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Calling All Religions: Please Share Your Wisdom

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posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 10:23 AM
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Greetings, ATS!

I want to know if God exists. It is, in my opinion, the most important question I can ask and I’ve sought the answer for over twenty-five years now.

Okay, long story short. I was raised Baptist and have since lost my faith. I no longer know if God exists and if so….what God’s nature might be.

So what I’d like to do is explore the idea of God from multiple religious beliefs. I plan to make a series of threads that piggyback off each other. The first thread (this one) will deal with the existence of God. The next will focus on God’s nature, with more to follow.

Some ground rules for this thread. You may not argue from religious texts. Why? I want to avoid that mindless cliché of “The Bible Said It, I Believe It, and That Settles It.” In a later thread we will explore religious texts, but for now all argument must make do without.

You may share anecdotal information, including personal feelings and experiences, hunches and intuitions. They must be personal, though…not a friend of a cousin’s third wife’s sister stories.

Lastly, please treat those of differing faiths with decorum and respect. I will report any threads that insult other religions or other viewpoints.

So...our question for today:

Does God Exist? How do you know?




posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 10:39 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


A truly noble, and understandable question...so here is my humble opinion.

Life yields every shade of every color. That is to say that at any moment, anywhere, anyone can win the lottery, or die a horrific death. Life is chaos, unpredictable, and seems purely neutral if there is any intent at all. Life could very well be some type of illusion and all of our apparent lives living here together are all just one consciousness experiencing itself. The sensations you feel, the emotions, textures under your finger, pain, ecstasy, security, and shear terror. Perhaps all of it is some type of energy designed to help the super-consciousness grow.

I don't know, my friend. I was born Catholic, and that didn't last long. People will tell you everything, EVERYTHING as if they know first-hand, but for me personally, the greatest comfort I ever found was in being humble enough to accept and be comfortable living a life with no definite's. That is to say that anyone who tells you that things function a certain way, regardless of whether they think we are children of Christ, particles of dust, or an Alien experiment, are creating only a cage for you. I don't care what you make the bars out of, I don't want a cage.

So since I am willing to listen, learn and discuss any ideas without judgement, I have only one faith, and that is love. Unless you are trying to harm me or mine, I will treat you as I wish to be treated. I won't kill for sport, I won't step on a bug, but I might kill a mosquito if it tries to feed on my life force, or corrupt it with disease. I will kill, but only if you try to kill me. Otherwise, The older I get the more convinced I am that all things deserve to exist. If life is even half as neutral as it appears to be, who am I to apply my tiny little meaning to it?

I don't know if that helps, but its how I feel.
edit on 20-6-2012 by BS_Slayer because: spelling :p



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 10:43 AM
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I was raised Presbyterian, then converted to Baptist in HS. Have been Baptist or Non-Denomination since. I often struggle with my faith and/or doubt. But I think if your a "normal" rational thinking human that's natural. Ultimately, the idea of NO GOD is pretty depressing to me. That means essentially when you die, that's it. And that might even be true, but I would perfer that not to be the case.

Also, I have looked for years (kind of randomly) at biblical archeology. I think there is pretty substantial evidence that the events of the Bible are true. There are several sites you could search under Biblical Archeology.

I would suggest the "case for" series. Case for Christ, Case for Faith, etc. Can't remember the author's name off the top of my head, but some good reading.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 10:44 AM
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First off, one must define "God". What and/or who is he/she? What are the qualifications to be a "god"?

I spent nearly 30 years of my life as a devout and hardcore fundamentalist Christian. I am now an atheist/agnostic.
It is only my opinion, but I don't believe there is a god in the sense humans believe in. A being to be praised, worshipped, or deified. I have come to think if there is an entity or entities we might consider creator(s), that entity is so vastly different from what any religion on earth might think of, it would be like comparing apples and oranges.

Bottom line, if there is an entity or entities that had a direct hand in our existence, that does not qualify it or them for godhood, it qualifies only for involvement.

So no, I don't believe there is a "God".
edit on 6/20/2012 by Klassified because: redaction



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 10:58 AM
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Arguments like this one will help you to understand the basis for rational belief. I am not saying there are not refutations, and counter-refutations to those refutations, because there are. But personally I went through all the debates, was belief in a created universe a rational beleif, or just a crazy thing. I even debated both sides, as for me debate can also be a learning tool, And I came to the conclusion that belief in a Creator is in fact a rational belief. There is no absolute proof, but neither is there absolute proof in there not being a Creator either.

From this point it becomes a personal journey, whether to believe or suspend belief. And personal experiences are key. I prayed for guidance, not just a little either. And had personal experiences that guided me to full and absolute belief in a Creator. My personal experiences will not be someone elses. When you get to this point, just ask God...
edit on 20-6-2012 by OpinionatedB because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl
You may share anecdotal information, including personal feelings and experiences, hunches and intuitions.


That's what I'm going with.


So...our question for today:

Does God Exist? How do you know?


Yes... and I know that because I see It with my eyes every day and in my dreams every night.

God is everything that exists in this, and all other possible universes. God is a grain of sand in the Sahara and the giant orbiting planets of the solar systems. God is the sun and all the stars. God is the flea and the elephant. God is the algea floating on a pond and the giant Sequoia forest.

God talks to us in our dreams, allowing us to make sense of the twists and turns of life and the marvels of theory. God also shows us the intricacies of the natural world through the scientific method so that we may re-learn forgotten knowledge and find a few exciting new inalterable facts.

God is all of it. It is the alien life we've yet to find and hope to discover. There is no limit to God, no beginning or end and God exists everywhere at once.

I don't believe God has either a male or female gender, but is both at the same time. God is able to provide and deny simultaniously.

And most of all, when you pray, each word echoes throughout the galaxies and not one particle of thought is ever ignored or forgotten.





edit on 20/6/12 by masqua because: bb code



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 11:03 AM
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My belief is that consciousness is "god" expressed individually as love for yourself and everything around you.
edit on 20-6-2012 by knowledgedesired because: because i can't spell Consciousness



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 11:15 AM
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You can not find "God" from any religon, if you want to find God look within and then you will understand.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 11:29 AM
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I was baptized into a Catholic Church when I was a baby, no say. To be honest I hadn't even accepted God. I would bow my head in Church with everyone else, peek at other people with their eyes closed to see if they would open their eyes. I was young, no real understanding of life or death, an afterlife, or God for that matter. On top of that the mass we went to was in Spanish, and my mother spoke to me in English 90% of the time unless she was cursing at me, so even if I tried, I wouldn't have even understood the concept of a God. Around the age of 6, I forget how, I was introduced to a Baptist Church. It was then I learned to accept God in my life, and got the ideas of what God was about. Come my mid-teen years I started going through depression. I cursed God, used his name in vein, started to search up Devil Worship, I was a mess. I though of dying every single day. I closed myself from the outside world, tossed the people that loved me aside and forgot about the world. I would cry to myself, then hurt myself, I felt hopeless. Yet every time I was at a point where I felt like giving up, someone came to me, trying their best to comfort me and help me out. My pastor even came to visit me a few times. Little by little I realized what I was doing was stupid. Eventually was forced into going to a psychologist, which was no help and I stopped going. I didn't need anyone in my business trying to prescribe me medication. I gave God another shot, prayed my heart out. Now a few years later I've come a long way, I look back at those times and try to analyze what went wrong, but I can't figure it out. Recently I've been gradually feeling as if I'm getting back into my old ways, those days of depression. But I'm feeling this sense of something pushing me to break out of it, through recent events in my life. I was at your point in my life, but I've been reassured plenty of times that he's here with me, and have still questioned it afterwards. I'm at the point where I personally know he's here, and I wont allow anything to change that. Over 7 billion on Earth, with millions more every day. That's 7 billion experiences, and 7 billion ways of thinking. I'll stick to a belief based on my experiences. Don't ask whether God is real or not, you decide that for yourself based on your experiences. It's a personal thing, not something you can figure out reading religious text, or asking someone.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 11:32 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I don't think so...


You may share anecdotal information, including personal feelings and experiences, hunches and intuitions.


O.K...if god did exist, consider the implications, as any thing with an ego that big can only be followed by turmoil and chaos.

For example: Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword; their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open! - Hosea 13:16


And what of the greediness...if god did exist, just like government it would demand a tithe, in addition to life long servitude for the benefit of the system. If god did exist, there would be temples and buildings built everywhere in his name, with little to none of the donated funds going to the poor, as the glory of god would be seen in architecture, not humanities altruism.


And let's not forget, if god did exist, a book would be written in his name...that cites itself.





So, if god did exist, all of the above would be taking place at this very moment, and we would be screwed...



Oh, no...............god does exist.





posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 11:42 AM
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reply to post by facelift
 


Lol...

I lost my faith years and years ago, but it wasn't for the reasons many Christians claim. Its that there were some fundamental flaws in the stereotypical concept of "God". With all due respect to anyone who sees God this way, I found the Abrahamic type of God concept similar to that of a spoiled child.

The God of the Bible, Qua ran, or any other holy book seems so, well, human.

I can't imagine any God-being, with the power to produce life on such a scale, would create something that is eternally doomed. Not referring to our species, but to those going to "hell" for example. Let's assume there is a God in the traditional sense, and I am a serial killer, rapist, child molester. It is possible that perhaps I am inherently evil, but what if I myself was raped, beaten and tortured all throughout childhood?

Finally, as a man, I snap, or just simply evolve to hurt others....after a life of nothing but receiving, and inflicting pain the final end is an eternity in a lake of fire? Think about the meaning of that word...eternity. What kind of even mildly empathic God would create such a wretch of a creature that he/she already knows is doomed? What about people that make mistakes but are generally good-hearted? In fact, the concept of free will, will likely be brought up, but the god taught to us by religions is all-knowing, so it is meaningless here.

That is to say nothing of the human traits of wanting attention/worship... An eternal being at least in my mind, would have no use for thrones, worship, eternal punishments, and destructive punishments. I could go on and on and on, but these things alone made the traditional religions a non-option for me.

I'm not trying to convert the OP to anything, nor convince others, only expressing a few reasons among many that these ideas are too archaic for me to accept. At the same time, I am not so arrogant as to presume anything is impossible, but I must deduce my opinion from what I can see, feel and, analyze.
edit on 20-6-2012 by BS_Slayer because: spelling, as usual.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl
Does God Exist? How do you know?


I CAN say I know the LORD exist no matter the name you know the by. I say the lord does exist due to situations in my life experiences when I called and asked for help the lord was there. Now some can say well those all could of been coincidences but w/o personally experiencing what I did then you remain clueless. I just cannot think every time a sign or request was answered was just coincidence. So I believe. Also there is DATA related on the GOD(s) of EA*RTH and who they were and how ancient man may have viewed them. So there is evidence of the GOD(S) NOW THE CREATOR OF ALL* WHO SENT ITS GOD(S) SENDS MAY BE MORE ILLUSIVE OF A BEING TO LOCATE OR ACKNOWLEDGE BY MANY... I ALSO BELIEVE THERE IS A CREATOR OF ALL (but that's me)

[COLOR=GOLD]LOVE LIGHT ETERNIA*******[/COLOR]



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by Klassified
First off, one must define "God". What and/or who is he/she? What are the qualifications to be a "god"?

I spent nearly 30 years of my life as a devout and hardcore fundamentalist Christian. I am now an atheist/agnostic.
It is only my opinion, but I don't believe there is a god in the sense humans believe in. A being to be praised, worshipped, or deified. I have come to think if there is an entity or entities we might consider creator(s), that entity is so vastly different from what any religion on earth might think of, it would be like comparing apples and oranges.

Bottom line, if there is an entity or entities that had a direct hand in our existence, that does not qualify it or them for godhood, it qualifies only for involvement.

So no, I don't believe there is a "God".
edit on 6/20/2012 by Klassified because: redaction


. Why not define it as everything that exists. The One that is all. Being human and disconnected from the whole god with an ego is fun sometimes and a hell sometimes but we all have to go home at times to relax. If you wanna experiance something that is hidden in normal human life then you can try starting playing around with medative sounds for your chakras if it feels right for you. But be sure it is what you want. One day you will have experianced to much and there is no going back to dreaming again after that.

Search within and turn the radio transmitter on.
edit on 20-6-2012 by apushforenlightment because: spellchecking



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:14 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


You asked about God and of He exists but do not want bible quotes , God told is He would prove to is He exists thru His prophets . God has done exactly that but people refuse to believe in them , just as Israel and Judah did millennia ago which cost them their country until it was restored to them in 1948 . Every country that had participated in the Arab spring last year was named in the bible , yet it will be ignored as old prophecy even though the bible tells us every story was given to us as an example of what to expect in the end times.

The bible you do not want quoted tells us of the next war and how Damascus will be a ruiness heap never to be lived in again . It also names Iran and its people to be scattered to the four winds . Don't worry it did not forget china and Russia they are named also . The bible talks of an army from the east two hundred thousand thousand strong crossing the dried up river Euphrates . It is fairly dry now and all turkey has to do is close a dam and it will happen and yes the bible gives us a story of how this happened before when Cyrus the great concurred Babylon .we can't forget that the bible named cyrus the great of Medio Persia to do all this about 170 years before his birth and also to let the Jews go back to Israel to rebuild the temple with Cyrus paying for it . Secular records confirm this .

I could go on but most call it bull , I will leave you all with this note soon very soon war in the middle east and then peace and when we hear of peace the end will come .



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:16 PM
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I cannot believe in any "god" being that created us and loves us as his own children. I may interpret some other things as being like a "god" that i cannot define or understand (If I had to put a "god" tag on what I believe, it would be the universe itself.) but to believe in a religious god or intelligent being who created us and oversees us will never work for me.

Why? The number one reason is children. I cry at the sight of a suffering child. Those "Christian Children Fund" commercials? Yeah, my heart sinks. (Just like they want) What god allows such a thing? What god allows a child who hasn't even made it to their 10th birthday to die of cancer? What god allows that child to be ripped from the arms of their parents at the same time creating us to feel the pain from that?

Whenever I see someone thanking god for all that he has given and blessed them with, I then think about all the suffering people and innocent children that were not good enough to be given so much as a first glance and I get ill. I see people talk how they "know" god exists because of the miracles they have experienced. Why does this loving father play favoritism with his children? Why are some people so selfish and egotistical to think this god of 7 billion human beings stopped and helped them?

I've had these feelings ever since I was a child when attending church once with my grandmother. She didn't have any of the right answers for me and scolded me for even questioning, so I have never had faith in a religious god.

I have a wonderful husband, beautiful healthy children and a happy life filled with love. I have a roof over my head and everything I need. I would be a rotten soul if I were to attribute this life to a god and start thanking him. If he is indeed responsible, I should curse him because I am no better or different than any other human being on this planet and I deserve health, happiness, security and love no more or less than anyone else.

I therefore thank the responsible parties for my life: My mother and father for raising me like they did, giving me the ability to make my own choices and teaching me love and respect. I thank my husband for taking care of me the way he does. I thank my children for being so loving and respectful and I thank myself for making the decisions I have made in my life. No, there was no god making any of it happen. Not for me and it wouldn't be right if there was.

We are only one life form of countless. In my opinion, the only reason any type of god exists in humanity is because of the size of our brain.
edit on 20-6-2012 by CoherentlyConfused because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 02:03 PM
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I want to refer you to my thread I created yesterday
www.abovetopsecret.com...

the included video has a man talking about the true spirit of creation and even more, while it is 4 hours long watch it in parts if you need to, hope you enjoy and learn



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 02:34 PM
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Originally posted by Azadok2day
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


You asked about God and of He exists but do not want bible quotes , God told is He would prove to is He exists thru His prophets . God has done exactly that but people refuse to believe in them , just as Israel and Judah did millennia ago which cost them their country until it was restored to them in 1948 . Every country that had participated in the Arab spring last year was named in the bible , yet it will be ignored as old prophecy even though the bible tells us every story was given to us as an example of what to expect in the end times.

The bible you do not want quoted tells us of the next war and how Damascus will be a ruiness heap never to be lived in again . It also names Iran and its people to be scattered to the four winds . Don't worry it did not forget china and Russia they are named also . The bible talks of an army from the east two hundred thousand thousand strong crossing the dried up river Euphrates . It is fairly dry now and all turkey has to do is close a dam and it will happen and yes the bible gives us a story of how this happened before when Cyrus the great concurred Babylon .we can't forget that the bible named cyrus the great of Medio Persia to do all this about 170 years before his birth and also to let the Jews go back to Israel to rebuild the temple with Cyrus paying for it . Secular records confirm this .

I could go on but most call it bull , I will leave you all with this note soon very soon war in the middle east and then peace and when we hear of peace the end will come .


The reason for not quoting biblical or religious text is to avoid falling into the trap of "proving" God's existence by quoting said biblical text. An analogy would be "I just read this book about Bartholomew and the Oobleck (by Dr. Seuss). Therefore, oobleck must exist."



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 

this is a line of thought I wrote down the other night.....its semi related to the subject ( which is an awesome one by the way) so i figure ill share.......

a spark of light,,,, a soul.,..,,.the purest and simplest form of energy,, or essence,,,,,,,, no bias or judgement,,,, wants or desires,,,,, kind of how we view inanimate objects or sources of energy....... the electricity we pump through wires,,, we use it,,,,, it is tangible and it exists,,,,,,, but it is not aware,,,,, nore capable of controlling itself........ but what if it were....

supposing there is a creator of this universe......would we eventually have to think that the universe randomly came into existence without the help of anyone or anything,,,, that nature is beyond control,,,,, wait we dont even know where the universe is,,,,, or when it is..... why would there be area,,,, for anything to occur in,,,,,, why would the consciousness we experience in this moment of now and leading back billions of years to the supposed creation of this universe,,, why would this be the first time this would happen,,,, where would it be happening? even if we think the first creation of anything was a quadrillion billion trillion to the power of sepfiltilion light years,,, what existed before that,,, and why would there be a sudden start to that,,,,, if there are infinities of universes could it be that this potential of possibility is what allowed the beginning to occur, spontaneously ,, or a self assembling self creator creating itself,.,.,,,.

back to the line of thought supposing there is a creator of this universe,,,,maybe it is an ancient grouping of information,, knowledge that pooled its sources to create a long period of time, in a large area of space, with a large number of events.......

ok supposing there is a creator,,,,, hanging in space commanding this essence of energy, like we command electricity to travel vast distances,,,, .. the god seemingly has no mercy,,,,, its creation is seen as a tool,,,,, something other then itself to use for itself....

no thought that this essence is capable of an outlook, or feelings, or perspective,, an experience of this terror it is being put through.. a recognition of the speed at which it is moving and the forces and pressures it overcomes .......... after eons,,,,,, this essence asks god if he may please stop it,,, it no longer wants to be a part of this,,,,, it recognizes this unforgiving and mysterious god as a creator... and is thankful for being brought into existence ... but in a way as if a babies finger painting was conscious,,,,,, or a robot created by a mad scientist.......... what reference can the creation use to judge the perfection of its creator,,,, we can come up with a system of judgement that is miniscule in importance and accuracy and relevance towards the true nature of what the creator should do and why it shall do it...

the spirit asks its god,,,,,,, is there not some meaningful and purposeful task i may take upon? is there nothing to know,,, or do that is worthwhile,,,,, can you not show me and teach me and raise me,,,,, show me the way of becoming on a level similar as yourself,,,I do not wish to be used,,, I accept my humble beginnings,,,( as a maggot may know it did not bring itself into existence,, however uses all that has been made, including itself, for in its strange circumstances its the only thing it can do) i am nothing without you,,,( as a child is nothing without its parents) ,,, ,,, or do you keep all things below you,,, for the greatest delight to behold, is the highest ability of power?.. of complete control ( perhaps there are many universes and many gods and they compete with each other and take notes,,, like proud parents or artists of their originality, methods and styles,, aesthetics,, concepts and creations...... I want to be on your side....... i want to be your friend.......... I know you do not think i am worthy,,,,,,,,, what have i done,,? i have done nothing to be brought into existence,,,,,,, i recognize that without you I would never be..........
but do you understand,,,, the sorrow of being an insignificant item...... being used....... If you were to help me,,,,, how would i ever show my gratitude,,,,, or repay you,,,,,, what would i be able to do for you?

out of infinite things one can be,,,,,,, infinite qualities of being,,,,, a scale of good to evil .......... wouldnt one always hope for their creator to be on the side of good... .... benevolent..,,. to create them with a purpose....... with a kind outlook,,,, and with love...,.,. not just formed to be belittled and mocked........ but then again,, why would a creator owe anything to us,,,,, why would it have to care..,.,,.,. especially being we are 1 life form out of infinity things,,,,, maybe we are not really the life form,,,,,,,



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 02:38 PM
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reply to post by ImaFungi
 


Maybe we are that original energetic essence,,,, who asked god for a chance of being something with a purpose,,,,, to feel needed and worthy,, to have ones own creative space,,,( mind,, world) to have that chance to love another,,,, and bring your own creations into the history of all creation.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 02:45 PM
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Ever seen that bumper sticker that says "The woods are my church"? Nature is my church and Gods scripture is written on every rock, tree, and animal. I see God as the energy that created all we have. Whether or not God is an aware entity I leave for others to decide. I don't think God is sitting around answering prayers or waiting for us to get it right. I think its more like here is all you need now thrive! It is enough for me that God created this world and everything in it. I feel, the energy I surround myself in and project well determine my afterlife, rebirth, resurrection, reincarnation, birth, call it what you like. If I leave this world as positive energy then my "heaven" will be a reflection of just that. I believe we make our own heaven/hell. I don't believe this existence should be squandered waiting around for a second coming or what not. This life is just as important as the afterlife. I believe God has given us all the ability to love unconditionally its up to us to put it into practice. Sending a positive vibe!



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