Bill Maher may be a gifted comedian, talk show host and the creator of the recent movie “Religulous” yet most would agree that he is about as far from being a fundamentalist you can get.

Or Is he?

Maher and I agree that it is ridiculous to steadfastly hold on to the belief that the universe was created in six literal twenty four hour days as told in Genesis’s story of creation. And, as religious fundamentalist believe, evolution is just a man made theory with no validity. Yes, ridiculous, you might agree.

Here’s where I part with Maher and other “scientific fundamentalist’s.” Suggesting that the rich texts in the Christian Bible have no validity and the impact they have on people’s lives is a hoax, as Maher suggests, is equally ridiculous.

While the religious fundamentalist literal claim;“It’s in the bible, God said it, I believe it and that’s all I need to know” is a bit shallow, the scientific fundamentalist’s” claim of Maher and others, that the stories in the bible are ridiculous and only stupid people take them seriously is, …well, a bit stupid. Both miss out on the rich spiritual insights that can bring both meaning and practical wisdom to our daily lives.

The late Joseph Campbell, known by many as the leading expert in mythology, helped me to understand that spiritual teachings are spoken about through metaphors and stories. The depth of their truth is beyond facts and the limitations of language. The truth is in the illumination provided by the beauty and purity of what the story is pointing to.

All spiritual literature, whether Christian or from other religions and cultures can reveal a message of truth far deeper than the words, if heard from our hearts rather than interpreted, defended or dismissed by our heads. Find the beauty and purity expressed in these stories and you will find the richness of the Spirit.

Ego seeks to be right and the illusion of certainty. Essence seeks Truth with a sincere and open heart. What about Bill?

Author's Bio: 

Michael Casteel is an expert in emotional healing and transformation. His practice, SOULutions is also a transpersonal practice. This means that we incorporate the spiritual self that each one of us has and use these beliefs and experiences in the therapy. In short, we deal in matters of the heart, soul and Spirit. We work with our clients to find a complete state of wholeness which is the integration of the mind, body and soul.

"In my role as Transformational Life Coach, I think of myself as a sculptor of sorts. You may have heard the famous line by Michael Angelo when asked how he created the magnificent statue of David out of a simple block of stone, he responded: "He was in there waiting. All I did was the excavating. I just chipped away all that did not belong." So, with my clients, I play the role of being a soul sculptor; partnering with them to delicately chip away all that does not belong.We do this by softening the edges of old wounds and chipping away the self- limiting lies blocking them from realizing and revealing the magnificence of who they already are, in their Essence."

Michael has 30-plus years of experience studying and working with transformational psychology and emotional healing practices. His highly original and creative approach to emotional healing and life transformation blends modern psychology with the ancient wisdom of religious practices. He brings considerable passion to his work helping people release their emotional pain and end the feeling of being stuck and disconnected.

As the innovator of safe and unique transformational processes, Michael has guided many people to authentic spiritual experiences providing a new level of peace and awareness in their daily lives. He has extensively studied and personally experienced the healing effects of every part of his programs, practices and techniques used by SOULutions.

Michael holds degrees and certifications in many healing modalities including psychology, life coaching, theology, advanced hypnotherapy, rebirthing, energy medicine, breath therapy meditations, yoga, emotional release practices, Enneagram studies and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. As designer of seminars like the FIRE of Wholeness Breakthrough Experience, Embrace Your Shadow and The Breath of Life, Michael has presented to thousands of people all over the country, including the 2006 Alliance for a New Humanity with Deepak Chopra.

Michael is on a mission to contribute to the conscious healing and evolution of our planet, one heart and soul at a time. He does this by helping people heal the emotional wound and self limiting lies preventing them from experiencing their authentic self. Traditional therapy spends years negotiating with the ego or false self. In Michael's work he moves people beyond their ego to meet their true self, what he calls their Essence. Once clients make this spiritual connection, they can release and heal the emotional wounds that block them from living their fullest life. Michael is a native of Atlanta and currently resides in a townhome overlooking the Chattahoochee River with his partner in love and life, Leslie.