Do as I say, not as I do.

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posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 10:43 PM
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Do as I say, not as I do.
 





1.


Like all stories, the fact of the matter is hidden in a bed of words. “Do as I say not as I do” is the prevailing principle of all prophets and those who would tell us how to live. Follow a path, but not the one I myself have walked.

2.


If one was to imagine a man raised from birth imprisoned behind some palace walls, bathed in the sensual luxuries and pleasures of a prince, and protected from every ill and pain, one might safely assume this man would know little of suffering but much of boredom. Now imagine after about 30 years of this lack of life he finally grows dissatisfied, simply bored of the inundating comfort of the walls he finds himself within, steps outside and sees real people and real civilization for the first time, not the silken-dressed youth and lily-lined paths he was commonly used to. As anyone caught up in the sensuality of a new and fresh experience, this man would approach his initial pessimism as would a child, with innocence and perhaps a slight stupidity about it, a result of growing up virtually disconnected from a number of fundamental aspects of living—pain, suffering, age, death—he would want to know more.

Suppose that when the opportunity arose, he ran away despite the rules, despite the religions, despite the duties, rather than to face the boredom that is pure sensual pleasure, his childish eyes continuously seeking life herself, and the riddance of his dissatisfaction.

We might then imagine he then goes on a spiritual excursion to taste the other extremes of life—pain, abstinence, self-renunciation, begging at people’s feet, asceticism, mortification of the flesh, fasting, and the complete abandonment of the bodily desires, bringing himself to the very edge of death—yet finds only more dissatisfaction.

In the end, he concludes that both the hedonistic life and the ascetic paths are without a release from dissatisfaction, even though they served as the very paths he took. He categorically rejects them. He renounces them as if they never happened, and are henceforth stricken from the path that would become his truth. Then he becomes enlightened, and people listened.

Now suppose some people formed some principles of this man’s experiences as people are wont to do, formulating it into an easily-digestible system composed of a few simple steps and advices, flipped it into a religion, yet excluded the many years he existed in both sublime pleasure and abject pain, the experience of wandering on the extreme paths, most of his entire life, from these truths and principles. Those experiences merely serve as back-story to what we are told is most his most important moments: the end of his path. Maybe it is because we expect that this man’s experiences should be pruned for our benefit, but most of the path that he walked to reach enlightenment is now gone, tossed aside as inconsequential, paved over because truth is far too dangerous for weary legs. The path for us always seems to start near the end, doesn’t it? Do as I say, and not as I do.

3.


If only it was that easy—four noble truths, ten commandments, twelve-steps, eightfold paths, three simple rules, spiritual blueprints—if only. But we never hear a teacher of life tell us to experience it ourself, to hit the extremes, the lows, the highs, the discovery, the adventure, and to avoid the middle path until we can value it on our own, just as they did—live first, philosophize later—to not follow any paths, but to blaze them.

Of course not. Imagine seven billion people thinking life is an adventure and not a game or a movie—no instruction manual, no script—the thought is terrifying. Better to read our lines. Better to roll the dice and move a few steps forward.




posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 01:03 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


Beautifully written! Thank you!

S&F



posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 01:03 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


Doesn't work that way, no matter how much my mother wanted it to. I learned the behaviors she used, did the things she did and have spent a lifetime unlearning a lot of crap.

Children learn by imitation.

I disagree that all religions use the principal (false principal) of Do as I say.....

Buddism doesn't at all though it is quite intellectual. The Buddha clearly states:



“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
Buddha quotes (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)


thinkexist.com...

And I believe the Gospels follow in that manner. Something about "You can do what I do" or something. Paul of course likes to tell everyone what to do and so do the old books.

Rudolf Steiner, a fairly modern philosopher, talks about this phenomenon (isn't the one I was looking for but close and Steiner is pretty consistant):



The more we are able to listen and not express our own opinion, the sooner we rise to immediate insight and direct spiritual sight. For someone who does not understand the effect on the human soul of this holding back of one’s own opinion, this is unbelievable. But in the same way that power is collected in a battery, we can collect forces in our souls, when we suppress our opinions. It will result in inner power and strength.


rudolfsteinerquotes.wordpress.com...



posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 02:47 AM
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I enjoyed the post, and relate to the message.
I tend to have problems trusting others in matters of spirituality, ethics, or the biggest principles of existence. That could be chalked up to many things- it could be the type of childhood I had, I don't know. So I will not claim it is "as all should be".
Perhaps there is nothing wrong with relying on second hand wisdom, and it can get you to the same point without the same life experiences.

At times I have tried to change and turn to religious teachings, and my blockages seem to run too deep. The voice within can give me the same insights another person can, but it gives when I need them, when they apply or are relevant to the experience in the moment.

But another problem I observe, in myself, and in others, (I always have to add my weird slant to threads) is the problem of hypocrisy. "Those who talk the most, do the least" , and variants on that phrase, I was surprised to find exist not only in my homeland but in my land of adoption later. We're back to the power of mystery and that which is hidden, that I have posted about in the past.

Why is it that as soon as you proclaim "This never happens to me..." , it does? Or "I am never like that" the day after, you are!
Or I always do that, and the next day, you don't, you forget.

I know that for myself, verbal expression is a way of getting out things, which can seem confusing to people close. One day i can rant and say I am angry at someone, but the next day I am not at all- because I got it out. It is no longer part of who I am, I put it out on the exterior, I guess.

If one wishes to speak in terms of energy (which I am not sure is correct, literally, but it works for communicating this) that particular energy is gone then once spoken. If I keep it inside, it feels like a ball of energy, like my whole concept of who I am (and how I am, and my relation to exterior objects and entities) is a ball made up of the unspoken, unwritten, experiences of self.

From that ball my choices and actions ensue.

Where this is pertinent to the topic of the op is-
If you teach, using linear language, then you might be causing yourself to become a hypocrite, to be self - contradictory; to lack integrity between act and word.

In giving it out, you might be losing a part of self.

My assertion may be provocative and stir some protest. So be it. But this is what I find over and over again. It is predictable.
It makes me think that we are somewhat left with the choice to either say or do, but not both.
That doesn't stop me from trying- my desire to develop integrity never leaves me. But there are definately lots of moments when I find myself having to decide- do I tell them about it, or do I just DO it? Show, or tell?

Are those who choose to teach through word making a valuable sacrifice in order to give wisdom to others?
In telling, do they lose their ability to do what they teach?

I do not know the answers to these questions, but I contemplate them and continue to observe and experiment.



posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 05:48 AM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


I'm not sure where you got that quote from, but Here's the original. Buddha, who was not a Hindu, clearly states:



“Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.”


Kalama Sutta

Maybe a few mistranslations. Nonetheless I agree what your quote was trying to say.


edit on 1-2-2014 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 06:11 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


I think hypocrisy might be more fundamental than one might hope. I think, in the end, that we must separate art from the artist in able to enjoy any sort of "wisdom" we can get from it.

I have found few philosophers who live their philosophy to the letter—Diogenes of Sinope who never wrote a word, lived his philosophy and taught through action, perhaps Goethe, perhaps Montaigne. Their philosophies mostly common sense, simple, honest and without the need for too abstract of thinking.

I think that what we can best take away from any sort of rhetoric is the discovery of our own powers of rhetoric and our use of the same poetic and critical faculties. What they teach is best is simply to utilize our creativity, turn it into an artistic display, and to let those who would usurp it turn it into a doctrine written in stone.

I mean what can we learn best from their actions? Look what they've done, how they've conducted themselves—disobey the authorities, be critical of the status quo, live to the extremes of life, strength in the face of fear, pain, death etc. what they taught most was to be philosophers.

I agree that too linear path will never work for such a chaotic animal.




In giving it out, you might be losing a part of self.


I agree. I think this is an important outlook. Is there any way around this quandary?
edit on 1-2-2014 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 03:17 PM
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Aphorism
reply to post by FyreByrd
 


I'm not sure where you got that quote from, but Here's the original. Buddha, who was not a Hindu, clearly states:



“Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.”


Kalama Sutta

Maybe a few mistranslations. Nonetheless I agree what your quote was trying to say.


edit on 1-2-2014 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)


The historical Buddha was born a Hindu prince, it's a matter of historical record.

The quote has many verisons as written down by many scribes from many teachings.

And your point? The quote you list further points to discrimination based upon reason and personal experience rather then 'faith in authority. Your OP states that "all religions.....".

Or, in authoritarian manner, are you just pointing out that I'm wrong about something?



posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 





The historical Buddha was born a Hindu prince, it's a matter of historical record.


Hinduism wasn't even around in his time, so I'm not sure what histories you're reading. Buddha also didn't see authority in the Vedas, Hinduism's scripture. No mention of him being "Hindu" can be found in any of the texts.

If you mean Hindu as in associated with India, you are using an outdated term. He was the Sakya-muni, the Śākya-sage, from the Śākya clan.



And your point? The quote you list further points to discrimination based upon reason and personal experience rather then 'faith in authority. Your OP states that "all religions.....".

Or, in authoritarian manner, are you just pointing out that I'm wrong about something?


I am pointing out that your quote points to "discrimination based upon reason", while the one I posted clearly points to discrimination based on if it makes one happy or not.

I'll add a little more context:


"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them.


Buddha lumps reason in with scripture, legends and traditions—"if you don't like it don't use it". Your quote doesn't.



posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 08:15 PM
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Aphorism
reply to post by FyreByrd
 





The historical Buddha was born a Hindu prince, it's a matter of historical record.


Hinduism wasn't even around in his time, so I'm not sure what histories you're reading. Buddha also didn't see authority in the Vedas, Hinduism's scripture. No mention of him being "Hindu" can be found in any of the texts.

If you mean Hindu as in associated with India, you are using an outdated term. He was the Sakya-muni, the Śākya-sage, from the Śākya clan.



And your point? The quote you list further points to discrimination based upon reason and personal experience rather then 'faith in authority. Your OP states that "all religions.....".

Or, in authoritarian manner, are you just pointing out that I'm wrong about something?


I am pointing out that your quote points to "discrimination based upon reason", while the one I posted clearly points to discrimination based on if it makes one happy or not.

I'll add a little more context:



Thank you for schooling me.



The history of Hinduism is unique among the world religions in that it has no founder or date of origin. While most major religions derive from new ideas taught by a charismatic leader, Hinduism is simply the religion of the people of India, which has gradually developed over four thousand years. The origins and authors of its sacred texts are largely unknown.



Buddhism 2500 years old, Hinduism (in all its variety) over four thousand years old.

The historal Buddha is called by many names - not just the one.

And perhaps (HPPFM) the reason you think religions tell you to do 'what they say, not what they do' is because you recognise the behavior from your own communication. There is a saying "You spot it, you got it"



posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 12:21 AM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 




And perhaps (HPPFM) the reason you think religions tell you to do 'what they say, not what they do' is because you recognise the behavior from your own communication. There is a saying "You spot it, you got it"


My typing? I do enjoy writing in a negative tone. But I don't think I've written about how one should conduct their own lives. However, I do recognize the urge to tell people what to do. And you're right to say that I am gathering my own understanding from my own psychology.

Do you think I am being unreasonable in my observations?



posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 01:27 AM
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Aphorism
reply to post by FyreByrd
 




And perhaps (HPPFM) the reason you think religions tell you to do 'what they say, not what they do' is because you recognise the behavior from your own communication. There is a saying "You spot it, you got it"


My typing? I do enjoy writing in a negative tone. But I don't think I've written about how one should conduct their own lives. However, I do recognize the urge to tell people what to do. And you're right to say that I am gathering my own understanding from my own psychology.

Do you think I am being unreasonable in my observations?


I don't really think you are unreasonable. I do recognise habits of speech (?) that I've used myself and Always (hmmm there I go again) get myself into trouble with.

Saying "All religions" just invites trouble. "Most religions" would have been less authoritarian of your - which was what you topic is about.

The nit picking over Buddha, his name and his origin - was really irrelevant to the discussion. The idea was all that truly matters. Your knowledge is impressive but not comprehensive - Buddhists have as many sects and texts and stories plus the entire "Hindu" lexicon to draw from.

The idea of checking out stuff for yourself is pretty basic to all form of Buddism that I've seen (not comprehensive in the least). I would venture to say that, in some form, it is probally the most often quoted quote of the Buddha, in the West.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 09:48 AM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 




I don't really think you are unreasonable. I do recognise habits of speech (?) that I've used myself and Always (hmmm there I go again) get myself into trouble with. Saying "All religions" just invites trouble. "Most religions" would have been less authoritarian of your - which was what you topic is about.

The nit picking over Buddha, his name and his origin - was really irrelevant to the discussion. The idea was all that truly matters. Your knowledge is impressive but not comprehensive - Buddhists have as many sects and texts and stories plus the entire "Hindu" lexicon to draw from.

The idea of checking out stuff for yourself is pretty basic to all form of Buddism that I've seen (not comprehensive in the least). I would venture to say that, in some form, it is probally the most often quoted quote of the Buddha, in the West.


I agree. To be fair I never mentioned "all religions", but I tried to refine my generalization to prophets and those who would tell us how to live. What I meant to imply was that they formulate a doctrine that we are supposed to follow, yet they never say that we should formulate our own doctrines as they did. They tell us to follow, obey and step in line (do as I say), when they themselves disobeyed, stepped out of line and lead (not as I do). I think this can be said of most prophets, gurus and sages.

I think Buddha failed miserably at following and trying to be religious, trying to be a prince, but he never teaches failure. I think we can learn more from their actions than what they say.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 01:53 PM
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Aphorism

I agree. To be fair I never mentioned "all religions", but I tried to refine my generalization to prophets and those who would tell us how to live. What I meant to imply was that they formulate a doctrine that we are supposed to follow, yet they never say that we should formulate our own doctrines as they did. They tell us to follow, obey and step in line (do as I say), when they themselves disobeyed, stepped out of line and lead (not as I do). I think this can be said of most prophets, gurus and sages.

I think Buddha failed miserably at following and trying to be religious, trying to be a prince, but he never teaches failure. I think we can learn more from their actions than what they say.


Agreed. I tend toward thinking they were meerly sharing their experience rather then tell us what to do. Even Christ says (somewhere) "you can do as I do" (I paraphase).

Personally, I think it's a matter of perception.

Habitual exposure to authorianism of all types, we tend to see it everywhere. And - and we don't see opportunities for creative individual cooperation.

Another good topic. Want to collaborate??



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 03:40 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 





Habitual exposure to authorianism of all types, we tend to see it everywhere. And - and we don't see opportunities for creative individual cooperation.

Another good topic. Want to collaborate??


I am at your disposal; anything I can do to help.

Thanks for the discussion.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 11:19 PM
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Aphorism
To be fair I never mentioned "all religions", but I tried to refine my generalization to prophets and those who would tell us how to live. What I meant to imply was that they formulate a doctrine that we are supposed to follow, yet they never say that we should formulate our own doctrines as they did. They tell us to follow, obey and step in line (do as I say), when they themselves disobeyed, stepped out of line and lead (not as I do). I think this can be said of most prophets, gurus and sages.

You want to refine (your) generalization?

What is this sage, prophets, and gurus obedience and disobedience in regard to? Your concepts/ideas of what is needful action for them?

All the sages and men of wisdom offered in their words /pointers to your Self completeness. There are many givers of this knowledge, but few takers.
You can recognize and use the wisdom of sages and gurus and save yourself much pain and suffering or you can just judge them and look at their lives as failures.

What's your formulated doctrine?



Aphorism
I think Buddha failed miserably at following and trying to be religious, trying to be a prince, but he never teaches failure. I think we can learn more from their actions than what they say.



What failure?
I perceive no failure in Buddha.



posted on Feb, 4 2014 @ 12:24 AM
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reply to post by BDBinc
 





You want to refine (your) generalization?

What is this sage, prophets, and gurus obedience and disobedience in regard to? Your concepts/ideas of what is needful action for them?


They disobeyed prevailing doctrines and created their own.




All the sages and men of wisdom offered in their words /pointers to your Self completeness. There are many givers of this knowledge, but few takers.
You can recognize and use the wisdom of sages and gurus and save yourself much pain and suffering or you can just judge them and look at their lives as failures.


I agree. It is common for people to want to satisfy their base desires for pleasure and ease of pain—that's probably why greed is rampant in the world—but the prophets themselves never followed anyone else's "path to happiness" but their own, they created their own pleasure and ease of pain. Prophets and gurus are for those who are incapable of formulating their own principles that they need to follow someone else's.

Advice is good, but being told how to look at the world, as if we were doing so through someone else's eyes, is the exact opposite of completeness.



What failure?
I perceive no failure in Buddha.


Did he succeed at being a prince? a yogi? an acetic? His enlightenment was found in the midst of his failures.



posted on Feb, 4 2014 @ 01:46 AM
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Aphorism
They disobeyed prevailing doctrines and created their own.


No there is no such "prevailing doctrines" that they disobeyed.
Ancient teachings of self knowledge were around before them, that means they certainly obeyed prevailing "doctrines" .



Aphorism
I agree. It is common for people to want to satisfy their base desires for pleasure and ease of pain—that's probably why greed is rampant in the world—but the prophets themselves never followed anyone else's "path to happiness" but their own, they created their own pleasure and ease of pain. Prophets and gurus are for those who are incapable of formulating their own principles that they need to follow someone else's.
Advice is good, but being told how to look at the world, as if we were doing so through someone else's eyes, is the exact opposite of completeness.


None of the sages or gurus told you how to look at the world as they gave advice. Advice is not the ability to see through some one elses eyes.
The path recommended by sage's/wise men is not following the pain pleasure principle.
These sages and guru's did not formulate a doctrine to "create their own pleasure" and to avoid pain.They teach/taught the age old value of not chasing/seeking happiness( or trying to avoiding pain). That what you are looking for is within you.

It is not a matter of following someone else's doctrine.If you wanted to learn to fly a plane and did not know how to fly one by yourself you would trust and listen to the teacher's instructions on how to fly.
Some people can listen to the inner' Buddha' and do not need to externalize a teacher.




Aphorism
Did he succeed at being a prince? a yogi? an acetic? His enlightenment was found in the midst of his failures.


Yes Buddha was a prince. Yes Buddha was a yogi. Buddha was an acetic.
These words successful prince, successful yogi, successful acetic are just some labels you don't want to put on Buddha in your mind.
You just don't want to see Buddha as successful.
His very enlightenment shows us he did not fail.
To know what you are you must first know what you are not.




*So I see you don't want to refine [your] generalizations.



posted on Feb, 4 2014 @ 02:12 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


What did Buddha tell you to do?



posted on Feb, 4 2014 @ 02:34 AM
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I am not sure how BD doesn't see what you are getting at Aphorism... I am not even well versed in the life of Buddha, and I still know things like that he chose to reject his position as prince and "run away" - which to me definately means he rejected the traditions, disciplines and doctrines of his time and environment.


Another example would be Jesus- though debates could be had on the actual facts, the myth, anyway, tells of a man who rejected and opposed the structures and disciplines of his time- he was against organized religion! Your temple is your own body, and all that.

Many years ago, while reading of Krishnamurti ( his teachings noted by his followers), I got to the realization that he repeatedly put emphasis on this being the wrong way to find any real freedom or enlightment. That listenign to someone else, reading someone elses experience, only leads you away from your own path.

He was afraid that after his death, a cult would be built around him and his teachings, and he didn't want that to happen, and of course it did. The people who sat at his feet and heard him saying not to do that, did it anyway.


I put down that book, threw out all my spiritual books, and carried out my lonely years hiking alone and meditating in the forest.

The best advice I ever got from those types of teachings is to reject them.



posted on Feb, 4 2014 @ 03:11 AM
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Bluesma
Many years ago, while reading of Krishnamurti ( his teachings noted by his followers), I got to the realization that he repeatedly put emphasis on this being the wrong way to find any real freedom or enlightment.

Which Kristnamurti is being referred to?
This one:

Or this one?
edit on 4-2-2014 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)





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