Philosophical viewpoint of solipsism

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  • #51
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Originally posted by heusdens
That is not a TOO BIG challenge, cause we know the effect of the material reality was (amongst others) the appearence through billions of years of evolution of consciouss beings in the form of humans.

It can be states that the universe is conscious, cause it contains parts that are consciouss. In exactly the same way as I can state that I am consciouss, cause parts of me are consciouss.

But what does this help us to understand things? What does it clear?

We must put in mind that in order to distinguish conscioussness from non-consciousness, we usually refer to Nature and the processes of Nature as acting without consciousness, will or intent. Even so, we think of ourselves as having those properties, and we have come from Nature and are part of it.

Further, it must be noted that there isn't a clear line within Nature between consciousness and unconsciousness. We refer to Nature as unconscioussness, cause this allows us to distinguish ourselves from other processes in Nature.

Let's put aside, at the moment, whether consciousness existed in some "fragmented" form in the early Universe...or whether consciousness has accreted -- like baryonic matter -- over time.

Let us just address why I'm bothering to think about whether the Universe is conscious (and responsive to all It's parts).

It might help us understand the forces behind the manifestation of "reality" out of "virtuality". If the Universe were conscious -- and in two-way "communication" with us (and everything else) -- and our (and Its) INTENTIONS had an EFFECT to the "lynchpin" of RANDOMNESS, then we might be inclined to ALIGN with this NATURAL PROCESS to CREATE that which we INTEND within our lives.

What might it "clear"? The notion that we are organic anomalies within an expanding MACHINE...and see ourselves (and Everything else) at a product of one Being's evolution.

I asked myself just now "What does this have to do with Solipsism?"...not wanting to stray offpoint too far. But then the answer came: just as Solipsists contend that "Nothing can be proved outside my mind." ...Materialists contend that "Nothing can exist that I can't measure directly."
 
  • #52
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Originally posted by Mentat
Heusdens, I still don't agree that we must be able to know about everything that exists. For example, P-particles: Just because it is impossible for us to know about them, doesn't mean that they don't exist, merely that we can never know about them. To say that our lack of ability to ever know about something means that it doesn't exist, is (IMO) anthro-egotistical.
The point is of course that postulating the existence of something that can not be proven even in theory, is a pointless debate.
Because the thought can not be tested against reality.

So why are you bothered about it in the first place? What purpose does it serve to claim the existence of something, which we never can know about?

There is no point. It has no purpose.
 
  • #53
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Originally posted by M. Gaspar
I asked myself just now "What does this have to do with Solipsism?"...not wanting to stray offpoint too far. But then the answer came: just as Solipsists contend that "Nothing can be proved outside my mind." ...Materialists contend that "Nothing can exist that I can't measure directly."
A solipsists claims that all of reality consists only of one's own thoughts and emotions, and such, and that there is not something existing outside of that.

Materialism claim that that is the case, there is a material reality outside of our thoughs and emotions. Materialism does not claim that things that can't be measured direclty do not exist. That is a ridiculous and false statement.
For instance a black hole we can never measure directly, but only indirectly (because the black hole influences nearby matter). In fact ALL of reality we measure indirectly, by measuring effects. All kinds of planets orbiting stars other then the sun, have not been measured direclty, but only by investigating the effects on the start itself (which "whobbles" a bit due to the gravitational attraction of the planet).
 
  • #54
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Originally posted by M. Gaspar
My challenge, then, might be to identify an EFFECT that suggests that the Universe may be conscious.
Well then, let us shift this topic until an EFFECT has been detected that would indicate that the universe is conscious.
And until that has been proven, let us just continue to claim that the universe is material.
 
  • #55
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Originally posted by heusdens
Well then, let us shift this topic until an EFFECT has been detected that would indicate that the universe is conscious.
And until that has been proven, let us just continue to claim that the universe is material.

OK. I'll sit tight.
 
  • #56
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Originally posted by M. Gaspar
OK. I'll sit tight.
That's the wrong idea.

Better explore and study the world in greater detail, so you might find clues for your claims (or: conclude that the claims are baseless, and drop the hypothese).

At least: do something (your own motto!)
 
  • #57
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Originally posted by heusdens
That's the wrong idea.

Better explore and study the world in greater detail, so you might find clues for your claims (or: conclude that the claims are baseless, and drop the hypothese).

At least: do something (your own motto!)

Did you really think I was going to "sit tight"?!

Don't you know me yet? :smile:
 
  • #58
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Originally posted by heusdens
The point is of course that postulating the existence of something that can not be proven even in theory, is a pointless debate.
Because the thought can not be tested against reality.

So why are you bothered about it in the first place? What purpose does it serve to claim the existence of something, which we never can know about?

There is no point. It has no purpose.
It has not purpose, to us. I know. I was just arguing the point, because what you said sounded wrong :wink:
 
  • #59
Lifegazer


Originally posted by heusdens
M.Gasper:- "Originally posted by M. Gaspar
My challenge, then, might be to identify an EFFECT that suggests that the Universe may be conscious."

Well then, let us shift this topic until an EFFECT has been detected that would indicate that the universe is conscious.
And until that has been proven, let us just continue to claim that the universe is material.
It amuses me that a couple of universal-effects (you guys) can sit there conciously-seeking to unearth an effect of the universe which might prove that the universe is concious... and yet forget your own existences.
 
  • #60
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Originally posted by Mentat
It has not purpose, to us. I know. I was just arguing the point, because what you said sounded wrong :wink:
It does not only have no purpose to us but also has no purpose to anyone else we can know of, so in effect there is noone to which it has any purpose.
 
  • #61
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Originally posted by Lifegazer
It amuses me that a couple of universal-effects (you guys) can sit there conciously-seeking to unearth an effect of the universe which might prove that the universe is concious... and yet forget your own existences.
We've already been there. We call ourselves consciouss. We are a part of the universe. It can therefore be stated that the universe itself must be consciouss too (since some parts of it have that property).

But the question comes up in most cases in the form of the issue wether the pre-existing universe (the universe as it existed before there was any life) can be called consciouss.

There isn't any reason to call the universe conscious, apart from the consciouss beings we have defined, cause there is no reason to assume that the changes and motion that occur in the universe cannot lead to new qualities which were inexistent before. Existent material properties combine and build up to form new properties, that were inexistent before.

In fact, that is what the universe tells us, it comes up with new properties and qualities. This is the reason that the universe is developing, and that the motions and changes that occur, are not random changes.

All forms of development show a history. Human life, mankind, the evolution of life and the development of the material world, all these things show us that the universe is developing progressively.
If all changes and motion that occur in the material world, would be nothing more as purely random, there would not be historic progress of any kind. The universe would just be in a random state, and change to another random state, with exactly the same properties.

This is clearly not the case.
 
  • #62
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Originally posted by heusdens
It does not only have no purpose to us but also has no purpose to anyone else we can know of, so in effect there is noone to which it has any purpose.
What "purpose" does it serve for humanity to "know" that the Universe will "expand forever and ever"? Yet, this is a current theory -- based on the observation of certain EFFECTS -- and which engages some of the best minds that the Universe has been able to assemble...on THIS planet, anyway.

Might it be "proved' some day that this will be the case...or might someone make a case -- mathematically, perhaps -- for a "phase transition" (precipitated by the attendant cooling of the Universe in the expansion model) that might shift the theoretical "Dark Energy" down to the theoretical "Dark Matter" ...thereby CAUSING the EFFECT of the Universe collapsing ?

And, what would be the "purpose" of "knowing" THAT?

On the other hand, if a case could be made -- by OBSERVING certain EFFECTS (yet to be identified...although Lifegazer points to a possibility) that the Universe is a living, conscious Entity responsive to all of Its part...THIS could serve a "purpose".

...especially when coupled with the idea -- which I think could be proven -- that INTENTION influences the "lynchpin" of randomness to "cause" certain "things" (both material and situational/experiencial ) to "come into being" (leaving OTHER potentialities UN-manifested)...

...this, it seems to me, would have some "purpose" ...and worth pursuing.

How? If you "knew" that your INTENTIONS -- communicated to the rest of the Universe (along with Everything Else's intentions) could PRODUCE desired RESULTS -- might that not be USEFUL to you in the here and now ?!
 
  • #63
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Originally posted by M. Gaspar
What "purpose" does it serve for humanity to "know" that the Universe will "expand forever and ever"? Yet, this is a current theory -- based on the observation of certain EFFECTS -- and which engages some of the best minds that the Universe has been able to assemble...on THIS planet, anyway.

Might it be "proved' some day that this will be the case...or might someone make a case -- mathematically, perhaps -- for a "phase transition" (precipitated by the attendant cooling of the Universe in the expansion model) that might shift the theoretical "Dark Energy" down to the theoretical "Dark Matter" ...thereby CAUSING the EFFECT of the Universe collapsing ?

And, what would be the "purpose" of "knowing" THAT?

On the other hand, if a case could be made -- by OBSERVING certain EFFECTS (yet to be identified...although Lifegazer points to a possibility) that the Universe is a living, conscious Entity responsive to all of Its part...THIS could serve a "purpose".

...especially when coupled with the idea -- which I think could be proven -- that INTENTION influences the "lynchpin" of randomness to "cause" certain "things" (both material and situational/experiencial ) to "come into being" (leaving OTHER potentialities UN-manifested)...

...this, it seems to me, would have some "purpose" ...and worth pursuing.

How? If you "knew" that your INTENTIONS -- communicated to the rest of the Universe (along with Everything Else's intentions) could PRODUCE desired RESULTS -- might that not be USEFUL to you in the here and now ?!
Your question is like what is the purpose of learning and knowledge.
I could then ask what is the purpose of life itself? Is there a purpose and a meaning to anything?

When talking about the progress in knowledge, for instance in the field of particle physics and cosmology, those progress was driven by a need to now how the actual world in fact looks like, how did it develop, etc. The need understand this, is derived from the need to make use of the possibilities the natural world provides for our species to sustain itself in a more developed way.
All this is derived from the fact that our biological species developed from their natural drifts into a being that by interaction with their physical surroundings (nature) extended their natural powers and overcame their limitations, by using tools and by use of labor, which formed and shaped our consciousness.
The end product of this historical process, is society and mankind as we know now, which is able in many ways of sustaining itself (but also destroying itself) and made human life more worthwhile.

In the end, you can only define mankind as freedom, the freedom to not be dependend on nature directly for food and other resources (because we can manufacture food resources ourselves, and can influence natural conditions, to provide for these and other resources) and so, and to use one's abilities not just and not only for mere sustaining oneself. As human individuals we don't have to work all day to provide our basic living conditions, but in fact we work with each other (made possible by the division of labor), most will produce things they don't need for themselves, and
most will use things, they didn't produce themselves.

The will to know and the ability to understand the world, that has made man to what it is know. Without that willing and without that ability mankind would now not be very much different then apes.
 
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  • #64
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Originally posted by heusdens
We've already been there. We call ourselves consciouss. We are a part of the universe. It can therefore be stated that the universe itself must be consciouss too (since some parts of it have that property).

But the question comes up in most cases in the form of the issue wether the pre-existing universe (the universe as it existed before there was any life) can be called consciouss.

There isn't any reason to call the universe conscious, apart from the consciouss beings we have defined, cause there is no reason to assume that the changes and motion that occur in the universe cannot lead to new qualities which were inexistent before. Existent material properties combine and build up to form new properties, that were inexistent before.

In fact, that is what the universe tells us, it comes up with new properties and qualities. This is the reason that the universe is developing, and that the motions and changes that occur, are not random changes.

All forms of development show a history. Human life, mankind, the evolution of life and the development of the material world, all these things show us that the universe is developing progressively.
If all changes and motion that occur in the material world, would be nothing more as purely random, there would not be historic progress of any kind. The universe would just be in a random state, and change to another random state, with exactly the same properties.

This is clearly not the case.
I have NOT stated that the Universe is conscious because it has given rise to sentient beings. I am saying the the "element" of "consciousness" has ALWAYS been a part of the Entity that is the Universe

...except that within each incarnation of the Universe (from each "Big Bang" to "Big Crunch") the collective consciousness that condensed into the Primal Singularity from the PREVIOUS incarnation of the Universe...

...THIS -- as with baryonic matter -- "fragmented" into an early soup of "particles" -- thereby rendering the neonatal Universe unable to "form coherent thoughts"...

...until these "fragments (of concousness -- like matter) come together (accrete via natural forces) into dynamic, coherent systems (like us and Everything Else) which allows for a NETWORK (much like that of the human/monkey/rabit brain) to store and retrieve memories, to learn, and make wild speculations about Itself (via Its parts).
 
  • #65
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Originally posted by heusdens
Your question is like what is the purpose of learning and knowledge.
I could then ask what is the purpose of life itself? Is there a purpose and a meaning to anything?

When talking about the progress in knowledge, for instance in the field of particle physics and cosmology, those progress was driven by a need to know how the actual world in fact looks like, where did it come from, etc.
All this is derived from the fact that our biological species developed from their natural drifts into a being that by interaction with their physical surroundings (nature) extended their natural powers and overcame their limitations, by using tools and by use of labor, which formed and shaped our consciousness.
The end product of this historical process, is society and mankind as we know now, which is able in many ways of sustaining itself (but also destroying itself) and made human life more worthwhile.
In the end, you can only define mankind as freedom, the freedom to not be dependend on nature directly for food resources and so, and to use one's abilities not just and not only for mere sustaining oneself.
The will to know and the ability to understand things, that has made man to what it is know. Without that willing and without that ability mankind would now not be very much different then apes.
If I didn't have to stop and get dressed right now, I would read and respond to the above...pointing out whatever "errors" are contained therein :wink: .

Instead, I will print out this page -- missing out, of course, on whatever your typing now to my last posting (if, indeed, you haven't deserted this thread in disgust) -- and will be back to make myself CLEAR-ER if at all possible.

Have a nice day. :smile:
 
  • #66
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Originally posted by M. Gaspar
I have NOT stated that the Universe is conscious because it has given rise to sentient beings. I am saying the the "element" of "consciousness" has ALWAYS been a part of the Entity that is the Universe
That is something you need to proof then. It seems you in fact do not adopt the vision that consciousness is a quality of matter, derived from matter in a long historic process, but was always "there"..

I think you just claim, since material forms can take the form of consciousness, this is a potential thing, which always existed.

In the same way, the quality that I have of being a millionaire, can be said to already exist, cause I could win a lottery for example.
But that potentiality to become a millionaire, does not make me any richer now however....

...except that within each incarnation of the Universe (from each "Big Bang" to "Big Crunch") the collective consciousness that condensed into the Primal Singularity from the PREVIOUS incarnation of the Universe...

...THIS -- as with baryonic matter -- "fragmented" into an early soup of "particles" -- thereby rendering the neonatal Universe unable to "form coherent thoughts"...

...until these "fragments (of concousness -- like matter) come together (accrete via natural forces) into dynamic, coherent systems (like us and Everything Else) which allows for a NETWORK (much like that of the human/monkey/rabit brain) to store and retrieve memories, to learn, and make wild speculations about Itself (via Its parts).
This is pure meta-physics if you ask me.
 
  • #67
Lifegazer


Originally posted by heusdens
But the question comes up in most cases in the form of the issue wether the pre-existing universe (the universe as it existed before there was any life) can be called consciouss.
I'm aware of that. But I'm of the opinion that it does not rain unless there is moisture in the sky... if you get my drift.
 
  • #68
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Originally posted by Lifegazer
I'm aware of that. But I'm of the opinion that it does not rain unless there is moisture in the sky... if you get my drift.
Of course. The moisture is potential for raining to occur. But not all potential becomes actual. I could agree that the universe contains "potential consciousness" and may contain a lot more, we aren't even aware of, cause they are not yet actual.

But my conclusion would be that potential rain is not actual rain. The universe can indeed be qualified as having had the potential for consciousness to occur, but didn't contain this factual quality before the appearance of consciouss living beings.
 
  • #69
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Originally posted by heusdens
It does not only have no purpose to us but also has no purpose to anyone else we can know of, so in effect there is noone to which it has any purpose.
That's anthro-egotistical, but I'll just leave it alone.
 
  • #70
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Originally posted by Mentat
That's anthro-egotistical, but I'll just leave it alone.
What is anthro-egotistical?
 
  • #71
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Originally posted by heusdens
Your question is like what is the purpose of learning and knowledge.
I could then ask what is the purpose of life itself? Is there a purpose and a meaning to anything?

When talking about the progress in knowledge, for instance in the field of particle physics and cosmology, those progress was driven by a need to now how the actual world in fact looks like, how did it develop

The will to know and the ability to understand the world, that has made man to what it is know. Without that willing and without that ability mankind would now not be very much different then apes.
Hey...YOU'RE THE ONE that said my inquiry has "no purpose"...so I was making the point that MY pursuit is as "purposeful" as the pursuit of knowledge. In fact, it is actually a PART of that pursuit (however misguided ).

I was NOT actually saying that the pursuit of scientific knowledge is purposeless. If nothing else, it's FUN!

So you're preaching to the choir when you make your case for pursuing knowledge for its own sake. It's part of "who we are" as you have said.

Now, let's take the case -- for a brief moment -- that the Universe is out with a similar purpose...that of learning about Itself, which is to say, Everything That Is.

In such a case, the Universe would have to keep "re-shuffling the deck" by giving rise to sentient beings -- over time -- that would "think on" these things, thereby rendering Self-knowledge.

Also part of the "mix" would be the Universe having a 30-billion-year Experience via the actions and consequences, inentions and emotions contained in the mini-dramas we call our individual lives.

As to the "purpose of life"? Here's my take: The Universe is out to have an EXPERIENCE ...a different one than the one BEFORE...or the one before THAT...etc.

The Experience, of course, is the collective experiences of everything that has ever HAD an experience..including a rock.

Each incarnation (and I'm deliverately using this "charged" word, even though I could express it as the time between each "Big Bang" and "Big Crunch")...this type of unending life-cycle seems a better candidate to ME for how the Universe spends ETERNITY than the one where It keeps EXXXPPPPAAAAAAAANNNNNDDDDIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGgggggggggggggggggg g gg g g g g !


It's [?] [?] [?] [?] [?] for me!
 
  • #72
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Originally posted by heusdens


The will to know and the ability to understand the world, that has made man to what it is know. Without that willing and without that ability mankind would now not be very much different then apes.
And men in the 21st century might not know more than men of the 20th century without "the will to know and the ability to understand the" ...Universe.
 
  • #73
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Originally posted by M. Gaspar
Hey...YOU'RE THE ONE that said my inquiry has "no purpose"...so I was making the point that MY pursuit is as "purposeful" as the pursuit of knowledge. In fact, it is actually a PART of that pursuit (however misguided ).

I was NOT actually saying that the pursuit of scientific knowledge is purposeless. If nothing else, it's FUN!

So you're preaching to the choir when you make your case for pursuing knowledge for its own sake. It's part of "who we are" as you have said.

Now, let's take the case -- for a brief moment -- that the Universe is out with a similar purpose...that of learning about Itself, which is to say, Everything That Is.

In such a case, the Universe would have to keep "re-shuffling the deck" by giving rise to sentient beings -- over time -- that would "think on" these things, thereby rendering Self-knowledge.

Also part of the "mix" would be the Universe having a 30-billion-year Experience via the actions and consequences, inentions and emotions contained in the mini-dramas we call our individual lives.

As to the "purpose of life"? Here's my take: The Universe is out to have an EXPERIENCE ...a different one than the one BEFORE...or the one before THAT...etc.

The Experience, of course, is the collective experiences of everything that has ever HAD an experience..including a rock.

Each incarnation (and I'm deliverately using this "charged" word, even though I could express it as the time between each "Big Bang" and "Big Crunch")...this type of unending life-cycle seems a better candidate to ME for how the Universe spends ETERNITY than the one where It keeps EXXXPPPPAAAAAAAANNNNNDDDDIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGgggggggggggggggggg g gg g g g g


You are reasoning from a point of view that is not a factual point of view. There is no "observer" out there, that can witness the evolution of the universe as a whole, and would be wondering about the things happening.
Now I know that this point of view does not exist and cannot exist. Neither has a rock any "experience" (this is because the rock has no material systems to proceed such information, like humans and living animals do).

If you want to talk about purpose and meaning, ok, but you'll have to do that from the point of view of a human observer, or everything you say becomes pointless and meaningless.

Why in heavens name do you think you have to reason about the purpose and the meaning of the universe, and even from the point of view of the universe itself? Somehow you then shift your mind from your own life to that of the universe, and from that point of view, you only see meaningless interaction of matter throughout all of eternity.
What does it matter (to the universe) what happens in the universe? Nothing whatsoever!
The universe doesn't get bored when it expands forever, or if evolution takes 3 billions years. The universe couldn't care less!

We on the other hand have to deal with the fact that we have only a limited time to live, and in that time we have to fullfill some of our own goals. Our individual and personal ones, but also our collective ones. If you look around you, you will find all the meaning and purpose you want, even more as you can handle in just one live!
 
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  • #74
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Originally posted by heusdens
Of course. The moisture is potential for raining to occur. But not all potential becomes actual. I could agree that the universe contains "potential consciousness" and may contain a lot more, we aren't even aware of, cause they are not yet actual.

But my conclusion would be that potential rain is not actual rain. The universe can indeed be qualified as having had the potential for consciousness to occur, but didn't contain this factual quality before the appearance of consciouss living beings.
Perhaps one of the problems we are having is that we see the quality of "consciousness" in two different ways.

For you, for "consciousness" to merit the term, it must exist at a certain functional level...below which it is no longer consciousness.

For me, "consciousness" is on a continuum ...from a "simple self-awareness" (as might be that of an atom) to a more complex awareness of self and that which is OUTSIDE of self (as might be that of insects, lizards, birds, mammals...STILL at varying degrees).

The "degree" to which a being is is conscious might have to do with the ACCRETION of the "raw material" of consciousness which existed WITHIN the Primary Singularity and burst forth into fragmentation.

Thus, the Universe did not just draw from the POTENTIAL of consciousness...but from the actual bits of consciousness contained within Itself.

I AGREE that the MATERIAL world is necessary as a vehicle for for the EVOLUTION of consciousness. But -- like matter -- consciousness didn't come from nothin'!
 
  • #75
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P.S....

Putting it another way...

at the moment after the "Big Bang" the Universe (which was, one moment before, a singularity) might be said to have "lost Its MIND" via the fragmentation!!! ...and has been spending all this time "pulling it back together again."
 

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