Live from a Place of Love: An Interview with Wayne Dyer
Dr. Wayne Dyer is a famously self-made man who was born in Detroit in 1940 and spent his early years in orphanages. He became a high school guidance counselor and then a professor of guidance counseling at St. John’s University in New York. In 1976, he created a best seller out of Your Erroneous Zones by selling books out of the back of his station wagon. Now called “the father of motivation,” Dr. Dyer has a worldwide audience for his more than 30 books, including his latest, Wishes Fulfilled: The Art of Manifesting, published this month by Hay House. Paul Sutherland caught up with Dr. Dyer at his beach house on Maui.
Paul Sutherland: I watched your film The Shift and have been reading Wishes Fulfilled, so I know you have gone through a dramatic shift. Could you describe it?
Wayne Dyer: It’s really hard to put all of that stuff into words, because the experiences simply defy words. But here goes (laughs). I’ve been an exercise maniac most of my adult life, running marathons and triathlons, doing that as a regular way of life. I ran eight miles a day, every day for 29 years and missed one day in 29, so some call that obsessive. Then, a couple years ago, I was diagnosed with leukemia. I was told that there were restrictions that I would have to practice for my white blood count: They said, “You’re going to have to stop the Bikram yoga because of the heat, and you’re going to have to slow down the exercise, and you’re going to feel more fatigue.” And I bought into what I was being told. I just forgot who I am. I forgot that I am God and that I have divine powers and so on. So, for about 11 or 12 months, I got sicker.
What started your healing?
It was perfect storm of “coincidences” last April, but the big shift started when I was supposed to go down to Abadiania in Brazil for a healing with John of God. I canceled the trip because I was writing this book, and I wanted to finish the deadlines, but my friend Rayna Perscova went anyway. When she got down there, she wanted photographs taken of me. They had to be from the front, from the back, from the right, from the left, all dressed in white…
This is for John of God?
For John of God, yes. So, all of this was done, photographs were taken, and they were sent down to him, and he looked at them, and said, “I cannot do the surgery on him, because he’s not taking these supplements, and he needs to be drinking this blessed water.” Now, I have a healthy degree of skepticism but have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing, and who am I to say?
So Rayna called me back and said, “I’m having these herbs FedEx’d up to you. They’ll be there on Monday, and I want you to take three in the morning, three at noon, three at night, and then have the pictures retaken after two days.” So, sure enough, the herbs arrived. God bless this woman; she’s a medical doctor herself, an eye surgeon. She went to all of this trouble, and so I went along with it. I took the herbs and drank the blessed water. My daughter was here, and she took the pictures again: front, back, right, left, all dressed in white, and he looked at them, and said, “Yes, the surgery will be Thursday morning, the 21st of April.”
What did you expect?
I didn’t know what to expect. I was told this is real surgery, but it’s remote. I mean, I’m in Maui, and he’s in Brazil (laughs). There’s a big, big gap there, but in the world of spirit, that’s like being this close, you know? So, at seven o’clock the next morning, I was told the surgery would be performed, and then I got a phone call about quarter to eight. It was Rayna, and she said, “You have to go right to bed and sleep for 24 hours. You have to treat this as if it were surgery.” And I didn’t. I hung up, and I said, “I’m going for a walk” (laughing). And I got up, I went down the stairs, and I got about 100 yards away, and I collapsed. I could hardly get back. I had to have help getting back into my room, and I literally stayed in there for a week.
What was it like?
Just like I had had some kind of major surgery. I was so weak. Everything was hard. I mean, I could only drink a little bit of water, drink a little bit of soup, get up to go to the bathroom and then right back into bed. I remember looking out at the ocean and wondering if I would ever be able to swim again, because just the idea of walking from here to the ocean, which is only 50 yards or so, just seemed too daunting.
Anyway, a week went by, and then Rayna called from Brazil, and she said, “Wednesday night, go to bed at 11 o’clock, because they will be removing the sutures.” So I said, “I don’t have any sutures.” And she said, “No, it’s just the term — and it will be done by these entities who actually did the surgery.”
I don’t know how you do surgery on leukemia, because it’s just a blood disease, but she said that’s what they call it, for want of a better word. So, I went to bed at 11 o’clock at night. I did everything I was supposed to. I was dressed in white; I ate the foods I was supposed to eat; I avoided the ones I wasn’t supposed to eat. I had a big pitcher of blessed water that Rayna had sent up to me from Brazil. I set my intentions, I went to sleep, and I woke up the next morning — at what I thought was seven o’clock — when my friend called me from the airport and said, “Well, so how did it go?”
She was giving me a hard time, and I said, “Well, it’s only seven o’clock.” She said, “No, it’s not seven o’clock; it’s 8:20.” I said, “No, no, it’s seven o’clock.” I’ve got this watch that is guaranteed to never lose or gain a second, literally. But my watch had stopped for 80 minutes during the night. So that was the first thing that I thought was weird. Then I came out into the kitchen, and my son and my daughter looked at me and said, “What happened to your eye?” It looked like someone had gone into my eye and just scraped my eye during the night — it was all bright.
Did it hurt?
It just itched, nothing hurt. I didn’t … I wasn’t … I was so … Paul, I was so peaceful, so content, and I just stood there and said, “I don’t know. I just never have felt better in my life.”
That was the 28th of April. My 71st birthday was 10 days later. I was in San Francisco, and I went out, and I took a big wad of 50-dollar bills, and I gave them to homeless people, and talked to them, and had the most beautiful experience I can remember. Since that day, I felt something. And the something was, I was infused with a kind of a love. I’ve always been a generous and a kind person and so on, but never, ever have I experienced that kind of love. The world just looked different to me and still does. I began to “see” with a capital “S.”
What about the leukemia?
I don’t know what the healing was with my physical body, because I decided I’m through with looking at numbers on sheets of paper, and reports, and what it says on the Internet to decide whether or not I’m well. I have declared that I am well. I am in perfect health, and I feel great, and I’m back doing yoga at a higher level than I’ve ever done it before. My writing has intensified dramatically. I’ve just finished a new PBS show that something just occupied my body when I was up there.
And that’s the shift?
So many things happened. Ultimately, I just believe that at this time in my life, as a spokesperson, a person who has a big audience around the planet, that I have a mission to teach something called Divine Love. And Divine Love is the kind of love where your primary focus is on the God that is within you. That we are all beings of light and beings of love, and that you do your meditation on that, and you stay in that place, and you only extend love to everyone. Christ consciousness, Sidi consciousness, Buddha awareness — whatever you want to call it. It’s almost like I was pushed over the cliff and into a place where my ego was just sort of left behind, and I became a being of light, a being of love.
So, if I were somebody who had cancer or leukemia, what would you tell me? Be Moses, and channel for me, and say, “Thou shalt do this; thou shalt not do that.”
I wouldn’t. I don’t have any “thou shalts,” and I think it’s different for every single person. All we have to do is be ourselves. And who we are is not just pieces of God or connected to God, but that our basic core — who we are — is God. You know, we came from that, we return to that, treasure your magnificence, recognize your own divine perfection, and just live from that. Live from a place of love, and you’ll go home when you’re called, you know?
But your grandchildren like to sit on your lap. So there must have been something that said, “You know what? I’m not done having my grandchildren sit on my lap.” Do you think there’s a choice in your staying and hanging out?
I think that the only choice that we have in life is whether we align ourselves with God or not. I think everything else is all taken care of for us. You know? If you choose to align with your source, with your spirit, then your life will go in a certain direction. If you choose to align yourself with your ego, and your false self, and the belief that who you are is what you accomplish and what other people think of you and what you accumulate, if you just go that route — the outer route, if you will, the outer path — your life will go in a different direction. It’s just staying connected to God. And that’s how I feel. I just feel my life is like that, and I have opportunities within almost every hour of every day to see whether I can stay in that place.
And so how do you do that? How do people have the discrimination to realize the right behavior?
In The Course in Miracles, it said there’s either fear or love. And everything that is fear cannot be love, and everything that is love cannot be fear. So you just ask yourself, “Do I want to be in a state of fear? Do I want to be in a state of love?” A state of love — well, Jesus said it as well as anyone: “God is love.” No confusion there. God is love; he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in me and I in him. God is love, so that who we are is love. We came from perfect, pure, unconditional — I mean, like really unconditional — love, and all we have to do is stay there. That’s all; that’s right, so the choices that I make at this point in my life are just based on love — and Divine Love is the ultimate, which is what God does all the time.
God is love and doesn’t ask for anything back in return. So it’s that process of letting go and just allowing, and just being in that pure state. That’s how I challenge myself now. Can I stay in a state of love? And if there are any people in my life that I have any remaining residual conflicts with, I just send love there. You can send a symbol, you can give them money, you can write them a note.
[Swami] Vivekananda was asked the same question that you’re asking, like, “How do you, how does the average person, go out and do that?” And he had a wonderful line; he said, “In the springtime, go out and observe the blossoms on the fruit trees.” He said, “The blossoms vanish of themselves, as the fruit grows. So too will the lower self vanish as the Divine grows within you.” And the Divine growing within you is nothing more than just allowing love to replace fear, you know. There’s nothing to fear. People say, “I’m anxious.” No, you’re afraid. People say, “I’m depressed.” You’re not depressed, you’re afraid. You’re afraid of life, you’re afraid. Substitute. Turn that fear, that depression, that anxiety, that worry, that hatred, that revenge, that bitterness — just turn it into love. Just turn it into love. And when enough of us do that, that’s why I say with the movie, The Shift, if I can get 10 million people to watch that film, I think we can shift the consciousness on the planet. I really believe it can be done.
You have this new book, Wishes Fulfilled. Do wishes need to come from love?
Yeah. Love for yourself, love for the planet, love for each other. Love primarily for God — your number one relationship in life, your relationship to your source. Not something external to you, something that you’re a part of, that you are connected to — just meditating on that, staying in that place, the place of God realization.
The Higher Self in Self-Reliance
Spirituality & Health: You’ve been called the “father of motivation” and have always taught self-reliance. What does that mean to you now?
Wayne Dyer: Self-reliance means something very different to me now than it did originally. Originally, it was an ego construct for me: “Rely upon yourself.” I always say that when a person is motivated, he or she gets a hold of an idea and won’t let anything interfere with it. Nothing’s going to stop me. In other words, it’s me, me, me.
Then there’s inspiration, and it’s the exact reverse of motivation. Inspiration is when an idea gets a hold of you, and it takes you where you were intended to go, from the first moment of your conception and all of infinity. That’s what Carl Jung meant when he said, “I didn’t have this idea, it had me.” When it has you, when you allow this divine source, the highest place within yourself, to be the controlling factor in your life, then you are practicing self-reliance, but your self is your highest self.
Self-reliance for me now means relying upon my highest self and not being afraid to say, “I am God.” You know, I am connected to God. They speak about it in the New Testament, when they were going to throw stones at Jesus. He said, “Why would you stone me?” And they said to him, “Because you claim you’re a man, and you claim to be God.” And he said, “Is it not written. I have said, you are gods.” We are all gods. We all have this within us. That’s what self-reliance for me is now. Just relying on that, and just sort of watching this body go through whatever it’s got to go through.
When you’re out of alignment with your source, how do you pull yourself back in?
You pull yourself back in by doing what’s called self-conscious awareness, where you become aware that you have slipped, you know? That you’ve had a thought of condemnation, that you’ve had a thought of judgment, that you’ve had a thought of criticism toward another of one of God’s children. Where normally you would just say those kinds of things, now you become aware of it. You start self-consciously correcting yourself and stopping yourself. That’s how you pull yourself back.
You’ll still have the thought, “Who the hell do they think they are? How could they do that? That isn’t right.” And then you’ll stop yourself and say, “No, I’ll just send them love, I’ll just send them love.” And that’s when the miracles happen. That’s when the healings take place. That’s when the abundance shows up. That’s when the synchronicity occurs. That’s when the right people show up. That’s when you’re thinking about something, and you can’t think what it is, and suddenly, somebody calls you on the phone and gives you what you were looking for. Synchronicity begins to become a way of life for you.
How do you apply Divine Love to all the terrible things happening in the world?
Well, if any amount of judgment or anger or condemnation would fix the oceans’ reefs, I would say, “Be in that state,” but it doesn’t. It just contributes to more of the selfishness. That is why people are so inconsiderate toward the reefs, and not just to the reefs but toward each other. My friend Ram Dass taught me many years ago that no amount of being angry about people who are starving is going to feed one person. You know, that’s all part of the perfection of it all, but so is your desire to change it. And just stay with that, just stay with your desire, stay with your intention, with placing your attention internally on a world in which people love the oceans, and treasure the oceans, and treasure each other and so on. Just stay with that, and ultimately, you’ll make an impact. But no amount of depression is going to un-depress anybody. No amount of your being sick is going to make anybody else better. You have an obligation to stay healthy, content, fulfilled, and in a space of God love, and let the universe take care of itself. Okay? —S&H