Why does man feel such a need to worship? When I say worship I speak mainly of religious worship even though man does indeed worship many things. The worship I am speaking of however is the formal kind of traditional religious worship. It can be said that man worships money, power or God, however none are worshipped as formally as God.
Elaborate rituals, social taboos and powerful symbols shroud this figure in mystery as animal, incense and devotion is offered on the altar. Why do we as human beings have this driving desire to offer all of ourselves and personal belongings to a person, in fact, a concept of which we cannot see? It would seem foolish to believe the words of our peers, especially when it comes to invisible men in the sky; however even in our age of science do we believe blindly and faithfully in the “divine”.
I would argue though, what use is it to worship, even if one does believe in a “higher” power? (The word “higher” implying that there is an above in which the deity resides and a below where the deity does not reside; an erroneous concept in itself.) Worship is purely selfish for both the worshipper and the worshipped. What on Earth could the divine possible want or lack that we as human beings have? Why does a supreme being want love and does he lack it? If he lacks not, then he logically wants not which puts our attempts to praise him in vain.
Vain it is, literally though; it is only vanity. By worshipping a deity we impose vanity upon them. The deity must be able to accept the praises and worships of his people without rejection or humility due to its frequency. Is a vain God a worthy God? Are we created only to validate and enhance God’s vanity? Let’s look at a simple lesson from Hinduism, the worship and image of a Deity is a tool to cultivate the properties imposed on an idol within oneself. So, as human beings by imposing vanity on another being, we cultivate the aspects of that being within ourselves. To worship then has nothing to do with the Divine.
The more I study religion and spirituality the more I realize that it is for us. The attribution of things to the divine is a mistake, as whether or not the divine exists does not matter. Religion is a lesson in self absorption; a tool to escape into the depths of ourselves and hopefully come back with something worthwhile. This is why we created the concept of the devil… for those times that we retrieve something that we or others can’t accept.
“Good” as a Principle
A beautiful quote from a book I picked up out of my library and started reading. I...