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wgw

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By internals I meant merely that which is hidden from view to those on the outside.

That is to say, what you learn when you become indoctrinated into a religion, how your world view changes. 

It's not a question of mystery but of perceptibility.  One can understand Islam from without and frankly Salafi Islam is rather trite.

That said mystery is part of Orthodox dogma.  The essence of God remains incomprehensible.
 

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wgw said:
By internals I meant merely that which is hidden from view to those on the outside.

That is to say, what you learn when you become indoctrinated into a religion, how your world view changes. 

It's not a question of mystery but of perceptibility.  One can understand Islam from without and frankly Salafi Islam is rather trite.

That said mystery is part of Orthodox dogma.  The essence of God remains incomprehensible.
So instead of internal and external, we have inside and outside.

In 2400 words or less could you tell me what difference between inside and outside is. Again, I will still get that skeleton key.
 

orthonorm

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wgw said:
By internals I meant merely that which is hidden from view to those on the outside.

That is to say, what you learn when you become indoctrinated into a religion, how your world view changes. 

It's not a question of mystery but of perceptibility.  One can understand Islam from without and frankly Salafi Islam is rather trite.

That said mystery is part of Orthodox dogma.  The essence of God remains incomprehensible.
The essence of God isn't incomprehensible otherwise you would be unable to encounter God or to even understand as incomprehensible. Or is this another x vs y divide?

Really I don't expect answers from you but would be glad if you actually have some, just pointing out how facile and begging much of what goes on here is, one could say even trite.
 

Volnutt

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This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.
 

wgw

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orthonorm said:
wgw said:
By internals I meant merely that which is hidden from view to those on the outside.

That is to say, what you learn when you become indoctrinated into a religion, how your world view changes. 

It's not a question of mystery but of perceptibility.  One can understand Islam from without and frankly Salafi Islam is rather trite.

That said mystery is part of Orthodox dogma.  The essence of God remains incomprehensible.
So instead of internal and external, we have inside and outside.

In 2400 words or less could you tell me what difference between inside and outside is. Again, I will still get that skeleton key.
Think of the cell of a hermit in the desert.  It's external appearance is the outside.  The interior is the inside.  And if you live with that hermit in his cell you are on the inside, whereas if you merely see his cell on the outside or know of it, you are on the outside.  It's a question of intimacy.  And it's not a dichotomy; intimacy progresses by degrees.  You have only external and superficial knowledge of me, my relatives have more knowledge, I have more still, but only God knows everything about me.  My doctor knows intimate details of my physiology but not my life.  Knowledge.

We are able to know God through his energies, but we can also know of His incomprehensibility.  Because you cannot comprehend the infinite or practically speaking, for most humans, even extremely large numbers; you can work with them if you're a mathematician and understand what they are while at the same time being unable to conceive them except by how many orders of magnitude greater than they are from the largest quantity you can understand and visualize.  But again, it's not a dichotomy.  But the fact is, one cannot understand infinity or even work with it the way one can with numbers too large to comprehend in the intimate manner we can understand smaller quantities. 

Put it another way.  Teying to comprehend the essence of God is like trying to divide by zero.  You can understand the concept but you can't do it.  Computers toss an exception (cpu error)  usually causing bad software crashes when told to divide by zero.  The computer knows what division by zero is, and it's smart enough to know it can't do it, if you'll forgive some anthropomorphism.  In the same way, we can comprehend that God is incomprehensible, like the value of infinity, or the state of the universe before the Big Bang (or the lack thereof).

To prove my point, I dare you to try to comprehend your computer, in its entirety.  Including the software that runs on it and the mathematical concepts that underpin some of that software (like B trees and B+ trees).  You'll admit that at a certain point you can't comprehend the functioning of certain systems, only their presence.  If you lived a thousand years you might be able to figure it all out, including the nuances of semiconductor lithography and network architecture.  Now perhaps the key to understanding eternal life is it would take an eternity to comprehend God in His essence.
 

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Volnutt said:
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.
I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.
 

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orthonorm said:
Volnutt said:
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.
I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.
Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.
 

orthonorm

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Wgw, I can assure you not only do I grasp the infinite I make use of that grasp quite fequently.

Sounds like you have a comp sci background. I know the calculus isn't used much for most problems in the work you do, but kids all across the world stare into the infinite every day in boredom waiting for class to end.

And it's been a while since I sat in a math class but I am not sure what dividing by zero has to do with infinity. I'll let mario weigh in on the maths.

But yeah, away from your sophormorism and analogies, how you know something to be incomhensible if you don't know it, that is comprehend it, at least as incomprehensible.

Knowing that something as incomprehensible isn't the end of knowing but one of its beginnings and not in some infantile mystical manner, but in way that opens the door for an explicit understanding which does retreat to the child's imaginary plenitude.

And for something ineffable people keeping talking a lot about it. Which is trying to have your imaginary and symbolic too.

 

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Volnutt said:
orthonorm said:
Volnutt said:
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.
I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.
Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.
I losing track of this discussion. I don't agree with what you say about Islam, or if I do, then Xianity does the same.

But when did Christ become part of this discussion. I thought we were talking about those who believe they know better than Christ did when he spoke.
 

Jonathan Gress

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Volnutt said:
orthonorm said:
Volnutt said:
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.
I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.
Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.
This comparison seems odd to me. If anything, Islam strikes me as far more legalistic and focused on externals than Orthodoxy.
 

Volnutt

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orthonorm said:
Volnutt said:
orthonorm said:
Volnutt said:
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.
I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.
Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.
I losing track of this discussion. I don't agree with what you say about Islam, or if I do, then Xianity does the same.

But when did Christ become part of this discussion. I thought we were talking about those who believe they know better than Christ did when he spoke.
Sorry, that's probably my fault. I feel like if I don't explicitly bring up Christ as often as I can in these kind of conversations, I'm doing God a disservice.

I could certainly be wrong about Islam.
 

Volnutt

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Jonathan Gress said:
Volnutt said:
orthonorm said:
Volnutt said:
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.
I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.
Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.
This comparison seems odd to me. If anything, Islam strikes me as far more legalistic and focused on externals than Orthodoxy.
I think it has a greater concern for obeying God in the practical minutiae of life. Orthodoxy, largely because of the influence of the more ascetically and philosophically minded of the Fathers, seems to have a lot more side elements and debates that one could turn into side tracks from the daily task of living the Cross. It's so much more fun to talk about God and seek after mystical experiences (not that both of these don't have their good and proper place) than it is to go out and care for the least of these.

I always think of this quote from St. Maria Skobstova:

At the Last Judgment I shall not be asked whether I was successful in my ascetic exercises, nor how many bows and prostrations I made. Instead I shall be asked, Did I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the prisoners. That is all I shall be asked. About every poor, hungry, and imprisoned person the Savior says "I": I was hungry and thirsty; I was sick and in prison. To think that He puts an equal sign between Himself and anyone in need... I always knew it, but now it has somehow penetrated to my bones. It fills me with awe.
 

Jonathan Gress

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I still don't think your comparison is apt. When it comes to Islam (and orthodox Judaism, for that matter), I get the distinct impression that the letter of the Law is all there is: there's no "spirit of the Law" that takes precedence over the letter. One consequence is that pious Muslims and Jews are more scrupulous about observing their fasts, purity laws and even charitable giving, because their Law spells out precisely what must be done, and no more or less is expected of them. For Christians, the temptation is always to relax the observance of the letter because of this nebulous "spirit" that, in the minds of the less zealous, ends up being nothing more than excuses for laziness, even though the idea is that it constitutes license to go beyond the letter.

As for Maria Skobtsova (whom I don't consider a saint, but that's another story), she strikes me as echoing your average progressive Christian in elevating the "social Gospel" above other considerations. You'll get a more balanced understanding of the Christian calling by reading the lives of saints in earlier eras.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
I still don't think your comparison is apt. When it comes to Islam (and orthodox Judaism, for that matter), I get the distinct impression that the letter of the Law is all there is: there's no "spirit of the Law" that takes precedence over the letter. One consequence is that pious Muslims and Jews are more scrupulous about observing their fasts, purity laws and even charitable giving, because their Law spells out precisely what must be done, and no more or less is expected of them. For Christians, the temptation is always to relax the observance of the letter because of this nebulous "spirit" that, in the minds of the less zealous, ends up being nothing more than excuses for laziness, even though the idea is that it constitutes license to go beyond the letter.

As for Maria Skobtsova (whom I don't consider a saint, but that's another story), she strikes me as echoing your average progressive Christian in elevating the "social Gospel" above other considerations. You'll get a more balanced understanding of the Christian calling by reading the lives of saints in earlier eras.
St. Maria's other writings do not indicate someone who only cared about Christ's calling to care for the poor.

I'm not saying that no one ever misuses an appeal to the spirit of the Law, I'm just saying that without love, the externals are meaningless in and of themselves.

It's probably best to just drop the comparison to Islam at this point. Like I said, I'm not expert on it.
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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Jonathan Gress said:
Volnutt said:
orthonorm said:
Volnutt said:
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.
I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.
Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.
This comparison seems odd to me. If anything, Islam strikes me as far more legalistic and focused on externals than Orthodoxy.
It is. Islam is more legalistic than Toraic Judaism. Islam has laws on, how you should dress, wash, pray, go to the bathroom (or for that matter, how you enter the bathroom), rule a state, punish the unjust and many many more laws.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
As for Maria Skobtsova (whom I don't consider a saint, but that's another story), she strikes me as echoing your average progressive Christian in elevating the "social Gospel" above other considerations. You'll get a more balanced understanding of the Christian calling by reading the lives of saints in earlier eras.
It seems to me that she is echoing Christ's words on how we will be judged. It seems pretty important to me. I do not understand how the lives of saints can usurp Christ's very clear words on this matter. That we will be judged on other things is not in doubt. You may be judged in calling Christ's words progressive. I do not know what is in your heart.
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Volnutt said:
orthonorm said:
Volnutt said:
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.
I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.
Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.
This comparison seems odd to me. If anything, Islam strikes me as far more legalistic and focused on externals than Orthodoxy.
It is. Islam is more legalistic than Toraic Judaism. Islam has laws on, how you should dress, wash, pray, go to the bathroom (or for that matter, how you enter the bathroom), rule a state, punish the unjust and many many more laws.
Sounds like the answer to all the problems of the hyperdox, if it were true.

Rather than legalistic, I would call Islam pragmatic. I think it is important to remember that when Muslims asked for judgements from Mohamed he offered then with hesitance often wondering why they would wish to heap more effort upon themselves.
 

Jonathan Gress

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Opus118 said:
Jonathan Gress said:
As for Maria Skobtsova (whom I don't consider a saint, but that's another story), she strikes me as echoing your average progressive Christian in elevating the "social Gospel" above other considerations. You'll get a more balanced understanding of the Christian calling by reading the lives of saints in earlier eras.
It seems to me that she is echoing Christ's words on how we will be judged. It seems pretty important to me. I do not understand how the lives of saints can usurp Ch
rist's very clear words on this matter. That we will be judged on other things is not in doubt. You may be judged in calling Christ's words progressive. I do not know what is in your heart.
I may have been unfair to her, sorry.
 

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The parts in Islam that stand out the most to me:

1. There is no communion with God
2. God is unable to "dwell within" creation.  Everything is communicated through angels; that is why the Quran and Mohamed have the extreme highest form of respect, as if to insult them is to insult God since they brought His words to light
3. It is following either a strict rule book, or guidelines depending on the school of thought
4. Disputes and divisions seem to stem from historical details and commentary more than theological details and commentary
5. Very very attracted to the so-called "God of the philosophers"
 

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Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 200

Narrated by Abu Huraira


That once, he was in the company of the Prophet carrying a water pot for his ablution and for cleaning his private parts. While he was following him carrying it (i.e. the pot), the Prophet said, "Who is this?" He said, "I am Abu Huraira." The Prophet said, "Bring me stones in order to clean my private parts, and do not bring any bones or animal dung." Abu Huraira went on narrating: So I brought some stones, carrying them in the corner of my robe till I put them by his side and went away. When he finished, I walked with him and asked, "What about the bone and the animal dung?" He said, "They are of the food of Jinns. The delegate of Jinns of (the city of) Nasibin came to me--and how nice those Jinns were--and asked me for the remains of the human food. I invoked Allah for them that they would never pass by a bone or animal dung but find food on them.
 
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