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There are many spiritual paths in this world. There are many names for similar paths, and the same ideals can be found in even the most differing of belief systems.

These names are all simply masks. The masks we give these ideas so we may identify them. But what happens when we remove these masks?

Where do we find ourselves when we do away with the names and the figures we hold so dear? What happens to our faith when we no longer choose to identify it as Christianity, or Islam, or Wicca? What happens to our beliefs when we stop calling ourselves Jewish, Druids, or Luciferians?

We see that we are all on different paths toward the same goal.

We all seek oneness with the universe. What we seek is wisdom.

"Wisdom is the sound application of accrued knowledge and experience through patient, good judgment. Knowledge can be acquired by focusing on the task at hand. Focus is the art of pruning the irrelevant and pouring the best of your mind into what you are doing."

This quote was taken from the doctrine of the Temple of the Jedi Order, and speaks profound volumes.

But we must be wary, dear brothers and sisters, as focus, the fundamental steps of one's journey to wisdom can be as much an enemy as a friend.

Focus on names, on masks, on differences, on history. This is the plague of the world's religious and spiritual pop culture. This is the reason there are wars. This is the reason there is hate. This is the reason for religious extremist groups and faith-fueled terrorism.

How can we continue to let this be? Because a person deep-seated in their traditions and masks and focus is a virus in the universe. These extremists and violent devout worshipers are a plague in and of themselves.

How can we stop this? By attacking them? By protesting them? By arguing with them? By murdering them? No! By showering them with the Love of the Universe. By not casting off these traditions and masks, but by realizing that they are just masks. By realizing that we are all on the same path, no matter how strange and different it may seem to your own.

There is a higher power in the universe. This flow of energy is a will. The Universal Energy is the name my path gives to what others may call the Will of God, or the Spirit of Nature, or the Force. This energy is pure love. Love and joy is what drives this universe, and everything and everyone in it.

Love thy neighbor! Be tolerant of their differences and patient with their ways! Only those who are patient, tolerant, and filled with love are the truly righteous! As was the prophet of every major religion you can name! As were the Flower Children of the '60s! As should we, the children of the universe, be!

In closing, the many different spiritual paths are important in their own ways to their adherents. However, bear in mind at all times that we are all children of the same universe. We all seek the joys of life and the love of a higher power.

This sermon was written spontaneously by one who is tolerant, one who is patient, one who is filled with love, and one who has given himself fully to the Universal Energy. Thank you all for your time, and may you become one with your higher power, whom or whatever he/she/they/it may be.


Rev. G. Hensley

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