Letting Go | David R. Hawkins | Book Summary




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David Hawkins Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender


Letting Go describes a simple and effective means by which to let go of the obstacles to Enlightenment and become free of negativity. During the many decades of the author’s clinical psychiatric practice, the primary aim was to seek the most effective ways to relieve human suffering in all of its many forms. The inner mechanism of surrender was found to be of great practical benefit and is described in this book.
Dr. Hawkins’s previous books focused on advanced states of awareness and Enlightenment. Over the years, thousands of students had asked for a practical technique by which to remove the inner blocks to happiness, love, joy, success, health, and ultimately, Enlightenment. This book provides a mechanism for letting go of those blocks.
The mechanism of surrender that Dr. Hawkins describes can be done in the midst of everyday life. The book is equally useful for all dimensions of human life- physical health, creativity, financial success, emotional healing, vocational fulfillment, relationships, sexuality and spiritual growth.
It is an invaluable resource for all professionals who work in the areas of mental health, psychology, medicine, self-help, addiction recovery and spiritual development.


Book Summary

There are different levels of consciousness. A level of consciousness is determined by what you are thinking and feeling. Each level has a different vibration. For example, love calibrates at 500 while shame calibrates at 20.


Your emotions can be measured. Whatever level of consciousness or emotion you are currently in and vibrating effects everyone and everything around you wherever you go!


People’s subconscious know what you are feeling and thinking – meaning, what you are thinking/feeling when you go somewhere effects how people perceive you.


Like attracts like – whatever vibration you are radiating = the people, places, things, and situations coming to you that are in that same frequency.


Thoughts and emotions are either bringing abundance or lack, health or imbalance, joy or anxiety. What you appreciate, appreciates.


The main point of this book is to show you how to best handle your thoughts and emotions. To not judge or resist when you are feeling hard emotions or thinking negatively. Simply observe and let yourself experience it fully, the good- bad – beautiful – and ugly. When you let go of labeling things as ‘bad’, that emotion can physically move through and release from the body.


The goal of our lives each day is to move UP the scale of consciousness. From fear, worry, shame to love joy and peace. From that place, healing and abundance begin to happen effortlessly.


A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts but our attachment to our thoughts that causes suffering. A belief is a thought that we have been attaching to, often for years.


The goal of life is to live from your SPIRIT. When you are having crazy thoughts or feeling hard emotions, the AWARENESS that is witnessing these things is your spirit. You can witness your thoughts and feelings, knowing it is just an energy you are experiencing in the current moment.


He highlights the importance of BEING vs DOING. Focusing on your state of being (state of consciousness and what you are feeling/thinking) leads to better results than striving and being busy all of the time. If you want to be abundant your need to FEEL abundant first.

If you want to have great relationships, you need to FEEL and be grateful for the relationships you have now. If you want to be healthy, you need to FEEL like the person you want to be first.


He emphasizes the importance of living in the present rather than a preoccupation with the past or the future. In the PRESENT is the only place where creation, miracles, healing, and change occur.


One of my favorite concepts is the fact that many people only focus on their body and trying to make it the best. Then, when you move up levels of consioussness, your realize the power of the mind over the body. Then, you advance to connecting with your spirit and the power that has over your mind and body and that connection becomes your main focus, knowing your spsirt is operating your body like a hand controls a glove.


“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

To be surrendered means to have no strong emotion about a thing: “It’s okay if it happens, and it’s okay if it doesn’t.” When we are free, there is a letting go of attachments. We can enjoy a thing, but we don’t need it for our happiness. In the state of acceptance, there is the feeling that nothing needs to be changed. Everything is perfect and beautiful the way it is. The world is to be enjoyed. In acceptance, there is a decreased preoccupation with “doingness,” a growing focus on the quality of beingness itself, and the perfection of our own inner capacity for caring and lovingness.




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By continual surrender, we experience the state of unconditional love (calibrates at 540), which is rare and occurs in only .04% of the population. This energy is miraculous, inclusive, nonselective, transformative, unlimited, effortless, radiant, devotional, saintly, diffuse, merciful, and selfless. It is characterized by inner joy, faith, ecstasy, patience, compassion, persistence, essence, beauty, synchronicity, perfection, surrender, rapture, vision, and openness. We relinquish seeing the personal self as a causal agent. Everything happens effortlessly by synchronicity


What does life become when one continuously surrenders? What is possible? In the surrendered state, we are independent of the outer world as a source of satisfaction because the source of happiness has been found within us. Happiness is shared with others so that, in relationships, the surrendered person is supportive, sympathetic, encouraging, patient, and tolerant. There is an effortless appreciation of the worth and values of others and a consideration for their feelings. Power struggles, being “right,” and proving our point have been relinquished. There is an automatic nonjudgmental attitude and the supporting of others to grow, learn, experience, and fulfill their own potentialities. There is an easy-going, nurturing acceptance of others. We feel relaxed, vibrant, and full of energy. Life events flow automatically and effortlessly. We no longer respond from a motive of sacrifice or “giving up” something for others; instead, we see ourselves as being of loving service to others and the world.

Life events are seen as opportunities rather than challenges. The personality is gentle and open with a willingness to let go and surrender nonstop because of the unfolding and ongoing inner process of continuous revelation.


As the process unfolds, we feel an inner transformation. This leads to a consistent feeling of gratitude, pleasure, and certainty about our goals. There is a living in the present rather than a preoccupation with the past or the future. There is an inner feeling of strength and invulnerability leading to an inner serenity.


At first, there is the identification, “I am the body.” As the mechanism of surrender continues, it becomes quite obvious that, “I am the mind that experiences the body, not the body.” As more feelings and belief systems are surrendered, there eventually comes the awareness, “I am not the mind either, but that which witnesses and experiences the mind, emotions, and body.” Through inner observation, there is the realization of something that remains constant and the same, no matter what goes on in the external world or with the body, emotions, or mind. With this awareness comes a state of total freedom. The inner Self has been discovered. The silent state of Awareness that underlies all movement, activity, sound, feeling, and thought is discovered to be a timeless dimension of peace. Once identified with this Awareness, we are no longer at the effect of the world, the body, or the mind, and with this Awareness come an inner calmness, stillness, and a profound sense of inner peace. We had mistakenly equated ourselves with the outer phenomena of our hectic life—the body and its experiences, the obligations, the jobs, the titles, the activities, the problems, and the feelings. But now we realize that we are the timeless space in which the phenomena are happening.


Let’s compare the arduous lower consciousness way of achieving goals with a higher state of consciousness in which we have acknowledged and let go of the desire, and are in a freer state. In a freer state, that which is chosen manifests in our life effortlessly. We surrender the emotion of desire and, instead, merely choose the goal, picture it lovingly, and allow it to happen because we see that it is already ours. Why is it already ours? In a lower state of consciousness, the universe is seen as negative and denying, frustrating, and reluctant. It is like a bad, stingy parent. In a higher state of consciousness, our experience of the universe changes. It now becomes like a giving, loving, unconditionally approving parent who wants us to have everything we want, and it is ours for the asking. This is creating a different context. It is giving the universe a different meaning.


The way to become that exciting person whom people want to know is very easy. We simply picture the kind of person we want to be and surrender all the negative feelings and blocks that prevent us from being that. What happens, then, is that all we need to have and to do will automatically fall into place. This is because, in contrast to having and doing, the level of being has the most power and energy.

When it is given priority, it automatically integrates and organizes one’s activities. This mechanism is evidenced in the common experience, “What we hold in mind tends to manifest.”


The way to offset this anger is to acknowledge and relinquish the pride, surrender our desire for the pleasure of self-pity and, instead, view our efforts on behalf of others as gifts. We can experience the joy of being generous with others as its own reward.




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When we have become loving, we have no limitations or demands on others that they should be a certain way in order to be loved. We love them no matter how they are. When love is unconditional, there’s no attachment, expectation, hidden agenda, or bookkeeping of who gives what to whom. we don’t expect anything back when giving. We have surrendered all conscious and unconscious expectations of the other person.


With the experience of inner peace comes great strength. An energy field of total peace is unassailable. The person who has found inner peace can no longer be intimidated, controlled, manipulated, or programmed. In this state, we are invulnerable to the threats of the world and have, therefore, mastered earthly life. When the state of peace has become established, ordinary human suffering is no longer possible because the very basis of that vulnerability has been totally relinquished.


The overall balance of the body’s acupuncture energy system is regulated by the activity of the thymus gland. The bio-energy system is intimately connected to the body’s immune system via the thymus gland. Chronic stress weakens the body’s immune system, suppresses the thymus gland, and throws the bioenergy system out of balance.


The higher we are on the scale of consciousness, the less we respond with stressful reaction.

Without a change of consciousness, there is no real reduction of stress.


The average person is preoccupied with the body, its functioning, performance, appearance, and survival. The average mind is beleaguered with worries, fears of sickness, suffering, disease, and death; therefore, the mind sets about defending the body in a great variety of ways. This leads to over-attention to diet, weight, exercise, and the health of the environment. With such inner tension, by the end of the day the average person frequently feels like a victim: drained, empty, and exhausted.


Be aware of how much energy is drained by this constant preoccupation with the body. Our mind has been continuously programmed with a countless variety of belief systems about the body: what it needs, what will be good for it, and its infinite number of vulnerabilities. This leads to constant preoccupations with all kinds of health preventive measures, including health food fads, the endless reading of labels for potentially poisonous ingredients, the fear of being near someone smoking a cigarette, the fear of dusts and pollens and all of the supposed contaminants of the environment. There is an obsession with offsetting all of these “dangers” by various countermeasures.


As we begin letting go of all these fears, canceling the belief systems and reaffirming that our true Self is Infinite and not subject to limitations, we move into a higher state of health, wellness, and vital energy.

A helpful way to phrase it to ourselves is, “I am an Infinite Being, not subject to ____________.” We put into the blank space whatever disease or substance that the mind has been programmed to see as a possible “danger” for us. After letting go of the endless variety of bodily fears, concerns and belief systems, physical illnesses begin to resolve automatically. There is an increase in the feeling of aliveness and personal freedom. In the state of total surrender, the body is barely perceived at all. It is only peripherally in awareness, and there is no preoccupation with it. It functions effortlessly, smoothly, and with very little attention.




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This is a very important shift of consciousness because now the preoccupation is not with the body and defending it. The focus of attention now shifts to the mind, which is where the greater power lies. As we shift our thoughts, feelings and perceptions, we begin to notice that the body follows suit. We recognize that people are not really responding to our body at all but to our inner attitudes, our energy state, and our level of awareness.


One day it dawns on us that everyone and everything in the world are responding to our level of consciousness, our intention, and to the inner feeling we have about them. We register the magnetism of saintly people such as Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, and Mahatma Gandhi. We see that they are beloved not because of their physical appearance, but because of the inner radiance of love and peace they emanate. The shift of focus from the physical level to the level of consciousness begins to bring rapid results.


When we are in a surrendered state, we are free from that inner smallness, insecurity, and low self-esteem. Then, money becomes merely a tool to achieve our goals in the world. We have an inner security, knowing that there will always be sufficient abundance. We will always get what we need when we need it, because we have an inner feeling of completion, fulfillment, and satisfaction. Money, then, becomes a source of pleasure rather than a source of anxiety.



Looking at the feelings on the level of interpersonal relationships, we now discover another law of consciousness. Our feelings and thoughts always have an effect on other persons and affect our relationships, whether these thoughts or feelings are verbalized, expressed, or not.


When we are in lower energy state such as anger, hate, violence, guilt, jealousy or any other negative feelings, we are psychically vulnerable to the other person. In contrast, forgiveness, gratitude, and loving-kindness have a much higher energy vibration and much greater power. When we shift out of a lower to a higher energy pattern, we create a protective shield on the energetic level, as it were, and we can no longer be psychically vulnerable to that other person. When we are in a state of anger, for instance, we are vulnerable to the energy depletion brought about by the other person’s counter-anger. Paradoxically, if we really want to affect other people, then we ought to really love them.

Then, their anger at us will boomerang back upon them with no effect upon us! This was the wisdom of the Buddha’s statement in the Dhammapada, “Hate is not conquered by hate. Hate is conquered by love. This is an eternal law.”


The third and highest level is the peaceful state, based upon the feelings of courage, acceptance, and love. Because these feelings are purely positive and non-disturbing by their very nature, they allow us to concentrate completely on the situation and observe all of the relevant details. Because of an inner state of peace, inspiration brings forth ideas that solve the problem. In this state, the mind is free of worry, and its ability to communicate and concentrate is unimpeded. This approach not infrequently leads to greatness.


Key steps to healing an illness or injury from within:

  • A thought is a “thing.” It has energy and form.
  • The mind with its thoughts and feelings controls the body; therefore, to heal the body, thoughts and feelings need to be changed.
  • What is held in mind tends to express itself through the body.
  • The body is not the real self; it is like a puppet controlled by the mind.
  • Beliefs that are unconscious can manifest as illness, even though there is no memory of the underlying beliefs.
  • An illness tends to result from suppressed and repressed negative emotions, plus a thought that gives it a specific form (i.e., consciously or unconsciously, one particular illness is chosen rather than another).
  • Thoughts are caused by suppressed and repressed feelings. When a feeling is let go, thousands or even millions of thoughts that were activated by that feeling disappear.
  • Although a specific belief can be cancelled and energy to it can be refused, it is generally a waste of time to try to change thinking itself.
  • We surrender a feeling by allowing it be there without condemning, judging, or resisting it. We simply look at it, observe it, and allow it to be felt without trying to modify it. With the willingness to relinquish a feeling, it will run out in due time.
  • In order to relinquish a feeling, sometimes it is necessary to acknowledge and let go of the underlying payoff of it (e.g., the “thrill” of anger and the “juice” of sympathy from being a helpless victim).
  • Feelings are not the real self. Whereas feelings are programs that come and go, the real inner Self always stays the same; therefore, it is necessary to stop identifying transient feelings as yourself.
  • Ignore thoughts. They are merely endless rationalizations of inner feelings.
  • No matter what is going on in life, keep the steadfast intention to surrender negative feelings as they arise.
  • Make a decision that freedom is more desirable than having a negative feeling.
  • Get it by “osmosis.” Put yourself in the aura of those who have what you want.
  • “Like goes to like.” Associate with people who are using the same or similar motivation and who have the intention to expand their consciousness and to heal.
  • You are only subject to what you hold in mind. You are only subject to a negative thought or belief if you consciously or unconsciously say that it applies to you.
  • Stop giving the physical disorder a name; do not label it. A label is a whole program


The reason you’re not experiencing this state of total peace and timelessness is because it is being resisted. It is being resisted because you are trying to control the moment. Let go of trying to control your experience of the moment, and constantly surrender it.  Let go of anticipating the next moment, trying to control it, trying to hang on to the moment that has just passed. Let go clinging to what has just occurred. Let go trying to control what you think is about to occur. Then you live in an infinite space of non-time and non-event. There is an infinite peace beyond description. And you are home.


Neuroscience teaches us that we can either program wellness or illness by our focus. Negative thought loops of worry will drain emotional and physical energy as well as create negative mental pictures that program your mind to their fulfillment. Since mind and body are connected, depletion of energy wears the body’s defences.




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