The Christmas season that we are on the other side of holds a special place in my heart because my father was a part time Baptist preacher. I have fond memories of his moving sermons at this time of year about the beauty and purity of God's gift to us in Jesus through the virgin birth. Christmas, to me, was far more than presents under a tree. It was a time of spiritual truth so innocent, even a small boy could understand.

Whether or not you believe the Christmas story of the virgin birth with a literal interpretation or as mythological symbolism, the message is powerful. The virgin birth refers to the purity of spirit that is within each of us. It's an innocence that is free of all judgment, prejudice, concepts, fear, attachment and desire. In this innocent place we discover the truth of our spiritual nature, our Essence. Anything born from this place is pure love. It’s the place that Rumi refers to when he wrote, “Out beyond the concepts of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field. I'll meet you there.”

The process of Awakening to Wholeness is a virgin birth experience. I help my clients see past the pain and separation created by their egos to find the infinite love and acceptance of Spirit in their Essence. When they are finally able to meet their true self, their Essence, it is like a virgin birth, and a beautiful gift of recognition is born to shine the light of love into the world.

During my own virgin birth, I was blessed to have many midwives. The late Joseph Campbell, known by many as the leading expert in mythology, was one of them. He 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 the story.

Those of us with a scientific and skeptical orientation might dismiss the rich spiritual insights available to us as mere fables and children's bedtime stories. Without proven facts there can be no truth. That's an example of "throwing the baby out with the bathwater". The skeptic would say, "Prove to me the existence of the baby, the bathwater and that they were in fact both thrown out."

The literalist would hear about the unfortunate baby and that fateful bath and say, "God said it, I believe it, and that's all I need to know," without even trying to understand the deeper meaning behind the story.

The ritualist might create an elaborate ceremony around the careful separation of the baby from any bathwater.

All three well-intentioned, but misguided seekers are missing the point. They throw out the deeper meaning of the heart expressed in the story's symbolism along with ego's superficial bathwater grasping to be right. Ego seeks certainty, whether through science, religion or routine. Essence sees truth by contemplating the story from that place of virgin purity and feels the deepest aliveness as a result.

Take a closer look at the virgin birth story during this holiday season. Consider the meaning you give to it and the meaning you unconsciously inherited. Are you throwing the baby of a deeper spiritual truth, out with meaningless bathwater? All spiritual literature, whether Christian or from other religions and cultures 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 Spirit. The story of the virgin birth of Jesus holds a beautiful truth of unconditional love and hope that transcends the boundaries of organized religion and speaks directly to the purity of our connection to Spirit.

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.