Everybody worships

The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship–be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess of the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles–is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.
If you worship money and things–if they are where you tap real meaning in life–then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth.
Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you.
On one level we all know this stuff already–it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.
Worship power–you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need even more power over others to keep the fear at bay.
Worship your intellect, being seen as smart–you will end up feeling stupid, always on the verge of being found out.
And so on.
Look, the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful; it is that they are unconscious. They are default settings. They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.
And the so-called “real world” will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called “real world” of men and money and power hums along quite nicely on the fuel of fear and contempt and frustration and craving and the worship of self.
Our own present culture has harnessed these forces ins ays that they have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it.
But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.
That is real freedom.