Power vs Force

Review of the book Power vs Force by David Hawkins. Big claims with impenetrable explanations. Abandoned after 20%.
2022-09-10 – ⁠2022-09-11 finished
⁠certainty: log ⁠importance:

Several people I admire have publicly recommended Power vs Force by David Hawkins. I tried to read the book, but it makes claims like:

If we calibrate the position of the British Empire at the time, which was one of self-interest and exploitation, we find that it was well below the critical level of 200 on the scale of consciousness. The motivation of Mahatma Gandhi (calibrated at 700) was very near the top of the range of normal human consciousness. Gandhi won in this struggle because his position was one of far greater power. The British Empire represented force (calibrated at 175), and whenever force meets power, force is eventually defeated.

With explanations of this type:

Neuron models of consciousness disclose a class of neural networks called constraint satisfaction systems. In these systems, a network of interconnected neuron units operates within a series of limits and thus sets up attractor patterns, some of which are now being identified with psychopathology. This kind of modeling correlates behavior with physiology and parallels the results of our ki-nesiologic muscle testing, demonstrating the connection between mind and body. 

In terms derived from chaos theory, the clinical study described in the following pages has identified a phase space, encompassing the full range of the evolution of human consciousness. Within this range, numerous attractor patterns of increasing power have been designated. These patterns represent energy fields that are qualities of consciousness itself rather than of any particular individual, as is shown by their occurrence across large populations over long periods of time, independent of testers or subjects.

I couldn’t make any sense and after 20%, I abandoned it.

The author defines some terms, like “attractor pattern”, but not all, and then makes claims and inferences between them that I can’t follow. I know the author is trying to say something, and I want to understand it because he’s been working on his study for many years, but we can’t communicate. It’s like the math joke that starts with: “Assume 1+1=2, therefore (incredibly complicated mathematical derivation.)”

I skimmed through the rest of the book and I didn’t see any additional clarity. I read reviews about the book but the positive ones I found were all vague about what was being claimed or too general.


  • Curse of knowledge: the more you know about a topic, the more effort you have to make to communicate to non-experts (ELI5.)