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Can you unconsciously "worship" something?

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posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 08:42 AM
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Well, folks, it's been a while since I have attempted to start a new discussion thread, and thanks to Saint4God, I finally have found something I feel is worth discussing. Input from everyone is welcome, but it helps if you have some sort of religion or spirituality in you.

The Question is: Can you unconsciously worship something you'd otherwise oppose?

The original idea for this came from the "Halloween Controversy" thread, when I saw the following:




Originally posted by Holden
I don't think you can worship God or a demon without knowing you're doing it.



Originally posted by saint4God
Actually you can. In fact, most of us do in our daily lives. Worshipping money, adultery in our hearts when we're already married, anger/hate towards our neighbors or enemies...who is our god in these incidences?



When I was a child, my family attended a radical offshoot of Christianity called the "Bureans", where such traditional ideas as "beat the Devil out of your children" were prevalent. In fact, it really didn't even matter if the children belonged to you or not, as long as they were well beaten. However, most parents only beat their own children, in an empty classroom or behind the chapel, as it was considered bad form to lose control publicly. One man, however, had absolutely no qualms about his right to beat any of the children he wanted to, with a a big fat cane.

I'm not talking about a quick swat on the butt to drive home silence. I'm talking about a sound drubbing about the head, shoulders, back, legs... it was the rare child that left church on Sunday without a series of red welts and purpling bruises from his stick. The freakiest part is this, his last name was Kaine. I swear to God, and trust me when I say that no, the irony was not lost on us. If anything, it was driven home quite painfully.

Then there was his wife. She made him seem like a pleasant fellow to be around, and was eventually my Sunday School teacher. One day I had the gall to disagree with her when she said that watching Television was Satanic.

"No," I replied. "It's not."

"Yes it is, child! Does not the BIIIIIBLE," she said it just like that. Her ability to give 3 extra syllables to the word was more impressive than her logic. "...tell us not to worship any other god before HIM?"

"Yes, ma'am," I began to annoyed at the implications she was making. The Bible had been the second book I'd ever read (the first being a kids biography on JFK), and I'd been reading it ever since. I'd been a faithful churchgoer since long before I could walk, and had endured several hours of beatings, each week, just so I could hear the word of Jesus. And this woman had the gall to tell me that watching TV was Satanic? I wasn't going down without a fight. "It does, but TV is not a god. It is a thing, made by men, who were made by god."

"Ah! So then you worship a false idol. Idolotry is forbidden by God as well!" She somehow doubled the syllables in half those words. Her eyes had gotten a bit wide, her mouth a bit frothy, and her finger pointing in my face. "Are you a worshiper of false idols?"

It was less of a question than an accusation. "No, I don't!"

"You kneel before it, don't you? You kneel for hours at a time before it, and worship it!!!"

"No, I sit in a chair, or on the couch. I don't pray to the TV, I don't offer it money or sacrifices, I don't postrate myself, I just watch it. Nothing more. I spend more time reading the Bible than I do watching TV?"

"How dare you talk back to me!"

"How dare YOU accuse me of worshipping a false God!"

Then she got Mr. Kaine to take me to an empty classroom. He proceeded to try and wordlessly convince me in a very painful fashion that I was wrong. My conviction, however, held out. And even to this day, it does.

My belief is that intent is 90% of worship. The other 10% is ritual. Without either, how can one justify the idea that we worship false idols?

I'd like to hear your thoughts.




posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 09:56 AM
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Originally posted by thelibra

My belief is that intent is 90% of worship. The other 10% is ritual. Without either, how can one justify the idea that we worship false idols?



Intent is the mirror we can hold up to ourselves to divine our morality. We can blindly follow our intentions... doing such things as we please, without reflection to the results of our actions upon ourselves or others. Or, we may, upon the realization of an intent, reflect upon it's ramifications 'down the road' if we proceed.

Humans have the ability to hold our intent up to the mirror of our morality.

If a hungry lioness, for instance, sees a small child playing in a sunlit clearing, happily picking flowers, it does not moralize her intent but, instead, immediately salivates, licks her chops, and goes into stalk mode.

Locke believes it is the reflection of intent which is proof of Deity within the human.

John Locke: Knowledge on the Existance of God


Thus from the consideration of ourselves, and what we infallibly find in our own constitutions, our reason leads us to the knowledge of this certain and evident truth, that there is an eternal, most powerful, and most knowing being; which whether any one will please to call God, it matters not. The thing is evident, and from this idea duly considered, will easily be deduced all those other attributes which we ought to ascribe to this eternal being.


It is not intent alone which is 90% of worship. It is the reflection of intent and its impact upon our conscience. The lioness has intent written large in every aspect of her body, the crouching slow advance, eyes locked on the happy child. She does not reflect upon what she intends and will have no remorse as she carries the struggling child by the throat and into the forest.

Ritual is another story entirely...

Can I unconsciously worship something I'd otherwise oppose?

The answer, imo, is no.

Worship is the personal acceptance of Deity and has no relevance to material existance any more than our innate morality has. If it did, I'd like a double helping of morality with a side order of consciousness, please. Can I get that supersized?



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 10:08 AM
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Originally posted by thelibra
The Question is: Can you unconsciously worship something you'd otherwise oppose?


Great post, thelibra.

I can only answer for myself and I'd have to say No. I do believe that to worship something I would have to intend to worship it as you point out. And I don't worship anything.

I appreciate some things in life more than others. I love lots of things, people and even ideas, but I don't 'worship' anything.

Now, when I observe other people, I can see how some might think that unconscious 'worship' is possible, what with the lengths some people go to to obtain wealth, power and possessions. But I think that's merely placing value on these items, not necessarily 'worship'.

I guess I'd have to say that people who accuse others of unconscious 'worship' are simply uncomfortable with the value placed on such objects. For examply your dear teacher was uncomfortable with the value you placed on TV so accused you of worshipping it. Lame...



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 10:41 AM
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I think you can worship something without knowing it. I think that whatever is most important in your life is what you worship. For most it is money, others it is sex, other it is drugs, ect.

Thats what I think - whever drives you most of the time.



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic I can see how some might think that unconscious 'worship' is possible, what with the lengths some people go to to obtain wealth, power and possessions. But I think that's merely placing value on these items, not necessarily 'worship'.


Excellent point, benevolent heretic. There is a hellish difference between value and worship. Perhaps it wouldn't be a bad idea to define the words since they reside so closely together in Websters;


value (1) relative worth, merit or importance (2) monetary or material worth (3) the worth of something in terms of the amount of other things for which it can be exchanged...etc.


and

worship (1) reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred (2) formal, or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage...etc.


So...according to Websters, the difference lies in how we approach a thing to be worshipped or valued. If we value it, we compare it to other things which we can trade it for. It is coinage. If we worship it, we don't look to exchange it for other goods or services, we actually see such an item as a material manifestation of Deity.

The television in thelibra's living room has more than the obvious value in that it is a portal for media. Is it the media which issues from the TV that has the potential for worship? Is it the moralities laid bare in the 'Survivor' series (ie) which come closer to our worship than the value of a wide screen Plasma set?



[edit on 21-10-2005 by masqua]



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 12:16 PM
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An excellent question, thelibra.......

I must admit, I am ambivalent about the answer.

I have always heard warnings about the worship of money, or cars and other worldly possesions or pursuits. Could these supposedly become such a distraction, an all consuming focus, that one would be unwittingly 'worshipping' them?

If we put those kinds of things first, sacrificing our family or principles for something like money or career, perhaps that would be worship.

Could even those who believe they worship God, and go to church every Sunday, be putting something else ahead of God? I have heard ministers say, for instance, that those who do not tithe are putting their money first, and therefore worshipping it. Or that by having too much 'pride' in themselves or their material possesions, they are actually 'worshipping' those.

There are some who believe that the very act of worship on Sunday, the day having been changed from the Old Testement Sabbath which the Jews observe on Saturday, is - at best breaking one of the ten commandments, and at worst - worshiping the devil!

I read this sometime back, on a site that proposed we had all been duped into worshiping Satan from the time that some council or head of the church had made Sunday the 'official Sabbath'. Seems like that site also considered Mary and the Saints to be idols/false gods, because they were revered and prayed to. ( Being raised Baptist, I had long heard that expressed.)

Personally, I can't see how one could worship the devil by merely loosing track of the days of the week, when the intention was to worship the one true God.....no more than I can see how one would worship the devil by participating in "trick or treat"............but then there's that nagging little quote, "he** is full of people with good intentions."



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 12:22 PM
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worship: The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.


Worship is not just sitting in a pew and kneeling in front of something while murmuring prayers... worship is loving and devoting one's time and energy to be in the presence of something, whatever it may be.

So -- to keep with the television scenario -- even if you're not consciously saying to yourself "I'm going to worship television now" when you turn on the tube and veg-out everyday, I believe we (if we are honest) do actually *love* something IF we consciously choose to do it on a daily basis.

'Unconsicous worship' is evil because in it we consciously choose to neglect -- and withhold our time, energy, attention, money, etc. from -- other things we know to be important and meaningful.



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 01:14 PM
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As far as the Halloween thing goes - does dressing up like a devil, or a zombie, or even strawberry-shortcake mean that you "worship" those things? Heck no!!! - anyone that thinks otherwise is a little off their rocker as far as I'm concerned. Maybe, through the fault of their parents, they were just raised to think like that, maybe it's a little bit of a mental problem, or maybe they just have WAY too much time on their hands and don't like others to have fun.

What about a kid that dresses up like an Angel AND goes trick-or-treating for Halloween? It's not that common, but I've seen it before (usually from parents that had the costume from last year's Christmas Pageant- Who are too un-original to get their kids a new costume for Halloween) Who are those kids 'worshipping' ? The 'real' God that their 'supposed' to, or the 'candy and costume' god that's apparently so 'evil' ?

For people like that teacher of yours that accused you of "worshipping" the TV - she needed to have someone whack some sense into her like her husband tried to whack into you. I'm sorry you (or anyone) had to go through something like that, but what's even more appalling is that they thought they were doing the 'right thing' - were they just mean people that used their "brand" of religion as an excuse to beat children, or did they actually have 'good intentions' and thought that was the way they were supposed to do things? Who knows, but anyone doing things like that these days should be arrested for child abuse - it's one thing to spank your own child, or even pop the hand of someone else's misbehaving child - but those people were down-right child abusers.

Let's all think about the things that people "worship" every day - yes, there are the "evils" of money and sex and drugs and 'rock & roll'
- But what about all the other things we 'worship' every day? The one that ticks me off the most is that damn clock! I hate a clock! But if I looked at it from the 'holy roller' point of view, I'd think that the whole world worships that ticking false idol - I don't know who decided that the whole world has to wake up with the chickens and 'do more before than 9 AM than the Army' - But we all just obey the clock and don't care one bit if it's not our 'natural' time to wake up or go to bed or eat or exercise or relax - But does that mean we worship the clock? I don’t' think so - we just all conform to some standard to keep things running like 'clockwork' (SEE!!!! it is a conspiracy!!!
)

What about our vehicles? They take us where we want to go, some people wash them almost every day, polish them up, make 'em nice and shiny - we hang out with our friends in them - eat in them - play our music in them - make love in them - but does that mean we are worshipping them? Some religious fanatics might see it that way, but I don't think so.

What about the microwave? - It makes things so much easier, saves us so much time, and we all 'know' that we're 'supposed' to work our fingers to the bone every day to be 'worthy' ('cept on Sunday) - so should we only use the microwave on Sundays to avoid 'worshiping' it? I hope not, or that's one commandment I'm breaking every day!

Computers anyone? - we sit in front of them every day, look at them, touch them, caress their smooth little mouse all the time - are we worshipping it? nope, just trying to connect with the rest of the world in a way where we don't actually have to physically go all over the world to find people with similar interests.

Then there's the TV - It Keeps me from being bored to death - There's Something new and entertaining on it EVERY DAY - Who could ask for more? Sure, I've read my bible, all the way through, 5 or 6 times in my 31 years on Earth - It read like stereo instructions each and every time, not making much sense and leaving me more confused when I finished than before I began. Does that mean I turned my back on God to 'worship' the TV instead? NO - It just means I have a VERY short attention span. It's not my fault that being in a state of boredom is less desirable than being entertained. Does my wanting to watch 'Star Trek' instead of reading Bible verses mean that I 'worship' Sci-Fi and Gene Roddenbury? Nope. Does watching Charmed mean that I worship witches and demons? Nope, it just means that I got interested in a story line that has become almost stupid now, but I still want to see what happens - see where the story goes - and even if it becomes almost unwatchable crap, I'm still gonna miss 'em after the series finale. Does that mean when each episode goes off I gather my candles around a pentagram and call on the devil to bring me a virgin to sacrifice? NO!!! - I just find an episode of Star Trek, or South Park, or Dead Zone or 4400 or The Daily Show or Family Guy or whatever else is saved on my DVR.

Yeah - I 'might' spend a little too much time in front of the TV, but it's not because I'm 'worshipping' it - It's because it's sitting right beside that infernal clock! - and I don't want my clock to smite me for not worshipping it!



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 05:57 PM
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Worship is an act. We consciously worship and, imo, cannot do so unconsciously.

To worship a thing, such as a certain sports car or a sword, is close to idolatry. One could get close to worship, but it would take an active devotion to that object, giving it a seemingly free will to act as it sees fit.

For instance...

Excalibur; the sword of King Arthur, considered sentient in its power, bestowing upon its owner a measure of invincibility, could be thought of as containing something more than the metal of which it has been forged.

Religious relics; bones of saints, a piece of the cross, the spear of Destiny are all things which are suspected of supernatural powers, protecting the place where it is stored and all those who come within reach of that power.

A big block, hemi hot rod; built with loving hands, can be thought of as 'becoming a part' of its builder, even to the point that it will 'tell' you that it needs oil by the vibrations it sends through the steering wheel to your hands.

In all these cases, the power inherent within the object is provided by those who wish it so. People impart such power to 'things', not a God.

This line of thinking brings me to the 'Arian Heresy'. Arius would not allow the notion that Jesus was equal to God, and that he was only a human. For that, he was exiled.

If we worship a thing, we do so purposely and never unwittingly...and most surely in order to accomplish a desired result.



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 10:36 PM
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(Excellent question, Thelibra, and very thoughtful and interesting replies all around.)

I had a thought as I reviewed the postings here -- that there's a real problem with language and semantics. We all have different (and correct) understandings of what the word "worship" means... and dictionaries don't have a completely consistant definition.

Google provided this set of definitions, culled from 20 different sources on Internet (some of them dictionary sites):
www.google.com...:worship

So -- let's see if we can break it down a bit.

Worship can be veneration - the kind of respect and love you might give to a legendary hero who was kind and attentive to you.

Worship can be adoration - that which goes beyond veneration to the point where you want to be constantly with that thing in a personal relationship (adoration implies that the other has or can have emotions toward you.)

Worship can be obsession - which goes beyond veneration to the point where ones self-worth is tied up in this thing. It can be a violent emotion and an extremely destructive one.

From my view, the people that Thelibra described are the kind for whom worship is an obsession... but Thelibra's worship was a veneration or an adoration. Each type of worshipper can find the other types difficult to understand and in the case of the obsessive, they use their measure of obsession as a measure of what REAL belief is.

I've seen this kind in action. They're very unpleasant.

In each case, though, you have to be aware that the object you worship/have an affinity for/adore/obsess over exists. You can't become obsessive over, say, Mahafaly tombs and rituals unless you actually know what they are and decide they are of interest to you.

I believe I could safely bet that nobody here has any of those three forms of worship towards the Inquices (reference: Kongo spirituality). You cannot worship that which you do not know of.

You can be blind to some of your motives -- but you can't be UNaware that you love something. So, to my mind you can't unconsciously worship something.



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 11:02 PM
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Originally posted by blackholebrain


worship: The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.


Worship is not just sitting in a pew and kneeling in front of something while murmuring prayers... worship is loving and devoting one's time and energy to be in the presence of something, whatever it may be.

So -- to keep with the television scenario -- even if you're not consciously saying to yourself "I'm going to worship television now" when you turn on the tube and veg-out everyday, I believe we (if we are honest) do actually *love* something IF we consciously choose to do it on a daily basis.

'Unconsicous worship' is evil because in it we consciously choose to neglect -- and withhold our time, energy, attention, money, etc. from -- other things we know to be important and meaningful.


What a wonderful post! I love the ritual and mysteries of the Mass. Church for me is a place where my soul is at rest, it's refreshed.

As a Catholic, I embrace the theology and the intellectual nature of Christianty and Catholicism. These conscious acts of worship and reflection bring me closer to God. And, in reaching out for the hand He holds out for us all, I find that doing good works comes more naturally.

Worship something without knowing it? I don't think so. I think that we can be lured, that we can allow ourselves to turn from God by human weakness. There have been some good points about the love of money, of things, of idle indulgences, of putting ourselves above the needs of others are all unconscous worship, of acts that turn us from God. There is nothing wrong with possesions, having a nice house, a nice car, a boat, or other things that we enjoy. It's the conscious act of putting these things first that is the sin.



posted on Oct, 24 2005 @ 08:39 AM
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Originally posted by masqua
Worship is an act. We consciously worship and, imo, cannot do so unconsciously.
If we worship a thing, we do so purposely and never unwittingly...and most surely in order to accomplish a desired result.



I'd have to disagree. What if we are blind to the object of worship because it seems so natural a recipient? Why does worship have to be a matter of consciousness. Even a physical act can be commited non-consciously as a natural reflex, so why can a mental act not be commited even more so. And after all, does worship have to be a physical act?

I believe that all humans are guilty of worshipping something unconsciously at some level and to some degree one time or another. That thing is the Self. Until man can eradicate his own ego he will always subconsciously worship himself. It's impossible not to.
The question is, will he remain a human being without that ego?

Of course, there are those who will say that they do not worship themselves, but when the whole of life is geared to survival of the personal gene how can one logically deny the concept? We may deny the word "worship" and hide behind semantics, but in my view the fact that we cannot survive without primarily looking out for ourselves denotes some form of worship. One does not necessarily need a deity to execute an act of worship.

Even if the individual denies that he does not worship himself in some way, how can he deny that others are not doing so either consciously or subconsciously?



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 06:54 AM
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I think that when a concept, object, or things like that take a significant amount of one's time, an inordinate amount, it is almost like worship. I think that lots of people can make gods out of things that constantly take their focus away from more important things.



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