The Afterlife

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Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2010 06:25 pm
@Deacon Blues,
Deacon Blues;146921 wrote:
I look for the presuppositions that lead to first premises. If Epicurus were not subject to existential anxiety, he would have no need to "erect" his philosophical school to defend against it.



No. He needed to defend against it because some other people were afraid of death, and he endeavored to help them.


Deacon Blues;146921 wrote:
Epicurus thought that the fear of death arises from the false belief that in death there is awareness. It doesn't. Fear of death arises from out attachment to existence itself. The only way to shake attachment to existence is to despair of it totally.



Would you care to provide evidence for your claims? I do not believe what you say, and see no reason to believe it. I am not afraid of losing a pencil, but I have not despaired of it totally. A lack of fear does not require a lack of interest in something, or giving up all hope of it.


Deacon Blues;146921 wrote:
The usual route people take for coping with existential anxiety is death denial. Even the ever popular prescription to "live in the present" is death denial. It avoids looking at the future to escape the anxiety of not being there. Epicurus and his followers practiced a form of death denial. Society is filled with rituals, distractions and institutional compensations designed to keep the ever present threat of non-being unconscious. When those mechanisms are working the way they are supposed to people are unaware that death bothers them at all.



Epicurus did not deny the reality of death. In fact, he strongly affirmed it.
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 04:39 am
@qwertyportne,
qwertyportne;146886 wrote:
Arguing whether there is or is not an after life has never been productive for me. Mostly because it tends to polarize the issue into two mutually exclusive positions. One side says "There is no afterlife, and here's why..." and the other says "Oh yes there is, and here's how it works..." Neither side has any evidence for their position, but both keep flapping their lips, ad nauseum. But I do like to think about it now and then, because I have a son, a wife and dozens of friends who are no longer in this life, and like most people, it sure would be a joy to hook up and hang out with them again in some other life after this one. Despite my wishful thinking, however, it looks like this life is it. So my philosophy is to not get caught up in past lives or future lives but to live as best I can in the here and now of this one. Like Jack Kornfield said: "Live fully, love well and let go." Here's a few more quotes from people who have fed my thinking...

"Skepticism and wonder make strange bedfellows but a good marriage, for one must be open to all sorts of ideas but willing to run them through a rigorous filter. I don't want to believe. I want to know..." --Carl Sagan

"Why is there something, not nothing? But it is necessary to believe in nothing -- that something that appears from moment to moment in the here and now..." -- re: Shunryu Suzuki

"It is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true so long as it makes you feel good as it is to not care how you make your money as long as you have it..." -- Edmund Teale

"I don't want immortality through my work -- I want it by not dying..." -- Woody Allen

"Like the moon, death is that side of life turned away from us." --William Blake

Somewhere in the heaven of lost futures, the lives we might have lived have found their own fulfillment... -- Derek Mahon

"We only know what we interpret. We cannot peek over the edge of our interpretations to see things in the raw..." --Thomas Sheehan
I like it when I hear people say its not worthy of debate but then give an opinion that comes from certainty.

---------- Post added 04-01-2010 at 05:46 AM ----------

Lets get one thing clear, its not fear of death or the thought of loosing friends and family, that gives me the opinion that nothing is certain. Its experiences that have convinced me to be uncertain. I have no wish to debate with those who so obviously have decided.
 
qwertyportne
 
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 08:31 am
@xris,
You should go back and read my post again. You obviously don't get it...
 
Deacon Blues
 
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 08:57 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho "No. He needed to defend against it because some other people were afraid of death, and he endeavored to help them."

I agree and Epicurus' insight was helpful as far as it goes.


"Would you care to provide evidence for your claims? I do not believe what you say, and see no reason to believe it. I am not afraid of losing a pencil, but I have not despaired of it totally. A lack of fear does not require a lack of interest in something, or giving up all hope of it."

I was speaking of attachment to one's own existence. Unlike our attachment to being, attachment to a pencil is trivial.


"Epicurus did not deny the reality of death. In fact, he strongly affirmed it."

He denied the reality of the experience of death, an opinion supported by evidence. But even so, our attachment to life is such that, unless we despair of it due to overwhelming suffering, we would prefer immortality to oblivion. Epicurus' insight that there is no consciousness in death doesn't address that problem.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 09:08 am
@Deacon Blues,
Deacon Blues;147084 wrote:
Pyrrho "No. He needed to defend against it because some other people were afraid of death, and he endeavored to help them."

I agree and Epicurus' insight was helpful as far as it goes.


"Would you care to provide evidence for your claims? I do not believe what you say, and see no reason to believe it. I am not afraid of losing a pencil, but I have not despaired of it totally. A lack of fear does not require a lack of interest in something, or giving up all hope of it."

I was speaking of attachment to one's own existence. Unlike our attachment to being, attachment to a pencil is trivial.


"Epicurus did not deny the reality of death. In fact, he strongly affirmed it."

He denied the reality of the experience of death, an opinion supported by evidence. But even so, our attachment to life is such that, unless we despair of it due to overwhelming suffering, we would prefer immortality to oblivion. Epicurus' insight that there is no consciousness in death doesn't address that problem.



I think you are not keeping your ideas consistent. If being trivial makes it okay in the case of the pencil, why cannot this also be the case with an attachment to existence? If it is a trivial matter (and it is), then there is no need for this total despair of which you speak.
 
manored
 
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 12:13 pm
@Pyrrho,
xris;146573 wrote:
To condemn all experiences as delusional or lies without investigation is crude, rude and ignorant. When born blind tell us they have had visual NDEs are we to say they are lying?
They may be lying or not. The nature of those NDEs may be relevant or not. After all, people who were born blind do not know what sight is so they may mistake something else for sight.

Krumple;146575 wrote:

If you die, and live in an existence that is far greater than this life. You just canceled everything that is great about this life. That is why I do not think there is an after life.
I think afterlife is just another life, that may be better or worse, and doesnt necessarly cancels this life or its memories.

Perhaps we do not even perceive the transition, or there is no transition. Maybe we are destined to always find a way to survive... nanobots make you immortal, you are a computer program in a simulation, someone freezes your brain and revives you in the future...

But to make it clear, that was only a perhaps =)

Krumple;146623 wrote:
If nothing that I knew within the dream was in the real life then that real life would be hell. This is what I know, if it is a dream so what? Oh but I bet you will turn around and make the claim that you get to keep all your friends and family after you wake up right? Everyone you love will get to wake up with you, so in other words you don't really mean it's a dream at all but just another way to fool yourself into believing you will never die.

There is no evidence. If there is, where is it? You can't just say, look, because that is meaningless. Where is the evidence?
Arent dreams and tales meaningless compared to life? Life can very well be seen as a super-tale, by a mind great enough.

There is no evidence, but I have some attempts of proving it wich I will post =)

First Argument:
There is no way to prove that this life is real, and thus it certainly is not, although it is certain that I exist. There is, also, no proof of that the end of the conscience is possible, for it has never happened, nor can it ever happen as I would not be able to perceive it.
In other words, only because I perceive myself as an human, and humans die, it does not follow that I die, because my humanity is an ilusion.

Second Argument:

The mind is the sole perceiver of the universe. The mind, thus, cannot end, for there would be no mind to perceive this end. It would be like trying to have events in a realm without time.

Third Argument:

The universe is infinite in both size and in the variety of its contents. It is so because it can exist without explanation. If it is infinite in both size and content, then certainly everything happens on it, including minds being "recycled".
These are really short version, perhaps flawed, and reminders. I can, off course, elaborate on then if needed.

Deacon Blues;146921 wrote:
I look for the presuppositions that lead to first premises. If Epicurus were not subject to existential anxiety, he would have no need to "erect" his philosophical school to defend against it. Epicurus thought that the fear of death arises from the false belief that in death there is awareness. It doesn't. Fear of death arises from out attachment to existence itself. The only way to shake attachment to existence is to despair of it totally.

The usual route people take for coping with existential anxiety is death denial. Even the ever popular prescription to "live in the present" is death denial. It avoids looking at the future to escape the anxiety of not being there. Epicurus and his followers practiced a form of death denial. Society is filled with rituals, distractions and institutional compensations designed to keep the ever present threat of non-being unconscious. When those mechanisms are working the way they are supposed to people are unaware that death bothers them at all.
I agree, even though we may logically prove yourselves that there is no reason to fear oblivion, we fear it anyway. It is part of our instinct to live.

We live to experience, but our subconscient wants us to live for the sake of living (and having children). =)
 
Deacon Blues
 
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 02:35 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;147087 wrote:
I think you are not keeping your ideas consistent. If being trivial makes it okay in the case of the pencil, why cannot this also be the case with an attachment to existence? If it is a trivial matter (and it is), then there is no need for this total despair of which you speak.


If you equate the value of your existence with that of a pencil, then no problem. That's very Zen of you.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 02:56 pm
@manored,
manored;147132 wrote:
Perhaps we do not even perceive the transition, or there is no transition. Maybe we are destined to always find a way to survive... nanobots make you immortal, you are a computer program in a simulation, someone freezes your brain and revives you in the future...

.......
I agree, even though we may logically prove yourselves that there is no reason to fear oblivion, we fear it anyway. It is part of our instinct to live.

We live to experience, but our subconscient wants us to live for the sake of living (and having children). =)
I came across this image and it stuck in my mind: a dog runs out into the street and is hit by a car... the ghost dog lands on the pavement and keeps running.

A person can have this experience: watching a person die, one feels drawn with them toward the door between here and death. Then standing at that doorway, one looks back and sees all of life. It's beautiful.

There may not be a philosophy of oblivion, but here's a thought anyway: there's nothing closer. The past is gone. The future doesn't exist. The present moment is bounded by oblivion. The end of the world comes everyday. You go to sleep, and somebody will wake up and put on your clothes and eat your breakfast and look in the mirror and see your face. But at this point: you're actually gone... except as a figment of that person's imagination.
 
Deacon Blues
 
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 03:57 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;147176 wrote:
I came across this image and it stuck in my mind: a dog runs out into the street and is hit by a car... the ghost dog lands on the pavement and keeps running.

A person can have this experience: watching a person die, one feels drawn with them toward the door between here and death. Then standing at that doorway, one looks back and sees all of life. It's beautiful.

There may not be a philosophy of oblivion, but here's a thought anyway: there's nothing closer. The past is gone. The future doesn't exist. The present moment is bounded by oblivion. The end of the world comes everyday. You go to sleep, and somebody will wake up and put on your clothes and eat your breakfast and look in the mirror and see your face. But at this point: you're actually gone... except as a figment of that person's imagination.


I don't know. It seems to me the future gets a bad rap. If you are aware that somebody may wake up the next day, put on your clothes, eat your breakfast, look in the mirror and see your face, then before you go to sleep, you may wish to lay out the clothes, buy food for breakfast, and go to bed early enough so that the face somebody looks at in the mirror doesn't look tired. In other words, if present experiencer is aware that there may be future somebody, then present experiencer can do things today to make things brighter for future somebody.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 07:43 pm
@Deacon Blues,
Deacon Blues;147170 wrote:
If you equate the value of your existence with that of a pencil, then no problem. That's very Zen of you.


I suppose you may call it "Zen" if you please, but the source of my thoughts and feelings on the matter is not Zen Buddhism. Though there are undoubtedly other sources of my thoughts as well, after careful thought on what Epicurus says, I agree with him, that there is no more concern that I will not be here (or anywhere) in the distant future than there is that I was not here in the distant past. If I cease to exist as soon as I complete writing this message, it is no concern of mine. However, what happens to me before I cease to exist is a concern of mine.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2010 02:51 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;146575 wrote:
On the contrary Xris. I have spent hours and hours pondering it. I don't dismiss it because I don't like the idea or am opposed to some idealistic existence. I have examined it and run through it on many different levels. The problem I have with it, is that I simply can not make the connection between why we would be as we are now, and then later something absolutely and completely different. But I bet that is too hard for you to understand what I mean by different. I can make this post incrediblly long trying to explain how this after life just simply can not work and still maintain the person we are.

Does the soul wear clothes? Or you just imagine some clothes? Does the soul listen to music, or does it just imagine it's favorite music? Does it even care about music? Does it have fashion at all? Does it have hobbies, does it live and work? Does it go on vacations, does it go for hikes? I can go on and on, but the majority of the answers I get is no to all of these. They say that the soul doesn't need these things, it just is always in a state of bliss for ever. That to me is a complete waste of a being. To just be bliss is doing nothing at all. If I had to option to not be anything or to exist in a constant state of bliss without needing to do anything. I would prefer non existence. Why? Because it cheapens this life.

If you die, and live in an existence that is far greater than this life. You just canceled everything that is great about this life. That is why I do not think there is an after life.


I could answer all your questions directly from my own near death experience, but I believe I will just be met with a lot of vitriolic scoffing

Please go to the website below it contains answers to all your questions relating to the afterlife

Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife
 
Deacon Blues
 
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2010 08:33 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;147287 wrote:
I suppose you may call it "Zen" if you please, but the source of my thoughts and feelings on the matter is not Zen Buddhism. Though there are undoubtedly other sources of my thoughts as well, after careful thought on what Epicurus says, I agree with him, that there is no more concern that I will not be here (or anywhere) in the distant future than there is that I was not here in the distant past. If I cease to exist as soon as I complete writing this message, it is no concern of mine. However, what happens to me before I cease to exist is a concern of mine.


In that case, the loss of the pencil is infinitely worse than your death, since you experience the loss of the pencil but you do not experience death.

However, one may think about the potential loss of a pencil or one's self. In such case, unless you value yourself of less than or equal value to the pencil, your sense of potential loss is greater for your self than for the pencil. The pencil or you could be smashed to pieces under a car wheel. You can get another pencil, but you will never take that vacation in Acapulco you are saving for. You know that when you're dead you won't care. But right now you care enough not to walk out in traffic whereas you don't mind throwing the pencil under a car wheel.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2010 10:05 am
@Deacon Blues,
Deacon Blues;147513 wrote:
In that case, the loss of the pencil is infinitely worse than your death, since you experience the loss of the pencil but you do not experience death.



For me, it is infinitely worse losing a pencil than ceasing to exist. But that is only because the latter is nothing, and anything that affects me while alive matters infinitely more. The pencil is still not something I would get terribly upset about.


Deacon Blues;147513 wrote:
However, one may think about the potential loss of a pencil or one's self. In such case, unless you value yourself of less than or equal value to the pencil, your sense of potential loss is greater for your self than for the pencil.



The problem with your comparison is that I am not a thing that I possess. It is fundamentally different "losing myself" from losing any other thing.


Deacon Blues;147513 wrote:
The pencil or you could be smashed to pieces under a car wheel. You can get another pencil, but you will never take that vacation in Acapulco you are saving for. You know that when you're dead you won't care.



I also won't care about the pencil when I am dead. And that is another clue to the whole matter. I won't care about anything when I am dead.


Deacon Blues;147513 wrote:
But right now you care enough not to walk out in traffic whereas you don't mind throwing the pencil under a car wheel.



First of all, I would not throw a pencil under a car without a reason for doing it. Pointless waste is not something that is good. Second, not everyone who is run over by a car ceases to exist, and of those who do, not all of them cease to exist immediately. One might, for example, be severely mangled but not killed, such that one feels much pain immediately and also gets to spend the rest of one's life as a quadriplegic, and in pain. So there is good reason to try to avoid being run over by a car, as it may very well affect one significantly while one is alive. Additionally, to desire death is quite a different thing from being indifferent to death. I have not said that I desire death. If I desired death, I would not be wasting time on internet conversations about things other than what it would take to best achieve such a goal.
 
Deacon Blues
 
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2010 11:32 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho

"For me, it is infinitely worse losing a pencil than ceasing to exist. But that is only because the latter is nothing, and anything that affects me while alive matters infinitely more. The pencil is still not something I would get terribly upset about."


On this we agree.

"The problem with your comparison is that I am not a thing that I possess. It is fundamentally different "losing myself" from losing any other thing."

Losing your self is different that losing anything else. But, not because you are not a thing that you possess. You are both a possessor or subject and a thing or object. In that sense you are different from every other thing which is only an object. As a subject you do possess your objective self. You betray your awareness of this when you compare your being with that of a pencil.

"I also won't care about the pencil when I am dead. And that is another clue to the whole matter. I won't care about anything when I am dead."

In the thought experiment I presented you are not dead when the pencil is smashed. You missed my point.


"First of all, I would not throw a pencil under a car without a reason for doing it. Pointless waste is not something that is good. Second, not everyone who is run over by a car ceases to exist, and of those who do, not all of them cease to exist immediately. One might, for example, be severely mangled but not killed, such that one feels much pain immediately and also gets to spend the rest of one's life as a quadriplegic, and in pain. So there is good reason to try to avoid being run over by a car, as it may very well affect one significantly while one is alive. Additionally, to desire death is quite a different thing from being indifferent to death. I have not said that I desire death. If I desired death, I would not be wasting time on internet conversations about things other than what it would take to best achieve such a goal."

You missed my point again. I stipulated that you and the pencil would be smashed to pieces. Whether you are severely mangled and survive or killed instantly are both potential misfortunes which can be appreciated in the present and avoided if you wish to go to Acapulco. Common sense easily comprehends this state of affairs. Rejection of a common sense awareness of the future is an avoidance mechanism designed to save people from the unhappiness that results from such awareness.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2010 12:35 pm
@Deacon Blues,
Deacon Blues;147554 wrote:
Pyrrho

"For me, it is infinitely worse losing a pencil than ceasing to exist. But that is only because the latter is nothing, and anything that affects me while alive matters infinitely more. The pencil is still not something I would get terribly upset about."


On this we agree.

"The problem with your comparison is that I am not a thing that I possess. It is fundamentally different "losing myself" from losing any other thing."

Losing your self is different that losing anything else. But, not because you are not a thing that you possess. You are both a possessor or subject and a thing or object. In that sense you are different from every other thing which is only an object. As a subject you do possess your objective self. You betray your awareness of this when you compare your being with that of a pencil.



The pencil was introduced in post 81 to show that your principles (in post 80) that:

Deacon Blues;146921 wrote:
Fear of death arises from out attachment to existence itself. The only way to shake attachment to existence is to despair of it totally.


is false. Total despair is unnecessary for a lack of fear of something. It is not that the pencil is otherwise the same as my life.


Deacon Blues;147554 wrote:
"I also won't care about the pencil when I am dead. And that is another clue to the whole matter. I won't care about anything when I am dead."

In the thought experiment I presented you are not dead when the pencil is smashed. You missed my point.



On the contrary, your point was understood as is indicated by the first part of my post when I agreed that, while alive, the pencil was infinitely more important to me than my death. But once I am dead, the pencil has the same level of importance as everything else.


Deacon Blues;146921 wrote:

"First of all, I would not throw a pencil under a car without a reason for doing it. Pointless waste is not something that is good. Second, not everyone who is run over by a car ceases to exist, and of those who do, not all of them cease to exist immediately. One might, for example, be severely mangled but not killed, such that one feels much pain immediately and also gets to spend the rest of one's life as a quadriplegic, and in pain. So there is good reason to try to avoid being run over by a car, as it may very well affect one significantly while one is alive. Additionally, to desire death is quite a different thing from being indifferent to death. I have not said that I desire death. If I desired death, I would not be wasting time on internet conversations about things other than what it would take to best achieve such a goal."

You missed my point again. I stipulated that you and the pencil would be smashed to pieces. Whether you are severely mangled and survive or killed instantly are both potential misfortunes which can be appreciated in the present and avoided if you wish to go to Acapulco. Common sense easily comprehends this state of affairs. Rejection of a common sense awareness of the future is an avoidance mechanism designed to save people from the unhappiness that results from such awareness.



Going to Acapulco is only relevant if I am alive. It does not matter if I am dead. As long as I am alive, doing what I want matters, but there is nothing I want once I am dead, so everything becomes irrelevant.

To put this another way, while I am alive, going to Acapulco is important only as long as I care about going; if, while alive, I change my mind, going to Acapulco is no longer of any significance. And when I cease to exist, it is no longer of any significance because I will not care.

Going to Acapulco has no intrinsic significance; it is only so long as I care about going that it matters. I do not want to go next year no matter how I feel about it next year; I only want to go next year if, after I have planned on going, I still want to go next year. There is nothing intrinsically bad about not going to Acapulco; the only thing bad about not going occurs if one wants to go.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2010 03:15 pm
@Deacon Blues,
Deacon Blues;147198 wrote:
I don't know. It seems to me the future gets a bad rap. If you are aware that somebody may wake up the next day, put on your clothes, eat your breakfast, look in the mirror and see your face, then before you go to sleep, you may wish to lay out the clothes, buy food for breakfast, and go to bed early enough so that the face somebody looks at in the mirror doesn't look tired. In other words, if present experiencer is aware that there may be future somebody, then present experiencer can do things today to make things brighter for future somebody.
I guess that's what they call loving yourself. Do unto future somebody as you would have had past somebody do unto you.
 
manored
 
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2010 03:18 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;147176 wrote:
I came across this image and it stuck in my mind: a dog runs out into the street and is hit by a car... the ghost dog lands on the pavement and keeps running.

A person can have this experience: watching a person die, one feels drawn with them toward the door between here and death. Then standing at that doorway, one looks back and sees all of life. It's beautiful.

There may not be a philosophy of oblivion, but here's a thought anyway: there's nothing closer. The past is gone. The future doesn't exist. The present moment is bounded by oblivion. The end of the world comes everyday. You go to sleep, and somebody will wake up and put on your clothes and eat your breakfast and look in the mirror and see your face. But at this point: you're actually gone... except as a figment of that person's imagination.
Im not gonne, I have only changed, and skipped an period of time.

After all, whats the difference between going to sleep, and having one of my neurons record a new memory? My brain changes all the time. Therefore I change all the time. But that doesnt means I cease to exist all the time. I am what every moment has in common =)
 
Deacon Blues
 
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2010 05:50 pm
@Pyrrho,
Let me attempt to clarify something before we proceed. My statement "Fear of death arises from out attachment to existence itself. The only way to shake attachment to existence is to despair of it totally" referred only to existence itself not to every existing thing. Therefore, your response about the pencil was irrelevant.
 
Lost1 phil
 
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 07:31 am
@manored,
manored;145210 wrote:
Its hard to understand you =)

I believe there is an afterlife, but not that its nature can be determined. So, all I know is "death is not the end".

So in a situation of danger I wont panic as much as I would if death was the end =)


I haven't had very many near death experiences, but the few I have had I did not panic. :cool:

Lost 1

---------- Post added 04-03-2010 at 08:42 AM ----------

Alan McDougall;145465 wrote:
... in reality you just do not know if there is really an afterlife or not


Are you telling us that the idea that it is okay to wishes and then live life as if we believe them to be a part of reality?

Or are you telling us it's best to hope for more because millions of people have hoped for more before us, and even if we still do not know if they were correct or not it is still best to believe that which was taught?

In my prespective of that which I hope is reality, the above is nonsensical unless you add an equally unprovable diety into the mix.

And before we turn this into a debate on religion know that I am willing to fight for your right to believe in any faith you wish to make your own.

Lost1

---------- Post added 04-03-2010 at 09:07 AM ----------

xris;147020 wrote:
I like it when I hear people say its not worthy of debate but then give an opinion that comes from certainty.

---------- Post added 04-01-2010 at 05:46 AM ----------

Lets get one thing clear, its not fear of death or the thought of loosing friends and family, that gives me the opinion that nothing is certain. Its experiences that have convinced me to be uncertain. I have no wish to debate with those who so obviously have decided.


Are you saying what you enjoy is not knowing?

Lost1
 
 

 
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