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Airplane Reading

The Wall Street Journal Online | March 2006

Self-development superstar Wayne Dyer, the author of Your Erroneous Zones (1976), is back on the bestseller lists. Here he promises that those who “live an inspired life” will “never, ever again have to ask the question: Why am I here, and what is my purpose?” The key, he says, is to reunite with God, the author of Spirit and Inspiration whose good works are clouded by the Infernal Self. Ego, according to Mr. Dyer, is an acronym for “Edging God Out” and must be overcome—through prayer, meditation and various exercises contained herein—before the blessings can flow. While this sounds a bit like Sunday-school boilerplate, Mr. Dyer, an enthusiastic writer, is not to be mistaken for a Baptist divine: “My Conversation with My Spirit Before Manifesting into a Physical Particle” is the arresting heading for one section, followed by an equally arresting claim: “I was born on the same day that the Nazis invaded and occupied Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, and I saw the Holocaust coming. I knew that I was to play a dominant role in reversing the kind of hatred that precipitated the horrendous actions that resulted in the slaughter of millions.” No lack of self-esteem here, and if sales of previous books are any indication, Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling will play a dominant role in keeping Mr. Dyer in very deep clover.

Reprinted with permission