Those of you devoted to a spiritual path are probably fairly clear on the object(s) of your worship. However, for you who may be searching for spiritual direction or wish to ponder the act and idea of worship further check out the following 4 part series.
Who/What do you worship? Part 1
Webster defines worship in the following terms:
1 : reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power also : an act of expressing such reverence. 2 : a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual. 3 : extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem worship of the dollar.
Everybody worships something.
If we follow Webster’s logic we note that in his first definition he states that worship is a reverence offered a divine being. As we continue on we see that he has acknowledged the supposition that people can worship inanimate objects that are purely social constructs the same as many of us worship God.
No matter how far back we go we are hard pressed to find a society that has not had some form of spiritual recognition. And it seems that this penchant for worship is only found in humans.
According to Wikipedia “There is no evidence that any non-human animals believe in God or gods, pray, worship, have any notion of metaphysics, create artifacts with ritual significance, or many other behaviors typical of human religion. Whether animals can have religious faith is dependent on a sufficiently open definition of religion.
Recent science indicates that humans may be “hard wired for worship”. In a 2007 article for CNN A.Chris Gajilan quotes Dr. Andrew Newberg, a noted neural scientist and researcher, as saying “The frontal lobe, the area right behind our foreheads, helps us focus our attention in prayer and meditation. The parietal lobe, located near the backs of our skulls, is the seat of our sensory information. Newberg says it's involved in that feeling of becoming part of something greater than oneself. The limbic system, nestled deep in the center, regulates our emotions and is responsible for feelings of awe and joy.
Admittedly, I have “cherry picked” the info from Dr. Newburgh for its most salient bits. But if you dig up the article and others covering the same work you’ll find that the point is people have mental mechanisms that support our predisposition for worship. Thus …every normally functioning human being worships something. More in the next episode