7 Literary Quotes to Live By - From Dr. Wayne Dyer

When the travel writer and journalist Rosamund Burton called me up and said she had tickets to see Dr. Wayne Dyer at his only Sydney lecture, of course I wanted to come.
Wayne Dyer is a self-help legend, and the books he has produced in recent years have been very impressive efforts indeed. The fact is, I admire him very much. And he looks uncannily like my Dad, and how can you possibly mistrust a man who looks so much like your father?
Dr. Dyer was in fine form at the Darling Harbour Convention Centre, filling an auditorium with over 2,000 people. For a man of 71 he is quite amazing, keeping us all enthralled over the space of four hours (with the backup of personal-coaching guru Cheryl Richardson).
It's no secret that Dr. Dyer is something of a literary man. His books are filled with references to Emerson, Blake and all the great poets, along with Jung, Rumi and St. Francis of Assisi. But I was quite struck during his talk at just how much he relies on literature and the wisdom of some of the litarary greats. I made a careful note of his references, and here is what I've learned:

 7 Literary Quotes to Live By - From Dr. Wayne Dyer


  1.  “What if you slept? And what if, in your sleep, you went to heaven and there plucked a strange and beautiful flower? And what if,when you awoke,you had the flower in your hand? Ah, what then?”
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge
      - Dyer sees this as a provocative challenge. For most of our lives we live as though our dreams were impossible, the merest phantasms. Real life, we tell ourselves, is made of sterner and less beautiful stuff. Coleridge is telling us that we in fact possess this fanciful flower of our dreams, that it is something glorious and we must allow it to bloom and to be carried over into our waking lives.
  2. "An aged man is but a paltry thing,
    A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
    Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
    For every tatter in its mortal dress..."
    - William Butler Yeats
    - This piece of verse was read to Ram Dass by Dyer on the event of Dass' 80th birthday. Dyer says it encourages us to live and celebrate. Our material self might be something humble indeed, but it is exalted through being gloried and celebrated. 

  3. "This quiet dust was gentlemen and ladies
    And lads and girls;
    Was laughter and ability and sighing,
    And frocks and curls;

    This passive place a summer's nimble mansion,
    Where bloom and bees
    Fulfilled their oriental circuit,
    Then ceased like these."
    - Emily Dickinson
    - This is it - the end result of all of us. We return to dust, no matter how colourful or dramatic our lives have been. So don't trouble your imagination with worry or sorrow - that too will be dust, soon enough.
  4. "Once you label me you negate me." - Soren Kierkegaard - All of us balk at being reduced to our smallest parts, but how often do we do it to others? Each if us is endlessly complex, and no-one deserves to be made small and labelled for the ease of someone else's understanding.
  5. “This is my way. What is your way? The way doesn’t exist.” - Friedrich Nietzsche - Dyer tells this to his nitpicking daughter. You must have encountered people who insist that their truth is the only version, and that everyone else is damned by ignorance. This way lies real ignorance, and also unhappiness - being wedded to our own particular views will certainly make us miserable. Unless we acknowledge that there are myriad ways of understanding the world, we will grow despotic and inflexible. 
  6. "One day I found out that personal history was no longer necessary for me and, like drinking, I dropped it." - Carlos Castaneda - I don't know about you, but this is a challenging one. I am deeply wedded to my character, my past, my memories. I am a nostalgic creature. But the great shaman said that personal history is too often an excuse for remaining bound and unsuccessful. Our personal histories justify our fear of shining. We must be willing to change our personal history - completely. This is the way to transformation.
  7. "We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." - T. S. Eliot - One day I realised my grandparents had stopped growing. They weren't particularly old - maybe just their late 60s - but they had decided to stop learning new things, and to stop "exploring." There could be no more novelty in the world for them. We don't need to be like this. Our learning and growing should be eternal, stopping only when we have realised that we know nothing. Dyer says there is a spark within all of us that requires a lifetime's searching to detect and then to feed. This journey, this internal exploration, must never stop. It's what we're here for.
Wayne Dyer's brand new book, Wishes Fulfilled, has just been released in Australia - another Hay House first. It won't be available in the US till March! I got a copy last night, and have already started. Dr. Dyer said it is based on his study of two of the great New Thought teachers: Neville Goddard (normally known simply as "Neville") and U. S. Anderson. It's interesting that he has resurrected two relatively obscure literary figures who were very popular in their day. I think it will make for a fascinating book.

Details: Wishes Fulfilled by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, published by Hay House.

2 comments:

Sophie Schiller said...

My favorite quotes to live by came from an old issue of Mad Magazine:

"To do is to be" Sartre

"To be is to do" Socrates

"Do be do be do." Frank Sinatra

Walter Mason said...

Now that's a quote I could live by, Sophie - especially over a cocktail!

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