Google "worthy" and look for images and mostly you get a bunch of pictures of people on their knees praying or reaching in desperate supplication to the sun or the sky or a dark silhouetted cross on a hill.
There's no image of the word ... it can't be pictured. Why is that? Seriously. Let's think about this.
So far in the evolution of the human being, worth has not been considered inherent. It's something that has to be earned. We have to prove ourselves worthy in external terms by being acceptable to somebody else and of value within a specific doctrine or belief system. Am I worthy of Jesus' love? Of God's approval? Am I worthy to enter the gates of heaven? Am I worthy of my King's esteem? Am I worthy in the eyes of my fellow comrades-in-arms on the battlefield and in the corporate boardroom? Am I worthy of my lover? My partner? My mate?
But which "I" are we talking about here?
The ego I believe my self to be is a mental construct--an idea I have about myself that arises from my body's sensory data informing my brain 24/7 from birth onwards that "I" am a vulnerable, separate stand-alone unit called a fleshly human being who must struggle and fight for survival.
I'm not going to get into quantum physics which basically reveals that the whole idea of being physical is just that - an idea with no basis in reality at all. For the moment, let's stick with examining the concept of the personal self
Just who is the I that has an idea of a self? Who is the I that has an ego? Who is the I that has a brain? That has a body? Who is the I being informed of Earthly conditions?
Somebody else is home. A deep, silent, Watching Presence that animates the flesh and all the messages the flesh receives as well as the idea of the self that is created in the process of living in a (apparently but not actually physical) body. A wordless Infinite Intelligence empowering the ego on its ephemeral throne.
Now back to the issue of worthiness and how ego-I gets totally freaked out about the whole subject.
Part of the 24/7 onslaught of sensory data in-forming the ego is an amazing amount of programming provided by our parents and priests, teachers and philosophers, politicians and peers--all of them telling us new-born citizens of planet Earth how the world is and how we're expected to act in that world.
A very large part of that programming adds up to this: I am only valuable and accepted if I measure up to the social standards of the day.
Groveling before a series of strangely-behaving Gods and their "divinely elected" representatives on Earth - the priests and pharaohs and kings (notice all these dudes have a masculine pronoun attached??? ) -- has been a standard part of socially acceptable human behavior for eons.
We were primitives with no sense of the construction of the world and how things worked and came to be. Loincloth-clad neophytes scared shitless of thunder storms and lightning, earthquakes and tsunamis, throwing hapless virgins into lava pits to keep the peace.
How else to escape the God's wrath?
Feeling guilty about killing Jesus and begging for forgiveness for being created sinful by Jehovah in the first place was just one more program in a parade-series of religious programs keeping us docile, afraid, humble and uh ... controllable.
Holy guacamole Batman! No wonder we're dealing with self-esteem issues nowadays!
Seriously, has there been a Western magazine published in the last 50 years that didn't have at least one article about how to develop self-esteem or deal with low self-esteem issues?
Ever noticed that? Ever wonder why self-esteem is such a problem?
Maybe it's because after centuries of being programmed by Pharaohs and Emperors, Christian priests and Mullahs the world over to consider ourselves lowly creatures "unworthy of gathering the crumbs under the Lord's table" we've got ourselves a species-wide inferiority complex?
A full-blown religion-based neurosis to deal with?
The science of epigenetics has proven that emotions are inherited and that strong emotions program our genetics. Gee ... let me think ... maybe thousands of years of being told we're worthless pieces of crap might have had an effect? Resulted in something ... say, an epidemic of depression? A sense of worthlessness? Low self-esteem?
Seems reasonable to me. What do you think?