Greetings from the "lower levels"
I've previously snarked, albeit briefly, about Dr. David R. Hawkins, inventor of the Hawkins Scale, which purports to be a "map of consciousness." Or, in light of the fact that Dr. Hawkins seems to be extraordinarily protective of his work, perhaps I should capitalize that and put a TM sign after it or something:
Map of Consciousness TM
There. I feel better.
Anyway, as it turns out, Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale is a big Hawkins fan, as he explains in a recent blog post:
I’m a big fan of David R. Hawkins. He’s the medical doctor/psychiatrist who cured himself of various illnesses and went on to muscle test his way to Nirvana. He’s either enlightened or at least mapped out the path to enlightenment. His “map of consciousness” — a roadmap of our spiritual evolutionary potential — is brilliant...
And he goes on to 'splain more about why Dr. Hawkins is so brilliant.
Shockingly, a somewhat cynical response came in to Joe's post, but Joe rose to the occasion:
# mark says
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…oh I’m sorry what are you trying to sell?
April 29th, 2009 | #
# Joe Vitale says
Yes, Mark, what AM I trying to sell here?
Perhaps I am reading it wrong, but it seems to me that Joe is implying to "Mark" that he is not, after all, trying to sell anything. Knowing Joe, however, I think we can safely assume that he is always selling, and that his Hawkins blog post is no different. (The fact that he conveniently provides links to some of his products in the post would be one indication.) To me that is no big deal; after all, he created his blog to promote himself and his products, and he does a superb job of that.
In this post, though, he seems to be selling more than products or services. Apart from my hunch that he either has or is planning some lucrative joint-venture deal with Dr. Hawkins (after all, he rarely wastes time or energy promoting something or someone unless there's a direct payoff for him), what Joe seems to be selling is something a bit more abstract than a product. He is clearly promoting himself as one of those higher-consciousness types, Hawkins-Scale-wise. Which comes right back down to selling stuff, because golly, who wouldn't want to buy a few books or workshops from such an evolved being?
For us lower-level types who might find Dr. Hawkins' work confusing, Joe offers this advice:
I’ve twittered that I was reading [Hawkins' new book] Healing and Recovery and some people said they found Hawkins confusing. Ironically, that makes sense, as Hawkins’ “map of consciousness” reveals where you are mentally.
If you are at a lower level (in fear, for example) his higher levels (acceptance, for example) won’t make any sense to you.
If you are on the lower level of desire, the higher level of unconditional love won’t compute to you.
I’ve been saying for some time now that life is a process of awakening. The goal is to keep going up the ladder of consciousness. By reading David Hawkins — especially this recent book — you can gently expand your thinking, open your heart, and glide upwards.
As a wise friend of mine noted, "Under the guise of informing his readers about Hawkins, he sets himself as someone with a superior 'consciousness,' one greater than his readers. It's a complete power play. I guarantee that when the comments start coming, at least one of them will be something like 'I can't wait until I am at your level, Joe!'"
According to Joe's post, Dr. Hawkins claims that every single line in his book Power Vs. Force was "tested" to, as Joe put it, "be sure the entire volume calibrated at a high level and would be spiritually enriching to read." Joe adds, "As an author, I can’t imagine muscle testing every line in a book. Hats off to you, David."
When I first heard of the Hawkins Scale, I wondered how people were measured or tested. Were they hooked up to some kind of high-tech machine? Nope, apparently it's all done by "muscle testing" via an alt-healing discipline known as applied kinesiology, or AK. According to some of its proponents, AK is a "lie detector" or rather a "truth detector" – it uncovers the "Truth with a capital T!" in any situation, as Joe might say. How books are tested I couldn't say, since books do not have muscles. They do have spines, though, and AK was invented by a chiropractor (George Goodheart, D.C.), so maybe it all works out.
I found more information about the Hawkins Scale and other scientifical consciousness-measuring/raising stuff on the blog of faithful Joebot Frank Butterfield, who describes himself as "a channel for the Communion of Light based out of Austin, Texas."
Some really big numbers
Now, suppose you are really ambitious and want to raise your vibe level waaaaaay above the ultimate Hawkins number of 1,000. Never mind that Jeezus H. Christ, Buddha, etc. were 1,000, and Hawkins himself is something like a 999.8. (And according to this web site, the SpongeBob Squarepants movie scores a fairly impressive 385. Yes, really; I wouldn't lie about something that important.) But let's say 1,000 isn't good enough for you; you want to go higher. Is such a thing even possible? You betcha! At least it is possible if a guy named Bryan James and his Indigo kiddos still perform frequency accelerations for people.
Come to think of it, I haven't received any emails from the James Gang in a long time. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that some time ago, my name was apparently dropped from what I once frequently referred to as "my favorite New-Wage spam service." Either the spam service went out of business, or they finally figured out that they were a rich mine of nuggets for my Whirled. As for the frequency-accelerating James family, I am sure they're busy with all sorts of enlightened projects. But I do wonder if they ever finished their project to empty out Hell, a topic on which I once reported fairly often.
Remind me to Google that and see if there are any updates.
But I digress. I am sure that Dr. Hawkins has nothing to do with the James family, and vice versa. And perhaps it is unfair of me to have even mentioned them in a blog post that is supposed to be about Dr Hawkins, although I have to say that the James' numbers are pretty impressive, according to the blog post I linked to above. Bryan James' daughter Katherine scored 900 Unvigintillion, and his son Kevin scored 500 Novemdecillion. His wife Lisa? A mere 240 billion. But still.
All snarking aside (well, not ALL snarking, but MY snarking), Robert Carroll, of The Skeptic's Dictionary / Skepdic web site, has some interesting comments on applied kinesiology and David Hawkins. He writes:
...AK has some formidable proponents, such as psychiatrist-cum-guru David Hawkins. He claims, among many other things, that he has proof that AK is a reliable "lie detector" and can be used to determine the truth or falsity of any statement. Hawkins also has developed a "scale of consciousness" and uses AK to determine how "enlightened" a book or person who wrote the book might be.* Hawkins claims he's calibrated The Skeptic's Dictionary at level 160, "which is that of sophomoric egotism."* Only 15% of humanity calibrate at above 200, according to Hawkins, so I'm in good company. By 'consciousness' Hawkins means some sort of developing spirituality. When you score between 700-1,000 you have reached "enlightenment." George W. Bush calibrates at 460, according to Hawkins, which is in the range of intellectual genius. (Need I add that Hawkins holds spirituality in high regard and has very conservative political values?) Hawkins goes so far as to claim that the Wikipedia article on him would calibrate at 400, instead of 200, if it removed the links to my criticisms.*
It's amazing how high the frequency of a piece of writing can rise when criticism is removed. And who knew Dubya is a bona-fide genius? I wonder how my blog would rate on the Hawkins Scale; I am thinking that it would probably be in the negative numbers. Or at the very least, it would be sharing the realm of "sophomoric egotism"* with The Skeptic's Dictionary.
A more balanced perspective
My friend David Portney, a public speaking expert, has extensive experience with applied kinesiology. David, who hangs his hat neither in Snarky Town nor in the Village of True Believers, has kindly given me permission to share his perspective about this whole Truth-o-meter thing:
I've trained extensively in AK and Touch for Health; I actually did take the 100 hour ICAK "for Doctors only" training with Robert Blaich. I have a ton of experience in this area and have been on both sides of the AK treatment table for many, many years. I feel very qualified to speak out on the topic of what AK and/or muscle testing can and cannot "do" or more specifically, discern.
When I heard that Hawkins was claiming to be able to use AK/muscle testing to discern the Truth of A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G, I could instantly find a few major holes in such a proposition (I'll spare the details here).
I then sought out and read Power vs. Force, and although I would say that this is an important work, the MAJOR problem (even after reading it closely and investigating his testing procedures) is his claim about discerning Truth using muscle testing.
In my direct experience, in the hands of a trained expert, AK/muscle testing can be used to uncover various kinds of imbalances and determine the needed correction(s). It takes some exposure to AK to get past the "this has to be bullsh*t" phase because it seems quite odd all the way around, but then when your problems start going away, it's pretty hard to argue with results, and it's definitely NOT a placebo effect. Beyond being treated by AK, getting in-depth "doctor level" training then pulls back the curtain, revealing the how and why it works the way it does. AK is some pretty serious stuff.
However, although Hawkins is far more credentialed and experienced than I am, I take SERIOUS issue with his claim to discern Truth via muscle testing. I can't even find a tiny glimmer of validity to his claim to be able to do so, not even a slight opening that might sway me in that direction.
I think his claim to discern Truth via muscle testing is just plain wrong. Yes, AK is a valid and important tool for detecting and correcting certain body imbalances when used by well-trained, sober, experienced persons.... But discern Truth in any context – past, present or (by his own admission limitations on future) future?--no. Uh-uh. Negative. Not-gonna-do-it.
It seems weird to me that this highly credentialed, experienced guy (Hawkins) could write such an important book with a ton of great observations and insights in it - yet at the exact same time make the foundation for everything in it based on what I see as a claim that just isn't true. The only thing I can figure is that perhaps he "needed" to provide some kind of *irrefutable" support for the points and assertions he makes.
Being highly AK trained, I performed my own little "Truth via muscle testing" experiment - I wrote down about 60 verifiably false statements (e.g., Tracy [my GF] was not born in Japan) and verifiably true statements (David was born in the United States), put them all into separate little envelopes, cleared Tracy of anything that might interfere with getting a proper muscle test, then blind-tested all the statements for "truth"; the results were all over the map - in short, no different than random chance.
It's worth noting that Hawkins claims to have discerned truth in 100% OF THE TESTS, WITH 100% OF THE TEST SUBJECTS.
Now, that is a very interesting claim indeed, Dr. Hawkins. I guess the good doctor just has a way of pulling the Truth out of everything and everybody. Or maybe just pulling his own "truth" out of his...oh, never mind.
Well, Dear Ones, I must get back to doing whatever it is we denizens of the lower levels do with our time. I'll have more soon!