Wednesday, 19th March 2008, 12:02pm
An opinion by: Johanna

There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem by Wayne Dyer

I plunged straight into this book without a care for my own safety--life belt recommended. Wayne Dyer veers somewhere between the dangerously dogmatic and the heavenly helpful. Taking it with a dose of salts, he makes some really insightful points. Dyer claims that “problems” as we know them often are not our own, but are taken on from other people. Remembering this can be helpful in gaining perspective when things get heavy. He suggests we react to other people’s problems and the stress of everyday life by turning hate into love. Hard to swallow I know (bathe the feet of your enemies type thing) but he reckons it really works. For example, if someone is yelling at you they’ve probably had a bad day, so if you say something nice back they usually shut up. The main aim is peace--to be at peace with yourself, and spread harmony to others. In essence, Dyer suggests we “stop taking our lives so personally.” What he means is that you are not just a body, mind or defined by your material possessions. You are part of a greater spirit, and so is your life.

He uses a story of Buddha as an example. On a long journey, Buddha is accompanied by a traveller who tests the great teacher by hurling insults at him every day for three days. The traveller finally gives up and asks, “How is it that you are able to be so loving and kind when all I’ve done for the past three days is dishonour and offend you?” The Buddha responded with a question of his own for the traveller. “If someone offers you a gift, and you do not accept that gift, to whom does it belong?”’

When I started the book I was hooked, then he started saying that problems are all in your head. I became very angry. What about people with AIDS and famine, victims of child abuse? Knowing I would review this book, I kept an open mind and read on. Dyer has the touch of an inflammatory speech-giving holy man, and you could easily draw the conclusion that he’s a bible-thumping brainwasher. Read between the lines however, and the message is to actually do just that--read between the lines in life and think creatively, then you will be free.

I like his thoughts on energy: "Look around you. Notice that everything you observe has its origins in the invisible world of energy. I have heard it said that 'a rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a person contemplates it, bearing within them the image of a cathedral.' How you look upon the world and the images you have within you determine what you will get in your life."

Having an energy deficiency disorder myself has made me very aware that energy is a very complex and vital part of life, crossing conventional boundaries (mind, body, soul etc). Dyer maintains that energy is everywhere, and resonates on different frequencies with different effects. This is akin to the Chinese and Yogic traditions. The higher the frequency, the higher the healing potential. So much that group prayer can actually be physically transmitted. Dyer mentions a study where the participants of a meditation group were tested for levels of serotonin (the happy hormone). They found that not only were their levels significantly higher, but so were those of people in the immediate neighbourhood. He encourages people to put themselves into the healing state whenever they can, and become energy conduits of healing loveliness. Ahh. There are some scientists out there who are finding ways to quantify types of energy. I think one day they will be able to say, “Hey there’s God… look, in my microscope!”

Dyer’s voice is clearly a mixture of different religious beliefs, plus quite a palpable psychological element, and not quite enough humour. Nevertheless, an intriguing and oddly comforting bedside book.

Readers have left 1 comments

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. It will be difficult, risky, take too long, cetrae family drama; I don't deserve it; it's against my nature; I can't afford it (surely a popular one today!); no one will help me; it's not happened before; I'm not strong/smart enough; I'm too old/too young; the rules/laws won't let me; it's too big; I don't have the energy/time; it's in my family history; I'm afraid. I was disappointed that my favorite excuse I'll do it later wasn't listed, although it was addressed indirectly in various parts of the book, especially in the commitment to overcoming the inertia part. The second section seven contains principles for overcoming excuses: awareness, alignment, now, contemplation (with a very powerful quote from Aristotle Contemplation is the highest form of activity ), willingness, passion and compassion. The third section promotes a new way of viewing excuses, creating a paradigm shift. This includes asking yourself six questions, starting out with Is it true? Where did the excuse come from? What is the payoff? These are very reminiscent of Bryon Katie except that instead of undoing beliefs, you are undoing excuses and eradicating them from your subconscious mind (which Wayne argues need not be beneath your consciousness, and in fact renames as the habitual mind ). I see people all the time using these excuses to avoid eating a better diet of more raw foods: It will cetrae family drama; I don't have the time to fix good food; I don't have the money to buy fresh produce. My father's excuse was, I am too old. Unfortunately, he died of cancer two years after using that excuse! I am confident that this book will inspire people to take a new look at their habitual mind patterns, breaking free to move on to their highest potential!
Hina on Saturday, 27th October 2012, 9:24am

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