The Power of
Intention: Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way (paperback), by Wayne W.
Dyer, Hay House, 2004, 257pp.
Truth is truth regardless of its source, my father always
used to say.
The strength of
The Power of Intention: Learning to
Co-create Your World Your Way is in its accessible presentation of truth
distilled from many sources.
Dr. Dyer, a
counseling psychologist who left the academic arena during his mid-30s to offer
self-development guidance on a mass scale, brings the wisdom of numerous
thinkers to a popular audience using contemporary language and vivid
In so doing, he proves that
inspiration, as much as any information, is a fuel for our being our best
selves in the world.
Indeed, even a
cursory search of reader reactions to
Power of Intention (or virtually any book by Dyer) will reveal legions of
people who proclaim, “This book changed my life.”
There’s something worth examining in this
Reflecting the evolution of his own thought,
Dyer confesses that he used to define intention as “a strong purpose or aim,
accompanied by a determination to produce a desired result,” i.e.,
As a result of his own
ongoing study, however, his position has changed radically.
He now defines intention as “a force that
exists in the universe as an invisible field of energy” – something much more
effortless and immanent.
The Power of Intention is about teaching
people to tap into this invisible field of energy in order to effect change in
their everyday lives.
Tapping into this
energy requires recognizing and then detaching from ego, identifying with the
inner source of our power, discovering divine self-love, then “moving out of
our own way” in order to manifest the 7 “faces” of intention, namely
creativity, kindness, love, beauty, expansion, abundance, and receptivity.
A large segment of the book is devoted to
discussing the practical application of each of these “faces” based on
intending that which we desire and changing our own thought and behavior
Thus, Dyer artfully
combines spirituality with psychology as a means to aid and support anyone
wishing to achieve elevated existence, regardless of their pre-existing
familiarity with arcane knowledge sources.
Dyer’s genius lies in his ability to weave references
ranging from the widely known to the relatively obscure into a seamless
tapestry of profound wisdom masquerading as common sense.
In a society where most people just don’t read
widely, much less deeply, Dyer corrals such diverse philosophers, scientists,
mystics, healers, and teachers as Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Freud, Mother Theresa,
Einstein, and Rumi (yes, you’ve probably heard of them), Krishnamurti,
Castaneda, Lao Tzu, Emerson, Maslow, Frankl and Tagore
you’ve heard of them), Hawkins, Troward, Hermes, Hunt, Hafiz, Patanjali, or
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (have you heard of them??).
In so doing, Dyer serves as a gateway to
deeper study and firsthand experience of original wisdom, beginning with
acknowledged masters and ending with the Higher Self within.
In our exhaustingly information-saturated
society, Dyer performs a great service to many people.
Purists who argue that Dyer’s work is nothing more than a
pastiche of original source material from the world’s great teachers would do
well to consider both the demands of today’s society and the methods of the
great teachers themselves.
One must ask,
what would a great teacher look like if she or he crossed our paths today?
In what way would she or he speak or
What references would she or he
pull to connect with us and impress us and stimulate us to further independent
What would her or his
energy feel like?
And from where would
she or he have gotten her or his own information, education, and illumination?
Through this process of questioning, we would be forced to admit that a great
teacher today would, in one respect or another, have to use the language,
modalities, and reference points to which people are already accustomed.
In addition, she or he would likely have
attained their own point of enlightenment from exposure to and contact with
other great teachers, in books or in person.
Finally, she or he would have to be someone who touched people’s hearts,
not just their minds.
In sum, the truth is deceptively simple.
As stated in the Hadith, “Knowledge is one
point, which the foolish have multiplied.”
It takes great teachers like Dyer, who operate from a place of both vast
knowledge and genuine love for humanity, to prove this point effectively in our
cynical, skeptical, and often narrowly focused postmodern society.