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Wayne Dyer

Note from Steve -

Dyer is one of the first authors I read when I started re-evaluating my life. I agree with a lot of what he says, but lately he has gotten very "spiritual" and new-age. Still, here are my notes from these two books. I first read Your Erroneous Zones around 1994.

Your Erroneous Zones

Gifts from Eykis

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Your Erroneous Zones, Wayne Dyer

My comments in italics are from 2005. S. Hein

joke about worm in alcohol - what does this teach you - that if you drink you will never have worms


"I do not believe that being happy is a complex affair" p. 12.

2005 Note from Steve - now I see that his thinking is simplistic, and I can see why he fell into the trap of new age crap.

Why do I do what I do? What is the payoff?: Safe/ and you don't have to change or take responsibility. Keeps blame off of you.

He says the reasons for many self-defeating behaviors are fairly consistent, which is good because it makes it easier to correct everything at once. He says - essentially it feels safer to keep old habits. 13

he doesn't believe in looking into your past - he mocks this idea by saying something about being "harshly toilet trained" p 12 again I see that Dyer is not very deep, doesn't want to really question everything and understand cause and effect.

he says healthy is natural state, I agree.

Steps to corrections:

We take a look at ourselves, we get insight, & develop strategies (action plans) for eliminating self-defeating behavior. (erroneous zones)

We must repeat the thought over and over. Only then can you alter behavior (I would say make new behavior a habit rather than forced)

Two central themes:

p 14 two central themes - "the first involves your ability to make choices about your own emotions

second is take charge of your present moments. (very similar to choosing your emotions - or like Kim in Jacksonville says "creating your day") ie taking charge of your present moments (carpe diem) "There is only one moment you can experience anything and that is now."

p. 15 Great questions:

[my adaptations]

Do you believe your mind is your own?

Are you able to control your own feelings? (he tries to do this too much instead of listening to the message they are sending)

Are you motivated from within or without?

Are you free from the need for approval?

Do you set your own standards for conduct?

Are you free from desire for justice and fairness? (when i read this I wrote "no" and I still want to see more "justice" and "fairness". Dyer gave up trying to make the world a better place. He just decided to make money telling people they can be happy easily by not thinking, by talking themselves out of their feelings)

Can you accept yourself?

Are you free from hero worship? (Dyer changed. He used to be more anti-religion, now he is all "spiritual", probably because he found there is a lot of money in selling books to needy new age people)

Are you a doer rather than critic?

Do you welcome the mysterious and the unknown?

Is life an adventure for you?

Can you avoid describing yourself in absolute terms?

Do you avoid using labels?

Do you love yourself at all times?

Can you grow your own roots? (interesting)

Have you eliminated all dependency relationships?

Have you eliminated all blame and fault-finding in your life?

Dyer asks if you are free from ever feeling guilty. Again he oversimplifies to make things easier. There is healthy and unhealthy guilt. We might say that healthy guilt helps us live up to our own ideals. Unhealthy guilt is laid on us by those who want us to live according to what they want.

Can you avoid worrying about the future?

Do you have regrets about the past?

Can you give and receive love?

Do you feel lovable?

Do you procrastinate?

Have you learned to fail effectively !

Can you be spontaneous?

Do you have a sense of humor?

Are you treated by others the way you want to be?

Are you motivated by growth rather than a need to repair your deficiencies (he got this from Maslow!)

Chap 1.

p 18, 19 says intelligence is not just academics etc. but the ability to be happy.

"A truer barometer of intelligence is an effective, happy life...." p 19 (He uses the word "effective" just like David Caruso! Also, I don't agree that a being happy means you are intelligent

You can begin to think of yourself as truly intelligent on the basis of how you choose to feel in the face of trying circumstances. 19 (He oversimplifies again, wants us to talk ourselves out of our own feelings. If I had been "happy" the past 5 years I would not have created the EQI.org site and it would not be number one in the world on emotional intelligence)

Thoughts --> feelings We can control our thoughts so we can control our feelings. This is free will.

I can control my thoughts My feelings come from my thoughts I can control my feelings

But some feelings are pre-cognitive....**

23 You have grown up in a culture which has taught you that you are not responsible for your feelings...

25 we need to unlearn all the shoulds and oughts -- but that is very tough to do (bc of the way the brain works)

"Catch yourself when you say things like "He hurt my feelings."

23 "New thinking requires awareness of the old thinking."

you move from conscious thinking (and difficulty) about your new ways to automatic, just like driving a stick shift. (good example)

p 27 stresses that we can choose to be happy.

28 "Dull parties and committee meetings are fertile ground for choosing new feelings." !

29 mental health/physical health connection...

31 Immobilization..

you are immobilized when....

- can't talk to someone when you want to and know it would be helpful.

- can't get to work on one of your own goals

- don't go out and exercise or play

- don't introduce yourself to someone you're attracted to

- don't confront someone you have a problem with

Other signs of emotional problems:

can't sleep, can't think clearly, can't self-calm, saying hurtful things to people you need/love (sph adapt)

p 33 live in the moment

"Avoiding the present moment is almost a disease in our culture."

p 36 Two types of motivation

(similar to fear/desire)

growth or deficiency/imperfection

"The only evidence of life is growth"

p 38 Self-love. Society says it is wrong, selfish, conceited. Self-worth vs other worth.

39 We were taught to tolerate cheek pinching and head patting, to stand up when an adult enters. (They still do this in South America. I really hate it)

The message was clear: adults are important; kids don't count.

Don't trust your own judgment was corollary number one, and there was a full cargo of reinforcers that came under the subheading of "politeness." These rules, disguised under the word manners, helped you internalize the judgments of others at the expense of your own values [and feelings].

Giving love to others is directly related to how much love you have for yourself. 39

[i would say, when your needs are filled, you can help others fill theirs]

40 love and self-worth. [if you are worth zero (or believe you are), you have zero to give--ie you feel unlovable]

41 behavior != being

42-45 self-acceptance, bodies, media etc.

46 mastering skill is largely f(time)- choose to think of yourself more positively

signs of self-dislike/[self-doubt]

- rejecting compliments - giving others credit for +, but taking blame for - - seeking verification, reassurance (isn't that right, dear) -

[sign of low se - other directed references- for example: My girlfriend thinks I am too heavy]

p 50 talking about accepting that rocks are hard- sounds like Maslow- doesn't cite him anywhere... I think he stole his idea without giving him credit.

thinks we should never complain and never tell anyone we feel tired (sounds like he is suggesting we invalidate ourselves)

p 53 payoffs for self-pity and low se

[sometimes says dopey things like order something expensive at a restaurant, you deserve it, even if you can't afford it. (but i did feel better when I got a treat in CR)]

p 58 approval seeking

The need for approval must go! p 59

p. 61 "Independent thinking is not only unconventional, it is the enemy of the very institutions that constitute the bulwark of our society"

63 Quotes Kahil Gibran (?):

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they do belong not to you. Prophet p. 17

talks about how parents create dependency...

64 Kids want to do things themselves, but too often parents do it for them - bc they don't have "time" to wait.. [why don't they have time?? sph adapt]

64 "The family unit nurtures, in the form of good intentions, dependence and the need for approval." good quote.

[by over-protecting child, you actually harm them bc they don't learn to protect selves and fight when necessary]

65 "A child should never be encouraged to confuse his own self- esteem with anyone else's approval." True.

65 School and approval

School is an "institution that is designed expressly to instill approval-seeking thinking and behavior." 65

"Any student who begins to show signs of self-actualization and personal mastery is quickly put in his place." 65

p 66 "Students who are independent, full of self-love, not susceptible to guilt and worry are systematically labeled troublemakers."

... approval-seeking is the way to success. 66

67 how other institutions like church teach approval-seeking.

"Organized religion appeals to your approval-seeking needs." p 68

"Using yourself as a guide and not needing the approval of an outside force is the most religious experience you can have." 68

69-71 how government, songs, business all try to make you helpless and dependent

p 73 list of approval-seeking behavior examples... (edited & summarized a little)

- Changing a position or a belief when s.o. disapproves

- Sugar coating a statement to avoid disapproval

- Apple-polishing to win approval

- Feeling badly about yourself when s.o. disapproves

- Pretending to agree with s.o. when you really don't agree

- Doing things you don't want to do to avoid disapproval

- Accepting something you aren't satisfied with

- Saying things you don't really mean

- Apologizing excessively and too often

- Conforming to win approval

- Bragging about yourself

p 74 Payoffs for not taking responsibility for your feelings: (but he calls it for seeking approval) adapted

- You don't have to change. You can't be blamed. Don't have to admit anything is wrong with you. You can get sympathy.

p 76 think about s.o. you really admire. Does this person seek approval? Probably not. So to get his approval, you need to stop seeking approval. Dyer calls this the supreme irony of approval seeking. good point.

p 78 he says don't use I messages when you feel defensive. Instead analyze what the other person is feeling/doing. He thinks this prevents you from having to defend yourself. But this is a defense mechanism itself, and it invalidates the other person's feelings by turning things around. I don't recommend it! His example is "You're getting upset and you feel that I shouldn't think the way I do." There are at least a couple of problems with his example. 1- invalidates them, wrong use of verb "to feel." Also, I am not sure if he is saying that as a question to make sure he understands, or as a statement asserting that he has analyzed the situation and knows exactly what is happening. If it is the latter, people are likely to feel resentful, speaking from experience.

He later gives the example of telling someone that they will "just have to deal with their feelings" if they don't like something you are doing. [Again, I don't recommend this. It is invalidating and shows no empathy, compassion or caring. rmo Gretchen's mother.]

Another suggestion is better - thank the other person for whatever they said; for pointing it out/bringing it to your attention.

He says to deliberately seek some disapproval as practice [I think of using my brother Andy as practice]

He also suggests ignoring a disapproving person. He cites the example of someone saying "okay," then moving on after a person voiced disapproval. [I tried this with my class at SFCC and Patti reprimanded me. Again, it is invalidating. A better way is to say, can we talk about this after the meeting?]

Gifts From Eykis - Wayne Dyer

A little too "new age" but has some very good thoughts

Facing page: The secrets of the universe: --with my comments in ()

Learn to cultivate your own garden (yes) The kingdom of heaven is within (yes- but don't like "heaven" Everything is exactly as it should be (no!) It's never too late to have a happy childhood (simplistic) Wherever I go, there I am (useless) Keep it simple (okay) These are the good old days (simplistic) You are perfect (irresponsible)

Introduction- He makes the point that through fiction, we can learn readily by stepping aside to the position of objective observer. He says "The sting of criticism is not so painful" when the characters are birds or make-believe characters. This is true. Maybe I will write some fiction someday. Says it is easier to feel when reading about others.

The story is about a guy who travels to another planet which looks just like earth, but they don't have our self-destructive beliefs and habits. He meets someone named Eykis who tells him about her planet and then travels to Earth and gives him her ideas about what is wrong with our planet.

He is chosen by an old professor to be the one to go.- this reminds us that we all want to feel special.

"You are the One," (the willing learner) the professor tells him. When he gets to the other planet he finds that everyone is reality- based, they cannot lie-it is not possible for them, so there is absolute trust. They don't believe other people can hurt their feelings, not without a special device which is purchased. And there are devices which provoke jealousy, so the other partner can prove their love. The sales of the device which provokes anger is limited by the government. Elevators are designed to periodically make scary noises, otherwise people wouldn't be afraid of them as they are on earth. Mountain tops have hinges on them which cause people to be afraid of them, but people aren't afraid of heights unless there is a similar actual reason to be afraid of them.

His basic points are that most of our fears are irrational, ie they are not based on reality and fact. He slams schools, rules, obedience, conformity, business. He lightly criticizes religion, but still keeps the old idea of an imaginary being.

some quotes and ideas from the book:

pages 25-27:

Long ago I trained myself to ignore the rules under which most people operate, and to consult only my inner voices. If anyone urged me to act, feel or think in a specific way, I simply ignored all of the "I don't know if I shoulds," and listened to my inner voice.

Early in life I learned that the only thing I ever regretted was what I failed to do out of some self-inflicted fear or prohibition originating in the rules of others. To be sure, I did many things I disliked or which turned out wrong, but I never felt any painful regret for what I did. I simply vowed to avoid repeating such behavior. Consequently, I learned a great deal from my errors. Regret came in large doses only when I wanted to act but did not out of fear of rejection, or even worse, failure.

Everywhere I went as a youngster I found adults following rules that had been passed down through the generations. Many of them had no basis at all in what was real.

I abandoned the rules to which others paid so much tribute, and I became the subject of much consternation throughout my life. Nevertheless, despite attacks on my character because I chose to live by my instincts, I found that I was never disappointed in me for trusting my first impulses...

...others were always careful to say only the right thing while I blithely went my way trusting myself, proud of my ability to ignore rules about how one ought to feel.

p 32 It is not what happens around us or to us that really matters. What really matters is what happens within us. (pp) (pp=paraphrased)

p 38 anxiety attack is not really an attack from outside. It is caused by thoughts, so we just need to change our thinking/make different choices.

p42 how can a person be neurotic without a reason based in reality?

46 worry is a waste of time. You worry only to get the information you need (computer gives you forecast of likelihood of the event you are worried about on this other planet)

guilt: either lavishly embraced or dispensed on earth

guilt lets you go into rewind to correct your action (you can't go into rewind without guilt & feeling bad)

If you couldn't do it over, what good would feeling guilty do? [to prevent it next time - or as a forecasted emotion]

[? is it possible to learn from mistakes without guilt, or with less guilt?-- seems some is needed, but not much for quick learners..?]

She asks: doesn't guilt immobilize you? And isn't it true that no amount of guilt alone without rewind won't correct a past problem

53 [ie each emotion has a purpose] "If an emotion didn't serve a purpose, she simply didn't use it."

54 the purpose of saying "you should have" is to give someone the option of going into rewind and re-doing something on the other planet. "If one were unable to go into rewind, there would be no purpose in telling someone 'you should have.'"

"criminals" are held responsible & make restitution

harming someone is defined as altering them p 55

military games and fireworks instead of wars

elevators programmed to scare people (e's scare me!) p60

p 64 feeling hurters - only way to hurt someone's feelings! (invisible laser you point at someone!)

68 Dependency diodes. Parents are responsible for creating and removing them. Only little kids need them (up to "around" age 11)- after that dependency is impossible, unless they have defective dependency diodes. -- wants others to do thinking for him, etc.

Freedom is what they value most. 69

In the messed up families people are "obsessed with loyalty to the unit instead of loyalty to the individual within the unit."

70 - jealousy jam - "you are making me jealous" (purpose of j is to enjoy being convinced their is no reason to be jealous - cute but I disagree)

[jealousy - when you have someone vs when you don't -- 2 different things - 1st is insecurity, second is desire]

an "accepting human being" eager to grow with each new experience.

we try to see others as we are rather than as they are.

p 85 gives a little example of a phone service rep who said "you should have called us yesterday." Dyer says she was more intent on "giving a lecture and in keeping the problem a problem rather than seeking a solution."

p 90

Dyer says "I have a reverence for children. I have always felt most at home with those young people who laugh, tease and lay their emotions right out on the table for you to accept, reject or handle as you choose. Simple honesty is always present in children.

p 93 "When people assign responsibility for their anxiety to some mythical anxiety attack, they need a second myth to correct the original. The second myth is that they need some antidote, such as swallowing a tranquilizer, to rid them of their anxiety."

p 94 People on earth want to avoid taking responsibility for their problems.

Blaming the mirror for what it reflects. 98

A serious problem with Dyer's thinking is that he fails to hold parents accountable, as shown in this statement on page 102:

I've observed large and small children where, for example, an alcoholic father is abusive to all his children. Some take it seriously and are afraid. Others ignore it, and others blame him for their shyness. To me, if he were in fact creating their personalities they would all be what he wanted them to be. Yet each one is unique. Each reacts separately to his behavior. Even as children then choose how they think. But that's not the tragedy. The problem surfaces when they grow up and look back to their childhoods for explanations (that is, blame) of their adult lack of fulfillment, or unhappiness. Instead of saying "As a child I chose to react this way or that way, and perhaps I didn't know any better then, however I do know better now, and if I don't like something about myself today I can't blame Daddy because if I did I would be saying that I can't get better unless he changes.'

[like someone who hits your car & doesn't admit it- you can fix the car, but you would feel better and it would cost you less if they took responsibility]

What Daddy did is over as far as I can tell, so blaming him is simply incorrect [but because something is over doesn't mean the person isn't responsible!] He didn't do it to you even then--you chose your childhood reactions. And if you continue to believe he did, you will only remain unhappy. [and if you, Dyer, continue to believe he didn't you are helping perpetuate dysfunctional parenting]

He goes on to say that when people look back to try to understand what happened to them, and then realize their alcoholic father abused them, "it is not an understanding, it is an excuse, and an incorrect one at that." p103

p 108

"The overwhelming emphasis seems to be on teaching obedience rather than responsible thinking; on fitting in and conforming rather than being independent and creative. You make being an independent thinker extremely difficult, particularly for young people."

p 109

"You make such a big thing about progress and then do everything possible to stand in the way of the only people who can bring it about--those who think for themselves and aren't afraid of new ideas."

"You can never grow into a self-respecting adult if you are learning to conform and fit in."

"The idea of respecting your elders makes no more sense than the reverse: respecting your juniors. Respect is earned, and being older or younger is not relevant." **

p 110 talks about all the things we spend money on which keep the economy going but are signs of unhealthiness, insecurity and conformity: (designer jeans, perfumes with fraudulent claims of sex appeal in a bottle, breath sprays, soaps, therapists, aspirins, tranquilizers, alcohol, tobacco

p 111

"The rewards for conformity are omnipresent... People are told how to think in the name of obedience. It doesn't matter if it's obedience to the state, your teachers or even your parents, the end results are the same. Those with little or no confidence in themselves, and no innovative ideas, become servants to those who give the orders."

Then she talks about the expression "I am just doing my job." She says people who were raised to be independent [and I would say to follow their conscience, their feelings] couldn't possibly do anything horrible to another person and just say "I am just doing my job."

p 115

She says almost all of your problems come from the way you teach your children to think [and the make believe we make them believe]

p 118

Talks about people who say (with my modifications)

- let's make it happen

- it will never happen

- it can't happen

- what happened?

- I made it happen

p 120

Eykis says so many earthlings suffer from an illusion of happiness- they focus on appearances sizes of things as substitutes for quality in their lives.

p 122

"In place of ethical thinking you seem to encourage rule thinking."

"A rules thinker is a person who does what he is told, regardless of the situation [ie uses no judgment]

But he confuses ethics with health. Says we don't go through red lights because it is unethical- no- it is because it is dangerous!

p 124

"Rules-oriented thinking places the responsibility for the behavior on the rule rather than on the individual."

p 124, 125

Talks about how people want to control, dominate and subjugate others

"There is almost a universal obsession here with attempts to control and dominate. When thinking is focussed on how much one can control others, it cannot be focussed on personal happiness and self-direction."

She suggest we become more inner focussed; that we develop our inner authority and inner mastery, then we can share this mastery with others, but that we not interfere with other people's lives. We only try to learn from others, not control or change them.

[ie I am my own master]

p 126,127

Talks about achievement thinking vs. knowledge thinking. Trying to get grades vs. learning for the intrinsic feeling of learning.

p 128 Dyer/Eykis talks about valuing serenity and inner-peace rather than acquisitions.

p 134 Says Eykis refused to argue or defend herself- she just stated herself once. She would not engage in "senseless bickering." With Eykis there was no haranguing and no emotional pleas..

p 135

Dyer says it seemed that every great thinker he had ever read about had encountered constant opposition from mediocre minds.

p 136

On Eykis's planet people don't choose to miss each other when they are temporarily separated.

p 138

Eykis says on earth there are religious people and others who go around defining what is right and wrong and moral and immoral but that doesn't mean that such concepts actually exist.

p 139 She says man defines morality however it suits him.

"Killing in the name of religion is still killing, even though you call it patriotism or religious duty."

She says, in effect, that if people were educated correctly and were trained to listen to their conscience there would be no one who would kill and no one who would order anyone to kill someone else.

p 140

She says it takes an individual decision to kill, so we need a society that produces individuals who decide not to kill.

Religious leaders should advocate peace rather than comforting soldiers fighting wars.

She says people are afraid to be gods. Instead they pray to their gods to help them with this or that, even to help them win football games.

She suggests we look within ourself for strength.

She says "you measure how religious your people are by such unrelated behavior as church attendance, recitation of scriptures that are not understood, whether they practice birth control or not, the symbols they worship...

She says we have completely turned around what was meant to help man develop personal standards of conduct that would make the world a better place. [In other words, instead of internalizing the standards, we have externalized them.]

"Man has used religious affiliation to act out his own wrong, self- destructive, power-hungry thinking, and then called the conforming behavior that follows such dogma 'religion.' Your religious colleagues have almost constantly used the name of God for immoral ends."

p 143

"For the most part, religion has been used as a tool for furthering man's selfish lust for power and control over others. Many of the most inhumane acts ever recorded on your planet were carried out with God or religion as the rationale."

p 145 Being God...involves putting total responsibility for morality on your own shoulders.

p 146-154

They talk about money. Basically they say money doesn't buy happiness; do what you love and the money will follow; workers don't take responsibility for themselves;

p 149 "If you pursue your own ideals and enjoy what you do because that is how you choose to think, success will come to you in ways and abundance beyond your dreams."

"Creative geniuses do not do what they do for money"

p 151 "On earth, more is the sickness that keeps people from ever arriving at now."

p 152

Eykis talks about business people who claimed that there families were the most important thing to them, but spent almost no time with them and were strangers to their children.

She also says people are making themselves sick from work and that people in the lesser developed countries may well be happier.

p 154 She says when one is honest with himself he will say "We were happiest when we had very little. We genuinely loved ourselves when our goals were only dreams. Sharing them brought us closer together."

She says there is no need to defend the economic system since it works so well to produce things.

But she says we should look at how we are using it [and what we are producing-- which is driven by what we are demanding, which is driven buy our real, but more our perceived needs. We can say that the more your emotional needs are met, the fewer your material needs.** ]

Then they talk about education starting on page 156

She says the most alarming thing is the huge gap between the professed goals of developing self-confident, independent thinkers versus what is actually happening.

p 156

"In almost all your schools, every time young people seem to be displaying any creative or free-thinking qualities, they are perceived as threats and instantly squelched. Few teachers can stand a child that asks, "Why?" Your educational rewards are doled out to those who conform the best, to those who please their teachers or do their assignments quickly. There are few rewards for independent thinking; in fact in most instances it appears to be punished.

"A child who is truly independent of the need for approval, who shows no signs of guilt or anxiety about it, is considered a troublemaker. A child who refuses to be like everybody else is singled out and asked to feel guilty and repent. Yet these qualities of being guilt-free, independent and free-thinking are what you label as self-actualized behaviors. It seems you are stating one thing as your educational objectives, then doing exactly the opposite.

Then she says children could be learning in an atmosphere of excitement rather than apathy; that they could be helping each other. But instead they are told to sit quietly in their assigned seats and do as they are told.

p 157

"You know each person in your world is unique and special. How can you tap that uniqueness when each child is treated the same way?"

Then she gives an example of teaching a class on Egyptian history. Everyone reads the same thing, listen to the same lecture on it and do the same homework assignment on it, then they are all given the same test on it. Then they are graded on it. She says not all learn at the same rate, but they are expected to. [And not all are interested in the same things or aspects of the same thing, but that doesn't matter- only the grade matters] She says the ones who don't answer as many questions correctly [for whatever reason] are punished for it by a lower grade.

Then she asks about the students who grasp something quickly, saying why must they sit there quietly, listening to something they have already mastered?

She says grades are the real obsession of educators [if we can call them that], not knowledge and self-discovery [and certainly not happiness- which requires the fulfillment of emotional needs]

[he generalizes a bit too much here, though, saying grades and knowledge are mutually exclusive, for example]

They then talk about intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation and Dyer believes strongly that all motivation is intrinsic and he would agree with Kohn who says kids are punished by the reward system.

He gives the example of giving an A for reading five books. He asks why someone would want to read 10 or 100, then. In other words, he says the motivation will cease when the external reward is reached. [But intrinsic satisfaction is likely to fuel more motivation **]

p 161 he basically says great teachers simply create an environment where a person wants to learn; that you can't force someone to learn

he say the goal should be mastery of the subject and that kids should be allowed to take tests when they choose to see if they have mastered it; that it shouldn't matter long it takes them; that just because some learn faster it is no big deal.

The results that matter are personal satisfaction and inner pride. He also says we need to become more cooperative and less competitive. And that students need to be able to explore challenging subjects without the fear of failure.

He says he saw a study where a length of wire was set up in front of some chickens. The ones who walked around and got to their food were labeled as smart, but the ones who didn't, and died of starvation, were labeled dumb. But when students go around the barriers which are put in front of them, they are called cheaters and troublemakers!

He says the purpose of tests should be to assess progress, not punish and reward. [but tests will always divide and direct, as I believe is natural]

p 164 He says when humans (students and adults alike) perform out of fear and force - ie under authority, they will stop performing when the AF (authority figure) is absent. But if they are seeking intrinsic reward, they will keep on working.

He says we just need to look into the classrooms and watch what happens when the AF is not there. He says the rigid teachers would see the results of their rigidity. [good point!-- same would go for cops - with the irresponsible people in the US the system would fall apart quickly, but not so quickly, if at all in Canada or New Zealand]

He says when formal school is finished, teacher are "permanently out of the room" so the former students never return to learning on their own.

Better is to teach students to be their own teachers. "The presence of the AF has nothing to do with individual pursuit of knowledge and excellence."

Next, they talk about medicine and health. Dyer believes in the new-age theory that all sickness is chosen. That all ills are psychosomatic.

He says doctors don't heal people, only the body heals itself.

He says all doctors know that the will to live increases a person's chances of survival, so we need to focus more on developing this will in everyone.

More on prevention and less on cures.

p 175 on...

He really blasts governments- says they only serve themselves, not the people, he despises the welfare system-says people who receive money should have to pay it back (but later he says no one should starve); says governments are corrupt

He says if individuals were taught to think ethically no one would work in a factory that made napalm, no salesman would sell it, no trucker would transport it; no one would order it to be used on people; he says killing another human is the lowest possible act to which a person can sink; says if we spent the same money on educating for peace and what he calls ethical thinking [what I would call healthy thinking], then people would stop fighting in wars; says most individuals want peace, but government officials order the soldiers to go to war and the solders, not being independent thinkers, obey;

p 177 He says in effect, one individual who follows his inner voices can break a chain of blind obedience.

says totalitarian regimes are most successful when people think like the herd. [like in Catholic or Muslim countries- where everyone kneels down together and prays]

p 179 He complains about how government workers exempt themselves from laws; get the best medical insurance for themselves, etc. He (speaking through Eykis always) says "You want your government to do everything for you, then complain when it takes away your freedom. You can't have it both ways"

He say people need to take individual responsibility- to take responsibility back from the government.

Then he makes a statement about abortion, which seems out of place, saying it is the woman's choice & she will do it whether it is legal or not. Then he says the same thing about smoking pot. He says people are doing it, that is the reality, whether it is against the law or not.

She says, "The fact that an activity is widespread means that it is endorsed." p 182

[But would he say that because people were lynching others, it should be legal? Or that slavery should have been left legal? Or polluting the environment should also be legal? He doesn't address the difficult issue of how we decide who makes the decisions- never talks about voting or the basic idea of democracy based on a simple majority of a certain age of voters, whether educated or not]

p 182 Says we need lawmakers who get their value from within; who are not afraid of losing their jobs; who know they can always move on and do anything.

p 183 "I feel that the concept of unemployment is something governments have created so they will have an index." He says people choose not to work, so it is not unemployment.

p 184 She says "starvation on your planet is a government decision." [but this goes completely against the idea of personal responsibility- if governments are responsible for feeding children, where is the mother's responsibility? -- these are the kind of simplistic, dramatic, sweeping, "wild" claims I don't want to make in my writing, though I am sure many people find such things in my writing. I guess I admire Dyer for laying out all his beliefs. But I think my respect for him falls more overall--especially when I know he became an alcoholic later; and that he is writing spiritual BS now in the nineties. He talks about alcohol being unhealthy, yet he could not live according to his own beliefs. My challenge is to live according to mine- to realize when an emotion is unhealthy, then change it.-- Just like realizing when an action is unhealthy...but it is much easier to see and regulate/control behavior- that is why society started there. But now we have more information...** ]

says the whole system is based on power over others rather than inner power.

She says people will slowly stop supporting their governments, then rebel.

p 186

"First you will see them lower their own taxes by passively refusing to pay, but surreptitiously going around the law. Then you will see people ignoring the regulations and bypassing the government red tape...Soon you will see a disregard for all laws, which were once just a few laws. That is how it breaks down."

p 189 "You have become a people obsessed with thinking for each other."

She says everyone thinks they know what is best for others.

p 190 "Since each person is different, one can never create policies, rules or procedures that apply to all." **

Because we have the ability to choose, we can choose "to learn or not learn, to obey or not obey."

"You can change your free-choice minds an unlimited number of times on one issue or at any moment."

"Each person must decide for himself what he wants each day."

p 191 She starts on parenting...

On earth parents have a strong desire to believe they own their children. Parents have somehow come to believe that the child owes them something just for being parents. You see children in a family being coerced into having the same religion, ethnic beliefs, etc. Parents somehow believe that membership in a family precludes thinking as an individual.

p 192

"Parenting means teaching children to think for themselves, by providing examples worth emulating."

She thinks we should teach children to be their own parents.

p 193 Parents need to raise children who have "no need to rely on others for control."

p 193 On marriages.

She says partners think they own each other; they impose their expectations on each other;

marriages can end with or without divorce.

p 194

She talks about how we change our thinking...

"You simply do it. For example, if I ask you to close your eyes and think of a brown puppy on a blue chair, you can do that. If I then ask you to send that thought away and replace it with the thought of a green vase of twelve long-stemmed roses, you can also do that. Can you tell me how you did it? Of course no one can say how it is done, but you all know how to do it. Forget about how it is done, just do it. Work at sending away any thought that you don't want or that is incorrect. [but how do you know if it is incorrect?]

p 195

She says, basically, that the beauty of free will is the ability to think as we choose.

makes joke about therapists- says she thought it was "the rapist" the first time she saw the word.

Says "Therapy seems to be an attempt to purchase friendship and to understand oneself by looking backwards."

[Dyer really doesn't like idea of looking at past or looking for accountability or responsibility - which he calls "blame." But if we are lost, isn't it helpful to retrace our steps? If we hurt ourselves, isn't it helpful to figure out how it happened? Isn't it helpful if we can figure out what contributes to the desire to kill someone else? To rob? To rape? To commit suicide? Is Dyer's claim that we can "just do it" -- just change our thoughts going to work on the majority of the population; on those who suffer from extreme unmet needs? I don't think so.]

"The truly skilled therapists provide an environment for self- discovery. They helped the individual assume responsibility for everything and accept the fact that they alone were responsible for everything that happened to them." [If a child is raped by her father, is she responsible for this? If she is brain-damaged because he beat her, is she responsible? What if she is brain- damaged because he verbally abused her? Come on, Dyer!]

He then basically says you must be a living model of your beliefs and your philosophy to help others. "Only a knower of self can help a seeker of self to find self-knowledge."

p 199

This chapter is called "the secrets of the universe" -- I don't like such proclamations..

but anyhow here they are according to Dyer.

1. Learn to cultivate your own garden-- focus on the one thing which you have the most control over: yourself. (Dyer says absolute control...I changed it) p 199

she says if we really put our energy into ourselves we won't have time to criticize our neighbor's garden

p 199 he also talks about "rights" - the right to create your own garden as you see fit and the rights of others to do the same.

she says put your energy into being the happiest, most fulfilled person possible p 200

2. The kingdom of heaven is within (this is from the new testament of the bible for anyone who doesn't already know this) I don't like these christian and bible and religious references. But what he says is, as I see it, is the key to happiness lies within. And it is found while you are alive, not after you die!

3. Everything thing in the universe is exactly as it should be. [this is one of those new age beliefs which I strongly disagree with. First who is to say what "should" be? Second, I disagree that parents should be abusing their children, etc. If everyone believed everything is at it should be, then why try to improve things?

p 202 He makes good point that freeing those moments when you are judging things will give you more time to be happy.

#3: I hear; I forget. I see: I may remember. I do: I understand. (I added "may")

p 203

He says educators provide too much hearing and too little doing.

#4: If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and one endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hour. (Henry David Thoreau)

She says when you lead your life in a way that you feel personally fulfilled, doing what makes sense and feels right for you, success will naturally follow.

He says only those who don't chase things will actually get enough of them to meet their needs. In other words, this is like saying you can never get enough of a substitute. He says for example, those who don't seek approval are the ones who receive the most. [well, this is interesting. Not sure if I agree- perhaps their need is met because it is at a lower level. Or perhaps sometimes one does receive approval/admiration as a by product of pursuing one's dreams]

p 204

#5 Life it self is miraculous, therefore you never need to seek miracles [again, don't like religious implication]

He basically says nature is awesome, fascinating. He says the time you spend fighting life can't be used enjoying it [like my hourglass metaphor]

#5 It is never too late to have a happy childhood. {Again, this is a popular new-age belief. He says why bother looking at anything unpleasant in the past, just think of the happy times. But then how do we stop child abuse?]

#6 Relationships that work, work because there is no work. He says they only need mutual respect. [Sounds a bit simplistic, and isn't tied to the rest of the book]

p 206 - #7 is basically "There is no one right way"

He says more listening and less demanding would eliminate the need to be right. Says we need to stop trying to impose our way on others.

He says "nobody likes being told what to do." He says everyone knows this, but keeps doing it anyhow. "It is an insult to free thinking..."

p 207 Stop trying to tell people about the right way and ask them about their way. He says you might learn something and you will avoid creating hostilities.

# 8 You get treated in life the way you teach people to treat you. "You have the inherent power to teach anyone how you like to be treated."

When you accept abuse, you are responsible. [I agree if you are an adult-- but even then if you were abused you have little self- confidence, so are you still 100% responsible? But I basically agree that we must accept nothing less than respect. If we don't receive it, I suggest we leave the person or the situation, rather than try to change them, assuming we have communicated our feelings several times without attacking the other.]

"Teach those around you through behavior, not empty arguments,that you will tolerate nothing less than respect."

Ask yourself: Why am I allowing them to do this to me? rather than: Why are they doing this to me again?

# 9 -- Wherever you go there you are. (More new-age...) He says you can't run away and solve your problems. [Well, this is somewhat true... but if you leave a hostile environment, the source of your problem may no longer be present to trouble you...I see the truth of this here in Canada, this summer 1999)

# 10 Keep it simple. He says we have complicated contracts, etc. Then we need to hire others to sort it all out.

Then he has a few more which are pure new age or in some other way not helpful.. for example "you are perfect"

then on p. 212 He says "love requires no reciprocity." He says when you ask for something in return you no longer have love-- "you have then sullied it with expectations." He says in effect that expectations lead to demands which cause the other to feel fear. [Also, our needs lead to demands, so the more we meet our own needs, the fewer demands we will make and the better partner.

p 213 To insist that your love be reciprocated is to place your ability to love in the hands of others.

p 214

With no expectations you will find it easy to love those who refuse to love you... and this is the true test of love.