“Where’s Papa going with that ax?” Do you recognize this line? It’s the first line of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. It is one of the most recognizable opening lines ever written. It grabs the reader and it sets the mind wandering in a direction the reader does not anticipate when beginning a children’s book. This first line is integral to the messages and the teaching the book offers and many readers initially passed the book over because of it, thinking it too harsh for a child. I can see where I’ve made similar choices in my life only to recognize later the opportunities I missed.
One such choice was the choice I made not to consider the works, writings, and teachings of Dr. Wayne Dyer. Dr. Dyer’s work came to my attention early on in my awakening journey and for several years I chose to disregard it. I disregarded everything he had to offer because of the fear in me that expressed itself in the form of judgments, judgments I made based on five minutes of a television program on PBS and judgements I made to discredit him in my mind even though he had all the credentials I seemed to think I needed before I could consider a teacher’s offerings. In this case, my judgment of the man was enough, regardless of his credentials or lack of.
Dr. Dyer was talking on PBS about his latest work, The Power of Intention, and in the five minutes I watched, I decided he was not for me. I decided he was pretentious and what he was teaching was fluff. By fluff, I mean it lacked any real depth or quality of awareness. I convinced myself it was merely “feel good” content designed to appeal to the masses so he could sell books, and of course, I was beyond the masses.
As I address in most of my work as an author, my judgments left me suffering. Never mind that I was trapped in and reacting to fear. Often the fear is hidden too deep to recognize. It lays hidden behind the judgments we project in an effort to make ourselves feel better by making me right and the other wrong.
It was several years before I found myself finally listening to that same talk while driving across the country. It was day three of the drive and I had already exhausted my supply of CDs and audio books by various spiritual teachers. The only thing left that i hadn’t listened to was a recording of Dr. Dyer. After listening for only a few minutes, a life-changing awareness came unexpectedly. It took my breath away in an AH-HA moment that brought me pause and I remember the CD was still playing but I was not listening because I was off in thought, processing the gift I had just received.
What happened exactly? Well, at some point while listening a thought emerged that said, “It’s not the messenger, but the message.” This single thought filled my field of awareness surrendering me to a perfect moment of presence. In that moment, most of the judgments that prevented me from receiving Dr. Dyer’s gifts vanished back to the nothingness from where they came. The moment passed, the volume of the still-playing CD slowly increased in my attention and from then on I listened with openness and willingness.
What I heard was drastically different from what I heard prior to the awakening moment. The transition was amazing. The content was unchanged but my perception, my interpretation of it was different. Now I heard the words as if they were meant for me.
In his recent passing, I paused in stillness one day and reflected:
“Thank you Dr. Dyer for giving me the gifts of self-awareness and willingness. Thank you for helping me to see how much my judgments limit my growth and my experiences. And, thank you for being exactly as you were because that taught me the greatest lesson you probably never intended to teach; it’s not the messenger, but the message that matters most.”
I invite you to consider ILLUSIVE SECRETS: DISCOVERING THE POWER OF SELF-HONESTY and other books and CDs at www.JamesPatrickMcDonald.com
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