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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'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 healing.

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 crazy …

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 show times.

Related Stories
• Finding Spiritual Stepping Stones
• Laugh Your Troubles Away
• Parents, Are You Listening?

 Email this article

Related Stories
• Finding Spiritual Stepping Stones
• Laugh Your Troubles Away
• Parents, Are You Listening?

Related Books
• The Visionary's Handbook, by Watts Wacker and Jim Taylor
• A Tree Full of Angels, by MacRina Wiederkehr

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