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64. Wei Chi / Before Completion

fkegan

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If we are in time of crossing a big river, better to focuse in crossing it. For after doing it comes the good.

Not a bad promise, I believe.

Hi Charly and Tuck,

This is not a hexagram about guaranteed results. It is about working to make things happen. Again the advice is to be aware of the dangers, watch carefully the actions, it is possible to fail but it is also likely to succeed--if you continue to pay attention to your efforts now rather than dreaming about what could be the glorious victory.

It is the best fortune (superlative good fortune) that can be offered without sabotaging your effort.

Frank
 

rodaki

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hi Charly,

urged by your post I went out on the net looking for more on chinese tales about foxes . . it seems so strange that most of them seem to be full of warnings while here we get a fox as an example to follow . . and while we get so many rewards about catching them in other Yi lines :confused:
. . could it be that the difference between those other foxes and this one is that this one is little? I read that foxes became dangerous as they got older, is this a young and noble fox then?
here is a story about a fox prince:

Fox Worship

The Chinese worshipped foxes, though never at the level of official religion. Instead, foxes were a part of folk religion. This unofficial worship reached to the highest levels of society; in the late 1920's, in a family shrine ostensibly dedicated to the Buddha, Kuan Yin, and other official deities, Lao Tai-tai, an aristocratic woman of Beijing, shows off her family's icon of a fox:

"This," [Lao Tai-tai] said with a beaming smile, "is the best of all."

"And who is this?" I asked, for I did not recognize the scholarly-looking old man in the picture hanging on the west wall, the little old man with the intelligent, shrewd face. He was sitting in a garden with a great tree behind him and flowering shrubs around, dignified in his long flowing blue silk robes and tall black hat of a long-past dynasty.

"He is the Second Son of the King of the Fox Fairies. He was so good and learned that he was allowed to take human form. We worship him for scholarship and for official position and for wealth." These, I knew, were synonymous to most of the people. She lit a big bundle of incense and set it in the burner on the table. (Old Madam Yin: A Memoir of Peking Life, by Ida Pruitt, p. 35)

Kang, Xiaofei, "Power on the Margins: The Cult of the Fox in Late Imperial China." Thesis (Ph.D.), Columbia University, 2000, 414p.


or maybe a white fox coming from a different tradition?

The Aurora Borealis, also known by many as the Northern Lights, is know by Finns as Revontulet. It stems from an ancient belief that the colours flying in the sky, were actually created by an Arctic Fox's tail sweeping across the snows in the far, far north and creating colourful sparks.

blogrevontulet.jpg

(http://arcticrainbow.blogspot.com/2009/02/northern-lights-of-lapland-sadlynot-so.html)

it's easy to see why people would have thought of them as women (besides the usual misconceptions and superstitions of course . .)

it also seems that it's easy to mistake foxes for wolves (basically foxes are smaller than other similar species) or even for dogs (!) (Res ipsa loquitur) . . . I think a dog would tell the difference though . .
 
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rosada

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THE IMAGE
Fire over water:
The image of the condition before transition.
Thus the superior man is careful
In the differentiation of things,
So that each finds its place.

Fire flares upward, water flows downward; hence there is no completion. If one were to attempt to force completion, harm would result. Therefore one must separate things in order to unite them. One must put them in their places as carefully as one handles fire and water, so that they do not combat one another.
-Wilhelm
 

fkegan

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Hi Rosada,

As Luis' drawing shows, fire above water is particularly impractical. A situation requiring a lot of work to get anything completed at all. Although the pattern of lines alternating Yang and Yin with the Yang lines in the even numbered places is far more pleasing to the eye than the rigid correctness of hex 63.

Frank
 

charly

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hi Charly,

urged by your post I went out on the net looking for more on chinese tales about foxes . . it seems so strange that most of them seem to be full of warnings while here we get a fox as an example to follow . . and while we get so many rewards about catching them in other Yi lines :confused

Dear Dora:

Foxes are disreputable persons, be for orientats or for westerners, but they have their friends. Ther are worshiped at China and Japan. I'm not sure if the YI advices tokill foxes, I remember that the YI doesn't say what to do with the foxes you get, but that getting foxes is lucky.

I go to look for another links about the chinese foxes that I remember. Meanwhile,
the curriculum of Kang XiaoFei:
kang.jpg

http://ml.hss.cmu.edu/ml/faculty/kang_xiaofei.html

Yours,

Charly
 

rosada

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THE LINES

64.1
Six at the beginning means:
He gets his tail in the water.
Humiliating.

In times of disorder there is a temptation to advance oneself as rapidly as possible in order to accomplish something tangible. But this enthusiasm leads only to failure and humiliation if the time for achievement has not yet arrived. In such a time it is wise to spare ourselves the opprobrium of failure by holding back.
-Wilhelm
 

fkegan

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Hex 64 overall is about being hard at work completing something. Each of the lines changes to something else at some time in the process of getting its mission done. The first line loses it while still on the ice trying to cross the river.

Frank
 

charly

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I'd like to offer my thoughts on 64 but they are not yet.
Bruce:

Foxes are non-oficial masters, of well known astuteness. The name of the Changes, YI, has the shape of a Chameleon, another master of comouflage. Both reserve their opinions, this doesn't make them unsincere, given that they don't speak.

I believe that when the YI speaks of Little Foxes is bringing implicit the idea of Old Foxes, say the Masters. Maybe ancient diviners, the guys that composed the YI and for whom the YI was composed, were but Old Foxes besides Oficial Scribes (1). Yi advices were not always orthodox.

A nine tailed fox:



All the best,

Charly
_______________________
(1) Even maybe women.
 

rodaki

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hi Charly,

seems like the issue of foxes is a vast one -I spent two days reading up on them and ended up rather exhausted and a bit confused (besides looking into melons, melon seeds, melon candy and melon-carving holidays-the list goes on and on . . btw, did you know that 'melon' with a double 'l' letter means 'future' in greek? just a curiosity . .)
. . the Chinese however seem to be of two minds about foxes, they both rever them and demonize them . . I'm starting to think that foxes represent too much the chinese character and thus they need to stay hidden . .

I've also been looking into the character for fox, the one made up by 'dog' and 'melon-bearing plant' . . now why would a fox be represented by a dog and a plant??? my -uneducated- guess is that the image portrayed is the one that signals the presence of a fox near by . . say maybe it's a dog that is barking up a tree? that doesn't seem very plausible since it is only one fox species (the gray fox) that can climb trees . . could it be that the dog is then guarding something valuable from foxes? or is it carrying a valuable seed in its mouth so it needs to be as careful as a fox? (btw, you probably know this already, but let me just mention that white foxes are the messengers of a japanese deity of fertility, Inari - and statues of them holding a magic jewel or the key to a granary are found in the entrances of Inari shrines:

inari.jpg

link with interesting japanese tales


but maybe I'm taking this too far away from China . .
another line of investigation revealed something different . . looking (just a quick look at zhendic dictionary) at the 'dog' character I realized that it appears as the first character of the names of other animals too, like wild cats, lions (actually one of the most pronounced mythical dog is the Fou dog, in reality a lion that guarded the entrances of temples) and others while the dog itself has another, distinct name . . now that was a rather peculiar ensemble . . . in one of its entries zhendic mentions the dog character as 'beast' . . what's up with this really?

more reading on foxlore revealed folktales about a fox that precedes a tiger (or, again, the white fox that leads Inari in the fields . .) . . it all starts getting to the point of what comes after the fox, including its tail of course, which was the sign that could betray the true nature of these foxy characters in passing from one realm to another

So now I'm starting to think that the fox of 64 is all too careful because it is tied to a fait accompli (as in 64's nuclear hexagram) that could make or break the deal that's underfoot . . what follows seems to be more important than the animal itself (did you know that the name 'fox' actually comes from 'tail'? another curiosity . .)


I did remember though how sometime ago I had posted in Open Space a video that looked very much like 64 to me . . I found a better version of it here


:bows:
 

rosada

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I think it is interesting that the focus has been on stories here at 64 because it seems to me that coming home and sharing the story is the necessary last step of the I Ching journey. The image talks about the superior man diferentiating between things so that everything is in it's proper place. Isn't that the key to telling a good story? Like do you want to hear the good news or the bad news first? You don't necessarily have to have it in chronological order!

I am away and my book is at home (is that 64.1? Can't start the story when you left your tale in the water?) Will be back Sunday.
Rosada
 

charly

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...
looking (just a quick look at zhendic dictionary) at the 'dog' character I realized that it appears as the first character of the names of other animals too, like wild cats, lions ...
So now I'm starting to think that the fox of 64 is all too careful because it is tied to a fait accompli (as in 64's nuclear hexagram) that could make or break the deal that's underfoot . . what follows seems to be more important than the animal itself (did you know that the name 'fox' actually comes from 'tail'? another curiosity . .)
...
Hi, Dora:

Maybe the tail is more important that the fox itself. The chinese character for tail 尾 means also the rear, the back, the stern of a ship, is composed by left and up a SITING PERSON (now a corpse, a body) and at the left and down HAIRY. Then it can be applied to persons, animals and things.

I from westerners FOX is the DOG with a big TAIL, for chinse is said to be THE LONELY DOG, holding that the MELON part of the character goes for 孤 the character for ORPHAN, LONELY.

We could have in the Changes a LITTLE ORPHAN THAT GET HIS TAIL WET, even maybe a baby...

Although I suspect that, given the reputation of foxes, the chinese foxlore described by KANG XIAOFEI (it sounds like STRONG LITTLE WIND, good name for a girl), wetting the tail con have something to do with LOVE. Maybe also with SEAT & TOIL or with BEING SCARED.

Etymologies are very interessing, even when imaginative, say folk etymology, little to do with history but much to do with meaning.

Your,

Charly
 

ravenstar

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We could have in the Changes a LITTLE ORPHAN THAT GET HIS TAIL WET, even maybe a baby...


Charly

Hi Charly,

I've been struggling with this Hex and your guidance seems to have triggered what I was seeking for. I think that Orphans find it hard to obtain what they're looking for.....in fact they can't even define it....all they know is they're always on the move, and don't like to be tied down to other people's views or limited beliefs. Maybe this is because they lack their own history, were deeply hurt by the loss of their parents and now struggle to fit into their replacement family. Orphan is kind of a wandering philosopher.....a gypsy or mystical kind of life, unable to settle...until they find their true nature.

The young fox then is seldom at rest either in mind or body...very impatient and starts out before all plans are in place (overlooking important details)? He plunges into a venture with confidence (risk taker, gambler?) but then finds he's over his head and the tail held high gets wet.

So we can see the Mature fox 'has' a clear grasp of what he thinks and believes.....perhaps because his tail had gone under many times forceing him to seek and find the 'truth' himself?

Did anyone notice that fox in numerology equals 666? The lower loop of the six equals the womb, the full tummy, the material world.....so the 'beast' seems to represent man's lower nature. 6 is also the number of regeneration and 666 = 9, the circle of continuity, the tail being the lifeforce that propels it.....this has been proven mathematically.

ravenstar

The root number of 666 is 9.....the number of humanity and of intiation.
 

tuckchang

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Hi Charly and Tuck,

This is not a hexagram about guaranteed results. It is about working to make things happen. Again the advice is to be aware of the dangers, watch carefully the actions, it is possible to fail but it is also likely to succeed--if you continue to pay attention to your efforts now rather than dreaming about what could be the glorious victory.

It is the best fortune (superlative good fortune) that can be offered without sabotaging your effort.

Frank

Hi ! Frank,

I agree with you.

The literal meaning of Wei Ji (未濟) is ‘not having crossed the river yet’, and according to its hexagram text, the little fox has almost succeeded in crossing the river; it wets its tail; nothing is favorable, although it progressed smoothly in the beginning. The text seemingly alludes to all efforts in vain.
However, from the images of hexagram 64, i.e. the riverbank at position 6, and from perspective of the hexagram developing along the timeline as well as the text of six lines, i.e. the line gradually leaves Kan, peril, and reaches Li, brightness and civilization etc, hexagram 63 is teeming with warnings and inspiration as well as hopes.

Hexagram 64 doesn’t guarantee any result; to cross the river is for carrying on the mission at the other side of the river. Line 6 should not indulge in revelry for celebrating the success of crossing the river but forget its real mission.

Regards
Tuck
 

tuckchang

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64.1

Text: Wetting the tail, resentful.
The little fox’s tail is wetted by the river, the bottom trigram Kan, signifying the river is so deep that its water reaches the fox's tail right at the beginning while the little fox starts crossing the river. If the fox still intends to cross the river, this will be resented.

Confucian commentary on its image: Wetting the tail; it isn’t aware of its limitations.
The feminine line 1 is at the position of which the line is less energetic (since the hexagram just starts), and supposedly the feminine should remain still (since the feminine tends to remain still). If it wets its tail but still takes on the risk of crossing the river; this will be resented.

To be put into the river right at the beginning is not the little fox’s fault; however it will be leaded to calamity if it continues to cross the river. 吝 (lin4): resentment (or humiliating), a very common annotation in Chinese I Ching writings, signifies ‘not to regret when one should regret 悔 (hui3)’ and will move toward misfortune. 悔 (hui3): regret signifies ‘the capability of being aware what has been done wrong and making corrections timely’.

How shall the little fox behave? The hexagram that forms after this line is triggered and changes, is Kui (38), the text of which advises: it is auspicious to take action on the small scale.

Regards
Tuck :bows:
 
M

meng

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Thanks, Tuck. You've made the image clearer that this isn't a fox who approaches from a gradually tapered sandy beach, but that the fox leaps off a bank and lands clumsily - ker plunk! The premature beginning is a source of embarrassment, so that even the river rat and frog laugh at the fox. :rofl::rant:
 

fkegan

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Hi Tuck,

Hex 64 is the last of the final four hexagrams after the full set of 6 sets of ten. These four final hexagrams are all about overall graphic symbolism: inner, outer, completed, and completing. So hex 64 is all about working on the new initiative. Clearly each of the lines in this hexagram illustrates a different way to complete your initiative and thus ends the overall process with some product. By the later lines the product involves the major achievement and it is only the minor details that are being short changed.

In hex 64.1 the process of working on the project is ended just at the beginning. The little fox has broken through the ice and though he has not gotten his head wet (drowned) but only his tail which as Bruce notes makes his downfall funny for all those watching on the shore.

Frank
 

my_key

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We sit in a powerful place at the threshold of Hex 64, having just completed an important transition we are told at 63.6 that we have to be careful, not to rest on our laurels or to celebrate too hard....the successful end is in fact only a new beginning. And then here we are at the new beginning being greeted by thin ice and the wily fox; the trickster; the shape shifter .... just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water you have to realise that the water isn't as clear as you thought it was....it's time to get the radar up and working again as there is already a new plot hatching - the rules of the game have changed. The ice that was formed has become thin in places and we need to tread warily

Carl Jung says of the Trickster archetype
A primitive cosmic being of divine-animal nature, on the one hand superior to man because of his superhuman qualities, and on the other hand inferior to him because of his unreason and unconsciousness. The more civilized we become, the more we will blame a "shadow" for our misfortunes. Like the trickster of old, the shadow represents a quality that isn't accepted into the awareness. It can 'pester' us unmercifully but always has a gift for us, a missing quality, an attitude needed to cope, or self-realization.
The trickster is the wounded inner child helping us to evolve...sometimes when we jump headlong into the illusion that the trickster has created we find waiting for us is a grand humiliation or it might be a mildly embarrasing situation....but all is not lost it's something for us to learn from and a chance to start afresh and another step towards us being who we really want to be. A sense of self repair making the ice thicker all around.

So maybe we have something like this:

64.1 - Keep your wits about you. You are stepping into the big picture but all is not how you think it is.

This old classic always comes to mind with the image of this line. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDosgkws0-c&feature=related
Mike
 
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fkegan

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Hi Mike,

Nice to see Jethro Tull again. I can see how he revolutionized British agriculture back in the day.

Hex 64 mentions the image of a fox that is the image used for the Trickster so...?

This fox motif appears in hex 64 but the first line here like hex 63.1 could equally well be your tail in the water rather than that of the Trickster or fox (the Yellowbridge Chinese has "tail" and only suggests (fox).

The larger point is that this is a hexagram about working to get something completed and this first line messes up way too soon. It can not keep its ultimate goal in mind and loses big. When this line changes, the time of working upon completing your own project becomes (hex 38) a humiliating return home to bicker with your siblings about how funny you looked getting your tail wet when you failed.

Sad line...

Frank
 

rosada

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64.1
Six at the beginning
a) He gets his tail in the water.
Humiliating.

b) "He gets his tail in the water." For he cannot take the end into view.

Here we have the same images as in the preceding hexagram, though somewhat differently distributed. The first line is the tail. It is weak and stands at the bottom in a dangerous position, hence does not preceive the consequences of its actions. It rashly tries to cross and fails.
-Wilhelm
 

frank_r

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Did anyone notice that fox in numerology equals 666? The lower loop of the six equals the womb, the full tummy, the material world.....so the 'beast' seems to represent man's lower nature. 6 is also the number of regeneration and 666 = 9, the circle of continuity, the tail being the lifeforce that propels it.....this has been proven mathematically.

ravenstar

The root number of 666 is 9.....the number of humanity and of intiation.


Hi Janice,

And 36 in numerolgy(1+2+3+4....+36=666).
So hexagram 36 also has this connection.
And in Chinese numerology 6 is 5+1. The organisation(yin) of the 5 elements. That's the reason that there are 6 divisions and 12 meridians.

Frank
 

rodaki

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Hi, Dora:

Maybe the tail is more important that the fox itself. The chinese character for tail 尾 means also the rear, the back, the stern of a ship, is composed by left and up a SITING PERSON (now a corpse, a body) and at the left and down HAIRY. Then it can be applied to persons, animals and things.


Although I suspect that, given the reputation of foxes, the chinese foxlore described by KANG XIAOFEI (it sounds like STRONG LITTLE WIND, good name for a girl), wetting the tail con have something to do with LOVE. Maybe also with SEAT & TOIL or with BEING SCARED.

Etymologies are very interessing, even when imaginative, say folk etymology, little to do with history but much to do with meaning.

Your,

Charly


Charly thank you for further elucidating . . have had no time to look up more things, we had our kitchen changed by the company who owns our place (since our last one was falling apart) and friends needed help with translations so still haven't had time to even read Kang XiaoFei's pdf :eek: . . will do it asap . .

in the meantime I see the talk has gone on about tricksters which brings to mind a wonderful film about that, Orson Welles's 'F for Fake' -I think it is online in google videos . . well, not really a movie, not a documentary either, probably more of a storytelling game, blending fiction with reality . .

I still don't get much of how 38 fits with 64.1 . . does the little fox get its tail in the water because there are diverging claims in the beginning? one foot goes one way, another foot a different one and then plop! the tail gets wet? 38 can be rather spooky . . Mr Little's story is still in the back of my head but not putting pen to ink, not there just yet ;)
 
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rosada

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Took a stroll on the beach this weekend. Thinking about 64.1 and getting one's tail wet I very carefully took off my sandals and turned up my pant cuffs. But the waves still soaked the jeans and since I hadn't brought a towel my feet were wet and coated with sand by the time I slipped them back into my shoes. It was all very irritating:eek:, but didn't ruin the evening. Perhaps this is the meaning of 38, if you're not attempting too much perhaps getting one's tail - feet - wet doesn't prevent success in small matters.
rosada
 

rosada

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64.2
He breaks his wheels.
Perseverance brings good fortune.
-Wilhelm
 

frank_r

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We sit in a powerful place at the threshold of Hex 64, having just completed an important transition we are told at 63.6 that we have to be careful, not to rest on our laurels or to celebrate too hard....the successful end is in fact only a new beginning. And then here we are at the new beginning being greeted by thin ice and the wily fox; the trickster; the shape shifter .... just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water you have to realise that the water isn't as clear as you thought it was....it's time to get the radar up and working again as there is already a new plot hatching - the rules of the game have changed. The ice that was formed has become thin in places and we need to tread warily

Carl Jung says of the Trickster archetype
The trickster is the wounded inner child helping us to evolve...sometimes when we jump headlong into the illusion that the trickster has created we find waiting for us is a grand humiliation or it might be a mildly embarrasing situation....but all is not lost it's something for us to learn from and a chance to start afresh and another step towards us being who we really want to be. A sense of self repair making the ice thicker all around.

So maybe we have something like this:

64.1 - Keep your wits about you. You are stepping into the big picture but all is not how you think it is.

This old classic always comes to mind with the image of this line. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDosgkws0-c&feature=related
Mike

A few years I saw Jethro Tull again, great show. But with this line it is the tail that is doing the trick.
That's why I was thinking of this song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PURWvusyWIQ&feature=related

The tail is the connection with our sacrum, Our Holy bone, the bone that's is the connection with our reproduction, the 6 and 9 where Janice was talking about.

Frank
 

rodaki

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Took a stroll on the beach this weekend. Thinking about 64.1 and getting one's tail wet I very carefully took off my sandals and turned up my pant cuffs. But the waves still soaked the jeans and since I hadn't brought a towel my feet were wet and coated with sand by the time I slipped them back into my shoes. It was all very irritating:eek:, but didn't ruin the evening. Perhaps this is the meaning of 38, if you're not attempting too much perhaps getting one's tail - feet - wet doesn't prevent success in small matters.
rosada


love it! was thinking of 38 as walking along the beach too Rosada ;) . . pacing up and down, evaluating and eliminating the dangers (the line turns lower trigram water to lake), but this passage is narrow and who knows what will be found there . . in the meantime we can all daydream a bit or pray (do you think 38 could come up as such? i think daydreaming could certainly be it, not sure about praying . .)
 
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meng

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64.1 - Keep your wits about you. You are stepping into the big picture but all is not how you think it is.

I especially like this idea of stepping into the big picture, for 64 in general, but also laughably for the first step. After all, the fox didn't drown, only got a dose of humiliation. Which, as you say, Mike, can be the most valuable lesson in survival and evolution to begin with.
 

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