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I am very used to strange books and special people, but Hawkins stands out due to his use of a simple technique for testing muscle tension as a key to the “truth” of any kind of statement whatsoever—i.e., not just to whether the person being tested believes it, but whether it is really true! What is well known is that people will show automatic, unconscious physiological and psychological responses to just about anything they are exposed to—images, sounds, touch, odors, ideas, people. So, muscle reading to find out their true feelings is not radical at all, unlike using it as a dousing stick (more muscle reading) to do “paranormal science”. Hawkins describes the use of decreasing tension in the muscles of an arm in response to increases in cognitive load thus causing the arm to drop in response to the constant pressure of someone’s fingers. He seems unaware that there is a long established and vast ongoing research effort in social psychology referred to by such phrases as ‘implicit cognition’, ‘automaticity’ etc., and that his use of ‘kinesiology’ is one tiny section. In addition to muscle tone (infrequently used) social psychologists measure EEG, galvanic skin response and most frequently verbal responses to words, sentences, images or situations at times varying from seconds to months after the stimulus. Many, such as Bargh and Wegner, take the results to mean we are automatons who learn and act largely without awareness via S1 (automated System 1) and many others such as Kihlstrom and Shanks say these studies are flawed and we are creatures of S2 (deliberative System 2). Though Hawkins seems to have no idea, as in other areas of the descriptive psychology of higher order thought, the situation regarding “automaticity” is still as chaotic as it was when Wittgenstein described the reasons for the sterility and barrenness of psychology in the 30’s. Nevertheless, this book is an easy read and some therapists and spiritual teachers may find it of use. Those wishing a comprehensive up to date framework for human behavior from the modern two systems view may consult my book ‘The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language in Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Searle’ 2nd ed (2019). Those interested in more of my writings may see ‘Talking Monkeys--Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet--Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 3rd ed (2019), The Logical Structure of Human Behavior (2019), and Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century 4th ed (2019)
Keywords implicit cognition  psychology  intuition  automatism  religion  thinking
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