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Story is at the Heart of Human Experience

Adapted Article and Excerpt from, What Wags the World: Tales of Conscious Awakening
Author: Julie Clayton and JD Messinger (excerpt)

My mother lived in London during WWII, when the German fighter planes arrived every evening punctually at 6 pm to drop their bombs on the city. Although she didn’t talk much about the past, she told me something that has always stayed with me. One day, out of the blue she said, “Do you know the British hated Hitler so much—aside from the obvious reasons? Because he was a shopkeeper! A lowly shopkeeper.” She went on to say more about why this was so offensive to the national sensibilities and concluded, “This is what’s so interesting about people’s lives: it’s the story behind the story.”

There is something intriguing about the story behind the story, the fleshing out of hidden or unknown details that gives us a deeper insight and appreciation of the person, event, or situation. Today’s television talent shows are a prime example of this: they are teeming with wannabe singing stars, many of whom share their story and why the competition is life-changing for them. When we hear that their beloved grandparent died before seeing them on the stage, or they have given up their job and security for this opportunity of a lifetime, or perhaps that they are painfully shy or chronically depressed but when they sing they are set free, we listen to their performance with a different ear. We perceive more than just the outward presentation and we can feel their experience for a moment, as if it were our own. And in a sense it is, because when you go deep into the specificity of one person’s story, that story paradoxically becomes universal.

In What Wags the World: Tales of Conscious Awakening, we glimpse the story behind the story for 37 people from all walks of life. They are people who have been profoundly changed by a singular event or cumulative events in their lives; not only has the experience transformed them but it has transformed the way they perceive and engage with the world. They are conscious “awakening” tales because whether an author, teacher, doctor, filmmaker, futurist, or psychic, the shift in outlook and understanding of reality that takes place is so profound that it can only be pointed to symbolically. As if they had each “awakened” from being asleep to life, to perceiving through fresh eyes the multi-dimensional mystery and beauty of reality. Each individual story points to the universality of awakening. Collectively their stories point to the larger symbolic conscious awakening occurring in small pockets and large waves all around the globe, an awakening to a more humane, magical, and interconnected world. Reading these tales we acquire a new awareness of self and the world, however slightly or profoundly, and this is carried with us out into the world.

There is something intriguing about the story behind the story, the fleshing out of hidden or unknown details that gives us a deeper insight and appreciation of the person, event, or situation.

Julie Clayton is editor of NY Times bestsellers and award-winning books on new consciousness (sacredwriting.com), and Reviews Editor for New Consciousness Review.


My Tale

By JD Messinger

Was there a particular experience or event that somehow changed your view of the nature of reality and was a turning point in your life?

Yes, I broke my neck in a submarine accident in 1985, and my neck had healed. But by 1999 it was deteriorating again, and on the morning of January 18, 2000, I put my arms in the air to stretch and the last thing that was holding my neck together snapped, twisted my spinal column around, and crushed the nerves. It felt like someone was splitting me in half with an axe, and the shocking part was that I left my body and became an observer of my body, which then looked like a ragdoll that had collapsed and flopped on the floor. I went through a tunnel, a gateway, and a wormhole. Those were amazing experiences that I did not remember for a long time. I had to restore my mental and physical body over a period of months first.

I was a left-brained nuclear engineer, an advanced math major with 12 years of reactor kinetics, physics, and metallurgy. I was a nuclear submarine officer, Exxon executive, Ernst and Young management consulting partner, and had so much leftbrained business process technology in me that I used to say that I walked with a port list (a Navy term for leaning to the left).

Then God, or the universe, broke my neck and straightened me out. So that was my wake-up call that caused me to question not only the nature of life and reality, but who I was and why I was here. It was my wake-up call to get me back on my path and fulfill what I came here to do.

They are conscious “awakening” tales because whether an author, teacher, doctor, filmmaker, futurist, or psychic, the shift in outlook and understanding of reality that takes place is so profound that it can only be pointed to symbolically. As if they had each “awakened” from being asleep to life, to perceiving through fresh eyes the multi-dimensional mystery and beauty of reality.

During my recovery, as I lay on my bed staring at the plaster in the ceiling, I discovered that I had been living to work. I had no feeling in my arms, neck, and back, and I couldn’t walk because they took bone out of my hip to repair my neck, so I was pretty depressed. In addition to all the trials and tribulations of physical recovery, I discovered that I wasn’t happy in my life and I wanted to know why. I realized that I had been so busy working, that I didn’t stop to live.

Lying in bed at home, in my frustration I prayed to God and asked, “Why did you do this to me?” My three-year-old son came into the room less than three minutes later and said, “Daddy, you work too hard.” The next day I said another silent prayer, “Well, God, if I work too hard what do I need to do?” A couple of minutes later the door handle jiggled and in comes little Grant, who said, “Daddy, you need to play.” Skeptical mathematician that I was, I calculated the probability of this happening, and it was one in 1 million that it would’ve happened. So the third day I said another prayer, feeling a little bit better. I said, “Oh, I worked too hard and need to play. Can you give me a straight answer?” Sure enough, the door handle jiggles and in comes Grant and he’s bouncing around on his toes, and says, “Remember, remember, remember, remember!” The probability of Grant answering three silent prayers in a row in less than three minutes was one in a billion, so that was another aspect of my wake-up call, the realization that God could really answer my prayers through my son.

My Insight

What insight did you have as a result and how did that affect what you do now?

The first insight, at the mundane level, was that I realized who I was and that I was not what I did – my job or my title. I realized that money didn’t make me happy, that I was living to work instead of working to live; that I was detached from all of the things that were most important to me – my family – so that was a huge shift.

The second aspect was that it put me on a search to understand who am I, why am I here, and where did I come from. This ended up being a nearly 12-year quest, which I would call my spiritual awakening. I became consciously aware that reality was not just what I could see and touch. I discovered that we exist in a world of light; that I’m energy surrounded by billions of electromagnetic particles and my thoughts intermingle with other people’s thoughts; that death isn’t the end; and matter is not solid, and a whole bunch of other deep, philosophical kind of realizations. I had had so many strange experiences, visions, and insights about future events, like the energy crisis and the financial crisis. On a physical level, the vertebrae in my neck had also regenerated, where previously they had been solid, fused bone.

Then God, or the universe, broke my neck and straightened me out. So that was my wake-up call that caused me to question not only the nature of life and reality, but who I was and why I was here. It was my wake-up call to get me back on my path and fulfill what I came here to do.

I had several original inventions that I was able to commercialize, which stemmed from visions or dreams and therefore made me to wonder about the source of the ideas. I launched a radio show on CNN called Global Evolution, and I interviewed Nobel laureates and thought leaders from around the world, asking them questions about time, life, living, genetics, and DNA. Can my thoughts reprogram and restructure my bones, and restore my vertebrae, I asked? And the short answer was yes. They said matter is not solid: it’s pure energy and we can reprogram our stem cells and our DNA with the power of our thoughts.

I started studying the conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind, and how it all works. I learned that our brain is like a transducer and receiver on submarines, sending and receiving thoughts. I learned that our reality is the outcome of our intentions and motivations, which are the devices that set the thought process and tune the frequency of our transducer-receiver (i.e. our head) to open up to receiving guidance and insights. One of the most powerful things I discovered is that when you really let go of the outcome and attachments, when you let go of your pain or suffering from the past or your fears of the future and live in the now, as a cartel that would say, you begin to experience more of the totality of reality. You can see and experience insights and communications, and messages and signs.

One of the things that happened was that I wrote a book in eleven days: 11 Days in May. When I was done my wife asked what the book was about, and I replied, “I don’t know, I haven’t read it yet.” It was a book of 36 short parables that answered the great questions: Who am I? What am I? What is love? What is war? What is sex? What are thoughts? What are intentions, or matter? Very profound stuff! And I don’t claim to be the author of the book; I am the scribe. I took the messages and I wrote them down, but it is a conversation between me and an un-named friend.

I discovered that we exist in a world of light; that I’m energy surrounded by billions of electromagnetic particles and my thoughts intermingle with other people’s thoughts; that death isn’t the end; and matter is not solid, and a whole bunch of other deep, philosophical kind of realizations.

My Message

What message would you like to leave with the reader?

I think that there are lots of people who talk about healing, happiness, pain and suffering. Having been a transformational leader of large corporations across the globe, I can’t help but look at the macro. But I think the micro situations, like putting fluoride in the water, the uncontrolled use of genetically modified organisms, the influence of corporations over politics – those are all micro manifestations of the macro situation, which is that we are exterminating ourselves. We have become consciously aware that we are interdependent and interconnected, sharing our thoughts, and the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. If we don’t shift our rudder, if we don’t move from this world of division and separation to one of cooperation and unity, we are in big trouble. The main message is to realize that what binds us together is greater than what separates us; to revive the values and virtues that made us great; to restore purpose and meaning; to restore moral capitalism; and to find more noble and ethical leaders out there to lead us through the 21st century.

Bio

JD Messinger is a best-selling author and futurist whose career began with service as a nuclear submarine officer in the navy. He later became an expert in all aspects of oil and energy, working for Exxon where he helped supervise the Valdez oil spill cleanup, and as CEO of Ernst & Young Consulting in Singapore. JD has been an advisor to Fortune 100 companies and members of government on five continents and had his own radio show on CNN. JD was one of 37 Distinguished Graduates from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. His book, 11 Days in May, is the story of a remarkable spiritual experience that took him by surprise.

If you have had your own awakening experience, we invite you to share them with us and the W3 community on our website, www.whatwagstheworld.com.

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