David Hawkins, author of 'Power vs. Force', uses that book to describe the states of consciousness moving up towards enlightenment.
Description of Each Level of Consciousness :
1) Shame (1-20): Someone at this level feels humiliated, has low self esteem, is paranoid. Common expressions where one vibrates at this level would be when one feels like he/she has “lost face”, wishes he/she is invisible, feels worthless. Some individuals at shame react by becoming overly rigid and/or neurotic perfectionists. Vibrating in this level for prolonged periods leads to elimination (of self and others), such as suicide, turning into serial killers, rapists, moral extremists who apply self righteous judgment onto others. The person’s view of life at this state is misery.
2) Guilt (30): Feelings of blame and remorse hover here. Used to consciously or subconsciously manipulate conformance to certain forms of thinking and behaviors. Commonly melded by our society with public punishment and finger-pointing culture, by religious institutions with preoccupation of “sin” and “salvation”, acts of ritual killing to “appease” higher entities, etc. This level cultivates destruction. Hawkins cites the life-view as evil, which I disagree and feel condemnation is more adept.
3) Apathy (50): A state of despair and helplessness. Someone here is needy and dependent on others for help, such as the homeless, the poor, the aged population. Because this level feels “heavy” and is seen as a burden to others around, many people usually avoid those who are vibrating at these levels. For example, we see how the poor and unfortunate have come to be shielded away from the mainstream society. We also frequently see situations where the aged is abandoned by their own kin because they are seen as a liability. This level is associated with abdication, which means to give up one’s power to others. The life-view here is hopelessness.
4) Grief (75): Feelings of regret, sadness and loss are abound here. Many people vibrate at this level in times of losses – of loved ones, relationships, possessions, jobs, money, etc. Outcomes would be mourning, remorse, being hung up over what has occurred, etc. Someone at grief sees despondency and bleakness all around the world and in life. The life-view is tragic. Grief is a higher level than apathy, because one starts feeling more energy at this level, albeit of sadness and loss.
5) Fear (100): Energy at this level is oriented in anxiety. Common situations of fear at play would be fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of uncertainty, fear of challenges, fear of aging, fear of death, fear of loss, fear of strangers. This emotion is often played on by marketers and politicians to achieve their agendas. Fear leads to paranoia and can turn into an obsession. At this level, one views everything uncertain as fearful and thus undergoes the state of withdrawal. Thus, fear prevents personal growth from taking place. Someone in the level of fear sees the world as frightening.
6) Desire (125): At the level of desire, the emotion of craving becomes dominant. We have people pursuing money and status as end goals for a better life, lonely singles longing to be in romantic relationships believing it will complete themselves, marketers conditioning ‘wants’ in people’s minds through enticing advertisements and promises of happiness with consumption of goods, fashion industry playing on desires for increased attraction, just to name a few.
Addictions are outputs of desire, such as desire for food, video games, fun, sex, shopping, acquisition of money and power, etc. One becomes looped into enslavement at this level, because desire is never-ending emotion. The life-view is disappointing, which ensues when one cannot obtain what one desires. Desire is a higher level than fear because the desire for something propels people forward to action, rather than withdraw to a corner.
7) Anger (150): The emotion at this level is hate. Anger expresses itself as resentment, frustration and even revenge. Common manifestations of anger in the society are activism towards causes (environmental, animal rights, third-world countries, poverty-stricken areas), equality, social movements.
At the individual level, examples include irritable and volatile behavior, short-temper. The upside of anger is it has resulted in liberation and great movements in the society; the downside is dangerous behavior and intentional harm might ensue from it. The process one undergoes is aggression. The life-view here is antagonistic, where one is hostile, unfriendly and acts in opposition/rebellion against others.
8 ) Pride (175): Hawkins cite scorn as the dominant feeling of pride, which I disagree. I feel dignity is an emotion that is more representative of the level; scorn comes a result of this dignity, though it may be too subtle for people to recognize since it is often masked over. At our current society, pride is a level that is encouraged and seen as positive – for example, pride of being part of a group, institution, company, nation, religion, race.
However, this leads to a duality viewpoints, which acts as an invisible force to separate people. For example, nations exist because people identify themselves more with a geographical location rather than the a common, universal identity. Religions exist because people attach themselves to their beliefs of god and values which serve as a separator. On a personal level, people form pride based on possessions and external conditions, and it is vulnerable because such conditions can be removed at any point in time. Pride results in denial and arrogance. At pride, one undergoes inflation (of ego) rather than being able to see things objectively. The life-view here is demanding.
9) Courage (200): Affirmation is the key emotion here. This is the separation point between Power and Force, where one is starts creating change through the use of constructive states of power rather than destructive force. This is the first waking point where one starts to wake from his/her sleepwalker status. At the lower levels before this, the world is seen as hopeless, tragic, frightening, demanding; People from below 200 sees themselves as victims, at the mercy of life and subjected to forces of the external world.
At courage one sees the world as exciting and filled with possibilities. One undergoes empowerment here. This marks the start of active pursuit of growth – where there exists a gap, the person will act to fill it. For example, learning new job skills, embarking on new education, pursuing personal growth. The life-view is feasible – anything is manageable since the person is able to harness power to deal with situations in life. People in the higher levels >200 recognize that their happiness and life lies within them.
10) Neutrality (250): The emotion at this level is trust and safety. Here, people are non-judgmental, objective and able to see things as they truly are. They are not attached to possessions, situations, outcomes and can roll with the punches in life. If they are not able to get something, they are equally happy settling for something else.
This is NOT the same as apathy – the power of neutrality comes from a positive place, where one recognizes his/her inner power and abilities and does not feel the need to prove anything to anyone; apathy is rooted from being forsaken in self and the world, resulting in nonchalance and jadedness towards the external world. The process is one of release (of everything), and the life-view is satisfactory, where anything goes. These people are easy to get along; however they are difficult to engage towards causes and visions because they are detached towards everything.
11) Willingness (310): Optimism runs high here. At Willingness, the individual is open to do anything and everything – he/she is not bounded by others’ judgments or by limitations. For example, he/she is willing to take on menial jobs if he/she cannot get jobs elsewhere. The marked characteristic between willingness and levels below is the desire to do things well (for the sake of it), rather than just doing things. Someone at Willingness can readily bounce back from set-backs, is easily moldable and genuinely open to everyone. Success follows them easily. The process one undergoes here is of intention (to do anything). The life-view is hopefulness. At this level you have people who perform extremely well in their careers in corporations, start-ups; however the question then comes as to whether they are investing their energy in the best way.
12) Acceptance (350): In my opinion, this marks the second waking point for an individual and where he/she is fully awake from his/her sleepwalker stance. Here, one finally realizes that he/she is THE creator and source of his/her life, as opposed to having relegated some part of it to someone else or a different entity. He/she is (1) aware of the social constructs present in one’s life, whether by family, society, nation, religion, work (2) able to discern against (limiting) beliefs, viewpoints and conditioning which he/she is surrounded with and (3) able to consciously craft his/her life above and beyond all these social constructs. Characteristic behavior at this level will be acceptance vs. rejection, seeking for resolutions vs. judging right or wrong, long-term vs. short-term view, engaging on life harmoniously on its terms vs. resisting it, striving for personal excellence and growth. Forgiveness is the dominant emotion. The process one undergoes is transcendence (above what one faces in life). The life-view here is harmonious.
13) Reason (400): The emotion is understanding and rationality. One seeks out huge amounts of information and analyzes them to infinitesimal detail before reaching conclusions. This is where the noble prize winners, leaders of science and medicine and great thinkers of history calibrate. However, Reason falls into the trap of overintellectualization in concepts and theories. Where differing theories clash and each argument is sound on its own, we reach a blockade, leading to the inability to resolve discrepancies. This leads to the process of abstraction or preoccupation with data. The life-view is meaningful.
14) Love (500): This represents unconditional love – love that is pure, unfaltering, unwavering, not subjected to any external conditions. It is not the same love that is commonly portrayed in mass media, which is rooted in lust, desire, pride, control, addiction, attraction, jealousy and possessiveness. While the media often establishes love and hates as opposite poles, hate is actually rooted from pride (desire for control/possessiveness), and not actual love.
Reverence is the main emotion in the level of (unconditional) love. At this level, duality becomes an illusion; the feeling is one of entirety that rises above separation. Unconditional love is inclusive of everyone and expands beyond self. While reason deals with specific data, love deals with entirety, thus giving rise to the capacity for instanteous understanding. This aspect is often linked with intuition. The process one undergoes is revelation. The life-view is benign, there is no separation, fear or negativity. Hawkin claims only 0.4% of the population (1 in every 250 people) ever reaches this level.
15) Joy (540): The dominant emotion is serenity and compassion. This is the inner joy that arises from every moment of existence rather than from an external source. This is the level where saints, advanced spiritual students and healers dwell. At this level, one is characterized by enormous patience and an unwavering positive attitude in the face of harsh adversities. The world is seen as one of perfection and beauty. Individuals are motivated to dedicate themselves to the benefit of life rather than for specific individuals. Here, the process of transfiguration occurs (emanating of radiance from the person). The life-view the individual holds is completeness (of the world). Near death experiences have the effect of temporarily bumping people into this level.
16) Peace (600): The emotion is bliss. At this level, there is no longer any distinction between the observer and the subject. People here become spiritual teachers, great geniuses in their field to effect great contribution for mankind; they typically transcend formal religious structures and replace it with pure spirituality where religions originate from. Perception becomes one of slow motion, suspended in time and space. Everything is perceived as interconnected by an infinite presence. The process one undergoes is illumination; the life-view is perfect. Hawkins claims this level is only attained by 1 out of 10 million people.
17) Enlightenment (700-1000): The emotion is ineffable, in other words – inexpressible. This is the pinnacle of the evolution of consciousness of mankind. The greatest people of history have attained this level, such as Krisna, Buddha, Jesus, Mother Theresa. Here, the body becomes recognized as a tool to project consciousness in. One’s existence becomes all encompassing and transcends time and space. The process is described as pure consciousness. The life-view here is simply ‘Is‘. In achieving our highest potential and embracing our best lives, we should strive for the highest possible level i.e. enlightenment.