Instrument of Peace

Time has come to give peace, compassion and kindness a chance.
On the eve of his farewell tour of Australia, Wayne Dyer offers his empowering guidance especially for NOVA readers. He speaks with Lisa Lord.

I am often asked for advice on maintaining a positive and fearless state of mind during difficult times such as the current global financial crisis, and my view on this is simple. We must take a long term view of these kinds of events and remember that life has always been described as challenging.

I read the Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu from 500 BC and he says these are challenging times. I read Socrates and he says these are challenging times. I just read a book about the Middle Ages called Pillars of the Earth and it was the 11th and 12th Centuries. I mean, those were challenging times, the Crusades. World War I, anything! Challenging times are just judgements about where we are, and fear is just our continuous belief that things are getting worse and the whole world is going to end and so on.

I don't look at the US or international financial markets the way other people do. I don't live in fear. I see all kinds of opportunities when banks fail or when things go wrong and I choose to put my intention on that. I watch very little television or advertising anymore and I try not to let that become a part of my life because I don't like to be bombarded by fear, and I don't think you can get depressed enough to un-depress anyone else in the world.

You can't get fearful enough to conquer anybody else's fear. When Jesus entered a village, just his presence and nothing more would elevate the consciousness of everybody in the village, and he said even the least among you can do all that I have done and even greater things. Have within you a high energy and don't allow these low energy things and people who are out there in the world to bring you down. In fact they can't, it's a myth.

Low energy people, low energy information, low energy war and all of these kinds of things - the only reason we get upset about these things is not because low energy people bring high energy people down. It's because your high energy is reduced when you join in and act in the same way about the things to which you are objecting. So getting angry with someone who gets angry at you is just joining in.

I wrote a book called The Spiritual Solution based entirely on the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi and it really is a simple little prayer:

Make me an instrument of thy peaceWhere there is hatred let me bring loveWhere there is injury let me bring pardonWhere there is doubt - faithWhere there is despair - hopeWhere there is darkness - light

These kinds of messages are a kind of technology. Bring love to the presence of hate. Don't bring fear to the presence of hate, for no amount of your fear is going to bring solutions to any of the problems in the world.

There is no need to live with an erosion of joy by constantly worrying about the times in which we live, no matter where it is that you live in the world. In my book The Power of Intention I talk about the need to make an intention that you are not going to wallow around in misery and pain. If you were to call my cellphone you would hear my message which says something like: "This is Wayne Dyer that you've reached. If your message is to do anything other than to make me feel good, you've reached the wrong number. Call Dr Phil instead." I want to feel good.

The purpose of life is to enjoy myself and be happy. I don't want to be bombarded with all of the reasons why I should be unhappy and miserable and depressed because you can't un-depress anybody with more of your depression. I choose to live as I live, in Hawaii. I choose not to wear long pants. I choose not to wear shoes. Swami Muktananda says if you wear shoes everywhere you go the whole earth feels like leather. I choose to let go of all these things. This is one of the reasons why I love to travel to Australia, where Australians are so accepting of these kinds of notions. I have been to Australia so many times now it feels like a second home to me.

I took my whole family - all 19 of them - out on a boat in Hawaii the other day and there was this surly captain and he was angry about this and that, and there was too much traffic on the Intercoastal and everybody was complaining about this captain and I just sat there thinking, I'm going to turn this guy around. I'm not going to get mad because he's acting that way and ruin my whole day with my family. So I found out the guy's name and I started to see if I could bring him around. When you bring high energy to the presence of low energy you can bring Christ-like energy to the situation and people start reaching up to you. Before long he was laughing and joking and playing with my little grandkids. He succumbed to my high energy.

I invited one of my daughters over to meet some of the authors who are going to be part of the I Can Do It! conference in Australia in August with me and she said, 'You know Dad, whenever I'm around you I always feel better.' And she said, 'Whenever I'm around the people you talk to, I always feel myself reaching up, I always feel a little bit better than before.' 'Whereas,' she said, 'so many of my friends and my boyfriend's friends, they drink so much and all of that and there's so much negativity, I'm always sort of reaching down. But when I'm with you guys it feels so good to be like that.' I think that's one of the nicest compliments I ever had from any of my children.

I lead a happy life, and I am happiest when I am meditating, when I am with God. I maintain my connection with Source very easily because I take time every day to make conscious contact with God through silence; I practise thinking of others before I think of myself; I give away more than I ask for; I want this happiness that I seek, more for others than I do for myself and I have reverence and a gentle approach to all life. I also have learned to live in a state of allowing.

I've accomplished a lot in my life and people would assert that it would require some degree of planning to write 35 books, make movies and endless programs. But the fact is that the best work that I've ever done in my life has been done by just letting go and allowing and knowing that there's something bigger moving the chess pieces around.

I love to quote Arthur Miller who, at age 91, was asked by a journalist from The New York Times, "Are you writing another play at the moment?" And he replied, "I don't know, but I probably am."

I find I do better work and I give better speeches if I don't get consumed with how it's going to go and how the outcome is going to be. My teacher Abraham Maslow says that if you want to be self actualised, you need to detach from outcome and you need to be independent of the good opinion of other people, and you've got it made if you've got those two things. And that detachment from outcome, even when I sit down to write a book I do better without an outline.

When I make a speech I do better when I don't think about all the things I'm going to say. It isn't that I'm not prepared. I think a lot about it and I repeat a line from A Course in Miracles before I go to speak: If you knew who walked beside you at all times on this path that you have chosen, you could never experience fear or doubt again.

I just know that I'm not alone. I just know that. It comforts me, and it allows me the freedom to be spontaneous and without concern for what is going to happen.

Henry Thoreau had this wonderful line. He said if you advance confidently in the direction of your own dreams and endeavour to live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. You've got to let it chase you instead of you chasing it, and that's kind of how I live my life, especially now at the age of 70.

I was at a party just the other night and there was a man there who was 94 years old and he was so sharp, physically active his entire life, he had no wrinkles on him. He was as mentally astute as he could possibly be. Then I thought about myself. Every day I swim for an hour, I meditate for an hour, I walk for an hour and I do yoga for an hour. When I met this guy I thought, who knows, maybe I'll be as good as he is in 24 years' time?

I've always said that the process of life involves birth, growth, decay and dying. I am not immune to that, nor is my body, nor is anybody else reading this magazine.

Everybody is part of it. I have in recent times been diagnosed with leukaemia. I don't even think of it as an illness. The treatment for it is to watch and wait and that is kind of what I'm doing. It's been a great gift because I've looked at the kinds of food I eat and so on, and I've become much healthier and happier. The truth of this is I was interviewed about this so it went out into the world and I don't think about it. If it took my life it would not alter my fundamental belief in the goodness of the Universe.

I am coming to Australia as a part of the I Can Do It! conference to spread my message about peace. It is something that is possible, not only through spirituality, but also through science.

Quantum physics is beginning to teach us that there is something to this hundredth monkey idea that when enough electrons align in a certain way within an atom, when you reach what they call the "phase transition" you hit a critical mass, and all the other atoms fall into line.

We've seen these experiments with the hundred monkeys. Monkeys who are in the same biological group will start behaving differently because other monkeys hundreds of thousands of miles away are changing. That's why when I did this movie Ambition to Meaning, I felt that if I could get 10 million Americans to watch it then we could reach what is called pi, which is 3.146% of the population, and then the people will begin to align. The problem we've always had throughout the world is that we've always been so aligned with warfare. Something like 95 or 96% of the time in recorded history has been spent in a state of war. The Dalai Lama said that if you could take every child in the world under the age of five and have them meditate for one hour a week on the subject of compassion, we could eliminate the violence on our planet in one generation. So, it's like giving compassion a chance and that's why I'm so hopeful about being able to give kindness and peace and compassion a chance.

That's why I made the movie. That's what my life's work is about, especially now. That's why I'm coming down to Australia to talk about this. Everything that exists in the physical world was once a thought, and if we can get enough people thinking that way we can create a world in which we all care about each other. Victor Hugo said there's nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

I think we can end war when that idea becomes embedded in enough of us. What if a whole bunch of old people threw a war and nobody came? What if everybody on both sides said no, we're not going to do that anymore? That's the vision I have and I think it's a genuine possibility.

Dr Wayne Dyer will be in Australia for the I Can Do It! Conference along with other bestselling Hay House authors Caroline Myss, Brian Weiss, Sonia Choquette and Gregg Braden. The conference will run in Perth on August 14-15 and in Sydney on August 21-22.

Visit www.hayhouse.com.au for details or phone (02) 9669 4299.