November 26, 2017

From Pride To Neutrality

In Dr. David Hawkins’ “map of consciousness,” courage first registers at the level of 200 on an ascending logarithmic scale of creative power that goes to 1000. Master teachers like Jesus and Buddha calibrate at the top end of the “map,” which Hawkins designates as Enlightenment. Just below the level courage at 200, is the energy of pride, which calibrates from 175-199. Dr. Hawkins maintains that the collective vibration of humankind globally is just above 200, after being calibrated for centuries at the level of pride, somewhere below 200. 

Up until the early 20th century, we have largely been demonstrating the force of pride, rather than the power of courage. The energies of pride are still pervasive as are the energies that calibrate lower than pride. We may have achieved the level of courage as a collective average, but the reality is the majority of the world’s population still expresses the energy of pride and the lower forms that fall beneath it, including fear, desire, grief, apathy, guilt, and shame, among others. 

To overcome pride requires great courage, which is the threshold between the lower energies (destructive force) to the higher energies (creative power). But, courage is merely the beginning of our access to true creative power. What comes after courage is neutrality and, according to Hawkins, neutrality is where we first begin truly expressing creative power.

It takes a great deal of courage to be neutral.

It has taken the entirety of recorded human history to achieve the level of courage, and yet, it is only 20% of the way up Dr. Hawkins’ scale that goes to 1000. There is still an inestimable potential for creative power yet to be tapped before humankind achieves enlightenment on a mass scale. The incremental steps along the way will be slow in coming, because evolution itself is slow. In fact Dr. Hawkins also maintains that, on average, humans will only increase their individual energetic calibration by about five points over the course of a lifetime. Do not be discouraged by this disclosure, because in Hawkins’ model five points can make a huge difference in the quality of one’s experience, especially if moving from a lower “zip code” of consciousness to the next higher “zip code”.

In a world as polarized as ours seems to be, choosing neutrality is a genuine act of courage. More than that, Dr. Hawkins “map of consciousness” indicates that neutrality is the next benchmark in of our collective evolution. When so many are choosing sides, while vilifying those who choose the other side, choosing neutrality seems counter-intuitive.

Many equate with neutrality with passivity. However, passivity is more closely aligned with the lower energy of apathy, which calibrates at 50 on the “map of consciousness” scale, just above shame and guilt. Traditional dualistic thinking dictates that we must choose sides and take a stand, to resist that which seems detrimental or dangerous to ourselves, our families or the collective soul at large.

In his Night Trilogy, holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel famously wrote:

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.”

Given Mr. Wiesel’s experience as a Holocaust survivor, he makes a compelling case. It can be challenging to resist taking sides when the stakes seem so high. Before we know it, we could easily find ourselves taking a side and fighting against the opposition, whoever or whatever that may be. However, as Dr. Hawkins points out in his essential book, Power Vs. Force, choosing sides and defending positions “creates polarization, which in turn creates opposition and division.”

When we choose sides, peace becomes impossible.

We have all likely heard the basic law of physics that says for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Stated another way, when we choose sides, someone else chooses the other side. Choosing sides sets the stage for inevitable opposition, resistance and conflict. Choosing sides divides and excludes, which are the result of choices made from fear. One of the main characteristics of pride is a rigid attachment to positions that we will fight to defend. Defensiveness, in any form, derives from fear. Where fear is present, peace is impossible.

When some people choose one side, other people choose the other side. As one side grows, so does the other, which creates opposition. As the opposition grows, humankind tends to double down and  become more rigidly entrenched into the positions chosen. One side stops listening to the other,  opposition grows and becomes more intractable, which only increases the resistance of the opposition. The more the opposition grows, the more rigidly attached we become to our own positions, which leads to an inevitable escalation of force to defend our positions. This process continues until, at some point, we find ourselves more committed to being right, rather than happy, or at peace. Conflict is inevitable. Peace is impossible.

Pride makes us inflexible, unwilling to bend, which means we inevitably break.

As the martial arts teach, a rigid position or stance is a point of vulnerability. If one does not bend, one tends to break. Pride makes us inflexible, unwilling to change. If we are inflexible and unwilling to change, at some point we will inevitably break. As the proverb goes, pride always comes before the fall.

It takes great courage to grow beyond the energy of pride. It takes even more courage to accomplish neutrality. Neutrality, which first calibrates at 250 on Hawkins’ scale is the threshold where we first begin expressing true creative power. Power becomes available at the level of courage, but becomes a true creative power when we first express the energy of neutrality.

Neutrality is essential to the expression of universal, unconditional love.

Neutrality is halfway up the scale to the energy of love, which first calibrates at 500. It should be apparent that neutrality is absolutely essential to expressing the energy of unconditional, universal agape love. You cannot hold someone under the prideful thumb of expectation and conditions, and still express unconditional love.

As we ascend Hawkins’ scale from neutrality to love, we demonstrate capacities of willingness, acceptance and reason. Reason is indeed a high expression of creative power, and falls just before love on Hawkins’ scale. However, as powerful as it may be compared to pride or guilt or shame, reason can only get us so far in the evolution of consciousness. Unless we express the power of agape love, we can never achieve the ascended levels of joy, peace and enlightenment. None of those are possible without first achieving neutrality, which ultimately means letting go of pride and our need to be right.

In unity and oneness, there are no sides.

If we are to evolve, we must move beyond the energy of pride and the need to be right. We must become willing to not choose sides, remembering that in unity, there are no sides. In oneness, there are no lines of division. Fear, not love, creates those lines of separation and division. Love unites. It is inclusive and harmonizes all resistance into an experience of acceptance and peace.

In its finest expression, the courage to be neutral is the willingness to not be persuaded by appeals that use fear, guilt and shame as motivators for compliance. Regardless of the stakes involved, any appeal grounded in these qualities encourages separation, judgment, criticism, divisiveness and sustained conflict. Such expressions are limitations on the full range of true creative power available to us.

In my defenselessness, my safety lies.

We can either stay stuck individually and collectively in energies of pride, insisting on our right to be right, and forgoing happiness and peace. Or, we can become willing to express neutrality, withdrawing our rigid attachments to positions we have to ceaselessly defend, and set up the opportunities to create and experience peace in our lives.

One of the most important lessons in A Course In Miracles states: In my defenselessness, my safety lies. Being defensive is always reactionary. It is an attempt to protect based on perceptions of vulnerability and unsafety. It is the same as choosing sides, while vilifying the other side. It never leads to peace. It should be readily apparent to the spiritual warrior that we cannot fight for peace. Having the courage and, more importantly, the willingness to choose neutrality sets us on a course to expressing more of our true creative power, which inevitably leads to peace.

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