Wayne Dyer, Ph.D., is a man determined to unravel life’s boundless lessons. As a truth seeker and student of life’s many great teachings, Dyer has traveled around the nation to spread his inspirational wisdom. In myriad ways, his teachings of self-actualization embody vitalism as a philosophy.
Throughout the years, Dyer’s message has assumed numerous different forms through lecture tours, books and audiotapes. Most recently, one of his lectures was featured as voice-over narration for the Pixar film “Day & Night,” which was nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.
As a chiropractor, I’m fascinated by the way vitalism shapes our calling and the lives of those around us, and thus I felt it important to explore these issues. For this article, Dyer sat down to discuss concepts of healing, abundance, life force, service, expression of life and considerably more.
Undoubtedly, chiropractic has done an excellent job helping millions of people with all sorts of pain. However, the profession also has assisted countless others with prevention and enhanced performance, and even equipped them for purposes of self-expression.
From the perspective of healing on many levels, including pain, Dyer provides profound insight, “One of the reasons people don’t heal in their lives is because they’re bonded to the wounds of their childhood. You see, your biography becomes your biology and it’s something to remember in chiropractic especially. When you start looking at somebody’s biology—that is, their body—you don’t have to go far to find their biography.”
These wounded individuals, he further explains, believe themselves entitled to a perfect childhood and the failure to have one subsequently becomes traumatic. As a result, these individuals develop what Dyer calls a “language of woundology” to exercise power over other people and to gain attention and pity and so on.
“You have to let go of all of those wounds—by carrying them around in your consciousness, they’re embedded into the cells of your being,” he says. “If you want to change your health and heal yourself, you have to rid yourself of all of those toxic thoughts creating that negative energy and life force in the first place.”
Thus the chiropractor’s role in helping people to heal, Dyer concludes, is twofold. Quite often, it involves aiding patients to rid themselves of harmful parts of their biography in addition to dealing with some disease in their biology.
At a fundamental level, the philosophies and religions of most societies all seem to agree something sacred exists within each human being. For his own part, Dyer attempted to address this topic in the course of researching and writing his book, “Your Sacred Self.”
“When I toured the country and asked, ‘What is sacred?’ the answers always had to do with religion,” he says. “Very few people said, ‘I am sacred.’ That’s what I think is the most sacred of all—your own humanity. I think all of us are nothing more than extensions of a higher power.”
To this end, Dyer explains his belief that meditation grants access to a non-material, unseen world where one becomes a “co-creator” of one’s own life and health. “You have to treat [the process of ‘co-creating’] as sacred and you have to see you have an invisible life force within you,” Dyer says. “Once you know you’re connected to all things and treat [the connection] as sacred, you then behave as if the God in all life really matters—you treat everything and everyone around you as sacred.”
According to Dyer, obstacles are “judgments of the mind” and the significance of any given obstacle depends on one’s perspective. In Dyer’s view, humans are placed on Earth for a purpose—he postulates the existence of a divine universe where both the planet and humanity function as interdependent parts of a larger, intelligent organism.
“We aren’t really an organism in an environment—we’re an organism environment,” he says. “In other words, you can’t describe yourself without describing your environment. So if I were to describe myself walking across the floor, for example, I cannot describe myself walking without describing the floor. If you think of yourself as intelligence, you have to think of yourself [being a part of] an intelligent environment.”
A major aspect of the “intelligent environment” posited by Dyer is the omnipresence of energy as it relates to the obstacles one encounters. He explains energy is a powerful force with which one must ultimately come to terms—everything is energy and constantly vibrates at a subatomic level.
In order to generate the necessary energy to become a spiritual being, he theorizes, one must first experience an obstacle, which he characterizes as a “fall.” Under this perspective, all the falls of our lives (illnesses, bankruptcies, break-ups, etc.) are really nothing more than means of generating the necessary energy to transport you to a higher place.
“With all the falls you encounter, ask yourself, ‘What is the lesson in this?’ All the spiritual advances in our lives are generally preceded by a fall of some kind or another,” Dyer says. “So, in the metaphysical sense to which I am speaking, there are truly no obstacles—just opportunities.”
Whatever profession one may occupy, it’s more than likely a service of some sort is performed as a result. And the role of a chiropractor, of course, is no different—the service a chiropractor provides and its preparation both possess the potential for bringing one to heightened levels of awareness.
“I think everyone has distractions that ought to take a backseat to personally understanding some essentials of healing,” Dyer says. “If you’re already a chiropractor or are currently going to school to become a healer, the process of healing involves knowing within yourself. When someone comes to you in a state of disrepair, you have to have a knowing that you can help this person heal.”
Simply put, a chiropractor’s knowledge base has to be stronger than the patient’s—they can’t heal themselves without some form of guidance. In possessing such knowledge, Dyer says chiropractors generate an energy between themselves and the people seeking their help. The energy generated from this interaction is what he calls the “preparation for service.”
“It’s really a gaining [of awareness] within you coupled with a banishment of all doubt about your ability to heal,” Dyer explains. “And it’s tempered by understanding that doctors do not heal patients. If you cut yourself and a wound opens up, the wound will close all by itself quite quickly to avoid infection. Amazingly, the body seems to know how to do this on its own—the body is the hero, if you will.”
Under this theory, the great healers are the ones who accurately convey this energy to the patient. They accomplish this by being knowledgeable and secure in helping others to heal themselves. When a good healer is able to communicate this message, Dyer believes they are so powerful and strong that anybody approaching them won’t doubt it.
“You want to be able to generate that kind of healing energy which must first begin with yourself and absolutely have a knowing that you can heal yourself and others,” Dyer says. “If you have a cold, don’t go around complaining about it and generating that type of energy. Rather, go to work on changing the life force within you.”
Certainly everyone has great hopes and dreams of how they want their life to be and things they’d enjoy having. For most, they remain hopes; others, however, manage to “create and attract abundance, insight and wisdom” through a process of self-actualization.
“Virtually anything you put your mind to, I believe you have the power to create,” Dyer says. “It’s about this idea of being able to put your attention on what you want to manifest and practicing these certain principles, which I’ve sort of been doing unconsciously since I was a little boy. When you practice these principles, you can attract to yourself what you’d like to manifest. “
Dyer says these principles involve knowing there’s a higher part of oneself than just the ego and trusting in your ability to manifest your desires. “We all share the same energy,” he says. “Everything in the universe has an energy flowing through it —chi, life force, etc.—and it’s really a matter of connecting yourself to these various things in the universe that you’d like to be able to create. So it’s really a matter of participating in the act of creation, which is something I’ve been doing all of my life.”
For example, Dyer recalls a moment from his youth when he was 10 years old and used to watch “The Tonight Show” on television. He remembers Steve Allen as the host and how he would tell his mother he’d be on the show someday. Surely enough, some 20 years later, the first time Dyer did “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, Steve Allen was the very first guest.
“It isn’t a matter of just having a positive thought,” Dyer says. “It’s about having a knowing; projecting that kind of energy, having an intention to accompany it and then following through with it.”
Especially since the onset of the New Age movement, much has been written about “being present” and existing “in the moment.” In this world, Dyer explains, human beings essentially have been resigned to three options toward which they may orient their consciousness: in the past, where many hurts and regrets reside; in the future, where there’s excitement, anxiety or worry; or in the present, where everything actually exists.
“Most people have been trained by well-meaning egos and have become those egos themselves,” he says. “When you become immersed in the present moment, what happens is you lose your mind and people are afraid to do that. They’re ruled by the mind, which really gropes around in a kind of darkness, if you will.”
Following this line of thinking, Dyer says when one is present—letting go of all thoughts about what’s going to happen in the future and about what has happened in the past—then one immerses oneself totally in the present moment. And he says this is precisely when one comes to know God. “The ego is terrified of you knowing God; God makes his appearance literally in the silence,” Dyer says. “This is what most people are terrified of because in that silence, they’ll come to know the divine part of themselves.”
Now, of course, one could very well argue everyone is always in the present moment. However, Dyer says the true question involves how one uses their present moment—if one uses their present moment commiserating with oneself or others about the past, for instance, then this results in guilt.
“We’ve been trained and raised on guilt to feel bad about what we did or didn’t do or to put ourselves down, so we can use up your present moments constantly going over all that we should or should not have done,” he says. “One of the things we have to do is erase our past. The real issue with this, then, always is, ‘How are you using up the present moment?’ Not whether or not you’re in it.”
So use your present moment wisely. Through a process of actualization like Dyer describes, you not only can help to heal others but also yourself in the process.