Power vs. Force by William Klein

David R. Hawkins, M.D., PhD. wrote a book titled, “Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior.”  This book details the power of consciousness to transform a life. Hawkins’ work in kinesiology helped him in his psychological work as well as his medical work. He wondered if there was a way to quantify conscious understanding of truth within the study of kinesiology.

Kinesiology is defined by Hawkins as “the study of muscles and their movement especially as applied to physical conditioning.”

Hawkins learned that the intensity of our muscle tension, as it relates to certain words and ideas, can go far in determining if something was right or wrong for a person.  Words that carry positive mental/emotional weight within us allows for muscles to be strengthened. Whereas words that carry negative connotations make muscles go weak. “Love” is a word that strengthens people but a word like “hate” can make a muscle weak.

Hawkins determined numerical values for words based on kinesiological studies.  Although a social scientist might wince at the thought of this quantification, certain medical doctors saw validity to his theories. What makes this book so inspiring is that Hawkins’ psychological understanding informs his medicine in important ways.

When discussing truth, Hawkins is quick to point out the following: 

“Although it may sound cynical at first, we must admit that for every day operational purposes, truth is whatever is subjectively convincing at one’s level of perception. At the lower levels of consciousness, propositions are accepted as true even when they’re illogical, unfounded and express tenets neither intellectually provable nor practically demonstrable.”

Hawkins goes on to say that wars, deceptive behavior and egregious acts of immorality are not limited to the dim witted and ignorant. Plenty of morally conscious people commit wrongful acts in the name of changing their lot in life. People carry out these acts and it works against them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As my old friend used to say, “Everything outs in life.”  You may think you are getting away with an immoral act, but karma will catch up with you. Hawkins believes science can prove that through kinesiology and a “map of consciousness.”

Applied in a rational and meaningful manner in life, such scientific exploration may help an individual sort out what is true and false in life. It can set us on a path of honesty and integrity and inspire us to attain levels of consciousness like the saints of the world.

On the other hand, the hard realities of life force our hands in attempting to meet the needs of survival. Hawkins implicitly understands that we are all doing something that we don’t want to do but feel we have to do. This is problematic. This is what pains us in life. Rolling along to get along and not living a fulfilled life leads to an existential crisis of faith.

We have all worked jobs we didn’t want to work. They have left us unmotivated and lacking energy. The lethargy experienced makes us question if it is the right position for us. A good rule of thumb is: If it zaps you of energy and isn’t life affirming, it may not be the job for you.

Most people don’t have the luxury of refusing work to wait on a better situation. They go to work to support families. They live paycheck to paycheck. They have to make rent and deal with life on life’s terms in dead end jobs.

But the greatest motivational speakers know that there is always a way out and the development of an inner life is the beginning of a rewarding life. A good teacher helps a student by starting the work from within. Great spiritual thinkers inspire people to live their best lives. That leap of faith is a troubling one for most people, but when an individual challenges himself to see the value of meaningful self-reflection, it can change a perspective in a matter of weeks or months and set him on a course for a fulfilled life.

As I was studying up on the life of St. Ignatius, I was struck by how he was taken with the idea of kinesiology as applied by Hawkins. Although Ignatius did not overtly use the word “kinesiology and consciousness,” he wrote that his exploits in the world and thoughts of conquering the world inspired him to reflect on his life deeper and in a more meaningful way.

He wrote about fantasizing about his life. He said, “When I fantasized about my life as a knight, I felt energized at first but then I became lethargic and tired. However, when I thought of the great heroic deeds I would accomplish for God, I felt just as excited and remained energized and experienced deep joy.  A striking difference. It turned out to be a key guide in finding God in everyday life. My desire to dedicate myself to God grew ever stronger. For me that meant leaving behind my life as a knight.”

No doubt, guys like St. Ignatius and David Hawkins have found what works for them in delving deeper and through a reflective manner. Whatever you do to quantify what needs to happen with your life, it all begins with the act of turning within and listening deeply and attuning to a deeply reflective inner questioning of what is true and why is it true?

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