Do not go about worshipping deities and religious institutions as the source of the subtle truth To do so is to place intermediaries between yourself and the divine, and to make of yourself a beggar who looks outside for a treasure that is hidden inside his own breast. If you want to worship the Tao, first discover it in your own heart. Then your worship will be meaningful.
Walker's HHC 17
The master continued. "Kind prince, if good men and women study and embrace this scripture, yet are scorned by others, this is the result of the ignorant actions of their past lives that are bearing bad fruit in this life. Through continuing to study and practice the truth contained in this scripture, however, their energy will be cleansed and they will attain the crystal clear awareness of a universal being.
"Kind prince, after I received my birth from the Subtle Origin, I dedicated myself through many lifetimes to innumerable religions and their deities, believing that they would act as intermediaries between me and the subtle, integral reality of the universe. I did not neglect or overlook a single one of them. Yet if someone in the distant future, in the age of confusion for instance, were to directly embrace the integral truth contained in this scripture, the virtue he would embody and the merit he would attain would be much, much greater than what I attained through my long religious dedication.. This is because he would be aware of his own divine nature through direct contact with it, not through the indirect process of worshiping others who have achieved the integral truth.
"Those who turn to deities as intermediaries between themselves and the subtle truth are like beggars who look outside themselves for the very treasure contained within their own nature. It is only after one discovers one's own divine nature that prayer or worshiping the one universal life can be a true and effective spiritual cultivation of the wholeness of eternal life.
"Kind prince, as I just mentioned, if there are good people in the future who can embrace the truth contained in the scripture and who can study and practice it with great sincerity, the merit and virtue they will attain shall be immeasurable. You see, kind prince, this scripture is the subtle truth of one integral universal life, and the responsive power of the Universal Integral Way neglects no one and can be denied by no one!"
Ni's HHC 17