Frequently Asked Questions

Last night and today some things we talked about are slowly filtering into my consciousness. Feels really cool. I must say I feel great too, I've been singing or humming most of the day :) Thanks again for the wonderful introduction to this new arena.

D.H.

Q: What do you do, John?

A: I form inviting, creative situations — and gatherings, consultations, conversations, writings and more — in which life can enhance and empower individuals, projects, groups, businesses . . . and more. Along the way, I enable people with tools and abilities to do likewise, giving them a chance to be more of who they really are.

Q: Why do you sometimes call your work "Spiritual Mechanics"?

A: This reflects an easy and simple approach. We need to gently combine the unseen — such as thought, intent, spirit and presence — with the practical — daily events and projects, common situations, and ongoing needs. Humanity has been trying to achieve this for ages, but we’ve made it hard for ourselves. We’re often judgemental about our performance, our place in the world. Spiritual Mechanics makes this dynamic easy, purposeful — and much more fun.

Q: Why do you often refer to “the atmosphere”?

A: Again, simplicity. It includes everything, much of which we can’t readily see. We’re constantly creating atmosphere and/or being affected by it — a hockey game, a riot, a church service, a classroom, a funeral, a birthday celebration. But we remain largely unconscious of our role in it, or the effects of our reactions to it. Nor is "atmosphere" only about places and events; it is about the unseen "traffic" it envelops that can, in creative ways, include spirit, angels, thoughts, feelings, the “vibes” we pick up, the pressure that builds before an earthquake, or the sonic communication among whales.

Q: What do people achieve through use of your principles and techniques?

A: They lighten their load, inspire their role. They’re repositioning their own perception of their influence, their relationship to atmosphere, their options, decisions and reactions. They move from isolated challenges to wider service to themselves and others, from struggling to demonstrating, from only seeking to also finding, to self-love that’s expansive and also inclusive. All the while, they’re daring to demonstrate fun, ease and joy not only as desired states but wonderful tools. I participate so people become artisans with their abilities in this way.

Q: How do you confirm that your approach works?

A: It’s like swimming, cooking or driving a car. At some point you have to try it out, to experience it — get your feet wet, pick up a pot and a recipe book, or get behind the wheel. There is no substitute for combining study with practice. That ‘s the “mechanics” side of things. As this happens, events and outcomes reflect back confirmation, with some amazing results.

Q: How does your work differ from other practitioners out there?

A: If we are to enjoy the wonder of existence, we cannot all be cucumbers in the garden of life, nor can we all teach geography, or all serve as pastry chefs in the kitchen of possibilities. Life is diverse. It seems my role has wider application than some practices, along with some simple themes. I use circumstances to demonstrate refreshing angles. I enable my clients. They gain skills they can continue to call upon; they’re not merely being lifted from problems. The results expand and multiply like the colours in a kaleidoscope. Like a mechanic, I fine-tune, but I also develop skilled participants who can replicate what I do, and who emerge loving more of what they do.

Q: Would you call yourself a healer?

A: Isn’t any healing a transformation in a relationship? Be it among people, physical functions, or events and reactions? In that sense, I engage in healing in some ways. But I shy away from the term. What differs perhaps is that I see any situation in want of a transformation as a literal teaching tool, not just an end in itself. I like to give life itself a chance to be creative and to let fantastic and easy solutions come alive for their own sake. Much healing is the consequence of multiple interventions, some of them miraculous in themselves.

Q: Do people have to believe what you are saying in order for this to work?

A: One has to have a sense of humour in this work. I often say, “Always work with energy, never work with people, ‘cause people are too screwed up!” We have collectively made our relationship with life a hard one in many cases, personally and collectively. It is not that anyone believes me, it is the extent that they shift their own perception of their place in the game of life. If and when this happens, often even the atmosphere around them is greatly relieved and cannot believe its luck in finally witnessing a person lighten up!

Q: How young must someone be to be aware of this way of thinking and feeling?

A: We do have wisdom drummed out of us, don’t we? In the approach I use, one can be so young as to still be in the womb (or even before that!) and as old as on one’s death bed (or even after that!). Existence has its cycles. We might as well enjoy the ride!

Q: What would you say to someone coming to you initially, in crisis?

A: I am not so trite as to say that everything happens for a reason. Rather, I remind people that everything that has ever happened to anyone has happened to someone. We all witness some things from afar, and others from next door, and also at times as central players in other matters. Upon meeting someone propelled by a crisis to see me, I embrace the truth of their circumstance, honour their position, and help move them to perspectives that can serve others, shift interpretations, ease next steps and engender creativity that may have been squashed by the turn of events or perhaps never been allowed to participate. Genius can emerge anywhere.

Q: Do you apply different methods to different situations, or does “one size fit all”?

A: More often than not, many of the principles I apply are universal. It is the chance to be creative about situations that brings in the unique flavour. All situations have some universal aspects and some unique elements at the same time. It helps when we acknowledge both.

Q: Do people need to be religious in order to be able to ask for help from what you call “the atmosphere”?

A: I turn that inside out. If I were an angel, which sort of humans would I like to encounter? Is it possible to meet a ghost who refused to believe in ghosts when they were alive? I bet it is! We are trained to apply beliefs when in crisis, but not so much to serve and demonstrate confidence in the good times so as to be prepared for challenges. When you find peace, all life gains relief, whether you believe in all aspects of its existence or not. That includes angels, saints, gurus of many callings, even your deceased grandmother or your dog or parrot. Much of it comes down to your perceptions about your influence, your worth and your reach.

Q: Would the religious be in conflict with your work?

A: Absolutely not. I have even accepted the invitation to give a sermon in a more-traditional church service. God could use the fact that more individuals finally “get it.” Simple truths have long been the most challenging to convey and pass on. The struggle to express the merging of science and religion, finding and seeking, being and reaching, have been — in part — what got us into trouble so often. The higher the plane from which one operates, the easier it is to get along. The cathedrals of Europe were built as grand attempts to merge many dimensions and make sense of many things. They are breathtaking examples of technique coming together with intent — Spiritual Mechanics as it were. Every congregation of any kind broadcasts a collective energy off itself and its rituals, no matter what its activity.

Q: Is your work like the concept of Law of Attraction which we hear so much about out there — mind over matter?

A: Nope. But sort of.

Q: Tell me more…

A: Ah, you must be starting to apply some of my approaches! The popular sense of Law of Attraction does involve shifting a person’s perception of their place in the world, and the impact that intent and belief have in the game of life. However, I believe it often negates the wisdom of collective change that is not so ndividualized or self-centred as it can become in a restrictive way. We’re all connected. Likewise, we’re each already connected “to nature;” we need not connect with it as much as realize it has never been “out there” — we’re always in it. My take on this speaks more perhaps to being “attractive,” with less focus on self and more about self in relationship, the self as impactful; not mind over matter, but mind in sync with matter, spirit in line with mind, and what indeed, in the end, makes one really attractive overall.