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August 30, 2006

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Can the same be said of meditation, alms giving, Christmas presents? We just want something in return, afterall. Of course it seems ridiculous, but so does a game of catch, stripped of its context.

I haven't felt compelled to worship, so I probably don't know what the deal is, but historians, (are they scientists?) tell us that people have worshipped things long before historical religion. Sympathetic magic is probably the proto-cultus of all these absurd activities.

Seems petty to think that people are tricked into ritual devotion, when it is possible that they are psychologically moved to it, like spiritual OCD.

I wonder when it is proper to worship something? Does this something have to be real and knowable to be worthy of worship?
Take my silly example: the Pic of the Belly Dancer. I think we all can agree, the gal in the black outfit, with sword is a total "babe". Does this mean we should worship her? Think not. Maybe the word "worship" needs to be tossed out. Food for thought.

Worship is a story told by Awareness to itself.

Instead of seeing separate "people" everywhere, look at the "stories" that appear everywhere. Then the meaning of worship becomes clear. In reality there are no "people" worshipping other holier "people". It is just the dance of consciousness describing itself to itself. Every seemingly separate person is a dream of separation experienced by the One. The "optical delusion of consciousness" called individuality is actually an object within undivided Awareness, not a subject.

Brian,

Even as a person of faith, I've wondered right along with Laurel what good worship does. It certainly can't make God any greater. I seriously doubt God would 'need' any type of authentication or support from me.

So here's the best I've come up with: worship is drawing a line in the sand. I'm the one who benefits, not God. It allows me to share in the reality revealed, to acknowledge the distinction that I am not God.

But it is also an act: worship is hurling sacred truth right back at the Deity. Not only do I acknowledge the bits of revealed truth but also participate in it.

Hymns and songs of praise bring to mind the awesome nature of God and recount the times of intervention or blessing. As opposed to the 'happy-clappy' type of worship that is often superficially - and only briefly - beneficial, sincere, focused worship is an encounter with the divine. When you're in agreement with God, you're automatically in the divine presence. And that's something not easily forgotten, but too fleeting nonetheless.

My hope is that the experience lasts long enough for me to make it out of the church parking lot before losing patience with some bozo driver cutting in front of me trying to get to lunch before I do.

Steve;
I enjoyed your discussion on Worship. Worship feeds the Emotional aspect of Faith.
Or, emotions feed on the Worship aspect of Faith. I find nothing wrong with what you stated. As stated by others, in other comments: Everyone has their own Mindset.

Roger, what a tasty tidbit your response is. Here is mine:

WORSHIP, WHO NEEDS IT?
by Arlo R. Hansen

Certainly not God, for what good could worship possibly do for an Infinite Entity who is Omni everything? Make It feel more inclined to grant requests? Hardly, because any act of a finite life form, be it veneration or irreverence, directed toward the Omni-Everything One, would actually be an act of the Omni-Everything One Itself, since by definition, an Infinite Entity encompasses All. How could it, then, make Itself more ultimate than it already is?

Yet, worship services are held daily in thousands of churches, synagogues, temples, shrines, and monasteries. Since the Omni-Everything One cannot benefit from worship, it leaves only the worshipers who may gain from it. What each gains may be as varied as the number engaged in the activity. For some, whatever they gain must not last long, because they repeat the ritual on a regular basis.

Seekers of understanding of the mystery of life generally agree that the appearance of separation is illusion. In actuality, All is One. One is All. Taken to its final conclusion, I Am all that is. And that applies to each of us. To accept this, I must conclude that all the “others” out “there,” are actually me. Likewise, each of you “others” must come to the same conclusion.

At this point, the thought leaps into my mind (as it must in yours since you are me) “how come I am only aware of operating as this single entity with the name of Arlo R. Hansen? If I am everybody and everything, how did my awareness get limited to just little ‘ole me?”

Now, while we may intellectually know that we need not strive to become something other than what we are, but only need to remember what we are, we do not feel or experience what we are, i.e., being everything. Some claim to have reached that state through meditation, or other means. If they have, then the possibility exists for me to do likewise; but just because the possibility exists does not mean that I will do so.

I personally know of only one person who related what that experience is like. She called it “puddling,” suggesting it was like liquidizing and flowing into her surroundings. If you, dear reader, have also experienced being the One, you can testify as to the aptness of her description.

However, having once attained the state, she did not remain in it until her departure from this plane. Neither do I know if she could enter this state whenever she pleased just by willing herself there, or what. It seems to me that if getting to this experience is the goal, once attained, the attainee would not want to return to his finite state of limited awareness.

Still, being “All” may be boring after the novelty wears off (if it does). For all I know, it may not. But if it does, that may be the reason Omni-Everything decided to forget what it IS. (Could it do that?)

Much has been said about our higher self and getting in touch with it. I have followed the logical thought of some writings and been amazed at the clarity used in arriving at the "One" concept, only to be dismayed when the author brought up the higher self, listening for that “still, small, voice” (how can it be “still” and still say something, [or doesn't “still” mean quiet?] and how come it is always small?).

Using affirmations, giving thanks, prayer, and all the rest of "worship" trappings, signifies to me the disappearance of Oneness and the return of separateness. The Omni-Everything needs none of this because it is ALL OF THIS. It needs no-thing (no one thing) because it is Every-thing (All things).

Ironically, it has taken me nine paragraphs to say to you that since All is Complete, there was nothing I needed to say!

I liked that, Arlo.

Actually, Matthew, it was your astute comment I was refering to. The author's names appearing under the dotted line, confused me; but then no matter the human names displayed, all done by Awareness.

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