In this series I’ve been looking at the energy pipeline I call the energy body, a rainbow series of energy centers that follow the physical line of our spines from the spine’s base to the top of the head.

We’ve found that our energy and joy can be blocked in the three lowest rays, red, orange and yellow. These are generally blocked because of trouble with sexuality and survival issues (red ray), personal relationships with the self and others (orange ray) and legal and familial relationships like work, marriage and family (yellow ray). When they are blocked, we feel listless, depressed and out of energy.

In the previous column we looked at the incredibly powerful green-ray energy center, the heart center. I talked about the personal power which is ours by our very nature, being one with the Creator, and how, in green ray, we can finally rest in unconditional love.

In this column I would like to look at green ray a bit more. There is a central and usually completely forgotten aspect of working with the green ray upon which I’d like to focus. That aspect is the need to integrate our entire, whole, complete self into our self-perceived selfhood as we approach the gates of green ray.

Here’s what I mean by that:

Have you been to New York City and seen the lions guarding the steps of the main branch of the New York Public Library? There’s quite a bit of acreage on those steps! You can linger and chat, sight-see and plan your day before you ever go into the building. While you are on those steps, you are not responsible for getting into the Library with all its rich resources. You are just visiting.

That is generally how we enter our own hearts. We are not really aware of where our energy is. We are sightseers. We walk up those steps in our ordinary, everyday consciousness. We want to enter and experience the relief of being truly and unconditionally loved. However, we’re not ready to do that.

We’re not ready because we have not yet collected our entire range of characteristics. We have left out of our equation of selfhood, what Jung calls our “shadow side.” In our conscious minds, we do not wish to see the shadow side: the angry, lustful, greedy, selfish and self-involved person who is standing before the lions at the gate.

And yet that shadow side is infinitely worthy. It is part of the warp and woof of our humanity. How desperately it needs our attention! How it longs for our respect and our willingness to integrate those dark energies into our whole self.

To figure out what your own shadow side looks like, examine the mirror of those things which really bother you, disgust you or make you turn aside and avert your eyes. For myself, those thorns which catch me within myself are pride, haste in judgment, the arrogance of feeling as though I get the big picture, a critical nature and an Irish temper which does not wait to discover the truth but lashes out in a heartbeat, often mistaking the facts and doing damage to my nearest and dearest.

These are not large sins. They are, however, things which I do not wish to observe and accept within myself. These are the energies which I must own, accept, love and redeem.

Whatever your own tally of less attractive traits might be, the truth of their petty nature is probably the same. Most of us do not murder outright. We do not steal outright. We do not commit adultery outright. We think about doing some or all of the above.

And when we approach the lions at the gate of the inner sanctum of our own hearts, we need to gather all of our less attractive traits up in our own loving arms, embrace them with true affection and ask them persuasively to join the “good” side of ourselves. For either the whole self walks into the inner sanctum of the open, sacred heart or nothing of us reaches that sanctum sanctorum.

There is a wonderful old hymn which begins

O Jesus, Thou art standing outside the fast-closed door, In lowly silence waiting to cross the threshold o’er. Shame on us, Christian brothers, whose name and sign we bear, And shame, thrice shame, upon us, who keep Him standing there.

I love that old song and sing it often. However, I believe the poet got the image backwards. Jesus, the carrier of Christhood and its unconditional love, is part and parcel of the consciousness of that inner sanctum of the open heart. It is we who stand outside the fast-closed door. It is love itself which awaits us within.

Why do we wait to enter? Because we do not feel worthy. And in a way this is true. We are human. “It is impossible not to sin,” say the church fathers. And they are correct. We humans are error-prone.

In another way, the way of faith and resurrection from the persistent darkness of material earth energy, we are infinitely worthy, not because we are perfect but because we are part of the principle of Creator and creation. We are one with the perfection of all that there is.

The pattern is too large for us to comprehend. It is, however perfect. As a mystic I have repeatedly been taken into a state of consciousness where that perfection is quite clearly seen. I trust that personal, intimate experience.

There’s another song I remember from childhood. It goes,

Here I stand, all ragged and dirty. Kiss me quick or I’ll run like a turkey!

Here we all stand at the door to the open heart. When we have done the work of accepting ourselves in all our imperfection, the lions at the gate will let us past. We can knock on that door to the inner sanctum and love itself will open that door and welcome us in to our own hearts. We can settle down into the lap of the deity and rest at last, loved and loving.

Focus today on knowing that you are acceptable to the Creator, just as you are. You are loved beyond all measure. You can rest back into that love. You can rest from self-judgment and free your mind and heart to the work of gathering your whole self together as an offering to the divine. “Here I am,” you may pray. “My heart is open, trembling, hoping so much to serve You. What have you got for me today?”

The Creator is just waiting for that focus, that heart’s presence, that question and that attitude of readiness. Ask that question and you will be busy today - and have a wonderful day in unexpected ways. It is well said, “Ask and you shall be answered.”

I open my arms and embrace your spirit. May you find all of yourself moving past the lions at the gate of your open heart. May you find sanctuary that shall not fail within this mortal world of shadow and light. May you rest in the open heart today. Truly shall the love pouring through that open heart bless all whose lives you touch.