Alone

All manifest and un-manifest universes glow like little lit lanterns strung across the firmament of night, itself a figment of the light, and beyond that, more light into light, no longer an earnest rehearsal for light, but light itself, which is love, and more than time or space can hold, our own innocence and natural truth. Even in this dim harsh density, it shines forth as the immortal font of wisdom, radiance, and bliss — our fundamental condition and divine inheritance.

Why then, how then, can we ever feel alone? We feel alone because our native connection to the divine light has become obscured by the pressing business of living in this objective world, contracting our vibration down into the seeming solidity of psycho-physical boundaries. We can’t find our way home. In the very midst of this calamity, however, there is something interesting we can notice. Appreciation is possible, and genuine appreciation leads to gratitude.

After the tightness of physical embodiment, we can appreciate so much more vividly the open spaciousness of our immortal freedom. In this humble circumstance of materiality, we can come to appreciate who we really are, by directly experiencing what we are not. We are here to learn to appreciate love by experiencing non-love. We learn to appreciate our connection to the divine, the source of light and love itself, by experiencing the illusion of separation.

The only truly sane thing to do with this life then is to expand our perception of our prior connection to the luminous divine, until all obscurations are seen through and discarded, and what remains is this immediate Presence, this eternal love. We can little by little or all at once, relax into that and be taken, taken by that which lives us, loves us, now and forever, Amen.

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Being and Doing

I open my laptop browser and the world comes rushing at me with the raw force of consciousness. Just so, by refraining from hierarchical thinking, I need not attempt to sort the seemingly more significant offerings from the apparently lesser ones. They all are equally empty parade participants in the transient electronic flotillas rumbling silently befor me down the neural boulevards.

Instead, I proceed to open a blank page in my magic thought recorder and resume compounding the general collective confusion by adding my own 2 cents in the form of superfluous sentences and paragraphs. There may be something agreeable or not about the ensuing words and the thoughts which spawn them, but it is nothing more than what the mind might make of itself while ensconced in the denser frequencies of the existence spectrum.

Beyond all that, and even prior to it, there is feeling. It is not a mere sensation program, although it includes every flavor of sensation. It is not based on the conditional interpretation of and response to arising mental stimuli, although nothing is excluded, even second thoughts.

Consider emotion. There is motion in the word emotion, which is movement, which is action. We are not here to simply be, we are also here to act. In the realm of being, love is being. In the realm of action, love is action. How we love is reflected in how we act, not so much in how we think or imagine, despite our finely worded explications in defense of a fictional person.

The body-mind-self and the passing display of theatrical bewilderments are props we actors juggle in the action movie called “life”. So many humans are eager to abandon their bodies, forgetting that we spend most of eternity without one. It is rare to get any human body, and rarer still to appreciate the opportunity it offers. We actors have our roles to play, but many get stage fright, hesitate, and only complicate.

We may be able to talk a good game, but action is the proof. The world’s at stake. Our acts of love, our love in action, make the body the mediator between heaven and earth, a clear crystal prism for feeling to infinity. Alternately, our refusal to act, our avoidance of action, only dims that light which we need more than ever to see.

Q: What do you mean by emotional assent? Am I not to act against my desires?

M: You will not act against your desires. Clarity is not enough. Energy comes from love — you must love to act — whatever the shape and object of your love. (I Am That, Nisargadatta)

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Ignorance

For some time now, throughout the Western Dharmic channels, there’s been frequent talk about “awakening”, as if that represents some critical experience, and in a way it certainly does. Imagine the alternative of spending one’s whole time in dreamland, never realizing one is fast asleep! Imagine a whole planet of such sleep-walkers! For proof that ignorance is not bliss, we need only look at the current state of Earth. Nevertheless, amid all the claims about illumination, not much is heard about staying awake, because it is actually still quite rare to thoroughly disentangle from the matrix and stabilize in the “open eyes” state.

Moreover, those who are actually awake don’t think of themselves as awake. They don’t think of themselves as anything in particular, nothing special. They have ceased experiencing themselves as separate entities from the whole. The wave is not other than the ocean. They don’t go on about “their” experiences. Notions of “me & mine” no longer apply. Truly, they never do, except as a reflection of ignorance.

Ignorance consists of forming and maintaining views, positions, beliefs, judgments, and self-images based on insufficient information. The fact is, we don’t know who or what we really are. The resulting confusion yields a state of mistaken identity, in which consciousness imagines it is this single time-bound carbon unit exclusively, and thus ignorance is reinforced in the delusion.

This is why the wise in such matters suggest, as an initial preparatory step, bringing one’s whole attention to this immediate moment, and cease living in the past or future. Although this in itself is nearly impossible for most humans, due to runaway thought-streams and engrained habit patterns, Help is always available, especially if we are sincerely dissatisfied enough with living from anything less than the truth. Here in dreamland, the illusion is formidable. Our will and efforts alone can only take us so far, and can even turn into further obstacles themselves. In the midst of our ignorance, only love lights the way onward. In the midst of our failures, love triumphs anew. Ignorance ends when there is nothing that remains of us but love.

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12 Tips for Souls Preparing for Upcoming Earth Missions

1. Be kind to everyone and everything — your mirrors.

2. Be responsible for proper care and bodily maintenance.

3. Skip entanglements with human belief systems and views.

4. Serve the planet and all of its inhabitants by non-harming.

5. Be a blessing for whomever you encounter, not a nuisance.

6. Keep a clear open connection with your own loving Source.

7. Discover what you love, whatever calls you, and do that.

8. Form relationships with energies that magnify the light.

9. Practice being before all thinking, the silent witness.

10. Let humble gratitude inform all waking moments.

11. Forgive every one and every thing every time.

12. Cling to nothing, non-dwelling is peace.

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Virtual

We’ve all heard about the benefits of “being here now”, but why does it seem so difficult for attention to simply remain present? We can pledge allegiance to the concept all day, but the actual experience is fleeting at best. If we turn attention around, we notice that we are typically somewhere in the past or future. To truly appreciate the immediate presence of our own truth requires that we relinquish the self-fascination, along with its ongoing narrative. There is no self in the now. The self idea comes later, when we have distanced ourselves from the present in order to conceptualize about it, and one of the concepts we employ is the sense of “me”. “Me” is a kind of useful creation that helps in the navigation of this 3-D realm, but not at all who or what we are.

Consider for instance the character we assume in a virtual reality video game. We are clearly not that fictional creation, but we play the role for the game’s duration. Some also compare that sense to a dream, in which the mind plays various roles while we sleep, but which all vanish when we awaken. However, there are no daydreams in the now. The self-obsession is a kind of daydream, in that it has no substantial foundation in reality. Rather, it’s a compounded jumble of thoughts, emotions, memory associations, beliefs and reflected images, interpretations on perceptions conditioned by innumerable factors leading back to the Big Bang and even further back.

There is no beginning actually, but the human mind makes a habit of identifying with the self-contraction from an early age, and that generally remains the case throughout one’s life, even if one reads a lot of wise sutras and holy texts. Unless we are somehow sobered up by a direct recognition of our actual condition, which is pretty rare, we typically remain in a stagnant trance of identification with those contracted self-images. Even more rare is to thoroughly disentangle from the long-running persona program to the point of mature stabilization in selfless love.

This is why the skillful teachings on “short moments, many times”, are expedient. Even when we awaken to the nature of consciousness to some extent, it takes effort to allow it to inform our very cells. However, this is not about some mental regimen, practice, or strategy. It is a matter of letting go at the heart, because it is the heart’s deepest desire, and we can no longer resist its call. Nobody plans to fall that much in love that they lose themselves in such a love. It may sound romantic even, but it is death. That is why we want to keep the story going, because we are afraid of death. What we discover, however, is that we don’t lose the story, it just expands beyond our comprehension. The story is not our concern. It only comes true when we unequivocally embody this immediate presence, unfettered awareness, selfless love.

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Withholding

When I consider all or any of the reasons I have withheld love, I recognize that each justification was spawned from judgments which were invariably based on insufficient information. All selfish points of view arise based on insufficient information. Our personal sense of autonomy, independence, and separation from each other is solely based on insufficient information. Because in our temporary human aspect we lose our native comprehension of the larger panorama, we become confused. Our immortal connection to our own Loving Source becomes in doubt, and seems to slip into the background of our awareness, as fresh experience coalesces into the sense of an apparent chasm in consciousness between ourselves and “the outside world”.

Out of ignorance, we adopt and fixate on various positions and self-images which we come to identify as “me”, and then circle the wagons around the ensuing sense of self engendered by consequent experience. Our attention is then spent trying to protect and defend this precious creation of ours from other aspects of ourselves, those appearing as “not me”. The war with ourselves is born, and floods forth throughout the collective (of which we are an inescapable part), every time we withhold love. We imagine we have enemies who do not deserve our love. Withholding love seems justifiable. It’s us against them.

However, that shard of prime intelligence, sometimes called our heart, which really knows how things are, never withholds love. It is love, and reflects only itself to itself, with no condition except to magnify itself. It makes of itself a vehicle in the form of this immediate presence, which is us. It pours through us in an unspeakable ecstasy, which our human persona filters, based on its dense construct and capacity. This human judgment system separates the lovable and the not so. When the “not so” presents, the auto-mechanism goes into resistance mode.

When resistance arises and crimps the flow of love, it originates based on insufficient information. What obstructs the energetic radiance of love but us, with our juggling act of judgment, belief, fear, and self-importance which contracts the receiving mechanism? We get in our own way by withholding love to any degree at all. When we withhold love from any part of consciousness, we withhold it from ourselves, since we are that. Love. The price of withholding is self-starvation. The grace can’t pour through, and we live by grace, the grace of love. All behaviors based on anything less than the highest aspirations of the heart makes us smaller, and ripple out through infinity, making everything a little less than it could be. What a terrible burden we place on our hearts by withholding love!

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The Aware Space of Immediate Presence

All mental constructs are a superimposition on immediate presence. When we refrain from identification with these constructs, which arise in the form of judgments, opinions, beliefs, and fantasies of interpretation on perception, but instead grant attention to this immediate presence, the mind becomes quiescent.

Of course, the usual tendency is to jump right back into the compelling neural stream, and thus true meditation consists of allowing this immediate presence to outshine the habitual activity of obsessive thought, rather than employing the futile strategy of attempting to stop thought forms from arising by the application of willful effort.

By persisting sincerely in such practice, the classical questions of purpose, meaning, and identity which the mind raises dissolve, or as some say, self-liberate, and we are left, not with answers, not with some kind of special knowledge, not with a triumphant enlightenment, but with the original innocence of our true nature — pristine aware space — prior to the deluding adventure of separation and confusion that constitutes the typical human experience.

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Here’s something to notice: nearly simultaneous with the appearance of anything, mind fabricates an interpretation while projecting the experienced reality. The objective part of the equation is that something appears. Whatever the phenomenon, it is compounded of other also-compounded phenomena, empty of any self-existence or non-existence, like a tree made of soil, seed, sun, and rain, which are themselves composed of countless things. The reason for the present appearance/experience can be traced back infinitely, even prior to the inception of that energy of which consciousness is its manifestation.

Time is only at the point of contact, immediate. Otherwise it becomes another conception. The sea of conceptuality is inky black. There is no direction. Every direction is unfathomable, except at this immediate time, as this immediate presence. Here awareness and experience are naturally indistinguishable — they are one thing, prior to any mental superimpositions: clear light, if seen as it is, pure love, natural presence.

Just so, there is a pithy formula of the well-meaning Tibetans that may ring a bell:

“Vision is Mind. Mind is Empty. Emptiness is Clear Light. Clear Light is Union. Union is Great Bliss.”

Paradoxically, although it is the natural default fragrance, we rarely imbibe even a brief and fleeting aroma of that supreme perfume. Rather, we remain fixated or fused in identification with the ceaseless parade of experiences, superimposing a limited and conflicted story of me and mine onto the mystery, and consequently can’t readily access and enjoy the more refined frequencies of vibration of which our construct is capable, beyond the delerious frenzy of this collective mindscape we are currently touring. It is only the clear light of love, this natural presence, which breaks the personal trance, awakens compassion, and sets us free. Said another way: “Experience is mind; mind is empty; emptiness is freedom; freedom is natural presence.”

sm nug

 

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Essence of Mind

What appears to be a curse may actually turn out to be a blessing. Of course, it can sometimes also be the other way around. Really, things are neither blessings nor curses. It is only our conditioned imagination which makes anything seem to be this or that. Phenomena (things) arise in dependence on causes and conditions, and hence possess no more than a relative reality. Some philosophies may even go so far as to question the actual existence of things, but the real issue is not whether anything truly exists, but rather, how it comes to exist in the first place.

Just so, if we want to get to the root of things, we must first discover for ourselves the fundamental basis, or essence of mind. Why? Because whatever appears is not other than mind itself. Without directly recognizing mind’s essence, we can know everything yet understand nothing. However, if we are able to understand that one thing, then everything else becomes clear and obvious.

The human intellect has a limited capacity, and yet we tend to rely on it in order to comprehend things. As long as we attempt to make life and phenomena fit within the confines of that intellect, our understanding will consequently be quite limited, and we will never be able to go beyond an extremely partial view of our nature and experience. We will always be confused, like looking in a mirror but only seeing a stranger.

In our examination, we eventually come to the realization that the essence of mind itself is not graspable by the intellect, regardless of how brilliant that intellect may seem in terms of solving logical problems and manipulating complex concepts. Thus, a totally different approach is required, if our aim is to get to the root of this mind.

One thing we can do to get started is to pay attention to our thoughts. That might seem redundant, but we’d be surprised at how often we just go around on a kind of automatic pilot, with a constantly vibrating stream of thoughts about anything and everything noisily parading down the neural boulevards. When we step back from immediate participation in the parade and start paying attention, however, we can notice how we are ruled by various thoughts that seem to arise out of nowhere, linger for a moment, and then disappear, followed immediately by more.

We can notice for example how we tend to identify with the current thought, and how we typically let it push us around. We are kind of like Igor being ordered around by Victor Frankenstein. “Igor, clean the laboratory; Igor, light the lamps and throw the switches; Igor, go out and fetch some dead bodies.” We usually comply, rarely questioning who this Dr. Frankenstein really is. However, if we investigate a little, we discover that there is no actual Herr Doktor. There is just a series of commands, directions, memories, impulses, notions, and sensations that apparently come from nowhere in particular, but seem to have cumulatively amounted in our fantasy of interpretation on perception to a solid and enduring person, a self, or “me”. Indeed, we take it for granted that is the way things really are and always have been.

Now though, upon inspection, we are not so sure anymore. The fact that there is no real or lasting continuity to this assemblage should provide us with a clue as to its transient nature. Consciousness works its magic, and a virtual world, along with a virtual self and its destiny, have somehow appeared. Momentarily, it all dissolves. Amazing!

Nevertheless, if we stay right with this mind and keep paying attention, we will discover that the person we were imagining ourselves to be in the morning is not the same as the one in the afternoon, nor is that one the same at night, while we sleep and dream. Indeed, just as each thought flickers by from moment to moment, so too does our sense of self. The whole body-mind-self mechanism is perpetually morphing, like a bubbling stream, and there is no place or time where we can freeze it and say: “This is it!”

On the other hand, now that we have been paying attention to this complex production for a while, we can recognize that something has been present the whole time. Actually, it is not a thing, not an object that can be pinned down or held in one’s hand, nor is it another projection of mind. Perhaps we now realize that it has always been here in the background, regardless of whatever the thought machine has been up to, regardless of the body’s big adventures, and regardless of whomever or whatever we might momentarily take ourselves to be.

It is empty of any conceptual designation, such as an inherent self-nature, so in that sense it is transparent, but it also has this pristine quality of knowingness about it, and so in that sense it is also “cognizant”. It is not qualified by any form of identification, so it is sometimes called “nameless”. What is that essence of mind? It is just this present awareness. Everything that has ever materialized has done so within the space of that, just as everything that vanishes does so within that same aware spaciousness. One can regard all appearances simply as superimpositions on this primordial awareness. Some compare this present wakefulness to the sky, in which clouds come and go, but which remains essentially the same in its vast emptiness.

It is prior to the arising of the intellect, prior to any sense of name or form, any fixed identity or storyline, any sound or vision. It is prior to the engaging play of self and other, prior to dualistic notions such as bondage and liberation, prior to consciousness itself. Obviously, it could never be something to become, attain, or manipulate, but if we really pay attention, we might recognize that it is the natural essence of who and what we truly are. Unborn and undying, without beginning or end, motionless and ever serene, indivisible, already always perfect – these are mere verbal designations for a reality beyond the intellect’s capacity to apprehend.

Awakened in such recognition, we are more and more released from the habitual fearful clinging, craving, and aversion which have previously characterized our existence in this realm. We begin to learn intuitively how to act in life and relationship, rather than persisting robotically as programed sleepwalkers. When stable recognition is embodied in compassionate action, genuine appreciation of our fundamental nature arises spontaneously as a living current of heart nectar. Such appreciation is another name for joy, joy which transcends both hope and fear, joy which freely expands to infinity!

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Transition

An old and weary world begins at last to shed its skin, while a shining new one emerges from a chrysalis composed of vibrant strands of living solar light. Those who are present now have the rare opportunity to make a choice which will determine their collective direction for a very long time to come. May all choose wisely!

For aeons we have been cautious caterpillars dreaming of the freedom of the skies, to spiral high and higher, to whirl with the singing wind, to wing and flash free of the anchor of gravity, of any earthly limitation. Now the defining moment has arrived — regardless of our state of preparation, it can no longer be postponed. All eyes are turned our way.

The momentous transition from a paradigm based on calculated self-interest to one illuminated by the sun of compassion has been a long time coming, and there are still powerful regressive forces that are resisting its successful installation in the global consciousness mainframe. They will do anything they can to stave off the shift for as long as possible, since they perceive it as a supreme threat to their rule (as indeed it is).

A world which has been dominated for centuries by the contracted fear energies of corrosive greed, blind intolerance, violent conquest, dogmatic fundamentalism, and compounded ignorance will not easily yield to the movement of the heart. Alas, a population which has been indoctrinated for centuries by the now counter-productive strategies of competitive survival, herd (slave) behavior, and the primacy of material acquisition and sanctioned exploitation at the expense of the greater community and environment will overwhelmingly prefer to slumber on with blinders firmly in place.

Rather than awakening to face the looming unknown which now confronts us, even as the old world crumbles before our eyes, a large proportion of us will inevitably fall back on denial, consume our attention with trivial distractions, and even seek out accomplished criminal alpha leaders to suavely sooth our mounting insecurities with vague promises of some nebulous future glory for the chosen. Walls will be built, divisions reinforced, enemies identified and persecuted, and wars pursued on every front, both domestic and international.

Even if such strategies may have worked before, however, they will no longer be successful. The transition will be difficult, made more so by fear and ignorance, but it will not be denied any longer. Really, the only question is: how difficult are we as a collective going to allow it to be? How much will we need to endure before we rise up and in one clear united voice say “YES!” to the new, to the heart, to guileless loving kindness and devoted selfless service?

How long will we resist taking the next step in our evolution towards that divine destiny which awaits us? Only by releasing our fearful fixations on the obsolete structures of the old world can the necessary space be opened for the new to emerge. The greater the delay, the greater the suffering which will surely ensue — both personally and collectively. Even though our souls thrive on it, it is still within our human animal nature to resist change. Now that the great impending change is upon us, we must wake up, stand up, and make our choice heard.

There is no safe hiding place — not in temples, ashrams, churches or caves, not in skyscrapers or internet forums, nor in pharmaceuticals or philosophies, not in nationalism and patriotism, not in slick gurus, spa treatments, and pleasant affirmations. Despite our reluctance, we are being stripped naked of our former affectations and comforting fantasies. What we cling to will always be an anchor weighing us down. The old world longs to crumble into ashes, even now it is burning itself up. It has exhausted itself, and now wants to taste the euphoria of restful oblivion. The right thing to do is to let it die in peace.

It is now long past the time to look back nostalgically at what has gone before, to seek answers or solutions from a dying system of predatory economics, heartless patriarchy, and manipulative social control mechanisms. Many civilizations have been in this very position before us. Some have managed to unite, put aside their differences, and prosper. Others have self-destructed. To co-create a new world, we must first empty ourselves of our former beliefs, expectations, religious superstitions, and above all, our chronic selfishness.

This is not about some exceptional virtue or saintliness. This is about growing up and out of the sandbox, about becoming the species we were meant to be, maturing into the adult version of humanity that can span the solar system and flower out into the awaiting starry cosmos. A fantastic adventure of self-awareness is beckoning us, inviting us to set aside the primitive provincialism of our youth and expand on into infinity. The whole universe is waiting to see how we shall respond.

 

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Poverty

We might wonder what it would be like if everything we have and own were to somehow be taken away from us. A huge part of human life is devoted to acquiring and then protecting “stuff”, stuff we fear we could lose in one way or another. Indeed, there is an immense business dedicated to providing us with insurance against any potential losses we might incur in the process of day-to-day life. However, though we may currently seem to possess something, if only temporarily, we never actually do. Even our thoughts about any of it are not truly ours. Even our memories. In the midst of everything, we literally have nothing.

Given that, there is no need to aspire towards poverty in any idealistic way, as if there were some virtue to be gained in the process. The real poverty cannot be achieved by gestures of religious renunciation. When one has nothing to begin with, what can they actually surrender? All such conceptual intention is more like a kind of subtle arrogance. When we examine our basic condition, we can recognize that we are totally innocent of any ownership whatsoever, regardless of appearances. We can test ourselves to see if this is true by self-inquiring, “Who are you?”

Being rich or poor in the material sense has nothing at all to do with the inherent poverty of our fundamental nature. We own nothing, not even this body we call “mine”. From the moment we enter this world we are busy fashioning an identity, but a thorough inspection of identity’s essential emptiness will clarify that it is not who or what we truly are. It is not ours to own. Indeed, it is only the sense of some kind of ownership that has made us blind to our true state of perfect poverty. It has made us selfish, left us feeling separated, restless, and alone.

Just as we may amass a great fortune, or alternatively, lose everything in a dream at night, when we awaken in the morning, we have gained nothing, nor have we lost anything. So it is with this life we imagine is ours, along with any accumulations which we believe we have garnered on the way. We may have had many dream-like adventures, many experiences which might have impressed us, but where have they gone? They are part of the bundle of thoughts, memories, sensations, and perceptions which we have assumed amounted to a separate, concrete, and enduring self, but we are not that self. None of it is who we are, nor was any of it ever ours.

Yes, there is awareness, but it too is not ours. The one who imagines that they are the witness of experience also disappears with the scene. Likewise, all concepts of free will and choice miss the point, if one does not first understand to whom they would apply. The main character in the movie undergoes all sorts of experiences. Maybe they were the hero, maybe the villain, maybe the winner, maybe the loser. When the movie comes to an end, where do they go?

They do not return to the light, nor do we. There is no actual reunion, no merger, no entering into the inexhaustible luminosity. Light is never other than itself. When we directly realize our inherent poverty, we are still only ourselves, what we have always been. In human terms (totally inadequate) there was an experiment. The light evolves. It grows more expansive, richer and more radiant through struggle. It divided itself from itself to create a sense of distance, as well as the sense of time it takes to realize itself anew. Why does it do this? Why do we?

This life on earth is a struggle, no matter who we are. Some claim it was created this way, to provide its visitors with an opportunity for rapid growth of character. If so, we have been given a great tool with which to meet the challenge: our essential poverty. Since we come with nothing, possess nothing, own nothing, how can we be harmed? Fear is what makes life difficult. It spawns the poisons of greed, hatred, and ignorance. This realm is infested with fear, but the realization of our essential poverty can neutralize all fear. We begin to recognize that everything which ever was or will be is contained within this exquisite poverty. There is truly nothing to lose. Thus, we become fearless. When we become fearless, we also become humble. We become generous and compassionate in the all-inclusive awareness that every being matters. Thus, we also become willing to sacrifice ourselves for love. In that way, we evolve.

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