Manhattan Beach, California
John G. Ott & Associates
What is an underlying question that gives form to your work or interest in this field?
What facilitates the awakening of Divine consciousness
within groups, organizations, communities, and cultures? How can I become
a clear conduit for such consciousness?
How can I become a clear and conscious conduit
for Spirit’s unfolding now?
What is your personal experience of collective
wisdom in groups?
A losing of self . . . an emergence of Self . . . a silence
without anxiousness . . . an enveloping awareness that discerns and
commits to right action . . . effortless action . . . an intimate partnership
with energies beyond the material realm . . .
These are common dimensions of my experience with collective
wisdom in a wide array of groups, including:
• groups of representatives from multiple
stakeholders engaged in high-stakes community and organizational change
• intact workgroups within public and
private sector organizations confronting adaptive dilemmas; and
• groups of individuals who have gathered
for spiritual inquiry.
What is it about the work in this field that excites
you and connects you to your own deepest self?
What’s not to be excited about? To be a conscious
co-conspirator in the unfolding of the evolutionary impulse—does
it get any better?
To be present with, bear witness to, and support diverse
groups of people learning how to create spaces of intense discernment
and right action is pure joy for me. This has always been true, though
the forms have evolved.
I began group work as a community organizer, helping
residents of communities without many economic resources learn how to
build relationships of common values among people from diverse backgrounds,
discern their collective voice, and claim their power.
For the last 15 years, I have designed and led large-scale
community and organizational change efforts in multiple contexts. I
have developed a particular approach to designing and facilitating these
efforts that reflects my own experience and skills; I have been influenced
by the work of many, including Ken Wilber, A.H.
Almaas, Bert Hellinger, Robert Fritz, Carol Gilligan, Daniel Quinn,
Mark Friedman, and many others.
I am particularly committed to designing processes
for circumstances that require action now, and am passionate about helping
to translate more esoteric and spiritual concepts into language and
frameworks that can have immediate impact in the everyday life of communities
Please provide a brief storyline or snapshot of
what brought you to this work.
I have been able to discern dimensions of the invisible
realm for as long as I can remember. My mother was an alcoholic. From
the time I was a very small child, I could apprehend the sometimes subtle,
sometimes dramatic shifts in the emotional reality that flowed beneath
the surface of our family’s life.
Throughout my life, I have felt an intangible but profoundly
real connection to Spirit. This connection has manifested in myriad
ways: an insistent sense of calling; a lifetime of experiences of synchronicity;
dream and waking states of hyper-reality; physical vibrations in my
body; communication with energies beyond the material realm; and myriad
moments of knowing that are beyond my experience and conscious mind.
In November 1998, at a large gathering convened
in Mohonk, New York, I was blessed by a “threshold-crossing”
experience that profoundly challenged many of my hypotheses about Spirit,
God, and the universe. In large part because of that experience, and
the meaning I began to make of it, I stopped my consulting practice
in June 1999 and moved to Santa Fe to begin intensive dream work, meditation,
and writing about how to integrate my relationship to and understanding
of Spirit in all that I do. Since returning to my work in September
2000, I have been involved more intentionally in experiments and writings
about collective wisdom.
How would you like to be available to others in
At one level, I would welcome contact from anyone who
feels drawn to contact me from reading what I have shared here. We will
discern together what that impulse to connect has to reveal.
More concretely, at present, I am particularly drawn
to Bert Hellinger’s work and its potential implications for large-scale
community and organizational change work. I would particularly welcome
engaging with people who are drawn to explore how to integrate work
with the energies of the land, ancestral energies, and other energies
beyond the material realm into more traditional change contexts.