The Dialogues of G. de Purucker

KTMG Papers: Seven

Meeting of February 26, 1930

G. de P. — Will you please come to order? Has anyone any business this evening?

The Secretary — Yes, I have something interesting to mention. In 1924 Katherine Tingley started a series of what were then called L. of L. [Lodge of Light] Meetings, first with a few members, and later others were added. And in looking over some of the papers of these meetings, I found a particularly interesting statement made by Katherine Tingley on March 13, 1924, at one of these meetings, and it is of interest to this group I thought because she speaks about the lectures that Professor de Purucker was giving at that time, and which are now going to be published in his book called Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy — which this Katherine Tingley Memorial Group is trying to have published. I thought that I would read one part of it. KT said: "Remember that you are speaking as though you had the listening ears of every esoteric member throughout the world, and that ultimately all this will be printed, and will be kept for later generations."

In another place she says to the members: "Remember that not only all that the Professor says will ultimately be printed in a book after it has been edited, but all that you members say will be passed on to the different centers where there are esoteric bodies."

In another place — this has nothing to do with the other quotations, but it is very interesting in view of what has since taken place: "Knowing the devotion that Professor de Purucker has always had for these studies, etc., I was very sure that no matter what might happen to me, I could so arrange it that he could carry on these lessons." Of course as ES members we can clearly see what that meant.

That is all.

G. de P. — I am ready to answer any questions now.

Student — You once stated, if I understood you correctly, that the passage of Orpheus through the Underworld was in fact an experience or stage on the path of initiation, but that in looking back at Eurydice he allowed a personal feeling to master him and thus failed.

How then, did he become the great spiritual teacher that accounts of his powers lead us to believe he must have been? Did he try again and succeed — this later trial and success being unrecorded? Or what?

G. de P. — The tale of Orpheus going to the underworld to rescue Eurydice symbolizes a very beautiful and very deep fact in the initiatory training of disciples, the fact that if one goes ahead to the very end — and indeed there is no end — to put it otherwise, the fact that if one goes ahead with the face constantly forwards, one is safe. But turning and looking at the life and pathway over which one has come, as one might turn and look at the stretch of land behind one over which one has journeyed, is a very dangerous thing to do, because the very act of turning, the curiosity drawing one back to material things, shows that full attainment has not been reached. It is precisely this hunger or longing for the things of the human heart, beautiful as they may seem to us human beings, which prevents one reaching the higher grades, the higher stages, of awakening, and the receiving of light — and this is initiation.

Now I would not like to say that the great sage known to the Greeks and to us as Orpheus ever went through such an experience as the myth sets forth. The myth is a symbolic rendering of the esoteric fact — and my own interpretation of it is subject to correction by a larger experience which of course I shall receive in future years — my own present interpretation of this beautiful myth is that the name of the great Greek sage was used in order to carry weight (for he was greatly revered in the early days of Greece), in pointing the moral of the story, and in instilling into the minds of the initiants the very obvious fact that higher than the human relations of husband and wife — Orpheus and Eurydice — there must be self-control, impersonality. Merely placing this fact as the ground of a beautiful tale of self-control and self-forgetfulness taught the necessary ethical lesson of impersonality and prudence; because obviously it was the human love, according to this tale, which led Orpheus to look back upon the face of the woman whom he so dearly loved and whom he was leading out of Hades into the upper world, and which caused him to lose her. The idea is that first of all in esoteric training comes self-control, self-understanding, an inflexible will to do the right thing. And indeed without these even marriage itself is a mockery.

Student — Were Lao-Tse and Confucius messengers in the sense that our theosophical teachers are?

G. de P. — Yes, generally speaking they were; Lao-Tse in particular. He was a great sage, one of the greatest and noblest in Chinese history. Practically nothing is known of his life. There are few legends remaining about him, scarcely aught except a few vague and rather fugitive thoughts. He is supposed to have lived in about the sixth or seventh century BC, to have passed all his time in a certain kingdom of China, to have lived quietly his entire existence in this particular kingdom, to have taught mostly by means of paradoxes; and the following and influence that he had were very large. The only certain fact that is known of him is that at an advanced age he traveled westwards towards Tibet, and at the frontiers of the Tibetan-Chinese territories he disappeared and was heard of no more. Of course it is simply a case of one of the messengers of the Lodge returning Home, but doing so only when his life work was completed, and in this case doing so openly.

Personally I am very fond of the sayings of Lao-Tse. To me they are full of profound wisdom. He was a paradoxical philosopher. He would say in substance for instance that Tao — an expression which is almost inexplicable in English, meaning somewhat what the theosophist means when he speaks of Parabrahman — "Tao is endless, Tao is the minutest of the minute, Tao is quiet and peace, and yet everything comes from Tao. Tao is endless, Tao is beginningless, and yet is the beginning of all things." These are paradoxes of that type which you can understand immediately when you have the theosophical teachings which thus become a key.

I may add that Confucius was a pragmatical philosopher, and although his reputation in China is perhaps today greater than that of Lao-Tse, this is very easily understood when you remember the matter-of-fact and pragmatical Chinese mentality. On the whole, though, it may be said that the teachings of Lao-Tse have made a deeper spiritual impression on China than have even the nationally popular teachings of Confucius.

"In inaction," said Lao-Tse, "are the roots of achievement." "In action," said Lao-Tse, "a man wastes his strength and achieves naught. In inaction all is achieved, for strength is conserved. Thus also does Tao."

I am here giving in substance some of the sayings of Lao-Tse, and not word for word.

Student — What are our relations and interrelations with our fellow human beings?

G. de P. — This is a very broad question indeed. It deals with all possible phases of human existence. What are our relations and interrelations with human beings? We are related to each other on spiritual and intellectual lines, psychical lines, and astral and vital lines, and physical lines. We are related by our diseases; we are related as fellow members of a common civilization, indeed of a common human brotherhood. The life forces which flow in any one human being pass to other human beings, and come from other human beings to any one human being. We are bound together by unbreakable bonds, not merely of destiny but of actual energy operating constantly, continuously, and operating among us as a human host from the very beginnings of time — which is a perfectly vague and indefinite way of speaking, and deliberately so chosen — in other words, from a time so far back that ordinary human history does not know its beginning.

We shall be so related in the future as we all evolve and grow until, and after, the time when we shall become gods. Then we shall be a spiritual host of dhyan-chohans, and we shall continue working together, each one of us human beings ultimately becoming a star, a blazing and glorious sun in the cosmic spaces, and such a collection of suns will form a universe. You who have ears to hear, hear.

Student — How deep or far-reaching is the influence that we have on each other?

G. de P. — I think that question has already been answered. This influence goes to the very roots of our being, from the spiritual to the physical, and in time it prevails from the eternity of the past to the eternity of the future.

Student — You have often spoken to us of the various influences of the moon when it is waxing and when it is waning. In regard to this may I ask if there is any influence one way or the other at the time of an eclipse?

G. de P. — This is a most extraordinary question. There is, indeed, such an influence, and it is a very intimate one, not connected with the life of a globe merely, but with the life of humanity. I will not answer this question fully. I will say only that an eclipse of either the sun or of the moon is very closely connected with the circulations of the cosmos, and represents, or is in actual fact, the time of the transference of life energies from one celestial body to another celestial body.

Student — What effect will this have on the great initiations that take place about Easter time, as I understand there will be a partial eclipse of the moon during or about that time in this year. There will also be a partial eclipse of the sun during that same month.

G. de P. — I did not know of any eclipse of either sun or moon taking place at Easter time in this year. I believe, however, that there is an eclipse of the sun within a week of Easter, but that is not at Easter.

I will say the following in answer to this question, and I will transfer the date from Easter to the winter solstice about which I have spoken on other occasions with some definiteness of outline and in some detail. The successful initiation of a Christ — using the word as a general term — or of a buddha, takes place at the time of the winter solstice, and takes place only when there is an eclipse of the sun on that day, or night of course — and this is a very important observation to make, and if you can understand it you will receive your own reward — when sun, moon, and earth, are in syzygy, that is to say in one straight line.

Student — Will you please tell us something about the causes of earthquakes and the consequences of them?

G. de P. — If I did, I would tell you something which would be considered very unscientific today, and which nevertheless is a fact in natural being. Earthquakes, of course, are karmic results. The instrumental cause of earthquakes — leaving aside the originating cause — the instrumental and material causes of earthquakes are certain positions of the earth in connection with the sun and moon; and three of the planets in particular are connected with the occurrence of earthquakes. These planets are Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury; to these should be added the powerful influence of the Moon and the Sun.

Earthquakes are electromagnetic phenomena. The originating cause is not the slipping of the strata of the earth nor the movement of rock upon rock. These movements occur, but they are the effects or results of the breaking — if I may so express it — of the electromagnetic tension. To put it in another way, these movements represent the discharge of a current. Do you understand me? Earthquakes are merely a phenomenon accompanying electromagnetic adjustments in the earth. Is that thought clear to you?

Many Voices — Yes.

G. de P. — And as the forces involved are deep-seated and enormous, their results of course are widespread and enormous in effect. In some countries earthquakes cause gaping chasms to open in the earth. I have been told that at the time of the earthquake in San Francisco in 1906, a certain section of a highroad was shifted bodily, I forget how many feet, six or ten feet, I believe.

But all these earth movements, earthquakes in other words, the quaking of the earth, the shaking of the earth, the chasms in the earth, the cracking of the earth's crust, the moving of rock over rock, are merely results of the breaking of the electromagnetic tension.

Student — May I ask something about earthquakes? Mr. Judge says something about the earth becoming suddenly fluid for a moment and great waves appearing.

G. de P. — Yes.

Student — I have heard that people who have been in great earthquakes have seen these extraordinary waves, like the shaking of a carpet, not at all like our familiar, supposedly unmovable ground. But there is one thing I would like to ask: he says that great souls are born when there is an earthquake. That has always been a great difficulty to understand, because the scientists tell us that there are about a thousand or more earthquakes every year, many more than one a day — slight tremors — not large ones, but slight waves. Was Judge referring to something special, or did he refer to something esoteric? My specific question is about the great souls being born.

G. de P. — I may answer that you are right. I myself have seen the earth moving in waves. I was in San Diego County once, at a place not ten miles from San Diego, when I was quite a young man. I was at the time on the ranch of a friend, and was picking some raisins from a tray in a grape field or vineyard, when I suddenly heard this menacing, rolling, thunderous sound. I could not at once locate the sound, but I knew that it meant an earthquake. In a second or two afterwards, I could see the earth rolling like the waves of an ocean towards me; and the strange thing was, when it passed under me, I felt the quiver and the quake, but I did not feel the rolling motion, although I knew that the wave was passing under my feet.

Now it is true that there are many thousands of earthquakes a year; and, as a matter of fact, my own opinion, my own feeling, is that earthquakes are occurring all the time in some part of the world. The earth is in a constant state of tremor. It is only the larger and more violent quakes that we human beings with our imperfectly developed and gross senses take any cognizance of.

Furthermore, I will go a little farther into the cause of earthquakes. The cause of earthquakes is of course astral, which is but another way of saying that they reflect spiritual energies and movements which express themselves in the astral and physical worlds as tensions and the breaking of tensions. Furthermore, earthquakes do not occur merely when some great soul is born, but often also when some great soul dies — for death is another kind of birth. All this is very unscientific, but of course that fact does not matter to the value of a bean. Many things today are accepted scientific facts which even so short a time as fifteen or twenty years ago would have been violent scientific heresies — superstitious beliefs they would have been called.

Every time when a child is born, there is a quake, but usually it is so small, so slight, that it of course passes entirely unfelt. No great soul can pass out of life — that is into the larger life, which is a birth — without the earth feeling it sympathetically. There is a rupture of a great spiritual force in this case, and the earth reacts either with a storm or with an earthquake, and sometimes both. In other words, death is an electromagnetic phenomenon and it is accompanied with electromagnetic phenomena. This is esotericism, of course, which after all is only a description of the truths of natural being.

But I can imagine how a modern physical scientist would look upon statements of this kind. I tell you that there is more truth in some of the popular legends of the barbarous peoples than there is in most of the textbooks of the academies of our most civilized countries. The reason is that these so-called barbarous peoples are the decrepit and degenerate representatives today of once wise and mighty ancestors, and they have kept a memory, or have kept recollections in the form of myth and legend, of this scientific knowledge of their once mighty forefathers.

Student — What are those little ripples of shadow that occur for a second or two when an eclipse of the sun is occurring? I forget the scientific name.

G. de P. — I know what you mean. I think the scientists call them shadowbands. I think that these are due to a movement of the air, which in its action is caused by the same type of electromagnetic adjustments of which I have already spoken. The earth quivers slightly, the motion is communicated to the atmosphere, which of course manifests the communicated motion in the quivering and causes the shadowbands, or whatever their name is. I have not really given the matter much thought. It is not of importance. But I think that what I have said is actually the true explanation.

Student — We study a good deal about the law of gravitation, and the motions of the planets in their orbits. But is it actually that these laws are governing the physical globes, or are these laws governing the astral globes around which the physical are built? Otherwise, what is it that keeps the Earth rotating, or pursuing its course along its orbit?

G. de P. — You were speaking of gravitation, were you not, a moment ago?

Student — Yes, gravitation or any of these forces that keep these globes going.

G. de P. — Is it your opinion that gravitation has anything to do with the rotation of these globes?

Student — I think it may have something to do with it.

G. de P. — Well, please frame your question clearly, get a clear-cut idea, because you have asked a question which is not clear, and which involves a number of other questions; and in order to do justice to your splendid mind, I want to give you a definite answer, if I can. You see, you have spoken of gravitation, rotation, of forces of nature, and your question is not clear because it is involved.

Student — What I meant to ask is this: are these laws which govern the motions of the planets around the sun and around their own axes, actually governing the physical globes, or the astral globes around which the physical globes are built?

G. de P. — The astral globes. The physical body of both earth and man, which is as much as saying of every celestial body, is but the illusory effect of astral forces. The real physical man — using the word physical in a general sense — is the astral man. The astral is only a little less material than the physical, and the physical is merely the lees or dregs of the astral, if you understand me; just as wine has lees, or dirty water has a deposit. Do you understand what I am trying to explain?

Student — Yes.

G. de P. — Therefore the answer comes immediately: it is the astral body which is the responsive seat of the forces playing upon any body, whether it be man, or celestial body, or beast, or tree, or even chemical atoms. Do you understand? I may add that so far as our solar system is concerned, it is in the sun that originate all the forces that play so marvelously upon the astral bodies of the various celestial physical bodies, which of course, being the mere veils or garments of the astral, copy instantaneously whatever the astral undergoes. You understand that, do you not?

Student — Yes, I do. Thank you.

Student — There are thousands of people killed in these earthquakes. Is that their karma for wrong action, wrong thought?

G. de P. — Certainly it is. Do you think that they would be killed by chance?

Student — No.

G. de P. — If they are not killed by chance they are killed by law — what you may call cause and effect.

Student — Then the earthquake must be caused by karmic adjusters?

G. de P. — Certainly. Do you understand what these karmic adjusters are?

Student — I understand what The Secret Doctrine says about it.

G. de P. — What does it say about it?

Student — That they are the maharajas of the four corners of the earth, I believe.

G. de P. — The four corners of space. The karmic adjusters are actually the celestial bodies, the instruments of karma, and it is upon this truth that reposes the true meaning of the ancient astrology. Earthquakes are merely reflections on earth — and this is in addition to all that I have said before, not in contradiction — earthquakes are merely the reflections on earth of karmic adjustments brought about through the instrumentality of the celestial bodies. Just exactly as in our own human life, our karma comes to us usually by means of or through the instrumentality of other human beings — whether for our weal or for our woe — because we have put ourselves by past acts and thoughts and emotions in such karmic condition that we are there at the particular point, when whatever it is occurs, receiving then and there what men call good or what men call ill, good fortune or bad fortune.

Please understand that karma is not something outside. It is proper to speak of the law of karma, of course. But a law is usually supposed to be a course of nature, acting consistently always in the same direction and in the same manner in identic circumstances or closely similar circumstances; in other words an invariable course of nature's operations. But that obviously means that karma is in nature, it is not something outside of it. Your karma is not outside of you. You are your own karma. Try to understand this. We affect each other because our vital relations together — the vital bonds binding us together — are altered from instant to instant, and from year to year, and from life to life, by the thoughts we think and the acts we do and the emotions that we feel.

This is a very deep subject indeed. I don't know whether I have made the general drift of the thought clear. Have I or have I not?

Student — Yes, thank you.

Student — If we are ready to change the subject: we have some cases in the School of ambidexterity among the children. Could you tell us something of the cause and of the proper training of an ambidextrous child?

G. de P. — Left-handedness or double-handedness?

Student — Double-handedness.

G. de P. — Well, of course, physical left-handedness which is half of ambidexterity, just as right-handedness is half of ambidexterity, are karmic results like everything else, and either of these depends upon the flow-magnitude of the pranas in the body. I believe myself, although this is a question to which I have not given much thought, but answering immediately and off-hand, extempore as the saying goes, that if we could trace the exact condition of the organs of the body, and the state of the various lobes of the brain, we should find that there is a difference in these matters as between right-handed people and left-handed people. Not that either is superior to the other, although right-handedness is the norm, is the rule.

Now I am not certain myself that ambidexterity is an altogether good thing to cultivate. I have heard many people say: "I think it would be splendid to make my child ambidextrous, able to write with either hand." But I wonder; I am not so sure. If nature had considered ambidexterity the better, I have an opinion that ambidexterity would be the natural or normal thing, and either right-handedness or left-handedness would be abnormal. Nature follows always the lines of least resistance.

It may be that for some particular individuals, ambidexterity would be useful in a material way. But I think that cultivation of ambidexterity might lead to too much attention being given to matters of the body. The whole of esoteric training, which is the finer part of life, is an attempt to lead human attention away from the body as much as can properly be done towards the things that clarify human life, make it grand and splendid; in other words, towards the things of the spirit, the things of the intellect, the things of the heart.

Student — Can you tell us what is the difference between right and left?

G. de P. — I think I understand the question, but it is rather vague. Just what do you mean by the difference between right and left?

Student — I have never been able to find any definition of what right and left are. If you look in the dictionary they tell you right is not left and left is not right, which is no explanation. I have often wondered what the real difference between right and left is.

G. de P. — Well, I can give this answer. It is customary to call right the norm in natural function: a right-handed man, a right-minded man, meaning that which is nature's rule, acting in accordance with which means harmony, acting in opposition to which as a rule brings trouble.

We speak of the right-hand path and the left-hand path. This is a phrase meaning that the right-hand path is the path of the normal action of nature: working with nature and not contrary to the set or general direction of her current of evolution; acting contrary to which is called the left-hand path. Now this does not mean that left-handed people are on the left-hand path. Please understand that, because nature does not bring human beings into life destining one to the right-hand path and the other to the left-hand path. It is the individual himself or herself who makes or who takes the right-hand path or the left-hand path; and as I have before stated, left-handedness is a peculiar karmic result of some obscure psychological and therefore physically organic condition.

I do not know that left-handedness has any particular significance; nevertheless, if our anatomists were clever enough and had the opportunity I doubt not personally that they would find a difference in the anatomical structure between right-handed and left-handed people; although the difference might be apparently small between the right-handed person and the left-handed person. As to right and left, it is like saying before and behind, and up and down — in all cases referring to directions in space.

I suppose that if human beings were born ambidextrous — if that condition were the norm — we would not use the words right and left at all. I hope that you get the drift of my rather labored answer to the question. It is rather an abstract one, and I have tried to make it as concrete as I can.

Is there any other question?

Student — Could I have a further explanation of Mme. Blavatsky's statement about no Master of Wisdom coming till the end of the century?

G. de P. — Well, it is in the Book of Rules which was sent out by HPB. I can tell you this: that a Master of Wisdom will not come during the last quarter of this century, but of course a messenger will come. And I will tell you more: that the Lodge is sending out messengers into the world virtually all the time. By that I do not mean every day, but I mean when one messenger has finished his work, another messenger will come if the call has been made, and if the link has been kept unbroken. If it is broken, no messenger will come until the next century comes around and the last quarter of it begins. Then as a rule the new messenger comes from the Lodge to forge a new link.

Now it is these things that HPB had in mind, and it is this that one branch of the theosophical movement, I believe, refers to when they say that there has been no messenger since HPB and Judge. Now that is not true. It gives the idea that the Lodge was beaten in its struggle to carry spiritual light into the world; that the spiritual forces have stopped flowing so far as the world is concerned; that the world is left to do the best it can with the feeble light emanating from theosophical books. The Lodge does not work in that way. It is working among men all the time, although it is true, on the other hand, that at the end of every century, a new effort, or an especial effort, is made to instill spiritual principles and thought into men's minds.

If the link is broken after I am gone none will appear again until the last quarter of the century comes. Hitherto your hearts, your minds, have been true and devoted enough to keep at least the link unbroken. The golden chain of communication, the golden thread of spiritual union, has not been snapped, and that is saying a great deal, I can tell you. Study the words of HPB in the Book of Rules. Try to understand them. They are well worth it.

Is this answer responsive, at least in a general way, to your question?

Student — Not exactly. I did not mean to lay weight on that one statement or anything that was said about it. This is what puzzles me: how can anyone make any statement about what will happen in the future when the future does not exist until it becomes the present — that is, as far as I can see.

G. de P. — But it does. The future does exist in the present because the present is its parent, its cause.

Student — Well, in that case, could not people argue that the future is already planned, so what is the use of making special efforts?

G. de P. — No. You are touching upon the question of destiny and fate, a very profound question. Now let me tell you one thing. Forget the matter-side of existence and you will understand. It is our brains of matter, the passage of time, which make us believe that there is a past, that there is a present, and that there is a future, which are all fundamentally distinct, whereas in reality they are not. I tell you that they are one: that we human beings and everything else are rooted in an eternal consciousness, in a stream of consciousness whose characteristic is now; and that past, present, and future, when rightly viewed, are an Eternal Now.

Examine your own consciousness. The only thing you are really conscious of, that you really know, is the now. You cannot remember the past very well. You cannot throw your consciousness forward into what your brain-minds call the future, because you think of the rotation of the earth on its axis and of tomorrow morning, and of ten years from now, and of twenty years from now. But in twenty years from now, if you live, your consciousness will be just the same as it is now, and you will have the same feeling as now, of the Eternal Now. It is the consciousness. Do you get that?

It is a most subtle and difficult question which has puzzled philosophers for ages. Questions of destiny and prophecy and all the rest of it are bound up in this conception. From the standpoint of matter, there is a past, there is a present, there is a future, but simply because these things, being involved in matter, are an illusion. They have no existence in themselves. They are a reflection of interior energies and forces springing from consciousness.

The reason why the Masters of Wisdom can see into the future is on account of the mathematical relationship that the human consciousness bears to the operation of cycles in nature. Knowing that cycles exist, and when they begin and end, and the manner of their working, these great sages can tell from the nature of a cycle when it begins, how it will end, and consequently can predict, prophesy, prognosticate, and in a general way know, just about when certain things will be repeated in history in the future. If nature did not move in cycles, prevision, or prophecy, or seeing into the future, or whatever you like to call it, would be utterly impossible. But as cycles exist, which are merely repetitions of nature's operations, with the great knowledge that they have, and with the exercise of their spiritual vision, they can look into the future and tell what is coming.

So far as the Theosophical Society is concerned, and the special spiritual effort that is made in the last quarter of each century, they know when this will happen because it has been the custom of the Lodge to do this for many, many ages; and they know that this will be done in the future.

I have now in brief answered your question.

Student — I am a little puzzled about the music that one hears in one's sleep. Perhaps you can explain it a little. Speaking about illusion, has that music actually been played, or is it being played at the time one hears it when one is asleep?

G. de P. — How do you hear it?

Student — I can hear a string quartet, or an orchestra, or individuals, playing. I have even heard my sister who has passed on. I have seen her at the piano and heard the music as plainly as if she were in the room. But what is that music? Is it being played and do I hear it?

G. de P. — Yes, it is in your consciousness.

Student — But is somebody else playing it?

G. de P. — No, it is in your consciousness.

Student — But I cannot play that music. I cannot play the whole orchestra.

G. de P. — But you are very much greater in your inner constitution than you are in your physical brain-mind. Your spiritual consciousness is vastly greater than the brain-mind consciousness which we know as you. Do you understand? Similarly a philosopher will solve philosophical problems in his sleep. A mathematician will receive the answer to mathematical problems in his sleep and then wake up — this is common, it is well known to be a fact — and if he is alert, and if the impression received when first waking is very strong, instances have been known time and time again when he will immediately write it down, lest he later forget. The entire music is something that you experience in your own consciousness.

Student — Then that music is not actually played by someone else?

G. de P. — It is played in your own consciousness. It is more real music than the music that you can produce on your violin. It is pure vibration engendered by your creative spirit, by your intelligence, by your consciousness. You don't have to resort to catgut and wood in order to produce sounds.

Student — Thank you.

Student — I would like to ask, where does the inspiration come from to play beautiful harmony, when one cannot understand music, or read music, and yet the most exquisite harmony will come at times — where does it come from?

G. de P. — I think in this case it is a reflection of the past, a memory of the past; and if it is yours, I would say that it is a soul memory out of the past. You were a musician probably, loved the art, and the memory of it remains in your soul, and in this incarnation, you receive, as it were, reflections. Do you understand me?

Student — Yes, perfectly.

G. de P. — I think that is the case in the instance of which you speak. You see the phenomena of consciousness are so many and so subtle, so difficult to locate with exactitude in any one particular instance, that I hesitate to give a generally inclusive and very definite answer. I can say the general rule, but I might err in the instance, if I were too particular in defining just what it might be.

Student — Pardon me for referring to a subject that you have already spoken of this evening. Is there not always a messenger of the Masters of Wisdom operating on what we term our earth plane, and it is we who fail to recognize him?

G. de P. — Yes, lack of recognition is usually the case, alas! And not only one messenger, but sometimes several are at work. Now I know for a fact that the Lodge at the present time has five different messengers working in various parts of the world, but only one is known and he is the Leader of the Theosophical Society — I mean known as a messenger — the only one authorized to proclaim the fact. That does not mean that he is the greatest of the five, not at all, I do not mean that. But on account of conditions he is the only one who is authorized to proclaim the fact. Do you understand that?

Student — Perfectly. Yes, thank you.

G. de P. — There are many cases where the Lodge works in the silence, and behind the scenes, so far as the knowledge of men goes.

Student — It is simply the secret work that is continually going on?

G. de P. — Continually, uninterruptedly, unceasingly. The idea that the Lodge of the mahatmas is quiescent, or goes to sleep, or stops its grand work for humanity even for an instant, is altogether wrong; wrong all through. And no one could believe it for an instant — no theosophist, at least, if he gave time to think about it.

Student — I understand you.

G. de P. — The next question, please.

Student — I would like to ask a question on astronomy. The present-day position of the scientific world, in regard to the motion of the solar system as a whole, is that to all appearances the solar system revolves around Alcyone in the Pleiades. What has the esoteric doctrine to say about this? Is it true?

G. de P. — Well, if it were true, it would not be of especial importance. Even the Hebrew Bible speaks of "the sweet influence of the Pleiades." Alcyone, one of the stars of the Pleiades-group, is a well-known star in occultism. I may say: from that group come to our solar system some of the most elevating spiritual influences that it receives from the entire cosmos — which is the basis of this Hebrew remark.

I don't know that our solar system revolves around Alcyone as a central sun. In fact I do not believe it does. I am practically sure that it does not. You must remember that Occidental astronomy is still an infant. It is a lusty infant, a vigorous infant, it is making rapid growth. Our astronomers are becoming really almost astrological in our days. They are making wonderful strides forward. I read their discoveries and philosophical deductions with fascinated interest to see how rapidly in some cases they are fringing the frontiers of our esoteric truths. But until our astronomers can free themselves from materialistic ideas, their imagination will still be earthbound.

No, I do not think that Alcyone is the great central sun. In fact I know it is not, although the movement, as far as our astronomers can trace it, of the solar system today may seem to be pursuing an orbit of which Alcyone apparently occupies either the center of the circle or one of the foci of a cosmic ellipse.

Our astronomy is not yet old enough fully to have traced the orbit that the solar system is actually making around some greater spiritual center. The real central sun of the solar system is invisible. In fact, it is not on this plane; and it is what we call in Tibetan and Indian occultism a raja-sun, a king-sun.

The next question, please.

Student — May I know if the seven globes of the earth-chain are coexistent and interpenetrate? Are we living right among them ourselves unconsciously?

G. de P. — I will tell you this: there are seven globes to the earth-chain. These globes are not the seven principles of the earth, although the analogy is very close. Each one of the globes is a planet, although the seven together form our earth-chain. They are coadunated, that is, united into one group forming a distinct entity — not a body, but a distinct entitative aggregate. Do you understand me?

They are not consubstantial — that is, of the same degree of ethereality or materiality. We are not living among them; in other words they do not interpenetrate us as they would if they were all concentric. You understand what that means?

But do not believe, on the other hand, that the other six globes of our planetary chain form a circle as it were, or rather links or condensations on a mere circle like a necklace. They, all the seven globes, are represented that way on paper for purposes of convenient illustration, but they are actually scattered about in space not far from our earth; and by far, I am speaking in cosmic terms. Nevertheless they are coadunated and in one sense their influences interpenetrate each other.

Student — Is the devachanic state possible only when the physical body dies?

G. de P. — It is not. It is quite possible for a man to be alive and to be in a quasi-devachanic state, which is but another way of saying already partly in devachan. It is usually shown in a certain type of dreamy, rather erratic mentality, and it is not a good state to be in. We are here on earth to be alive, to be alive all through and awake and alert, to be a sevenfold human being, ideally speaking, with every one of the principles fully active. That is the ideal, of course. It is impossible for them all to be equally active, but many human beings, especially towards the end of life, are already partly in devachan. They begin to dream and to allow the mind and the emotions to become devachanic. It is bad, and it should be stopped.

Student — Are not children also in that state?

G. de P. — Quite so. Children having just come out of the devachanic state — just come out I mean relatively — are therefore not yet fully out of it. And this accounts for their dreamy, undeveloped attitude. It is very difficult to describe these states of consciousness, but I think that I have made the meaning clear.

As a human being grows, he grows more fully out of the devachanic state and becomes alert. But that alertness is not necessarily spiritual. Human beings as yet are very imperfectly evolved. The ideal human being is one in whom every principle is functioning, every one of them — the highest principles taking their proper places as the leaders in the functioning, as the chief elements in the consciousness: the spiritual first, the intellectual next, and the mental and psychical third, and the astral-physical last. That is the ideal, the body being merely the vehicle and the utterly slavishly responsive instrument of the promptings of the higher part of man's constitution.

Student — Mr. Judge, I believe, in The Ocean of Theosophy makes this statement that the egos come down with the rain. Is that so? Can you explain it? I understand it was in the Ocean, but I could not find it the last time I looked it up.

G. de P. — Come down with the rain?

Student — Yes, that the egos come down with the rain.

G. de P. — What put that into your head?

Student — It was simply that I didn't understand it when I read it. It was the statement of Mr. Judge, and I think you made some similar suggestion one time before when you were speaking on that subject. I got some idea but thought that you might enlarge upon it tonight.

G. de P. — Well, it is a matter which really does not have any particular importance in practical affairs of daily life. A great many of the ancient literatures, religious and philosophical, allude to the fact. I won't say it is not true — please understand me — but it is one which requires a great deal of thought, and I would not like to answer it tonight.

The next question, please.

Student — Is there an esoteric explanation for the different colors that we notice in the various stars? I would like to know.

G. de P. — Yes, there is. Of course the differences in color that our imperfect eyes see are merely feeble reflections of the different tints, as we humans construe them, of the spiritual forces working through the various orbs. I mean by that the following: each star is a seven-principle entity first. Nevertheless each star has its own individuality just like human beings; each one is a seven-principle entity, yet each one has his or her own individuality. And one of the expressions of this individuality is the color of the life-aura streaming through it.

Now one of the phases of this life-aura is light. And all light is color. There is no such thing as colorless light. If you could see your fellow human beings in their proper colors, you would see that one man was surrounded by a blue atmosphere, another by a darker blue, another with a red atmosphere, another with a darker red, another with a yellow, and so forth all through the range of colors. Each color emanating from a human being, and likewise from a star or any other entity, is not simply a dull color, but is scintillating and glittering all the time with shifting phases of the most wonderful tints. A blue man, for instance, would have a background of blue, and yet there would be flashes and coruscations of red and green and pink and gold and violet and all the rest of the shades and tints.

Therefore each star, whether it be what the astronomers call a blue star or a yellow star or a white star or a red star — these are the main ones that they know — is such because the life forces stream from it as light, and its light is of such or another color.

Of course, here again we must make allowances for what our earth atmosphere does to these colors. It not only darkens the colors, but to a certain extent absorbs them and therefore changes them, modifies them. For instance, the color of our own sun is blue, it is a blue star. We think its color is yellow because its color is changed by our atmosphere and by other things. Yet the actual color of our sun is blue, a dark blue, and I do not mean indigo, but a color intermediate between cerulean or sky blue and indigo.

Student — Frequently in our literature such expressions as this occur: if the manas succeeds in uniting itself with buddhi, such and such a thing happens — implying that there is a question whether that union will be made, that it is something to be achieved, but is not certain. And we have been told of the wonderful initiations which take place for the human ego which raises itself to the level of the manasaputra. Now my question is: is there an initiation for the manasaputra to unite itself with buddhi?

G. de P. — Is there what?

Student — Is there an initiation for the manasaputra to effect this union with buddhi?

G. de P. — It has already done so, and therefore it is a manasaputra. Now the reference here evidently is to the self-conscious union of manas with buddhi. Manas is always connected with buddhi because it is its child — it is the dregs so to say of buddhi, the lees or the deposit thereof on a lower plane. Hence also it is the vehicle of buddhi. But when there is a self-conscious union, when the human self consciously allies itself with its inner god, then there is the self-conscious union, and the phrase goes: "manas has become one with its parent buddhi." Is the answer responsive?

Student — Yes, thank you.

Student — I believe you said that the initiations of the Christs or Buddhas take place at the time of a solar eclipse. I have two questions: would the path of shadow — that is the narrow path of shadow cast by the moon being between us and the sun — would that part of the earth across which that shadow passed be one of the places in which the initiation took place?

G. de P. — Not necessarily.

Student — My second question: is there a set influence coming from the sun to that band of shadow that crosses the earth at that time?

G. de P. — Emphatically yes. You are growing very intuitive. Where do you get these ideas from?

Student — May I ask you that question?

G. de P. — Well, I have been taught, and I have had experience; but I would like to ask you that question. Was it an intuition?

Student — Well, when we were studying the matter of the solar eclipse, when I thought of an eclipse, I thought of that dark shadow that flits across the earth, having seen it on maps representing the time of an eclipse, and I have often wondered if something from the sun goes specially to that line of shadow.

G. de P. — It does indeed. You are very intuitive.

Student — During the first congress — I came to Point Loma shortly afterwards — quite a number of students, and I think some of them are here now and one I know is here tonight, said that during the laying of the cornerstone wonderful music was heard in the air over the cornerstone during a certain part of the ceremony. And then I was told about two other occasions when I have good reason to believe there was exquisite music. It did not seem to be anything existing in one person's consciousness because many heard it. Would that be what the scientists call a collective hallucination from one person, or was it some real spiritual presence? I think KT spoke of it too.

G. de P. — I have no doubt that the scientists would call it a collective hallucination. It is very usual to use words like these and to think that you are explaining something when you are merely exposing your ignorance; and human beings are apt to be fond of exposing their ignorance by their explanations — not of course willingly doing so.

I think those cases were due to the combined elevation of soul, the deep devotional feeling, of the members present who, on account of that deep devotion, were temporarily raised out of their ordinary human consciousness into the harmonies of the spiritual part of themselves. And those harmonies are not unreal: they are more real than the harmonies of earth.

Music is not something that the body produces. The musician merely brings to earth and interprets — oh! how can I express it — the harmonies within, the things which the inner so-called spiritual ear hears, the harmonies of his own soul. He is an interpreter of harmony, the harmony which exists in nature. I tell you that the very atoms sing. The stars in their courses sing. The planets as they whirl around the sun, each one sings its own note. Every atom in the body of every one of you is singing its own particular note, and this note in its turn is a composite note. It is a chord, composed of the various smaller notes of the electrons and protons of the atom. And if we had the ears to hear, we could hear the symphony that even the physical body of each one of us is continuously making, all the time, day and night; and what exists on the physical plane exists likewise on other planes.

Student — I would like to refer to the subject of initiation and globes. Speaking of these both — a shadow thrown by the moon during an eclipse — is it that the combined effort, the combined attraction, of the sun and the moon, the electromagnetic attraction that they exercise upon the earth and especially upon the line on which the shadow of the moon falls at the time, raises the neophyte, the one to be initiated, into the final mysteries, along that ray, along that path from the earth where he is, through the moon to the sun?

G. de P. — I am not permitted to answer your question. And yet you have made a call and it is my duty to make some answer. I perhaps can say this — and you may take the hint — that you are not far from having stated a great natural truth.

Student — Aside from the usual tawdry teachings of numerology, is there any real affinity between individuals and numbers?

G. de P. — You are right when you speak of the tawdry aspect. There is an affinity however. Every human being has his own vibrational number, which is the combined expression of all the vibrations of his constitution, if you follow my vague explanation. He has, therefore, a number; this number is his vibrational rate. This rate is made up of all the rates of every particle of his being, within and without. That answers your question, does it not?

Student — Yes.

Student — Last week we had several very beautiful sunsets, and one in particular. I wondered what the cause was, beyond atmospheric conditions, for these wonderful sunsets? Do they have any connection with the idea that thoughts become entities? Are they the expressions of particularly beautiful thoughts that have been given out at any one time?

G. de P. — In a way, yes. But not so much thoughts emanating from human beings, as the expression of the working of solar spirits. I know what the labored explanation of sunsets is as delivered to us in the textbooks of the scientists, and there is some truth in it too. But what causes, what makes, what produces, the conditions in which beautiful sunsets occur? Why do they arise? And after that question is answered: why do they arise at such and such times? I tell you that every phenomenon of nature is a product of spiritual activity, if we go back far enough in nature's life, into the treasuries of life.

There is more mystery in the life of a tree, in the petal of a flower, in the color of a flower, than the average human being has any realization of. Flowers have souls, and the color and perfume and shape of a flower are the expression on this plane of the soul of that flower. Just as human beings have, each one, his or her respective odor, respective color, which our sense organs cannot usually perceive, and which ultimately we may call the expression on the physical plane of the soul of that human being. Thus is it likewise with sunsets.

What if I were to tell you that sunsets are produced by entities which have died? I should be telling you a truth, but here I can go no farther.

Will someone please ask a question that does not put me in an embarrassing position?

Student — You spoke at our last meeting of the third eye, and I wanted to know if this passage in The Voice of the Silence has reference to it: "Merge into one sense thy senses, for it is by that sense alone, concealed within the hollow of thy brain, that the steep path which leadeth to thy Master may be disclosed before thy soul's dim eye."

G. de P. — Yes, it is. The third eye so called is the main organ in the physical body at present through which the forces of man's higher constitution play. It is the main organ in the physical body at present through which the forces of the higher part of the human constitution, in the present stage of human evolution, play; and therefore is it very straitly, very closely, connected with the working of karma.

Student — You told us, I think it was the last time we were here, that thoughts are elementals passing across the consciousness, and I can understand how this could be true of the thought-stream that rushes through most of our minds; but surely it is not true, is it, of the only real thinking that a person does? Not thoughts but thought?

G. de P. — Of course pure thought is the manasic aspect of the stream of consciousness, and thoughts are the children of thought. Every thought is an elemental, it is a manasic elemental. It is rooted in the manasic side of us. Every personal emotion, or thought which produces a personal emotion, the energy behind that personal emotion — and this amounts to the same thing — is already an elemental, and these are rooted in the kama-side of our constitution; kama, of course, as you know, having its lofty side as well as its low side. Every one of our seven principles has its own subdivisions. Take love for instance: love in its loftiest part belongs to the highest part of our being; and its lowest side —

Is the answer at all responsive to your question?

Student — Yes, I think it is.

G. de P. — You think it is, but you are not sure.

Student — Well, I have to think about it some more.

Student — Is it not a fact that the Theosophical Society has made greater progress, just as the city of San Diego has, since the complete eclipse [September, 1923] which took place some seven years ago, both in its entire history and in its progress of spiritual advancement — I mean in spreading the truth to the general public?

G. de P. — That is true. More spiritual progress has been made in the Theosophical Society since that last eclipse than — I think I may state this truthfully with no reservations — than had been made from the Society's founding up to that date.

Is the answer responsive to your question?

Student — Yes, thank you.

G. de P. — I think it is now nearly ten. I will answer one more question.

Student — May I go back to the question of karma? You say that the death of a person is his karma. In that case I suppose it is incorrect to state that anyone's death is premature?

G. de P. — It is incorrect, if you look strictly at karmic causes. Whatever happens is karma and is therefore "in the law"; but when we speak of a premature death, we do so with the feeling that if the individual had had a different karma, a better karma, he would have lived longer and accomplished more in the present life.

We speak of a chela failing. Well, of course, it is his karma to fail, that is true; nevertheless we recognize that it was a failure. Do you see the point? It was indeed a failure, and he must try again. Similarly therefore we speak of a premature death, a child dying for instance. It is not the normal thing in nature. It is a misfortune — karma to be sure — but nevertheless it is misfortunate because it is premature.

Student — I suppose that explains why, when a death occurs and we feel it is premature, there is a particularly wicked-feeling storm. It is not a rainstorm, but it has generally been a very violent windstorm that seems to come out of nowhere.

G. de P. — Yes, I think I understand your thought. But if you are referring to the great ones who pass, and the storms which then usually occur, but not always, I would not call such cases premature deaths.

Student — No, I was not referring to the great ones. I was referring to some of the people who have died quite young from some sickness or other cause. What I was thinking of was this: we have often noticed that when a death occurs, which we call premature, the forces of nature seem to be stirred up because of it. And thinking that, if all death was karmic, there could be no such thing as prematurity, I wondered about that phenomenon?

G. de P. — I see what you mean. Yes, there are premature deaths, in the sense that I have tried to explain; deaths which in the natural course of normal human beings should not, and would not, have occurred at the time. But of course it is their karma. It is what they have reaped in consequence of what they have sown.

Student — If everything is according to law, how is it that we may apparently have a dozen paths to choose? Is the one that we do choose eventually the one that it is in the law for us to choose?

G. de P. — Well, yes. But I never knew before that a human being had a dozen karmic paths to choose from.

Student — Well, there may be many different things you might do; and I wondered whether the one you eventually did do, was what was in the law for you to do.

G. de P. — Yes, certainly. Now I understand your question. Certainly it is.

Student — Well, why do we go such a devious route, again, and again, and again?

G. de P. — Because it is human stupidity. Human beings have free will, and because they are unevolved, the exercise of that free will is often unintelligent.

Student — We don't use our intuition.

G. de P. — We don't use our intuition in most cases, but any human being has free will and intelligence, and he can misuse his will, and abuse his intelligence, and instead of taking the right path, take the inferior one. But once he has taken it, he will have to abide by the consequences, the karmic results.

Student — You stated some time ago, I understand, that unless one's star is in a certain position, no one can possibly die. Could you tell us something more about that: as to what the position is, and how often in the year that star comes into that position?

G. de P. — Well, I don't know that any star comes into any one position more than once a year. I did not mean, when speaking before, that the stars abandoned their natural laws and were seen racing in circles over the sky. I merely meant that every human being is spiritually rooted in a star, and until the earth arrives in a certain position in its orbit death cannot occur.

Now just what that position might be, obviously I cannot say, because there are something like two billion inhabitants of the earth, and you would have to divide, therefore, the orbit of the earth into two billion points, and tell me which one of the two billion points your particular individual belongs to, or which point belongs to him. Do you see the idea?

Student — Yes, I do. What I meant was: does the earth come into that position every twenty-four hours, or only so often, so many times a year? That's what I mean.

G. de P. — It happens once a year for each individual, depending upon the position of the earth in its orbital revolution around the sun. Then of course it depends upon the rotation of the earth also. We do not die by chance or haphazard. We are linked with the stars, and not only in origin; but all nature is a vast organism — you may call it a mechanism, to look at it from the material side, from the material viewpoint — and everything works together.

Every atom is connected and interrelated and interlocked with every other atom. It is like the atoms and molecules of the physical body. If one single molecule of the physical body is out of order, you have the beginning of a disease there — not necessarily, however, that it will eventuate in a disease. Order may be restored; but if order is not restored, you have the seed of a disease there.

And in the same way everything that is, is related to everything else: human beings to stars, stars to other stars, planets to stars, human beings to planets, atoms to human beings, and so forth. Looking at it in this way, therefore, as a most wondrously complex mechanism, it is obvious that certain positions of things must take place before certain energies can operate or begin to run. Do you get that?

Student — Yes, thank you very much.

Student — About not being able to die until the earth is in such and such a position. How about the case of a person meeting with an accident?

G. de P. — It is the same thing. The accident is karmic. You could not have an accident unless — to use the old expression — it was your destiny. It was the karmic fruit of your previous life or lives. Do you see?

Student — Then any effort of anyone to save life is simply futile?

G. de P. — Oh no, not at all! No indeed! You see just here one of the difficulties in trying to explain these recondite things. You must remember that theosophy does not teach fatalism, for this reason: that the core of the human being is the very heart of the universe. Do you get that point? Man is not a helpless atom, driven hither and yon by the winds of destiny, by the winds of fate. He himself is the heart of the universe in the core of his being. Nothing can happen to him which he himself has not prepared by the exercise of his own will and of his own intelligence, both ultimately rooted in the will and intelligence of the universe — the same thing. This is high philosophy, but you have asked a question of high philosophy.

Student — I would like to go back to a question that was asked on the subject of ambidexterity. Are not the causes underlying what we might call right-handedness and left-handedness related to the time when the race was hermaphroditic, and is it not a fact that the masculine principle is considered to be related to the right-hand side, and conversely?

G. de P. — Yes, in a general way. But I would not say that right-handedness or left-handedness is a reversion — what is the biological expression? — a throw-back. I think either is merely one of the minor phenomena of human psychophysical life, due to a combination of small and individually unimportant circumstances.

It has been my experience that the left-handed people whom I have known are in no wise inferior to those who are right-handed, though usually they are a little original in some way. I do not know whether the answer is responsive to your question.

Student — What made me ask you is: in an old book on architecture that we have, there is a diagram showing a medieval cathedral, and the north side is called masculine and the south side, feminine.

G. de P. — Quite true, quite true; but that pertains to a number of things: the north in esotericism is often spoken of as the right-hand, and the south as the left-hand or the feminine, or the material.

You must understand these technical allusions. It does not mean that all men are spiritual and all women are material. But it does mean this: that man on earth represents energy and the creative faculty, and the woman represents passivity and receptivity. These respectively are phenomena of spirit and matter. On the other hand, many women are more spiritual than many men. You will find masculine women, and you will find feminine men.

And as a last word — and please remember this carefully — the reincarnating ego is neither masculine nor feminine. He who is a man in one body may be a woman in the next. She who is a woman in one body may be a man in the next. It is a matter which depends upon an aggregate of karmic tendencies.

I will go just a little farther and leave this final thought with you — and please do not degrade it in your minds — I am going to tell you a deep truth. It is time that you knew this truth: the causes of sex, or rather the causes of the two sexes on earth, are attraction. Understand me. I will take my own sex for an example. When a man is very strongly drawn to the other sex, he becomes like the other sex ultimately, especially if there be indulgence. The attraction becomes ever stronger, the indulgences become larger and more frequent, until the feminine influence to which the man thus continuously subjects himself begins to prevail in his own character, by synchronous vibration. You understand my thought?

Many Voices — Yes.

G. de P. — And thus the man is actually womanizing himself. And the same rule exactly applies to women. Women become men, or rather incarnate in male bodies, from the same reason that I have just explained — from the same reason which causes men to incarnate in female bodies.

If anyone of you wants to retain his present sex, or her present sex, in the next incarnation or for the next few incarnations, do not allow the attraction of the other sex to prevail upon you. It is attraction and indulgence, yes, and imitativeness, which change your vibrational rate: to the feminine one in the man's case, or to the masculine one in the woman's case; and this produces in the next birth, or at any rate when the attraction is strong enough, a change of sex. It is thus obvious that men, as a rule, remain men for two or three or several incarnations; and women do the same. You understand what I mean, do you not?

Many Voices — Yes.

G. de P. — The reincarnating ego is sexless, or, as the Christians express it: "In heaven there is no marriage, or giving in marriage." And it is merely the prevailing tendency of the lower life-atoms which governs the entrance of the reincarnating ego into a body of the one or of the other sex — or, to express it more accurately — which draws the reincarnating ego and causes it to overshadow a body of one or of the other sex.

Very strictly speaking, the reincarnating ego does not even enter the body, it overshadows it. It hovers above it so to speak. It is only the astral monad that can be spoken of as in the body. All the higher part of the constitution hovers over it, or rather around it, in the auric egg — in the most ethereal part of the auric egg, which is the psychomagnetic atmosphere that each human being is surrounded with — the astral, the psychical, the intellectual, and the spiritual, atmospheres, which all combined produce what is called the human auric egg.

This auric egg is the actual man, therefore; and the body is merely its dregs, its lees, the deposit of the lowest and most material atoms composing the auric egg.

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