Re: Theos-World The Mahatmas and a "Liberal" Church
Mar 01, 2006 11:35 AM
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "M. Sufilight" <global-
> I would also like Pedro and other Leadbeater fans
> comment on that quote by the Mahatma, and explain why the LCC
> is not exactly losing its socalled - reason the exist - in the
> as the by Carlos in the below quoted Priest and Churches.
> Here is some more explanation why I am against CWL's LIberal
> Church (LCC).
> My poor somewhat almost Middle Eastern Sufi-heart is suffering
> problem, not being dealt with properly.
> There are too many members with what I would call Christian-
> tendencies. These same members has a lot of prejudice to
> offer the Middle East if they develop their occult skills
prematurely or in
> the wrong direction.
> As Blavatsky said in her 1888 article:
> IS THEOSOPHY A RELIGION?
> "Moreover, the very raison d'être of the Theosophical Society was,
> beginning, to utter a loud protest and lead an open warfare
against dogma or
> any belief based upon blind faith.
> It may sound odd and paradoxical, but it is true to say that,
> most apt workers in practical theosophy, its most devoted members
> recruited from the ranks of agnostics and even of materialists. No
> no sincere searcher after truth can ever be found among the blind
> in the "Divine Word," let the latter be claimed to come from
> or Jehovah, or their respective Kuran, Purana and Bible. For:
> Faith is not reason's labour, but repose. "
> Leadbeater even himself admits his own double-standard.
> Here from "Inner Life" written 1917, C. W. Leadbeater.
> " CEREMONIAL
> The line of ceremonial is one along which many people come, but of
> must be understood that no religious ceremonial whatever is ever
> essential, and the man who wishes to enter upon the Path of
> realize this fully and must cast off belief in the necessity of
> as one of the fetters which hold him back from nirvana. This does
> that ceremonies may not be sometimes quite effective in producing
> results which are intended, but only that they are never really
> for any one, and that the candidate for higher progress must learn
> utterly without them. The ceremonial line is an easy road for a
> of people, and is really helpful and uplifting for them; but there
> another type of men who always feel ceremonial as an obstacle
> themselves and the deities which they wish to reach.
> In Christianity this ceremonial line is the one appointed by its
> through which his magic is to work. The consecration of the host,
> example, is a means by which spiritual force is poured out over
> There is often a vast amount of devotional feeling at the moment
> consecration, and the working of the magic is assisted by that,
> does not depend upon it. Those who are devotional unquestionably
> more because they bring with them an additional faculty of
reception. On the
> other hand, there is always the probability that ignorant devotion
> degenerate into superstition. In a recent enquiry into these
> the occult point of view, made in Sicily, I found that there was
> plenty of superstition, and much harmful interference in family
> the part of the priests; but still on the whole the country was
> better than it would have been without it. We should remember also
> history we usually hear much of the worst effects of religious
> whereas the good steady progress of many thousands under its
> but little impression."
> Let us hear your wise words in response Pedro, Dave and friends.
Below is an article I wrote for the March, 2004 issue of "Theosophy
"God: A Theosophical View"
If the Mahatmas, Madame Blavatsky´s Teachers, are regarded as
spiritual authorities within the Theosophical Society, then their
view on God, as expressed in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett,
becomes the definitive theosophical view on the subject, and it has,
for a number of students of Theosophy. Here are some of the passages
that have been quoted, again and again, and which are accepted by
some as the final words on the subject:
Our doctrine knows no compromises. It either affirms or denies, for
it never teaches but that which it knows to be the truth. Therefore,
we deny God both as philosophers and as Buddhists. We know there are
planetary and other spiritual lives, and we know there is in our
system no such thing as God, either personal or impersonal.
Parabrahm is not a God, but absolute immutable law, and Iswar is the
effect of Avidya and Maya, ignorance based on the great delusion.1
... The God of the Theologians is simply an imaginary power, un loup
garou as d´Holbach expressed it—a power which has never manifested
itself. Our chief aim is to deliver humanity of this nightmare, to
teach man virtue for its own sake, and to walk in life relying on
himself instead of leaning on a theological crutch, that for
countless ages was the direct cause of nearly all human misery.2
The Mahatmas´ View: Is it Definitive?
Their view is clearly uncompromising, vigorous and radical. It
rejects the notion of God completely and absolutely. They also
identify themselves with the Buddhist tradition. But the question
presents itself: did the Mahatmas expect their view to be the view
of the members of the Theosophical Society? Also, did they consider
themselves as spiritual authorities in the TS? These questions may
be relevant precisely because a number of students hold the view of
the primacy of the Mahatmas´ teachings—and HPB´s teachings—over all
other theosophical literature. One finds, though, in their letters
statements that contradict such expectation:
If you would go on with your occult studies and literary work—then
learn to be loyal to the Idea, rather than to my poor self.3
The cant about "Masters" must be silently but firmly put down. Let
the devotion and service be to that Supreme Spirit alone of which
each one is a part.4
Both quotations above indicate that the Adepts did not expect, nor
encourage, members of the Society to look up to them as authorities.
And the reason for this may be that in the field of Esoteric
Philosophy one has to learn to open up one´s higher faculties
through study, right living and meditative awareness, before one can
truly see. As the Mahatmas declared, `the illumination must come
from within´, from the depths of one´s own consciousness. In view of
this, making anyone, even a Mahatma, a spiritual authority is
counterproductive and certainly generates a sense of abject
dependence which works against one´s own spiritual unfoldment.
Virginia Hanson, a life-long student of The Mahatma Letters, who
penetrated very deeply into their spirit and teaching, pointed out
that `one cannot help noticing as one studies the letters, that the
Mahatma never denies the reality of spirit—only of spirit as a
separate and distinct principle apart from matter´.5 She also
mentioned that `referring in another letter to the conclusion by an
English member that the Mahatmas "have no God" the Mahatma K.H.
says: "He is right — since he applies the name to an extracosmic
anomaly, and that we, knowing nothing of the latter, find each man
his God—within himself in his own personal, and at the same time
impersonal Avalokiteswara" ´(ML 113, chronological, p. 390).6
The last quotation is important because its substance reappears
again and again in the theosophical literature, affirming that the
real God is our seventh principle, Atma, the One Self, that which
truly `saves´ us from countless existences lived under the grip of
ignorance, and which is one with the Absolute, ultimate Reality.
Consider the following passages from the famous communication from
the Maha-Chohan, the Mahatmas´ Master:
For as everyone knows, total emancipation from authority of the one
all-pervading power or law called God by the priests—Buddha, Divine
Wisdom and enlightenment or Theosophy, by the philosophers of all
ages—means also the emancipation from that of human law. Once
unfettered and delivered from their dead weight of dogmatic
interpretations, personal names, anthropomorphic conceptions and
salaried priests, the fundamental doctrines of all religions will be
proved identical in their esoteric meaning. Osiris, Krishna, Buddha,
Christ, will be shown as different names for one and the same royal
highway to final bliss, Nirvana.7
Mystical Christianity, that is to say that Christianity which
teaches self-redemption through our own seventh principle—this
liberated Para-Atma (Augoeides) called by some Christ, by others
Buddha, and equivalent to regeneration or rebirth in spirit—will be
found just the same truth as the Nirvana of Buddhism. All of us have
to get rid of our own Ego, the illusory apparent self, to recognize
our true self in a transcendental divine life. But if we would not
be selfish, we must strive to make other people see that truth, to
recognize the reality of that transcendental self, the Buddha, the
Christ or God of every preacher. This is why even exoteric Buddhism
is the surest path to lead men towards the one esoteric truth.8
So we find that the denial of God by the Adepts seems to apply more
to the theological conception of the Divine, which is fragmented,
dualistic and contradictory, articulated as it was by the
Aristotelian logic, in which there is a fundamental primacy of
logos, word, concept, reason, over nous, spiritual perception,
mystical insight. The Maha-Chohan clearly makes mystical
Christianity, for example, one of the exceptions to this. The
Mahatmas certainly condemn the God of the theologians, not
necessarily of the mystics for while the former would write volumes
upon volumes trying to define and explain their `God´, the mystics
knew in the depths of their hearts the Ground of Being, the
uncreated Divinity. The same is true of the real mystics, seers and
yogis in every tradition.
Scriptural and Theosophical References to God
Let us consider some references to God in some of the scriptures of
the world and in theosophical literature.
In the gospel according to John (4:24), in his dialogue with a woman
of Samaria, Jesus says: `God is a Spirit: and they that worship him
must worship him in spirit and in truth´. These are not the words of
a theologian; they are a teaching from someone who knew. God is our
deepest Self and true worship or communion takes place at those
depths where we are one with the Divine Ground.
St. Paul, to whom HPB refers as an initiate again and again in her
writings, communicates his vision of the Deity in his famous
discourse in Athens (Acts of the Apostles): `God that made the world
and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth,
dwelleth not in temples made with hands´(18:24). `That they should
seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him,
though he be not far from everyone of us: For in him we live, and
move, and have our being.´ (18:27, 28). For the early Christians,
God was not an `extracosmic anomaly´ but the indwelling Spirit
abiding in the depths of the human heart as well as the
transcendental Reality pervading everything, both being one.
The early Church Fathers, some of whom Madame Blavatsky said were
initiate-members of the ancient Mystery Schools, held a view of the
Godhead which was a combination of Platonic and Eastern sources.
Annie Besant sums up the philosophical foundations on which the
Mysteries were based:
The theory on which these Mysteries were based may be very briefly
thus stated: there is ONE, prior to all beings, immovable, abiding
in the solitude of His own unity. From THAT arises the Supreme God,
the Self-begotten, the Good, the Source of all things, the Root, the
God of Gods, the First Cause, unfolding Himself into Light. From Him
springs the Intelligible World, or ideal universe, the Universal
Mind, the Nous, and the incorporeal or intelligible Gods belong to
this. From this the World-Soul, to which belong the "divine
intellectual forms which are present with the visible bodies of the
Gods". Then come various hierarchies of superhuman beings,
Archangels, Archons (Rulers) or Cosmocratores, Angels, Daimons, etc.
Man is a being of a lower order, allied to these in his nature, and
is capable of knowing them; this knowledge was achieved in the
Mysteries, and it led to union with God.9
The little book *Practical Occultism*, in the chapter entitled `Some
Practical Suggestions for Daily Life´, has this to say:
The "God" in us—that is to say, the Spirit of Love and Truth,
Justice and Wisdom, Goodness and Power—should be our only true and
permanent Love, our only reliance in everything, our only Faith,
which, standing firm as a rock, can for ever be trusted; our only
Hope, which will never fail us if all other things perish; and the
only object which we must seek to obtain, by our Patience, waiting
contentedly until our evil Karma has been exhausted and the divine
Redeemer will reveal to us his presence within our soul. The door
through which he enters is called Contentment; for he who is
discontented with himself is discontented with the law that made him
such as he is; as God is Himself the Law, God will not come to those
that are discontented with Him.10
In The Key to Theosophy, when discussing prayer, HPB presents her
view of God:
ENQ. To whom, then, do you pray when you do so?
THEO. To "our Father in heaven" – in its esoteric meaning.
ENQ. Is that different from the one given to it in theology?
THEO. Entirely so. An Occultist or a Theosophist addresses his
prayer to his Father which is in secret (read, and try to
understand, Matthew vi, 6), not an extra-cosmic and therefore finite
God; and that "Father" is in man himself.
ENQ. Then you make of man a God?
THEO. Please say "God" and not a God. In our sense, the inner man is
the only God we can have cognizance of. And how can this be
otherwise? Grant us our postulate that God is a universally
diffused, infinite principle, and how can man alone escape from
being soaked through by, and in, the Deity? We call our "Father in
heaven" that deific essence of which we are cognizant within us, in
our heart and spiritual consciousness, and which has nothing to do
with the anthropomorphic conception we may form of it in our
physical brain or its fancy: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of
God, and that the spirit of [the absolute] God dwelleth in you?"
Yet, let no man anthropomorphize that essence in us. Let no
Theosophist, if he would hold to divine, not human truth, say that
this "God in secret" listens to, or is distinct from, either finite
man or the infinite essence—for all are one.11
C. W. Leadbeater, Annie Besant´s colleague and co-worker in the
popularisation of Theosophy in the early twentieth century, also
contributed his view to our understanding of the all-embracing
When we lay down the existence of God as the first and greatest of
our principles, it becomes necessary for us to define the sense in
which we employ that much-abused, yet mighty word. We try to redeem
it from the narrow limits imposed on it by the ignorance of
undeveloped men, and to restore to it the splendid conception—
splendid, though infinitely below the reality—given to it by the
founders of religions. And we distinguish between God as the
Infinite Existence, and the manifestation of this Supreme Existence
as a revealed God, evolving and guiding a universe. Only to this
limited manifestation should the term "a personal God" be applied.
God in Himself is beyond the bounds of personality, is "in all and
through all"; and indeed is all; and of the Infinite, the Absolute,
the All, we can only say "He is".
For all practical purposes we need not go further than that
marvellous and glorious manifestation of Him (a little less entirely
beyond our comprehension) the great Guiding Force or Deity of our
own solar system, whom philosophers have called the Logos. Of him is
true all that we have ever heard predicated of God—all that is good,
that is—not the blasphemous conceptions sometimes put forward,
ascribing to Him human vices. But all that has ever been said of the
love, the wisdom, the power, the patience and compassion, the
omniscience, the omnipresence, the omnipotence—all of this, and much
more, is true of the Logos of our system. Verily "in Him we live and
move and have our being", not as a poetical expression, but (strange
as it may seem) as a definite scientific fact; and so when we speak
of the Deity our first thought is naturally of the Logos.12
The Bhagavad Gita, although originating in the Indian tradition, has
now been embraced by many people in the world as a source of
inspiration and spiritual guidance. It also contains valuable
teachings regarding the nature of the Divine Ground and its oneness
with the human being´s inmost Self:
Many births have been left behind by Me and by thee, O Arjuna. I
know them all, but thou knowest not thine, O Parantapa. Though
unborn, the imperishable SELF, and also the Lord of all beings
brooding over nature, which is Mine own, yet I am born through Mine
own Power. Whenever there is decay of righteousness, O Bharata, and
there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I Myself come forth;
for the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers,
for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from
age to age. He who thus knoweth My divine birth and action, in its
essence, having abandoned the body, cometh not to birth again, but
cometh unto Me, O Arjuna. Freed from passion, fear, and anger,
filled with Me, taking refuge in Me, purified in the fire of wisdom,
many have entered into My Being. However men approach Me, even so do
I welcome them, for the path men take from every side is Mine, O
The words of Sri Krishna show that there are many paths to the
Divine, for there are different temperaments and approaches in the
age-old quest for Truth. And on this quest one learns,
progressively, to heed the call of the immortal Spirit within, the
hidden God whose essential nature is truth, unconditioned
consciousness and supreme happiness and joy—sat, chit, ananda in the
Swami T. Subba Row was a very eminent member of the Theosophical
Society in India in its early years. He was thoroughly versed in the
philosophy of Vedanta, of which he was also a practitioner. HPB had
a great respect for him and even requested him to help her with The
Secret Doctrine, `and writing most of the commentaries and
explanations´14, which he eventually declined. The Mahatmas referred
to him as an `initiated Brahmin´, one with a direct knowledge of the
spiritual realities. He has an enlightening commentary on the nature
of Krishna in the Gita:
Some have taken Krishna´s exhortation to Arjuna to worship him alone
as supporting the doctrine of a personal god. But this is an
erroneous conclusion. For, though speaking of himself as Parabrahm,
Krishna is still the Logos. He describes himself as Atma, but no
doubt is one with Parabrahm, as there is no essential difference
between Atma and Parabrahm. So all sons of God, including Christ,
have spoken of themselves as one with the Father. His saying, that
he exists in almost every entity in the Cosmos, expresses strictly
an attribute of Parabrahm. But a Logos, being a manifestation of
Parabrahm, can use these words and assume these attributes. Thus
Krishna only calls upon Arjuna to worship his own highest spirit,
through which alone he can hope to attain salvation. Krishna is
teaching Arjuna what the Logos in the course of initiation will
teach the human Monad, pointing out that through himself alone is
salvation to be obtained. This implies no idea of a personal god.15
In the leaflet Theosophy and Islam, published by the Australian
Section of the TS, the Islamic view of the Divine is presented:
One of the most important teachings in Islam is the doctrine of
Tawhid or the blessed Oneness. Says the Quran: "La Illaha Illallah!"
(Muhammad, Chapter 47, Verse 19). "There is no God but Allah". It
means there is nothing but the Divine in the whole universe.
Everything that exists, whether animate or inanimate, is the Divine.
In his article "The Philosophy of Islam" (The Theosophist, January
1929) Nadarbeg K. Mizra points out that "in Islam all the prayers
and meditations have been so arranged as to direct the attention of
the disciple to an abstract idea of God". Says the Quran: "O Thou!
whose abstract nature is free from illustrations and whose
attributes are beyond examples". (Al-Saffat, Chapter 37, Verse 80)
Mirza explains that God´s "attributes are beyond description and
cannot adequately be even conceived by a human mind".
Frithjof Schuon, in his book Understanding Islam, translates the
fundamental statement from the Quran, La Illaha Illallah, as `there
is no divinity (or reality, or absolute) outside the only Divinity
(or Reality, or Absolute)´. The Islamic precept of absence of images
in religious worship clearly indicates the notion that God is beyond
description and intellectual apprehension. But this does not mean
that one cannot come to experience the Divine fullness. The great
Sufi teachers are living examples of the discovery and realisation
of the Oneness of God in the deep and untrodden recesses of the
human soul and spirit.
Theosophy as an Eclectic System
Theosophy, the Wisdom-Religion, has been, from time immemorial, an
eclectic system. It is not identified with one particular system
only but seeks to express the core teachings of the world´s
religious and philosophical traditions. The word eclectic comes from
the Greek verb ekleg, `pick out´. Theosophy, in its eclectic
nature, `picks out´ the essence of every tradition and shows it to
be identical, in its spirit, to that of every other tradition. The
eclectic character of Theosophy was highlighted by Madame Blavatsky
in The Key to Theosophy:
ENQUIRER. What is the origin of the name "Theosophy"?
THEOSOPHIST. It comes to us from the Alexandrian philosophers,
called lovers of truth, Philaletheians, from phil "loving," and
aletheia "truth." The name Theosophy dates from the third century of
our era, and began with Ammonius Saccas and his disciples, who
started the Eclectic Theosophical system.
ENQUIRER. What was the object of this system?
THEOSOPHIST. First of all to inculcate certain great moral truths
upon its disciples, and all those who were "lovers of the truth."
Hence the motto adopted by the Theosophical Society: "There is no
religion higher than truth." The chief aim of the Founders of the
Eclectic Theosophical School was one of the three objects of its
modern successor, the Theosophical Society, namely, to reconcile all
religions, sects and nations under a common system of ethics, based
on eternal verities. 16
The expression `all religions´ includes, obviously, the theistic
religions of Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. By
emphasising the importance of searching for Truth `freely and
fearlessly´, Theosophy renders a valuable service to all genuine
seekers: it points to the existence of a common ground among all the
different traditions—a truly universal teaching, based on an
uplifting ethic which has at its very heart the principle of
Universal Brotherhood without any distinctions, a principle that
emanates from the reality of the undivided unity of all existence;
but it also helps the student to realise as a fact that the
centuries-old religious structures have accumulated many accretions,
like superstitions, dogmas, man-made hierarchies, ideological
domination of its adherents and a sectarian mind-set that has
fuelled many bitter divisions, atrocities and wars.
In her magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine, Madame Blavatsky elaborates
on the unique but eclectic nature of Theosophy:
As a whole, neither the foregoing nor what follows can be found in
full anywhere. It is not taught in any of the six Indian schools of
philosophy, for it pertains to their synthesis—the seventh, which is
the Occult doctrine. It is not traced on any crumbling papyrus of
Egypt, nor is it any longer graven on Assyrian tile or granite wall.
The Books of the Vedanta (the last word of human knowledge) give out
but the metaphysical aspect of this world-Cosmogony; and their
priceless thesaurus, the Upanishads—Upa-ni-shad being a compound
word meaning "the conquest of ignorance by the revelation of secret,
spiritual knowledge"—require now the additional possession of a
Master-key to enable the student to get at their full meaning. The
reason for this I venture to state here as I learned it from a
But it is perhaps desirable to state unequivocally that the
teachings, however fragmentary and incomplete, contained in these
volumes, belong neither to the Hindu, the Zoroastrian, the Chaldean,
nor the Egyptian religion, neither to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and
Christianity exclusively. The Secret Doctrine is the essence of all
these. Sprung from it in their origins, the various religious
schemes are now made to merge back into their original element, out
of which every mystery and dogma has grown, developed, and become
In one of his articles, `A Personal and Impersonal God´, T. Subba
Row acknowledged the opposing views on the subject of God among TS
members at that time (1883). He showed that living the spiritual
life is more important than engaging in metaphysical arguments:
Let us then each take the solution that best suits our mental and
spiritual constitution, and let us leave our neighbours an equal
freedom of choice; let us never hesitate to state and defend our own
views and oppose those other views that we think wrong, but let us
do all this as we would defend our own and oppose our opponent´s
game at chess, with no more feeling against our opponents than we
have against an adversary at the noble game.
Above all let us remember that in this present life, the high
theoretical questions of Personal, Impersonal, and No-God, are of
less concern to us than our own everyday life about the right
conduct of which no similar difficulties exist.19
What is the theosophical view on God? Is it the one declared by the
Mahatmas, or by the Maha-Chohan, or by Madame Blavatsky? Is it the
one present in the Gita, or in Annie Besant´s books, or in Subba
Row´s articles? Do not all the above views enrich our understanding
of this profound subject? Are they not an example of the eclectic
spirit of Theosophy? In the end, perhaps every student will have to
answer these questions by himself or herself. But whatever the
theosophical view on God may be, or for that matter, on any subject,
it will be one that is not exclusive, parochial, intolerant,
divisive, crystallised. If it is a theosophical view at all, it will
help to enlighten the human mind, to open vast vistas of perception
and experience, and to point the way to the entrance of that path
that leads deep into the Mystery that makes us all one with every
living creature, with every human heart and with the boundless
1. The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett in chronological sequence,
ed. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., Theosophical Publishing House, Manila,
1993, p. 270. As the late Virginia Hanson, one of the deepest
students of the Letters of all time, explained, Letter 10
(chronologically 88) `is not a letter at all. It is headed, "Notes
by K.H. on a `Preliminary Chapter´ headed `God´ by Hume [A. O. Hume,
one of the recipients of the Letters], intended to preface an
exposition of Occult Philosophy".´ (In An Introduction to the
Mahatma Letters by Virginia Hanson, Olcott Institute, Theosophical
Society in America, 1996, p. 45).
2. ibid, p. 270.
3. ibid, p. 432.
4. Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom - First Series, ed. C.
Jinarajadasa, The Theosophical Publishing House, Madras, 1948, p.
5. An Introduction to the Mahatma Letters, p. 46.
6. ibid, p. 48.
7. C. Jinarajadasa, op cit, pp. 5-6.
8. ibid, p. 6.
9. Besant, Annie, Esoteric Christianity, The Theosophical Publishing
House, Wheaton, 1987,
10. Blavatsky, H.P., Practical Occultism, The Theosophical
Publishing House, Madras, 1981, pp. 72-73.
11. Blavatsky, H. P., The Key to Theosophy, Theosophical Publishing
House, London, year of publication not provided, pp 67-68.
12.Leadbeater, C. W., An Outline of Theosophy, The Theosophical
Publishing House, Madras, 1963, pp. 22-23.
13.The Bhagavad Gita, transl. Annie Besant, The Theosophical
Publishing House, Madras, IV:5-11.
14. Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, ed. Trevor Barker,
T. Fisher Unwin Ltd, London. 1925.
15. Subba Row, T., Notes on the Bhagavad Gita, Theosophical
University Press, Pasadena, 1978, p. 6.
16. Blavatsky, H.P., The Key to Theosophy, Theosophical Publishing
House, London, no year of publication, pp.1-3.
17. Blavatsky, H. P., The Secret Doctrine, The Theosophical
Publishing House, Madras, 1979, p. 269.
18. ibid, p. viii.
19. Subba Row, T., Esoteric Writings, Theosophical Publishing House,
Madras, 1931, p.457. .
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