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Freeman Crouch and 55.6

cal val

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Hi Freeman...

I was reading your book last night, and when I got to 55.6 I was shocked at your interpretation:

"Wu is in a three year mourning period. He doesn't break it. The revolution never happens."

I was shocked because from everything I've learned the revolution did indeed happen and because... I admit... everything I know about hexagram 55, I learned from "Mandate of Heaven." I know that there are those who say Wu (Fa) did indeed observe the mourning ritual, but in his book Marshall gives a very compelling argument as to why Wu didn't... including that he perceived the solar eclipse as an omen that King Zhou had lost his mandate making it an auspicious time to attack (and forgo the mourning ritual) and that it was also an auspicious time because the Shang didn't know Wen had died yet.

My feeling about 55.6 is also that it is one half of one those positive/negative divinations the Shang and early Zhou used to do. You know... the "what if I do" and "what if I don't" divinations. And I believe the augury to "What if I observe the mourning ritual and let this small window of enormous opportunity pass" was "Disastrous"... further evidence that Wu should indeed forgo the mourning period and attack now. Of course, we don't have the other half of the question, "What if I don't mourn..." so we don't know what that augury might have been.

Anyway, I'd love to know what convinced you that King Wu DID observe the mourning period. Or did I totally misread your intention of saying that he did?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Val
 

hilary

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I think Freeman meant this as an imaginary scenario, an 'alternative history' projection, like those 'What if Hitler had won?' books.
 

freemanc

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Big Chocolate bunny for Hilary! And hell, one for Val too.

Yes, weird as hell, isn't it. The idea that, when relating to the narrative of the Zhou Conquest, that line 6 is sometimes actually counterfactual, as Hilary says, sort of a Man In the High Castle thing, appears a couple of other times.

And I'm pretty sure its not just the frothings of my brain.

But I have a band rehearsal; so, epistle has to keep for tomorrow.

very fondly,

FC
 

cal val

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Hi Freeman...

Oh... okay... when I was writing my post, I started to suspect it was something like Hilary surmised. That's why I asked if I misread the intention. And then I realized the imaginary scenario might be a way of illustrating your interpretation of the line.

I don't think line 55.6 is weird or out of place at all because I strongly suspect the Zhouyi at least started out as an oracular record of sorts, and a lot of the lines are the recorded questions and resulting auguries. I suspect 55.6 is a recorded question and it's augury... and part of the reason King Wu decided to march when he did (the solar eclipse being a big part as well)... IF he did.

Many of the hexagrams contain line statement compositions that look to me to be just like the (often 5-part) inscriptions on tortoise shells that include positive/negative questions and their auguries.

For example, look at 17.2 and 17.3. 17 seems to be about a human sacrifice on Mt. Qi. When I read that hexagram, I imagine myself on the march with King Wen deciding we've got too many captives, we've got to lose some... but which ones to lose? hmmmm Let's ask the oracle. And then asking the positive/negative questions... "What if we bind the boys and let loose the men?" (17.2) and "What if we bind the men and let loose the boys?". Then deciding which to do based on the best of the two augeries.

Now keep in mind I'm only imagining this scenario (which is fun to do), and my imagination could have wandered very far from the truth, BUT... ever since I learned about the composition of Shang and early Zhou divination inscriptions, I have "seen" oracular records in the Zhouyi.

Love,

Val
 

freemanc

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I work with kids. They seem to think good taste and factual knowledge are restraints to imagining. Whereas really they are food for imagining! As you well know. As usual Val, you cut to the chase:

<blockquote><hr size=0><!-quote-!><font size=1>quote:</font>

BUT... ever since I learned about the composition of Shang and early Zhou divination inscriptions, I have "seen" oracular records in the Zhouyi.<!-/quote-!><hr size=0></blockquote>

Exactly. But the question is, are you "seeing" or seeing them? Well, I'm entirely convinced you are seeing, no inverted commas, *something* relevant to the oracle bone procedures. But what, exactly?

Where my insight trails off and I have to say "magic goes here" or "Some better scholar! Dig here!" is, to what extent the Yijing as we have it is, ahem, "close to the bone": truly very late Shang and very early Zhou divination transcripts forged *somehow* into a random casting oracle.

Now, I'm not much of an Oracle Bone scholar. (A state of affairs I hope to change when I can afford another expensive hobby.) My remarks are highly tentative and they're via using my lit-crit eye on sources such as Keightley. Here goes:

The judgement and the lines are two different stories. The judgements really, really look like Shang oracle bone questions and outcomes. Archaic stylings, or real bone? My nose says bone; ultimately I don't know. But they really look the part.

The lines don't, exactly. But they have something of the form. Sequences with alternations.

What I note in Oracle bones is simple: "It is Father Shang, It is not Father Shang". Back and forth, in a very simple way.

The Yijing preserves something of this back and forth motion between neighboring lines, but it's not simple at all. In fact it's very sophisticated, appealing to jokes and ironies, and several different flavors of contrast. Its much more fluid, more like writing with a brush.

But they don't seem to me (and this is a lit-crit sort of judgement) to be heavily edited, hacked over gestures. By this I mean, I think the lines were consciously written by a writer of talent, and/or they were product of a newer piece of ritual conduct by an extraordinary person of some sort.

I think that the line texts were not really oracle bone transcripts. They were casting+writing transcripts. Or perhaps they were not transcripts at all, but rather some sort of "off-line", non-ritual literary effort.

I can't substantiate this; call it a hypothesis that my nose likes a great deal.

I think we are looking at, or near, the transition from the bone+carving oracle to the casting+writing oracle. I think this transition was huge. Huge in significance. I think it represented a new movement in human thought, like the invention of writing, or relativity. It enabled a different kind of thinker, more nuanced, more fluent.

How the devil was this transition made? I'm imagining that prior to this strange moment, there had to be a practice, a practice or use that involved the old transcripts.

Casting lots with the old transcripts, perhaps. What was it like, holding a marked-up turtle plastron, 2 years old, or 200, and wondering what the hell to do with it?

Another thought. Recall that burying the old oracle bones was important, getting rid of them, getting rid of them in a decent way. (Yet a not-irreversible way?) But not having them around, confusing our thinking. Well, why would they confuse our thinking if there wasn't a procedure for revisiting them? Or they were a potential threat to the state, as an accurate record of history? (As Borges pointed out, burning books is a well known activity of princes.) And I imagine there was a selecting process. Some were kept around.

And another thought. We are graced with the Mawangdui manuscript, and the recieved text, but if there was a more primitive casting oracle "book" in the form of a collection of (32 ?) turtles, would we know what we were looking at if we saw it? Are there actually artifacts that might be interpreted as being such a thing? Hilary, are there any by gosh Oracle Bone mavens in the house?

Val, I liked your take on 17 a lot. Another angle that I came up with late in the day in my editing process was the notion that 17 had to do with succession challenges. Any thoughts?

F
 

cal val

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Hiya Freeman...

First let me say that I enjoy discussing this subject with you very much. I'm one who has to see something from as many angles as possible before I will lean one way or the other... especially about something as shrouded in mystery as the Zhouyi. So I love getting your perspective, and I thank you very much for sharing it here.

I'm also enjoying your book immensely. Your writing style is exuberant and refreshing. I can just imagine you in the classroom teaching. I suspect all the energy and enthusiasm of my high school biology and Lit teachers that I loved so much. I've already tested your interpretations of some of the lines and got some really clear answers. I can't speak for all the lines... yet, but your interpretations for the one's I have received as answers have indicated to me you have a clear understanding of their meanings.

As an aside, my focus as of late is on the Zhouyi, not the YiJing. Not that I don't feel there is value in all that has been added over the years. I just think it's important to get some kind of understanding of the original intent to get a proper perspective on all that has been added. And I'm focused on getting that "some kind of understanding" right now.

I really think at this point, because I haven't studied what I'm looking at through a microscope long enough... and got enough other perspectives, it's probably proper to keep the "see" rather than use see. I suspect I am seeing, but I want to look more before I take the quotes off.

That said, don't even get me started on the question of who's gonna cart Daddy's corpse in hex 7. The question there is more like plan A/plan B than positive/negative. And my gut is telling me the Yi would love to say, "Go to plan C! Leave him at home! He'll just get in the way otherwise." I think, however, that Plan C might just have been left out of the questions as unthinkable... considering their reverence for their ancestors. But then... what do I do. I still have a lot to learn.

Hex 17 about succession... very possibly the underlying message... yes. I've just been focused on the imagery lately as a window onto the mindset of the Shang and early Zhou. And the window is on chasing down (pursuing) captives for the sacrifice... and then the sacrifice to (as Steve Marshall asserts) or at Mt. Qi.

I, too, see a lot of the stories AND songs in the Zhouyi. That's why I said I believe it at least STARTED OUT as a record of oracles... gradually becoming a history book. I think that a lot of what I read in the Zhouyi is the oracles and the stories to go with them. I believe 55 is mostly the story. But... you know... I've been reading a lot... and I see a lot of very serious scholars making genuine attempts to unravel the mystery disagree with each other about what the lines represent. And I've also read something very interesting about the Zhouyi and that is there WAS some editing... how much I'm sure at this point... and copyist errors... making the msytery even more difficult to unravel.

I have so many other thoughts to share with you and get your perspective on... like what about that pentagram theory... hmmmmm *rasing eyebrow in a question mark*, but I also have a life to get to, so I think I'll just stop here... *grin*

Love,

Val
 

lightofdarkness

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(1) for any line position 6 'issue', the line position itself is tied to 23 and so the removal of chaff etc to bring out the 'correct' form of a particular belief. The scope of this universal is thus from basic 'housekeeping' to over-the-top reduction to the core nature - as a high priest/priestess would do to maintain the faith - to stabilise in a time of the unstable.

LOCAL context then comes up with some analogy to reflect that universal operating locally and so a link to some socio-religious event of some form.

(2) Re 17 - From the realm of the universal we have the 'genetic code' of:

(note here the basic archeture is manifest in hex 12 which deals with issues of neutralising outside 'digs' upon one's beliefs and in that neutralising affirming the belief (what you fall in behind, follow the path etc). 17 then 'fills in' that architecture and so a focus on finding/developing a belief, be it in an individual or other)

"SUI : come or go after; pursue, impelled to move; come after in inevitable sequence; move in the same direction, comply with what is ahead; follow a way or religion; according to, next, subsequent. The ideogram: go and fall, unavoidable movement" ERANOS p242

00 :: (02) : What is this hexagrams's potential form? :: 17
01 :: (24) : How does this hexagram 'start', express 'beginning'? :: 45
02 :: (07) : How does this hexagram express uniformity, establishment of? :: 58
03 :: (19) : How does this hexagram express approaching the 'high'; defer to the 'low'? :: 47
04 :: (15) : How does this hexagram level things out, keep words close to facts? :: 49
05 :: (36) : How does this hexagram protect its 'light' when not its time? :: 31
06 :: (46) : How does this hexagram become more entangled with something/someone? :: 43
07 :: (11) : How does this hexagram balance/harmonise, mediate? :: 28
08 :: (16) : How does this hexagram express foresight/planning? :: 3
09 :: (51) : How does this hexagram express surprise, enlightenment, shock? :: 8
10 :: (40) : How does this hexagram express tension release through relaxing structure? :: 60
11 :: (54) : How does this hexagram expend early energy, imaturity? :: 29
12 :: (62) : How does this hexagram express overacting to establish unconditional loyalty? :: 63
13 :: (55) : How does this hexagram deal with abundance/overflowing? :: 39
14 :: (32) : How does this hexagram express commitment? :: 5
15 :: (34) : How does this hexagram actively invigorate others? :: 48
16 :: (08) : How does this hexagram passively attract? :: 51
17 :: (03) : How does this hexagram 'sprout'? :: 16
18 :: (29) : How does this hexagram assert containment/control? :: 54
19 :: (60) : How does this hexagram standardise? :: 40
20 :: (39) : How does this hexagram obstruct, go against, stand up to, the flow? :: 55
21 :: (63) : How does this hexagram complete, 'get it right'? :: 62
22 :: (48) : Where does this hexagram get its nutrition, what sustains it, keeps it going? :: 34
23 :: (05) : How does this hexagram wait for opportunity to come? :: 32
24 :: (45) : How does this hexagram celebrate its 'faith'? :: 24
25 :: (17) : How does this hexagram find a faith? What is its faith? :: 2
26 :: (47) : How does this hexagram integrate with the context, be it by choice or otherwise? :: 19
27 :: (58) : How does this hexagram express itself intensely, self-reflect? :: 7
28 :: (31) : How does this hexagram 'woo', express restrained enticement? :: 36
29 :: (49) : How does this hexagram reveal, unmask? :: 15
30 :: (28) : How does this hexagram express excess, go beyond what is required? :: 11
31 :: (43) : How does this hexagram 'seed', spread the word? :: 46
32 :: (23) : How does this hexagram 'housekeep', clear chaff to bring out the wheat? :: 25
33 :: (27) : What is the basic, skelatal form of this hexagram, The mud from which it has emerged? :: 12
34 :: (04) : How does this hexagram learn social skills? :: 10
35 :: (41) : How does this hexagram achieve clarity, concentration, distillation? :: 6
36 :: (52) : How does this hexagram express blocking, discernment? :: 13
37 :: (22) : What does this hexagram look like, how does it present itself to the outside? :: 33
38 :: (18) : How does this hexagram correct corruption, express that correction? :: 1
39 :: (26) : How does this hexagram express 'holding firm' to traditions? :: 44
40 :: (35) : How does this hexagram bring something into the 'light'? :: 42
41 :: (21) : How does this hexagram resolve problems? :: 20
42 :: (64) : How does this hexagram remain 'open', mis-sequence? :: 61
43 :: (38) : How does this hexagram 'mirror', deal with opposition? :: 59
44 :: (56) : How does this hexagram demonstrate conditional loyalty; loyalty at a distance? :: 37
45 :: (30) : How does this hexagram express guidance/direction setting? :: 53
46 :: (50) : How does this hexagram express conversion of the raw to the cooked, transformation? :: 9
47 :: (14) : How does this hexagram manage from the centre? Direct operations? Push ideology? :: 57
48 :: (20) : How does this hexagram elicit admiration and so invigorate others passively? :: 21
49 :: (42) : How does this hexagram reflect augmentation? :: 35
50 :: (59) : How does this hexagram make things clear, dispell illusions? lift the fog? :: 38
51 :: (61) : How does this hexagram express empathy? yielding, soft core, hard exterior? :: 64
52 :: (53) : How does this hexagram express gradual development, maturity? :: 30
53 :: (37) : How does this hexagram reflect rigid structure as a form of tension release? :: 56
54 :: (57) : How does this hexagram cultivate and become influencial? :: 14
55 :: (09) : How does this hexagram express making small gains to be noticed? :: 50
56 :: (12) : How does this hexagram neutralise attacks on its core beliefs? :: 27
57 :: (25) : How does this hexagram stand up to say its piece, ignoring consequences, disentangle? :: 23
58 :: (06) : How does this hexagram compromise, meet half way? :: 41
59 :: (10) : How does this hexagram traverse a path carefully? :: 4
60 :: (33) : How does this hexagram draw-in its enemies, competitively entice? :: 22
61 :: (13) : How does this hexagram express association with the likeminded? :: 52
62 :: (44) : How does this hexagram persuade/seduce? :: 26
63 :: (01) : How does this hexagram express singlemindedness, competitiveness? :: 18
 

hilary

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Half a thought on Daddy's corpse. Carrying it worked supremely well for Wu and Kang, so why does Yi have it down, by and large, as a bad idea?

Freeman - the oracle originally advised against, and 'sometimes the oracle is wrong' - radical thought! Would that make the whole line a complex gesture along the lines of 'I say this is bad fortune, but you need to remember that I get it wrong'?

Another idea - it was right for Wu and Kang. But maybe lugging the ancestral precedent around (like this history, for instance) does not work for us, now, any more. We have battles of our own to fight.

I think I'm right in saying that the omen-word used here, xiong, doesn't appear on oracle bones, so it could be an accretion/ comment from some later diviner, maybe in the Warring States period when the Great Zhou Utopia had fallen apart altogether.
 

freemanc

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If I understand what Chris is doing, he's abstracting or universalizing from some layer(s?) of the Y, (and corrleating with I wot not what?). I'm flummoxed as usual, but the idea of 17 as "filling in an architecture" I find quite apt and aesthetically pleasing, and also (perhaps) possible to correlate with the germinal idea of "following = succession". Nice.

Another Chocolate Bunny for Hilary; I have Richard Kunst's disseratation (very battered; indeed, the binding is about to fall off) in my lap, and Clarity remembers clearly: *xiong* is not used in oracle bones.

I've geeked out a little with the shape of the distribution of omen words, and the smell they have is that they're random, but fake random, artist-random, like trees in a painting. Too comfortably flat, like when I distribute the correct answers in a multiple choice test by hand.

There's a trend to oppose neighbors, but there are trends to complete other kinds of patterns (agendas?) within a hexagram to make arcs.

Even RK says that there was a strong redactor, maybe around 800 BC who did extensive polishing and revision. I won't arm wrestle over the matter, but my feeling is that the strong writer/editor was not that late in the day, remembered the day of the Conquest vividly, or not more than a generation away. I can't substatiate that feeling very well, right now.

<blockquote><hr size=0><!-quote-!><font size=1>quote:</font>

Freeman - the oracle originally advised against, and 'sometimes the oracle is wrong' - radical thought! Would that make the whole line a complex gesture along the lines of 'I say this is bad fortune, but you need to remember that I get it wrong'?<!-/quote-!><hr size=0></blockquote>

YES, something like that, though I never phrased it so well. If we suppose that the oracle as we're playing with it was constructed a little later, with 20-20 hindsight, (I feel it was) and yet includes the record of one of its notable failures, I consider that rather a handsome and mature gesture. (Very like the Zhou, yes?)

with growing affection,

FC
 

hilary

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More chocolate?

You seem to know me disconcertingly well.

There are a few squillion places to approach the Yi from, like maths and archaeology and Jungian psychology and philosophy and (so on...) I'm very, very happy to find another person who starts from the world of lit crit.
 

lightofdarkness

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FC,

The ICPLus material focuses on the Y being a LOCAL expression of a UNIVERSAL form, a universal rooted in our neurology.

Mapping out the properties and methods of that universal form brings out elements either not covered or touched on 'vaguely' in the traditional (and so local) Y.

In this work we find that a property of self-referencing (recursion) is to encode the whole in each part - and so all 64 hexagrams are 'reflected' in each hexagram in the form of a 'genetic code' - IOW we map the 'IS-ness' of a hexagram working through another and the sum of all of that reflects the characteristics of the particular hexagram under analysis.

For example, hexagram 27 deals with, in general, the 'new' architecture of something, the mud or clay from which it was made. The Y warning is to be wary of what you take in when 'filling in' the architecture (this includes 'brain food').

What the focus on a universal finds is if you XOR 27 with ALL of the hexagrams you will bring out the unique characteristics of 27, the 27-ness for each hexagram. This method applies to ALL of the hexagrams.

E.g. for 27 XOR 01 we have

111111 (01)
100001 (27)
-----------
011110 (28)

What this 'says' is that the core architecture, the base structure, of 01 is described by analogy to the properties of hexagram 28 and deals with excess, too much yang.


For 17 we have:

100110 (17)
100001 (27)
-----------
000111 (12)

IOW the core architecture, the 27-ness, of 17 is described by making an analogy to qualities of 12.

For details see:

http://www.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/linemean.html

Chris.
 

freemanc

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Dad's Corpse: Literal? Figurative? Textual goof altogether? Another thread, I think.

Pentagram theory? Never heard of it. Another thread.

Thanks for the bit of a summary of the IC+, CL. Also another thread.

Lit Crit approach to Y: big nother thread.

Exclusive Or Operator: yet another thread.

Stories and Songs in Z: Yes, yes and yes. But I think that they're about the Zhou Conquest to a huge extent. Z was meant to be chanted, "rapped" so to speak, riffed and improvised on. To what extent was this liturgy, to what extent "based on" or "informed by" or just "formally resembling" liturgy? Not sure. Shaughnessy would be able to give a feel for that.

fondly,

FC
 

cal val

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Hi Hilary...

I have question I hope you don't mind answering. How did carrying King Wen's corpse into battle work well for King Wu? I haven't got that far in my history lesson yet. So far, my understanding is only that he pulled it off.

Hi Freeman...

Further to Hilary's comment that the oracle xiong hasn't been found on oracles bones but seems to have come into use later... the "double-header" divinations to which I initially referred weren't restricted to oracle bones either. They appeared on bronze vessels well into the early Zhou period and appear to have evolved over time.

Love,

Val
 

freemanc

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Hmmmm....And the "double headers" came to be subtilized, came to be embroidered into zig zagging effects from line to line.

Another slight thought relating to the mantic words (in the Z) is just a recurring impression that some of them were tweaked and twiddled a great deal, and quite late in the process.

I tend to imagine the anxiety of that early editor compiling these records into a "responsible" random casting oracle! I think of the "Sorceress", the early strong redactor, as very anxous, very concerned about transmitting this thing correctly. (This is imagining, of course.)

And then with time... what a vast, century-spanning series of projects of schematizing and systematizing would evolve from these simple zig zag motions!
 

hilary

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Wu and Wen's corpse - I've only read the same book you have. I don't feel the need for any further proof than that they won the battle. I don't think it's just reverence for ancestors at work, but the fact that you need their support and their intercession. You wouldn't expect to win a battle without their presence.
 

heylise

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Mail to Freeman Crouch. Did not send it, but post it here instead.

Your book arrived, but I had no time to really look into it. Just glimpses, and I loved what I saw! Carrying it with me every time I walk the dogs ? I sit and they run: the only moment when I have the quietness and time to read ? but I had to catch up on rest, so I have been sitting and (half) sleeping.
When I actually can say something, I will. For now, I only know that it is already one of my favorites, together with Marshall, Cordiglia (an Italian translation) and a few other translations, and then Kunst, Hertzer, and several others. But the last ones I have explored until they fell apart, and I have used every bit I could find. No need to carry them along anymore.

I love the kind of books which make me find nuggets, and yours certainly is. If I agree or not, is not at all important, even where I don?t, I still find those little glimmering things.

Thanks! A great new interesting field to explore!

LiSe
 

freemanc

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Wow.

LiSe's kind word means a great deal to me. Indeed, knowing LiSe's postings and studies, I appreciate that it means a great deal, period.

Thank you. I'm really treasuring this new phase in TCB's life, and the new ability to talk comfortably with people about it.

To LiSe and the other kind friends, I hope we walk in the glow of each other's majestic presence on Clarity's board for a good while to come.

warmly,

FC
 

pagan

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Hi Freeman,
How much does your book cost and where does one buy it?
 

heylise

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Go to his profile and click on www.chameleonbook.com
There you will find all the information. It is $20, plus shipping.
I am always surprised how cheap books are, so much work for so little money.. except when you want them all of course.

LiSe
 

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