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> What are we searching for?
Steve
post Jul 26, 2004, 05:48 PM
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This question popped into my head today. Since I began interest in philosophy, etc, I've always taken as a given that achieving greater levels of "enlightenment" is a noble purpose in life. But I don't even understand what this entails. What do we hope to gain by obtaining this so-called enlightenment? What are we getting closer to? I admit I am young, I'll be a senior in high school this year, but I consider myself to be pretty intelligent for my age (I don't mean to sound cocky by any means). Maybe I'm still too young and naive and will understand better when I have more life experiences, but is there anyone who can give a good response to this question to point me in the right direction? I think there are many more people like me who are seeking the answer to this question as well, whether they realize it yet or not. I believe it's a topic that warrants discussion.
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rhymer
post Jul 26, 2004, 07:08 PM
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Hi Steve,

I wouldn't worry too much about becoming 'enlightened'.

Have you noticed that nobody has yet defined just what it is anyway.

There are vast amounts of Truths out there for each us to find, and I mean 'absolute Truths', not just what we each individually accept as truths.

Life allows a long search for details about so many questions to which we seek answers.
Each time we realise another Truth I believe we are 'more enlightened'.

I dread the day that I 'know it all'. Can you imagine what it would be like not to be able to try and tackle another unknown?


Life would be most boring; so keep searching, and as long as you continue to learn be grateful and hope, as I do, that more remains to be discovered.


All the best, Bill.
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Dan
post Jul 26, 2004, 08:14 PM
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it's all about feeling that you understand. If you feel that way, you are 'enlightened'.
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Guest
post Jul 26, 2004, 08:49 PM
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QUOTE (Steve @ Jul 26, 02:48 PM)
Maybe I'm still too young and naive and will understand better when I have more life experiences, but is there anyone who can give a good response to this question to point me in the right direction?

you are still too young, and yet old enough to realize there is more, the likes of which you may be beginning to catch the tiniest glimpses of. You are a contradiction, caught between extremes, looking within as far as you look without, it is all the same story, and yet it is not, there is something more, and you know it, and you will hopefully realize it in time.

A word of advice: Beware of false prophets and those who try too hard to appear wise or enlightened.

And one final word: Beware of my words, and words in general, and of yourself and your pleasant rationalizations and attempts to impose coherency and structure onto something that is really a bottomless well. And only when you have lost your self in the barrenest deserts, and chosen to avoid the false oases onto which the fools flock, then will you understand.


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Robert the Bruce
post Jul 26, 2004, 11:55 PM
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LIVE and become enlightened through growing and changing. If you are not changing are you living or are you forcing life to meet your ego needs? Someone wisely advised you not to pay much heed to words and though this is true it is also false. A great truth has an opposite with is also true. (Neils Bohr said that)

Most people are programmed to behave and yet our behavioral programmers or parents are at the least a product of flawed beliefs. Belief is closure so guard against it and the wiles of ego. To fulfill one's potential requires giving and the greatest giving can be observed in words of those who gave a lot - but judge them by their acts and not words put in their mouths by others.
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Rajesh
post Jul 30, 2004, 11:27 AM
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The Question: What are we searching for?

The Answer: Answer to the Question "What are we searching for?".

The Realization(or knowledge): We are searching for the searcher. Rather the searcher is searching for himself.

Why is it difficult: As long as the the searcher keeps searching, he will find everything but himself. And if he does not search, he is not going to find anything.
(Then what on the hell should he do?!)

When does it end: The question should rather be "How does it end?". My rational thinking doesnot help me here. It must end in a weird, mysterious, irrational way.

What's the Big Deal: We get what we are searching for.

The Confusion: Why dont we just stop the search and be happy with what we are/have (if we are actually searching for ourself)

The Clarity: Every time you find yourself, you find more of yourself.
Less of "me" finding more of "me". I am searching for more of "myself"

"MORE!!!" in what sense: That is exactly What we are searching for.


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Guest
post Jul 30, 2004, 11:54 AM
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QUOTE (Rajesh @ Jul 30, 08:27 AM)
The Question: What are we searching for?

The Answer: Answer to the Question "What are we searching for?".

The Realization(or knowledge): We are searching for the searcher. Rather the searcher is searching for himself.

Why is it difficult: As long as the the searcher keeps searching, he will find everything but himself. And if he does not search, he is not going to find anything.
(Then what on the hell should he do?!)

When does it end: The question should rather be "How does it end?". My rational thinking doesnot help me here. It must end in a weird, mysterious, irrational way.

What's the Big Deal: We get what we are searching for.

The Confusion: Why dont we just stop the search and be happy with what we are/have (if we are actually searching for ourself)

The Clarity: Every time you find yourself, you find more of yourself.
Less of "me" finding more of "me". I am searching for more of "myself"

"MORE!!!" in what sense: That is exactly What we are searching for.

to me, this type of answer is completely uninformative. Knowing the seeker, or more aptly, believing or thinking we know the seeker, is just part of the equation, and more often than not, the cause for much delusion.
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rhymer
post Jul 30, 2004, 01:23 PM
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I am not searching for the searcher.

And, though I do search for myself, it is not myself that I seek.
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Rajesh
post Jul 31, 2004, 06:51 AM
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QUOTE (Guest @ Jul 30, 08:54 AM)

to me, this type of answer is completely uninformative. 

I myself would like to see an informative answer to the question "What are we searching for?" smile.gif

QUOTE (Guest @ Jul 30, 08:54 AM)

Knowing the seeker, or more aptly, believing or thinking we know the seeker, is just part of the equation, and more often than not, the cause for much delusion.


That is my whole point.
We are just seeking without even knowing(truly) who is the seeker and what are we seeking.
Only after a long search we see this seeker and realize,
1) That is me
2) I am That
3) I have been seeking myself (the real me), without even knowing it.


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Rajesh
post Jul 31, 2004, 07:44 AM
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QUOTE (rhymer @ Jul 30, 10:23 AM)
I am not searching for the searcher.

And, though I do search for myself, it is not myself that I seek.

Are you saying every person searches for different things?

If you are searching for yourself, doesn't that mean that you are searching for the searcher.

When you are still searching for youself, then how do you know that you are not seeking yourself.



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rhymer
post Jul 31, 2004, 03:48 PM
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Hi Rajesh,

My response was brief and I apoplogise for that.

The language is, I find, ambiguous.

To try and clarify:-

I am searching for the Truth to questions like:-

Is there a God [or more]?
Why is life existent?
How did it come about?
What purpose does it serve?
What is conciousness?
What is Self?

In considering these questions, I search.
'Myself' is me. I am not searching for 'me', so I am not searching for myself. I do search by myself though - and employ nobody else to search for me!
If I wanted to search for myself I would start with a mirror and a psychiatrist.

Indeed different people search for different things I suspect. Some people may be unable to face up to or cope with some of the Truths of life, so exclude these avenues; hide them behind mental walls as is necessary to cope. Others feel stronger and able to delve deeper with whatever skills they have been able to develop. In my case answers are not coming easily!

So, I have defined the type of questions I seek to answer, and you will see that I do not seek 'myself'.
I know myself. I am found. And I look outwards. I do also look inwards on the conciousness issue, however.
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Robert the Bruce
post Jul 31, 2004, 04:11 PM
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The Mayabs say:

'Do not put yourself in front of your SELF'.
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rhymer
post Jul 31, 2004, 05:10 PM
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Hello Robert,

I call my SELF 'Essy'.

Essy is quite happy that I search and try to explain to 'it' just what is going on.
Most times Essy takes little notice, but my control is improving dramatically, especially regarding my health.

Essy does look after me, however, so I have the greatest respect for it!

Did the Mayabs say anything about putting oneself behind ones SELF?
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Unknown
post Jul 31, 2004, 06:46 PM
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QUOTE (Robert the Bruce @ Jul 31, 01:11 PM)
The Mayabs say:

'Do not put yourself in front of your SELF'.

that's funny cause the MayaNs have a similar saying.
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Robert the Bruce
post Aug 01, 2004, 01:39 AM
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yes, the b is next to the n on the keyboard
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Robert the Bruce
post Aug 01, 2004, 01:50 AM
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Dear Rhymer

Putting one's self behind, or in front, or above, or at the side of, inside, and 'without', are all perspectives that the saying contemplates. In fact the saying is quite suggestive of the fact that there is no self outside of the SELF to one who is aware.

The personality is not the consciousnes or the soul and yet it has energy that continues in some way to be able to come back and re-learn or learn again what it failed to learn. Still the personality is not immortal and must seek to dis- solve as it solves the nature of awareness.

They believed there was soul in rock and in all matter (as the separation of muons experiment does suggest). They knew it could collectivize and act on other design constructs and be energized to do things or make certain things appear to be according to their imprint but they also knew they (!) were only part of something far greater.

They knew the ego or personality had to refute the meaning in the saying before it could understand the meaning in the saying. They understood how stupid people can be and why wisdom equires looking past ego better than most. My research shows they had contact with Buddhists from Barabudur since the sixth century AD and they may have been associated with these Buddhists from where Buddhism or Hinduism originated long before that.
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Rajesh
post Aug 02, 2004, 08:35 AM
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QUOTE (rhymer @ Jul 31, 12:48 PM)
So, I have defined the type of questions I seek to answer, and you will see that

I do not seek 'myself'.
I know myself. I am found. And I look outwards. I do also look inwards on the conciousness issue, however.

I guess there are two types of people.

One starts with the question "Who am I" (or similar questions which essentially mean the same)
This type of people finds the answer at the end of their search.
Or they get a glimpse of the answer as they progress and continue their search for absolute clarity.

This means they try to find the boundary of the self, and end up realizing that the self is unbounded and hence realizing the unity of all.


The Other type starts with,
"I know myself.
I am found. And I look outwards. I do also look inwards "
"And I look for one or more things inside or outside"

I think this is a very slippery start. When a person say "I know myself" and "I look outside or inside". Here "myself" is referred as a dividing line between inside and outside.

But as the search progresses, the dividing line ("myself") appears to be non-existent (or disappear). Which means there is no inside or outside, but only the self.
Then arises the question "What are we searching for? if the outside and inside is not clear"

Some more analysis leads to the question "If the dividing line ("myself") is not clearly defined then "Who am I?"

Which further leads to the realization that "I am boundless", "I am Unity", "I am That(which I have been searching for)"

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Rajesh
post Aug 02, 2004, 09:54 AM
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QUOTE (rhymer @ Jul 31, 12:48 PM)
I am searching for the Truth to questions like:-

Is there a God [or more]?
Why is life existent?
How did it come about?
What purpose does it serve?
What is conciousness?
What is Self?

So, I have defined the type of questions I seek to answer, and you will see that
I do not seek 'myself'.
I know myself.


Is there a God [or more]?
(implies)=> Is there a universal set to which I am a subset? (God cannot be a subset of me or disjoint set from me)
=> Am I the sub set or the universal set or one of the subsets without an universal set
=> Am I a subordinate of a Superior
=> I still need to know something more about me

Why is life existent?
=> Why is (My) life existent? (Existence of life is perceived only through existence of my own life)
=> Why do I exist?
=> I still need to know something more about me

How did it come about?
=> How do I come about? (Everything else should have come in the same way)
=> I still need to know something more about me

What purpose does it serve?
=> What purpose do I serve?
=> Why do I exist?
=> I still need to know something more about me

What is consciousness?
=> What is consciousness, which I seem to have?
=> What is my consciousness?
=> I still need to know something more about me

What is Self?
=> How is it different from my self.
=> Is "myself" included or excluded in Self.
=> I still need to know something more about me

These questions of yours only imply that what you know about yourself is not sufficient enough to answer these questions.

Hence you donot have a full picture of yourself, and you need to search for more of yourself.
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rhymer
post Aug 02, 2004, 04:01 PM
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Hi rajesh,

You paint an interesting picture by trying to prove that I search only for myself.
But, I am a different sort of investigator to that which you conjure up.

Take my first and second and third points.
Is there a God and why is life existent?
When I think of this question, I see history as a sequence of events (quite naturally).
I consider whether a life form (not just Man or Me), did not exist at some time, and then came into existence.
What caused it. Why was it caused, or why was it possible. I am not considering reproduction, but creation or evolution, etc., or even invasion (just moves the problem back).

Take my fourth point.
What purpose does life serve?
Again, you limit the search to me, when in fact I consider all life-forms in my search for answers. I happen to believe that for the individual, the best way to consider 'purpose' is, when on ones deathbed, to recall everything one has done in ones lifetime, and to accept that list to be ones purpose in life. This may give a warm feeling, and is quite probably false, but I start from there and consider other possibilities. I suspect that there is no purpose to life! Many questions can be asked, to which there is an answer which is indeterminable and some questions can be asked to which no answer exists.

Take my fifth point.
I am bound to consider my own conciousness for the simple reason that I cannot witness that of anybody else - only it's effects on them. But you unnecessarily narrow the field by presuming to try and prove that I am doing the thinking only to find out something about myself. Most of my reading is of things that go wrong with the brain, ie., things which are not applicable to me! I happen to believe that my existence is of little consequence in the worldly scale of things. I might be able to change that for the good of all by realising something which no-one has realised (a most unlikely, but none-the-less worthwhile activity in my opinion). I would not seek any reward or fame!

So your conclusion that I am only seeking information about myself is false; I do not consider myself to be above anybody else, but as useless as everybody else, thereby not worthy of consideration in general. Some people do, however celebrate my existence, and I others. When it comes to negative thoughts about others I strain to hate their behaviour or thoughts rather than the person and can usually understand why they behave the way they do. (These comments do not refer to you for your post, by the way)!

I shall now consider why you should conclude that my search is self biased.
Namaste, Bill.


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Unknown
post Aug 02, 2004, 05:22 PM
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After listening to you two debate about this I think that you're both right. We strive to understand the universe (and ourselves). The thing is, though, we cannot possibly understand ourselves outside the context of our part in the universe. And in the same way we can't understand the universe without considering our own existence in it. It's a bit of a catch-22. So I guess the conclusion I'm coming to is that we have to look without and within at the same time to get anywhere. While natural tendency is to study everything objectively, but matters like this must be observed without disregarding our own part in it.
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Rajesh
post Aug 03, 2004, 12:51 PM
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QUOTE (rhymer @ Aug 02, 01:01 PM)
So your conclusion that I am only seeking information about myself is false;


I can understand what you mean.
But I guess whatever we discuss should address the questions of the topic starter
smile.gif

The main questions put forth by the starter of the topic are (in his words):

QUOTE

What are we Searching for?
What do we hope to gain by obtaining this so-called enlightenment?
What are we getting closer to?


I think I should use such words that you cannot deny that you are seeking them.
Eternal Bliss
Eternal Love
Unity (along with diversity)
OmniSciece and omnipotence

And What seems to be in store is a stuff called "Self" which has all the above attributes.
And there seems to be a weird association between this "Self" and what I call "Myself". They seem to be one and the same!



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Dan
post Aug 03, 2004, 01:43 PM
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I think the answers to these questions are exceedingly simple.

We are searching for the everlasting good life.

The so-called 'enlightenment' is just a grandiose mythos of 'salvation'. Those who claim 'enlighenment' usually guide people into self-satisfying isolation.

What we are getting closer to is uncertain, there are no guarantees except that we will end up somewhere.
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rhymer
post Aug 03, 2004, 02:46 PM
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Eternal Bliss
Eternal Love
Unity (along with diversity)
OmniScience
Omnipotence

Each of the above are terminal and limiting conditions.
I suspect that if and when attained, ones appreciation of life may be very limited.
We only really appreciate anything when its opposite interferes and reminds us of a valuable something!

I prefer to look forward to not wanting to improve any aspect of what happens in my life on a day to day basis. That is to say that I seek satisfaction, and I guess that is what we all seek and at the same time realise that we all have different 'aiming points' or judgements of what will satisfy us. [I do not presume to accept a 'sit back and enjoy it' attitude or approach. There must have been the consideration of an aiming point].
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Robert The Bruce
post Aug 03, 2004, 03:14 PM
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Enlightenment will never be had through SALVATION - that concept is a crock like all the other fear fomenting Self-Inflicted Nonsense borne of religion. One must lose their self before becoming able to get enlightenent in the many stages it comes - see Celestine Prophecy for one approach - it comes from the Enneagrams.
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Unknown
post Aug 03, 2004, 05:35 PM
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QUOTE (Dan @ Aug 03, 10:43 AM)
We are searching for the everlasting good life.

speak for yourself. Some of us require understanding and in general much more than anyone's conception of a good life.
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Unknown
post Aug 03, 2004, 05:38 PM
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QUOTE (Robert The Bruce @ Aug 03, 12:14 PM)
Enlightenment will never be had through SALVATION

Indeed. Better that people learn how to save themselves, through themselves, but of course, most require the pleasant fiction of an all-too-human God or of the one who they say died on a cross.
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Unknown
post Aug 03, 2004, 05:42 PM
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QUOTE (Dan @ Aug 03, 10:43 AM)
The so-called 'enlightenment' is just a grandiose mythos of 'salvation'.

you speak from experience, and your experience is limited.

Mind you, scepticism is healthy, but denial of the possibility is delusion. Since many things are possible of which you do not have the slightest understanding, it's good to keep an open mind about things, even while remaining sceptical if our experience suggests to do so.
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Unknown
post Aug 03, 2004, 05:46 PM
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QUOTE (Rajesh @ Aug 03, 09:51 AM)
I think I should use such words that you cannot deny that you are seeking them.
Eternal Bliss
Eternal Love
Unity (along with diversity)
OmniSciece and omnipotence

And What seems to be in store is a stuff called "Self" which has all the above attributes.
And there seems to be a weird association between this "Self" and what I call "Myself". They seem to be one and the same!

I mostly concur with this but would add the following:

Your self is but the merest reflection of the Self, as the moon is but the merest reflection of the Sun. One should never confuse the two.
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Unknown
post Aug 03, 2004, 05:49 PM
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QUOTE (rhymer @ Aug 02, 01:01 PM)
So your conclusion that I am only seeking information about myself is false


There is no escaping the observation that the world is your creation. All that you seek occurs within your field of consciousness. It may sound trivial, but I think this is all Rajesh is saying.
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post Aug 03, 2004, 06:05 PM
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QUOTE (Rajesh @ Aug 02, 06:54 AM)
What is Self?
=> How is it different from my self.
=> Is "myself" included or excluded in Self.
=> I still need to know something more about me


"Self" is an experience. You cannot ask the question "what is Self?" and expect an answer in rational terms. No more can people who see in black-and-white ask the question, "what is red?" and expect an answer in rational terms. It is an irreducible experience. Those who experience, know the answer, and those who don't either continue to ask the question, attempt to provide rational answers, or dismiss the notion of "Self" as delusion or otherwise not very interesting.

An interesting question would be, is it sufficient to lose one's ego in order to experience the Self? I think the answer is "No" because ego-less individuals, who give of themselves without regard for themselves are rather common in charities, and yet I do not think such people know anything of God or of the Self. Thus, I conclude that losing one's ego is not sufficient in order to experience the Self (though it seems necessary). Note that this example above undermines the effectiveness of bhakti yoga for achieving the objective of yoga, and confirms my suspicion that bhakti yoga was created in order to quell the dull masses (just as Christianity is today in the U.S.) and to satisfy their desire to feel self-important.



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