Power serves others, whereas force is self-serving.
True statesmen serve the people; politicians exploit people to serve their own ambitions. Statesmen sacrifice themselves to serve others; politicians sacrifice others to serve themselves.
Power is the ability to act.
We all recognize politics as a fight for power, but power over what exactly?
Consider the gun rights debate. We can easily see that there is power in the act of holding a gun, but there’s also power in the act of taking the gun away.
- Abortion, would you ascribe the quality of life or ability to perceive to a fetus?
- Race, do you focus more on the similarities or differences between races?
- Gender, do you believe gender is fixed or malleable?
How you answer one question tilts the likelihood of the way you’ll answer other questions. Like genes within one organism clustered on the same chromosome, beliefs appear to cluster people into a tribe.
People don’t adopt individual values, they adopt the cluster of values that makes them feel the most “empowered”.
Nietzsche believed that the weak created the concept of evil to take power from the strong. To take this further you I believe, every time you ascribe the description of evil to something external to you, you give it power over you and make yourself weaker in comparison.
I was not expecting Power vs. Force to be a spiritual book, but to some extent, that’s what it is. Spiritual in the sense that it intersects the material (physical world) and the “spritual” (nonphysical) values-based world at a place of meaning.
Not that this needs a declaimer, but here it is: I do not agree with every fact presented as a fact in this book. Still, Hawkins extremely provocative reframing of consciousness changed the way I think about thinking.
I’ve shifted from thinking about power and force from predominantly political terms, to focus on the power of the individual, and how an individual can act from a place of power.
If you’re willing to experiment with an idea of consciousness that doesn’t neatly fit into a current scientific paradigm, Hawkins provides a methodology for separating truth from falsehood without dogma, judgment, or external authority.
Mankind lacks the capacity to recognize the difference between good and evil.
By humbly surrendering to this awareness, a man may be forearmed. When we admit that we are gullible and easily seduced by the senses and deluded by glamour (including intellectual glamour), we have at least the beginning of discernment. Fortunately, in this world of duality, man has been given a consciousness that can instantly detect that which is destructive, and signal it to his otherwise ignorant mind by the grossly visible weakening of his body in the presence of inimical stimuli. Wisdom can ultimately be reduced to the simple process of voiding that which makes you go weak—nothing else is really required.
Someone needs to make “Consciousness level 1000 memes” a reality.