Dr. Wayne W. Dyer passed away over the weekend. He was 75 years old. The speaker and author was often referred to as a “self-help guru,” but in some sense that distinction does not do him justice. The term “self-help guru” can conjure up images of men who find ways of helping themselves — to other people’s money. Dr. Dyer was no con man. He was a student of the spiritual world who became a master. One does not need to agree with everything a man like Dr. Dyer says in order to admit that he was an excellent teacher.
In memory of Dr. Dyer, here now are a few excerpts from his book ‘Change Your Thoughts — Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao’:
Living from the Void:
Consider the paradoxical term nonbeing as you ponder your own beingness. You’re comprised of bones, organs, and rivers of fluids that are encapsulated by a huge sheet of skin molded to hold you together. There’s definitely a distinctive quality of beingness that is “you” in this arrangement of bodily parts — yet if it were possible to disassemble you and lay all of your still-functioning physical components on a blanket, there would be no you. Although all of the parts would be there, their usefulness depends on nonbeingness, or in Lao-tzu’s words, ‘what is not.’
Imagine lining up the walls of the room you’re presently in, with all of the elements present: Without the space of the center, it’s no longer a room, even though everything else is the same. A clay pot is not a pot without the emptiness that the clay encapsulates. A house is not a house if there is no inner space for the exterior to enclose.
A composer once told me that the silence from which each note emerges is more important than the note itself. He said that it’s the empty space between the notes that literally allows the music to be music — if there is no void, there’s only continuous sound. …
Ask yourself what makes a tree, a tree. The bark? The branches? The roots? The leaves? All of these things are what is. And all of them do not constitute a tree. What’s needed to have a tree is what is not—an imperceptible, invisible life force that eludes your five senses. You can cut and carve and search the cells of a tree endlessly and never capture it. — (Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Change Your Thoughts — Change Your Life. Hay House, Inc., 2007. 53-54)
Living by Emulating the Sea:
“Be humble. Never put yourself above others or see yourself as superior to anyone. The highest power is a yielding valley. Become a servant, not a dominator. When even the tiniest waterways are left alone, they uniquely carve out a path that leads them to the sea. And the great ocean never lords its greatness and power over the rivers and streams: It doesn’t rise above them and demand devotion, nor does it threaten them with punishment or extinction if they refuse to cooperate. The sea knows instinctively that the streams and rivers will naturally gravitate toward that which stays low.” — (Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Change Your Thoughts — Change Your Life. Hay House, Inc., 2007. 313)
Although the loss of Dr. Dyer will be felt by many, it is comforting to know that those closest to him realize the end is also the beginning:
“Wayne has left his body, passing away through the night. He always said he couldn’t wait for this next adventure to begin and had no fear of dying. Our hearts are broken, but we smile to think of how much our scurvy elephant will enjoy the other side.”
Rest in peace, Dr. Dyer. You will be missed.