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A Review
Boris Sidis' Book
Nervous Ills
Chapter XXXI: Mysticism, Prayer, Conversion, Metaphysics
by Doug Renselle
Doug's Pre-review Commentary
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Chapters I-XXI





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Chapter XXXI......Mysticism, Prayer, Conversion, Metaphysics



(Most quotes verbatim Boris Sidis, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James, William James Sidis, and
Quantonics Thinking Modes.)



The psychology of mysticism and conversion is a fascinating subject. This is not the place to go into detail or even adequately cover the subject which is as extensive as it is important. I can only touch the matter in a superficial way—enough to answer the present purpose. Boris' thelogos for this chapter is 9.0%! That is an enormous number: 249 occurrences of the out of 2760 total words! A good question to ask here is, "Why is chapter xxxi's thelogos almost two percentage points greater than chapter xxx's thelogos?" Boris quotes William James, other authors, and some poetry as a significant fraction of total text here. Maybe that's it. See, thelogos has significant quantum tell Value!
2 The state of mysticism is essentially a hypnoidal trance state, and its traits are the characteristics of the hypnoidal consciousness. Like the hypnoidal state, that of the mystic state may pass into waking, sleep, or into the hypnotic condition.
3 James marks off mystic states, by the traits of Ineffability [inexpressibility; outside of human language; illegal speaking of a deity's name], Transciency [temporary; here then gone: not here; usually a very classical, radically mechanical notion], Passivity, and Noetic Quality [subjective, perceptive intellect; what we refer as quantum intellect which practices QTMs; intellect capable of straddling both quantum n¤nactuality amd quantum actuality]. These traits are just the ones found in the deeper states of the hypnoidal consciousness, especially the ones which approximate and pass into the hypnotic condition. In the mystical state, as in the hypnoidal state, there is a delicious languor, a lack of tension to the stimulation of the external environment which retreats in the distance; there is the instability of the hypnoidal consciousness which soon passes into the other forms such as sleep, hypnosis, or waking. There is also present the refreshing, invigorating condition of the whole individuality on emerging from those peculiar subconscious states. The lethargic and cataleptic states often present in states of ecstasy, in which the mystics fall, depend entirely on states of the hypnoido-hypnotic trance. Much of what is transient to CTM thingkers is genuinely n¤t either-or transient in quantum reality. CTMs impose a taught-learned illusion of an ideal radically mechanical, formal either-or. Our quantum view of this is crucial to fathoming quantum reserve energy.

See Roger's Brilliance where Roger speaks of "...drifting away as a static illusory pattern."

Also, compare to narcolepsy where 'subconscious' and 'conscious' proceed in parallel with full awareness of said narcoleptic, however, accompanied by full-body atonia. To us, these are quantum phenomena, and they are quantum real. CTMs not only deny, but (perhaps because they) are incapable of exegeses. Recall, please, 'science' does deny 'existence' of that which is inexplicable, unmeasurable, incapable of entrapment in fundamental formality's church of ratiocination.
313 4 The mystic consciousness and the hypnoidal one are not identical. The mystic consciousness is a species of the hypnoidal consciousness. What are then its special features? In the first place, the mystic consciousness has a negative and a positive aspect, depression and exaltation. [quanton(negati¤n,affirmati¤n); quanton(exhaltation,depressi¤n)] In the second place, mysticism expresses a definite reaction of the individual to the conditions of his external environment. This reaction is one of retraction from the miseries and fears of life. There are n¤ classical identities in quantum reality. Our use of quantum negation here in our previous sentence remerqs that sentence as quantum Qualitatively subjective!
5 If we examine closely the type of consciousness characteristic of the state preceding the onset of the mystic condition, we find that it is essentially that of suffering, of misery, of disappointment, of despair, of inability to meet fairly, squarely, and courageously the experiences of life. There is a strong feeling of insecurity, a feeling of anxiety as to self and the world. A feeling of intense anguish seizes on the individual that he and the world are going to perdition, that on such terms life is not worth living. The instinct of fear penetrates every pore of his being, and inspires the individual with dread, horror, and terror. Terrorized by the wild evils of life, the personality becomes benumbed and paralyzed, and ready to succumb. This state of intense depression is not simply related to fear, it is fear. It is the status melancholicus often preceding states of exaltation. The individual reaches a critical condition where life becomes impossible. The whole universe holds for him nothing but terrors and horrors. Of course all uses of 'state' in formal classical contexts, in our view, requires Quantonics English Language Remediation, QELR.
314 6 Carlyle [Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881); an extreme antimaterialist] expresses this attitude when he makes Teufeldroeckh [character in Carlyle's Sartor Resartus book 3, chapter 6, 1833-1834] say: "I live in a continual, indefinite, pining fear; tremulous, pusillanimous, apprehensive of I know not what: it seems as if things, all things in the heavens above and the earth beneath would hurt me; as if the heavens and the earth were but boundless jaws of a devouring monster, wherein I, palpitating, lie waiting to be devoured."
7 In this state of agony of fear, the individual looks for salvation in fleeing from the terrors of the world to the arms of the divinity.
8 In his terror the individual passes through a second stage, he becomes "converted," he turns with prayers to the divine power to which he looks for shelter from the dangers of life. He appeals to the divinity for protection from the evils of the day and from the terrors of the night. This second stage is often preceded by a period of subconscious incubation which sometimes gives rise to sudden conscious explosions, conscious conversions, or sudden onset of mystic state of ecstasy.
315 9 In the library of Ashburbanipal, king of Assyria, there are found "penitential psalms" much alike to our own, but some millenniums older than the Biblical psalms. These Assyro-Babylonian penitential psalms, inscribed in cuneiform script on clay tablets, clearly express the attitude of the worshipper or suppliant:
"O Goddess, in the anguish of my heart have I raised cries of anguish to thee; declare forgiveness.
May thy heart be at rest.
May thy liver be pacified.
The sin which I have committed I know not.
The Lord in the anger of his heart hath looked upon me.
The goddess hath become angry and hath stricken me grievously.
I sought for help, but no one taketh my hand.
I wept, but no one cometh to my side.
I utter cries, but no one harkens to me.
I am afflicted, I am overcome.
Unto my merciful god I turn.
I kiss the feet of my goddess.
How long, known and unknown god, until the anger of thy heart be pacified?
How long, known and unknown goddess, until thy unfriendly heart be pacified?
Mankind is perverted, and has no judgment,
Of all men who are alive, who knows anything?
They do not know whether they do good or evil.
O Lord, do not cast aside thy servant!
He is cast into the mire; take his hand.
The sin which I have sinned turn to mercy!
Known and unknown goddess, my sins are seven times seven;
Forgive my sins!
Forgive my sins, and I will humble myself before thee.
May thy heart, as the heart of a mother who hath borne children, be glad!
As a father who hath begotten them, may it be glad!"

This plaint appears, commonly. Indeed we are all ignorant in Nature's vaster creation; however, Pirsig's MoQ teaches us that natural morality is local, incremental assessment of better. Please open your quantum stages to Pirsig's better as a quantum-relatihve notion — n¤t a culturally relativistic notion. Cultural relativism, self-scathingly, as Clifford Geertz in his Available Light has so ably and adeptly explained to us, "disables judgment." Quantum l¤cal incremental better is a l¤cal enabling of judgment (and all quantum l¤cal judgments EIMA anihmatæly quantum-superp¤se to both greater and lesser degrees), and for most of us, what we do quite naturally. Quantum better is a HtTIRE HotMemeKey Quantonic Enabler for us all to capably and l¤cally assess both quantum-relatihve good and quantum-relatihve evil (i.e., less quantum-relatihvely good). Quantum relatihvity n¤nclassically scales, n¤t just cultures, but subatomics to multiverses! Doug - 29Aug2003.
316 11 In this respect we agree with Ribot. "Depression," says Ribot, "is related to fear... [Theodule Armand Ribot, 1839-1916, French author of various texts including: The Diseases of Memory (1881), Essay on Creative Imagination, The Evolution of General Ideas, and Heredity: A Psychological Study of Its Phenomena, Laws, Causes, and Consequences.] Does not the worshipper entering a venerated sanctuary show all the symptoms of pallor, trembling, cold sweat, inability to speak—all that the ancients so justly called sacer horror? The self abasement, the humility of the worshipper before the deity supposed to be possessed of magic power, is essentially one of fear." With the anthropologist we may refer this awe or fear to the terror which the savage mind feels in the presence of the magician, the witch, the medicine man, the man-god, and the woman-deity.

In his later years Ribot focused his interests on affective (read ~quantum) and emotional (again, read quantum, i.e., qualitative affectation) factors in psychology. Graduated at school (Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris) where Henri Louis Bergson (1859-1941) studied (from 1878-1881). They very likely crossed paths.


Sacer usually means roughly, "profane sacrifice" and is related etymologically to sacrilege. Latter is usually profane appellation of deities. Judaism disallows practitioners even saying God's name. And Hebrew script (22 consonants and no vowel 'characters;' which incidentally explains problematics of that notorious God Code text: arbitrary overloading of absent vowels, e.g., bl cltn is "Bill Clinton;" too, consonants alias numerics contextually and in The Bible Code, often arbitrarily), for God (note an implication of the God; one monistic god; one god fits all) is an exceptionally interesting semiotic. We were absolutely fascinated by this when we were taking Hebrew classes so we could figure out why The Bible Code is, in our extremely humble opinions, a ruse. We greatly admire and respect Jews and their incredible Faith. They do not fool around when they are teaching Hebrew to newbie gentiles, either...whew!!! :) (Loved every moment of it, until Beth's Mother moved in with us and that brought Hebrew and all else to rapid halt! :)

"§Mother-in-law, mother-in-law...da da da da...mother-in-law, mother-in-law...§" Doug - 29Aug2003.

12 The Mithraic religion [Ancient Indo-Iran; Mithra "light god;" born armed to teeth and ready for war; known today, in a highly evolved form as Islam!], which for some time has been the great rival of Christianity for the salvation of the individual from the terrors of the world, played a great role in the mystic ceremonies of the cult. In fact, the dying and the resurrection of a god-man for the salvation of the worshippers constituted a cardinal principle in the actual practices or rites of barbarous nations and savage tribes. The man-god or woman-deity had to die, had to be sacrificed by the community. The sins of the savages were redeemed by the divine flesh and blood of "the man-god."
317 13

In describing the life and theological doctrines of St. Paul, Professor Pfleiderer [Otto Pfleiderer, wrote Die Religion ihr Wessen und ihre Geschichte, "Religion, its Essence and History;" Pfleiderer developed a dialectically fuzzy quanton, which we call (coin) a "fuzzon;"


whose middle, very interestingly, is n¤t dialectically schismatic-excluded; Pfleiderer's fuzzon is clearly n¤n Parmenidean, n¤n Aristotelian. 29Aug2003 - Doug.] says: "Perhaps Paul was influenced by the popular idea of the god who dies and returns to life, dominant at that time in the Adonis, Attis, and Osiris cults of Hither Asia (with various names and customs, everywhere much alike). At Antioch, the Syrian capital, in which Paul had been active for a considerable period, the main celebration of the Adonis feast took place in the spring time. On the first day, the death of "Adonis," the Lord, was celebrated, while on the following day, amid the wild songs of lamentations sung by the women, the burial of his corpse (represented by an image) was enacted. On the next day (in the Osiris celebration it was the third day after death, while in the Attis celebration it was the fourth day) proclamation was made that the god lived and he (his image) was made to rise in the air. It is noteworthy that the Greek Church has preserved a similar ceremony in its Easter celebration down to our own day.

We are not even close to being 'religious scholars' let alone anthropocentrically religious. But if what we read here is correct, taking God's life was an acceptable form of religious behavior in ancient times. So perhaps Jesus' crucifixion (and subsequent resurrection) was not an 'evil' act in ancient culture. Rather, only standard 'practice.' There is so much we do not know about their beliefs and practices, plus every bit of what is written about them suffers perturbation of individual writers' memories, interpretations, and biases (e.g., Synoptic Gospels).

Some oriental religions have something similar: Li-la. Dance of 'the divine,' from worldly to divine and from divine to worldly in an unending reality loop. Notice how Pfleiderer's fuzzon hermeneuticizes that loop rather well and its similarity to Quantonics distillation of Pirsig's MoQ in our script:


Simply amazing! Essence!

14 "During the joyous feast of the resurrection of the god in the closely related Attis celebration, the priest anointed the mouths of the mourners with oil, and repeated the formula:
‘Good cheer, ye pious! As our god is saved,
So shall we., too, be saved in our distress.’
 318 16 "The rescue of the god from death is the guarantee of a like rescue for the adherents of his cult. In the mysteries of Attis, Isis, and Mithra, the fact that the worshippers partook of the god’s life by the mystical participation in his death, was visualized by such rites, which employed symbols showing the death of the initiate, his descent into Hades, and his return. Hence, this ceremony was called the ‘rebirth to a career of new salvation,’ a ‘holy birthday.’ In one Mithra liturgy, the newly initiated pray: ‘Lord, reborn, I depart; in that I am lifted up, I die; born by that birth which produces life, I will be saved in death, and go the way which thou hast established, according to thy law and the sacrament which thou hast created.’" (Our bold.)

So, we could easily interpret, when Muslims euthanize Israelites, they are transcending them to gods. And when Israelis take revenge, Muslims are transcended? Unsure that's what either side has in mind...
17 In all those mysteries the central note is the salvation of the worshipper from the "perils of the soul."
18 In some cases the terrorized individual is driven to the mystic state. He falls into a sort of trance. The world of fears becomes veiled from him, and recedes in a mist, and even completely disappears from his view. He finds repose in his god. This is the positive stage of mental exaltation, of ecstasy; it figures as "the union" of the worshipper with his god or goddess. It is this oblivion in the depths of the hypnoidal and the hypnotic states, it is this relapse into the regions of the subconscious that brings about relief from all fears of life. The bliss felt in these dim regions of mental life refreshes and invigorates the wearied soul. The coming in contact with new vast stores of subconscious reserve energy may once more vitalize and supply with new energy the fear stricken personality. This is the inspiration of those who have experienced the mystical power of "conversion." (Our bold. See reserve energy there.)
 319 19 In a later chapter [actually in multiple chapters, especially 33-37; phrase 'reserve energy appears frequently in this text, and others which we shall offer subsequently] I take up the subject of subconscious reserve energy advanced by James and myself, independently. Meanwhile, we may say that the phenomena of prayer, conversion, and especially of mysticism belong fundamentally to the manifestations of self-preservation and the fear instinct on the one side and to subconscious reserve energy on the other. (Our bold, and more on reserve energy.)
20 Of course, we must add the fact that certain historical and social conditions are apt to give rise to phenomena of mysticism, the conditions of social unrest being especially favorable. When social life begins to decay, when the protection of society is weakened, and the individual is set loose, and left to stand alone, something that especially terrorizes the social brute, then nothing is left to the individual bereft of his social stays and social stimulants, but to turn inward and upward, that is to turn mystic. In his states of desolation and fear-obsession the individual is inclined to turn to the stimulating, narcotizing influence of the deity which puts the soul in a state of transcendental bliss, thus hiding the terrorized soul in a misty and mystic cloud, so that he no longer sees the terrors and horrors of life.

It is our view that emotionally and psychologically well individuals do n¤t want n¤r need society, rather, only use it as a convenient crutch. Again, our view is that they want and need other local individual associations. Modern society, as Bagehot suggests, is too abundant and manifest overkill.

Any closed, especially monistic religion, as Lenin said, is a narcotic of one's mind. Boris appears to concur.
 320 21 Such mystic states are found in periods of social and moral decay. Instance the decaying Roman empire, the Hellenistic period, the Middle Ages, and in fact, any period in which security, safety, and social stability are on the ebb, while fears and perils are on the increase. Mysticism, Salvation of the soul, under all their guises, are interrelated with the primordial fear instinct which dominates the hunted beast and the terror-stricken neurotic patient.
22 If we turn to philosophical and metaphysical speculations, we find, on examination from a pragmatic point of view, that their essential differences revolve on the security and safety of the world scheme. From Plato and Aristotle to Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, down to Schopenhauer, Hegel, and our American thinkers Royce and James, as well as from the Bible to Brahmanism and Buddhism, we find the same valuation of world safety, based on the vital impulse of self-preservation and its fundamental fear instinct. The Salvation of the World and the Individual is the fundamental keynote of theological metaphysics and metaphysical religion. (Our bold.)


23 Professor Royce, the representative of transcendental, monistic idealism in America, thus summarizes his philosophical and religious attitude: "It is God’s true and eternal triumph that speaks to us ‘In this world ye shall have tribulations. But fear not; I have overcome the world.’" This reminds one of the ancient Assyrian cuneiform oracles addressed to the Assyrian kings: "To Esarhaddon, king of countries, Fear not! I am Ishtar of Arbela. Thine enemies I will cut off, fear not !" "Fear not, Esarhaddon, I, Bel, am speaking with thee. The beams of thy heart I will support." "Fear not, you are saved by Faith. Fear thy Lord only, He is your Rock and Salvation," says the Bible. "Fear not!" teaches the Buddhist, "Nirvana, the Absolute, is your refuge."

(Our bold and red.)

Clearly, monism is a failed classical concept. Even James fathomed this near his life's end, and why we reviewed his Some Problems of Philosophy (which documents his fathoming) nearby.

In a quantum sense, "Your quantum flux (a quantum ~spirit) issi abs¤lute amd shall last f¤rævær." With qualificati¤n, changæ (flux) issi abs¤lute: changæs all (subjectively, qualitatively c¤mplete) amd always changæs (subjectively, qualitatively comsistent). 29Aug2003 - Doug.

24 Professor James in his inimitable way summarizes the difference between his pluralism and idealistic monism: "What do believers in the Absolute mean by saying that their belief affords them comfort? They mean that since in the Absolute finite evil is ‘overruled’ already, we may, therefore, whenever we wish, treat the temporal as if it were potentially the eternal, be sure that we can trust its outcome, and, without sin, dismiss our fear and drop the worry of our finite responsibility. . . . The universe is a system of which the individual members may relax their anxieties…" James contrasts his empirical, pragmatic pluralism with the idealistic monism: (Our bold.)

Pirsig likes this. Nature is already moral! We agree! Bravo! See our recent, 2004 QELR of positive. That is a faith we need. A faith in quantum pragma. We must act (be pragmatic) and act in agency of quantum better. Quantum better issi indecidable by social patterns of Value and only quantum n¤nabs¤lutely (i.e., quantum uncertain) decidable by individual patterns of Value. (See our August, 2003 News and relevant Ch XXX text for why we say this.) Essentially social patterns, as Bagehot warns, are too viscous. Towards better, individual patterns are always much more tentative, higher quantum flux rate, closer to DQ, more highly evolved, than social patterns. Doug - 29Aug2003.
  322 25 In another place James says: "Suppose that the world’s author put the case before you before creating, saying: ‘I am going to make a world not certain to be saved, a world, the perfections of which shall be conditioned merely, the condition being that each several agent "does his level best." I offer you the chance of taking part in such a world. Its safety, you see, is unwarranted. It is a real adventure, with real danger, yet it may win through...Will you join the procession? Will you trust yourself and trust the other agents enough to face the risk?’ Should you in all seriousness, if participation in such a world were proposed to you, feel bound to reject it as not safe enough? Would you say that rather than be part and parcel of so fundamentally pluralistic and irrational a universe, you preferred to relapse into the slumber of nonentity from which you had been aroused by the tempter’s voice?

(Our bold.)

This text, quoting James is just breathtaking, fabulous!

Quantum uncertainty reigns! Bell's Inequalities and their classical 'violations' are real. Reality in a most quintessential sense issi "Bell Inequalities!" AKA Bergsonian "Duration!" EIMA! Absolute flux! Jamesian flux!

How did Boris teach William? Absolute flux! How did we learn Hebrew? Absolute flux! How will Quantonics teach and survive? Absolute flux. Quantum flux...

Compare this to how people thingk (especially in USA) today. Liberal socialists expect our environment to hold still, a strange kind of 'liberal conservatism,' and they adhere a queer notion of political correctness (only one right (their) way to thingk) to do so. Similarly, conservative pseudo 'individualists' want a one size fits all monistic classical culture, "our way or the highway," " you are either for us or against us," "we know and teach either absolute truth or its absolute objective opposite," "let me tell you exactly how you should learn to know 'the truth,' our truth is the truth," "there is only one God, the Christian God, our God, and you must believe in Him, because we as, shhh..., infallible mortals tell you to," "God is homogeneous and anthropocentric, there is, objectively, 'no' other God, we have communicated in English language with God and he has told us uniquely qualified humans to believe only in Him," "it is our mission to make everyone believe in our God, or else, and we have 'no' qualms about destroying any culture to do so," "down with the infidels," and so on... Some of what we show above applies also to some Islamic sects. See an appropriate video, Rabbit Proof Fence.

26 "Of course, if you are normally constituted, you would do nothing of the sort. There is a healthy-minded buoyancy in most of us which such a universe would exactly fit… The world proposed would seem ‘rational’ to us in the most living way. Quantum uncertainty is fun, it's a genuine Natural adventure!
27 "Most of us, I say, would, therefore, welcome the proposition, and add our fiat to the fiat of the creator. Yet perhaps some would not; for there are morbid minds in every human collection, and to them the prospect of a universe with only a fighting chance of safety would probably not appeal. There are moments of discouragement in us all, when we are sick of self, and tired of vainly striving. Our own life breaks down, and we fall into the attitude of the prodigal son. We mistrust the chance of things. We want a universe where we can just give up, fall on our father’s neck, and be absorbed into the absolute life as a drop of water melts into the river or the sea.




  323 28 "The peace and rest, the security desiderated at such moments is security against the bewildering accidents of so much finite experience.
29 "Nirvana means safety from this everlasting round of adventure of which the world of sense consists. The Hindoo and the Buddhist, for this is essentially their attitude, are simply afraid, afraid (my [Boris'] italics) of more experience, afraid of life...

Dialectical (either-or) versions of Buddhism show Nirvana as an escape mechanism.

Quantum rhetorical sophism is more like learning to straddle both and tapping reserve energy to assist our adventures in a predominately fermionic (only apparently material) realm.

30 "Pluralistic moralism simply makes their teeth chatter, it refrigerates the very heart within their breast."

And this is why Einstein and countless other classicists both fear and feared quantum reality. Rather, they should fear their own monistic radicalism. It is almost entirely ESQ!!!

Beelzebub ESQ!!! Dante's forever static Hell.

Used as hopefully semantic-filled contemporary popular religion metaphors only! When groups form, stasis entrains. Individualism wanes, is driven out, as a threat to said group's survival. Boris' point, most essentially. See Boris' Ch XXX. Group viscosity, team viscosity is anti individual. Think about it. Doug - 29Aug2003.

31 Thus we find that at the bottom of philosophical, metaphysical, and religious speculations there are present the same primitive impulse of self-preservation and fear instinct.

Self-preservation and fear avoidance via absolute 'security.' Security in stasis, security in objective 'stability.' AKA absolute absence of change, absence of Nature's quantum flux. Static social value. Shades of Catholic Inquisitions!

And with more currency...

The Patriot Act. Homeland Security. Abysses of stayyses.

We synaesthetically and olefactorily palpate GWBush's imminent embarrassments. Like father, like son...

Bagehot nailed this one.

32 While there are some other important factors in that theological and metaphysical problem which has agitated humanity for ages, a problem which I expect to discuss some other time in another place, there is no doubt that James with his great psychological genius has laid his finger on fundamental factors of human life,—self-preservation and the fear instinct.

(Our bold.)

We believe James was Earth's first quantum psychologist.

Similarly, Clifford Geertz is Earth's first quantum anthropologist.

For what it's worth...

We doubt Boris ever imagined his work would be imbued in this manner. We intend no offense, Boris...

Doug - 29Aug2003.

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©Quantonics, Inc., 2003-2014 Rev. 20Apr2010  PDR Created: 28Aug2003  PDR
(29Aug2003 rev - Fill in preliminary comments column.)
(8Sep2003 rev - Correct typos and spelling errors.)
(30Dec2003 rev - Add 'thingk' links.)
(20Dec2004 rev - Add p. 321, para. 24, 'A Pinch of Quantum Faith' anchor. Reset legacy red text.)
(8Jan2008 rev - Minor reformating.)
(20Apr2010 rev - Make page current.)

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