Life Is A Journey Through Heaven and Hell

Life Is A Journey Through Heaven and Hell

Narrated by Marie T. Russell and Will T. Wilkinson

Video version

Advancing the Human Experiment: 
Life is a journey through heaven and hell.

The terms “heaven” and “hell” have come to mean the place you want to be and the place you don’t want to be. But every good story, including our human journey, includes both. The hero is typically forced to leave his familiar life and plunge into the underworld where he is challenged to confront the dark aspects of himself, to learn and grow, and finally defeat the villain (who symbolizes the worst of himself) to emerge in act three with the elixir to heal his kingdom.

There would be no story of interest without the tension between “good and evil.” But some of us have looped for decades on what’s known as the “spiritual bypass.” It was 21 years for me, enjoying an amazing international spiritual community that celebrated “divine light” but was conspicuously silent on valuing “earthly dark.”

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

Many spiritually-minded folks  (my hand up) tend to avoid anything “unspiritual,” believing in bromides like, “What you put your attention on grows.” Fair enough, but if the roof is leaking, you don’t visualize a perfect roof, you fix the leak.

It’s taken me years to descend from my lofty (spell that “arrogant”) perch and embrace my human-ness, to acknowledge my “faults,” to come to terms with myself as a perfect spiritual being learning how to become a good human, and stop judging others who are doing exactly what I’m doing in their own, different ways.

Going Into the Dark

In March, 2020, when the pandemic was just beginning, my wife and I chose to quarantine early to our home in the Oregon woods. I was guided to build a “dark retreat.” After the hillside behind our cabin was excavated, I began the long (8 months) process of constructing a cave, buried in the hillside, using about 25,000 pounds of cement, steel, massive granite rocks, clay from the hillside mixed with sand, and lodge poles from the forest to support the roof, with soil piled on top.

Why bother with all this when it’s so easy to just close my eyes to meditate? Because I felt in need of guidance from Mother... in Her womb, the actual earth.

My meditations in the Space, as I call it, have been earth shaking (pun intended). And now I can use that location from wherever I am, just tuning in to the vibes down there and using that vortex to receive and transmit quantum insights.

Embracing Heaven and Hell

I could say that I built my own hell! At least, it’s my underworld. And it's precisely what I need to continue advancing my personal development. I've already got my high frequency connection with esoteric stuff, but now I've also got a foundation: rock and clay and wood... I've burrowed my roots into the earth. It's hot down there, burning away what doesn't belong.

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I encourage us all to embrace the value of both heaven and hell, symbols for the two extremes of this human journey. Meditate to bask in the light, by all means, as I do everyday, but also welcome the dark with a parallel practice, confronting personal shadows and inviting healing.

This part of the journey can be daunting, especially if we've become comfortable on the spiritual bypass, but, fear not. As a wise veteran of the underworld advised, “If you find yourself going through hell, keep on going!”


This activation is designed to disrupt the right and wrong programming anchored in our use of the terms “heaven” and “hell.” Our goal is to reclaim these words, to invest them with new meaning, celebrating both the light and the dark.

Relax into this moment...

Breathe deeply, in and out, letting go of any tension you may notice in your neck and in your shoulders... in your arms... your chest ... your abdomen ... your back ... your legs ... and your feet. Flex your fingers several times and breathe one more time deeply in... and out. 

Close your eyes and let go of the outer world, preparing to explore for just a moment ... reading again, breathe one more time, deeply, in and out. 

Close your eyes and let go of the outer world, preparing to explore your inner world. 

Heaven. Let your mind linger on this word. Heaven. Heaven. Ask yourself, “What does heaven mean to me?”

As you contemplate whatever you have anchored to this term, imagine yourself shedding these beliefs. Visualize a dog emerging from the surf, shaking himself dry. There’s nothing wrong with the water... he enjoyed his swim. But now he’s on dry land. He wants the water gone.

Feel yourself shaking off your beliefs about heaven.

What’s Left? Heaven ... An Old Word Ready For New Meaning

What if heaven could describe the light side of daily reality? Imagine heaven as an experience now, not later, a state of being “in the light.” 

Remember one peak experience you’ve had in meditation or prayer or love-making, watching a sunset, hearing music... an experience that transported you higher and higher, raising your frequency, filling you to overflowing with ecstatic joy. Find a memory moment like that and relive it now.

Feeling the reality of that moment from the past, accept a transcendent truth: that moment is alive within you now. Feel it, as a present reality... Feel it, carry it into the future. Heaven. Heaven is a state of being. Heaven is an experience right here on earth. No dying is required.

Pause a long moment to let that sink in, perhaps saying silently to yourself, “I can experience heaven here and now.”

As this becomes real, change the wording: "I am experiencing heaven, here and now."

Let’s Go To Hell Together

Hell, another old word in search of new meaning. Consider what the word means to you. What have you anchored to this word? Let your mind wander through the various concepts and beliefs, examining them like you would examine specimens in a laboratory.

What if hell could describe that necessary journey into the dark to reclaim your human power? Picture a seed, planted in the earth, reaching down roots, reaching through the dark, and drawing up nutrients from the soil. Feel yourself doing exactly that right now, the invisible roots of your human longing extending... growing... twisting and turning ... into the dark. Pause to really feel this. 

Can you feel the power of life pushing up from below you, so that the seed you are begins to crack open and emerge above the ground, to be blessed by the sun? Can you appreciate this absolutely necessary action of your human roots reaching into the dark? 

Dark and Light -- Light and Dark

The dance of life, the essential nature of our human story. And, as with all stories, the way it ends determines how good a story it is.

Yes, our final destination is death. But death is more than darkness. Getting comfortable in the dark during life prepares us to push upwards at the moment of death, not into the dark but from the dark, towards the light of our divine home.

* * * * *

As you complete this Activation, invite a feeling of calm confidence to install itself in the core processor of your human operating system. Here's the code: 

All is well on this journey of light and dark
through heaven and hell.

Copyright 2021. Natural Wisdom LLC.
Reprinted with permission of the author.

Book by this Author

The Noon Club: Creating The Future in One Minute Every Day
by Will T. Wilkinson

book cover: The Noon Club: Creating The Future in One Minute Every Day by Will T. WilkinsonThe Noon Club is a free member alliance that focuses intentional power every day at noon to create an impact in human consciousness. Members set their smart phones for noon and pause in silence or to offer a brief declaration, transmitting love into the quantum world of mass consciousness. Meditators lowered the crime rate in Washington DC in the 89's.

What can we do in The Noon Club? Participation is simple. Just set your smart phone and pause at noon every day at noon to transmit. For updates on the program and more information, and to connect with other members, visit .

Click here to order this book.

More books by this Author

About the Author

Will T. WilkinsonWill T. Wilkinson co-founded the Thriving Leadership Academy in Ashland, Oregon. He has authored, co-authored, ghost-written, and contributed to over 30 books, designed and delivered personal improvement programs in seven countries, hosted a variety of inspirational television series, and is now developing a new spiritual practice for advanced students of life.

He founded The Noon Club, a free member alliance that focuses intentional prayer every day at noon to uplift human consciousness.

For more information, visit

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