I really enjoyed Wayne Dyer's latest book, Wishes fulfilled, but I found this one a bit hard going and difficult to get into, hence the four instead of five stars.
Wayne discusses the shift "from ambition to meaning" which is also the topic of his film of the same name. At first it was not easy to find out what he was really talking about. The phrase "ambition to meaning" seemed a little abstruse, and terming one chapter "From" and another "To" seemed a bit strange though understandable. Particularly the first chapter was not very readable from my point of view.
He begins by discoursing on our transition from Nonbeing to Being, spirit into form. I found this difficult to comprehend because surely we come from God, Source, or whatever we would term it, and is this not absolute Being? How can God be Nonbeing? I myself had an amazing out-of-body experience when I was 14, where I experienced being what I felt was "a cell in the body of God/the Universe". I felt this as pulsating blissful Being, bathed in a golden light, a state where there was no time and no death - there was nothing "Nonbeing" about it.
Wayne talks at length of nothingness, oneness and surrender, all worthy, basic and relevant concepts.
He provides inspiring and relevant citations from the Tao Te Ching, A Course in Miracles, Nisargadatta Maharaj, who is apparently his teacher, Longfellow, Tagore, White Eagle, T.S. Eliot and even Rabbie Burns from my homeland.
Chapter Two deals with "Ambition", which he says arises from our false self. When we "emerge from the world of spirit", we develop ego or the false self, whereas previously we "allowed ourselves to be lived by the great Tao". Wayne here discusses the six lies the ego wants us to believe: 1) Who I am is what I have 2) Who I am is what I do 3) Who I am is what others think of me 4) I am separate from everyone else 5) I am separate from what's missing in my life, and finally 6) I am separate from God.
It is well worth refreshing our acquaintance with these belief systems which our upbringing and culture incline us to adopt, but which we subsequently need to get rid of.
In chapter Three we are reminded to make a U-turn back to our place of origin and fulfill our dharma by finding the meaning of our life. It doesn't matter where we are on our "journey", but only which direction we are headed.
Our desired U-turn consists of shifting to personal empowerment, seeing ourselves connected to everyone, being motivated by "ethics, serenity, and quality of life", shifting to the possibility or even expectation of miracles being a part of life, practising meditation, beginning to "recognize ourselves in nature's beauty and intricacy", becoming less judgmental, and more able to understand and forgive.
Wayne also includes an interesting section on quantum change.
Chapter Four deals with Meaning, which is our goal. We return to the place we originated and know it for the first time.
He elaborates on the four cardinal virtues "that constitute our original nature". These are 1) reverence for all life 2) natural sincerity 3) gentleness 4) supportiveness,
Basically, the book deals with the shift to "the path of a meaningful and purposeful life". This includes 1) the shift from entitlement to humility 2) the shift from control to trust 3) the shift from attachment to letting go. All these shifts are essential.
In "Wishes fulfilled", Wayne referred to Anita Moorjani's book "Dying to be me", describing her extremely serious bout with cancer, after which she experienced an NDE with subsequent complete healing. I have now read this book in which Anita explains that she feels her cancer was caused by her leading a life with a completely false self, always doing things for others even though this did not feel right and being unable to show or be who she really was. This fits in with Wayne's thesis in this book about the need to get rid of the false self that most of us have taken on.
To sum up, this is a valuable book, just not the most readable of the author's books, and initially a little hard to get into. I found the final two chapters to be the best, and much more readable than the first two, but this may just be my own subjective opinion.
I love Wayne's erudition, love, kindness, generosity, great work with himself, and his life path of informing others of how they too best can work on their personal and spiritual development. I enjoin you to read this book too and all his books.