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Spirituality & Becoming What We Aren’t.

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posted on May, 25 2013 @ 03:49 PM
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Spirituality & Becoming What We Aren’t.




“Spiritual but not religious”—a strange statement, somewhat contradictory, but psychologically interesting; because despite its supposed banishment of religion, it is still a religious practice, mainly the worship of divinity. The act of being spiritual, and the idea of the spirit—the very root of spirituality, having travelled through the meat-grinder of religious doctrine for thousands of years—has become the bastardized concept of spirituality we see today. Certainly, modern spirituality is a form of religion, a fruit from the same tree, and is best represented as the religious mentality but without the religious dress. More often than not, the dress remains.

One is “spiritual but not religious” when she doesn’t want to go to church, when she doesn’t want to be associated with the physical act of religion and its institutions—its prayers, its gatherings, its ceremony, its idols (acts which should be deemed personal to the individual)—but whom nonetheless retains the same religious psychology and metaphysics of it all—the enthusiasm (in a classical sense), the revelation, the questing for nirvana and various mythical states, the orgiastic displays of emotion, the idolatry of words and ideals, the obedience to a seer or prophet who somehow knows more than ourselves, the abstraction, the proselytizing, and most significantly (the common fundamental theme of religion in general), the desire to be something other than what we are. The outlook of "spiritual but not religious" seems to be somewhat contradictory, as it would be dishonest to say that by removing the ritualistic aspect of religion, we are removing religion itself. Spirituality was harvested from the same culture, history, and the very foundations of religious thought. A critical eye notices spirituality is more similar than in any way distinct.

What does one mean when he labels himself “spiritual”? What does it mean to be spiritual today? It means the same as taking any label. “Spiritual” is an adjective. Therefore, spirituality is not a state of being; it is a state of appearance. Spirituality is piety, the act of appearing spiritual, an act of vanity, all performed while retaining the same state of being as everything else, nothing changing save for the way one thinks (sometimes doesn’t think) about the world and how his thoughts are expressed. It is becoming the advocate of another philosophy, but still an advocate nonetheless. Of course, living a humble life of empathy and joy does not require this peacock display of ones spiritual feathers; to possess a healthy mind and ethic does not require the suspension of criticism towards, the grip of faith upon, and the dogmatic expression of, a certain idea or other; to be human, one must only be human. As thinking beings, everyone is, by definition, already spiritual.

But thinking is the enemy—isn’t that so my friends? Isn’t that what the spiritual ones promote? that our true nature is not to think? It seems strange to be sold on such an idea. We are told that we must, through sheer acts of will, meditation and introspection, suspend our thinking processes in favour of what—not thinking? To take a word on faith? To ignore ourselves in order to face ourselves? What might be feared in this instance is the labour of thinking, the work involved, the sorts of thinking that another might see as a form of dance or art and quite liberating. Not thinking is paradoxically still thinking, but thinking of nothing. How they thought of this without thinking I have no clue. But this shows an interesting paradox found in this idea. Our true nature is not what we already are, but less than what we are, a thoughtless nothing, a body-less spirit, a formless emptiness, an intangibility, an idea in the mind of God, energy, whatever it is that is eternal about us. What is this but self-evisceration? the labelling of pieces of oneself? some for disposal and some for idolatry?

The label “spiritual” is a costume, akin to that of any label through which we knowingly limit ourselves. It is an adjective, a way we wish appear to others, an appearance we must persist (even to the point of ignoring reason, or our doubts against it, endowing an idea with the power to tyrannize over our own thinking) in order to continue appearing “spiritual”, to keep up appearances of a particular identity.

Is happiness only found in spirituality? Is spirituality the key to a proper conduct? There is nothing that says this is so, as even the spiritual prophets devise their own ethics and how they live their lives through reason. As far as philosophy goes, spirituality is similar to all religion insofar as it is not a way of life, but a way out of life, a way to limit life, a way beyond life for a stake in what comes after it, a means to an end. It vows the hedonistic comforts of joy, satiation and bliss. It promises states of ecstasy and understanding in our own self-denial. It is the mental preparation for death, not the mental preparation for life. It is the doctrine of what we desire to be, not what we are.

Thank you for reading.





posted on May, 25 2013 @ 07:18 PM
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Spirituality is not about questing or searching, it is about realizing that the journey is the destination. It is not about 'shoulds' and 'shouldn'ts', it is about what brings you the most joy. It is not about becoming, it is about being. And it is certainly not about denying yourself, but about removing all limits from yourself.

Spirituality denounces thinking not because it 'looks bad' or 'lacks discipline', but because it is useless and even hinderous to our well-being. Thoughts -- which consist of limited opinions and biases, pointless worrying, self-judgement, hopeless desire, and painful nostalgia -- are all based on past events and happenings. They limit our identity to what we once were. They keep us attached to the impermanent. They pin our awareness in the there and then, and prevent us from the here and now.

Spirituality is not about outer vanity and appearance. It is not about maintaining a certain image. It is exactly the opposite! It is about swimming with the flow of an everchanging life. It is about becoming utterly intense in everything you do -- without identifying yourself with it. Forms are limiting. If I am this form, I can't be that form. Formlessness is liberating. Our identity dissolves into the sea of unmanifest existence, and we become utterly free.

Spirituality is about turning every thing you do, every deed you perform, into an intense meditation. It is about becoming so absolutely intense in each moment that you lose yourself in it completely. It is about unlimiting your infinite reservoir of love and compassion, until you are literally overflowing -- and being grateful to all who bathe themselves in it.

What you have described is not true spirituality, but some counterfeit version. What you have described is not liberating, but restraining and limiting. Once true spirituality is realized, you become full of life. You see yourself in every person and every thing. You open yourself up to every aspect of existence, and embrace every challenge you meet with welcoming warmth. Your vision becomes clear of all judgements and untruths, and the light within you shines freely.



posted on May, 25 2013 @ 10:48 PM
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I agree with HarryTz
Being Spiritual is Being Aware of Everything (especially our bodies, imho)
We always think when we don't need to (in small mind), this what makes us less spiritual.
All physical activities when is done with Awareness (Mindfulnes) automatically become spiritual activities
edit on 25-5-2013 by dodol because: (no reason given)
edit on 25-5-2013 by dodol because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 25 2013 @ 11:59 PM
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S&F because I want to read this tomorrow pm.

I haven't read yet but quickly , I only learned the meaning of 'spiritual but not religious' about a year ago and it seemed to just put you in another box. I believe our spirituality is ever evolving and if so we should not be tomorrow who we are today. Need further thought and actually read what you have written.



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 12:33 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


So, people actually say they are 'spiritual but not religious'? That's incredibly bizarre to me. I don't know that I have anything scholarly to add to this conversation because it's throwing me off in its absurdity... But, I will try to explain my own idea of 'spiritual'.

To me, spiritual means understanding myself, listening to my intuition and urges and whims and thoughts as they arise and taking the time to examine them - where they came from, why they arose, what I can do with them. Spiritual means "being in touch with my soul".

I feel deeply disturbed when I come across a "guide to become spiritual". It just feels so very wrong to me, because everyone is different and everyone needs to find his/her own spiritual peace.

I know what you are talking about - it bothers me when people try to force others to conform to the 'no thinking peace' they call enlightenment.

It bothers me because it goes against what my "soul" (innermost intuition) tells me. When I hear these people going on and on about "being spiritual", it seems completely bogus to me. They're saying the exact same things as religious people, just claiming to be outside of an organized religion. Honestly, it is fashionable to speak this way, so that's what people do.

This topic brings up a lot of mixed emotions in me because I have always been "a mystic" (I see and hear things that cannot be explained by science or religion) but was forced into a very restrictive religion as a child and treated as damaged or "wrong" because I did not share their views. That stifled and dying feeling of religion is exactly the same one I get when faced with purported enlightenment. They are exactly the same from my perspective - there are rules that must be followed to achieve a predesignated goal. When I see people trying to force others into a restrictive definition of "spiritual", I feel like they are pushing dogma, not truth.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is Spirituality should be individualized and unrestricted and found at one's own pace, using one's own intuition as the guide. There is no "right" way to be spiritual, because one's spirit (combination of experience, personality, understanding, emotion, genetics, personal truth, and more) is unique.

Happiness, I think, is only found when one can find peace with one's own past, present, and future. It is the acceptance of things as they were, are, and will be and the realization that Now is all there is - Now is when we can change and fix and shape our lives into what our souls have been trying to tell us we were supposed to be all along.

I struggle with this all the time - I do not know how to be happy. I don't know what it feels like to be "happy"... but, I have found that I can find peace within myself only when I come to terms with the things that are bothering me. That personal peace is probably the closest to happy I will ever get at this point, but it is at least not turbulent and eases the anguish I otherwise feel. My past was shaped by other people, specifically when I ignored my intuition - there are certain moments in time that I felt my life taking a new direction. I remember those times, I can pinpoint exactly where I lost myself and lost communion with my soul.

I don't think there is a good answer to your questions, LM, true spirituality is a very personal thing. It isn't something that can be seen by other people.
edit on 5/26/13 by ottobot because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 01:22 AM
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reply to post by HarryTZ
 



Spirituality is not about questing or searching, it is about realizing that the journey is the destination. It is not about 'shoulds' and 'shouldn'ts', it is about what brings you the most joy. It is not about becoming, it is about being. And it is certainly not about denying yourself, but about removing all limits from yourself.

Spirituality denounces thinking not because it 'looks bad' or 'lacks discipline', but because it is useless and even hinderous to our well-being. Thoughts -- which consist of limited opinions and biases, pointless worrying, self-judgement, hopeless desire, and painful nostalgia -- are all based on past events and happenings. They limit our identity to what we once were. They keep us attached to the impermanent. They pin our awareness in the there and then, and prevent us from the here and now.


This is the contradiction I’m talking about. In one instance you say it is about the experience, not the “shoulds and shouldn’ts” (a nice thought in my opinion). But next it is about what brings the most joy, the common hedonistic impulse, and a self-seeking idea. Then in the next paragraph you say our thinking is useless, a proposition you yourself thought about and concluded with your own thinking, something of “limited opinions and biases, pointless worrying, self-judgement, hopeless desire and painful nostalgia”. How did you discover these ideas without thinking?

How am I to perceive what you say if you admit that your thoughts are useless, limited, biased and the pointless worrying of someone’s hopeless desire? It sounds like you don’t even trust what you’re saying. Why even speak if thoughts are useless?

It is wrong to say thinking itself is useless; a tool is never useless until someone useless wields it. I see no harm in the desire to silence the mind—I enjoy it every time I go to sleep at night—but thinking is a tool, something that helps guide us through this whole “being” thing, much like the whole pleasure seeking drive for joy, the urge to take a break from worry, the needed rest from having to confront oneself mentally, the desire to not having to think so laboriously, gets us through our lives. But it is not at all honest to say thinking isn’t within our “true nature”. Every time we think it isn’t, we thereby prove it is.

Is this what true spirituality is supposed to be? A hedonistic drive for pleasure? and an urge to simply forget what we’ve remembered? To ignore ourselves? The isn't self-betterment but self-denial.



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 01:44 AM
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reply to post by ottobot
 


What you said is exactly right, spirituality is personal, one's way of life is one's own way of life and no one else's. That's what spirituality is. It's forging a path for only one to travel. As soon as it becomes dogma, it is no longer spirituality. It is not about spirits, souls, afterlives, timeless beings—it is the art of living.



This topic brings up a lot of mixed emotions in me because I have always been "a mystic" (I see and hear things that cannot be explained by science or religion) but was forced into a very restrictive religion as a child and treated as damaged or "wrong" because I did not share their views. That stifled and dying feeling of religion is exactly the same one I get when faced with purported enlightenment. They are exactly the same from my perspective - there are rules that must be followed to achieve a predesignated goal. When I see people trying to force others into a restrictive definition of "spiritual", I feel like they are pushing dogma, not truth.


Me too. I wholeheartedly realize spirituality is a topic that is almost too taboo to critique, because we have such reverence towards the idea and the hope it brings, but no ideal is immune. Where there's problems it should be addressed.

Believe it or not I used to be of a mystical position, for quite a number of years in fact. Although I wouldn't trade the experiences of that time for anything, I was gullible enough to be hypnotized by the dogma, the words, the promises, but in the end I was ripped back by the nagging feeling that I was running away from my own ideas to the comfort of another's thoughts and words—in many cases gurus, seers and self-proclaimed higher-beings—all too human like me.

Spirituality can only be personal. There can be no right spirituality, and therefore, no spirituality at all. Everyone is spiritual because everyone is alive. Everyone forges their own way through life one way or another. It is not reserved to a single practice, religion or world-view.

Thanks for sharing.



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 02:17 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
. Believe it or not I used to be of a mystical position, for quite a number of years in fact. Although I wouldn't trade the experiences of that time for anything, I was gullible enough to be hypnotized by the dogma, the words, the promises, but in the end I was ripped back by the nagging feeling that I was running away from my own ideas to the comfort of another's thoughts and words—in many cases gurus, seers and self-proclaimed higher-beings—all too human like me.

Spirituality can only be personal. There can be no right spirituality, and therefore, no spirituality at all. Everyone is spiritual because everyone is alive. Everyone forges their own way through life one way or another. It is not reserved to a single practice, religion or world-view.


You sought it for years but did not find. It is not personal - it the only thing (not thing/spirit) that is not personal, as you state above - "but in the end I was ripped back by the nagging feeling that I was running away from my own ideas".
When your ideas drop away what is behind is what you seek.
Do you need words and thoughts for comfort?
edit on 26-5-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 02:23 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

This is the contradiction I’m talking about. In one instance you say it is about the experience, not the “shoulds and shouldn’ts” (a nice thought in my opinion). But next it is about what brings the most joy, the common hedonistic impulse, and a self-seeking idea. Then in the next paragraph you say our thinking is useless, a proposition you yourself thought about and concluded with your own thinking, something of “limited opinions and biases, pointless worrying, self-judgement, hopeless desire and painful nostalgia”. How did you discover these ideas without thinking?


What is contradictory about it at all? The experience is joy. There is nothing 'deeper' in life (and existence) than joy. When you die, what will have mattered about your life? You will eventually forget it, and it will be as if it never happened at all. You say it is 'self-seeking'. What else do you have, but yourself? All experience is experience that you have, utterly alone. You cannot not be 'self-seeking', because all you have is is yourself. The only reason you ever do anything is because it means something to you. This is unavoidable, no matter how you look at it. Spirituality is true selfishness.
Of course, you are correct that I had to use thought to articulate my argument. It is necessary to do so if one is to transfer their knowing into the physical plane as words and utterances. Words are limiting and the process may become very frustrating, but it is necessary.


How am I to perceive what you say if you admit that your thoughts are useless, limited, biased and the pointless worrying of someone’s hopeless desire? It sounds like you don’t even trust what you’re saying. Why even speak if thoughts are useless?


Thoughts must be used to jar one out of their usually patterns of thinking. As I explained above, it is, unfortunately, necessary.



It is wrong to say thinking itself is useless; a tool is never useless until someone useless wields it. I see no harm in the desire to silence the mind—I enjoy it every time I go to sleep at night—but thinking is a tool, something that helps guide us through this whole “being” thing, much like the whole pleasure seeking drive for joy, the urge to take a break from worry, the needed rest from having to confront oneself mentally, the desire to not having to think so laboriously, gets us through our lives. But it is not at all honest to say thinking isn’t within our “true nature”. Every time we think it isn’t, we thereby prove it is.


Thinking remains 'useful' until we realize it no longer serves us.



Is this what true spirituality is supposed to be? A hedonistic drive for pleasure? and an urge to simply forget what we’ve remembered? To ignore ourselves? The isn't self-betterment but self-denial.


Why hold onto what you think you know? If you understand that someday it will all disappear why continue to cling to it? Thoughts, memories, are ungraspable. They are just appearances. They are not real. Why not just let go of your past and relieve yourself of the constant reminiscing?
You want something better than what you call 'hedonism'. I tell you, that is the best it gets. And it is absolutely perfect.



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 02:37 AM
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It is impossible to become what you aren't. It is impossible to become. 'Become' is an idea that being has.
The human condition is the idea of becoming - becoming relies on time - never getting there.
This is timeless being - ever present.



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 02:56 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
. Believe it or not I used to be of a mystical position, for quite a number of years in fact. Although I wouldn't trade the experiences of that time for anything, I was gullible enough to be hypnotized by the dogma, the words, the promises, but in the end I was ripped back by the nagging feeling that I was running away from my own ideas to the comfort of another's thoughts and words—in many cases gurus, seers and self-proclaimed higher-beings—all too human like me.

You are seeking comfort because you feel uncomfortable. The mind tries to make it better with words of comfort.
Seeking comfort from words and thoughts is not the answer. Words and thoughts are things - they are content - they are of the appearance, they never stay the same and conflict and contradict. Nothing that appears will ever truly comfort you.
Recognize that which never appears but is constant - nothingness/spirit - it is true comfort, the final resting place, the perfect love, nothing better. Then it matters not what appears - what appears is seen to be purely entertainment.
The space in which words arise (in which all entertainment arises) is that which you seek.
edit on 26-5-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 05:32 AM
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There may be similarities between the two, but the differences between Religion and Spirituality ensure that they are distinct concepts not worthy of being used interchangeably.

The key difference between the two is that Religion is a form of control, and Spirituality is a form of freedom.

Religion rewards conformity and punishes deviance. It is organised, communal and rigid.

Spirituality rewards curiosity. It is diverse and individualistic.



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 08:27 AM
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As with anything else, spirituality can be dogmatically religious depending on the person. However without the formalization of organization or belief it be a mistake to lump everyone as spiritual into one category as everyone will have a different view.

Reading though these post I can find no real fault in anything posted and that to me is spirituality. Being able to look at other view points and try to understand and accept them. I may not follow these beliefs but I will acknowledge them as valid. A faith in knowing there are things that I do not know yet, may never know or just don't have the ability to comprehend is another.

However this is just my view and not really anymore valid then another, I just figured I'd give my two cents to the fact that you all are essentially debating thoughts and feelings which is nigh unknowable. And even thats alright, at least it's being talked about and understanding being made!



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 08:47 AM
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Originally posted by dodol
I agree with HarryTz
Being Spiritual is Being Aware of Everything (especially our bodies, imho)
We always think when we don't need to (in small mind), this what makes us less spiritual.
All physical activities when is done with Awareness (Mindfulnes) automatically become spiritual activities
edit on 25-5-2013 by dodol because: (no reason given)
edit on 25-5-2013 by dodol because: (no reason given)


You don't have to be spiritual to practice mindful awareness. It may have derived from spiritual practice, but is becoming widely used in the secular realm, for its proven health benefits.



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 08:59 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


"Spiritual not religious" typically means, "I will admit that something is wrong with the religions I am familiar with, but will not take the leap to eschew them". It is a statement that betrays a lack of comfort within ones own self with the ideas that they have come to have.

It can be a code word for atheist, agnostic, new age.....it is just a denotation that they have developed their own belief system based on their own experiences as a stand in for the religion of their culture which they have grown disillusioned with.

ETA: my wife was raised catholic. Her current beliefs are along the lines of, "What i learned growing up is obviously hogwash, but i am guilt stricken by the thought of verbalising it, so I will just ignore it". Often that is the approach of most people. They just ignore those 800lb gorillas in the room.
edit on 26-5-2013 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by ottobot
 


Believe it or not I used to be of a mystical position, for quite a number of years in fact. Although I wouldn't trade the experiences of that time for anything, I was gullible enough to be hypnotized by the dogma, the words, the promises, but in the end I was ripped back by the nagging feeling that I was running away from my own ideas to the comfort of another's thoughts and words—in many cases gurus, seers and self-proclaimed higher-beings—all too human like me.


I too find some of the words spoken by these types as empty. However I would think the fact you can recognize this in of itself says something about your character and development. Nothing humanity touchs is incorruptible, however it doesn't mean there is no value or lesson even in them.



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 10:18 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


Originally posted by Itisnowagain
When your ideas drop away what is behind is what you seek.

That's what you seek, and no one else. You sell hedonism and absence of thought. Why don't you embrace what you've found, be happy, and never use words and thoughts again? Why don't you go live your doctrine? Because here you are, "being", contradictorily using thoughts and words how they should be used, instead of being your contentless self, not a single thing changing but how you see the world.

You practice the opposite of what you preach.



Seeking comfort from words and thoughts is not the answer. Words and thoughts are things - they are content - they are of the appearance, they never stay the same and conflict and contradict. Nothing that appears will ever truly comfort you.

Then why do you use thoughts and words? Why are you sweeping under the carpet what you yourself do in favor of what you yourself wish to be?

Perhaps the greatest philosophy is that we should stop lying to ourselves.



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 10:19 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 




It is impossible to become what you aren't. It is impossible to become. 'Become' is an idea that being has.
The human condition is the idea of becoming - becoming relies on time - never getting there.
This is timeless being - ever present.


But its not impossible to wish, hope for, or sell the idea to become what we aren't.



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 10:25 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 




It is impossible to become what you aren't. It is impossible to become. 'Become' is an idea that being has.
The human condition is the idea of becoming - becoming relies on time - never getting there.
This is timeless being - ever present.


But its not impossible to wish, hope for, or sell the idea to become what we aren't.


It is possible to not know what you are.



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 10:27 AM
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reply to post by HarryTZ
 



Why hold onto what you think you know? If you understand that someday it will all disappear why continue to cling to it? Thoughts, memories, are ungraspable. They are just appearances. They are not real. Why not just let go of your past and relieve yourself of the constant reminiscing?

What's to let go if they are not real? What unreal thing are you letting go of? No, you're hiding something, a part of yourself, in favor of something you could never become. It is your desire to do away with thoughts, it is your own idea you've thought about and put into words. You should let this thought go with all the rest.









 
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