Touched By An Angel?
by Dan Skeen
We don't talk about angels in public. We love them in
stories and legends, whether it's Joan of Arc listening to Saint Michael or
Luke Skywalker rapping with Obi-Wan Kenobi’s spirit. But in this age of reason,
our dinner party guests don't want to hear about Jesus sightings, thank you very
much. And as for showing them your stigmata …
We're missing out on some great conversations.
That's what we learned when myprimetime.com's Donald Van de
Mark interviewed Jim Taylor, former CEO of PR firm Hill & Knowlton and co-author of The Visionary's Handbook. Taylor described an
experience more common than you might think: a personal moment of spiritual
What's more, his ‘visitation’ helped him overcome
alcoholism, an addiction that plagues millions worldwide. Taylor’s 1981 experience
suggests that one path to personal growth may lie in that taboo topic we won't
even whisper over our cocktail glasses – a higher power.
Taylor: I was a drunk, and I was extremely successful
from the very beginning as a communicator. I had this gift for explaining
really complicated ideas. So I'm having this gala career and I'm drinking like
A couple of days I was going to AA meetings, but I wasn't
really serious about it. And I was going to have to go to something called the
Recess Club. And the Recess Club was built by Lloyd Max Fisher, and his moments
in life that he loved the most were recesses like when he was in school. This
is what he thought was cool, so he had recess at GM (General Motors) and at
10:00 o'clock in the morning every day … And at 4:00 o'clock, the Recess Club
would open up the bar and the GM guys would go in there and play poker and
drink themselves blind. And I was a supplier; I got to be in the Recess Club.
So I was going to the Recess Club and I really wanted to drink and I didn’t
want to drink, but I had to go, so I figured, "Well, if I go, to hell with
this stuff. It's getting to be too hard."
Van de Mark: Describe this event.
Taylor: I was going to go to this bar with all these
GM guys and I said to myself, to my heart I said, "Look, I can't control
this. I want a drink so bad I can taste it, but I don't want to drink anymore
and I can't be responsible for this." So I "turned it over" and
said in my mind without it being in so many words, "God, this one is on
you. If I drink, it's your fault. If I don't, that's yours too. I'm no longer
responsible." And this is the act of fundamentally surrendering your own
control over a decision like this. And then I had this full goose white angel,
white light experience and at the moment the obsession with booze was lifted
from my life.
Van de Mark: You haven't drunk since?
Taylor: Not only have I not drunk, I never even give it
a thought. It never enters my head. It's not part of my life. And when I mean
it was gone, this is 1981, 20 years ago. It went away completely.
Van de Mark: Describe the angel.
Taylor: Well, the angel wasn't like an angel,
it was the white light thing people talk about, where you just see radiating
from the corners of your eyes a brilliant white light and you feel yourself
being absorbed in the light. And you have adrenaline rushes and you feel like
you're being swept up and as if it's being -- as if the compulsion is being
sucked out of your body and being pulled to the light. And you sit back when it's
over, and I'm telling you it was gone. And when you ask people like Tom Monahan
or others who have had these experiences of self surrender what it does, in
terms of getting to know who you are, is it tells you a couple of things.
Number one, you're not alone in this universe. There's a difference between
guys who believe in this stuff and guys who know. Number two, it tells you that
the person you are is the person you choose to be, and that you can make that
happen or not. It also tells you that being aware of who you are is maybe one
of the most precious parts of being alive.
Watch for more of the Jim Taylor interview on an upcoming
"Great Leaders" episode airing on PBS. Check your local listings for
Finding Spiritual Stepping Stones
Laugh Your Troubles Away
Parents, Are You Listening?
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