Power vs Force in real life

Power vs Force in real life:  The Bum on the Street  

Inspired and adapted from the teachings of Wayne Dyer and David R. Hawkins

This will be an examination of the different levels of consciousness and how it affects how we see the world.  As Wayne Dyer so eloquently stated, “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  And so it goes with how we perceive the world we live in.  What we focus on, we create.  What we put attention on grows.  And your level of consciousness will determine what we see, focus on, create, cultivate and experience in our lives.

David R Hawkins wrote a book called Power vs Force.  This book explores the dynamics of human consciousness and the ways in which we as individuals can navigate our personal and collective growth. In the book Hawkins, introduces a Scale of Consciousness.  It is a hierarchical model that categorizes human emotions and behaviors from lower levels associated with force, such as fear and anger, to higher levels associated with power, such as love and enlightenment. 

Hawkins discusses the transformative impact of embracing higher levels of consciousness, emphasizing that power comes from within and is sustained by positive, life-affirming principles. 

This book encourages us to transcend limiting beliefs and emotions, fostering a greater awareness of our personal power so we can…

Create a positive change in both our individual lives and the world at large.

This book has had a huge impact on one of my mentors Wayne Dyer.  And in a seminar he did called It’s Never Crowded On The Extra Mile, he references this book and delivers a great example of how our level of consciousness influences how we perceive our world.

Keep in mind, our levels of consciousness have a midway point.  One half, the bottom half, will have thoughts that weaken us, they are based on applying force to the world we think we see.  The upper half contains levels of consciousness that strengthen us, that empower us, that enable us to perform at peak states.

Let’s take a moment and see if we can change the way we look at things for the better…

This is Power vs Force in real life.  Imagine if you will, a bum on a street corner in a fashionable neighborhood.  See if you can get a clear picture of that.  Just a bum on a street corner in a fashionable neighborhood.

This is the scene.  This is where we’re at.  This could even be your neighborhood.  In any size city stands an old man in tattered clothes, all alone.  Leaning against a wall outside a convenience store.  Or sitting on a bench perhaps.  But there he is.  Can you see him?  How does he smell?  If you shook his hand, what would his skin feel like?

Let’s look at him from the perspective of various levels of consciousness and note the differences in how he appears to us as we raise our level of consciousness.  

From the bottom of the scale, where the majority of our thoughts are all shame based, this bum is dirty, disgusting and disgraceful.  This is how someone with shame based thinking will view him.  Without casting judgment on someone, do you know people who think this way?  Have you caught yourself thinking this way at one time or another?

When we start climbing this scale

When we start climbing this scale, we move up into the realm of guilt.  We would blame this man for his condition.  “He deserves what he gets”, we say.  We’ll assume he’s probably a lazy welfare cheat or nothing more than an addict with no self-control.

If our thoughts are dominated by despair and hopelessness, this bum’s plight would appear desperate.  For us in this state, this would be damning evidence that society can’t do anything about homelessness.  

Moving up a level into grief, the old man looks tragic, friendless and forlorn.  The scene is pitifully sad.  How could this man just be abandoned like this?  He must be terribly lonely.

As we raise our own consciousness even higher

As we raise our own consciousness even higher, fear sets in.  We might see him as threatening.  A social menace perhaps?  We should call the police before he commits some crime or hurts someone. 

The next level of consciousness is desire.  When we look at him, he might represent for us a frustrating problem.  Why doesn’t somebody do something???

Which as we climb, just leaves us in a state of anger.  This old man looks like he could be violent or on the other hand we might become furious that such conditions exist in the first place.  

Anger is, interestingly enough, a step in the right direction as it has the potential for us to take action.  And hopefully action in the right direction.

Keep in mind, we are still at the levels that weaken us.  

Pride comes next.  We now see this bum as an embarrassment or as lacking the self-respect to better himself.  Why doesn’t he do something about his condition???  We rant and rave. 

After pride though, comes courage and now we’re at the distinction between truth and falsehood.  We have crossed over from the levels of consciousness that weaken us to that which empowers us. 

We are now in a position of power rather than force. 

At courage, we might be motivated to wonder if there’s a local homeless shelter.  All this man needs is a job and a place to live.  We see his potential. 

The next level is neutrality.  From this perspective the bum looks okay, maybe even interesting. Live and let live we might say!  After all he’s not hurting anyone, right?   Where have we heard this before?  Have we said it ourselves?  Is it enough?

Climbing the rungs we reach willingness.  There’s an answer here!  We might decide to go down and see what we can do to help or cheer this fellow up.  We may begin to volunteer sometime perhaps at a local mission.  Maybe it starts with just one day.  Thanksgiving perhaps.

When we find ourselves in a place of acceptance

When we find ourselves in a place of acceptance, the man on the corner appears intriguing.  He probably has a very interesting story to tell.  He’s where he is for reasons we may never understand or be able to comprehend.

Now we’re getting somewhere.  Next level is reason. This man, he’s a symptom.  He’s a symptom of the current economic and social malaise.  Perhaps he’s a good subject for in-depth psychological study on mental illness, drug addiction, affordable housing, unemployment, etc.  But isn’t he more than that?  While this is progress, there seems to be something missing.  Something just out of sight.  Can we raise our consciousness a little more?  What might we see?

When we move to the higher levels

When we move to the higher levels the old man begins to look not only interesting but friendly and lovable.  Perhaps we would then be able to see that he was in fact one who had transcended social limits and gone free!  Maybe a joyful old guy with the wisdom of age in his face and the serenity that comes from an indifference to material things!

One more level here.  The level of peace.  Arguably, the highest level any of us will ever attain.  And from here, this old man, this dirty, smelly bum with rough skin…  he is revealed as one’s own self in a temporary condition.

That is all that needs to be said about the level of peace.

And that is all that needs to be said about the level of peace.  Can you see the difference?  Can you see the distinctions between how we look at things?  Mother Teresa once said when asked about the squalor she sees serving the poor in Calcutta, “every day, I see Jesus Christ in all of his distressing disguises.”  

What do you need to work on here?  From a simple image of a bum, can you see yourself?  Can you see the divine?  If we are all made in that image of the divine, if we are all infinite beings having a temporary human experience, then what can we do to see the divinity in others?  I think it starts with realizing the divinity within us first.  To see and allow Jesus Christ in the distressing disguise that is our own reflection.  And this is powerful.  Now turn that gaze of forgiveness, compassion and unconditional love out towards the world.

And as we look out at the world, know that what we see is a reflection of what is in our hearts.   How you see the world is how you see yourself.  How you process what you see will weaken you or strengthen you and how we respond will weaken us as a society or strengthen us collectively.