“I Can See Clearly Now” is a wonderful memoir which means a lot to me personally. It’s a little hefty at nearly 400 pages, but I read it in quick time. It’s a real page turner, and almost every page has at least one piece of great wisdom or insight.
I almost feel a little embarrassed at writing this review, as I have not read a Wayne Dyer book for well over a decade. Yet it was Wayne Dyer who first opened my eyes to a greater spiritual intention in the world when I picked up his book “You’ll See It When You Believe It” in 1992. That was at the local newsagent in a tiny town in outback Australia.
As Dyer writes, that older book was really the first volume he penned with a deep spiritual thrust. Before then he had primarily been writing popular psychology in the human potential genre. I remember the great excitement I felt all those years ago when I saw that book on the shelf; and I got exactly the same sense of excitement when I picked up “I Can See Clearly Now”. I bought it based purely on that intuition. And I am sure glad I did.
“I Can See Clearly Now” proceeds in chronological order, detailing Wayne Dyer’s life from his early childhood as an orphan, formative adolescent experiences, life in the navy and then as a student and professor. At the age of 36 Dyer had his first success with “Your Erroneous Zones” and this was followed by another forty books. The narrative outlined in “I Can See Clearly Now” traces Dyer’s experiences in writing many of his books, because they tended to mirror changes in his own life experience and philosophy.
“I Can See Clearly Now” is written in first person present tense, which is a little unsettling at first. But I soon got used to this style. After each account of an important life phase or experience, there is a reflective section entitled “I can see clearly now”, where Dyer explains the significance of the events. Dyer explains frequently that he has been on an extended “ascended masters” programme; that his life has been the universe’s way of helping him develop as a spiritual being. His motivation is to share this understanding with the reader, because he believes that to become a self-actualised human being is our birthright. It is not merely something for the spiritually gifted.
What I particularly like about this book is that it details many of the challenging times Dyer has gone through and the key decisions that he has had to make throughout his life. He is able to clarify how the tough times and difficult situations he has faced – such as separating from his wife, choosing to quit jobs, developing leukaemia and so on – have ultimately aided his spiritual evolution. He shares with the reader how to turn such difficulties into soul-strengthening experiences.
Perhaps the main value I got from reading “I Can See Clearly Now” is that it elucidates the entire concept of “manifestation” (the law of attraction, if you like). Through his own ego falls Wayne Dyer has come to realise that we don’t simply attract what we want – it is more accurate to say that we attract what we are. So when our intentions are aligned with the soul, and we move confidently in the direction of actualising our soul’s desires, then we can indeed “manifest” our desires in this world.
It’s a point I have often made in my own writings. And it’s important because an overly self-focused approach to manifestation may not serve the soul, nor the world. Wayne Dyer is careful to point this out. He is mindful to emphasise that the movement towards a genuine spiritual path is less about fulfilling the ego’s wants, and more about being of service to the world and to others. In my own journey I have often made the mistake too; and the result of being too self-focused regarding spiritual development is, ironically, that it creates suffering and retards spiritual unfolding.
“I Can See Clearly Now” is a little scant on Dyer’s personal relationships, instead focussing upon his work. It reveals a deeply driven man with an unwavering sense of purpose and commitment to fulfil his “destiny”. Although he goes into some depth about his absent father and the profound scar it left within him, we don’t really see too much of the issues Dyer has faced with others. For example, mentions his breakup with his wife only in passing, and gives no details or reasons for the separation (elsewhere he has revealed more). Instead, he talks about the deep depression the breakup left.
But this is Dyer’s call. Some autobiographers like to confess all in public. Wayne Dyer is honest about his shortcomings, but does not focus upon them.
This memoir shows us very clearly that Wayne Dyer is much more than a man of words, much more than a philosopher or mystic. He is a man of action and courage. “I Can See Clearly Now” reveals that each time in his life that he has been presented with a clarity of vision and purpose, he has stepped forward to take clear and deliberate action.
When Dyer wrote his first book he did not merely wait around for it to be successful. He quit his job as a professor, got off his backside, loaded his car with books and did a national tour – all at his own expense. He visited book shops and made sure his book was widely available, and engaged in countless media appearances. Likewise, when he began to develop his PBS TV specials he took massive action, visiting almost every other PBS station to promote his ideas and raise money.
I hope many other readers pick up this important point about the requirement to take courageous action, because more than anything else, I believe that a failure to take decisive action is why so many “new agers” fail to actualise their vision. They simply lack the courage and strong intention to move out into the world to do what is required to turn their dreams into reality.This autobiography on the other hand shows that Dyer typically acts as soon as he feels the excitement of spiritual guidance; and this is what makes him a great man.
Wayne Dyer’s life is therefore a wonderful role model for spiritual folk who wish to make a positive impact on the world. You should read this book for that reason alone.
By now you might have worked out why I said that this book means a lot to me. It has made me reflect a great deal on my own life and the way I have attempted to apply the same ideas and values that Wayne Dyer talks about. It has helped me to clarify in my own mind some of the strengths and limitations of my approach. At times I have lacked the courage to be as decisive as Wayne Dyer. I have not followed through with some things that I should have.
But reading this book has inspired me to revisit some of those visions and actualise them while applying some of the ideas, tools and attitudes outlined in the text. Finally, “I Can See Clearly Now” has reignited the spark of possibility that I can learn to trust life at a deeper level. Again.
For these things I feel grateful to the author.
I believe that any reader who buys this book will benefit from knowing how Wayne Dyer has turned dream into reality.
I highly recommend “I Can See Clearly Now”. It just might be a life changer for you.
4 thoughts on “Review of Wayne Dyer’s “I Can See Clearly Now””
At last! I will likely read this book. I didn’t know what put me off the spiritual seekers [being one of them myself] until a couple of years ago. It was the constant reference to the ego, overcoming it and the self obsession. I felt for some time Dyer was of that breed. It’s so good to see that maybe he has taken a step forward into being of service. Ascended Masters? I have read a lot about them. It will be interesting how Dyer ties himself in.
You probably intuitively picked up a few things about him, Feir. But like I mentioned in the comment to Rob, his shadow side doesn’t discount the value of a lot of what he writes. You can decide for yourself, if you decide to read the book.
Marcus, did you tune into his energy, as you have done with other reviews?
Great to hear from you Rob, again. No, I haven’t deliberately tuned into his energy. But of course I can pick up some things automatically. I know what you are hinting at, based on something you said before about Wayne Dyer. Yes, there are things he’s not revealing in this book that might be considered “ego-based”. But nobody is perfect. I think the book is well worth reading, even if it isn’t a “reveal all” book, say like Andre Agassi’s autobiography. People who awaken – either partially or wholly – don’t necessarily rise above their ego and become Buddha-like, in the popular sense of the concept. Sometimes they retain their asshole-ness, and it just sits alongside the Buddha mind! Gandhi was something of an authoritarian and made his wife clean public toilets (and he probably had affairs). Some people claim that MLK enjoyed white prostitutes. And JFK was no saint. But all these men were great in their own way. I think Wayne Dyer has had a great impact oh human consciousness, and it is clear that spirit has worked through him. In that sense he a is a “great” man, despite his human imperfections.