Sir David Ramon Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., affectionately called "Doc," died peacefully at home in Sedona, Arizona, on September 19, 2012, at the age of 85. He was born on June 3, 1927, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; he had been a resident of Sedona since 1979.
He is survived by his wife Susan J. Hawkins of Sedona, step-daughter Sarah J. Humphrey (Josh Spradling), and step-granddaughter Evren L. Spradling of Peoria, Arizona.
Dr. Hawkins was renowned as a physician, author, lecturer, and researcher of consciousness. After serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII, he graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1953. For the next 25 years, he lived in New York, where his pioneering work as a psychiatrist brought major clinical breakthroughs, especially in the treatment of schizophrenia and alcoholism. His research findings were published widely in medical, scientific, and psychoanalytic journals. As Medical Director of the North Nassau Mental Health Center (1956–1980) and Director of Research at Brunswick Hospital (1968–1979) on Long Island, he had the largest practice in New York. Dr. Hawkins also served as a psychiatric advisor to Catholic, Protestant, and Buddhist monasteries. In 1973, he co-authored Orthomolecular Psychiatry with Nobel Laureate chemist Linus Pauling, initiating a new field within psychiatry and leading to appearances on The Today Show, The Barbara Walters Show, and The Mcneil/Leher News Hour.
Dr. Hawkins spent the last three decades of his life in Arizona, working to correlate the seemingly disparate domains of science and spirituality. In 1983, he established the Institute for Spiritual Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to consciousness research. During the 1980s, his lectures at such events as the First National Conference on Addictions and Consciousness (1985) and Whole Life Expo (1986), both held in California, re-contextualized addiction by illuminating the underlying spiritual drive for inner peace and how to cultivate it apart from substances. During the 1990s, he served as the Chief of Staff at Mingus Mountain Estate Residential Treatment Center for adolescent girls in Prescott Valley and was the consulting psychiatrist for several recovery houses in Arizona.
In 1995, at the age of 68, he received a Ph.D. in Health and Human Services. That same year saw the publication of his book, Power vs. Force, translated into 25 languages, with over a million copies sold and evoking praise from such notables as Mother Teresa and Sam Walton. The book presents his trademarked "Map of Consciousness," now used by health professionals, university professors, government officials, and business executives worldwide. Many other books followed: The Eye of the I; I: Reality and Subjectivity; Truth vs. Falsehood; Transcending the Levels of Consciousness: The Stairway to Enlightenment; Discovery of the Presence of God: Devotional Nonduality; Reality, Spirituality and Modern Man; Healing and Recovery; Along the Path to Enlightenment; and Dissolving the Ego, Realizing the Self.
From 1998-2011, Dr. Hawkins traveled widely as a lecturer throughout the U.S. and overseas, speaking to sold-out audiences about the science of consciousness and the reality of advanced spiritual states. He spoke at the Oxford Forum and Westminster Abbey, as well as Harvard University, University of Argentina, University of Notre Dame, University of California, Fordham University, and the Institute for Noetic Sciences. His final lecture, on "Love," occurred in September of 2011, attended by 1700 people from around the world.
Dr. Hawkins was active to the very end. Just before his passing, he completed a video-recorded dialogue series and finished his twelfth book, Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender.
Dr. Hawkins received numerous recognitions for his scientific and humanitarian contributions, including: The Huxley Award for the "Inestimable Contribution to the Alleviation of Human Suffering," Physicians Recognition Award by the American Medical Association, 50-Year Distinguished Life Fellow by the American Psychiatric Association, the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame, Who’s Who in the World, and a nomination for the prestigious Templeton Prize that honors progress in Science and Religion. In recognition of his contributions to humanity, Dr. Hawkins was knighted in 1996 by the Sovereign Order of the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem by authority of the Priory of King Valdemar the Great. In 2000, he was bestowed the title, "Tae Ryoung Sun Kak Tosa" (Teacher of Enlightenment), in Seoul, Korea.
Throughout his life, Dr. Hawkins participated in a wide range of civic and professional endeavors, often in leadership roles. As a physician, he co-founded or served as medical advisor for many organizations, including the Schizophrenia Foundations of New York and Long Island, the Attitudinal Healing Center of Long Island, the New York Association of Holistic Health Centers, and the Academy of Orthomolecular Psychiatry. He was co-director of the Masters Gallery of Fine Arts. Born with an exceptionally high IQ, he became a member of Mensa International in 1963. As a young doctor, he was attracted to Buddhism and joined the first Zen Institute in the U.S. At the time of his death, he had been a member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church for many years. He was the first President of the Country and Western Dance Club of Sedona, a member of the VFW, American Legion, and the Sedona Elks Lodge. He was an archer, carpenter, blacksmith, musician (bagpiper, violinist, pianist), designer of prize-winning 16th-century French Norman architecture, and lover of animals.
Internationally, Dr. Hawkins was the founder of Devotional Nonduality (2003), a spiritual pathway that applies the core truths of the world’s great traditions: kindness and compassion for all of life (including oneself), unconditional love, humility, inquiry into the nature of existence, surrender, and Self-Realization. Since 2002, "Hawkins Study Groups" have autonomously sprung up in many cities around the world, from Los Angeles to Seoul, from Cape Town to Melbourne; the groups study and practice the principles of his books, such as: "We change the world not by what we say or do but as a consequence of what we have become."
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