Wayne Dyer first catapulted into the national spotlight with the publication of his New York Times best-selling book "Your Erroneous Zones" in 1976.
Nearly 40 years and 41 books later, Dyer's message has evolved from a counseling perspective to include the recognition of a divine mind, or God, but the central message is still the same - don't live someone else's idea of what your life should be.
"Trust in what inspires you inside. The highest place is in yourself," said Dyer during a recent telephone interview from his home in Kaanapali.
Wayne Dyer released his newest book, “I Can See Clearly Now”, last month. “It’s all about stepping back,” said Dyer. “In the book I look back and see all the things directing me toward the life work I’ve done.”
"My first five books for the public were all number-one best-sellers. 'God' appeared once all five times. In the sixth book it appeared 39 times. By the seventh book, 'The Sacred Self: Making the Decision to be Free,' it appeared in the title."
Dyer said he can't explain how this evolution came about.
"At no time did I consciously switch. It's part of the dharma. Something else was involved. We all have a dharma."
What: An Evening with Wayne Dyer
A benefit for Seabury Hall student financial aid
When: April 4
6-7 p.m. check in, light refreshments with entertainment
7-9 p.m. presentation
9 p.m. VIP reception with Wayne Dyer
Where: Seabury Hall 'A'ali'ikuonua Creative Arts Center
480 Olinda Road, Makawao
Tickets: $60 for bleacher seats, $80 for individual seating in pit, and $125 for reserved seat in pit/meet and greet reception with Wayne Dyer post-lecture. To reserve, call 572-7235 or visit http://seaburyhall.org
Dharma, or a destiny to fulfill, is an integral part of Dyer's newest book, "I Can See Clearly Now", in which he examines the relationship of past, present and future events in his life.
"It's all about stepping back," said Dyer. "In the book I look back and see all the things directing me toward the life work I've done."
Born in Detroit on May 10, 1940, Dyer was in and out of foster homes until he was 10 years old and his mother remarried. In "I Can See Clearly Now," he shares how these and other experiences contributed to his advocacy for and practice of self-reliance. As early as the 5th grade, he was counseling fellow students on the playground to not be influenced by the guilt their teacher directed at them during a tirade, accusing them of being the worst class she ever taught. This was an early hint of his future career as a high school counselor and professor of counselor education at St. John's University in New York City.
Dyer's divine-self message is intertwined with what he describes as the mind/body connection.
"Keep your health as much as you possibly can and make up your own mind," he said.
As a student studying for his PhD. in college, Dyer was amazed by the power of the mind to affect the physical body after he saw a hypnosis demonstration.
The subject under hypnosis was told that a red hot pin was going to be placed in her arm. Then the hypnotist took the eraser end of a pencil and touched it to the woman's arm.
"A blister formed from the pencil eraser," said Dyer.
"The mind is so powerful," he said. "If you believe something strong enough, you can make it happen."
Dyer has this advice for people who get the message from his seminars and books but have difficulty putting the lessons into practice every day: "You have to have a mind of your own. Trust in what inspires you inside. The highest place is in yourself. We all come from a 'divine mind;' whatever you want to call it. This creative source comes from energy, the creative source of all things, a spark of God in all of us.
"Find divine love, not human love. It never changes or varies. Return to that."
Dyer will be making a special appearance April 4 in Seabury Hall's A'ali'ikuonua Creative Arts Center during a benefit the school's financial aid program. The event is being presented by the Seabury Hall Parents Organization and Alumni Association.
"Seabury Hall is one of the finest schools in the country," said Dyer. "I would like more children to go there."
A part-time resident of Maui, one of Dyer's island friends has a daughter who attends the school.
Many people may recognize Dyer from one of his other charitable efforts. He has been helping raise money for National Public Television since 1998.
"I've helped raise a quarter-billion dollars," said Dyer. "They call me 'Mr. PBS.' " He said another major fundraiser on PBS is Suze Orman, an advocate for self-reliance in personal finance.
In his lectures and books, Dyer often quotes favorite phrases from a number of people, including Carl Jung and Mahatma Gandi. One of his favorite quotes, to help describe his affinity for Maui, is from Herman Melville's book "Moby Dick": "For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half known life."
Dyer will share his motivational and spiritual message during his Seabury Hall presentation. See the accompanying information box on this page for details. All proceeds will benefit Seabury Hall's financial aid program.
* Rich Van Scoy can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.