What came to me in this morning’s meditation is to write about inner integrity—what is it, what does it mean to me, why should I live with inner integrity, and how do I know if I am living with inner integrity? But as I started to write, it became clear that exploring inner integrity also involves exploring feelings and emotions, and clearly understanding the differences between the two…
I’m finding that this is a difficult topic to explore. What immediately came to mind is David Hawkins’ Power v. Force and Hawkins’ Map of Consciousness. This is one of the most profound explorations of consciousness that I’ve encountered. While it’s beyond the scope of this blog to review at this time, I highly recommend it to you to add to your list of summer reads! Among many other contributions, Hawkins’ work shows how feelings and emotions are related to levels of consciousness and how they relate to each other. In the Map of Consciousness, Hawkins’ Levels are what I’m referring to as feelings, and what he calls Emotions correspond to what I’m calling emotions. And what he calls Process are actions likely to be taken.
Feelings are vibrational patterns in the body; they are energetic sensations of which the body is aware. According to Hawkins, these feelings exist at different levels of consciousness, those below 200 on his logarithmic scale having detrimental effects on the individual and on those around them, whether or not they are able to sense these levels in the individual. Those above 200 have beneficial effects.
As vibrational patterns, feelings are neither good nor bad when they are transitory. It is when they are the more-or-less permanent state of the body/individual that they can be detrimental or beneficial to how the individual lives his/her life.
Emotions (see Hawkins’ Map) are the mind‘s interpretation of the feelings it may or may not be consciously aware of, even though the body is always aware of its feelings. Emotions are what drive our actions and reactions to the feelings we’re experiencing at any given time. These emotions result from the constellation of decisions, beliefs, and postulates you’ve adopted from your experiences, your DNA, your heritage, your culture, your country, your religion, your ethnic makeup, and a myriad other sub-groupings you’ve been a part of, whether by choice or birth (see my previous blog post on this: 6 — Who Are You? Who Am I?).
Men tend to be less aware of their feelings than do women because we tend to operate more from our head—our intellect—whereas women tend to operate more from their hearts, the seat of consciousness and our connection with the Divine. Both genders, nevertheless, tend to be driven by their emotions—the reaction of their mind (the constellation of decisions, beliefs, and postulates)—rather than from their heart. Consequently, we all tend to operate from this veneer of the mind that overlays the underlying true self, where passion and truth originate.
As we discover these decisions, beliefs, and postulates—and let them go if they’re no longer relevant to us at this moment (and most of them are irrelevant always)—more and more of the deeper, true self emerges. When we operate from this true self, we are more aware of our feelings, on the one hand, and are less likely to interpret and act from them, on the other.
So, given this view of feelings and emotions, and the way in which they effect (not affect) our behaviors, let’s now return to the original topic of this blog: inner integrity. Inner integrity, then is the congruence between our deep, inner true self and our outward actions and behaviors. When we are less in touch with that true self, our outward actions and behaviors reflect much more what is originating from the mind, and these are rarely the same.
We can now formulate some responses to our original questions: what is inner integrity, what does it mean to me, why should I live with inner integrity, and how do I know if I am living with inner integrity?
What does inner integrity mean to me and why should I strive to live with it? If you are living with inner integrity, you are living with truth—not only your truth, but the truth of the Universe (see Hawkins description of applied kinesiology and the body’s knowing of absolute truth). If you are not living with inner integrity—if you’re only vaguely aware of that deep, inner self—you are most likely living with the lie that is the veneer that the mind has created.
How do I know if I’m living with inner integrity? This is a difficult question to answer in general, as the answer will be very different for each of us. In my previous blog post on this: 6 — Who Are You? Who Am I?, we discussed a couple of ways of beginning to find the deep, inner, real you. In another sense, though, if you have even a vague sense that there is something more within you, something that wants to present itself to the world, then finding that deep, inner self is what will allow you to live with greater inner integrity.
There’s another, much greater reason, though, to live from inner integrity, and that’s the impact it can have on your circles of influence—from family to friends to your communities to your country and to the world. While this may sound like quite a stretch, one of Hawkins’ findings is that individuals at higher levels of consciousness can have significant impact on others at lower levels, and therefore affect all of mankind. Through kinesiological testing, Hawkins showed that
- One individual at level 700 counter balances 70 million individuals below level 200
- One individual at level 600 counter balances 10 million individuals below level 200
- One individual at level 500 counter balances 750,000 individuals below level 200
- One individual at level 400 counter balances 400,000 individuals below level 200
- One individual at level 300 counter balances 90,000 individuals below level 200
Finding your deep, inner self is movement upward on Hawkins’ Map of Consciousness, so not only do you find greater resonance within yourself between who you truly are and how you act and experience that which is around you, but you also affect greater and greater numbers of those who are around you.
This sounds to me like pretty good reasons to live with inner integrity! What do you think? These may sound like some pretty “far out” ideas and concepts, so I would love to hear your perspective, too.
In my next blog, we’ll look at the reality of inner integrity. How have I experienced it? How have you experienced it?