First published in 2010, Karen Casey's Let Go Now is a collection of meditations on the subject of Detachment. You can find some robust discussions online about the nuances of defining Detachment, but for Casey's purposes a pretty simple summary would be "detaching your state of being from the state of being of others." In other words, owning the details of your own life completely, and simultaneously letting others do the same by not interfering with their path. In OTHER other words, stop being a busy-body and leave people alone while you get your own house in order. If that sounds like the kind of advice you need, even if (especially if) some part of you doesn't like that you need it, Let Go Now is the book for you.

The heart of this book is the collection of 200 meditations on the subject of Detachment, one to a page. In this it is similar to "devotional" books on all sorts of topics. I don't know that I'd suggest reading one each day for 200 days straight, as many of them are going to take significant time to process. That said, set your own pace and stick with it; Let Go Now is a deep dive that will lead you to explore Detachment thoroughly and, if it's something that you discover you want in your life, will reveal a path for you to explore. If my language in describing Casey's method seems odd, I'm choosing it very deliberately. Casey walks her talk, clearly believing that you need to arrive at Detachment having done the work yourself. The 200 reflections are designed akin to classic Socratic Method thought - asking the question that will cause you, in answering, to discover the point of the question. Note, though, that the reflections are not nearly as opaque as Socratic dialogues can seem to be at times.

Karen Casey is the author of more than a dozen books. In the preface to this edition, she herself describes it as "one of the most important" of her writings. Working through these reflections it is easy to see why. Detaching can be a profound upheaval in a person's life; the more you exist in a web of codependent relationships, the more seismic the changes in your life as you learn how to remove the influence of others on your well-being and, just as important, detach yourself from their lives, letting them live their own life while you observe, support, or even love. This is an excellent topic to explore even if you ultimately conclude that you are not suffering along these lines, and Casey's reflections are an excellent guidebook for that exploration.

Author: Karen Casey
Red Wheel/Weiser, 2010, 2019
pp. 232, $16.95

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