotions that keep us down, keep us weak, unhealthy, and disable our relationship to others and the world at large. If you sit around all day hating everything and being jealous, you can expect the quality of your life, your relations, your health, and even your understanding of the meaning of life, to be very impaired. You will feel weak because force emotions create weakness in us. The higher emotional resonance we achieve, the more powerful we become in all the ways we admire in others who show these qualities. We stop forcing control over our lives and the lives of others and instead accumulate the positive powers that give us understanding, more happiness, presence, more ability to help those struggling and, ultimately, our highest enlightenment.
If you’ve ever heard the fable of the sun and the wind, you will get the gist of this important book. In the allegory, a man is walking with his jacket on. The sun and the wind have a bet as to which of them will be able to get the jacket off the man the fastest. First the wind goes. The wind blows and blows, first blustery, then gale force. The harder the wind blows, the tighter the man clutches his jacket around him. The wind tries and tries, harder and harder each time, to get the man to remove his coat. The wind finally runs out of air and gives up. The man has his jacket on, buttoned to the throat, collar up around his ears.
Now it’s the sun’s turn. The sun comes out and shines on the man, warmer and warmer and warmer. Not hot but unhurried. The sun keeps shining on the man steadily, bringing warm rays down. Pretty soon, the man, getting warmer and warmer, decides to remove his jacket. The sun wins the bet easily. That’s the difference between power and force, and why power, like the sun shining, is more profound than the blustering force of the wind, which as strong as it is, can’t equal the awesome, persuasive and easy power of the sun.
If you’re looking for a good gift for yourself or someone you love, think about getting them Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinations of Human Behaviour. It’s easy reading, engaging, and useful map to have on you journey towards being your most powerful self.
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