If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheists?

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by _Z_, May 30, 2010.

  1. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Hi nick

    I am with you there, to me we then must take things like creation as universals, man can create [not universes obviously as our ability and knowledge of it is severely limited] things like ideas, art, poetry, inventions etc, even lesser creatures can, and this is part of how evolution works [though only in a minor way].

    I think I can agree with the basic idea of singularity, though I think of it as the universal [probably the absolute], there is perhaps no singleness whatsoever? If we imagine that nothing has a definite edge not even the emptiness, and that all things come and go from that base, then the duality is only apparent and not actual.

    Indeed, this is why I always use the analogy of ‘the piece of paper and that which is drawn upon it’. if we imagine the base nature [ceugant/the source/infinity] as like a piece of paper without edges, then existence as that which is drawn upon it, then perhaps the absolute is both of these aspects. In other words we and all things are both empty and filled/existent at once, so we can become un-manifest [e.g. at death] and manifest ~ whilst remaining the same essential entity. Another way to look at this is; all things are in the emptiness [un-manifest version], and that is how they can then be created from nothing into something [manifest version].

    Good point! This brings me to the idea that maybe there is an aleph omega of universals, in other words all universals belong to an entirety of universals. Then as they are within the infinite [unlimited], there cannot be universals nor particulars exterior to the aleph omega?_! Does this then define how the absolute can be containing and yet equally unlimited?

    Indeed, to have an identity as all existences do [perhaps this is the ‘name’ or essential information of a thing], they must belong to the realm of beginnings and endings. We cannot even conceptualise without that very thought making a thing ‘finite’ or limited by its own effect or ID. Equally we must remember that such things also have their un-manifest natures and thus also belong to the sphere of the unlimited. The bond between things I feel is something of this glue. Equally so the perpetuality and time/timelessness of reality.

    Very similar I reckon, the only differences so far are semantic. I look at the same things perhaps differently to others, some will see god as the only manifester, where I see an innate and occult shared ability [utility of universals] to make oneself and other things manifest in various realms, and in the world. The ancients often saw this ability as like weaving, we only have a miniscule ability to utilise such things ~ thankfully. In Christianity I expect that these things are seen as dark arts or satanic, yet I think we are children learning what the father does to a small degree of what he does. In druidry we follow the father also [dispater ~ sky father, or the dagda], but our initiation vision is such that we are shown by him some of how it works, and also our future [a small part of]. So to us it is divine and not satanic ~ unless one attempts to overrule the father [or other higher gods/godesses].

    ------------------
    Thomas, hi
    .
    As deep as we can go of course. :) I would say there is only real and nothing is unreal, so I would rather use terms like false, deceptive, apparent, or greater and lesser, or we may get caught up in the semantics rather than specific meanings. See also my reply to nick ~ we may be in agreement on much of it.

    I partly agree, though rather than seeing is as levels of ’blindness’ [we cannot see angels nor god], I think of it more in terms of focus and perception.
    Man can be entrenched in his focus on worldly things and thence only see the world, he can also become unattached and not see the world at all. At this point in visions [as they tend to occur when this is practiced] we see the void, then or instead we may see a tunnel, or something that our minds see as a means of connecting to another mental sphere.
    ‘enlightenment is found by loosing the world’ one could say.

    In all honesty is that our error? [please forgive any apparent impertinence ~ as it is not meant] If there is it and only it, then all is within the absolute. We have to draw a distinction and division right through reality otherwise? This I feel is the main area where all religions diverge, where perhaps it should be an area of convergence. It is the most important aspect of the whole debate as I see it.

    A oneness ~ is perhaps better. I agree emptiness is and also that infinity is equally inadequate. As there is distinction [even if not absolute] as well as oneness then that too fails, perhaps the absolute may only be called the absolute, anything else we place against it fails. This doesn’t stop us using philosophy to determine it via comparatives, we still may determine if it is dualistic or not.

    ‘Emptiness is the result of the equation of everythingness in one place’ [kinda like all things put in a blender]. Weather it is in our faiths or not, we should be thinking of the reality ~ the sacred science of it yes?

    I would think of universals as something we may partake in the utility of, and that none can possess. The absolute would be the collection of universals, I am unsure if that is a possession of? We don’t even possess ourselves, so it would seam reality is a bit anarchic on this front.

    'advanced consciousness' = Minds with the ability to utilise universals and to understand any ‘things’. an animal would not possess such a consciousness for example, hence man is advanced according to his domain. Purer angles would be similar but they are not focused on the earthly, perhaps we could say angels and similar are our otherworldly form.

    Man transcends man? I agree it does but what I mean is that a pure human mind would see divinity, that is why we are in the likeness of god, though not the sameness, pure man and god are ‘man’.

    Kalaam is not understanding cardinality correctly ~ that’s quite a topic aside though.
    Universals should indeed not be considered as the infinite, they are simply different things.

    My brain is running dry so I hope we can resolve some of the fundamental differences. Its funny how even small differences end up with posts like these lols.


    Thank you very much for all wisdoms so far, no matter our shades, eventually all colour is within the white light. :)


     
     
  2. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Hi Z,

    You said,

    "…we then must take things like creation as universals…"

    --> This leads to the obvious question: what about things that are not part of a creation? What about things that ‘existed’ before this creation started? Are there multiple universals?

    "…man can create [not universes obviously as our ability and knowledge of it is severely limited] things like ideas, art, poetry, inventions etc, even lesser creatures can, and this is part of how evolution works [though only in a minor way]."

    --> Which brings up the point that creativity can only happen within a universe, that creativity does not happen within those ‘parts’ of the absolute that are ‘outside’ of a universe.

    "…there is perhaps no singleness whatsoever??"

    --> My belief system proceeds from the idea that there is only one real reality, only one real non-duality.

    "If we imagine that nothing has a definite edge not even the emptiness, and that all things come and go from that base, then the duality is only apparent and not actual."

    --> I agree. Duality is only temporary phenomenon. The universe began with the appearance of light. Light must have darkness in order for there to be light. Light and darkness was the first duality. Unfortunately, darkness (even in Genesis) also refers to the absolute, so people get confused by this use of darkness terminology. The word darkness refers to both one side of duality which is our universe, and also refers to a singular absolute.

    "…I always use the analogy of ‘the piece of paper and that which is drawn upon it’."

    --> That is a fascinating analogy. The analogy that is often used is the circle which has its circumference nowhere and its center everywhere.

    "…the absolute is both of these aspects."

    --> I like your analogy, because it refers to a duality. The absolute is both parts of a duality, so it is a singularity.

    "…we and all things are both empty and filled/existent at once, so we can become un-manifest [e.g. at death] and manifest ~ whilst remaining the same essential entity."

    --> When we die, we lose our physical body and become conscious on the astral plane, so we leave one duality but enter into another one. It boggles the mind to think that we could ever un-manifest, that is, maintain our identity while not being part of a duality any more.

    "Another way to look at this is; all things are in the emptiness [un-manifest version], and that is how they can then be created from nothing into something [manifest version]."

    --> Yes. From non-duality comes duality.
     
    "…all universals belong to an entirety of universals."

    --> And the number of universals (and universes) is without conceivable beginning nor imaginable end. One of the problems with Genesis is that it only deals with the creation of this universe, and it does not deal with the conditions between universes nor a seemingly endless number of universes.

    "Then as they are within the infinite [unlimited], there cannot be universals nor particulars exterior to the aleph omega?_!"

    --> Correct. A universal is only a duality within a non-dual singularity.

    "Does this then define how the absolute can be containing and yet equally unlimited?"

    --> Yes. The absolute contains all, but is not limited by this act of containing.
     
    "We cannot even conceptualise without that very thought making a thing ‘finite’ or limited by its own effect or ID."

    --> Correct. We cannot exist outside of a duality. Thinking is, by its very nature, an act of forming a duality.

    "…such things also have their un-manifest natures and thus also belong to the sphere of the unlimited."

    --> It boggles the mind, doesn't it? Genesis talks about spirit moving across the waters/matter (the first appearance of a duality). In this way, Genesis also refers to the state of things that ‘existed’ before spirit and matter appeared — before spirit and matter differentiated into their duality. Genesis gets it wrong by saying God causes all of this, but Genesis gets it right by not saying that God caused spirit to move across the waters/matter.

    "The bond between things I feel is something of this glue. Equally so the perpetuality and time/timelessness of reality."

    --> It is said that time only exists when there is a universe, and that there is no such as time between universes. Yet there must be a sense of time so that the interval between universes can be timed. Again,k it boggles the mind.

    "In Christianity I expect that these things are seen as dark arts or satanic…"

    --> Darkness has always been used to symbolize the absolute, because light has always been used to symbolize God. But darkness also symbolizes evil, so mankind has always confused the two concepts. (Christianity also encourages this confusion, because Christianity refuses to accept the idea that God is only a product of the absolute.)

    "…to us it is divine and not satanic…"

    --> Exactly.
     
    "…I think we are children learning what the father does to a small degree of what he does."

    --> Does druidry postulate the conditions that 'existed' before there was a father (spirit) and mother (matter)?
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Once again Nick, may I politely suggest that it would serve all better in this discussion if you commented on your own tradition, rather than offering a list of inaccurate assumptions about Christianity?

    If Z assumes what you've offered is an accurate view of Christian theology, it just means added confusion between us, and I have to undo the errors you have made.

    Thomas
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Hi Z —
    Good man!

    Agreed. Depends upon the discussion ... one the one hand Christianity asserts the fundamental concrete reality of the person (contrary, I think, to Buddhism, for example), whilst on the other asserts that only the Absolute possesses 'reality' as inhering in its own nature ... one of my favourite sayings from the mystics in from St Catherine of Siena, who was told, in a vision of Christ "I am He Who Is, you are she who is not... "

    I see your point. We tend to view it differently.

    Picking up on 'focus and perception', one could discuss the relation of the will to the intellect ... generally we regard the intellect as the light, and the will is the power, so the greater the focus of the will, the greater the illuminative power of the intellect.

    But the intellect can only cast its light on its own level, or lower levels, the lower cannot illuminate the higher ... but higher intellects can inhere in the lower, and thus lend to the lower their power of perception (looking at it one way). St Thomas Aquinas, for example, has written extensively on the life and nature of angels ...

    Thus we also believe that you cannot attain a higher state simply by the empirical process of praying every day, or meditating every day, or whatever ... you will certainly enjoy a better quality of life, but a nature cannot transcend itself under its own steam, that's a contradiction.

    When God in Genesis says "Let there be light" this implies intellection, and above that, the will of the Creator to be known by creation. The first light is the Logos of God ... it's a long metaphysical discussion ...

    I think we should split this discussion ... keep this on the discussion of theology, and another parallel on anthropology?

    I still think this is within the natural order, it's just exploring deeper recesses of the human potentiality, rather than transcending it.

    Well, you have to look at it from the whole schemata.

    But basically, yes, when the ego of the self identifies itself with God, or the Cause and Source of the Good, and tries to posses that which, by grace, it has been invited to participate in ... this is what Genesis 3 is about.

    But beyond all, the Absolute is utterly, totally and ... absolutely ... Itself, so everything else is not absolute, and relative to it.

    Everything that has existed, exists, will exist and can exist, doesn't effect the Absolute, which is Itself and inviolate.

    Yes, the Absolute is not the sum total of everything, the Absolute is Itself, and everything else is subsequent to it.

    Thus we have cataphatic (positive attribution) and apophatic (the negation of any attribution) theology. There is a tendency to regard the apophatic as 'higher' than the cataphatic, but this is an error ... both have to be held in tension.

    Among the cataphatic statements is "One' and 'Simple' ...

    I would disagree, as this tends to infer the Absolute as the sum of all its parts? We hold that the Absolute is Itself, before anything else.

    We also hold that 'everything' comes into being by creatio ex nihilo, by creation our of nothing, or being called into existence by the act of divine will. We do not hold that creation is in some form a sublimation of the Absolute.

    Well, philosophically the universals have no self-existence, they exist in particulars?

    Here, as you can see above, we disagree.

    I think the anarchic element is the soul ...

    Well, not according to us ...
    ... we would say that a pure mind can see the 'signature' of the divine throughout creation, as rational, although not inarguable, proofs of God. But the human mind cannot comprehend the divine as the divine is; the human faculty does not possess the capacity to function above its own nature.

    It is through the indwelling of the divine in the soul that the soul experiences the divine, and perceives this transcendent view of itself as its real character or true nature.

    Thus the person, and the soul, does not 'evolve' but becomes purified by its own ascesis, and by grace, which we call sanctification, the spiritualised soul is a participative soul, 'living and moving and having its being' conscious of its union with and participation in the divine.

    Again, people make the error of assuming that St Paul's 'in him we live and move and have our being' means that their being is the same as His being, and they are divine as He is ... big error...

    Thomas
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Hi Nick —
    As you're keen to promote the open discussion of ideas, I thought I'd offer a couple of insights re interpretations of Genesis.

    We would suggest at this stage we are still talking about the pre-creation, so the waters are not synonymous with matter, it's more to do with possibility/potentiality.

    (On a topical note, there is an Hermetic esoteric teaching about knowledge being locked in the ice at the poles ... so as the ice retreats at the end of an age, the planet releases and uses up all hitherto unused potentiality.)

    The Hebrew re'shiyth 'in the beginning' is translated in the Vulgate by the verb principio, which signifies a metaphysical hierarchy rather than a temporal condition.

    There are a number of subsequent interpretations and exegeses of these texts. One is that the waters reflect that which is over it, so we have a linked verse of darkness over the deep, and the spirit moving over the waters ... this darkness is, of course, not nothing, but the unlimited potentiality of everything.

    It is the Divine Mind contemplating Itself.

    The same metaphor then deploys in the subsequent separating of the waters, above and below, so we have formal/formless, etc.

    +++

    Well I have to say Christianity encourages no such thing, it's rather due to erroneous assumptions of what Christianity means by 'God'.

    If God is a product of the Absolute, then God is created, contingent, relative, and so forth, more akin to the idea of demiurge than deity. This may well be the god of Theosophy, but it is not the God of Scripture, nor is it the God of Christianity.

    In Christianity, God is synonymous with the Absolute, and one of the ancient titles is arche anarchos 'principle without principle' ... so you're assuming your definition of god refers to the God we speak of. As I hope I have demonstrated, it doesn't, so the confusion is, I'm afraid, your own.

    With regard to Darkness, there are two primary applications. The first is in reference to the presence of God, especially evident in the mystical traditions, and the other is in reference to the absence of God.

    Again, in God, there is no duality, no partition, God is 'Simple' ... but in man there is division, so there is 'light' when the will is guided by the intellect (as per the old English expression, 'by my lights') in pursuit of the greater good, and there is 'darkness' when the intellect is overthrown by the corrupted and self-serving will, in pursuit of its own good.

    Again, both light and darkness can be used to refer to God, according to what is being predicated of the Deity ... but Denys the Areopagite overcomes the limitations of language in a most poetic manner, mixing the images of light and darkness, thus demonstrating the inadequacy of both, or rather the inadequacy of duality to express the One:

    " ... where the pure, absolute and immutable mysteries of theology are veiled in the dazzling obscurity of the secret Silence, outshining all brilliance with the intensity of their Darkness, and surcharging our blinded intellects with the utterly impalpable and invisible fairness of glories surpassing all beauty." The Mystical Theology.

    Hope that helps clear things up a little ...

    Thomas
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Namaste Thomas,

    we's in tune...well maybe not in tune always but striking harmonic chords..

    darkness, lack of light/wisdom/knowledge...Nicodemus came to Jesus in the night... The darkness seeking the light.

    waters...potential....fish....ideas....toss your net on the right(eous) side....five loaves (senses) two fishes (divine ideas) feed thousands...
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Hey, Wil, how's it going?

    Oh yes ... and the one hundred and fifty three fish caught when the net was thrown here is one of my favourite interpretations.

    Thomas
     
  8. bhaktajan

    bhaktajan Active Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    a] The Polytheism is TOTALLY different from that which is understood that existed in the mid-east.

    b] Note that Buddhist/Taoist/Shinto philosophies are devoid of such demigods.
    India higharchy of Gods is extremely unique --to the point that immediately after the start of Kali-yuga (3,102 BC) and thus, after the end of Krishna's advent, pastimes & ascention ---all the Brahmin Class of India sought to double their efforts to attain moksha. IOW, society became devoid of the brahmin class because they left society to become ascetics to practice severe yoga penances ---the brahmin class had abandoned secular society enmass so as to follow the 'coat-tails' of Krishna's avatara pastimes which only occurred once in a day of Brahma.

    . . . After the disapprearence of the "Brahmana" class of society the arya dynasties whithered. The "Ksatriya" [Warrior-Statesman] class ran amok and their influence spread through-out the known world, both to the far neither-regions of the east and the west. Thus there evolved a tradition religious ritual that was only a shadow remnent of the original Brahminical rites known as "Yagya" [fire-sacrifices] ---simple & standard proceedure involved ghee and fruit offering into a fire while the authenic Vedic priest chanted metered mantras . . . all of that Vedic Science was lost, yet still was sought to be emulated by anyone with an interest to invoke a higher diety during those centuries leading up to the advent of Greece and Rome. The "sacrificial" offerring was devolved to "a means to appease the Gods and thus acquire a benediction"

    500 BC Buddha appeared to reform basic Hindu tradition by denying the existence to the "Gods".
    Buddha replaced the act of Sacrificial Offerings with the path of yogic-tapasya [meditaive penence] as the means to achieve a good life replete with blessings & auspiciousness. Buddha accomplished this completely in the area of the world where the Devas [gods] were known by name & parental lineage since time-immemorial [BTW, Buddha was an avatar of Vishnu]. Thus animal sacrifices stopped to the great relief of the Demigods of the Hindu Pantheon who had earlier patitioned tha help of Vishu to accomplish this task, 'to stop the humans from preforming animal sacrifices in the Gods' names . . . because it was illictly done and it caused deliveries of dead animal carcasses; what a mess it all was'

    Later Shankar-acharya appeared to reform basic India Societies' View-point by re-establishing the authority of the Vedas [BTW, Shankara was an avatar of Shiva] Shankara preached to Buddist India and established the roots of Buddhist doctrine as the Hindu Vedas --yet still keeping the Devas [Demigods of the Hindu Pantheon] as a low-key subject ---his Hindu philosophical treatices re-termed "Nirvana" as "Brahma-Moksha" and the goals of enlightenment remained the same but the source Text-material shifted back to its root source [BTW, Sankaracharya was revealed to be a Vaishnava (Vishnu-devotee) in his later years].
     
  9. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Thomas, can you please read this or at least this * part of it, I think we may find common truths here. I will post my reply to your last post asap.
    :)

    Nick, hi
    .
    .
    Well I am tripping up on terms I don’t usually go by, I don’t think there was a creation [in the singular] more that the ability is universal ~ without that universal there could be nothing new and no change. I do think there are differences in its utility, for example; the universe causality may have origins that are purely material or other than of the will, where creation by living beings is done via the will. …it may even be so that there is no creation at all, more that there is only transformation.
    Here we get tied up in words as we only have ‘something that can act upon something else‘, weather we call that creation, transformation, or if the tool is the will or causality.
    .
    .
    Then by what do universes manifest? it’s a wide tangent but I feel the very presence on infinity/absolute/ceugant is causal ~ and is both within and without the universe.
    .
    .
    May I make a distinction between a oneness and the singular. Perhaps we are meaning the same here, so I agree.
    .
    .
    Light is actually transparent until defined by other things [or is distinguished as a photon ~ which is material]. The light and dark are relative and thence come afterwards. I see the original ‘light’ as the emptiness, infinity/absolute/ceugant, then that this ‘light’ actually contains everything ~ that things may be manifest of it. This is the light in the void and what we call ‘ceugant‘.
    .
    .
    This is also a good definition. Its good to have different tools, my example for instance enables me to see omniscience [and all other Omni’s] as the communication or the touching of everything that is drawn upon the paper and the paper itself. Hence, no matter how slight an existence is [e.g. quantum events] the absolute will know it, and that is why wisdom is innate in reality as a whole [the paper is the whole].
    .
    .
    Well everything is in the oneness, look at it one way and it is existent, then from a different perspective it is non-existent. The whole of everything you are is always within the oneness, and ‘you’s’ [the very thing that is ‘you’] are all the same. That essential self is both yourself and the original self [the light], when it makes utility of things it may have character and personality, it is then distinct [from an outwards perspective] ~ yet still, all things are within the oneness. All the ingredients are in the cupboard [the light] which are then taken to make things from ~ yet; all the ingredients are in the cupboard!
    .
    .
    Good point, though it may not be wrong, it would take another thread of many pages to describe, but I think there may only be a single universe ~ a single expression of oneness. Even where it is most likely that other universes have been before and shall be, there has to be a gap between universes, a causal break, and in that break is infinity and thus it is base. If you don’t have that break then you run into an infinity paradox, you cannot keep adding universes to reach an infinite amount of them ~ in math for example we have to ‘jump’ straight to the infinite set, we may never build up to it. I think I done a thread on ‘objective infinite’ that describes this in further detail.
    .
    .
    Because the universals are non finite nor infinite so they break the duality - so to say.
    .
    .
    Agreed with the latter, but I also think we do exist outside of duality [although existing is really a term for material entity].
    .
    .
    *Well if ‘god’ is the absolute then he comes before distinction? I presume that by not causing the spirit to move across the water, it may be meant that once the primary event of singularity is cause, then causality and more, causal inflation takes over? [e.g. gad creates the potential for evolution which then appears to be causal].
    .
    .
    Indeed, I think timelessness is non relative time, but it is still a kind of time. We may only understand it as we understand infinity to be its own dimension and not recognisable via other dimensions [e.g. it does not go on for ever in 3 dimension, or we come up against the same infinity paradox of not building up to infinity - as above].
    .
    .
    Indeed, this is what is called ceugant, the gods are seen as coming from that ~ a product of it, and they can change in personality just as people do once manifest, its all the same thing at work although there is no thing but ‘the book with no name’ [I think I have posted that thread here somewhere too].
    .
     
  10. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    hi wil

    nice! it makes sense now. :)
     
  11. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis



    “…if I — being asked … if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those … who are exponents of eternalism [the view that there is an eternal, unchanging soul]. If I — being asked … if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those … who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness]. If I — being asked … if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, would that be in keeping with the arising of knowledge that all phenomena are not-self?"

    "No, lord."

    Ananda Sutta: To Ananda


    …and on not self…

    Books on Buddhism often state that the Buddha's most basic metaphysical tenet is that there is no soul or self. However, a survey of the discourses in the Pali canon — the earliest extant record of the Buddha's teachings — suggests that the Buddha taught the anatta or not-self doctrine, not as a metaphysical assertion, but as a strategy for gaining release from suffering: If one uses the concept of not-self to dis-identify oneself from all phenomena, one goes beyond the reach of all suffering & stress. As for what lies beyond suffering & stress, the Canon states that although it may be experienced, it lies beyond the range of description, and thus such descriptions as "self" or "not-self" would not apply.

    The Not-self Strategy

    But, in another view (oh the irony), it is all expedient means for the purposes of liberation.

    s.
     
  12. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Thomas, hi

    .
    The ‘you’ or the personality which is surely transient? I do think there would be particulars specific to you in the original self, and that essential you is what continues. I don’t think that what we do changes that, or that this original you would define lesser things we may all do upon the earth. This ‘you’ is surely divine so its aspects universal in their particularity, as opposed to specifics which derive from other places.
    .
    .
    I see all wills as the same though the effect of them as different, then that if the will directs the intellect to non earthly realities then this is ‘seeing’. everyone has second sight in this way if they wish or know how to direct it. …transcending itself! The light is known also by this ability.
    .
    .
    Sure thing, may we focus on this then take on such tangents?
    .
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    If the mind is brought into the void, then it is transcending material reality though.
    .
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    Well I only expect to participate. :)
    .
    .
    True, but it is also unlimited and all things connected to or within it, there is no line of division, the absolute contains all not just itself. You are perhaps thinking of it as an object true only to itself and aside from all other things.
    .
    .
    Ok, so what is the totality? …as it is the totality which I am describing as the absolute ~ the whole!
    .
    .
    I see your point, I would only see it as higher because it is infinite and fundamental, so higher as in prior to and thus all others are lesser than.
    .
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    Not the sum just everything ~ which must be a oneness.
    .
    .
    The nothing contains all as un-manifest, so we are more looking at changing [what lies in there into its manifest forms] than creation or of using the ingredients [as they will become] in the cupboard to make our broth. Creation is not all but an aspect of the whole, though I would see the universe as manifesting at once in the singularity, so I think I see what you mean in that context.
    .
    .
    They don’t exist as such no, particulars adapt by them e.g. the universal of balance exists in polarity, and all atoms and energies [magnetism, s/w nuclear] work according to them.
    ----the collection of universals is just a set of principles and laws, so the absolute would have the whole collection ~ sorry I said it would ‘be’ the collection.
    .
    .
    Perhaps the human mind cannot perfectly perceive the ‘divine as it is‘, yet divinity is the base nature of everything so we can conceive of it in that we may conceive of that which is within us also. Good distinction though! A union and participation in the divine gives us the capacity above our own [earth focused] nature surely?

    Thanks thomas, this is most enlightening and I feel we are all seeing a similar thing. Really our religion is the faith and beliefs aside from the deeper truths, perhaps? :) I wouldn’t see any as holding the higher ground.
     
  13. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Hi Z,

    You said,

    "…the universe causality may have origins that are purely material or other than of the will, where creation by living beings is done via the will. …it may even be so that there is no creation at all, more that there is only transformation."

    --> It is fascinating to consider all possible ‘beginnings’ of the universe.

    "Here we get tied up in words as we only have ‘something that can act upon something else‘, weather we call that creation, transformation, or if the tool is the will or causality."

    --> I agree. The different terminologies can get confusing sometimes.

    "…by what do universes manifest?"

    --> By what is called The First Cause (which Christians call God). But the absolute is not God, even God emerges from the absolute. (To use Christian-like terminology, the universe is Jesus, not God. God 'causes' Jesus/the universe to appear.)

    "…I feel the very presence on infinity/absolute/ceugant is causal ~ and is both within and without the universe."

    --> It is difficult to reconcile the idea that God is the causeless first cause, yet the absolute has no cause and is beyond any cause.

    "May I make a distinction between a oneness and the singular. Perhaps we are meaning the same here, so I agree."

    --> Yes, I agree we are merely stumbling over terms. infinity/absolute/ceugant/oneness/singularity all refer to the same thing. You prefer the word ceugant and I prefer the word absolute, but it’s all the same thing.

    "Light is actually transparent until defined by other things [or is distinguished as a photon ~ which is material]. The light and dark are relative and thence come afterwards. I see the original ‘light’ as the emptiness, infinity/absolute/ceugant, then that this ‘light’ actually contains everything ~ that things may be manifest of it. This is the light in the void and what we call ‘ceugant‘."

    --> I like to use the word darkness instead of the word light to refer to absolute/ceugant. It has been customary down the centuries in many belief systems to refer to it is as darkness. (Light can only emerge from darkness, it cannot emerge from light.) But I can see how the word light works for you and for other people in your belief system.

    "…everything is in the oneness, look at it one way and it is existent, then from a different perspective it is non-existent."

    --> But duality is forced upon us in order for us to learn how to perceive things. Without duality we cannot perceive anything. (And, the fact that duality has been forced upon us is the true meaning behind the story of Genesis.)

    "All the ingredients are in the cupboard [the light] which are then taken to make things from ~ yet; all the ingredients are in the cupboard!"

    --> …but the cups must first become aware that cups are over ‘here’ and dishes are over ‘there.’ We cannot escape this first lesson in ‘reality.’
    .
    "…it would take another thread of many pages to describe…"

    --> Go for it. I’m sure many people would be fascinated by such a thread.

    "…there may only be a single universe ~ a single expression of oneness."

    --> It is a fascinating idea. However, I see our present universe as only one of many universes. In my belief system, ‘Jesus’ does not refer to a man from Nazareth, ‘Jesus’ refers to our universe (which makes a lot more sense to me). In my belief system, Mary has had many children — there have been many universes. The symbolism of Mary holding the baby Jesus is a very good way of symbolizing this universe (Jesus) being born from the Second Logos (Mary). The mother/baby symbolism (to me, anyway) shows that this universe was not the first or last: ‘Mary’ has had other children (universes) and will have more in the future. For those of us who accept that the name ‘Jesus’ refers to our universe and not the man from Nazareth, this symbolism makes perfect sense.

    "Even where it is most likely that other universes have been before and shall be, there has to be a gap between universes, a causal break, and in that break is infinity and thus it is base."

    --> I agree. And, according to my belief system, the gap is a lot larger than most people think. According to my belief system, the gap between universes is a long as the time that a universe exists! So, if Genesis were to be re-written, I would say that creation lasts seven days, to be followed by seven days of rest. (Which means that we should have to work seven days, then get a seven-day ‘weekend’ every time. I like that idea!)

    "I think I done a thread on ‘objective infinite’ that describes this in further detail."

    --> See if you can find a link to it.
    .
    "…we do exist outside of duality [although existing is really a term for material entity]."

    --> We do. That is the true meaning of absolute/ceugant — but only absolute/ceugant is the true reality. Duality is only forced upon us because we need it. Once we no longer need duality, we will discard it, just like the training wheels we discarded when we finally learned how to ride a bicycle as a child.
    .
    "…if ‘god’ is the absolute then he comes before distinction?"

    --> According to my belief system, God is not the absolute, God emerges from the absolute (but Christians disagree with me on this, and I can see why). I see God as the product of the very first differentiation into a duality. The moment of first reality (of the events leading to the appearance of our universe) was the creation of the first duality, called spirit/matter or father/mother. (This is where the ideas of God the Father and Mary/matter comes from.) Spirit and matter then interacted to create Jesus — our physical universe.) According to my belief system, the word God refers to both this original pre-universe spirit, and also refers to the three (father/mother/physical universe). But in my belief system ‘God’ does not refer to the absolute, but to the first duality that emerges from the absolute.

    "I presume that by not causing the spirit to move across the water, it may be meant that once the primary event of singularity is cause, then causality and more, causal inflation takes over? [e.g. gad (sp?) creates the potential for evolution which then appears to be causal]."

    --> It is a difficult concept to grasp, but in my belief system the absolute is beyond all cause and effect. The first differentiation IS the first cause, even though that does not make sense to us.

    "…this is what is called ceugant, the gods are seen as coming from that…"

    --> My belief system agrees.

    "…they can change in personality just as people do…"

    --> Instead, I would say that the ‘gods’ are beyond having any personality, and giving them a personality is nothing more than anthropomorphizing them. I see the gods as principles rather than human-like entities with personalities.

    "I think I have posted that thread here somewhere too."

    --> See if you can find the link.
     
     
     
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Hi Snoopy —

    Really big thanks for that!

    Thomas
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Hi Z —
    No, the 'you' of the person ... the question of 'personality' becomes deeply involved, what does one mean by 'personality' exactly? I really think another thread on anthropology ...

    ... Also, not quite sure of your definition of certain terms, but in the hope of not causing further confusion, I'll respond with comments in the area of what I think we're talking about. If they seem completely off the plot, I've probably missed the point your were making.

    In the Catholic/Orthodox Tradition, the soul is a created entity, it is the logos of the individual/particular being, and has actual existence, manifest as the body, etc. Christianity is holistic and not dualistic, therefore we do not see any soul/body antagonism evident in Platonism, the gnostic doctrines, etc.

    Rather the body is the means by which the soul manifests itself in this domain, and the soul will manifest itself according to the domain in which it operates, and thus will manifest a body in that domain.

    A good rule of thumb is the definition of Boethius: 'The person is an individual substance of a rational nature.'

    More anthropology I'm afraid: the soul has its logos, but it also has its 'logoi' which is the 'divine idea' which gives rise to the soul's existence in the first place. These logoi exist, if you will, as ideas in the Mind of God in all eternity; so you and I were there, as ideas or as a potentially possible being, no actuality, you understand, just potentiality — but in the logoi is not only the origin of the creature, but its end, and this logoi is mirrored in the soul and becomes, for the realised, actual, soul, its beginning and its end, its 'good' towards which it strives, from being to eternal being by union with and participation in its cause.

    So if the soul works towards the realisation of its image, as it were, then it participates in the real in so doing ... if the soul labours in pursuit of its own imagined good however, which is a fantasy not founded in an ontological reality, then the tangential path is from being to non-being.

    Thus 'continuance' is not guaranteed per se.

    Not sure what you mean here? If what we do here makes no difference at all, then what is the point of here? It seems to me all the Great Traditions signify there is a job of work to do in this life which determines the quality of life in the next.

    Not in our book. If it was divine, it wouldn't be in the dark, as it were, about itself. It is created, contingent, etc., etc. This is what I was saying before. It's as if the person grows conscious of the divine image reflected in the mirror of the soul, and assumes the reflection is its own ...

    We don't. We see all souls as uniquely themselves.

    Well a couple of points here. One is that many assume that was is supernatural is actually natural, but rare ... and again, a nature cannot transcend itself by its own power, that is a contradiction in terms.

    It is an axiom of the Christian Tradition that the interiority of the Absolute is beyond all human reason and knowledge ... the Absolute can reveal Itself, but man cannot pass through that veil under his own steam.

    I'm suggesting that's generally a natural condition. Prophecy proper, among others, we see as 'gifts' of the higher realm.

    The mind can arrive at the threshold of the void, if one can say that, by pure reason, but then it is only speculation, with plenty of significant and supportive evidence, but no actual proof, it does not experience the reality of the void.

    If the mind is brought into the void, then it is by invitation and empowerment, I would say adoption, so it transcends itself by being drawn into the higher, not by its own bootstraps.

    In my tradition, the phase 'follow me' is hugely significant. God is unknowable because their is no limit and therefore God cannot be contained. Christ, as God, is always before us (and behind us, and beside us) because He is the Logos.

    For my own part I would suggest 'hope' is the better term. Then as long as you remember that such participation is a gratuitous free act on behalf of the Divine, which man has no right nor reason to expect, then you'll be fine ;)

    I'm thinking of the Absolute prior to this or any other universe. The Absolute beyond-being, beyond 'things' ... The baseline distinction is between the Uncreated and the created.

    The Absolute contains all, but in our book all that is contained is not in and of itself absolute, nor does the sum of all and everything contained comprise the Absolute, nor any part of it, as the Absolute is without parts ...

    I wouldn't say so — the qualification 'absolute' applies metaphysically to that which is undetermined, unconditioned, unlimited ... the whole in all its parts is determined, caused, contingent, limited, finite ... so it is not absoloute, although the Absolute is its basic referent.

    God is Absolute, I would say, on these terms ... Quantum Physics now suggests that my very existence alters the structure, or has an effect on, the whole cosmos; furthermore, the existence of this dog does the same, the existence of the flea on the back of the dog does the same, the existence of the bacterium on the flea on the dog ... you get my drift ... everything is inter-relational.

    On the other hand, whether this cosmos, in all its parts, existed or not, would not change or alter the Absolute one iota.

    I think the one-ness is in participation in the one mind of God, not that there is only God and nothing else. One of the reasons I'm Catholic is that it's the most optimistic of all the world's religions, and, I believe, the most far-reaching. So even where, as Eckhart says, the distinction between I and thou ceases to exist, there is still I, and there is still thou.

    God is the only self-subsistent 'being', the only uncreated and therefore the only non-dependent or self-determinate ... the greatest gift God can give is the experience of that freedom of non-dependence and self-determination, and the only way that can happen is by participation in God, as there cannot be two, or multiple, absolutes ...

    ... again, we're back to Genesis, Icarus ... we always want more, even when it's more than what is good, or intended, for us.

    Yes, this is what we call the logoi, eternal ideas in the mind of God ... so we see creation not as the work of God the Artificer upon some Primordial Substance (where did that come from?), but God who causes things to be by the act of His will, according to His plenitude and His providence.

     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Dear oh dear, Nick ... please ...

    Let's try to be accurate:
    What the Theosophist means by 'God' is according to the Theosophist definition of a deity.

    What the Christian mean by God is something else altogether, according to a Christian definition ... so it's not the same thing at all, it's not a misunderstanding of, or a mispresentation of, the Theosophist idea of God. What you call 'God" I would call a demiurge?

    But basically, God as you've described it is caused, and thus created ... whereas God as I am talking about, is Uncaused and Uncreated and Absolute.

    It's two different systems, not one system that's got the other system wrong.

    This is why I asked: If you stick with what the Theosophist view is, I assume you're on safe ground. As soon as you start telling people what Christians think, you begin making fundamental mistakes and leading people astray.

    Nick, you keep saying this, and then what you offer is Christian iconography re-arranged to create a different picture.

    In Christian terms, the picture is a fiction, as it bears no relation to the Tradition, and fundamentally misrepresents the imagery ... and, might I add, if one investigates the Christian iconography more closely, the flaws, or one might say the superficialities, in this rearrangement become apparent, so I would suggest you're doing neither yourself nor Theosophy any service by this.

    Can't you present your own system on its own terms, without reference to other systems? has it no core of its own?

    Does it possess a lexicon of its own, or is everything taken from elsewhere? It's own imagery, its own iconography?

    I for one would be more interested in learning about that.

    Thomas
     
  17. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Thomas/nick, we are trying to address to many issues to be clear perhaps, so I’ll just take on one or two at a time for now. :)

    nick
    I presume you mean this in a brahma like context? I think first causes are problematic, we cannot have an infinity with nothing else then a universe, it doesn’t add up ~ if we follow this through we will need to keep adding things to the pre universe in order for the first cause to happen. Once we do that we will find we have added all the things we have been talking about thus so far [universals etc]. then we are not in a position of >infinity then first cause<, we are in a position of non linear time, universals the absolute, infinity.

    Sure, but may I ask; is the absolute not also ‘the light‘? [as one thing] you see the reason we use ‘ceugant’ is because the idea possesses everything as a oneness, it is a real thing not just an idea or dimension. If I were to use the absolute in this way, then it would include light?

    In real terms it is very important not to get darkness and transparent light muddled up, when you enter the clear light of bliss [transparent light] [the void/ceugant] [usually after death or in meditations etc] then you are on your way and all is fine. If you sense a darkness and head into it, then you are in serious trouble, you will enter a hellish mental realm or your soul may end up in oblivion. Usually this wont happen for many reasons [relatives, deities or angels etc will help the travelling soul], but if a soul were to be confused and thing it the right thing to do to enter it, it wouldn’t be good. Thus we must make a positive distinction according to what is known in both science and wisdom [not to mention occult magic].

    thomas
    I see the point but I don’t understand how universals can belong to something or be created, they are not things to have beginnings and endings. More importantly is that ‘god’ the absolute or whatever does the creating, would need a set of universal rules by which it is and to denote how creation works both in its operation and basis. If not we are talking about something that has no definition or is pure chaos, where I would think the ultimate nature [‘god’, the absolute] would be perfectly ordered?
     
     
     
  18. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Thomas

    Seams problematic, there is of course an unbroken causal chain between the cells of reproduction in the male and female, with those of the foetus. Hence you have to have a soul that enters from an external reference, or is connected to the foetus externally.

    Please forgive but this is an area I really struggle with, I don’t get how the material and spiritual can be the same thing even if they both have the same origins. This become most evident when we consider the resurrection; is it possible that people got the message wrong, just because jesus was resurrected [he was god after all ~ in the context of the sun] it doesn’t necessarily follow that all people will be.

    The sheer impracticality of putting bodies back together after perhaps a thousand years or more, is an insurmountable obstacle. There are many instances where the atoms or cells of a persons body would find their way into other peoples bodies e.g. explosions in war, insects/food chain, blood transfusions etc. it then becomes an impossible task to bring one body ‘fully and completely’ back from the dead, without that act being detrimental to a given other body.

    This may seam like a minor point, but it is just to show the impractical and implausible side of resurrection.

    Could it be that jesus was merely showing us that there is life after death, and he showed us that in a way we could literally see it! After all, it would be absurd for him to just die and expect us to presume he had been resurrected in heaven.
     
  19. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Z,

    We discussed,

    "By what is called The First Cause (which Christians call God). But the absolute is not God, even God emerges from the absolute. --> I presume you mean this in a brahma like context?"

    --> Yes. To me, Brahma is God/first cause and Parabrahma is the absolute. (And Brahmā is Jesus/the universe.)

    "I think first causes are problematic…"

    --> I agree. How can there be a first cause, yet that which is beyond the first cause? What caused the first cause to appear? It is impossible for our finite minds to comprehend such a question or its answer. (But it sure is fun to try!)

    "…we cannot have an infinity with nothing else then a universe…"

    --> That is how I see it. I see infinity being much more than a single universe.

    "…if we follow this through we will need to keep adding things to the pre universe in order for the first cause to happen."

    --> I find your use of the phrase ‘pre universe’ to be fascinating. It begs the question what a ‘pre universe’ would be. It can only refer to ‘that which is beyond our present universe,’ which refers to infinity, and I do not think we can imagine what such an infinity would be.

    "…then we are not in a position of >infinity then first cause<, we are in a position of non linear time, universals the absolute, infinity."

    --> Infinity is, well, infinity. I do take the position of ‘infinity then first cause,’

    "…but may I ask; is the absolute not also ‘the light‘?"

    --> I would say no. To me, the light comes from the absolute, so light can only come from darkness.

    "…the reason we use ‘ceugant’ is because the idea possesses everything as a oneness…"

    --> I agree. The light is only one aspect of the absolute.

    "If I were to use the absolute in this way, then it would include light?"

    --> Yes. But the absolute is more than just the light, so that is why people in my belief system refer to use the word ‘darkness’ to refer to the absolute. But I wonder if we are getting hung up here too much on terminology. Another way to look at (which is more confusing) is to say the first cause emerges from out of the absolute.

    "…when you enter the clear light of bliss [transparent light] [the void/ceugant] [usually after death or in meditations etc] then you are on your way and all is fine."

    --> To me, this is confusing the light with the void. In order for bliss to exist, there must be that-which-is-not-bliss. We are now talking about a duality, and to me, the absolute/void/ceugant is beyond any duality.

    "If you sense a darkness and head into it, then you are in serious trouble, you will enter a hellish mental realm or your soul may end up in oblivion."

    --> I agree. But I think this is a case of confusing darkness-as-evil with darkness-as-the-absolute. We have to be careful not to confuse the two. (People have been confusing the two since the beginning of the human race.)

    "… if a soul were to be confused and [think] it the right thing to do to enter [the darkness], it wouldn’t be good."

    --> I think we can rest assured that we will always have positive guidance available to us, as long as we are willing to accept it.

    "Thus we must make a positive distinction according to what is known in both science and wisdom [not to mention occult magic]."

    --> I agree. Science, wisdom, and white/black magic always offer us the right/wrong path.

    "I don’t get how the material and spiritual can be the same thing even if they both have the same origins."

    --> They are the basic duality of the universe. The only way we can have spirit is to have that-which-is-not-spirit, which is matter. But spirit and matter are merely two halves of a non-duality (which gets into the idea that spirit is good and matter is bad, but that is a whole different topic). They were ‘split off’ from each other at the very first moment of our universe (the "let there be light" moment). So, in essence, they are the same thing. Once spirit/matter, good/evil, and light/darkness are reunited, both will cease to exist — the definition of the void.
     
  20. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Hi nick

    I think we can comprehend it and it is just a false logic ~ unless its not an ultimate, you cannot have a first cause without there being something in which it appears, but we can have a first cause to the universe where infinity [or something] is prior to it and hence negates that paradox.

    Thanks, I agree, but I wonder if we have to include the universe in that there cannot be a ‘not-universe-existing’ space. Its hard to see I admit, but the singularity is always that. So the universe at any stage in its history is still the singularity. In this way we can see a pre universe with a singularity in it, where that pre universe singularity is of the previous universe.
    There we have you infinity + first cause yes?


    Have we not already agreed that the absolute contains all, hence it has the ‘all’ version’ of light! It would surely have the ‘all-version’ of everything, energy of all kinds etc. its quite an impressive entity!
    Another way to look at is to say the first cause emerges from out of the absolute.

    Or ‘is’ the absolute? Good thinking there, I shall have to ponder upon this one.

    Maybe. Like transparent light, bliss is the absence of things/apsects, you have to have things to stop you feeling bliss, so a lack of things = bliss.

    Absolutely! So why not simply use different terms for the two kinds of darkness, so people don’t get confused?
     
    i think our views are very similar aside from the semantics, but they are important to peoples understanding of wisdom.
     
    :) 
     
     
     
     
     

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