David Hawkins: The scales of enlightenment

David R. Hawkins believed he found a path to ultimate Truth. I think david hawkinshe is honest, but I do not feel his path will lead one to the stated goal. Using techniques derived from kinesiology, Doctor David Hawkins presented a method by which one gauges truth (or consciousness): on a scale of 1 to 1000, where 1 is simply being alive and 1000 is an advanced state of enlightenment.

I won’t go into the details of the actual test. Suffice it to say that it is simple. Get a feel for it, and an interesting overview of the origins of kinesiology, here:answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=591276.

The author of this Google answer points out that:

The truth is that, as John Diamond discovered, there is one muscle in the left arm which corresponds with the entire biofield of a human being, and can be used to test the impact, on the entire system, of anything from a pair of shoes to finding the correct dosage of a particular supplement FOR THAT INDIVIDUAL. Dr Diamond continually stressed that what might test healthy for one individual might significantly weaken another, and vice-versa.

Hawkins sidesteps Dr. Diamond’s emphasis on individual differences, and claims that anyone above the level of 200 (only 15% of humanity) will always give the same results if you follow his method. For those in the lucky minority, Hawkins offers a guaranteed way of determining the truth. Are you doubtful? Let me share with you some of my thoughts after reading Hawkins’ book Power Vs. Force, viewing a lecture video, and trying his method.

It did not take long to doubt Hawkins’ claim that “the truths reported in this book [Power Vs. Force] were scientifically derived and objectively organized.” David Hawkins cloaks Power Vs. Force in a veneer of mis-applied scientific jargon and presents highly speculative theories as facts. It is hard to imagine that a person, who once wrote journaled scientific papers, is now stating that subjects experienced “desynchronization of the cerebral hemispheres” as if this were a recognized medical condition. He references Karl Pribram as showing the brain acts “holographically,” while, in truth, Pribram’s is one of several theories. Hawkins makes vague references to nonlinear dynamics, chaos theory, and attractor patterns in support of his theory of consciousness. He displays a knack for obscuring the obvious by attempting to appear scientific: labeling an emotional upset as “turbulence that occurs in the attractor fields of consciousness.” Power Vs. Force is filled with attempts to be scientific that wind up worthy of ridicule rather than respect.

Dr. Hawkins refers to the “absolute replicability of test results,” yet makes no mention that kinesiology is not verified by double-blind studies, as evidenced by these reports from the National Institutes of Health website:
Double-blind Study on Materials Testing with Applied Kinesiology.

Test-retest-reliability and validity of the Kinesiology muscle test.

Applied kinesiology unreliable for assessing nutrient status.

A review of the research papers published by the International College of Applied Kinesiology from 1981 to 1987.

Unproven techniques in allergy diagnosis.

Applied kinesiology” in medicine and dentistry–a critical review

Unproved diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to food allergy and intolerance.

His book lists several variables that cause faulty test results: wearing synthetic clothing, metal jewelry, or simply the voice of the tester. If he is aware of the NIH studies, he probably dismisses them for these reasons. Considering he mentions his own tests sometimes occurring in informal settings such as lecture audiences of 1000 people, it becomes hard to imagine how he controlled these variables. I suspect he simply discarded any results that did not conform to his expectations.

Hawkins states that his diagnostic method cannot be used to make inquiries about the future, yet claims you can determine avenues of fruitful research and judge in advance the advisability of strategies. In fact, he says the method will revolutionize scientific inquiry, medical research, and product development by saving years of research and millions of dollars, yet does not list a single example where he or anyone else did so.

Occasionally, David Hawkins transcends his reliance on pseudo-scientific authority and seems to speak from a greater knowledge such as in this quote:

There is ultimately, neither duality nor nonduality; there’s only awareness. Only awareness itself can state that it’s beyond all concepts such as “is” or “is not.” That must be so, because “is” can be conceived only by consciousness itself…. Awareness itself is beyond even consciousness.

Typically though, Hawkins burdens such simple statements as “One’s range of choice is ordinarily limited only by one’s vision,” with unsupported references to his studies of “advanced theoretical physics, nonlinear dynamics, and the nature of nonlinear equations.” In Hawkins’ mind, “will” becomes “the chaos-theory principle of sensitive dependence on initial way of spiritual progress.”

As for the important question of how to become enlightened, Hawkins has only this to say:

The steps necessary to be taken to facilitate awareness of Self as consciousness have been well detailed historically. Numerous techniques and behaviors have been prescribed to facilitate the removal of obstacles to expanded awareness; these can be found in the practice of various spiritual disciplines. The one process common to all such teachings is the progressive elimination of the identification of self as finite.

In a book that contains 300 pages of reasoning, Hawkins makes an ironic, but true statement:

Human reason exhausts itself ceaselessly to explain the inexplicable. Explanation itself is high comedy, as preposterous as trying to see the back of one’s own head, but the vanity of the ego is boundless, and it becomes even more overblown by this very attempt to make sense of nonsense. The mind, in its identity with the ego, cannot by definition, comprehend reality; if it could, it would instantly dissolve itself upon recognizing its own illusory nature. It’s only beyond the paradox of mind transcending ego that what Is stands forth, self-evident and dazzling in its infinite Absoluteness. And then all of these words are useless.

Amen, brother! If Hawkins followed this statement, his book would be 30 pages instead of 300.

As for the 2002 lecture video, it was a disappointment. Hawkins mentions that in 1965 he received a blast of thought from an archangel that calibrated at 50,000 (maybe it was 500,000…) and left him addled for years. Hmm…. He tells us he was a pirate in a past life and still knows where he buried the gold, then calibrates his story for the audience to show it is true. Funny how his calibrations don’t contradict his claims. He goes on and on, calibrating world leaders, dogs and cats, and making everyone in the audience feel very comfortable in their (or his) ability to understand life, the universe, and everything. He presents a muddled, yet comforting model. Exactly what we don’t need, in my opinion, if we are looking for the Truth.

After two or three hours of this, he finally mentions what one should do to get enlightened: let go of your personal story, he says. Witness your thoughts and surrender them to God. Once you do that, all “thinkingness” instantly disappears. I guess that’s it. Hawkins drifted off onto some other train of thought after making this simplistic statement. The only highlight of the lecture was his sense of humor. David Hawkins was quite funny, in a non-politically correct way, and didn’t hold back his opinions.

I tried his kinesiological method, but did not have consistent results. Perhaps I’m at some moronic level of consciousness…. Try it for yourself. That’s one good thing about David Hawkins: you can easily see for yourself if what he claims is true. Power Vs. Force is readily available, even in many local libraries, and testing his method will only take a few minutes.

David Hawkins passed away on September 19, 2012 at the age of 85. His was a long life of service.

A good interview of David Hawkins:

Sarlo’s Guru Ratings mentions some of the legal flourishes by the Hawkins organization that led to the Wiki entry and the NEIRR pages (both highly critical) disappearing:
More on David Hawkins

The official David Hawkins webpage is:

A critical review of Power Vs. Force is at:

Another critical view comes from Scott Jeffrey in his book Power Vs. Truth. In the process of writing the authorized biography of David Hawkins, Jeffrey became disillusioned by a number of surprising revelations:

14 thoughts on “David Hawkins: The scales of enlightenment”

  1. I have mixed feelings on kinesiology and the map (I call it a scale since it’s 1-dimensional not 2-dimensional) of consciousness.

    On the one hand, I thought the notion of emotions being distributed along a linear scale according to the amount of energy they supply (calibrated logarithmically like dB’s) was a truly brilliant notion, though like so many brilliant ideas, seems entirely logical after you think about it for awhile. After all, some thoughts & emotions make us joyous while others make us miserable. Even Tony Robbins says we don’t “have” depression, but rather, we “do” depression by virtue of the thoughts we choose to think.

    But the idea of intuiting the unknowable e.g., the actual numerical values of the emotions, or the truth or falsity of certain statements, or supplement dosages – based on kinesiology – is something I’m not so sure of. This is because in 2008, I had some supplements given to me based on muscle testing, and they made me extremely sick. And I could feel my muscle go weak and strong as different supplements were placed on my chest. My conclusion based on that experience was while it is certainly true that some chemicals placed on our chest will definitely make us go strong or weak, extrapolating from that to conclude that these chemicals should actually go INTO our bodies is simply too big of a leap to make with any degree of accuracy.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I never thought about the issue of supplements muscle tested on the surface of the body, but then ingested into the body.

  2. yes david hawkins was an obvious charlatan with his books filled with new age mumbo jumbo
    Alternative medical diagnoses and treatments are not included in the science-based curriculum taught in medical schools, and are not used in medical practice where treatments are based on scientific knowledge. Alternative therapies are often based on religion, tradition, superstition, belief in supernatural energies, pseudoscience, errors in reasoning, propaganda, or fraud. within

    1. trevinsky waldorf
      Your attacks against alternate treatments is based on ignorance.
      The scientific knowledge used in medical schools and training is very limited.
      Anything outside of scientific knowledge is not mumbo jumbo BS, it is just not known by the medical establishment, which usual does not provide any cures, but just treats the symptoms, which usual just leaves the health problem to get worse and any drugs prescribed often results in side effects, which ends up in more drugs prescribed and often an endless loop into declining health.

      I have the wisdom to use the limited knowledge of doctors when helpful and go to alternative treatments when the doctors limited knowledge makes them blind to curing the actual health problem.

      Doctors are actually responsible for the decline in health in many of their patients.

      My wife had cancer and 100% ignored the doctors and hospital recommended treatment of radiation, chemotherapy and surgery and just got inexpensive alternative treatments and was cured in 9 months and stayed that way in great health for the last 10 years. Someone we knew with the same cancer followed the doctor and hospital recommended treatments and died in 6 months due to the medical establishment limited knowledge and fixation on the scientific method to health cures and optimum health. God and healing don’t care about doctors and the scientific method and egocentric doctors and scientists.

      1. With much respect to your perception of doctors they are NOT responsible for the decline of patients health. Only the patient carries the responsibility for their own health. I am very happy for you and your wifes’ experience for eliminating the cancer within her. Every patient has the same opportunity to choose the way of accepting the free gift of healing. Doctors do not claim to heal patients. They just assist patients in the manner they are trained to serve in this world. I have experience hundreds of healings through ” LIGHT HEALING” as I watched cancers disappear over night. I am not responsible for the restoration of health or the decline of health in another person. I just assist in eradicating sickness {separation } and disease { DIS EASE } for a willing vessel.

      2. I agree wholeheartedly Richard, thank you for taking the time out to clarify that for those who do not know.

  3. Sahaja Yoga does explain to it’s followers how to discern truth from falsehood.
    Just google that for a detailed explanation or go to one of classes worldwide they are always free.

  4. Our Healthcare systems are the worst Healthcare Systems in history almost, the great advances in medical science have been lost to the middleman the insurance company and the drug companies, we sit and watch television with commercial after commercial selling young people prescription drugs. Once you go to the doctor you’ll get a prescription and you’ll be on them the rest of your life. If that is my choice I will take the Alternative Care and I will judge by results. I suggest you be so wise.

  5. A force/displacement analysis of muscle testing

    The model is accurate 98% of the time compared to judgments of clinicians with more than 5 years of experience but is considerably lower for clinicians with less than five years of experience (64%). this accuracy rate indicates that the model is reliable in predicting the clinician’s perception of muscle strength, and it also indicates that the testing procedure for muscle strength used by experienced clinicians in applied kinesiology are reliable.


    In Experiment 1, MRT accuracy, 0.659 (95% CI 0.623 – 0.695), was found to be significantly different (pā€‰<ā€‰0.01) from intuition accuracy, 0.474 (95% CI 0.449 – 0.500), and also from the likelihood of chance (0.500; pā€‰<ā€‰0.01). Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1. Testing for various factors that may have influenced MRT accuracy failed to detect any correlations.

    MRT has repeatedly demonstrated significant accuracy for distinguishing lies from truths, compared to both intuition and chance.


  7. The theory of consciousness levels is only a part of his main idea, or more accurately, a vehicle to express his main idea which is to tell us that we are not our physical bodies or endless thoughts, but something beyond those. The theory of consciousness levels itself was not meant to achieve that state, but used to make us aware that there is “something up there” of which we had little experience before. For achieving that state, he suggested various other methods, like letting go of resistances, being honest about oneself, being kind to all beings, and so on, which are similar to teachings of most spiritual teachers. His unique contribution compared to other spiritual teachers is that he provides a visualized ladder of spiritual growth.

    So, the effectiveness of the consciousness level theory and that of his teachings are two different things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *