‘There is one thing the world does not want us to find out and that is the truth about ourselves. Why? Because then we will become free. We can no longer be controlled, manipulated, exploited, drained, enslaved, imprisoned, vilified, or disempowered. Therefore, the inner voyage of discovery is cloaked over with an aura of mystery and foreboding.’
Dr David Hawkins Interview (Part 1)
Dr David Hawkins Interview (Part 2)
Official Youtube Channel of Veritas Publishing and lectures by Hawkins
Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (2012)
David R Hawkins
In Summary

Hawkins believed that ‘everything in the universe has a vibration’, and in this way our feelings impact the external universe, such that peaceful moods lead to a peaceful planet and fear leads to a world worth fearing.


He became an atheist and went off to fight the Nazis. Thus began the young life of David R Hawkins, whose love of reading helped him graduate early to enlist in the military and also led him to Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason, which profoundly altered his thinking. After the war, he turned the sharp scalpel of his attention to the medical field, becoming an early pioneer in the study of schizophrenia and alcoholism, publishing over twenty books and directing the largest psychiatric practice in New York. Yet his swelling mind soon yielded to his heart. The same research into the human psyche that accompanied his loss of faith eventually brought him back as he rediscovered God within himself. He came to believe he could impact world wars and events not through force or intellect, but rather, through the omnipotent power of his own emotions.

In his later works – for example, the bestselling Power vs. Force (1995) – Hawkins developed a hierarchy of emotions, ranked according to the frequency of vibrations that radiates from the person experiencing them. The scale ranged from 1 to 1000 with higher vibrations assigned to positive emotions, such as peace (600), joy (540), love (500) or acceptance (350), and lower vibrations assigned to negative emotions, such as pride (175), anger (150), desire (125), fear (100) or shame (20). To teach others how to scale this emotional hierarchy, the aging Hawkins penned a comprehensive evaluation of each of the primary emotions. Published in 2012, Letting Go was the fruitful culmination of this work, completed in the final months of his life.


When pressed by a rush of emotion, our propensity is to either repress, escape, project, express or examine. Repression stifles the emotion until it bursts; escape flees into distractions such as entertainment, food or sex; projection externalises our feelings and casts them out onto another as a scapegoat; expression verbalises an emotion but in a way that often reinforces it; examining tiptoes around the emotion, thinking about it instead of really feeling it. According to Hawkins, such methods can be moderately helpful in dealing with symptoms, but they never truly get to the emotional crux of our issues. We simply need to sit in the emotion itself, ‘staying with it, and letting it run its course without wanting to make it different or do anything about it… to let the feeling be there and to focus on letting out the energy behind it.’ While other methods attempt to do something about the emotion, Hawkins advocates simply feeling the emotion for extended periods, resisting the urge to soften its edges by venting, repressing or rationalising it. Even twenty minutes of intensive feeling can have an immediate impact; if practised daily, emotions such as anger or sadness will be exhausted and ‘run out in due time’, allowing one to finally ‘let them go.’ The goal is to surrender our negative feelings while also removing the blocks that prevent us from letting in positive ones. This process is all the more important for Hawkins, since he believes emotions dictate not only our internal state but the external world as well.

According to Hawkins, our emotions send out powerful vibrations that reverberate through the world around us; negative emotions create a negative reality. Once we surrender our negative emotions, this often rectifies the very situation we were initially emotional about. For example, once a boy lets go of his romantic jealousy and moves on, his crush will often suddenly return his former interest. The very fact that we feel a hole in our heart that must be filled by someone or something else guarantees that it never will be, for our feelings of solemn emptiness are vibrated into being. But by letting go of our external desires, we accept that we are already complete in ourselves, which then naturally causes our world to become more whole and complete as well. When the ‘source of happiness is found within, we are immune to the losses of the world.’ Peace – along with mental and physical healing – comes not from hoarding the world without but from harnessing the emotions of the divine self within.


Driven by sorrow, pride, hurt, rage or insecurity, we often make foolish decisions that only further amplify these same emotions. For those trapped in this cycle, Hawkins might offer a fresh way forward. While repression and projection are obviously unhelpful, Hawkins’ other critiques of more commonly accepted methods could help some realise why, despite all the counselling, processing or retreats, they are still plagued by emotional obstacles. To sit in the raging fire of one’s emotions – refusing to examine or vent or find some way to alleviate its intensity – is such a simple idea yet one that we so often overlook.

Additionally, Hawkins claims to offer the ability to change our world from the inside out. While many books on the market argue that we create our own reality, Letting Go is perhaps uniquely helpful in articulating the role of emotions in this creative act. Hawkins dedicates entire chapters – ten in all – to apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, pride, courage, acceptance, love and peace, relating the nuances of each emotion to the role they play in reshaping our daily life and context.

Further Reading By This Author

Hawkins wrote numerous other works, including Power Vs. Force, The Map of Consciousness Explained, The Eye of the I, Transcending the Levels of Consciousness, Healing and Recovery, Truth Vs. Falsehood, Discovery of the Presence of God, and Reality, Spirituality and Modern Man.

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