Scripture: Dhammapada 170-174

Just as one would look upon a bubble,
just as one would look upon a mirage –
if a person thus looks upon the world,
the King of Death sees him not.

Come, look on this world
as a beautiful royal chariot.
Fools flounder in it,
but the discerning do not cling.

Whoever recovers from doing evil
by doing something wholesome
Illuminates the world
Like the moon set free from a cloud.

Whoever replaces an evil deed
with what is wholesome,
Illuminates the world
Like the moon set free from a cloud.

Blind is this world:
Few see clearly here.
As birds who escape from nets are few,
few go to Heaven.

    
One who is very materialistic and considers the material world the one and only reality is a pawn of the devil, the King of Death.  One who recognizes this world as illusion and temporary, is less likely to be controlled by Satan.  Likewise, those who cling to material objects, material goods are easily controlled by the Lord of Illusion.  Those who avoid such clinging are harder for him to control.  
    Some think that because they have sinned, or done bad things, they cannot be redeemed so there is no point in trying.  That is simply not true.  While our evil deeds may leave us with a karmic debt to be paid, God does forgive when we repent and do good.
    Few see this world as it really is, though quantum theory and the revival of Gnosticism is helping to change that.  Many think that everyone who isn’t a major criminal goes to heaven, but heaven is a place of perfection and is not that easy to get into.

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Gems and Crystals:Fire Opal

    Fire Opal is a gem stone that varies in color from red to yellow.  Most of the gem quality stones are orange and come from Mexico.  They are found in other places and recently Brazil has been producing quality fire opals.  Fire opals essentially come in two types.  The ones that are simply colorful gemstones, and the ones that have the internal display of colors that make white opals valuable.  Those fire opals with the internal colors are much more valuable than the plain ones.

Folklore and healing:
    They have been admired as a symbol of love since ancient times in Persia, India and Central America.  The Mayans and Aztecs used them in rituals.  They are believed to improve spontaneity, enthusiasm, and development of new ideas.  They help you to look within yourself.  Some use them as a focal point for meditation or visualization.
The red,orange and yellow colors make fire opal a healing stone for the lower energy centers and the organs in that part of the body. 

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Human Cloning

   Cloning has been a hot science topic in the past several years.  Scientists have successfully cloned a variety of animals.  A few have even claimed to have cloned humans, but have not provided evidence of it.   
    Without getting into the moral implications of bringing back the dead, my objection to cloning is that I don’t believe it can really be done.  By that I mean that the clone may be a genetic duplicate, but will otherwise be a unique individual.  Genetics only determines the makeup of the physical body and, to some extent, the mind because it is connected to the brain.  A clone, however, will not have the same spirit, soul, and energy centers as the original.  It also won’t be living in exactly the same environment.  All of these things will result in a person that may physically resemble the original, but will otherwise be quite different.  Even the physical body will change based on the different personality of the clone.  The clone may eat differently, exercise differently and work differently.  All of those things change the physical appearance so the clone won’t even look like the original once it has grown.  
    So the idea of cloning Einstein, Gandhi, Abe Lincoln, or other greats simply won’t work.  The clone will be a unique individual.

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Mortality

    Accepting our own mortality is difficult for most of us.  I don’t think I really accepted that I was mortal until my younger brother died.  Probably most people come to the realization in a similar way.  Some don’t want to accept it, but it is important for us to do so.  We must accept that out physical body is mortal otherwise, we have little incentive to concentrate on development of our immortal spirit and soul.
    Some people believe the physical body can be made immortal and they can live forever in there present physical form.  The medical and scientific communities have taken advantage of this by developing all sorts of methods of extending life by a few years or a few decades.  Major magazine have done articles on it, predicting that soon medical science will make us immortal. And some have had, or plan to have, their bodies frozen when they die so that some day, when medical science has eliminated all disease and aging, they can be brought back.  Their giant egos can’t accept that even if it becomes possible, there is no reason for anyone to want to bring them back.
    In any case, a little thinking should tell us how impossible the goal is.  Planets die.  Stars die.  The sun will die.  The galaxy will die.  Where is your immortal physical body going to live?  Would you just keep flying some kind of starship from galaxy to galaxy?  Right, good luck with that.
    I can’t buy that fantasy, so I concern myself with developing my spirit and soul which is immortal, and always will be because they existed before there was a physical universe and they will exist long after it is gone.  But every though it is immortal, your soul has to be developed, nourished.  We are born with souls that are in a state similar to a coma.  An egg waiting to hatch.  We need to awaken it through God’s Light which nourishes the soul.  This is the true meaning of being born again. 

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