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Spiritual self-help pioneer Dr. Wayne Dyer passes away at 75 (UPDATED)

Wayne Dyer

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(NaturalNews) Some of his ideas were a bit "out there." But there's no denying that Dr. Wayne Dyer changed the way many people looked at themselves and their spiritual condition, long before pop-culture spiritual concepts like the "law of attraction" came into vogue. And with his recent passing, Dyer will be remembered as someone who pioneered spiritual self-help theories and positive thinking for healing.

UPDATE: A family statement posted on the official Wayne Dyer Facebook page explains that Dr. Dyer was diagnosed with leukemia but was able to eliminate it from his body before his passing. "We just received the coroner's report of Wayne's death and the report indicated that he did not have a trace of leukemia in his body. For those of you who have been listening to his talks or reading his recent books you know that he was diagnosed with leukemia but felt he was able to eliminate it from his body and this report confirms what he already knew," says the statement.

This information appeared after this story was written, so this story has been updated to reflect this new information.

"Wayne has left his body, passing away through the night," reads a posting on Dyer's Facebook page. "He always said he couldn't wait for this next adventure to begin and had no fear of dying. Our hearts are broken, but we smile to think of how much our scurvy elephant will enjoy the other side."

Guilt-free, self-help religion is what Dr. Wayne Dyer taught

A good friend of television icon Oprah Winfrey, Dyer often delineated his theories via mass media. His philosophies were also embraced by the acclaimed Krishna Rau, founder of Siddha Yoga who also went by the name of Swami Muktananda. Dyer is also well-known for his media tours, appearing on a variety of talk shows throughout his multi-decade career

But Dyer's most famous work is probably his first book, Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life, which was published in 1976. This book laid the groundwork for Dyer's self-actualization philosophy, which many saw as combining certain elements of the Christian religion with Buddhism to create a type of guilt-free, mind-cleansing spirituality.

"The soul is the birthless, deathless, changeless part of us — the part of us that looks out from behind our eyes and has no form," Dyer once stated during a scenic interview next to a waterfall with Oprah Winfrey.

"The soul is infinite, so there's no in or out of it. It is everywhere. There's no place that it is not. ... God is the highest place within each and every one of us — it's our divine self."

Ellen Degeneres, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins and others mourn loss of Dr. Wayne Dyer

Whether you agree with his theories or not, Dyer was loved throughout the celebrity world. He even officiated the wedding of Ellen DeGeneres and her partner Portia de Rossi. In response to Dyer's passing, Ellen tweeted that "the world has lost an incredible man." Other famous names like Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins offered their concise eulogies via Twitter.

"As a pioneer in the genre we now refer to as 'self-help' programming, he connected deeply with public television audiences that share his mission for personal improvement," added Rich Homberg, president and CEO of Detroit Public Television, in a statement. Dyer's work often appeared on public television throughout his career.

"For millions and millions of people, he was a touchstone of understanding and self-awareness and confidence. He always just felt so genuine, and so real, and he went to such lengths to help people understand."

Dyer's first book sold more than 6 millions copies globally.

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