Self Help

The Highest Level of Enlightenment Transcend the Levels of Consciousness for Total Self-Realization - David R. Hawkins

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Matheus Puppe

· 21 min read

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Here is a summary of the key points from Dr. Hawkins’ account of his remarkable journey of enlightenment:

  • He had early spiritual experiences as a young child, including confronting the paradox of existence vs nonexistence at age 3. This question drove much of his later spiritual seeking.

  • As a child he was deeply interested in questions of truth, existence, and philosophy, reading works by great thinkers at a young age.

  • He was very religious in his upbringing, suffering from scrupulosity (excessive fear of sinning) as a Catholic/Episcopalian boy.

  • By age 14 he was still grappling with questions of sin, temptation, and the dualities of spirituality that drove him to seek answers through philosophy and his own experiences.

  • It took him 50 years to resolve the ultimate question of existence vs nothingness through his spiritual journey and attainment of higher levels of consciousness calibrated at 850.

  • His account provides context for his later teachings and focus on energy, consciousness, and transcending duality through direct experience of truth.

  • God was originally seen as arbitrary and egomaniacal, instilling fear in people to gain power and control them. This Old Testament view of God contributed to religious institutions oppressing populations.

  • As a youth, Hawkins had a transcendent experience of oneness and peace while sheltering in a snowbank, challenging his view of God.

  • He later felt the total suffering of mankind, making him an atheist as he couldn’t believe in a God that created such suffering.

  • Despite searching through philosophy and psychoanalysis, he sank into despair by his mid-30s seeking existential truth or meaning.

  • He experienced the “depths of hell” but then cried out to God for help, awakening transformed with no sense of self or control - everything happened spontaneously.

  • He created the Map of Consciousness to measure states of being, with higher levels correlated with higher energies, integrity and spiritual advancement. The scale ranges from 20 to 1,000.

  • The critical level is 200, above which states include courage and integrity. Below are states like fear, shame and desire that inhibit spiritual evolution.

  • Dr. Hawkins developed a scale of consciousness from 1 to 1000 based on muscle testing/kinesiology. This involved one person resisting downward pressure on their arm while holding a thought, statement, or idea in mind.

  • If the thought calibrated below 200, the arm would weaken. Above 200 and the arm would stay strong.

  • Through extensive testing, he verified that emotions and states like anger, fear, greed calibrated below 200. These are draining and require force.

  • Higher states like courage, neutrality, willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy, peace and enlightenment calibrated above 200. These are empowering and life-sustaining.

  • The scale provided a way to discern truth from falsity and calibrate anything, helping navigate between intellect and spirituality. It showed how the intellect alone can be a block to spiritual awareness.

  • Anything calibrating above 200 on the scale is considered true, integral or life-supporting according to the muscle testing methodology. Below 200 is false, non-integral or not life-supporting.

  • Human emotions can be calibrated on a scale from 0-200, with negative emotions like fear, anxiety and hate below 200. Positive emotions like love, caringness and dedication are above 200.

  • Intellect and reasoning ability can be calibrated in the 400s. America currently averages 421, the highest of any country. Society emphasizes education, logic and science.

  • Love at the 500 level is no longer an emotion but a way of being. One radiates an energy field of nurturance. Even those relying on logic in the 400s are sustained by the benevolent fields of those in the 500s and above.

  • 540 represents unconditional love. This is the level at which 12-step programs like AA operate, enabling recovery from previously incurable addictions through the power of spiritual truth and fields.

  • Carl Jung and the Oxford Groups helped pioneer treatment for alcoholism. Force cannot cure addiction but the 540 field can through spiritual programs.

  • A Course in Miracles calibrates at 600 and demonstrates spiritual pathways can aid recovery from illnesses beyond just addiction. Spontaneous support groups spread its impact.

In summary, calibrating human experiences provides evidence that spiritual fields and truth, beginning around 500, confer benefits like unconditional love and recovery that intellect alone in the 400s cannot explain or achieve.

  • Dr. Hawkins discusses the Map of Consciousness which calibrates levels of truth and energy from 1 to 1,000. The highest levels around 600 and above represent enlightened states of love, beauty, ecstasy and peace.

  • Reaching these higher levels can be transformative as one sees the miraculous and perfection in everything. However, it may not be possible to function in the normal world at the highest levels.

  • Karma and genetics are described as consequences of one’s field or energy level, not the cause. One’s experiences are chosen according to their propensities.

  • Meditation and spiritual practices can help increase one’s energy level and move towards unconditional love and enlightenment. Testing ideas and people kinesiologically can provide guidance.

  • Dr. Hawkins explains his own experiences transcending desires, leaving his successful life and possessions to live simply after reaching a state of bliss and silence beyond needs. This chapter outlined the Map of Consciousness and energy levels associated with spiritual transformation.

The speaker gives an overview of topics he will discuss. He explains that God should not be seen as a wrathful or vengeful entity, but rather as an impersonal electromagnetic field of love that resonates creation.

He clarifies that we need to move beyond linear, sequential thinking to overcome limited misunderstandings. Power is differentiated from force - power is unlimited while force is finite.

We are taught the difference between objective and subjective truth, and that God can only be experienced subjectively not through thought alone.

Various levels of human consciousness are described ranging from hatred around 70 (similar to a Komodo dragon) up through love and enlightenment. The energy of recent dictators is said to calibrate higher than a Komodo dragon, making them more vicious.

Kinesiology is discussed as demonstrating a nonlocal bodily response to truth, rather than strictly a local response. This reveals truth instantly without needing investigation of consequences. The discussion focuses on reinterpreting God, consciousness, and discerning truth through an energetic/field perspective.

  • Dr. Hawkins discusses transcending the ego and dissolving polarity of opposites. The ego likes to see things in dualistic terms of opposites, but there is a subtler way of perceiving without judgment.

  • Our spiritual evolution is not determined by past karma, but by our spiritual intentions and choices in the present which pull us forward. Every decision affects our consciousness level.

  • Around 1987, the average global consciousness level jumped from 190 to 207. This marked a significant shift, as 200 represents truth/integrity. It moves humanity from a potentially destructive path to a new paradigm focused on integrity.

  • Success is no longer the main goal or measure of social value. People now want to see integrity in leaders, companies, institutions. Integrity can be objectively measured through calibration.

  • Making spiritual choices that increase our consciousness level tips the scales towards positivity and changes our destiny. Even small improvements accumulate over time.

  • Dr. Hawkins’ teachings focus on devotional nonduality - being devoted to truth while transcending the dualistic ego through enlightenment. The ego must be confronted and reconciled with on the spiritual path.

  • The ego is essentially the residual of our animal brain and instincts. It should not be seen as the enemy but rather understood as natural animal nature.

  • Love first emerged with mammals and caring mothers. Romantic love is a modern concept. Marriage was traditionally not based on love.

  • Spiritual work involves transcending selfishness, ego, and animal instincts like competitiveness, deception, etc.

  • It can be achieved simply through choosing to be loving, kind, forgiving and supportive toward all of life at all times, including oneself. This allows one to embody spiritual principles.

  • Advanced spiritual states involve transcending polarities like good/evil and moving beyond identification with one’s thoughts, which don’t really mean anything on their own.

  • Consciousness research found the human spirit enters the embryo at 3 months, the time of death is karmically set at birth, and consciousness levels vary widely between infants at birth.

  • After death, the spirit may need a few days to adjust before moving on from the physical body. The goal is to transcend ego and identification with thinking/ego through total devotion and surrender to truth/God at each moment.

  • The physical body and mind are not who we truly are. We are spiritual beings having a human experience, not human beings having a spiritual experience.

  • Thoughts and the mind have a life of their own - they arise spontaneously and we cannot fully control them. This shows we are not our minds.

  • The ego survives by feeding off of emotions like fear, guilt, suffering, victimhood, etc. It gets a kind of “payoff” or sense of identity from dwelling in these states.

  • Through meditation we can observe the mind and thoughts arising without judgment or resistance. This helps us realize we are not identified with our thoughts and the mind has its own energy and momentum.

  • Nonduality means dismantling the ego by understanding where its “juice” or sense of self comes from - the positionalities, dramatic mental narratives, and emotions it uses to propagate itself.

  • As we realize our true nature is beyond the mind and body, we can stop feeding the ego and identifying with its thoughts, opening to a more spiritual experience of oneness.

  • Fear of birth and death often comes from not knowing or misunderstanding the nature of spirit and the soul’s journey. Insights into consciousness levels at birth help reduce this fear.

The overall message is that we are infinite spiritual beings, not limited to or defined by the physical or mental vehicle. Understanding this truth through practices like meditation can help overcome ego-based fears and attachments.

  • Consciousness levels appear to be distributed geographically, with North America around 431 and Western countries generally in the 300-400 range.

  • Areas like Haiti, the Middle East, Africa are lower, with some places in the 100-200 range.

  • One’s level of consciousness is determined at birth and the exact moment of death is also predetermined, though the manner of death is up to the individual.

  • Higher levels of consciousness, like 540 for unconditional love, are extremely rare achievements. Most of the world operates below 200.

  • Death of the physical body is not the end, as consciousness/life persists in an etheric or dream-like state after death. Beings like flies do not notice their death.

  • Understanding consciousness levels helps explain why interactions between cultures in different ranges, like contracts between Western countries and Middle Eastern ones, often fail due to fundamental differences in perspective.

The summary focuses on the main points about the geographic distribution of consciousness levels, how those levels are determined, and implications for how different cultures may interact based on their differing typical consciousness ranges.

  • Dr. Hawkins discusses how the average consciousness level of humanity has increased over time, reaching 207 in the late 1980s. This represents crossing a critical threshold where certain behaviors are no longer tolerated.

  • In the past, business and integrity/values were largely separate realms. But companies like Walmart, under Sam Walton, demonstrated running a successful business founded on principles of integrity. Walmart still calibrates highly on scales of consciousness.

  • The average CEO level of Fortune 500 companies calibrated around 198, indicating the need to be vigilant. Unethical behavior that could be gotten away with at lower consciousness levels will not work at 207.

  • As humanity’s consciousness increases, corrupt regimes, dictatorships, and unethical corporate practices that were once accepted will increasingly be challenged and face pressures to reform. This reflects a positive evolution and shift toward greater integrity and accountability globally.

  • Dr. Hawkins notes that true power and guarantee of survival comes from the Self/spiritual aspect, not from ego or sense of separate self. Nonduality dissolves the illusion of opposites and causality governed by ego.

  • Dr. Hawkins challenges the idea that war and peace are opposites. Peace is the natural state when truth prevails, while war occurs when falsehood prevails due to ignorance.

  • The basis of war is not violence, but the prevailing of falsehood caused by an inability to distinguish truth from falsehood. Until Power vs Force, no one in history could reliably tell the difference except advanced mystics.

  • War arises from ignorance, as the human mind alone cannot determine truth from falsehood. It is shaped by the “software” or conditioning of society. Examples are given of how innocent Hitler youth were exposed to harmful conditioning.

  • Judgment day and karma are continuous and ongoing, not one-time events. Your state of being and reality are determined by your choices and where you exist in the “field” of divinity every moment. There is no need to wait for judgment.

  • Concepts like beginnings, endings, causes and time are illusions and do not truly exist within reality, which is eternal and borderless. A creator god that intervenes does not align with this view of continuous infinity.

Here are the key points I gathered from summarizing this passage:

  • Dr. Hawkins discusses the Buddhist and Christian concepts of ignorance/ego being the root of humanity’s problems. As long as people cannot discern truth from falsehood or good leaders from bad ones, suffering will continue.

  • He provides examples throughout history where leaders with low levels of consciousness led nations astray and caused immense harm (Hitler, Stalin, etc.). In contrast, individuals with higher consciousness like Churchill were able to stand up to evil.

  • The ego relies on duality and polarization, constructing an identity based on opposing concepts. To transcend the ego means undoing these positionalities and dissolving the sense of separate self.

  • Enlightenment involves surrendering completely to the divine/silence beyond the ego mind. This awakens one to spiritual truths and liberates them from suffering and limited perceptions.

  • Dr. Hawkins introduces the idea that enlightened and divine states can be measured objectively on the Map of Consciousness. Though controversial, this provides a framework for discussing spiritual realities.

The overall message seems to be that by accurately discerning truth from untruth, and surrendering the ego through embracing silence, humanity can progress to higher levels of consciousness and avoid past horrors caused by ignorance and low-calibrated leaders. Knowledge and spiritual awakening are seen as keys to transcending conflict and suffering.

  • The ego is an illusion based on a dualistic structure that causes us to see an “I” and separate ourselves from the total field of experience.

  • One way to transcend identification with the ego is through meditation and contemplation. This allows one to be aware of the total field rather than getting caught up in mental details.

  • Surrendering to God means surrendering everything that arises in experience without labeling or resisting it. This includes sensations in the body.

  • By surrendering sensations as they arise without labeling them as “pain” etc., one can remain present with experiences like surgery without anesthesia.

  • Living in anticipation of the future or regret of the past keeps one separated from the present moment. Surrendering everything as it arises brings one into a state of “alwaysness” or presence.

  • We need to surrender not just experiences but how we see things, and see the innate innocence in all human consciousness. Seeing without condemnation can transform how we perceive life.

The key ideas are transcending ego through awareness of the total field, surrendering all experiences and perceptions to God as they arise, and seeing the inherent innocence in self and others to change one’s perceptions.

The passage discusses the concept of compassion and how it allows us to see the basic innocence of human consciousness. When we understand that people cannot truly discern truth from falsehood due to programming and conditioning, it enables us to forgive others for their actions.

It contrasts the use of force versus power in influencing change. Force causes direct effects but eventually exhausts people. Power, like compassion, influences change indirectly by transforming the field or environment. Small spiritual efforts collectively uplift the overall level of human consciousness.

Gandhi’s defeat of the British Empire through nonviolence is used as a historical example. Despite being tiny in physical stature, his high level of consciousness and spiritual power enabled him to nonviolently take apart the largest empire in the world at the time through influencing the field rather than through direct force or confrontation. This demonstrates how spiritual evolution and principles of compassion can create societal change on a grand scale over time.

Here are a few key points Dr. Hawkins makes about experiencing beyond the ego’s influence:

  • The essentials of life are simple - focus on these rather than nonessential encumbrances. Stripping away nonessentials brings clarity.

  • The outer world reflects the inner ego. By disciplining the ego through letting go of its propensities, the outer world transforms accordingly.

  • The ego derives “payoffs” from emotions like shame, guilt, fear, revenge, and hatred. These serve to strengthen the ego’s sense of identity.

  • One can choose to either love God/truth or struggle in ego-based emotions. Surrendering to truth allows experiences beyond the ego’s limiting perspectives.

  • Meditation is key to witnessing thoughts and releasing identification with the ego. This uplifts consciousness beyond time, dimensions, and personal identity.

  • Payoffs are what keep the ego attached to certain emotions. By gaining awareness of this mechanism, one can begin choosing identification with higher states of consciousness rather than ego-driven emotions.

The essence is letting go of ego attachments through self-awareness, simplifying life, witnessing thoughts without judgment, and surrendering to spiritual truth and love over ego-based perceptions and emotions. This facilitates experiences beyond what the ego defines as possible.

  • The ego thrives on negativity like hatred, conflict, resentment. It gets a “payoff” or feeling of pleasure from these emotions. Examples given are the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.

  • Peace is the last thing the ego wants, as it loses its sense of identity and importance without conflict to fuel negativity. Leaders want to stay in perpetual war to maintain their status.

  • To become enlightened, one must be willing to surrender the ego’s payoff from negativity and surrender everything to God. This involves facing a moment of terror where you let go of your sense of self and identity.

  • The ego will resist this giving up of negativity and try to justify continuing resentment, hatred, etc. Forgiveness is the key to letting go of these lower states of consciousness.

  • Meditation shows that there is no “me” doing the thinking - there is just an impersonal witnessing awareness happening automatically. True identity is with the witness, not the ego or thoughts.

  • Karma is a simple reality whether religions acknowledge it or not. Spiritual truths can be verified through different levels of consciousness, not just ancient scriptures from different cultures and times. Enlightened beings across traditions teach the same essential truths.

  • True relief from human suffering comes from transcending ignorance and accepting spiritual truth. Medicine, psychiatry, and other fields aim to relieve suffering but often can’t address deeper issues without spirituality.

  • We must surrender our positionality and desires to God through humility. Approaching life and problems with humility allows spiritual truth to arise on its own and resolve even very difficult issues.

  • Many prayers are disguised demands that try to force God to answer in a certain way. True surrender to God’s will means letting go of desires and the belief that happiness comes from outside things. This leads to inner fulfillment not dependent on external factors.

  • Contemplation is a very practical spiritual technique because it allows insights to arise through silence and surrender, as opposed to other methods that try to force understanding. Contemplation helps transcend ignorance and see things differently, resolving the root causes of suffering.

The key messages are about surrendering the ego’s desires through humility, allowing spiritual truth to arise on its own and resolve problems from within, rather than demanding external fixes or trying to force understanding through other means. This leads to inner fulfillment and relief from suffering.

The passage discusses two styles of meditation/contemplation - focusing on the “focus” or focusing on the “field”.

Focusing on the focus means intensely focusing on a single object of attention, like the breath or a task, and surrendering to each moment without trying to change it.

Focusing on the field means being broadly aware of one’s whole perceptual field or surroundings rather than a single focus. This allows one to pick up the overall energy or ambiance of a situation without focusing on details. The field is considered closer to ultimate reality.

In meditation, one can focus on the field of the mind rather than the specific thoughts. This moves one from identifying with mental content to being the witness or experiencer of thoughts. Eventually one realizes they are the field of awareness itself, prior to concepts like time or causation.

The passage encourages surrendering identification with thoughts and feelings, and the sense of victimization that can come with them. It advocates transcending the ego through contemplation of the witnessing self and unclinging from all phenomena to ultimately merge with the field of experience itself. This leads to independence from the content of life and an inner state of choice and non-attachment.

The key is to transcend identification with the changing content of consciousness and surrender one’s willfulness and personal desires to God at all times. This means letting go of seeking satisfaction from the ego and allowing everything to arise and pass without trying to control it.

Spiritual preparation through practices and teachings can help shorten the time it takes to reach the state of surrender to God. Ultimately, it is willingness to surrender one’s will that allows enlightenment.

In the final moment of surrender, one faces giving up what they believe to be their very life and self. With faith in guidance from enlightened beings, there is an agony of perceived death, but then explosion into realization of the eternal, unchanging self beyond birth and death. Fear of death is extinguished.

Afterwards, one exists as the witness of spontaneous experience without centralized will or identity. The body moves automatically while service shifts from individual to conscious evolution. Permission to leave the body is ongoing, but the witness remains to serve however possible through mysterious means. Ultimate realities transcend ordinary comprehension.

  • Removing obstacles to love is key, as love is our natural state. False perceptions and beliefs act as obstacles that veil our innate lovingness.

  • Science has limitations and can only progress so far, up to around 499 on the scale, as it relies on objective, provable facts. To move beyond 499 requires embracing more subjective aspects of experience that science cannot fully capture or define.

  • Asking questions can get complex as the answers depend on numerous contextual factors and variables. Determining what is “good” requires defining conditions and taking into account things like people’s karma, life processes, and potentials.

  • Death does not truly end our existence - our essence or spirit continues on. Visualizing this can help reduce fears around death of oneself or loved ones.

  • As we progress in understanding, we can look at how to apply insights from the book to cultivate more spiritual awareness in our daily lives. How our perceptions and reality might transform as we open up to love and remove obstacles.

The key themes are on limitations of objective approaches, importance of context and conditions, continuing nature of existence beyond physical death, and cultivating spiritual understanding in one’s life.

  • The passage discusses the subjective nature of experience and how we can never have a purely objective view of reality. It cautions against asserting one’s subjective view as the sole truth.

  • The astral level refers to non-physical dimensions of reality. The higher astral is connected to celestial/angelic realms, the middle astral is where souls reside between lives, and the lower astral is connected to negative energies like those that inspired Hitler.

  • It warns about getting caught up in the “New Age carnival” of psychic readings and claims of unique spiritual connections/powers. These can be seductions that pull people away from true spiritual advancement.

  • Activities like Ouija boards and some violent video games connect to low vibration energies around 80 that can unconsciously program the mind.

  • It notes that the conscious mind is actually unconscious about 24% of the time in self-hypnosis. This explains unexpected dangers like getting caught by radar when feeling conscious.

  • An anecdote is given about someone surviving 19 rattlesnake bites but dying on the 20th to illustrate how we can be fooled into thinking we’re immune when unconsciousness can arise at any time.

  • Karma and choice are discussed - certain choices become available based on our level of consciousness, while others remain unavailable. Events are not predetermined but influenced by karma.

Here is a summary of the address and contact information provided:

This is the contact information for Hay House publishers. Their address is the Sixth Floor, Watson House, 54 Baker Street, London W1U 7BU in the UK. The phone number is +44 (0)20 3927 7290 and the fax number is +44 (0)20 3927 7291. Their website is

They also have a publishing office in India located at Muskaan Complex, Plot No. 3, B-2, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110 070. The phone number there is 91-11-4176-1620 and the fax number is 91-11-4176-1630. Their Indian website is

The text also provides a link to which is described as a site where you can access new knowledge from experts anytime, anywhere, and learn and evolve at your own pace.

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