Letting Go

November 18, 2022

David Hawkins, M.D., PhD was a prominent psychiatrist who co-founded Orthomolecular Psychiatry with Nobel laureate, Linus Pauling. At the peak of his career, Dr. Hawkins was the director of the largest mental health clinic in the state of New York. After having a spiritual awakening, he refocused his career on teaching and writing about levels of consciousness and the letting go process. He believed shame, guilt, apathy, grief, fear, cravings, anger, and pride took energy away from others (all below 200) whereas courage, neutrality, willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy, and peace all added energy to others (above 200). The following is a summary of his treatise on letting go.

Life can never be pain free. Every day we are faced with emotional challenges. How do we deal with shame, guilt, apathy, grief, fear, cravings, anger, and pride when it interferes with our social interactions? Our past trauma often magnifies these emotions. We have three major ways of handling negative feelings: expression, suppression, and escape. Being able to use the right words at the right time with the right person is not always easy. Sometimes it’s not about relationships with others, but rather the relationship with yourself. Sharing your feelings about yourself with someone you trust may help, but internal resolution could take a long time. Suppression is when you consciously push feelings down. Sitting on those feelings rarely gets rid of them. Repression is when you push feelings down unconsciously. That’s never a good idea because it leads to denial of the problem and projection that others have the problem and not you. Escape is the avoidance of feelings by diverting attention. Drugs, alcohol, video games, or activities that becomes compulsive keeps you at a distance from dealing with your negative emotions.

Whenever you feel stressed about something it’s because something is not going the way you want and feel the need to take action. If it’s something you have control over, then you should take action as soon as possible to resolve the issue. However, when you think about it, how many things do you actually have control over? Certainly not anyone else. You barely even have control over yourself. However, if you can take appropriate action and solve the issue, it’s your moral imperative to do it and not complain. Otherwise you are presenting yourself as a victim and are denying your power. If you don’t have control, you may have influence, which is far more common. Influence though means that several other factors contribute to manifesting the final outcome. Your challenge is to know if you have maximized your effort or not. There eventually comes a point at which you have exhausted your options and its no longer practical or reasonable to put any more effort into it. Continuing any action is likely to have a negative effect on you and others. Lastly, there are things you have no control over and no influence over. Your only rational option is to let go of your emotional attachment to it. Placing energy into it is worthless and can only make things worse.

Letting go involves being aware of a feeling, letting it come up, staying with it, and letting it run its course without wanting to make it different or do anything about it. It means simply to let the feeling be there and to focus on letting out the energy behind it. The first step is to allow yourself to have the feeling without resisting it, venting it, fearing it, condemning it, or moralizing about it. It means to drop judgment and to see that it is just a feeling. You surrender all efforts to modify it in any way. It is resistance that keeps the feeling going. A feeling that is not resisted will disappear as the energy behind it dissipates. As you focus on the feeling, let go of your reaction to having the feeling in the first place. When letting go, ignore all thoughts. Focus on the feeling itself, not on the thoughts. This method is very different than traditional psychotherapy which relies on insight. It’s also radically different than cognitive behavior therapy which asks you to challenge the distortions in your thoughts. Letting go as described here views thoughts as merely rationalizations of the mind to try and explain the presence of the feeling. One feeling can have many associations to it both conscious and unconscious. Rather than trying to analyze it, you simply make the decision to let go. Over time you will discover that all negative feelings are merely survival programs that the mind believes are necessary. You are letting go of attachments. When you surrender it means you have no strong emotion about a thing. It’s okay if it happens, and it’s okay if it doesn’t. You are then free. Letting go leaves you feeling lighter and happier. You progressively become primarily the witness rather than the experience or of phenomena. You get closer and closer to your real Self.

The results of letting go are deceptively quick and subtle, but the effects are very powerful. This method reduces the strength of the ego, which will become resistant when it becomes aware of it’s loss of power. Just keep letting go of the resistance to the resistance. Remember you are a free person. You don’t have to let go and nobody is forcing you. Just keep letting go of every fear as it arises, and the resistance will resolve. If you feel stuck with a particular feeling, simply surrender to the feeling of being stuck.

You are letting go of all the programs that have made you a slave and a victim for a long time. These programs have blinded you to the truth of your real identity. Letting go is a natural ability. It is not an esoteric teaching or somebody else’s idea or a belief system. You are merely utilizing your own inner nature to get freer and happier. When letting go, it’s not helpful to think about the technique. It’s better, simply, just to do it. After you have had a lot of experience doing this, you will start laughing at your thoughts. So many of your thoughts are fake, absurd make beliefs that obscure the truth. Pursuing thoughts can keep you occupied endlessly and can loop you around right back to where you started. The real Self is the space between the thoughts, or more exactly, the field of silent awareness underneath all thoughts.

To add additional motivation to letting go, consider the fact that the brain is neuroplastic. This means the brain is not a computer. It’s organic and modifies itself based upon what it’s focusing its intention and attention on. Just as a person can experience a Hell on earth through their own personal mental tormenting, they can rewire their brain to experience a Heaven on earth. The key to this is learning to be in the present moment and training the mind to let go of all the negative emotions below 200.

Simply by a process of eliminating these lower frequencies, the mind will naturally become free. By removing what is not true, you are left with what is. What remains is your true Self who experiences gratitude, awe, compassion, optimism, peace, and a feeling of connection with everything. That’s a very good motivation, but there’s more. When you allow these lower frequencies to occupy your energy field, the negativity feeds the darker forces around you. They become stronger and you become weaker. Not only that, the frequencies lower than 200 take energy away from others. The first positive emotion that adds energy to the field is courage. You and everyone else become stronger.

Courage is state of mind that harbors a resolution to be brave. It’s the faith in yourself that you don’t have to be afraid of your feelings anymore. You trust that you can face them and handle them. You make a conscious choice to take responsibility for your feelings. Over time, your level of consciousness will average well above 200. This means you will be radiating energy outward, naturally and effortlessly, increasing the frequency of anyone close to your proximity. You will be less vulnerable to the negative energy that certain others are emanating around you.

The best protection against harmful influences and lower forms of energy is to radiate positive energy yourself. The letting go process unleashes the power of your true magnificent Self. Stay with your courage. Do not hold back your capacities; be spontaneous and joyous in everything you do. Do not compare yourself with others and worry about whether your capacities are higher or lower than theirs; just do it for the sake of doing. Do not hold the energy back for fear that someone will not like what you do; just keep bringing the energy up and out. This is your best guarantee of a healthy mind and body.