“I see many rationalist, pragmatic, skeptic, and scientifically-minded people misunderstanding the origin of the phenomena of worship. They tend to see it as a hoax or a con perpetrated by shysters and demagogues on small-minded folk who haven’t learned enough critical thinking skills. But that’s not true worship.
Yes, there is that silly form of worship, such as maybe worshiping the Pope. People worship the Pope without even knowing what the guy did or why he’s Pope. He could be an elitist asshole and people would still bow to him. This is false worship. Needless to say it’s neurotic, dangerous, and small-minded. This kind of worship is easy to denounce for scientifically-minded people.
But if you’re really curious about reality, you gotta wonder, “Where did the idea for worshiping the Pope come from? Is it just a complete fabrication? Or could it be an imitation? And if so, an imitation of what? Why would any commonsense person worship another? Is it really just because they are simple-minded?”
Turns out there is such a thing as TRUE worship — it just gets conveniently ignored because it requires a certain rare kind of experience in order to appreciate. True worship happens when you are in the presence of a truly masterful human being, and you have the requisite awareness and knowledge base to actually fathom the depth of his mastery. So advanced is his mastery that from your point of view, it is inhuman. It is incredible. It is impossible. So advanced is his mastery, it strikes you with awe like a sledgehammer. It’s a physical experience of awe. This is real worship, and you can experience it if you go deep enough in this work.
The deepest field of human mastery — by a long shot — is not business, or military, or art, or science, or sports. It’s self-mastery and consciousness-mastery. How can I make such a bold claim? Because mastery of the self is the most emotionally laborious and trickiest endeavor possible for a human being. Just try it! Everything else is easy by comparison. A human being who has thoroughly mastered himself cannot help but evoke awe (or anger) in those who come in contact with him. Because he’s like a totally different class of human being (while at the same time not really above anyone). Here is a guy who has accomplished something that you never imagined possible. Here is a guy who has accomplished something that you personally KNOW is amazing, because deep down inside you know how little control you have over yourself.
And that’s the true origin of religious worship. Mystics — the guys who were the seeds of every serious religion — were such people. They mastered themselves so thoroughly that even 3000 years ago, before books, newspapers, radio, TV, advertising, and social media, they were able to amass huge followings — not through false promises and gimmickry as “skeptics” like to believe — but by evoking genuine awe. An awe which was deserved.
Mystics were the original Purple Cows!
This is a phenomena that you can still experience for yourself today. There are people alive right now whose self-mastery is so deep that should you meet them face-to-face, you will be genuinely awed and humbled.
Sound far-fetched? I dare you to put your own skepticism to the test!
But be warned, a true worship experience will not reveal itself to “skeptics”, cynics, dabblers, and smart-asses. This isn’t college philosophy or debate class. You must first put some skin in the game. Only after years of your own pitiful meditation or self-help efforts will you be in a position to fully appreciate the achievements of a master. You don’t even have enough experience yet to realize just how deep this deepest field of human mastery goes. It would make you dizzy and ill to your stomach to find out all at once. Which is why it’s so easy for people to play the skeptic.
Only when the student is serious, will the master be revealed.”