2012/01/20 – Dr. Wayne Dyer’s 2012’s New Age Snake Oil for Success

Dr. Wayne Dyer, "Sit Back and Let the Unseen World Take Care of It."


To make your dreams come true, you must go to the unseen world–the world of Spirit, or inspiration. It is this world that will guide you to anything you’d like to have in your life. – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer


This fluffy-sounding yet insidious trope is one of my favorite flower-hat New Age-isms to refute, and I thank Dr. Dyer for placing it so elegantly.

Making one’s “dreams come true,” aka, ” the “pursuit of happiness,” has been hardwired into our collective brainpan for so long, we have failed to noticed how unconsciously driven we are to seek the pleasures of comfort. As I briefly recounted in my blog entry, “The Soft Domination,” our perceived need to dominate our environment with creature comforts has produced a dysfunctional, lopsided world where affluence and poverty seemingly exist in unrelated, parallel worlds. The fact that one world feeds off the other like an ever-present vampire is hardly addressed or considered by those who are “lucky” enough to be born on the good side of town, like, presumably, the good Doctor Dyer, the author of the above quote. One only has to look at the schematic of Dyer’s recipe for success with a clear eye to see how shallow and meaningless – and more important – deceptive it is. But Dyer learned a long time ago that spouting such Candyland platitudes is what sells his books. So he must be on the right track, right? But let’s take this quote apart and see what remains.

To make your dreams come true, you must go to the unseen world…

Apparently, this is the world that Dr. Dyer is intimately familiar with. It is “unseen.” And it is a “world.” Is Dyer speaking metaphorically or is he claiming that there is a level of existence that is “unseen” but apprehended? Why is it so crucial that one enters into this  “unseen” world to make one’s wishes to “come true?”Dyer explicitly claims that this world has certain properties.

–the world of Spirit, or inspiration.

Let that sink in for a moment. Forget that there are many dimensions in defining the word “spirit.” We will assume for the sake of brevity that the Good Doctor is referring to the part of self that is said to survive after death. The next word, inspiration, contains the root of spirit, so we can see that Dyer connects spirit and inspiration very closely. Inspiration is the “process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially creative.” [1] So, instead of actually working out your dream in dealing with the physical complications that will arise to thwart your dream from ever becoming a reality, Dr. Dyer prefers that you sit back and wait for a disembodied, unseen dimension to somehow birth your unmanifested desire into existence. For he actually says so in the next sentence that:

It is this world that will guide you to anything you’d like to have in your life.

Take a look at the world around you. The numbers don’t add up.

At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day

The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.

According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death. [2]

I guess in the rose-colored world of Dr. Wayne Dyer, who has amassed considerable wealth peddling sweet-sounding nonsense to the crowd of gullible New Age consumers, his program of wishing and waiting works for him, but not for those who live in the real world of consequence. If “making one’s dreams come true” is the overarching motivation in one’s life, and it doesn’t include all others who live in this world with you, then what you want is continuance of the insanity of a world that we have now. That’s not good enough, obviously. But for those like Wayne Dyer, things can’t be good enough. And that’s the problem with CandyLand metaphysics. Too many people are going to have to die for no reason before anyone begins to question their preciously-held beliefs.



[1] Oxford dictionary. Origin Middle English – “divine guidance”: via the Latin “inspirare,”to breathe or blow into.” Spirit comes down from the Latin, “spiritus,”  breath. Those with an understanding of the Desteni vocabulary will find this definition to be one that makes a lot of sense.

[2] Shah, Anup. “Poverty Facts and Stats.” Global Issues. 20 Sep. 2010. Web. 20 Jan. 2012. <http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats>.


15 thoughts on “2012/01/20 – Dr. Wayne Dyer’s 2012’s New Age Snake Oil for Success

  1. If his recipe for success is real, why does he need to write more books? Shouldn’t I be ‘living in abundance’ now, as I was one of his loyal followers? It don’t work! Thanks Darryl. Common sense lives here.

  2. I am watching this huckster in action right now on WGBH in Boston. I watch it frequently and marvel. I marvel at how a man can command an audience for hours by saying absolutely nothing. So much airtime is wasted on this criminal, it’s disgusting.

    1. It’s the “Life of Brian” syndrome, i.e. if you say a few good things then people will think you’re the Messiah. Like when he wrote “Your Erroneous Zones” he told everyone parents USED to tell their kids before the Baby Boom generation, and suddenly he was an overnight guru of junk-psychology and the New-Agey self-help mantra of blaming the victim for “causing their own problems” by faiing to dissociate oneself from the world, rather than upholding standards of compassion and respect for everyone.

    2. It’s like Ishmael sad in Moby Dick, ie “there’s nothing easier than for a man to pretend he’s got some big secret.” And Dyer called every human emotion and hurt feeling an “Errneous Zone.”

      But then when his wife divorced him, he suddenly choked on his own words, and went into a major funk of depression– why didn’t he just read one of his books?

  3. You do not seem to have the understanding of mind and subconsciousness, this is just a metaphor. If you read Dr. Dyer’s earlier purely scientific books, you will find similar thinking from the view of psychology.

  4. when I watch him, I ALWAYS get a sense of inherent EVIL. I can’t explain it, I just do. I don’t like him. He’s in it for one reason…he’s making money, hand over fist.

      1. I don’t know about the “Holy Spirit” as that’s a theological fairy tale – but I wouldn’t call Dyer “inherently evil.” I mean, compared to what, exactly?

  5. It’s the old “law of attraction” theory that’s been hawked by every self-help pundit from Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” book onward; i.e. the theory goes if you think about something long enough, and in great enough detail, then you make it come true.
    And it’s true to some extent, since the subconscious brain is a computer; and as Dr. Who said, “a computer you see, is a very efficient idiot; it does whatever you tell it to– even if you tell it to kill you. So if you do tell it to kill you, then it’s very difficult to get it to stop….but not impossible!”

    Of course that’s too grounded for the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” generation, and won’t make Oprah’s book-club list, so Dyer chose to dress up his prose in mysticism and airy-fairy language.

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