group, the willingness to stay with conflict until it was resolved as the important
characteristics that facilitated this kind of learning. They expressed disappointment
sometimes that there wasn’t more rational, intellectual learning in the program that they
could articulate and express, but the tacit learning was a source of intense exhilaration
and considerable personal change for each interviewee.
It is this tacit knowing and its powerful creativity that is now being recognized in
many arenas as evidence of the expansion of consciousness, creative consciousness,
collective intelligence or group mind.
Sedona Large Group. In 1998 six experienced person-centered practitioners
convened a large international group in Sedona with the stated purpose of reflecting on
and understanding the phenomena that characterizes the person-centered groups we had
all experienced. There were approximately 60 participants from around the world, and no
I did not learn anything new there, but the recurring phenomena that
characterized these meetings led me to search the literature of systems, chaos and
complexity theory to see if I could bring some order and understanding to the person-
centered group experience. Those theories, I believe, lend coherence and meaning to
some of the mysterious occurrence of collective intelligence and group mind that often
characterize the person-centered process.
Systems and Chaos Theories
Okay, here comes a crumb about those theories, encapsulated into an impossibly
small, inadequate explanation. If it doesn’t make sense, just skip over it. Getting too
immersed in your intellect will fragment your wholeness, and inhibit the flow of