Spiritual Insight from the Namaste Book Your Forgotten Self
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair told in Parade of a time when he kneeled with the head teacher at his school to pray for his father who had suffered a stroke. Blair pointed out that his father didn't believe in God.
"That doesn't matter," the teacher replied. "God believes in him. He loves him without demanding or needing love in return."
I sense that's what Matthew is trying to get across to us when he brings Babylonians and Egyptians, Israel's ancient hated enemies, to Bethlehem for his nativity story.
It's a brilliant piece of fiction that makes a powerful point in terms of higher consciousness.
In his classic book Stages of Faith, James Fowler identifies six stages of faith. Most people are stuck in a kind of literalism, at level three.
But with someone like Gandhi, we get to experience a level six.
Level six is what Matthew is advocating, the state in which we see the divine potential in everyone.
There's no more "us" versus "them."
Level six is what the virgin birth, as I explained it in the last blog, is all about.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, God likened Israel to his bride. But when she became involved with all the gods belonging to other nations, it was as if she had committed adultery over and over.
Israel is described as being a harlot, a prostitute, involved with lots of false gods.
Yet God promised to so love Israel that she would be virginal to him. All her falsity would be remembered no more.
"The virgin will conceive" isn't an individual, but the nation of Israel. She, not Mary, is the one Matthew is pointing to.
God totally embraces everyone just as they are.
And I mean embraces them wherever they are on their evolutionary journey into higher consciousness.
They are where they are, and even in some pretty sad states they are still totally loved.
But it isn't where they will remain forever, because the love of God never gives up on anyone, since each of us is part of the divine self-manifestation that's evolving in the cosmos.
To know you are accepted beyond all reproach—to know that you are loved exactly as you are—is incredibly freeing.
It's this ability to accept each other totally that Matthew is highlighting. Not just to accept begrudgingly, but to see each other as virginal.
All offences, hurts, trespasses by us or against us are as if they had never been.
And yes, I'm even talking about the Saddam Husseins, the Hitlers, the great crucifiers of history.
In all their depravity, they are nevertheless beings in process of becoming a manifestation of the divine.
Beings who, in their essence, remain virginal despite their atrocities.
And it's this essence that will ultimately out and define them, not the mess it took for this to eventually occur.
That's the power of the imagery of the Babylonians and Egyptians in this brilliantly crafted story. They depict the worst of humanity from Israel's point of view.
They are you and me at our very worst.
The virgin birth says that out of the mess of our evolutionary process, the pure divinity we are grounded in will in due course prevail.
Now that's a reason to totally accept yourself wherever you may be on your journey right now.
*Editor's note: Consciousness Rising appears several times each week. You can go more fully into what we are discussing with the author’s book Your Forgotten Self, along with the audio book Lessons in Loving—A Journey into the Heart, which explores the story of the Little Prince in its entirety from the perspective of Eckhart Tolle’s insights in The Power of Now and A New Earth, together with Michael Brown’s The Presence Process (also now in audio format for immediate download).