Wednesday, 30. November 2005
Symbolic Art from Rare and Esoteric Manuscripts

The Orphic Egg
From Bryant's An Analysis of Ancient Mythology

The ancient symbol of the Orphic Mysteries was the serpent-entwined egg, which signified Cosmos as encircled by the fiery Creative Spirit. The egg also represents the soul of the philosopher; the serpent, the Mysteries. At the time of initiation the shell is broken and man emerges from the embryonic state of physical existence wherein he had remained through the fetal period of philosophic regeneration.

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The Sunflower
From Kircher’s Magnes sive de Arte Magnetica Opus Tripartitum

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This diagram illustrates a curious experiment in plant magnetism reproduced with several other experiments in Athanasius Kircher’s rare volume on magnetism.Several plants were sacred to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Hindus because of the peculiar effect which the sun exerted over them. As it is difficult for man to look upon the face of the sun without being blinded by the light, those plants which turned and deliberately faced the solar orb were considered typical of very highly advanced souls. Since the sun was regarded as the personification of the Supreme Deity, those forms of life over which it exercised marked influence were venerated as being sacred to Divinity. The sunflower, because of its plainly perceptible affinity for the sun, was given high rank among sacred plants.


The 72 Names of God
From Kircher’s OEdipus AEgyptiacus

This rare cut shows the name of God in seventy-two languages inscribed upon the petals of a symbolic sunflower. Above the circle are the seventy-two powers of God according to the Hebrew Kabbalah. Below are two trees, that on the left bearing the symbols of the planets and that on the right the signs of the zodiac and the names of the tribes of Israel. The esoteric doctrines of the Kabbalah are in alignment with the secret teachings of all the schools of philosophy, but the method by which its secrets are revealed to the wise and concealed from the ignorant is most unusual.

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Within these pages the visitor will find a wealth of symbolic art compiled from the many rare and esoteric manuscripts and books that are part of the PRS Library. Many of these diagrams were used by Manly P. Hall to illustrate The Secret Teachings of All Ages.

Symbolic Art from Rare and Esoteric Manuscripts
Category: Symbols & Geometry |




Human Subtle System (Tree Of Life)

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Inside the human body are millions and millions of tiny whirling vital life forces concentrated into centres called Chakras. Chakra means wheel in Sanskrit because these energies spin at these points rotating clockwise at a certain frequency. The Chakra is a subtle energy centre that normally cannot be perceived. The activity resembles a galaxy of planets, each spinning on its axis at points along the spinal cord. Each Chakra is designed to supervise and maintain the perfect operation of the bodily systems under its control.


This purification is done by spinning in pure or positive vibrations and spinning out impure or negative ones.

An understanding of what each Chakra attracts and what can disturb it is important for our well being. Each thought and action influence the sensitiveness and performance of these centres.


Human Subtle System - Tree Of Life. (English)
Category: Body & Health | Energy & Light |




Tuesday, 29. November 2005
Hakuin Ekaku

Hakuin's Song of Zazen
translated by Norman Waddell.

All beings by nature are Buddha,
As ice by nature is water.
Apart from water there is no ice;
Apart from beings, no Buddha.
How sad that people ignore the near
And search for truth afar:
Like someone in the midst of water
Crying out in thirst,
Like a child of a wealthy home
Wandering among the poor.
Lost on dark paths of ignorance,
We wander through the Six Worlds,
From dark path to dark path--
When shall we be freed from birth and death?
Oh, the zazen of the Mahayana!
To this the highest praise!
Devotion, repentance, training,
The many paramitas--
All have their source in zazen.
Those who try zazen even once
Wipe away beginning-less crimes.
Where are all the dark paths then?
The Pure Land itself is near.
Those who hear this truth even once
And listen with a grateful heart,
Treasuring it, revering it,
Gain blessings without end.
Much more, those who turn about
And bear witness to self-nature,
Self-nature that is no-nature,
Go far beyond mere doctrine.
Here effect and cause are the same,
The Way is neither two nor three.
With form that is no-form,
Going and coming, we are never astray,
With thought that is no-thought,
Singing and dancing are the voice of the Law.
Boundless and free is the sky of Samádhi!
Bright the full moon of wisdom!
Truly, is anything missing now?
Nirvana is right here, before our eyes,
This very place is the Lotus Land,
This very body, the Buddha


Hakuin Ekaku (1685-1768)
Selected Writings (English)

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Hakuin Ekaku (1685–1768) possessed an unusual ability to convey the meaning of Zen to large numbers of people from all classes and religions. Though he chose to work at a small temple in the countryside, he was frequently invited to lecture, and his writings were published, eventually bringing him fame. His writings could be rough, humorous, or sometimes even shocking, intended to rouse his followers from their complacency into a deeper contemplation of religion and spiritual life. His copious writings continue to maintain pivotal importance within the Rinzai Zen sect. His work, both as spiritual leader and as painter, had a profound effect on all subsequent Zen study and Zen painting.

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A nice collection of Hakuin's paintings.
Category: Meditation & Mind | Religion & Early Cultures |


Drawing From Spirit

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"Flying Diva" -- Click the picture for a larger view

I have always been fascinated with the interweaving of daily life, culture and the sacred. My current work with immigrant mothers and babies from South America has enriched my life and brought new colors to my palette.

I try to be a hollow tube - to allow spirit to move through me onto the paper. There is no forethought or planning of a drawing - the images leap onto the page - often during long subway trips to the inner city as I visit the families with whom I work.

I hope my drawings will provide hope, spark inner inquiry and bring joy to the hearts of those who see them.


The art of drawing has fascinated me since childhood. I have worked as a classical musician, paralegal, special education teacher, child and family therapist and, presently, a developmental evaluator for special needs infants and toddlers. All of these careers have been steps on my spiritual path - each providing valuable teachings through their unique challenges.

These unique drawings and paintings are filled with images from my travels, dreams, visions and meditations.


Drawing From Spirit
An online gallery showcasing spiritually inspired, visionary fine art created by Lyndia Radice.

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"Cosmic Egg"

Category: Art & Visions |


The Bible Gateway

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The Bible Gateway is a tool for reading and researching scripture online -- all in the language or translation of your choice! It provides advanced searching capabilities, which allow readers to find and compare particular passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

The Bibles at the Bible Gateway are available in a variety of formats, including online text and RealAudio. The specific formats available vary from one Bible version to another.


Bible Gateway - A searchable online Bible in over 35 languages and 50 versions.

Here are the
Available Versions.

Category: Books & Magazines | Religion & Early Cultures |


Monday, 28. November 2005
Vegan Cooking

There's no mystery to creating deliciously satisfying vegan meals. Tasty alternatives to the animal ingredients that you may be cooking with are easier to find than ever—many are as close as your corner supermarket. If you're just getting started, you may want to try simply "vegging up" your favorite recipes. Try tofu or seitan instead of chicken, ground vegetable burger crumbles instead of hamburger, marinated portobello mushrooms instead of steak, and soy milk instead of cow's milk or cream.

Vegan Cooking Made Easy: The replacements.

Try out Vegetarian Recipes.

... and lots more info by VegCooking. (English)

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Category: Herbs & Kitchen |


Hello Mr Preston

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by Nick Kim
Category: Games & Humor |


Hot News or Hoax?

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And on the eighth day … did God create aliens? by The Sunday Herald. (English)
As the Pope’s astronomer, Guy Consolmagno must reconcile faith and science, then work out what to do if ET phones Rome.
“Is original sin something that affected all intelligent beings?” he asks. “Is there a sort of ‘cosmic’ Adam predating even life on Earth? Is Jesus Christ’s redemptive sacrifice sufficient for the whole universe? Would there be a parallel history of salvation on other planets?”


Synovate survey quantifies Asian space beliefs by agencyfaqs!. (English)
Alien encounters and UFO sightings, along with a fascination for outer space, are alive and strong in Asia according to survey results released by leading global market research company, Synovate.
Synovate Director, Scott Lee, said the recent successful Chinese space mission inspired Synovate to explore Asian perceptions of space, resulting in some out-of-this-world findings on people's attitudes, space travel desires and extraterrestrial experiences.


Canadians have cowboy George W. taking potshots at space aliens by Canada Free Press. (English)
Having blamed him for just about everything else, some Canadian Liberals now have President George W. Bush taking pot shots at space aliens ... Meanwhile, there are those who find it difficult to believe that extraterrestrials exist on the basis that if they did, the Canadian Liberal government would have imported then as immigrants by now.
Elsewhere: US Fomenting Galactic War With Aliens by Aero-News. (English)

The Real Ghost Whisperer by W*USA 9.
To see the ghost whisperer in action, watch Amy’s report. (English)
Jennifer Love Hewitt may play a ghost whisperer on TV, but Barb Mallon says she's a real life psychic medium, and helps people connect with loved ones on the other side.


Some news-links do not last long. In this case please send me a note.
Category: News & Stories |


Sunday, 27. November 2005
Shakti Sadhana

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What is Shakti Sadhana?

Shakti Sadhana is a Hindu spiritual discipline (usually some combination of Vedic and Tantric practice) that focuses worship upon Devi (the Goddess, in Her various forms), who both creates and embodies all the Universe. Many devotees conceive Devi as the Supreme Energy (Shakti) of Shiva (Supreme Consciousness); both identical to and inseparable from Him. Others, the "pure Shaktas," worship Her as nothing less than ParaBrahman (the Ultimate Divine Principle) Itself, the One Without a Second, holding that all other forms of Divinity, female or male, are but Her diverse manifestations.


Shakti Sadhana encompasses asana of all shakthis but not paisaachi and kshudra shakthis. Pauishachi is evil foces of ghosty origin and kshudra is evil devine forces. Both have nothing in common with shakthi sadhana. Shakti Sadhana main aim is to attain saarupya (looks) and sayujya (merger) with Adi Paraa Shakthi whose manifestations are lalita etc.

There are various path in Shakti Sadhana. There is Durga and her manifestations, Lashmi, Kali, Tara, The Dasa Maha Vidyas in short. Essentially in each path THAT Mahaa Vidya is treated as supreme and rest as subordinate.


Shakta Tantra

Tantra has always been a secret path. At all times there were opponents. That is why we are taught never to give away our mantra: It is a specific injunction that a person shall not be initiated into Tantra without specific testing as to suitableness. Vaidikas - the followers of Veda - on many occasions derided the Tantra path. But there are also references in Puranas extolling virtues of Tantra.

People in the West have not seen or been made familiar with all the Tantric practices -- even by those who have opened parts of it to the West. Thus, the West was mistakenly led to believe that Tantra is nothing but "glorified sex".

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Click the picture for a larger view


This misperception has led many astray, and has kept many really deserving persons away from the practices.
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Click the picture for a larger view

It has also brought many sexually unsatisfied persons to what they think is “Tantra”. It has helped many people to cash in on the “fad” and the “need”.

But let me clarify once and for all that TANTRA IS NOT ALL ABOUT SEX.

Real sexual practices may play some role in the first stages -- and at certain much, much higher stages -- but it is not the be-all and end-all of Tantra. Because, you must understand, sex in Tantra simply plays the same role as in ordinary life. We have sex in our life but sex is not what we live for. It has its role in the psychological and procreative spheres. In the same way does sex has some role in Tantra. But it is not an essential thing.


Welcome to the Shakti Sadhana Homepage. (English)
Category: Religion & Early Cultures | Tantra & Kamasutra |


Learn Kabbalah

What is the world? Who are we? What is the significance of our lives and actions? What is God? How can we come to know ultimate reality in our own experience? How do the body, heart, mind, and spirit fit together? And what are the roles of myth, ritual, morality, eroticism, meditation, ecstasy, sacred text, and prayer on the spiritual path?

These are some of the questions asked by the Kabbalah. You probably know that, in recent years, the Kabbalah has become very popular — even, a fad. I would invite you to set aside whatever preconceptions you may have about Kabbalah, though, since chances are, what is really there is not what you expect.

To be honest, I have been studying Kabbalah for twelve years, and each day, it isn’t what I expect either.

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"Ten Sefirot" by David Friedman


If you are new to Kabbalah, and want to know what it is, or if you know a bit about Kabbalah and want to deepen your knowledge and practice, you are in the right place.

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"Kabbalah" - Yitzchak Ben Yehuda



This website is a free source of Kabbalistic teachings, texts, and resources. It is created by Jay Michaelson, a teacher and student of Kabbalah, meditation, and spirituality. Jay has learned Kabbalah from rabbis in yeshivas, and from professors in universities, and has created this site to allow the wisdom of the Kabbalah to spread to a whoever is interested in receiving it. While the subjects of the Kabbalah are, by definition, mysteries, the Kabbalah does not have to be mysterious - or expensive - to learn.


Learn Kabbalah (English)

Category: Numerology & Kabbalah |


Saturday, 26. November 2005
Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan’s Teachings & Doors of Perception

For your weekend reading: Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan's Teachings - a compilation of Don Juan's teachings. Much reading makes tired? You can also listen to the compilation on 16, 45 minute MP3s. (English)

Who was Carlos Castenada?

Critics say the work is not ethnographically accurate and is a work of fiction.

Castaneda's books are full of stories of magic, sorcery, and out-of-body experiences. His first books hit the market during the late 1960s when LSD guru Timothy Leary was advising the world to "turn on, tune in, drop out." The LSD gurus believe that the chemical changes in their brains, which cause them to perceive the world differently and to perceive different worlds, bring them into a divine realm. Getting high meant opening the doors of perception to a higher reality. Castaneda could not have had better timing for his books.


More by Skeptic's Dictionary. (English)

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Fast reader?

If you're done with Don Juan then here's an online copy of the entirety of Aldous Huxley's 'Doors of Perception'. (English)

It was in 1886 that the German pharmacologist, Louis Lewin, published the first systematic study of the cactus, to which his own name was subsequently given. Anhalonium lewinii was new to science. To primitive religion and the Indians of Mexico and the American Southwest it was a friend of immemorially long standing. Indeed, it was much more than a friend. In the words of one of the early Spanish visitors to the New World, "they eat a root which they call peyote, and which they venerate as though it were a deity."

Category: Books & Magazines | Ethno & Shamanism | Lunacy & Psychedelic |


Gongs & Wind Chimes

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Woodstock's Emperor Gong is a truly individual gong inspired by traditional Asian design - balance, harmony, grace and beauty. The Emperor Gong can be played manually or by the wind. Perfect for indoors or out.

For over a thousand years, gongs of various types have played an important role in both the religious and secular music of many Asian cultures.


Browse through this selection of gongs, wind chimes, wind sculptures and wind bells - and listen their sound.

Gongs & Wind Chimes

There’s nothing more peaceful than listening to the quiet, soothing tones of wind chimes drift across the air. They are lovely to hear and the sound of soft music is balm for the soul.

Classic wind chimes are great for an arbor or gazebo area that is used for meditation or prayer. Often these chimes have an international look and are made of bamboo or metal pipes.

Known around the world for their amazing sound, Chimes are more than just windchimes - they are instruments of nature.

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Category: Products & Services |


Friday, 25. November 2005
Religion in Japan

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Dainichi - mit Weisheits-Mudra

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Dainichi - mit Meditations-Mudra

Dainichi Nyorai ist der wichtigste Buddha des sogenannten esoterischen oder tantrischen Buddhismus, der in Japan vor allem in Gestalt der Shingon-shû und Teilen der Tendai-shû vertreten ist. Doch auch für andere buddhistische Richtungen zählt dieser Buddha, der in Indien unter dem Namen Vairocana verehrt wurde, zu den bedeutendsten.

Dainichi bedeutet wtl. "Große Sonne". Es ist die Übersetzung des indischen Namens Mahavairocana. Dainichi Nyorai wird auch als kosmischer Buddha bezeichnet, der nicht aus einer menschlichen Existenz hervorging, sondern von Anfang an eins mit dem universalen Dharma war. Er hält nach dieser Auffassung sowohl im Bereich der absoluten Erkenntnis, als auch im Bereich der sichtbaren Dinge die höchste Stellung inne. Ausdruck dieser beiden Bereiche ist das bereits erwähnte doppelte Mandala, in dem Dainichi jeweils die zentrale Position einnimmt. Seine ikonographischen Attribute sind je nach Bereich unterschiedlich. Der Dainichi der "Diamant-Welt" (= Bereich der absoluten Erkenntnis) ist durch das Mudra der Höchsten Weisheit (chiken-in) zu identifizieren. In dieser Haltung wird er auch an prominentester Stelle im Kongôkai oder "Diamant-Welt" Mandala dargestellt. Im Taizôkai oder "Mutterschoß" Mandala wiederum erscheint er in "Meditationshaltung" erkennbar am Meditationsmudra (jôin). Im Gegensatz zu anderen Buddhas wird Dainichi im esoterischen Buddhismus bisweilen mit einer Art Krone dargestellt.


Die Abbildung zeigt die Haupt- und Nebengötter des Kasuga-Schreins in Nara zusammen mit den ihnen entsprechenden Ur-Buddhas (honji 本地). Die mittlere Figur in der obersten Reihe ist lediglich als 1. Schrein (Ichi-no-miya) ausgewiesen (es handelt sich um Takemikazuchi, die Hauptgottheit des Schreins). Sie wird von zwei honji Buddhas flankiert, nämlich Shaka und Kannon. Direkt darunter -- von der Mitte nach außen in abnehmender Rangfolge -- die Götter der weiteren Teilschreine von Kasuga (inklusive diverser Nebenschreine), jeweils mit den zuständigen Buddhas oder Bodhisattvas darüber.

Unterhalb der Götterwelt ist die konkrete Landschaft des Kasuga Schreins abgebildet. Unmittelbar zu Füßen der kami, auf dem Gipfel des heiligen Berges Mikasa, ist ein Hirsch zu sehen-- Bote und Sinnbild des Kasuga Schreins. Auf ihm sollen einst die Götter des Schreins aus dem Osten Japans hierher gekommen sein. Am Fuß des Berges Mikasa ist sehr realistisch die Schreinanlage abgebildet, darunter, teilweise von Wolken verdeckt, die Tempelanlage des Kôfukuji, von dem vor allem die Pagode zu erkennen ist.

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Kasuga Mandara


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Fuchsgeist

Grundbegriffe - es geht es vor allem um die beiden Hauptreligionen Japans, Buddhismus und Shinto, um ihre Grundwerte und die wichtigsten geschichtlichen Fakten. Dieses Kapitel ist eher theoretisch und textintensiv. Wer mehr an optischen Eindrücken interessiert ist, kann als Einstieg auch die beiden folgenden Kapitel wählen.

Was ist ein Schrein? und Was ist ein Tempel? werden die Religionen Japans so dargestellt, wie sie sich den Augen des Japanbesuchers als erstes präsentieren: durch ihre Bauten. Dabei wird der Blick für die Unterschiede zwischen buddhistischen und shintoistischen Einrichtungen geschärft. Auch die jeweiligen Priester und Mönche werden kurz vorgestellt.


Religion im modernen Leben geht der Frage nach, wie sich die beiden Religionen im Alltagsleben der modernen Japaner abwechseln und ergänzen. Es geht um alltägliche Schrein- und Tempelbesuche, religiöse Feste, Riten für Verstorbene, u.a.m.

Statuen und Bilder bietet eine Einführung in die religiöse Ikonographie Japans. Wie identifiziert man eine Buddha-Statue? Was ist ein Bodhisattva? Wie sehen Shinto Götter aus?

Mythen und Legenden vertieft und ergänzt die Ikonographie. Neben den klassischen Mythen des japanischen Altertums kommen auch Geister- und Jenseitsvorstellungen zur Sprache.

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Hotai


Und die Religionsgeschichte behandelt die in den "Grundbegriffen" angeschnittenen Themen in chronologischer Reihenfolge. Das Kapitel beginnt mit der Einführung des Buddhismus in Japan (6. Jh.) und reicht bis zum Staatsshinto und den sog. Neuen Religionen im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert.

Religion in Japan ein Web-Handbuch von Bernhard Scheid (German only)
Einfach grossartig! Ein MUSS!
Category: Religion & Early Cultures |


Fairy Photographs by Margaret Dean

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The Earth Fae are nature lovers, their wings are usually solid in appearance They hide in the shadows, watching and lamenting the destruction of their rugged coastlines and forests. They are very wary of humans, and are the least likely to show themselves.
Earth Fae

The faeries of light are glowing beings. They are the most ethereal of all the faeries in appearance. Their wings are filmy and appear to emit a radiant light . They are extremely elusive, having a very shy nature, but they love people the most and will appear to chosen individuals as a reward for their faith and care for the environment.
Faeries of Light


Once there was a time when the whole world believed in fairies. Not the syrupy diminutive characters of childhood fairytales, but a powerful respected and often-feared race of supernatural beings. My faeries belong to this ancient lineage, they inhabit an ethereal landscape - guardians of our woods and streams and all the wild regions of the earth. They are proud, seductive, alluring, sometimes malevolent, never whimsical.

The faeries in this series were all photographed in our beautiful local environment on the north coast of New South Wales. They represent an era when a belief in faerie kept the world in a state of balance, and individuals were held accountable for their deeds.

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Fairy Photographs by Margaret Dean
Don't miss The Faerie Faith
Category: Art & Visions | Faeries & Nature Spirits |


Hot News or Hoax?

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Tears Of Blood Called Miracle By Catholic Faithful by Local6. WITH VIDEO! (English)
Mysterious tears of blood that have appeared on a statue of the Virgin Mary at a church in California are being called a miracle.

Exasperated Apache: 100 feet incalculable to rocks' significance
by The Albuquerque Tribune. (English)
To the American Indians who hold them sacred, the seven rocks in the way of Paseo del Norte's westward expansion aren't inanimate stones. They're alive. They're connections to their sacred earth that can't be replicated 100 feet away.

Investigating the 'death metal' murders by BBC News. (English)
Fabio and his friends were into the most extreme forms of heavy metal music - death metal and black metal, music obsessed with images of murder and satanism - and the role of this music is central to the story.

Elsewhere: Satanic Cult Played Role In Man's Disappearance, Says Family
by Local6. WITH VIDEO. (English)


Some news-links do not last long. In this case please send me a note.
Category: News & Stories |


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