Audio Books

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
"Are You There Alone?""Who Could That Be at This Hour?"3 Willows4th of July99 DaysA Beautiful MindA Change in AltitudeA Corner Of The UniverseA Falling KnifeA Frog ThingA Great and Terrible BeautyA People's History of ChristianityA Question of BloodA Slight Trick of the MindA Step Toward FallingA Thousand Miles from NowhereA Tragic Kind of WonderfulA Voyage Long and StrangeA Wedding in December Abraham LincolnAcross the River and Into the TreesADHD NationAfter DarkAgainst EmpathyAgainst Medical AdviceAll the Bright PlacesAll the Way HomeAll Unquiet ThingsAlphavilleAlways Forever MaybeAlways Too Much And Never EnoughAmerica AmericaAmong the DepartedAn EducationAn Object of BeautyAnatomy of a MisfitAre You There, Vodka? It's Me, ChelseaAsymmetryBad BoyBad RatsBarbara the Slut and Other PeopleBeach RoadBeat the ReaperBeauty QueensBed of RosesBefore I DieBefore I FallBefore the FrostBig BrotherBiteBlack Elk SpeaksBlameBleed for MeBlonde FaithBlood, Salt, WaterBody SurfingBog ChildBoneMan's DaughtersBoomsdayBorder CrossingBorn Standing UpBoys Are DogsBoys Will Put You on a Pedestal (So They Can Look Up Your Skirt)Brava, ValentineBreak Through PainBreathingBridge of SighsBrief Interviews with Hideous MenBring Them HomeBrutalBy BloodC StreetCalm Beneath the WavesCanadaCellCemetery DanceChange Your Brain, Change Your LifeCheeverCinnamon KissCleopatraClose Your EyesCompulsionCountryCross CountryCyborgasmDakotaDancing at the Shame PromDarkest FearDavid Sedaris Live at Carnegie HallDead EvenDead Little Mean GirlDear Zoe,Death Without TenureDeceptionDefending JacobDefine NormalDeliriumDevil in the DetailsDiscovering Pig MagicDisturbing GroundDivergentDivine JusticeDivisaderoDoing ItDon't Wake UpDown the Rabbit HoleDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitDress Your Family in Corduroy and DenimDriftlessEven Dogs in the WildEvery Exquisite ThingEvery Little Thing in the WorldEye ContactFaith, Hope, and Ivy JuneFaking NormalFalling ManFamily and Other CatastrophesFamily FirstFans of the Impossible LifeFear of the DarkFellsideField of BloodFile Under: 13 Suspicious IncidentsFiregirlFlat Lake in WinterForest of the PygmiesFortunate SonFraudFreak the MightyFree RefillsFull Steam Ahead!Furiously HappyGenerosityGenomeGetting a Good Night's SleepGetting the Love You Want Audio CompanionGiftedGirl in TranslationGod Is DeadGod Is Not OneGods and BeastsGoing BovineGood and GoneGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGraysonHappy FamilyHappy Mutant Baby PillsHarmlessHe's Just Not That Into YouHealthy AgingHeartbeatHeftHigh HeatHolidays on IceHot MilkHotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetHotel WorldHotels of North AmericaHow a Gunman Says GoodbyeHow Full Is Your Bucket?How Successful People ThinkHow to Build a HouseHow to See Yourself As You Really AreHow to Set a Fire and WhyHunger Makes Me a Modern GirlHurt Go HappyHypnography for MenHypnography for WomenI Am I Am I AmI Am Not Joey PigzaI Can See YouI Drink for a ReasonI Feel Bad About My NeckI'd Know You AnywhereI'm Traveling AloneIdiot AmericaIf a Tree Falls at Lunch PeriodIf I StayIf You StayImagine Me GoneIn ZanesvilleInfinite JestInheritanceInnocentInside the O'BriensInvincibleInvisibleIt Takes OneJennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, ElizabethJust LifeKeeping LucyKiss of Broken GlassKissing Ted Callahan (And Other Guys)Knife CreekLeaping BeautyLie to MeLies My Girlfriend Told MeLife After LifeLife InterruptedLife of PiLife StrategiesLisey's StoryLitLittle Black LiesLittle ScarletLive For Your Listening PleasureLiving Your DreamLong Shadow of Small GhostsLooking for BobowiczLosers BracketLost in the ForestLove Is a Mix TapeLove Times ThreeLove, AubreyLowboyMadappleMade for LoveMade For YouMagical ThinkingMagnificenceMaliceMan in the WoodsMarlenaMeditation in a New York MinuteMeetings with a Remarkable ManMiddlesexMind MappingMindfulness for BeginnersMirrorMaskMischlingMissing PresumedMolly Moon's Incredible Book of HypnotismMommies Who DrinkMunich AirportMy AbandonmentMy Life Among the Serial KillersMy Name Is RedMy One Hundred AdventuresMy Sister's KeeperName All the AnimalsNelson Mandela's Favorite African FolktalesNemesisNever Let Me GoNew York 2140Night FilmNina: AdolescenceNinety DaysNone of the AboveNot a Crime to Be PoorNothingNurtureShockObjects of My AffectionOdd Child OutOh My GothOlive's OceanOn Chesil BeachOne Flew Over The Cuckoo's NestOutliersOutside Looking InPaint It BlackPanicParadise LodgeParanoiaPeace Is Every BreathPeople Who Eat DarknessPharmakonPictures of Hollis WoodsPictures of YouPilgrim at Tinker CreekPlaying with FirePlease Stop Laughing at UsPositivityPresumed InnocentPretty Girl-13Prisoner of Night and FogPuddlejumpersPunkzillaPutneyQueenieRacing the DevilReady for AnythingRebuttalReleaseRequiemRescueRevolutionary RoadRoomRun for Your LifeSay You're SorryScatSchool of FearSearching for Sylvie LeeSeason to TasteSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSee How SmallSeeds of HopeSex and SpiritSide Effects May VarySilencedSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaSinlessSix Impossible ThingsSkelligSleeping BeautySleepyheadSnowSo Brave, Young and HandsomeSolitaireSomeday This Pain Will Be Useful to YouSourlandSquirrel Seeks ChipmunkStill in LoveStill MissingStory of a GirlStress ReliefSupreme CourtshipSurviving OpheliaSwimming to ElbaSworn to SilenceSycamoreSymptoms of Being HumanTeaseTeaseTell the Truth, Shame the DevilTen Minutes to RelaxTestimonyThat Old Cape MagicThe DrifterThe Abortionist's DaughterThe AccidentalThe Accidental BillionairesThe AdultsThe Almost MoonThe Anatomy of HopeThe ArrangementThe Art of ChoosingThe Art of Exceptional LivingThe Artist of DisappearanceThe Average American MarriageThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe Beat Goes OnThe Best AwfulThe Big LoveThe Boat RockerThe Book of JoeThe Book of LiesThe Book of the DeadThe Bookshop on the ShoreThe Boy at the KeyholeThe Boy Who DaredThe Boyfriend ListThe Brass VerdictThe Breakout PrincipleThe Burden of ProofThe Case for GodThe Case of the Case of Mistaken IdentityThe Cemetery BoysThe ChemistThe Chosen OneThe ClosersThe Consciousness PlagueThe Conspiracy ClubThe Cuckoo's CallingThe Dangerous Art of Blending InThe Day I Ate Whatever I WantedThe Dead Fathers ClubThe Death of Bunny MunroThe Devotion of Suspect XThe Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-BanksThe Diviner's TaleThe DollmakerThe Dressmaker of Khair KhanaThe Dutch HouseThe Dynamite RoomThe Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round ThingsThe EndThe End of Our StoryThe Erotic EdgeThe Essential KamasutraThe Family GeneThe First Fifteen Lives of Harry AugustThe Forgotten GirlsThe Fortunate OnesThe Geography of You and MeThe Gift of an Ordinary DayThe Gingerbread GirlThe Girl in 6EThe Girl in the GardenThe Girl on Mill StreetThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's NestThe Girl Who Played with FireThe Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Grief of OthersThe Grim GrottoThe Guise of AnotherThe Guy Not TakenThe Heart of YogaThe Hearts of MenThe Heretic's DaughterThe Ice QueenThe Ice TwinsThe Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe InseparablesThe InterestingsThe Keeper of Lost CausesThe Keeper of Lost ThingsThe Kings of LondonThe Language God TalksThe Language of SecretsThe Language Of YogaThe Last ChildThe Last MileThe Last Time We Say GoodbyeThe Male BrainThe Man from BeijingThe Man in My BasementThe Man Who Couldn't EatThe Map of True PlacesThe Marriage PlotThe Memory Book The Mermaids SingingThe Ministry of Special CasesThe MuralistThe Museum of InnocenceThe Mystery of the Third LucretiaThe Myth of LazinessThe NarrowsThe Necessary Death of Lewis WinterThe New YorkersThe NewleywedsThe NixThe NursesThe Only Girl in the WorldThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Other Side of the StoryThe Outcasts of 19 Schuyler PlaceThe Particular Sadness of Lemon CakeThe PastThe Penultimate PerilThe Perfect GirlThe PostcardThe Pregnant WidowThe Promise of a LieThe PyramidThe Qi Healing KitThe Quiet RoomThe ReaderThe Republican BrainThe Rest of the StoryThe Royal Baths MurderThe Rule of FourThe Rules of SurvivalThe Savage CityThe ScarecrowThe Second GirlThe Secret Life of BeesThe Secret of Lost ThingsThe Secret ScriptureThe Secret SpeechThe Secret Wisdom of the EarthThe ShallowsThe SharkThe Shock of the FallThe Silent BoyThe SisterThe Smiling ManThe Song of the Jade LilyThe Sound of Broken GlassThe SpindlersThe Stillwater GirlsThe Story HourThe Story of Beautiful GirlThe Sudden Arrival of ViolenceThe Summer ChildrenThe Survival ListThe Survivors ClubThe Sweet Relief of Missing ChildrenThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the PieThe Tail of Emily WindsnapThe Tenth JusticeThe Thing About JellyfishThe Third AngelThe TouristThe Treasure Map of BoysThe Trouble with Goats and SheepThe Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector ChopraThe Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia MossThe UnquietThe Unseen WorldThe VegetarianThe View from SaturdayThe WaveThe Weed That Strings the Hangman's BagThe Weight of the NationThe Whiz Mob and the Grenadine KidThe Whole TruthThe WilloughbysThe Witch ElmThe Witch's BoyThe Wolves of AndoverThe Words We Live ByThe Wrong Side of GoodbyeThe Year of the FloodThe Year That FollowsThe Yin Yoga KitThings You Didnt SeeThirteen Reasons WhyThis Beautiful LifeThis Body of DeathThis Book Is Not Good For YouThis Full HouseThis Is HowThose GirlsThose Who Wish Me DeadTony & SusanToo CloseToo Much HappinessTooth and NailTouchTransformation TriburbiaTrue BelieverTrue CompassTrust ExerciseTruth & BeautyTwinmakerTwistedTwo Can PlayTwo Little Girls in BlueUnaccustomed EarthUnder Rose-Tainted SkiesUnder the HarrowUnder the InfluenceUnder WildwoodUniversal HarvesterUnlessUnthinkingUp in the AirVacuum in the DarkVery ValentineVisits from The Drowned GirlVoid MoonWaiting for SunriseWalkingWarWatching the DarkWatching YouWays to Die in GlasgowWe Are OkayWhat the Dog SawWhen My Heart Joins the ThousandWhen She ReturnedWhen We Were AnimalsWhen You Are Engulfed in FlamesWhen You Reach MeWhere She WentWherever You Go, There You AreWhite HotWild AwakeWild ChildWildwoodWill They Ever Trust Us Again?Wolf in White VanWomen's Murder Club Box SetYoga SanctuaryYou Know Me WellYou Look Different in Real LifeYou Should Have KnownYou Will Know Me

Related Topics
Transformation Review - Transformation
The Next Step To The No -Limit Person
by Wayne W. Dyer
Simon and Schuster Audio, 2005
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Jun 6th 2006 (Volume 10, Issue 23)

Wayne Dyer explains that he is "uncovering the metaphysical," so that makes him a philosopher. Unfortunately, he is a muddled thinker and most of what he says makes little sense. What is remarkable is that has been so successful in promoting his products. It makes one wonder why real philosophers are so bad at explaining their ideas to the general public, and what could happen if they had more success.

Transformation is a collection of recordings of Dyer talking to audiences or explaining his ideas in a studio, interspersed with short pieces of annoying light music. The two CDs have about two hours of material on them. Dyer has an easy manner, and while he is a little grandiose, he also has humor about himself. He uses down to earth examples -- when saying it is good to stretch oneself, he uses the analogy of his nylon running shorts.

His main messages are that in order to live happily, we should understand that

        people are their minds, and so are not essentially physical beings

        people should not define themselves by their bodies

        people should not be judgmental because that just defines who they are, not who they are judging

        there is no point being judgmental because we can't change the past

        people should have a positive attitude to live and test their boundaries, trying new ways of living

        people should enjoy life and have a positive attitude towards others.

Some of these ideas seem sensible enough, but they seem pretty trivial. When he starts making arguments, they fall apart. There's a central tension in his argument. On the one hand, he says we are more than our bodies and we should appreciate the importance of our non-physical life. Therefore there are no limits to our life, and we are not bound by the laws of cause and effect. All that matters is our experience, and reality is irrelevant. On the other hand, he says that our non-physical life is "just thought" and we can ignore it because it is not important. This sounds like a plain self-contradiction, and Dyer does not give his ideas enough complexity to resolve this complexity.

Dyer seems seriously confused about metaphysics. He says that transformation means "going beyond your form." Now, he has a curious understanding of what the word "form" means. A standard philosophical distinction is between "matter" and "form." Matter is the stuff that things are made of, and form is what gives it its shape. A table is made of the matter of wood, for example, and what makes it a table is how the wood is put together, which its form. However, Dyer confuses the issue by using "form" apparently to mean "matter." He adds, bizarrely, that matter is vibration, and that everything is vibrating, and that thought, being the fastest and highest form of vibration, is the stuff of the universe. So underlying his metaphysics seems to be some kind of idealism, the view that everything is made of ideas. But going back to his understanding of transformation, he seems to mean the transcendence of our physical selves, and this is, for Dyer, the ability to do whatever one wants, including perform miracles. To change the world, one simply changes one's thought.

Remarkably, he also says we should not feel guilty about what we have done because the past is just thought. He mentions that time is not real, and refers to Einstein as his source, in an obvious misunderstanding of the meaning of relativity theory. Guilt, anger and fear are pointless in Dyer's view. He promotes some odd brand of acceptance, recommending that we should stop being judgmental about other people, and should simply understand where they are in their lives and adopt a loving attitude towards the world.

While he does not ally himself with religion, his ideas seem suffused with religious rhetoric. One of his favorite claims is that "you'll see it when you believe it," which is closely linked to the idea of the importance of faith. He says that once we start believing, miracles will start happening in our lives. His focus on personal transformation sounds very like the idea of redemption through prayer, and he is charismatic in his conviction. Only those people who have seen his truth can really understand it, and this makes him sound very like a mystic.

There's a conservative agenda here, which is brought out by Dyer's attitudes towards the unemployed. He says people's circumstances reveal a lot about them, implying that people are unemployed because they choose to be. He also says that people should be listening to him because he has been so successful: his circumstances show that he is worth listening to, and reveal the value of his words. His general view that we should not blame people but should rather accept them leads to a focus on ourselves: rather than change the world, we change ourselves. His vision seems to be one of a world of people who are busy working on self-improvement rather than helping other people. He insists that everyone is capable of success and it follows that people are accountable for their own failure -- but that we should not judge them for their failure. So it seems clear that Dyer has little room in his approach for social change and that indignation about injustice is just another instance of being "judgmental." He thinks we should accept the world as it is and see the positive in everything. Judgment clogs pure thought, in his view, and so we need to avoid it.

Yet at the same time, Dyer also suggests that everything is as it should be, and that each stage of one's life is where one should be, which sounds like a judgment to me, but he calls it acceptance. His distinction between judgment and acceptance ends up being a prescription to abandon any critical thought at all.

Of course, many of the platitudes that Dyer promotes contain important truths; for example, it is counterproductive to become bound up with negative attitudes and to blame other people rather than taking action to make one's own life better. Constantly blaming other people for past wrongs can be corrosive to one's well being. Yet Dyer's prescription goes far too far in the other direction, allowing people to forget the needs of other people and be indifferent to the pain that they have caused in the past.

There are parts of Dyer's thought that seem utterly bizarre not at the philosophical level but just at the simple empirical level. One notable example concerns schizophrenia and cancer. He calls cancer a "psychic energy system," and he claims that people with schizophrenia don't get cancer. His suggestion is that people with schizophrenia have no energy containment, and this makes them somehow immune to cancer. I am not familiar with the epidemiology of cancer in people with major mental illnesses, but I will be amazed if his claims have any resemblance to the truth. His view betrays a lack of understanding of the nature of schizophrenia and an irresponsible attitude about speculating about it. Similarly, some of his brief comments about depression seem to imply that people with depression could end their illness by adopting a different attitude -- after all, on his view, everything is thought and we can perform miracles when come to have the right view of the world. Again, while he eschews being judgmental, this approach leads to the view that people are to blame for their own depression. This sort of view is irresponsible and dangerous.

In conclusion, people who are filled with negative emotions and are looking for ways to become more positive may find something useful here in Dyer's ideas since they may provide a way to see life differently. But anyone who is suffering from mental illness would be well advised to steer very clear of Dyer's views, and those searching for a sophisticated philosophical understanding of the world should also look elsewhere.


2006 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.


Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology Online Reviews.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.


Welcome to Metapsychology.

Note that Metapsychology will be moving to a new server in January 2020. We will not put up new reviews during the transition. We thank you for your support and look forward to coming back with a revised format.

We feature over 8300 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!

Join our Google Group!

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716