-11 Days in May (Waterfront Press) by JD Messinger
In the November issue of Whole Living, “The Visionaries” profiles a fantastic grouping of dynamic leaders doing great things in food practices. Those people work on hunger and sustainability; they question the way things are and think about the way things could be. Apply those same ideas to the field of spirituality and you’d have JD Messinger, former Fortune 500 CEO, now spiritual author, who captures the lessons from his lifelong spiritual path in his first book, 11 Days in May.
On a visit to his friend’s expansive yet homey Hamptons compound, I had the chance to speak with JD and his family; I was eager to hear if the authentic voice that shows up in his writing was also there in person. And since he is someone who’s written energy papers for three presidents, I wasn’t sure how he’d respond to the spiritual questions that have been playing in my mind the last 25 years.
When I asked if his apparent awakening redefined his understanding of God he responded, “What is true is unique to you. Can any belief system be false?” He continued by explaining how he was a lay minister in the Navy who wanted to be a priest, and how Many Lives, Many Masters, by Brian Weiss, M.D., let him know that the path he was on had been traveled before.
“The United States is the largest industrialized disconnect in the Western world. We consume the most because we’re empty. Greed, control, and consumption lead only to more debt and consumption.” Wow—and this guy ran with the big businesses. “To let go of the mind, focus on your environment. To let go of your environment, focus on your body. When you let go of the body, bliss can fill it.” So it seems he has found his inner peace.
The book addresses some of the big questions he had: Is religion good? What is sex? What is war? And it deciphers other ones, like what coincidence and matter actually are. The e-book version offers readers the chance to communicate directly with the author and other readers through a cloud-based technology called WeJIT, and also includes original music and interviews from Messinger’s CNN radio shows.
For those of us feeling jaded about corporate America, his lessons will surely resonate. May other leaders wake up like JD and follow a new path of humanity.
From JD Messinger in 11 Days in May
JD: “I came to the conclusion that this was not God, but my soul. I was talking to myself, but I was talking to the part of me that can tap into the source of all knowledge and wisdom, every life I have ever lived, every thought that is shared, every pain that is or has been felt. There is no question that everyone can do what I did. There is nothing about me that is special or unique.…The strange part about finding or talking to your soul is that it’s not hard.”
What is religion?
“It has always troubled me that there is this separation between science (World of Form) and faith (World of Light)…There is a religion called science. Once scientists accept this fact, they will be more at ease…
“It’s strange for me to think this way. In general, science doesn’t believe in miracles because it cannot explain them, yet on the other hand, science believes in gravity and it cannot explain that either. Then I asked myself, what is the difference?
“Did it ever occur to you that there might also be a science called religion?...Do you think that the wise ones of the past, the founders of all modern religions, knew this?
“They certainly did not know the science, but they must have recognized that there were some physical effects that resulted from saying prayers, singing chants, or people laying hands over the sick. Why else would every major religion include these kinds of activities in their rituals and holy books?
“What else do all religions have in common? Every religion also has just about the same cardinal virtues. You know, similar philosophies about love, compassion, not-good thoughts and attachments.”
Suffering is optional and is created by the mind
“Pain is the result of having a physical body that is damaged. Suffering is a condition created in the mind when the external environment is no consistent with the internal desire.”
Why would I willingly choose to suffer?
“Will is within your conscious mind. You don’t willingly choose to suffer, it is not conscious. Suffering is subconscious, your internal rudder is screaming at you, demanding that you turn left, but your mind is insisting on going right.”