Wayne DyerIf you call Wayne Dyer's cell phone you'll get the message: "Hi, this is Wayne Dyer and I want to feel good. If your message is designed to do anything other than that, you've reached the wrong number." The popular author and speaker in the field of self-development equates feeling good with "feeling God," and believes that the key to happiness and success is aligning yourself with the force in the universe he calls "intention," an idea he explores in PBS special and in his latest book, "The Power of Intention."

You say that intention is not something you do, but rather a force behind everything in the universe, that it's what makes an acorn a tree, an orange seed an orange. Can you elaborate on what you mean by "intention"?

Carlos Castenada said there's an immeasurable, indescribable force which shamans called "intent" and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is connected to it. You can call it spirit or soul or consciousness or universal mind or source. It is the invisible force that intends everything into the universe. It's everywhere. This source is always creating, it is kind, it is loving, it is peaceful. It is non-judgmental, and it excludes no one.

In the Old Testament it says, "In the beginning God created heaven and earth and everything that God created was good." That leaves nothing out. So good and God are what it means to be connected to our source. If you go to the Gnostic Gospels -- you know, the gospels that Constantine in the fourth century decided shouldn't be in the New Testament -- if you study the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of St. Thomas, they don't refer to God as God, they refer to God as the "The Good."

Whenever we are in harmony with that source from which we all emanated, which everything came from, we have the powers of the source. And when we let go of our connection and rusty up the link between ourselves and this connection, dirty it up by living at the lower levels of consciousness, then we create things like illness and poverty and sadness and fear and hatred.

We have to take a look at every single thought that we have and ask ourselves, "Is it in harmony with source or isn't it?" Any thought that isn't loving, any thought that is filled with hatred, is a thought that is inconsistent with, not in rapport with source.

What role does the ego play in our relationship with intention?

The idea that intention means I have a pit-bull attitude and nothing's going to stop me and nobody can get in my way, that's really the ego at work. And the ego is the thing that really separates our selves from our source.

The ego has six components: It is a belief that we carry around that says first of all, I am what I have. So I measure my worth on the basis of my stuff. I am what I do, that is all of my achievements, that's the second. The third is, I am my reputation. I am what everybody else thinks of me. So those are three really high motivating factors of the ego: Get more stuff, do more, and get people to like you.

The fourth is the ego says that who I am is separate from everybody else instead of connected through this universal source that we all emanate from. Fifth, the ego says that who I am is separate from what is missing in my life. And that means that we don't understand that we're already connected to everything so that in some spiritual sense, everything that we feel is missing from our life we're already connected to. And finally it says that who I am is separate from God. God is something outside of me. Instead of seeing myself as a piece of God, I see myself as an ego who I separate from God.

When St. Francis was feeling that he didn't have any peace in this life, he didn't say to God, "I need some peace. Please just bring me peace." What he asks is "Make me an instrument of your peace. Let me be like you." That's what called God realization. And that's something that we can all do at any moment in our life.

So the ego is the bad guy here, it's what causes this separation from God. Why did God create us with these pesky egos?

Well, I don't think God did create us with these pesky egos. I think God created us and I think that we all came from this source and then we separated ourselves. We're the only creatures who are capable of doing that. Rabbits can't do that, you know, and beavers can't do that and birds don't do that. None of them go around believing that there is something other than what they are. They are just at peace with who they are.

But God created us with a free will - a will to decide whether or not we're going to stay connected to source or not. And basically what most of us do is decide not to connect. Because we're raised on these ideas like, I am my stuff and I am my achievements and all of that. But that's not God at work, that's us separating ourselves from God. We make the decision to separate ourselves. It's not a sin; it's just a mistake. It's an illusion; it's a belief that we're something that we're not.