The Center Must Hold

by Thomas Atum O’Kane via

For several months I have heard this phrase in my meditations, dreams, and spontaneously throughout the day.  In this past year my calling has taken me to North and South America, Europe and Asia, and the Middle East.  The story of the world now is a planet in transition, trying to give birth to a greater consciousness.  Everywhere there is liminality, the “in-between  time,” when the identities,  forms and myths that embodied the previous paradigms are dying, while the ones that will embody the new consciousness have not been fully envisioned or manifested.

In our personal lives times of great transition are marked by deep uncertainly, fear, anger, grief, disillusionment, even despair. This can be balanced by the sense of a new calling filled with possibilities, hope, growth, dreams, expansion and a revivified life.  During such passages we are asked to wait, listen, and stay connected to our soul while not clinging to the old identity or grasping onto a premature way of escaping. Imagine this condition magnified billions of times throughout the planet.


In this era of enormous polarization, uncertainty, fear and anger, the center must hold or we shall fall into chaos rather than emerge into planetary consciousness. There is real danger from those who feed the fires of polarization, especially the ones who have no mature sense of the destruction they can unleash. Those who claim with absolute certainty that they know the way are the ones who can lead us blindly into an abyss.

Carl Jung warned of the destruction that occurs when a group of people becomes possessed by an emotion and they lose their individual consciousness. What was Yugoslavia is a prime example of how the rather recent layers of more civilized consciousness can revert to a more primitive, tribal mentality. I was in Mexico during the N1H1 flu and personally witnessed Jung’s warnings, as the media drew the world into the possession of collective fear within days.

Given what is occurring throughout humanity we should not be surprised to find these conditions mirrored in our lives and all around us. It is a naïve form of specialness to expect that because we are on a personal spiritual journey that we will not be affected by the state of the planet in crisis. The great gift of spirituality is that it offers us, through various traditions, a body of proven teaching and practices that will aid us in holding our own center.

Hazrat Inayat Kahn noted that the condition of humanity at any time is a refection of its consciousness. Enough people must be able to hold their own center in this turbulent time so collectively we can hold the center for humanity.

Read full article here.

Thomas-Atum-OKaneThomas Atum O’KanePhD, a longstanding and well-loved presenter at Hollyhock, is a graduate of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance. He holds a MA in psychological counseling and a PhD in transpersonal psychology. Atum has been a senior teacher in the Sufi Order International, where he served as secretary general for 12 years. He leads workshops, retreats, and pilgrimages in North America, Europe and the Holy Lands.


Thomas will be at Hollyhock on Cortes Island:

July 7-12, 2013 presenting Time of Transition

July 12 – 17, 2013 for The Seven Valleys is the Soul’s Journey

Oct 18-23, 2013 for The Art of Spiritual Guidance (two-year program)



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