Tom's Compares

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Compare 09/09/2015

We can pay our debt to the past by putting the future in debt to ourselves.
  --John Buchan, poet, novelist, and politician (1875-1940)

(28:6.5-7)  The Memory of Mercy. These are the actual, full and replete, living records of the mercy which has been extended to individuals and races by the tender ministrations of the instrumentalities of the Infinite Spirit in the mission of adapting the justice of righteousness to the status of the realms, as disclosed by the portrayals of the Significance of Origins. The Memory of Mercy discloses the moral debt of the children of mercy—their spiritual liabilities—to be set down against their assets of the saving provision established by the Sons of God. In revealing the Father's pre-existent mercy, the Sons of God establish the necessary credit to insure the survival of all. And then, in accordance with the findings of the Significance of Origins, a mercy credit is established for the survival of each rational creature, a credit of lavish proportions and one of sufficient grace to insure the survival of every soul who really desires divine citizenship.
    The Memory of Mercy is a living trial balance, a current statement of your account with the supernatural forces of the realms. These are the living records of mercy ministration which are read into the testimony of the courts of Uversa when each individual's right to unending life comes up for adjudication, when "thrones are cast up and the Ancients of Days are seated. The broadcasts of Uversa issue and come forth from before them; thousands upon thousands minister to them, and ten thousand times ten thousand stand before them. The judgment is set, and the books are opened." And the books which are opened on such a momentous occasion are the living records of the tertiary seconaphim of the superuniverses. The formal records are on file to corroborate the testimony of the Memories of Mercy if they are required.
    The Memory of Mercy must show that the saving credit established by the Sons of God has been fully and faithfully paid out in the loving ministry of the patient personalities of the Third Source and Center. But when mercy is exhausted, when the "memory" thereof testifies to its depletion, then does justice prevail and righteousness decree. For mercy is not to be thrust upon those who despise it; mercy is not a gift to be trampled under foot by the persistent rebels of time. Nevertheless, though mercy is thus precious and dearly bestowed, your individual drawing credits are always far in excess of your ability to exhaust the reserve if you are sincere of purpose and honest of heart.

    John Buchan, was a Scottish novelist, historian and Unionist politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 15th since Canadian Confederation.
    After a brief legal career, Buchan simultaneously began his writing career and his political and diplomatic careers, serving as a private secretary to the colonial administrator of various colonies in southern Africa. He eventually wrote propaganda for the British war effort in the First World War. Buchan was in 1927 elected Member of Parliament for the Combined Scottish Universities, but he spent most of his time on his writing career, notably writing The Thirty-Nine Steps and other adventure fiction. In 1935 he was appointed Governor General of Canada by King George V, on the recommendation of Prime Minister of Canada R. B. Bennett, to replace the Earl of Bessborough. He occupied the post until his death in 1940. Buchan proved to be enthusiastic about literacy, as well as the evolution of Canadian culture, and he received a state funeral in Canada before his ashes were returned to the United Kingdom.

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Compare 09/03/2015

I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
  --Edgar Guest, poet (1881-1959)

(138:6.3) Jesus endeavored to make clear to his apostles the difference between his teachings and his life among them and the teachings which might subsequently spring up about him.

(140:8.19) You, as did his apostles, should the better understand Jesus' teachings by his life. He lived a perfected life on Urantia, and his unique teachings can only be understood when that life is visualized in its immediate background. It is his life, and not his lessons to the twelve or his sermons to the multitudes, that will assist most in revealing the Father's divine character and loving personality.

(169:4.3) You learn about God from Jesus by observing the divinity of his life, not by depending on his teachings.

    Edgar Albert Guest (20 August 1881 in Birmingham, England – 5 August 1959 in Detroit, Michigan) (aka Eddie Guest) was a prolific English-born American poet who was popular in the first half of the 20th century and became known as the People's Poet.
    In 1891, Guest moved with his family to the United States from England. After he began at the Detroit Free Press as a copy boy and then a reporter, his first poem appeared 11 December 1898. He became a naturalized citizen in 1902. For 40 years, Guest was widely read throughout North America, and his sentimental, optimistic poems were in the same vein as the light verse of Nick Kenny, who wrote syndicated columns during the same decades.
    From his first published work in the Detroit Free Press until his death in 1959, Guest penned some 11,000 poems which were syndicated in some 300 newspapers and collected in more than 20 books, including A Heap o' Livin' (1916) and Just Folks (1917). Guest was made Poet Laureate of Michigan, the only poet to have been awarded the title.
    His popularity led to a weekly Detroit radio show which he hosted from 1931 until 1942, followed by a 1951 NBC television series, A Guest in Your Home.
    When Guest died in 1959, he was buried in Detroit's Woodlawn Cemetery.
    His great-niece Judith Guest is a successful novelist who wrote Ordinary People.

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Compare 09/01/2015

To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god.
  --Jorge Luis Borges, writer (24 Aug 1899-1986)

(83:7.7) The high degree of imagination and fantastic romance entering into courtship is largely responsible for the increasing divorce tendencies among modern Occidental peoples, all of which is further complicated by woman's greater personal freedom and increased economic liberty. Easy divorce, when the result of lack of self-control or failure of normal personality adjustment, only leads directly back to those crude societal stages from which man has emerged so recently and as the result of so much personal anguish and racial suffering.

    Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges was an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator, and a key figure in Spanish language literature. His work embraces the "character of unreality in all literature". His best-known books, Ficciones (Fictions) and El Aleph (The Aleph), published in the 1940s, are compilations of short stories interconnected by common themes, including dreams, labyrinths, libraries, mirrors, fictional writers, philosophy, and religion. Literary critics have Borges described as Latin Americas’ monumental writer.
    Borges’ works have contributed to philosophical literature and also to the fantasy genre. Critic Ángel Flores, the first to use the term magical realism to define a genre that reacted against the dominant realism and naturalism of the 19th century, considers the beginning of the movement to be the release of Borges’ A Universal History of Infamy (Historia universal de la infamia).However, some critics would consider Borges to be a predecessor and not actually a magical realist. His late poems dialogue with such cultural figures as Spinoza, Camões, and Virgil.
    In 1914 his family moved to Switzerland, where he studied at the Collège de Genève. The family travelled widely in Europe, including stays in Spain. On his return to Argentina in 1921, Borges began publishing his poems and essays in surrealist literary journals. He also worked as a librarian and public lecturer. In 1955 he was appointed director of the National Public Library and professor of English Literature at the University of Buenos Aires. He became completely blind at the age of 55; as he never learned braille, he became unable to read. Scholars have suggested that his progressive blindness helped him to create innovative literary symbols through imagination. In 1961 he came to international attention when he received the first Formentor prize (Prix International), which he shared with Samuel Beckett. In 1971 he won the Jerusalem Prize. His work was translated and published widely in the United States and in Europe. Borges himself was fluent in several languages. He dedicated his final work, The Conspirators, to the city of Geneva, Switzerland.
    His international reputation was consolidated in the 1960s, aided by his works being available in English, by the Latin American Boom and by the success of García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. Writer and essayist J. M. Coetzee said of him: "He, more than anyone, renovated the language of fiction and thus opened the way to a remarkable generation of Spanish American novelists."

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Compare 08/31/2015

There are none so sour as those who are sweet to order.
  --Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues, essayist (1715-1747)

(140:3.19) I warn you against false prophets who will come to you in sheep's clothing, while on the inside they are as ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them.

    Luc de Clapiers, marquis de Vauvenargues was a minor French writer, a moralist. He died at age 31, in broken health, having published the year prior—anonymously—a collection of essays and aphorisms with the encouragement of Voltaire, his friend. He first received public notice under his own name in 1797, and from 1857 on, his aphorisms became popular. In the history of French literature, his significance lies chiefly in his friendship with Voltaire (20 years his senior).

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Compare 08/27/2015

We cannot ensure success, but we can deserve it.
  --John Adams (1735–1826)

(26:4.13)  Not even the failure to discern the Universal Father can shake the faith or seriously disturb the trust of an ascendant mortal who has passed through the experience that all must traverse in order to attain the perfect spheres of Havona. By the time you reach Havona, your sincerity has become sublime. Perfection of purpose and divinity of desire, with steadfastness of faith, have secured your entrance to the settled abodes of eternity; your deliverance from the uncertainties of time is full and complete; and now must you come face to face with the problems of Havona and the immensities of Paradise, to meet which you have so long been in training in the experiential epochs of time on the world schools of space.

    John Adams was the second President of the United States (1797–1801), after serving as the first Vice President of the United States (1789–1797). He was an American lawyer, statesman and diplomat, and as a Founding Father he advocated American independence from Great Britain. Adams was a well educated political theorist of the Age of Enlightenment who promoted republicanism and a strong central government; he wrote prolifically about his seminal ideas, in published works and in letters to his wife and key adviser Abigail Adams. Throughout his life he opposed slavery and proudly never owned a slave. After the Boston Massacre, with anti-British feelings in Boston at a boiling point, he provided a principled, controversial, and successful legal defense of the accused British soldiers, because he believed in the unqualified right to counsel and the "protect[ion] of innocence".
    Adams was a cousin of revolutionary leader Samuel Adams, and came to prominence himself in the early stages of the American Revolution. He was a public figure in Boston, and as a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, Adams played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence. He assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and was its primary advocate in the Congress. Later, as a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain, and was responsible for obtaining vital governmental loans from Amsterdam bankers. Adams was the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which together with his earlier Thoughts on Government, influenced American political thought. He was an excellent judge of character: in 1775, he nominated George Washington to be commander-in-chief, and 25 years later nominated John Marshall to be Chief Justice of the United States.
    Adams' credentials as a revolutionary secured for him two terms as George Washington's vice president and also his own election in 1796 as the second president. During his one term as president, he encountered ferocious attacks by the Jeffersonian Republicans, as well as the dominant faction in his own Federalist Party led by his bitter enemy Alexander Hamilton. Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts, and built up the army and navy in the face of an undeclared naval war (called the "Quasi-War") with France, 1798–1800. The major accomplishment of his presidency was his peaceful resolution of the conflict in the face of Hamilton's opposition. Due to his strong posture on defense, Adams is "often called the father of the American Navy".
    In 1800, Adams was defeated for re-election by Thomas Jefferson and retired to Massachusetts; he later resumed his friendship with Jefferson through a notable correspondence spanning fourteen years. He and his wife founded an accomplished family line of politicians, diplomats, and historians now referred to as the Adams political family; Adams was the father of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States. Adams was the first U.S. president to reside in the executive mansion that became known as the White House. He died on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Modern historians in the aggregate have ranked his administration as the twelfth most successful.

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Compare 08/26/2015

I have lived in this world just long enough to look carefully the second time into things that I am most certain of the first time.
  --Josh Billings, columnist and humorist (21 Apr 1818-1885)

(5:5.12)  God-knowingness, religious consciousness, is a universe reality, but no matter how valid (real) religious experience is, it must be willing to subject itself to intelligent criticism and reasonable philosophic interpretation; it must not seek to be a thing apart in the totality of human experience.

(99:3.7) The great weakness of all this unrecognized and unconscious type of religious activity is that it is unable to profit from open religious criticism and thereby attain to profitable levels of self-correction. It is a fact that religion does not grow unless it is disciplined by constructive criticism, amplified by philosophy, purified by science, and nourished by loyal fellowship.

(100:1.5)  Growth is also predicated on the discovery of selfhood accompanied by self-criticism—conscience, for conscience is really the criticism of oneself by one's own value-habits, personal ideals.

(103:7.7) What both developing science and religion need is more searching and fearless self-criticism, a greater awareness of incompleteness in evolutionary status.

    Josh Billings was the pen name of 19th-century American humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw (April 21, 1818 – October 14, 1885). Although his reputation has not endured so well with later generations, in the latter half of the 19th century he was a famous humor writer and lecturer in the United States, perhaps second only to Mark Twain.
 

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Compare 08/25/2015

Who will consider that no dictionary of a living tongue ever can be perfect, since, while it is hastening to publication, some words are budding, and some falling away; that a whole life cannot be spent upon syntax and etymology, and that even a whole life would not be sufficient; that he, whose design includes whatever language can express, must often speak of what he does not understand.
  --Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (1709-1784)

(0:0.2) It is exceedingly difficult to present enlarged concepts and advanced truth, in our endeavor to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception, when we are restricted to the use of a circumscribed language of the realm. But our mandate admonishes us to make every effort to convey our meanings by using the word symbols of the English tongue. We have been instructed to introduce new terms only when the concept to be portrayed finds no terminology in English which can be employed to convey such a new concept partially or even with more or less distortion of meaning.

(0:12.13) We are fully cognizant of the difficulties of our assignment; we recognize the impossibility of fully translating the language of the concepts of divinity and eternity into the symbols of the language of the finite concepts of the mortal mind.

(44:0.20) But I almost despair of being able to convey to the material mind the nature of the work of the celestial artisans. I am under the necessity of constantly perverting thought and distorting language in an effort to unfold to the mortal mind the reality of these morontia transactions and near-spirit phenomena. Your comprehension is incapable of grasping, and your language is inadequate for conveying, the meaning, value, and relationship of these semispirit activities. And I proceed with this effort to enlighten the human mind concerning these realities with the full understanding of the utter impossibility of my being very successful in such an undertaking.

    Samuel Johnson often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and has been described as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history". He is also the subject of "the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature": James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson.
    Born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, Johnson attended Pembroke College, Oxford for just over a year, before his lack of funds forced him to leave. After working as a teacher he moved to London, where he began to write for The Gentleman's Magazine. His early works include the biography Life of Mr Richard Savage, the poems London and The Vanity of Human Wishes, and the play Irene.
    After nine years of work, Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755. It had a far-reaching effect on Modern English and has been described as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship". This work brought Johnson popularity and success. Until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later, Johnson's was viewed as the pre-eminent British dictionary. His later works included essays, an influential annotated edition of The Plays of William Shakespeare, and the widely read tale The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia. In 1763, he befriended James Boswell, with whom he later travelled to Scotland; Johnson described their travels in A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. Towards the end of his life, he produced the massive and influential Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, a collection of biographies and evaluations of 17th- and 18th-century poets.
    Johnson was a tall and robust man. His odd gestures and tics were disconcerting to some on first meeting him. Boswell's Life, along with other biographies, documented Johnson's behaviour and mannerisms in such detail that they have informed the posthumous diagnosis of Tourette syndrome, a condition not defined or diagnosed in the 18th century. After a series of illnesses, he died on the evening of 13 December 1784, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. In the years following his death, Johnson began to be recognised as having had a lasting effect on literary criticism, and he was claimed by some to be the only truly great critic of English literature.

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Compare 08/24/2015

The real secret is why love starts out with claws like a cat and then fades with time like a half-eaten mouse.
  --Herta Müller, novelist, poet, Nobel laureate (b.1953)

(177:4.11) And every mortal man knows full well how love, even when once genuine, can, through disappointment, jealousy, and long-continued resentment, be eventually turned into actual hate.

    Herta Müller is a German novelist, poet, essayist and recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature. Born in Nițchidorf, Timiș County in Romania, her native language is German. Since the early 1990s she has been internationally established, and her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.
    Müller is noted for her works depicting the effects of violence, cruelty and terror, usually in the setting of Communist Romania under the repressive Nicolae Ceaușescu regime which she has experienced herself. Many of her works are told from the viewpoint of the German minority in Romania and are also a depiction of the modern history of the Germans in the Banat, and Transylvania. Her much acclaimed 2009 novel The Hunger Angel (Atemschaukel) portrays the deportation of Romania's German minority to Stalinist Soviet Gulags during the Soviet occupation of Romania for use as German forced labor.
    Müller has received more than twenty awards to date, including the Kleist Prize (1994), the Aristeion Prize (1995), the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (1998) and the Franz Werfel Human Rights Award (2009). On 8 October 2009, the Swedish Academy announced that she had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, describing her as a woman "who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed."
 

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Compare 08/21/2015

And it came to pass that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
  --Bible, Luke 2:1

(122:7.1) In the month of March, 8 B.C. (the month Joseph and Mary were married), Caesar Augustus decreed that all inhabitants of the Roman Empire should be numbered, that a census should be made which could be used for effecting better taxation.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
  --Bible, Luke 2:13-11

(122:8.5) At the noontide birth of Jesus the seraphim of Urantia, assembled under their directors, did sing anthems of glory over the Bethlehem manger, but these utterances of praise were not heard by human ears. No shepherds nor any other mortal creatures came to pay homage to the babe of Bethlehem until the day of the arrival of certain priests from Ur, who were sent down from Jerusalem by Zacharias.

(122:8.1) All that night Mary was restless so that neither of them slept much. By the break of day the pangs of childbirth were well in evidence, and at noon, August 21, 7 B.C., with the help and kind ministrations of women fellow travelers, Mary was delivered of a male child. Jesus of Nazareth was born into the world, was wrapped in the clothes which Mary had brought along for such a possible contingency, and laid in a near-by manger.

    After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem  and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
    When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
    Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
  --Matthew 2:1-12

(122:8.7) These wise men saw no star to guide them to Bethlehem. The beautiful legend of the star of Bethlehem originated in this way: Jesus was born August 21 at noon, 7 B.C. On May 29, 7 B.C., there occurred an extraordinary conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces. And it is a remarkable astronomic fact that similar conjunctions occurred on September 29 and December 5 of the same year. Upon the basis of these extraordinary but wholly natural events the well-meaning zealots of the succeeding generation constructed the appealing legend of the star of Bethlehem and the adoring Magi led thereby to the manger, where they beheld and worshiped the newborn babe. Oriental and near-Oriental minds delight in fairy stories, and they are continually spinning such beautiful myths about the lives of their religious leaders and political heroes. In the absence of printing, when most human knowledge was passed by word of mouth from one generation to another, it was very easy for myths to become traditions and for traditions eventually to become accepted as facts.

 

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Compare 08/20/2015

A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.
  --Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

(130:6.2) The young man was disinclined to talk, and so Jesus made a second approach to his soul, saying: "I understand you come up in these hills to get away from folks; so, of course, you do not want to talk with me, but I would like to know whether you are familiar with these hills; do you know the direction of the trails? and, perchance, could you inform me as to the best route to Phenix?" Now this youth was very familiar with these mountains, and he really became much interested in telling Jesus the way to Phenix, so much so that he marked out all the trails on the ground and fully explained every detail. But he was startled and made curious when Jesus, after saying good-bye and making as if he were taking leave, suddenly turned to him, saying: "I well know you wish to be left alone with your disconsolation; but it would be neither kind nor fair for me to receive such generous help from you as to how best to find my way to Phenix and then unthinkingly to go away from you without making the least effort to answer your appealing request for help and guidance regarding the best route to the goal of destiny which you seek in your heart while you tarry here on the mountainside. As you so well know the trails to Phenix, having traversed them many times, so do I well know the way to the city of your disappointed hopes and thwarted ambitions. And since you have asked me for help, I will not disappoint you." The youth was almost overcome, but he managed to stammer out, "But—I did not ask you for anything—" And Jesus, laying a gentle hand on his shoulder, said: "No, son, not with words but with longing looks did you appeal to my heart. My boy, to one who loves his fellows there is an eloquent appeal for help in your countenance of discouragement and despair. Sit down with me while I tell you of the service trails and happiness highways which lead from the sorrows of self to the joys of loving activities in the brotherhood of men and in the service of the God of heaven."

    Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.
    Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. Following this ground-breaking work, he gave a speech entitled "The American Scholar" in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence".
    Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first, then revised them for print. His first two collections of essays – Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series, published respectively in 1841 and 1844 – represent the core of his thinking, and include such well-known essays as Self-Reliance, The Over-Soul, Circles, The Poet and Experience. Together with Nature, these essays made the decade from the mid-1830s to the mid-1840s Emerson's most fertile period.
    Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for humankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Emerson's "nature" was more philosophical than naturalistic: "Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul." Emerson is one of several figures who "took a more pantheist or pandeist approach by rejecting views of God as separate from the world."
    He remains among the linchpins of the American romantic movement, and his work has greatly influenced the thinkers, writers and poets that have followed him. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was "the infinitude of the private man." Emerson is also well known as a mentor and friend of fellow Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau.
 

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