The wise tell us how important adoration is. So we kneel before altars, give offerings, and make sacrifices. In our meditation, we are taught to see gods within ourselves and to make supplications to receive power and knowledge. This we do with great sincerety, until the masters say that there are no gods. Then we are confused.
The statue on the altar is mere wood and gold leaf, but our need to be reverent is real. The god within may be nothing but visualization, but our need for concentration is real. The attributes of heaven are utopian conjectures, but the essence of these parables is real.
External worship is merely a means to point within to the true source of salvation.