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Dr. Dyer manifesting his destiny at Tahoe

Claire Fortier

He’s been billed as “the father of motivation” and “the guru of growth.” But for Dr. Wayne Dyer, that’s all just hype.

“When I present myself to the world, I speak from heart,” he said during a recent telephone interview from his hotel room in Canada. “I have never presented myself as a guru. We are all students and teachers for each other.”

Try telling that to the more than 100,000 people a year who hear his message in person – the very message he will bring Saturday to Harveys Resort Hotel/Casino.

To them and the millions who have read his 11 best-selling books, Dyer is the prophet of peaceful living. He is the master at making the mundane meaningful.

Since his first best-seller, “Your Erroneous Zones,” was published more than two decades ago, Dyer has charted his own spiritual growth. In the process, he has developed solid suggestions for turning mankind away from turmoil-creating ego to enlightened coexistence.

The vehicle for his simple message – people are responsible for their own emotions and choices in life – became the top-selling publication during the ’70s, charting 27 months on the New York Times Best Seller List. “Your Erroneous Zones” has been translated into 41 languages and spawned thousands of television appearance for Dyer.

Yet none were as surprised as the author himself about the collective nerve he seemed to hit with a message he believed so completely.

After a difficult childhood, much of which was spent in an orphanage, Dyer seemed on a career fast track. With a doctorate in psychotherapy from Wayne State, tenured professorship, several acclaimed textbooks, and a well-established private practice, he was a rising star in the academic world.

Then his golden life began to lose its luster. Chief among his epiphanies was a chance visit to the grave of the man who fathered him but little else. His father, an alcoholic who abandoned the family shortly after Dyer’s birth, was a figure who haunted him through much of his childhood. In 1974, at the age of 34, Dyer experienced something he can only describe as “mystical.” For years he had searched for his father with no luck, until he got a chance phone call from a cousin.

He was told that his father had died a decade earlier and was buried somewhere in Biloxi, Miss. Dyer made the trip south, hell bent on finding his father’s grave. As he tried to fix the seat belt on his brand new rental car, he found a pack of matches with the Candlestick Inn logo and a map stuck behind the seat belt latch. After hours of searching, he found his father’s grave on the property of the Candlestick Inn.

That was the beginning for Dyer, a clear message to follow his heart.

“The message was one of forgiveness,” he said.

Then quoting Rudyard Kipling, he continued, “Forgiveness is the fragrance a violet leaves on the heals of the person that crushed it.”

Shortly thereafter, Dyer started losing weight, began running and started writing the book that would be his turning point.

“I was only 36. I had just finished writing ‘Your Erroneous Zone.’ I had no job and no concerns about money. I just wanted the opportunity to share what I had learned with the world.”

Having bought 7,500 copies of his own book, he peddled them from bookstore to bookstore around the country. With the help of a publicist in New York who believed in him, he was able to make some headway. But his real break came when a producer for the “Tonight Show” read a copy of the book and brought Dyer out to Hollywood. He appeared on the “Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” at least three dozen times.

Much like his record of running at least eight miles a day every day for two decades, Dyer has found success in his self-growth and grown with his success.

In his most recent book, “Manifest Your Destiny,” Dyer has taken his message of self enlightenment even further, charting out spiritual principles that will help “us obtain what we really want.”

Yet for all his spiritual loftiness, Dyer is a man well grounded in life’s funny foibles.

The father of eight children, he recalls the time he offered his daughter a ticket to one of his lectures. His daughter turned him down, saying “Geez, I have to listen to you every day.”

This was the same daughter, he added, that heard a rumor he wrote a children’s book. “Tell me it’s not so,” she begged him.

For Dyer, the message is not the man, it is simply the message.

“Let go of ego,” Dyer said. “In every relationship, you have the choice to be right or to be kind. The need to be right must give way to the need to be kind.”


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