Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

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!

*One wonders how the Hawkins Scale would categorize Mr. Fire's constant mentions of his fame, his expensive cars, etc. Graduate egotism, perhaps?

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Anonymous disillusioned said...

Greetings from the lowest level to you, Gracious Snarky One.

I had a session or two of AK, allergy testing, but stopped when I found it tagged me as allergic to every known food substance. Belief goes out the window when starvation sets in.
I'd seen various demonstrations of the unmoveable arm when you think good thoughts etc, also so did a bit of investigation and discovered the well researched ideomotor response.


sadly, not as romantic an idea as the mysterious chi energy but Derren Brown makes a very good living employing it.

Thursday, April 30, 2009 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Greetings right back at ya, Disillusioned, and thanks for the link. Interestingly enough, lots of New-Wage sorts have also been into magic -- e.g., Joe Vitale, Kevin Trudeau, etc. And they make very good livings doing what they do as well.

Thursday, April 30, 2009 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Hey Connie,

I'm with you on the negative numbers scale. If it takes unrestrained belief in anything the New-Wagers choose to throw at you, to reach higher consciousness, then I'll stay stupid for the rest of my life.

Unfortunately, I'm also one of those types who believes that the right force, applied at just the right time, can solve just about anything, and I'd enjoy applying a little force to some of these hustledorks who take advantage of gullible but well-meaning people. I guess I am a true Neanderthal.

Thursday, April 30, 2009 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous mojo said...

Now you have me TOTALLY looking forward to Hhh's own "Map of Consciousness". This is just the sort of thing his twisted geen-yus is made for. I envision a whole bunch of cloudy mountains and manure pits.

Once he draws it, we can divvy it up into chunks and hold seminars teaching people how they can get rich in virtual real estate selling the properties on said map.

You're welcome.

(p.s.: If the Spongebob Squarepants movie scores an impressive 385, I wonder how the new controversial Burger King /Squarepants commercial ranks? Shame? Desire? Acceptance? Joy? Perhaps Enlightenment, since I myself never realized before the giant-headed Burger King dude was a, um, "booty" man... Learn something new every day, I say!)

Thursday, April 30, 2009 2:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

I read Power vs Force as well. I agree with David Portney's take on the book and AK (we've talked about this subject a few times too). I do muscle testing and find it useful even though I know it's not always accurate.

I tested your blog and it's 411. You go, girl!

Friday, May 01, 2009 12:58:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Dave, given a choice I think I would rather hang with Neanderthals than with New-Wagers any day!

Friday, May 01, 2009 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Oh, Mojo, from your keyboard to HHH's eyes! I can just see the webinars brewing now. I bet we can really clean up with this one.

Speaking of fast-food commercials, I'm wondering how the latest Jack In The Box commercials would score on the frequency scale. Especially the one about the Mini Sirloin Burgers

Or the menopause commercial...

You gotta love Jack!

Friday, May 01, 2009 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Lana, thanks for your input. I used to be pretty good friends with a chiropractor who was into Touch For Health. He would occasionally give talks and do demonstrations of AK. Judging from those presentations, it
seemed to me that AK might have some applications for, as both you and David noted, detecting imbalances and weaknesses in muscles.

But my friend never seemed to advocate that AK was a truth or lie detector, and he never talked about a "consciousness scale" or anything like that. Nor did he ever try to imply that he was some highly evolved being.

Let's face it, when certain New-Wage hustledorks put their stamp on something, it automatically goes
waaaaaay down on Cosmic Connie's Credibility Scale.

I'm amazed that my blog scored so high! (I wonder how high it would score if the good Dr. Hawkins tested it. ;-))

Friday, May 01, 2009 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

My first experiences with AK were with a highly trained chiropractor -- probably one of the best. He didn't advocate using it as a truth-o-meter either. All it can indicate is whether something (substance, thought, memory, etc.) weakens or strengthens you for some reason. It doesn't have anything to do with "truth."

I'm now testing for JV... Oh... hmmm... maybe it DOES work!

Friday, May 01, 2009 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Allen J said...

"Dave, given a choice I think I would rather hang with Neanderthals than with New-Wagers any day!"

I'm with you all the way!

Reader from downunder.

Saturday, May 02, 2009 3:10:00 AM  
Anonymous mojo said...

Does this Map of Consciousness have any levels with purely NEGATIVE numbers? Because I must now admit, I broke one of my most Cardinal Rules of Behavior, so I should be banished there forthwith.

I'm certain there must be some sort of subterranean basement level of the Glorious Map of Consciousness, a level filled with centipede skeletons and old spider webs, specifically designed for us middle-aged geeky white girls who have actually used the term "booty" in a non-piratical context.

It is indeed a sad, sad day when I can't even live up to my own low standards. I apologize to all concerned.

(and ps: we don't have Jack in the Box up our way. They DID have them in St. Louis when I was in college. Back then they were earnestly trying to convince you that "Sirloin Steak in a Box" was somehow a GOOD thing. I'm sure the ping-pong ball-headed dude playing the guitar is going to give me nightmares, thank you very much.)

Saturday, May 02, 2009 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Connie these people are all flogging MSI's MULTIPLE SOURCES OF INCOME. What is curious is that their multiple sources of income mostly consist of taking money from other people. That is exactly how that Aussie guy got himself into so much trouble. He started taking other peoples money with no intentions of paying it back and that still holds true today I believe. He was one who was preaching the idea but using it inappropriately. I believe there is some value in it if it is done as a fair exchange and a win/win for everyone. In his case he was living off it and refusing to pay people back when they asked for it. Of course he claims its everyone elses fault and people have vendettas and the like but thats what they all say when they are cornered. What doesn't bide well for that guy is that he is trying to preach about being wealthy when he's had to use other peoples money to do anything. Interesting concept but sometimes not legal and certainly not ethical.

Saturday, May 02, 2009 7:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you test the love muscle with this?

Sunday, May 03, 2009 7:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Dave, given a choice I think I would rather hang with Neanderthals than with New-Wagers any day!

Wouldn't it be smarter to avoid both and hang with people who are smart and don't drag their knuckles when they walk?

Monday, May 04, 2009 8:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheesey grin, whats behind it?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 6:51:00 PM  
Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

Seems to me like this "map of consciousness" idea was cribbed from Hubbard's "tone scale" (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tone_scale ), with the half-way line between the positive and negative, the arbitrary numericals and everything.

On the tone scale, anger is 1.5, fear is 1.0, grief is 0.5, apathy is 0.05. There's no guilt, but regret is at -1.3. So there is definitely agreement as to the order of these items.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 5:26:00 PM  
Anonymous disillusioned said...

Why are all humans blue in your whirled?

Thursday, May 07, 2009 4:51:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, all: I didn't mean to bail on the conversation, but real life intruded once again. Anyway, I appreciate all of the comments, though I can't take the time right now to answer each one individually.

I will address a couple of them, though. To Francois: I have no doubt that Hawkins cribbed a few things from Hubbard and Scientology; almost everyone in the New-Wage biz has done this.

And to Disillusioned: Everyone and everything on this Whirled is blue because of the poor lighting in this place. No, the real reason is that this is the Dark Side, where it's always night, and night shots always make things look blue. Yeah, that's the ticket! Okay, REALLY it's because I love blue, and a few years ago I discovered a cheap trick to turn everything blue. (It's the "swap red and blue" tool in a graphics preview and management program I have called "ThumbsPlus.")

Well, back to work... and there will be more posts coming soon. But keep those comments coming!

Thursday, May 07, 2009 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous hHH said...

Mojo, your request has been noted, but how will I stop the mighty Hawkins from getting me, you know he had his wikipedia entry wiped?
That's power, it seems to me.
Not cosmic power, just ugly old power.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 4:04:00 PM  
Anonymous HHh said...

Wow, wv = faust
Speak of the devil!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 4:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Denise de la Cerda said...

HI.. stumbled on your blog because I wanted to know what David Hakwins looks like, so I did a google image search. I clicked on a random photo, and there was your blog!
WHY did I need to know what this man looks like? Because I downloaded the Power Vs. Force audiobook. It is read by the author, who has trouble enunciating clearly. It is read by the author, who has the same vocal timbre as the voice which hawked Carvel Ice Cream to us in the Northeastern U.S back in the 70's. The same tone of voice which described the delights of the Cookiepuss Ice Cream Cake is now lecturing me about scores of levels of consciousness, and what percentages of humans score at what levels.
Sad, the further I got into the book, the more my brain was screaming "Tomfoolery!"
Its sad, because the concept of power being stronger and much more subtle than force does feel true, and seems to be a meme worth exploring in detail. One COULD write a book about this subject. I wish that Hawkins DID.
I guess it's too easy, making sh*t up, calling it fact, and selling it to people who want to believe.
Oh well.

Saturday, December 17, 2011 7:22:00 AM  

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