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Chicago, September 27, 1913
Portrait: Thornton Chase . . . . 186
Ode: "To The Center of The Covenant"- By Mr. Chase . . . . 187
Anniversary of Abdul-Baha's Visit to the Grave of Mr. Chase- October 19th . . . . 188
Abdul-Baha's "Welcome" to California . . . . 190
The Mashrak-el-Azkar . . . . 193
The Greatest Name- By Mr. Chase . . . . 194
"This revered personage was the first Bahai in America. He has served the Cause faithfully and his services will ever be remembered throughout future age, and cycles. " -ABDUL-BAHA.
STAR OF THE WEST
"We desire but the good of the world and the happiness of the nations; that all nations shall become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men shall be strengthened; that diversity of religion shall cease and differences of race be annulled. So it shall be; these fruitless strifes these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the 'Most Great Peace' shall come."—BAHA'O'LLAH.
Chicago (September 27, 1913) Masheyat
This Ode "To the Center of the Covenant" was competed by Mr. Thornton Chase a few weeks before his death. It wan read in the holy presence of Abdul-Baha, and he wishes it to appear in the Star of the West. -The Editors.
TO THE CENTER OF THE COVENANT: ABDUL-BAHA ABBAS.
May the Souls of all Mankind be a Sacrifice to Him!
O THOU David of the Promised Kingdom of GOD!
Thou Princely Leader of all Humanity!
Thou Warrior against the Tribes of Infidelity!
Thou Conqueror of Darkness and Radiator of Light!
Thou Bearer of the Banner of Divine Peace and Prosperity to the Nations!
Thou First Born in the Kingdom of Baha! Beloved of GOD and Men!
Thou First Citizen of the Royal and Holy City!
Thou Branch of the LORD, Beautiful and Glorious!
Thou Greatest Branch from the Ancient Root!
Thou Fruit-bearing Branch of the Divine Tree!
Thou Host of the Divine Table!
Thou Cup-Bearer of the Divine Knowledge!
Thou Diffuser of the Holy Fragrances!
Thou Interpreter of the Revealed Word!
Thou Liver of the Bahai Law!
Thou Establisher of the New Jerusalem descended from the Heaven of the Will of God!
Thou Builder of the Temple of the LORD!
Thou Light of the City of GOD!
Thou Brilliant Moon reflecting the Sun's full Disc of Splendor!
Thou Enlightener of the Spirits of Men!
Thou Heart of the World, sending the Blood of Truth through the arteries of Humanity!
Thou Physician of Souls, raising the dead to Life by the Elixir of the Word!
Thou Possessor of the Philosopher's Stone!
Thou Master of Transmutation!
Thou Kindler of Love and Life in the Heart of Humanity!
Thou Ambassador of Heaven and the Manifestation of Righteousness!
Thou King of Servitude and Defender of the Faith!
Thou Temple of the Divine Testimony!
Thou Witness and Aim of THE COVENANT!
Thou Prince of Peace and Ensign of United Humanity!
Thou Guide of mortals to Immortality!
Thou Pathfinder of the Right Way, and Conductor of man from Earth to Heaven!
Thou Lover of GOD and Man; Exemplar of the New Humanity!
Thou Shepherd of the Sheep, and Shelter of the Birds of the Air!
Thou Keeper of the Vineyard, and Trainer of the Children of GOD!
Thou Servant of the Highest, declared by Isaiah!
Thou Right Arm of the Mighty, proclaimed by Israel!
Thou Holy One in the Hand of GOD!
Thou Lord of the Sabbath of Ages!
Thou Unique One of the Millennial Age!
Thou Lion of the Tribe of Judah!
Thou Lamb of the Sacrificial Love!
Thou Baptizer of Evanescence!
Thou Sum of Spiritual and Human Perfections!
Thou MYSTERY OF COD!
This grain of human dust, stirred by the Breath of the Spirit, longs for Thy Presence, for the Life-giving touch of Thy Glorious Love. These captives of Love yearn for Thy Nearness! These ignorant ones seek Thy instruction. These isolated ones hope for the Unity of Thy Meeting. These helpless ones trust in Thine Attraction to awaken the hearts of their friends and relatives.
O my Beloved! What can we say but to praise Thee; to thank GOD for Thee, His Greatest Gift to man; to implore Thee to pray for His Mercy upon these impotent ones, His Strength for these powerless ones, His Guidance for those erring ones. His Guard to protect us from ourselves!
Teach us to serve. Guide us in the paths of Knowledge and Wisdom.
Unite us in mutual purpose and aim, and grant us the favor of Thy personal Presence and Voice.
(SIGNED) THORNTON CHASE.
August 9, 1912,
- San Francisco, California.
THE ANNIVERSARY OF ABDUL-BAHA'S VISIT TO THE GRAVE OF THORNTON CHASE: OCTOBER NINETEENTH.
May be observed among the Bahais throughout America as "The day of Thornton Chase."
ABDUL-BAHA'S eulogy of Thornton Chase, published below, wherein is expressed the wish that the Bahais annually visit the grave of Mr. Chase, has created a sentiment among the friends that this event should be celebrated on the anniversary of the day Abdul-Baha visited the grave—October I9th, 1912.
It is not at all unlikely that the friends throughout America, will, in some befitting manner, observe "The day of Thornton Chase"—as we have termed it.
To this end, the STAR OF THE WEST has compiled this issue as a reminder to the friends of the near approach of the first anniversary of this event.
* * * * * * *
ABDUL-BAHA'S VISIT TO THE GRAVE OF THORNTON CHASE, OCTOBER 19, 1912.
[Extracts from article in No. 13 issue, Vol. III, STAR OF THE WEST.]
Upon the arrival of Abdul-Baha in San Francisco, October 4, 1912, when one of the Bahais gave the news of the departure of Thornton Chase—who had died a few days before in Los Angeles—he said: "This revered personage was the first Bahai in America. He served the Cause faithfully and his services will ever be remembered throughout ages and cycles."
He told the friends to annually visit the grave of Mr. Chase, to pray and have a meeting there and detail his earnest endeavors, service and great love for the Cause.
Abdul-Baha journeyed to Los Angeles especially to visit the grave of Mr. Chase, and it is hoped the friends in that vicinity will annually visit the grave on the day he visited it.
This memorable event occured Saturday, October 19th, 1912. It was about 1 p. m., when Abdul-Baha together with about twenty-five Bahais of Los Angeles arrived at Inglewood cemetery. He walked silently ahead of the friends, who followed reverently. Many carried bouquets of flowers. After arriving at the grave, Abdul-Baha scattered his flowers, and then one after another of the friends gave him their bouquets, and he divided them, scattering the flowers over the grave.
Then standing at the head of the grave and raising his hands toward heaven, he uttered the following prayer:
O my God! O my God! Verily, this is a servant of Thine, who did believe on Thee and in Thy signs; verily he hearkened to Thy summons, turned to Thy Kingdom, humbled himself at Thy holy threshold, was possessed of a contrite heart, arose to serve Thy cause, to spread Thy fragrances, to promote Thy word, and to expound Thy wisdom.
Verily he guided the people to Thine ancient pathway, and led them to Thy way of rectitude. Verily he held the chalice of guidance in his right hand and gave unto those athirst to drink of the cup of favor. He presented himself at Thy lofty threshold, where he laid his brow on the fragrant soil of Thy garden and circumambulated Thy all-glorious and sublime abode, the traces of which are wide-spread and the fragrances of whose loyalty are sensed everywhere. Later he returned to these vast and extensive countries and proclaimed Thy name among the people, until his respiration ceased and his outward sensation was suspended, returning to Thee with a heart throbbing with Thy love and with an eye opened to Thy direction.
O Lord! O Lord! Submerge him in the ocean of Thy glory. O Lord! O Lord! Usher him into Thy delectable garden. O Lord! O Lord! Usher him into Thy lofty paradise and cause him to be present in Thy meeting of transfiguration. O Lord! Submerge him in the ocean of Thy lights.
Verily, Thou art the Clement! Verily, Thou art the Merciful, the Precious, the Omnipotent!
Then after the prayer Abdul-Baha spoke as follows:
"Mr. Chase was of the blessed souls. The best time of his life was spent in the path of God. He had no other aim except the good pleasure of the Lord and no other desire except the attainment to the Kingdom of God. During his lifetime he bore many trials and vicissitudes, but he was very patient and long-suffering. He had a heart most illuminated, a spirit most rejoiced; his hope was to serve the world of humanity; during the days of his life he strove as much as he could—he never failed—until he witnessed the lights of the Kingdom of ABHA, and he was guided by the lights of Guidance. He summoned the people to the religion of God; he suffered them to enter into the Kingdom of God; he wrote books and epistles regarding the proofs and evidences of the Manifestation of BAHA'O'LLAH. In reality he has left behind him certain signs which will never be forgotten throughout ages and cycles. In reality this personage was worthy of respect. This personage is worthy of having the friends visit his grave. The traces of this personage will ever shine. This is a personage who will not be forgotten. For the present his worth is not known but in the future it will be inestimably dear. His sun will ever be shining, his stars will ever bestow the light. The people will honor this grave. Therefore, the friends of God must visit this grave and on my behalf bring flowers and seek the sublimity of the spiritual station for him and have the utmost consideration for the members of his family. This personage will not be forgotten."
ABDUL-BAHA'S "WELCOME" TO CALIFORNIA.
Address delivered at the home of Mrs. Helen S. Goodall, Oakland, California, October 3,1912.
Dr. Ameen U. Fareed, interpreter; stenographic notes by Miss Bijou Straun.
I AM going to say, "Welcome," to you, instead of your welcoming me. I am most happy to be here with you. I am exceedingly joyous, and I offered thanks to His Holiness BAHA'O'LLAH that the potency of His Word was instrumental in bringing about such a meeting.
In the world many people go from one country to another. Perchance they may go from here to the Orient; perchance some may come from the Orient here; but such journeys are for travel, or commercial purposes, or for some political reason, or the motive may be some scientific achievement, or they go on journies in order to meet friends. All such meetings are accidental; they are concerned with the exigences of the world of nature.
But I have come from the Orient to the Occident—this vast distance have I crossed with no commercial purpose in view, nor travel as an object, nor politics as a reason. It has been simply to meet you. Whereas the meeting of others is generally accidental, our meeting is real, essential—for the hearts are connected and the souls are attracted and the spirits are exhilarated, and such a meeting is real in character, and great are the results therefrom. The results are everlasting.
Consider the by-gone times. There occurred a meeting like this one—that is to say, that meeting emanated from the attractions of the conscience. It was due to the spiritual bond. It was due to the fraternity of heaven. Regard the results which have later become concomitant! What lights have shone therefrom! What a new spirit has been breathed thereby!
Therefore, I beg of God that this meeting of ours may likewise be a spiritual meeting, may be a heavenly meeting, may be a cordial bond, may be of divine susceptibilities, may be a result of the breaths of the Holy Spirit. Thus, may its traces be everlasting, may its results be eternal, may it be an indissoluble bond and an association inseparable. May it be a love which shall be never ending. This is my hope, and you who have turned to the Kingdom of God, and you who are set aglow with the fire of the Love of God, must so earnestly endeavor that this meeting shall give forth eternal results.
And what will bring this about?
This will be brought about by your acting in accordance with the teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH. This is dependent upon your becoming resuscitated by the Divine Spirit. The Revelation of BAHA'O'LLAH is, in relation to the body of the world, as the spirit of man is to his body. In relation to the body of the world (humanity). Divinity is as the light within a lantern. In relation to the soil of the hearts, it is the quickening shower. In relation to the spiritual growth of the trees, it is the vernal breeze; and in relation to the recovery of the diseased body politic, it is a quick acting remedy, because it is the cause of the oneness of the world of humanity. It is love among all mankind. It is a bond which unites all the religions. It is the unity which welds together all the races. It is the connection between all the countries. It is universal peace among the nations. It is universal peace among all the peoples. It is the universal peace which will bring together all nativities. And undoubtedly it is the spirit of the world. It is the light of the world. Likewise, it is an impetus to the promulgation of knowledge, and it is the cause of agreement of religion with science and reason.
All the nations of the world today are subject to certain superstitions which animate them along the line of prejudice, hatred and rancor. These superstitions are the cause of warfare and battle. For blind imitations of religion are ever various and unreal; but the teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH are reality itself, and reality is the fundamental basis of all the divine religions. Hence these teachings are the very cause of uniting all humanity. They are the cause of love among the hearts of men, for they are reality.
The teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH are likewise concerned with good conduct, and good conduct is the greatest effulgence of the All-Glorious.
Unless ethics be improved, the world of humanity will be incapable of true advancement. Real advancement is dependent upon the world of humanity becoming a center of divine morals, becoming a place of the effulgences of the Merciful, becoming a mirror reflecting the bestowals of God. Thereby the world of humanity will become the image and likeness of God. Until these virtues reveal themselves in the world of humanity, real progress and advancement will not be possible.
His Holiness BAHA'O'LLAH, addressing all mankind, says: "Ye are all the leaves of one tree and the fruits of one branch." This signifies that the world of humanity is representative of one tree, and all mankind representative of its leaves, its blossoms and its fruits. Therefore, all the inhabitants of the earth have grown through their attachment to this tree and all are reared and nurtured through the shower of divine mercy. It is self-evident that this teaching is the very spirit of this age. It is life-giving, because through love it animates the people, and it casts alienation utterly aside. It brings all into friendship and unity.
Among the teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH is one requiring man, under all conditions and circumstances, to be forgiving, to love his enemy and to consider an ill-wisher as a well-wisher. Not that he should consider one as being an enemy and then put up with him, or to simply endure him, or to consider one as inimical and be forbearing to'vard him. This is declared to be hypocrisy. This love is not real. Nay, rather, you must see your enemies as friends, ill-wishers as well-wishers and treat them accordingly. That is to say, your love and kindness must be real. Your well-wishing must be reality, not merely forbearance, for forbearance, if not of the heart, is hypocrisy. The people of Reality* will not accept it.
Among the teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH is one on sacrifice. Man must arrive at the point of sacrifice; and the station of sacrifice is that of complete severance—that is, his possessions, his comforts, even his life must be sacrificed for humanity. Until man arrives at such a station, he is deprived of the effulgences of God and from the bestowals of the Merciful, and from the breaths of the Holy Spirit, which, in this radiant century, have become apparent and resplendent.
And among the teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH is one relative to the fact that God has created man to yield some fruit from his being, or existence, an eternal fruit, an everlasting result. If the world of humanity be confined to the short space of material life here, if man should devote his energies to temporary results—for the life of this world is short, the blessings of this world are temporary, the virtures of the world of nature are temporary, the happiness of the world of nature is temporary—this cannot be called fruitage, because it is temporary and hence useless. Nay, rather, man must be a blessed tree bearing eternal fruits. Thus everlasting spirituality may be his.
The real fruit of the human tree is everlasting, and that is the love for God, that is the knowledge of God, that is service to the world of humanity, that is kindness to all mankind, and that is endeavoring and striving for the material and spiritual—or ideal—development of the world of man. This is the
- Meaning, the people of God.
[Continued on page 194]
STAR OF THE WEST
PUBLISHED NINETEEN TIMES A YEAR
By the BAHAI NEWS SERVICE, 515 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Ill., U. S. A.
Entered as second-class matter April 9, 1911, at the post office at Chicago. Illinois, under the Act of March 3,1879.
Editorial Staff: ALBERT R. WINDUST — GERTRUDE BUIKEMA — DR. ZIA M. BAGDADI
Honorary Member: MIRZA AHMAD SOHRAB
Terms: $1.00 per year; 10 cents per copy.
Note — Until further notice, distribution in the Orient is through Agents.
Make Money Orders payable to BAHAI NEWS SERVICE, P. O. Box 283, Chicago, III., U. S. A.
To personal checks please add sufficient to cover the bank exchange.
Address all communications to BAHAI NEWS SERVICE, P. O. Box 283, Chicago, III., U.S.A.
TABLET FROM ABDUL-BAHA.
HE IS GOD!
O thou Star of the West! Be thou happy! Be thou happy! Shouldst thou continue to remain firm and eternal, ere long, thou shalt become the Star of the East and shalt spread in every country and clime. Thou art the first paper of the Bahais which is organized in the country of America. Although for the present thy subscribers are limited, thy form is small and thy voice weak, yet shouldst thou stand unshakable, become the object of the attention of the friends and the center of the generosity of the leaders of the faith who are firm in the Covenant, in the future thy subscribers will become hosts after hosts like unto the waves of the sea; thy volume will increase, thy arena will become vast and spacious and thy voice and fame will be raised and become world-wide—and at last thou shalt become the first paper of the world of humanity. Yet all these depend upon firmness, firmness, firmness!
(Signed) ABDUL-BAHA ABBAS.
TABLET FROM ABDUL-BAHA CONCERNING "BACKBITING."
In this issue of the STAR OF THE WEST is given Abdul-Baha's definition of "hypocrisy"— see page 191.
Below we print a Tablet, recently revealed by him concerning "backbiting."
* * * * * * * * *
Tablet to Doctor M. G. Skinner, Washington, D. C.
HE IS GOD!
0 thou my doctor!
Thy letter was received. Thou hast written regarding thy aims. How blessed are these aims, especially the prevention of backbiting! I hope that you may become confirmed therein, because the worst human quality and the most great sin is backbiting; more especially when it emanates from the tongues of the believers of God. If some means were devised so that the doors of backbiting could be shut eternally and each one of the believers of God unsealed his tongue in the praise of the other, then the teachings of His Holiness BAHA'O'LLAH would be spread, the hearts illuminated, the spirits glorified and the human world would attain to everlasting felicity.
I hope that the believers of God will shun completely backbiting, each one praising the other cordially and believe that backbiting is the cause of Divine wrath, to such an extent that if a person backbites to the extent of one word, he may become dishonored among all the people, because the most hateful characteristic of man is fault-finding. One must expose the praiseworthy qualities of the souls and not their evil attributes. The friends must overlook their shortcomings and faults and speak only of their virtues and not their defects.
It is related that His Holiness Christ—May my life be a sacrifice to Him!—one day, accompanied by His apostles, passed by the corpse of a dead animal. One of them said: "How putrid has this animal become!" The other exclaimed : "How it is deformed!" A third cried out: "What a stench! How cadaverous looking!" But His Holiness Christ said: "Look at its teeth! How white they are!" Consider, that He did not look at all at the defects of that animal; nay, rather. He searched well until He found the beautiful white teeth. He observed only the whiteness of the teeth and overlooked entirely the deformity of the body, the dissolution of its organs and the bad odor.
This is the attribute of the children of the Kingdom. This is the conduct and the manner of the real Bahais. I hope that all the believers will attain to this lofty station.
Upon thee and upon them be Baha E-ABHA!
(Signed) ABDUL-BAHA ABBAS.
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, August 12, 1913, Ramleh, Egypt.
THE MASHRAK-EL-AZKAR IN AMERICA: SUGGESTIONS.
IN the glorious ode "To The Center of the Covenant," published in this issue of the STAR OF THE WEST, is declared that one of the mighty deeds of Abdul-Baha is that of "Builder of the Temple of the LORD."
He has already accomplished its erection in the East—we refer to the Mashrak-el-Azkar in Ishkabad, Russia—and it is evident "to those who can bear the knowledge" that he will accomplish its erection in the West—upon the spot shown in the illustration, situated at Chicago, U. S. A.
Abdul-Baha has expressed the wish that the building shall not be undertaken until the land is paid for. If the suggestions in the following letter from Montreal, Canada, should be carried out the remaining indebtedness—$6,000.00— would be cleared in five weeks.
It is privilege and a unique opportunity to contribute toward the purchase of the land on which is to stand the first Mashrak-el-Azkar in the western hemisphere, and we trust that every reader of the STAR OF THE WEST who has not contributed will do so while there is yet opportunity.
The minimum of that opportunity can be as great as the "widow's mite"; and the maximum —only $6,000.00.
Abdul-Baha declares: "These Great Days are swiftly passing; and once gone they can never be recalled."
- THE EDITORS.
* * * * * * * * *
LETTER FROM MONTREAL.
36 St. Mark Street, Montreal. Canada.
- Sept. 13th, 1913.
To the STAR OF THE WEST.
Dear friends in El-Baha:—Our delegate to the Convention held at New York has given his report to the Montreal friends. After discussing that part of it relating to raising money for building the Mashrak-el-Azkar, the Assembly agreed to hold itself responsible for a minimum contribution of one dollar ($1.00) per month from each of its members, at the same time leaving every member free to give such an amount as he or she may be able to afford.
It is expressly understood that any member unable to contribute $1.00 a month shall give any sum however small, and that the larger contributions of other members will cover (or exceed) the monthly average of the assembly as a whole.
The Treasurer of the assembly receives the contributions confidentially and forwards the total amount collected to Mrs. Corinne True on the nineteenth of every month.
Should this meet with the approval of other assemblies, and should they wish to co-operate in carrying out such a plan, the result would be that not less than sixty thousand ($60,000) a year would flow into the Treasury of the Mashrak-el-Azkar.
A copy of this letter is being sent to all of the Assemblies, and to the STAR OF THE WEST.
We shall be happy to hear from you in this connection, and to what you decide. All the Montreal friends unite in sending Bahai love and greetings, and I am
- Faithfully your brother in the Cause,
- G. THOMPSON,
Montreal Treasurer and Secretary for the Mashrak-el-Azkar.
THE GREATEST NAME.
By THORNTON CHASE.
"EL-ABHA" is the Greatest Name of God revealed to us in this age. God, the Infinite, who is above ascent or descent, beyond perception, knowledge or comprehension, is nameless as far as man is concerned. A name of anything expresses the qualities or manifestations of that thing. The essence of nothing whatever is known. The essence of everything is nameless. Therefore, the Greatest Name of God is the Name of His highest manifested attributes. The highest appearance of Himself which can be perceived by any creature anywhere in existence—that Name is "EL-ABHA." Its meaning is Splendor or The Most Shining Glory. It is The Most Holy Outpouring, The Radiant Energy from the Unseen, Unknown Infinite Entity. Anything to appear must have some one to see it. No creature of existence can ever see the Infinite and, therefore, it is impossible for the Infinite to have a name; but the Highest Quality or Manifestation of that Infinite, which can be perceived by any creature in existence, can have a name and that name is "ABHA." It is Light. "BAHA" is the same name on a different plane. "BAHA" is the name of the Manifestation in humanity to human kind. "ABHA" is the name of that Manifestation in His Heavens or Spiritual Spheres.
"EL-ABHA" is the highest, superlative Manifestation that can be perceived only by the highest possible existences.
God, the Infinite, is the Pre-Existent, which does not mean as to time, but as the Cause of causes. He is not a part of existence. He, Himself, is outside of all existences, but manifests Himself through all existence as the light from a flame manifests itself throughout a crystalline room.
He, unknown in Himself, manifests His Glory through His chosen and prepared Representative in existence. That Representative among mankind is BAHA'O'LLAH, the Glory of God, the WORD Incarnate, the visible humanized Word. Above it is the Glory of God, the Word Invisible. Light Itself.
"Allaho Abha" is the Greeting of the Greatest Name. It is the Greeting of the Supreme Kingdom. "Ya Baha el-Abha" is an exclamation. It means: O Thou, the Glory of the Most Glorious!
ABDUL-BAHA'S "WELCOME" TO CALIFORNIA.
[Continued from page 191]
everlasting fruit. This is the divine effulgence. This is the divine bestowal. This is the everlasting life.
The teachings are lengthy, but I state them briefly, and from these brief statements, which are fundamental, you must learn the full teachings.
Praise be to God! We have assembled here, and the cause of our gathering here is the love of God. Praise be to God! The hearts are kind toward each other and the heavenly radiance is resplendent.
I am hopeful that the hearts may be moved, the souls may be attracted, and that all will act in accordance with the teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH.
OUR PERSIAN SECTION this issue contains: (1) Talk by Abdul-Baha on "Capacity and Attainment," delivered before the New Thought conference held in New York, 1912; (2) Tablet pertaining to "Universal Peace" sent to Fifth International Congress in Scotland; (3) a word from Abdul-Baha regarding "Untrustworthiness and Unfaithfulness"; (4) Talk by Abdul-Baha on "Oneness of the Contingent Beings," given at the home of Mrs. A. Parsons, Dublin. N. H.; (5) Tablet on the sin of "Backbiting" to Dr. Skinner, of Washington, D. C.; (6) poem by Badi-ol-Memalik, of Lohizan, Persia; (7) news from Ramleh.
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