Mar 25, 2008
T13.7 The Decision for Guiltlessness

Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.

We’re going to go right into the book tonight, and I’m going to back up two sentences:

The cost of giving IS receiving.1

You give, you receive.

Either it is a penalty from which you suffer, or the happy purchase of a treasure to hold dear.

So, how many of you collected suffering because you were unwilling to give, because it was so much more important to you to express a grievance? Because it was so much more important to you to get justice?

The cost of giving IS receiving.

There’s no alternative to it. You give, you receive. And you get what you ask for.

Now, we’ve been discussing something, perhaps a little difficult to swallow. We’ve been discussing that your reason for being, so to speak—that which motivates you—is guilt. Those of you this week, if you’ve been paying attention, who have received suffering because guilt is what you gave, because the demand for justice is what you gave, demonstrated how much you valued guilt and how completely reluctant you were to refuse to give it—to refuse to use guilt, to refuse to value it.

And you really have to become sober enough in your desire to wake up, to pay attention to what you’re giving, because what you give involves a cost. Perhaps an unusual way of putting it, but …

The cost of giving IS receiving. Either it is a penalty that you receive from which you suffer, or …

… the cost is …

… the happy purchase you receive of a treasure to hold dear.

When you give an acknowledgment of guiltlessness, of innocence, it costs you the right and the opportunity to receive, in exchange for it, suffering. But deeper than that, it costs you the ability to have built yourself up into something more important by virtue of your giving. It costs you the ability to be selfish, which is why you end up with the happy purchase of a treasure to hold dear. You see?

No penalty is ever asked of God’s Son except BY himself and OF himself. Every chance given him to heal is another opportunity to replace darkness with light and fear with love.

And since fear is the flip side of love, if fear is replaced with love, guilt is replaced with innocence. And every chance you get to heal is an opportunity to become free of fear and guilt.

Oh boy, don’t become too depressed as you find out how much you value guilt, how much you value applying it to others, how much you value applying it to yourself to provide yourself with the “git-go” to go for the carrot, to go for that which builds you up, that makes you better than you were, and makes you more respectable, makes you more important … ah-h, makes you more real—poor little orphan boy or girl that you are.

When you choose to shift to first gear, that costs you something. Because the only reason you shift to first gear is so that you might give, so that you might give acknowledgement to your Father that He is your Father and that you are not an orphan and that you want to share in your Father’s perspective, knowledge. Why? So that you might extend that conscious awareness of the holiness of Being to everything and everyone. But that costs you something. It costs you this stimulating experience of being a “nothing” attempting to become a “something.”

I do not mean to be somber here. Serious, maybe, but, at the bottom line, clear, so that there’s no misunderstanding. You are going to have to be willing to look at your compulsive fascination with the stimulation of suffering from lack, of suffering from not being whole, of suffering from not being real.

What if you are real? What if you are real and you don’t have to prove a thing in order to be real and have the respect that something that is real deserves? It’s going to take a dramatic shift of what? Perception! A willingness to see everything in a way that makes the use of guilt unnecessary—unnecessary to establishing peace and harmony, unnecessary to establishing worth, unnec-essary to deserving respect, unnecessary to being perfectly healthy.

No penalty is ever asked of God’s Son except BY himself …

You ask for penalty by demanding justice, by employing guilt. You ask for penalty by imagining that you’re an orphan and enjoying the stimulating experience of trying to become equal to One who is not an orphan.

No penalty is ever asked of God’s Son except BY himself and OF himself.

Well of course, because [chuckling] “Oh, my, I’m the all-important one. And my life is devoted to proving that I’m the all-important one not only to myself but to everyone else!” Everything must revolve around that. “I must create for myself a real identity.” And so, you ask for penalty. But …

Every chance given him …

… God’s Son …

… to heal is another opportunity to replace darkness with light and fear with love.

In other words, every chance given to you to heal is an opportunity to make a new decision, a decision for guiltlessness, which would …

… replace darkness with light and fear with love. If he …

… God’s Son …

… refuses it, he binds himself to darkness because he did not choose to free his brother, and enter light with him.

Who is it you’re going to extract penalty from if it’s not your brother? And if you are perverted enough to extract penalty from yourself, it is in all like-lihood that you are extracting penalty from yourself for appearance sake, to your brother or even God—penance.

If you refuse the opportunity to heal, you bind yourself to darkness because you did not choose to free your brother and enter light with him.

You can’t do it by yourself.

You did not get a bill of divorcement from your Father by yourself. You and someone else, you and a buddy, you and a girlfriend, so to speak, got divorces together. You mutually agreed to work together in a new and different way, different from what the Father had established. And in order to return home, you must give something to a brother. You must give the acknowledgement of the truth of him to him. And how do you do that? Not because you have that capacity within yourself, you poor little orphan boy or girl, but because you’re willing to abandon orphanhood and rejoin with your Father and ask, “What is the truth here?” “What is the gift of love that I can extend to my brother or sister?” “How do you, Father, see my brother or sister?”

You must join. You must become involved and you must withdraw any grievances you have, because grievances involve guilt and justice. And if they involve guilt and justice, you are valuing guilt and staying securely in second gear where learning cannot occur, where healing cannot occur.

By GIVING power to nothing, he …

… the one who did not take the opportunity to heal …

… he threw away the joyous opportunity to learn that nothing HAS no power.

Here again is that unusual use of the word, “nothing.”

… nothing HAS no power.

Nothingness. A little bit of nothing has no power. A whole lot of nothing has no power. Nothing has no power.

Again …

By GIVING power to nothing, he threw away the joyous opportunity to learn that nothing HAS no power. And by NOT dispelling darkness he became afraid of darkness AND of light.

“Oh-h…I’d rather do it my way. I want a bill of divorcement from you, Father. I want to be an orphan!” CLUNK! “Oh! I’m an orphan. What happened? Oh, suddenly I’m not comfortable. Suddenly I don’t feel secure. But I know I’ve got what it takes to reestablish my security and to reestablish my well-being. In fact that’s what I’m here for.”

But in the process, third gear came into play. Your Sanity that said, “Turn around,” “go back,” “you’re attempting to do something impossible,” did in-deed create uneasiness because it must be uncomfortable to try to do some-thing impossible. The impossibility of doing the impossible must register with you in some way. And that way is going to be a way that gets your attention. It’s going to be something you say, “I don’t like that! That doesn’t feel normal to me. That doesn’t feel right to me.” Because after all, as the Son or Daughter of God, you do know what feels right and you do know what doesn’t feel right.

And so, by not dispelling darkness when the opportunity to heal presented itself—the opportunity to shift gears so that you might look into your brother’s eyes and remember God—you …

… became afraid of darkness …

… you felt uncomfortable. It is a state of being that you don’t like …

… AND of light.

As we’ve talked about before, there is a fear to go Home because from the ego’s limited frame of reference and tiny mean-spirited nature, it expects punishment. It expects your Father, Whom you have denied and Whom you have attacked by virtue of your denial, is going to want vengeance on you. And so you become afraid of turning around and going Home, not realizing that your Father knows that it is impossible for you to do what is impossible and therefore you haven’t done what you believe you have done. And therefore, there is nothing to punish you for. There is only glad welcome awaiting you upon your return.

The joy of learning that darkness has no power over the Son of God is the happy lesson the Holy Spirit teaches, and would have YOU teach with Him. It is HIS joy to teach it, as it will be YOURS.

But you know what? You won’t even get to the point of having the happy lesson and of being able to pass it on if you are still bound to getting justice and if you still find it unreasonable to abandon your reaching for the carrot.

You see, you are convinced. Your teachers have convinced you that you are nothing becoming something, that you are an empty slate which can be filled, that you are a process of becoming instead of a Movement of Being—of Being that is, in Itself, whole—where Being is always a Movement of wholeness forever being complete without ever becoming something, without improving Itself. Like a kaleidoscope, you might say, which constantly changes, but what it changes to is not an improvement on “what was” and the reason for changing was not to become better than before—was not to gain anything—but, you might say, to be the marvel of beauty in living expression. That’s you [addressing everyone], that’s you, that’s you, that’s all of you.

If you’ll let that lesson in, it is a lesson of happiness that you will gladly pass on to your brother and sister and healing will be the result.

Again …

The joy of learning that darkness has no power over the Son of God is the happy lesson the Holy Spirit teaches and would have YOU teach with Him. It is HIS joy to teach it, as it will be YOURS.

Now, this is so important:

The way to teach this simple lesson is merely this: Guiltlessness IS invulnerability. Therefore, make your invulnerability manifest to everyone, and teach him that, WHATEVER he may try to do to you, your perfect freedom from the belief that you can be harmed shows him HE is guiltless.

Well, there’s where the rubber hits the road, as they say. How many of your brothers or sisters are you absolutely unwilling to show invulnerability to because it is your vulnerability and their violation of it that is your justifi-cation for having a grievance based upon which you are going to extract justice from your brother or sister? You see? Love that guilt! It gives you purpose. God, don’t make the mistake of letting them know that they didn’t hurt you at all, because then it will be obvious that they owe you nothing!

Well, listen to it again …

The joy of learning that darkness has no power over the Son of God is the happy lesson the Holy Spirit teaches and would have YOU teach with Him. It is HIS joy to teach it, as it will be YOURS.

The way to teach this simple lesson is merely this: Guiltlessness IS invulnerability. Therefore, make your invulnerability manifest to everyone, and teach him that, WHATEVER he may try to do to you, your perfect freedom from the belief that you can be harmed shows him HE is guiltless. He can do NOTHING that can hurt you, and by refusing to allow him to THINK he can, you teach him that the Atonement, which you have accepted for YOURSELF, is also HIS. There IS nothing to forgive. No-one can hurt the Son of God. His guilt is wholly without cause, and being without cause CANNOT exist.

Now, it’s difficult to read that when you’re holding a grievance about some-one, or many “someones,” because you’re looking at the someone whom you are convinced has hurt you and is in debt to you and must bring balance about by paying for whatever it is he’s guilty of. The focus is on him. But, let’s go back up here …

By GIVING power to nothing, he …

… the one presented with the opportunity to heal …

… threw away the joyous opportunity to learn that nothing HAS no power. And by NOT dispelling darkness he became afraid of darkness AND of light.

Now that’s talking about, we’ll say, you—the one who is unwilling to show himself to be invulnerable to someone against whom he has a grievance. By holding onto the grievance, you become afraid of darkness and of light. You stay firmly attached to third gear because you are so firmly holding onto your position in second gear. You are binding yourself by virtue of your refusal to consider the possibility that guilt in any form is an illusion. It is an imagi-nation that has no reality to it, and therefore your devotion to it and your committed call for justice, for getting even, is an insane act on your part that you have the capacity to free yourself from. You’re not just stuck with it.

You have the choice to abandon second gear. You have the choice to finally let go of the thrill of being an orphan trying to become a real boy or a real girl, and remember your Father. It’s really more like stopping denying your Father and re-embracing Him, because in the act of re-embracing your Father, you’re embracing who you Are—not as an orphan any longer, and therefore free of the call for justice because guilt is gone. And you’re able to see the Kingdom of Heaven through the eyes of love instead of through the eyes of guilt.

God is the ONLY Cause, and guilt is not of Him.

Actually, guilt is not of anyone or anything. Guilt is an imaginary experience experienced by an imaginary self—a self imagined and carried around in the mind of the Son of God who has chosen to deny his heritage and caused himself to suffer from the imaginary experience of being an orphan. That’s all.

God is the ONLY Cause, and guilt is not of Him. Teach no-one he …

… not God, but: Teach no-one that he—the one you’re speaking to—has hurt you …

Teach no-one he has hurt you, for if you do, you teach yourself that what is not of God HAS power over you. THE CAUSELESS CANNOT BE.

You see, what is not of God doesn’t exist. And what doesn’t exist cannot have power over you. Because that which does not exist, does not exist.

THE CAUSELESS CANNOT BE.

Remember, guilt, justice, becoming something, becoming somebody—all of this is nonsense, including the self that thinks it is becoming something. The self that’s going after the carrot doesn’t exist! 
Young girls go to movies and imagine themselves in the arms of the leading male actor in the movie, and they almost swoon with real physical sensations from the experience of pure imagination. Continuing:

Do not attest to it…

… that what is not of God has power over you.

Do not attest to it, and do not foster belief in it in any mind. Remember always that MIND is one and CAUSE is one. You will learn communication with this oneness ONLY when you learn to DENY the causeless, and accept the Cause of God as YOURS.

This is a very important promise! Listen …

You will learn communication with this oneness ONLY when you learn to DENY the causeless, and accept the Cause of God as YOURS.

You’ve got to learn to deny the causeless—the orphan mindset. The orphan mindset, and you as the orphan are causeless. They do not have a cause and they do not actually exist, although they can be imagined. And one can fairly swoon from the experience of being a causeless presence. But it’s all foolishness! And I want to point out that because it’s foolishness—nonsense—there cannot be punishment awaiting you when you abandon it. There will be the dissonance of the Sanity of your Being telling you that you’re trying to do the impossible … and can’t. But that’s not punishment. That’s straight-forward, bottom-line clarity that’s being provided to you so that you might return directly Home in the most simple way. 
Now listen to this …

The power that God has given to His Son IS his…

… is the Son’s …

… and nothing else can His Son see or choose to look upon without imposing on himself the penalty of guilt IN PLACE of all the happy teaching the Holy Spirit would gladly offer him.

Again, here’s the ultimate truth about you, right now.

The power that God has given to His Son …

… you …

… IS his…

… is yours …

… and nothing else can His Son see or choose to look upon …

… see nothing else can his Son see or choose to look upon …

… without imposing on himself the penalty of guilt …

What does that mean?

… nothing else can His Son see or choose to look upon …

Well, that refers to your getting a bill of divorcement from your Father and saying, “But Father, I’d rather see it my way. And I would rather define what everything is. And I would rather define everything as means by which, through their use, I can become credible and important and wealthy and respected and valid.” You see?

And so, his Son chooses something else but what the Father is Being, and what the Son really is, to look upon, and imposes on himself the penalty of guilt.

How is that? Because he said, “I imagine that I have a place where I can think for myself. I imagine that there is a place and a way for me to be. A place for me to be and a way for me to be on my own.” That’s second gear. Of course, the moment second gear seemed to be viable, third gear was rightthere with it.

… nothing else can His Son see or choose to look upon without imposing on himself the penalty of guilt …

Boy, third gear is there right away the moment second gear is secured as a place to be from. Again …

The power that God has given to His Son IS his, and nothing else can His Son see or choose to look upon without imposing on himself the penalty of guilt IN PLACE of all the happy teaching the Holy Spirit would gladly offer him.

And again, for simple clarity, what is the Holy Spirit? Nothing more than your right Mind. When you said, “Father I would rather see things my way,” you abandoned the wholeness of your mind. You began to use your mind in a way that was foreign to it, and ignored everything that was familiar and true.

And so, all the rest of your mind that you’re now ignoring by virtue of using a small part of your mind to be very utterly original, all by yourself, awaits you, awaits your return to its embrace. And it is what the Holy Spirit is.

So …

The power that God has given to His Son IS his, and nothing else can His Son see or choose to look upon without imposing on himself the penalty of guilt IN PLACE of all the happy teaching the Holy Spirit …

… that which is nothing more than his right Mind …

… would gladly offer him.

Whenever you decide to make decisions for yourself, you are thinking destructively, and the decision WILL be wrong.

It’s a very strong statement.

Whenever …

… nothing wishy-washy about that word.

Whenever you decide to make decisions for yourself…

… in other words, in that independent place called second gear …

… you are thinking destructively, and the decision WILL be wrong.

Why are you thinking destructively? Because you’re thinking at odds with the truth about yourself, you are thinking through the lens of being an orphan, which you are not. You are thinking through the lens of tininess, when you are Infinite. And absolutely everything you think from second gear is destructive.

Destructive to what? Destructive to your peace. Destructive to your experience of your Birthright. Destructive to your guiltlessness. Destructive to your innocence. It destroys your capacity, temporarily, to know the truth about yourself and experience it without hindrance.

Now I know you want to say, “Well, this is all well and good, but if the Course says to me that all of my thinking, when I’m making decisions for myself, by myself, is destructive, then how can I possibly function in today’s world?

It’s a nice theoretical question, and I could probably give you ten thousand years of theoretical answers. What I’m going to suggest is something more practical. I’m going to suggest that you pay attention to the times in which your best thinking has not turned out well. And without intending to hang crepe in any way to sound bleak, everyone is going to find making ones own decisions more and more unsatisfying, because there is a movement of Awakening. And the satisfaction that used to be gained from making good independent decisions is going to diminish.

I’m asking you to pay attention, so that you might let a little bit of unsatisfactory results from making decisions by yourself. I’m going to encourage you to let that be enough to begin to conscientiously abandon thinking right in the thick of things when thinking seems to be called for—and your habit will tell you exactly how to do it—and instead ask, “Father what needs to be known here? Father, I am willing to assume that I have no idea whatsoever as to what the right answer is, what will fulfill purpose, what will identify truth, what will constitute bringing light into the picture, what will result in healing, and so, right in the thick of it here, when an answer is truly needed—urgently needed—I’m going to listen, and I’m not going to interfere with the answer, by imagining one all by myself.”

Begin to practice doing this on purpose, with diligence. Because this is the only way you’re going to break the habit of trying to function successfully in third gear, unconscious of who you are, what you’re Birthright is, how everything works, and the glory of it.

I’m going to read the sentence again, because it is important.

Whenever you decide to make decisions for yourself, you are thinking destructively, and the decision WILL be wrong. It will hurt you because of the concept of decision which led to it.

The concept of a decision, meaning, that the decider was not the Son of God, that the decider was an orphan, that the decider was a little hunk of flesh born from physical actions that exists as a fluke of nature. That’s the concept of decision.

Whenever you decide to make decisions for yourself, you are thinking destructively, and the decision WILL be wrong. It will hurt you because of the concept of decision which led to it.

You could say, the concept of the decider that led you to the decision. It is not true … .

It is not true that you can make decisions BY yourself or FOR yourself alone.

All alone in second gear, that little place of innocence between the Voice for Truth and the voice for fear, in which you can sort of be untouched with any call for decisive self-identification, I’m going to put it that way. You can be a sort of non-descript blah presence who never has to state his position, who never stands with the Voice for Truth and never stands, ultimately, for the voice for fear, but stands in between in that little safety zone.

It’s not really safe because it’s inseparable from the Voice for Truth and the voice for fear. But you hold out for that. “Oh, if I side with the Voice for Truth, if I claim the Voice for Truth for myself, I’m bound to make waves. I’m bound to lose respect of a lot of people—respect that I as an orphan have built up carefully and even at times viciously, and that’s why I am where I am today.” Of course, you don’t mean that’s why you’re in second gear today instead of at Home in first gear, but you say, “That’s why I’m here today, and if I side with the Voice for Truth, that’s going to cost me everything I’ve gained as this helpless little orphan who so skillfully has managed to gain the respect of everyone, so that now I can feel that I’m real.” You see?

It is not true that you can make decisions BY yourself or FOR yourself alone. No thought of God’s Son CAN be separate or isolated in its effects.

Remember, you cannot have a private thought.

Every decision is made for the WHOLE Sonship, directed in and out, and influencing a constellation larger than anything you ever dreamed of. Those who accept the Atonement …

… in other words, those of your Brothers and Sisters who are Awake …

… ARE invulnerable.

In other words, if you are making bad decisions, if you are deciding to use and value guilt, and if you are deciding to try to make your brother suffer to pay a penalty for violating you, it’s not going to bother those who are Awake. They’re going to see you accomplishing nothing, because you’re doing it from a place of no power.

Those who accept the Atonement ARE invulnerable. But …

… and this is what you must remember …

… those who believe they are guilty …

… the others of your brothers and sisters who also think that they’re in second gear and think that’s all there is …

… those who believe they are guilty WILL respond to guilt, because they think it is salvation,

… just as you do …

… and will not refuse to see it and side with it.

You see, what the Course is saying and what I’m encouraging you to do, is to look at guilt, we’ll say, and refuse to see it and refuse to side with it. You must arrive at a point of being willing to say, “I see that it’s pure imagination, and nothing valuable or valid can be arrived at through its use.”

You must be willing to begin to see how you do validate guilt in what you think are most positive ways, so that you, in the discovery that guilt is illusory, will be willing to set aside your use of it.

… those who believe they are guilty WILL respond to guilt…

… and this is why, because there are no private thoughts, you must begin to act responsibly and stop employing guilt, because those who likewise believe they are guilty will respond to guilt …

… because they think it is salvation, and will not refuse to see it and side with it. And they will fail to understand the simple fact that what they do not want MUST hurt them.

No one wants to experience something that isn’t real. No one wants to experience something that doesn’t exist. In practical everyday terms, people who believe that something exists that doesn’t exist are in insane asylums. No one wants to believe that something exists that doesn’t exist.

Now, what do you not want? If you do not want to believe in something that doesn’t exist, then you don’t want to believe in guilt. Again, if you don’t want to believe in something that doesn’t exist, you don’t want to believe in guilt.

If you do want to believe in something that doesn’t exist, you will believe in guilt, and you will hurt from it. If you want to be in second gear, third gear will be in your experience and it will hurt. It will be uncomfortable. Not because it’s really the presence of evil or the presence of a real thing called guilt, or anything associated with the mindset out of which guilt arose, but because your Sanity came into play immediately upon your getting your so-called divorce and taking up residence in second gear and said, “You cannot do this and be comfortable!”

Do you hear that? Guilt and fear, which are two sides of a coin, inseparable from each other, are really your misperception of your inherent Sanity, your divine Sanity, saying, “You cannot do the impossible. Stop trying to be at odds with your Self. Stop trying to initiate a state of conflict in the midst of that which is indivisibly One—your Self, which is God making Himself known.”

Again, just for clarity …

But those who believe they are guilty WILL respond to guilt, because they think it is salvation, and will not refuse to see it and side with it. And they will fail to understand the simple fact that what they do not want MUST hurt them.

And what they do not want is the thing they happen to be valuing the most at the moment, guilt and its employment, even though it is a valuing of something that doesn’t exist.

Now …

… they will fail to understand the simple fact that what they do not want MUST hurt them.

All this arises because they do not believe that what they want is GOOD.

Let’s be clear on this. What do you want? You want to experience what is real as Real. Why else would you want to be a real boy or a real girl? You want to experience what is real as Real. But the only thing is that in order to experience what is real as Real you must let everything fall back into perspective in the context of their existence. And the context of their existence is that they are not separate entities existing on their own, but inseparable aspects of the Infinite Mind of God.

Those who are valuing guilt don’t realize or don’t believe that what they want—which is what I’ve described—is good. Why? Because they look at it, you look at it, through the lens of guilt and you see a penalty forthcoming if you re-embrace your Father whom you have denied, whom you think you have insulted by claiming not to be His Son or Daughter, His Offspring, His Creation. All of which is pure nonsense.

So …

All this arises because they …

… you …

… do not believe that what they …

… you …

… want is GOOD.

Through the lens of guilt you can believe that God is a wrathful God. And that He, based upon your sins, will cast you in hell for eternity for what you have done, how you have insulted Him by debasing yourself through senseless imaginations. You see how crazy it can get?

All this arises because they …

… you …

… do not believe that what they …

… you …

… want is GOOD.

Please, although what is being shared is stark, perhaps, so matter of fact that it might seem unpleasant, or it might seem as you look at it through your current lenses of guilt, that all of what’s being said has to mean that you’ve really been doing something wrong, and that therefore, there is an axe that is going to fall—an unavoidable falling of an axe. In spite of that spontaneous misperception or hm-m sort of negative feeling you’re getting, I want you to ignore the negative feeling and dare to explore what’s been said with curiosity, with happy curiosity. Because whatever affects you negatively about what has been said, is just the truth joggling the status quo of your very definite beliefs, all of which are associated with being an orphan in second gear.

Why? Not so that you can feel bad, but so that you might have the courage and even the good humor to look at shifting back to first gear. Because that which is nothing more than your right Mind, the Holy Spirit, is waiting, I would say, eagerly to share with you the happy news of healing for your brother and therefore yourself. And your Sanity, which has never been altered, sits actively in place, you might say, being you in your Perfection. And whatever wonderful bit of intent to explore the truth you bring to this process, will be met with joy, not punishment. Not punishment.

Now remember this: Guilt is an imagination. All of the thinking around justice and guilt and vulnerability are imaginary and do not require you to deal with them or protect them or utilize them before you can dare to think about shifting back to first gear. And you will not be being irresponsible or neglecting anything actual if you just happen to disregard the calls for justice that present themselves to you. Just disregard them and go do something else. Be light about the way you let go of what might seem to be the heaviness of guilt. Make new decisions with lightness and anticipation of joy.

I look forward to being with you next week.

  1. T13.7 The Decision for Guiltlessness ↩︎

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