Levels of Consciousness

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I copied this from the book
“Power vs. Force” by David R. Hawkins
Have a think about where you are on this scale and how to climb up it. I find it fascinating:

“In describing the emotional correlates of the energy fields of consciousness, it is well to remember that they are rarely manifested as pure states in an individual. A person may operate on one level in a given area of life and on quite a different level in another area of life. An individual’s overall level of consciousness is the sum total effect of all these various levels.

Energy Level 20: Shame

The level of Shame is perilously proximate to death, which may be chosen out of Shame as conscious suicide or more subtly elected by failure to take steps to prolong life, as in “passive suicide.” Death by avoidable accident is common. We all have some awareness of the pain of “losing face,” becoming discredited, or feeling like a “nonperson.” In Shame, people hang their heads and slink away, wishing they were invisible. Banishment is a traditional accompaniment of shame and, in the primitive societies from which we all originate, banishment is equivalent to death. Early life experiences such as sexual abuse, which lead to Shame, warp the personality often for a lifetime unless these issues are resolved by therapy. Shame, as Freud determined, produces neurosis. It is destructive to emotional and psychological health and, as a consequence of low self-esteem, makes one prone to the development of physical illness. The Shame-based personality is shy, withdrawn, and introverted. Shame is also used as a tool of cruelty, and its victims often become cruel themselves. Shamed children are cruel to animals and cruel to each other. The behavior of people whose consciousness level is only in the 20s is dangerous. They are prone to hallucinations of an accusatory nature, as well as paranoia; some become psychotic or commit bizarre crimes. Some Shame-based individuals compensate by perfectionism and rigidity, and often become driven and intolerant. Notorious examples of this are the moral extremists who form vigilante groups, projecting their own unconscious shame onto others whom they then feel justified in righteously attacking or killing. Serial killers have often acted out of sexual moralism, with the justification of punishing so-called “bad” women. Because it pulls down the whole level of one’s personality, Shame results in a vulnerability to the other negative emotions, and, therefore, often produces false pride, anger, and guilt.

Energy Level 30: Guilt

Guilt, so commonly used in our society to manipulate and punish, manifests itself in a variety of expressions, such as remorse, self-recrimination, masochism, and the whole gamut of symptoms of victimhood. Unconscious Guilt results in psychosomatic disease, accident-proneness, and suicidal behaviors. Many people struggle with Guilt their entire lives, while others desperately attempt escape by amorally denying Guilt altogether. Guilt-domination results in a preoccupation with “sin,” an unforgiving emotional attitude frequently exploited by religious demagogues, who use it for coercion and control. Such “sin-and-salvation” merchants, obsessed with punishment, are likely either acting out their own guilt, or projecting it on to others. Subcultures displaying the aberration of self-flagellation often manifest other endemic forms of cruelty, such as the public, ritual killing of humans or animals. Guilt provokes rage, and killing frequently is its expression. Capital punishment is an example of how killing gratifies a Guilt-ridden populace. Our unforgiving American society, for instance, pillories its victims in the press and metes out punishments that have never been demonstrated to have any deterrent or corrective effect.

Energy Level 50: Apathy

This level is characterized by poverty, despair, and hopelessness. The world and the future look bleak; pathos is the theme of life. Apathy is a state of helplessness; its victims, needy in every way, lack not only resources but also the energy to avail themselves of what resources may be available. Unless external energy is supplied by caregivers, death through passive suicide can result. Without the will to live, the hopeless stare blankly, unresponsive to stimuli, until their eyes stop tracking and there is not even enough energy left to swallow proffered food. This is the level of the homeless and the derelicts of society; it is also the fate of many of the aged and others who become isolated by chronic or progressive diseases. The apathetic are dependent; people in Apathy are “heavy” and are felt to be a burden by those around them. Too often, society lacks sufficient motivation to be of any real help to cultures as well as individuals at this level, who are seen as drains of resources. This is the level of the streets of Calcutta, where only the saintly such as Mother Teresa and her followers dare to tread. Apathy is the level of the abandonment of hope, and few have the courage to really look it in the face.

Energy Level 75: Grief

This is the level of sadness, loss, and despondency. Most humans have experienced it for periods of time, but those who remain at this level live a life of constant regret and depression. This is the level of chronic mourning, bereavement, and remorse about the past; it is also the level of habitual losers and those chronic gamblers who accept failure as part of their lifestyle, often resulting in loss of jobs, friends, family, and opportunity, as well as money and health. Major losses in early life make one later vulnerable to passive acceptance of grief, as though sorrow were the price of life. In Grief, one sees sadness everywhere: the sadness of little children, the sadness of world conditions, the sadness of life itself. This level colors one’s entire vision of existence. Part of the syndrome of loss is the notion of the irreplaceability of what has been lost or that which it symbolized. There is a generalization from the particular so that the loss of a loved one is equated with the loss of love itself. At this level, such emotional losses may trigger a serious depression or death. Although Grief is the cemetery of life, it still has more to it than Apathy does. Thus, when a traumatized, apathetic patient begins to cry, we know they are getting better. Once they start to cry, they will begin to eat again.

Energy Level 100: Fear

At the level of 100, there is a lot more life energy available; fear of danger is actually healthy. Fear runs much of the world, spurring on endless activity. Fear of enemies, of old age or death, of rejection, and a multitude of social fears are basic motivators in most people’s lives. From the viewpoint of this level, the world looks hazardous, full of traps and threats. Fear is the favored official tool for control by oppressive totalitarian agencies and regimes, and insecurity is the stock-in-trade of major manipulators of the marketplace. The media and advertising play to Fear to increase market share. The proliferation of fears is as limitless as the human imagination; once Fear becomes one’s focus, the endless fearful events of the world feed it. Fear becomes obsessive and may take any form. Fear of loss of relationship leads to jealousy and a chronically high stress level. Fearful thinking can balloon into paranoia or generate neurotic defensive structures and, because it is contagious, become a dominant social trend. Fear limits growth of the personality and leads to inhibition. Because it takes energy to rise above Fear, the oppressed are unable to reach a higher level unaided. Thus, the fearful seek strong leaders who appear to have conquered their fear to lead them out of their slavery.

Energy Level 125:

Desire There is yet more energy available at this level; Desire motivates vast areas of human activity, including the economy. Advertisers play on our Desire to program us with needs linked to instinctual drives. Desire moves us to expend great effort to achieve goals or obtain rewards. The desire for money, prestige, or power runs the lives of many of those who have risen above Fear as their limiting, predominant life motif. Desire is also the level of addiction, wherein desire becomes a craving more important than life itself. The victims of Desire may actually be unaware of the basis of their motives. Some people become addicted to the desire for attention and drive others away by their constant demands. The desire for sexual approval has produced entire cosmetics, fashion, and movie industries. Desire has to do with accumulation and greed. But Desire is insatiable because it is an ongoing energy field, so that satisfaction of one desire is merely replaced by unsatisfied desire for something else. Multimillionaires remain obsessed with acquiring more and more money. Desire, however, is a much higher state than Apathy or Grief. In order to “get,” you have to first have the energy to “want.” Television has had a major influence on many oppressed people, because it inculcates wants and energizes their desires to the degree that they move out of Apathy and begin to seek a better life. Want can start people on the road to achievement. Desire can, therefore, become a springboard to higher levels of consciousness.

Energy Level 150: Anger Although Anger may lead to homicide and war, as an energy level within itself it is much further removed from death than those below it. Anger can lead to either constructive or destructive action. As people move out of Apathy and Grief to overcome Fear as a way of life, they begin to want; Desire leads to frustration, which in turn leads to Anger. Thus, Anger can be a fulcrum by which the oppressed are eventually catapulted to freedom. Anger over social injustice, victimization, and inequality has created great movements that led to major changes in the structure of society. But Anger expresses itself most often as resentment and revenge and is, therefore, volatile and dangerous. Anger as a lifestyle is exemplified by irritable, explosive people who are oversensitive to slights and become “injustice collectors,” quarrelsome, belligerent, or litigious. Since Anger stems from frustrated want, it is based on the energy field below it. Frustration results from exaggerating the importance of desires. The angry person may, like a frustrated infant, go into a rage. Anger leads easily to hatred, which has an erosive effect on all areas of a person’s life.
Energy Level 175: Pride

Pride, which calibrates at 175, has enough energy to run the United States Marine Corps. It is the level aspired to by the majority of our kind today. People feel positive as they reach this level, in contrast to the lower energy fields. This rise in self-esteem is a balm to all the pain experienced at lower levels of consciousness. Pride looks good and knows it; it struts its stuff in the parade of life. Pride is at a far enough removal from Shame, Guilt, or Fear that to rise, for instance, out of the despair of the ghetto to the pride of being a Marine is an enormous jump. Pride as such generally has a good reputation and is socially encouraged, yet as we see from the chart of the levels of consciousness, it is sufficiently negative to remain below the critical level of 200. This is why Pride feels good only in contrast to the lower levels. The problem, as we all know, is that “Pride goeth before a fall.” Pride is defensive and vulnerable because it is dependent upon external conditions, without which it can suddenly revert to a lower level. The inflated ego is vulnerable to attack. Pride remains weak because it can be knocked off its pedestal back into Shame, which is the threat that fires the fear of loss of Pride. Pride is divisive and gives rise to factionalism; the consequences are costly. Man has habitually died for Pride; armies still regularly slaughter each other for that aspect of Pride called nationalism. Religious wars, political terrorism and zealotry, the ghastly history of the Middle East and Central Europe, are all the price of Pride, which all of society pays. The downside of Pride, therefore, is arrogance and denial. These characteristics block growth; in Pride, recovery from addictions is impossible because emotional problems or character defects are denied. The whole problem of denial is one of Pride. Thus Pride is a very sizable block to the acquisition of real power, which displaces Pride with true stature and prestige.

Energy Level 200: Courage

At the 200 level, power really first appears. When we test subjects at all the energy levels below 200, we find, as can be readily verified, that they all go weak. Everyone goes strong in response to the life-supportive fields above 200. This is the critical level that distinguishes the positive and negative influences of life. At the level of Courage, an attainment of true power occurs; therefore, it is also the level of empowerment. This is the zone of exploration, accomplishment, fortitude, and determination. At the lower levels, the world is seen as hopeless, sad, frightening, or frustrating; but at the level of Courage, life is seen to be exciting, challenging, and stimulating. Courage implies the willingness to try new things and deal with the vicissitudes of life. At this level of empowerment, one is able to cope with and effectively handle the opportunities of life. At 200, for instance, there is the energy to learn new job skills. Growth and education become attainable goals. There is the capacity to face fears or character defects and to grow despite them; anxiety also does not cripple endeavor as it would at the lower levels of evolution. Obstacles that defeat people whose consciousness is below 200 act as stimulants to those who have evolved into the first level of true power. People at this level put back into the world as much energy as they take; at lower levels, populations as well as individuals drain energy from society without reciprocating. Because accomplishments result in positive feedback, self-reward and esteem become progressively self-reinforcing. This is where productivity begins. The collective level of consciousness of mankind remained at 190 for many centuries and, curiously, only jumped to its current level of 204 within the last decade.

Energy Level 250: Neutrality

Energy becomes very positive as we get to the level that we have termed Neutral, because it is epitomized by release from the positionality that typifies lower levels. Below 250, consciousness tends to see dichotomies and to take on rigid positions, an impediment in a world that is complex and multi-factorial rather than black and white. Taking such positions creates polarization, and polarization in turn creates opposition and division. As in the martial arts, a rigid position becomes a point of vulnerability; that which does not bend is liable to break. Rising above barriers or oppositions that dissipate one’s energies, the Neutral condition allows for flexibility and nonjudgmental, realistic appraisal of problems. To be Neutral means to be relatively unattached to outcomes; not getting one’s way is no longer experienced as defeating, frightening, or frustrating. At the Neutral level, a person can say, “Well, if I don’t get this job, then I’ll get another.” This is the beginning of inner confidence; sensing one’s power, one is therefore not easily intimidated. One is not driven to prove anything. The expectation that life, with its ups and downs, will be basically okay if one can roll with the punches is a typical 250-level attitude. People of Neutrality have a sense of well-being; the mark of this level is a confident capability to live in the world. This is, therefore, experientially a level of safety. People at this level are easy to get along with, safe to be around and associate with, because they are not interested in conflict, competition, or guilt. They are comfortable and basically undisturbed emotionally. This attitude is nonjudgmental and does not lead to any need to control other people’s behaviors. Correspondingly, because Neutral people value freedom, they are hard to control.

Energy Level 310: Willingness

This very positive level of energy may be seen as the gateway to the higher levels. Whereas for instance, jobs are done adequately at the Neutral level, at the level of Willingness, work is done well and success in all endeavors is common. Growth is rapid; these are people chosen for advancement. Willingness implies that one has overcome inner resistance to life and is committed to participation. Below the 200 calibration level, people tend to be close-minded, but by level 310, a great opening occurs. At this level, people become genuinely friendly, and social and economic success seem to follow automatically. The Willing are not really troubled by unemployment, for they will take any job when they have to, or create a career or self-employment for themselves. They do not feel demeaned by service jobs or by starting at the bottom. They are naturally helpful to others and contribute to the good of society. They are also willing to face inner issues and do not have major learning blocks. At this level, self-esteem is innately high and is reinforced by positive feedback from society in the forms of recognition, appreciation, and reward. Willingness is sympathetic and responsive to the needs of others. Willing people are builders of, and contributors to, society. With their capacity to bounce back from adversity and learn from experience, they tend to become self-correcting. Having let go of Pride, they are willing to look at their own defects and learn from others. At the level of Willingness, people become excellent students. They are easily teachable and represent a considerable source of power for society.

Energy Level 350: Acceptance

At this level of awareness, a major transformation takes place, with the understanding that one is oneself the source and creator of the experience of one’s life. Taking such responsibility is distinctive of this degree of evolution, characterized by the capacity to live harmoniously with the forces of life. All people at levels below 200 tend to be powerless and see themselves as victims, at the mercy of life. This stems from a belief that the source of one’s happiness or the cause of one’s problems is “out there.” An enormous jump—taking back one’s own power—is completed at this level, with the realization that the source of happiness is within oneself. At this more evolved stage, nothing so-called “out there” has the capacity to make one happy, and love is not something that is given or taken away by another, but is created from within. Acceptance is not to be confused with passivity, which is a symptom of apathy. This form of Acceptance allows engagement in life on life’s own terms, without trying to make it conform to an agenda. With Acceptance, there is emotional calm and perception is widened as denial is transcended. One now sees things without distortion or misinterpretation; the context of experience is expanded so that one is capable of “seeing the whole picture.” Acceptance has to do essentially with balance, proportion, and appropriateness. The individual at the level of Acceptance is not interested in determining right or wrong, but instead is dedicated to resolving issues and finding out what to do about problems. Tough jobs do not cause discomfort or dismay. Long-term goals take precedence over short-term ones; self-discipline and mastery are prominent. At the level of Acceptance, we are not polarized by conflict or opposition; we see that other people have the same rights as we do, and we honor equality. While lower levels are characterized by rigidity, at this level, social plurality begins to emerge as a form of resolution of problems. Therefore, this level is free of discrimination or intolerance; there is the awareness that equality does not preclude diversity. Acceptance includes rather than rejects.

Energy Level 400: Reason

Intelligence and rationality rise to the forefront when the emotionalism of the lower levels is transcended. Reason is capable of handling large, complex amounts of data; making rapid, correct decisions; understanding the intricacies of relationships, gradations, and fine distinctions; and expert manipulation of symbols as abstract concepts, which becomes increasingly important. This is the level of science, medicine, and of generally increased capability for conceptualization and comprehension. Knowledge and education are sought as capital. Understanding and information are the main tools of accomplishment, which is the hallmark of the 400 level. This is the level of Nobel Prize winners, great statesmen, and Supreme Court justices. Einstein, Freud, and many of the other great thinkers of history also calibrate here. The authors of the Great Books of the Western World calibrate here. The shortcomings of this level are the failure to clearly distinguish the difference between symbols and what they represent, and confusion between the objective and subjective worlds that limits the understanding of causality. At this level, it is easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees, to become infatuated with concepts and theories, ending up in intellectualism and missing the essential point. Intellectualizing can become an end in itself. Reason is limited in that it does not afford the capacity for the discernment of essence or of the critical point of a complex issue. And it generally disregards context. Reason does not of itself provide a guide to truth. It produces massive amounts of information and documentation, but lacks the capability to resolve discrepancies in data and conclusions. All philosophic arguments sound convincing on their own. Although Reason is highly effective in a technical world where the methodologies of logic dominate, Reason itself, paradoxically, is the major block to reaching higher levels of consciousness. Transcending this level is relatively uncommon—by only 4.0 percent of the world’s population.

Energy Level 500: Love

Love as depicted in the mass media is not what this level implies. On the contrary, what the world generally refers to as love is an intense emotionality combining physical attraction, possessiveness, control, addiction, eroticism, and novelty. It is usually evanescent and fluctuating, waxing and waning with varying conditions. When frustrated, this emotion often reveals an underlying anger and dependency that it had masked. That love can turn to hate is a common concept, but what is being spoken about rather than love is an addictive sentimentality and attachment. Hate stems from Pride, not Love. There probably never was actual Love in such a relationship. The 500 level is characterized by the development of a Love that is unconditional, unchanging, and permanent. It does not fluctuate because its source within the person who loves is not dependent on external conditions. Loving is a state of being. It is a way of relating to the world that is forgiving, nurturing, and supportive. Love is not intellectual and does not proceed from the mind. Love emanates from the heart. It has the capacity to lift others and accomplish great feats because of its purity of motive. As this level of development, the capacity to discern essence becomes predominant; the core of an issue becomes the center of focus. As reason is bypassed, there arises the capacity for instantaneous recognition of the totality of a problem and a major expansion of context, especially regarding time and process. Reason deals only with particulars, whereas Love deals with wholes. This ability, often ascribed to intuition, is the capacity for instantaneous understanding without resorting to sequential symbol processing. This apparently abstract phenomenon is, in fact, quite concrete; it is accompanied by a measurable release of endorphins in the brain. Love takes no position and thus is global, rising above the separation of positionality. It is then possible to be “one with another,” as there are no longer any barriers. Love is therefore inclusive and expands the sense of self progressively. Love focuses on the goodness of life in all its expressions and augments that which is positive. It dissolves negativity by recontextualizing it rather than by attacking it. This is the level of true happiness, but although the world is fascinated with the subject of Love, and all viable religions calibrate at 500 or over, it is interesting to note that only 4.0 percent of the world’s population ever reaches this level of the evolution of consciousness. Only 0.4 percent ever reaches the level of unconditional love at 540.
Energy Level 540: Joy

As Love becomes more and more unconditional, it begins to be experienced as an inner Joy. This is not the sudden joy of a pleasurable turn of events; it is a constant accompaniment to all activities. Joy arises from within each moment of existence, rather than from any external source. 540 is also the level of healing and of spiritually based self-help groups. From level 540 and up is the domain of saints, spiritual healers, and advanced spiritual students. Characteristic of this energy field is the capacity for enormous patience and the persistence of a positive attitude in the face of prolonged adversity. The hallmark of this state is compassion. People who have attained this level have a notable effect on others. They are capable of a prolonged, open visual gaze, which induces a state of love and peace. At the high 500s, the world one sees is illuminated by the exquisite beauty and perfection of creation. Everything happens effortlessly, by synchronicity, and the world and everything in it is seen to be an expression of love and Divinity. Individual will merges into Divine will. A Presence is felt whose power facilitates phenomena outside conventional expectations of reality, termed miraculous by the ordinary observer. These phenomena represent the power of the energy field, not that of the individual. One’s sense of responsibility for others at this level is of a different quality from that shown at the lower levels. There is a desire to use one’s state of consciousness for the benefit of life itself rather than for particular individuals. This capacity to love many people simultaneously is accompanied by the discovery that the more one loves, the more one can love. Near-death experiences, characteristically transformative in their effect, have frequently allowed people to experience the energy level between 540 and 600.

Energy Level 600:Peace

This energy field is associated with the experience designated by such terms as transcendence, self-realization, and God-consciousness. It is extremely rare. When this state is reached, the distinction between subject and object disappears, and there is no specific focal point of perception. Not uncommonly, individuals at this level remove themselves from the world, as the state of bliss that ensues precludes ordinary activity. Some become spiritual teachers; others work anonymously for the betterment of mankind. A few become great geniuses in their respective fields and make major contributions to society. These people are saintly and may eventually be designated officially as saints, although at this level, formal religion is commonly transcended, to be replaced by the pure spirituality out of which all religion originates. Perception at the level of 600 and above is sometimes reported as occurring in slow motion, suspended in time and space—though nothing is stationary; all is alive and radiant. Although this world is the same world as the one seen by others, it has become continuously flowing, evolving in an exquisitely coordinated evolutionary dance in which significance and source are overwhelming. This awesome revelation takes place non-rationally, so that there is an infinite silence in the mind, which has stopped conceptualizing. That which is witnessing and that which is witnessed take on the same identity; the observer dissolves into the landscape and becomes equally the observed. Everything is connected to everything else by a Presence whose power is infinite, exquisitely gentle, yet rock-solid. Great works of art, music, and architecture that calibrate between 600 and 700 can transport us temporarily to higher levels of consciousness and are universally recognized as inspirational and timeless.

Energy Levels 700-1,000: Enlightenment

This is the level of the Great Ones of history who originated the spiritual patterns that multitudes have followed throughout the ages. All are associated with Divinity, with which they are often identified. This is the level of powerful inspiration; these beings set in place attractor energy fields that influence all of mankind down through the ages. At this level, there is no longer the experience of an individual personal self as separate from others; rather, there is an identification of Self with Consciousness and Divinity. The Unmanifest is experienced as Self beyond mind. This transcendence of the ego also serves by example to teach others how it can eventually be accomplished. This is the peak of the evolution of consciousness in the human realm. Great teachings uplift the masses and raise the level of awareness of all of humanity. To have such vision is called grace, and the gift it brings is infinite peace, described as ineffable, beyond words.1 At this level of realization, the sense of one’s existence transcends all time and all individuality. There is no longer any identification with the physical body as “me,” and therefore, its fate is of no concern. The body is seen as merely a tool of consciousness through the intervention of mind, its prime value that of communication. The self merges back into the Self. This is the level of nonduality, or complete Oneness. There is no localization of consciousness; awareness is everywhere equally present.2 Great works of art depicting individuals who have reached the level of Enlightenment characteristically show the teacher with a specific hand position, called a mudra, wherein the palm of the hand radiates benediction. This is the act of the transmission of this energy field to the consciousness of mankind. This level of Divine Grace calibrates up to 1,000, the highest level attained by any persons who have lived in recorded history—to wit, the Great Avatars for whom the title “Lord” is appropriate: Lord Krishna, Lord Buddha, and Lord Jesus Christ.”
I copied it from the book
“Power vs. Force” by David R. Hawkins

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