What are chakras anyway?

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  • #36
DaveC426913
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...I decided one day to experiment with "awakening the chakras" in a secluded field next to a church.
Whatever I did(can't fully remember) caused a dramatic sensation within my naval area. What I do remember is that the sensation kept growing and eventually(a couple of minutes) felt so powerful that I got scared and stopped, even though I would describe it as "pleasant"
Never did it again.
At the very least, this will get you arrested. More likely, you will go blind. But doing it near a church is a free ticket to hell.
 
  • #37
Ivan Seeking
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AltScience, I think you need to find some evidence before continuing with your theories here. Speculation that things might just line up with your beliefs, without something backing it up, isn't special enough to merit discussion.

Correct. Describing personal experiences is perfectly acceptable, but the posting of personal theories that seek to explain those or other experiences is specifically forbidden. Explanations are limited to those that have either been published in an appropriate peer-reviewed journal, and/or those already considered to be common [scientific] knowledge.
 
  • #38
pallidin
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At the very least, this will get you arrested. More likely, you will go blind. But doing it near a church is a free ticket to hell.

Dave, that(what you are alluding to) is not even what I was talking about. But that's OK. I can see how that can be misinterpreted.

Get serious. This is no joke.
 
  • #39
DaveC426913
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Dave, that(what you are alluding to) is not even what I was talking about. But that's OK. I can see how that can be misinterpreted.

Get serious. This is no joke.
I was only half-joking.

Sexual arousal is 90% mental, 10% physical. I see no reason why it is not possible to generate feelings that are much like arousal purely with the power of thought.

While you may not have interpreted what you felt in the way I am interpreting it, that doesn't mean it wasn't virtually the same process.

P.S. Regarding getting serious, perhaps a science forum isn't the place to discuss chakras, hm? This thread is flirting with getting locked.
 
  • #40
lisab
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P.S. Regarding getting serious, perhaps a science forum isn't the place to discuss chakras, hm? This thread is flirting with getting locked.

Oh that was my first thought too, Dave...and second, and third, haha! But I hope it doesn't get locked, it's pure entertainment.
 
  • #41
Phrak
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At the very least, this will get you arrested. More likely, you will go blind. But doing it near a church is a free ticket to hell.

:rofl::rofl: Top form, Dave.
 
  • #42
Ivan Seeking
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Now now, I won't lock the thread but I will delete off-topic comments. We really can't allow even good-natured teasing. Members are specifically invited to share their experiences, so please be respectful of those who do.

Even if we assume that all exotic claims have prosaic explanations, I think we would all agree that the brain can play some very impressive tricks on the mind.
 
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  • #43
Simple10
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What are the seven Chakras?

In Indian Medicine, Ayurveda, there are seven major chakras.

The body has seven major chakras and a great many lesser chakras or energy centers.

The major chakras recognized as focal points of the life-force.

Ayurveda teaches the prevention of disease, the rejuvenation of the body’s systems, and the extension of one’s life span. Through faithful practices, Ayurveda promises the prevention of heart disease and the freedom from pain. It is an integrated approach which relies upon lifestyle changes and natural therapies.
http://www.neurosurgical.com/neuro_medical_info/alternative_care/ayurveda.htm

According to Ayerveda Medicine the Chakras are:
  1. Root Chakra
  2. Navel Chakra
  3. Solar Plexus Chakra
  4. Heart Chakra
  5. Throat Chakra
  6. Crown Chakra
  7. Brow Chakra

The Chakras are in the same location as glandular structures recognized by Western Medicine:

  1. Gonads
  2. Leydig Gland
  3. Adrenal Glands
  4. Thymus Gland
  5. Thyroid Gland
  6. Pituitary Gland
  7. Pineal Gland

The only out of place items are the Crown Chakra/Pituitary Gland.
The Pituitary Gland, at the base of the skull, is a direct connection between the endocrine system and the nervous system through the Hypothalamus.

An educated guess is the Pituitary (indirectly) stimulates nerves (via the Hypothalamus) at the top of the head leading to the incorrect location. Also, 5000 years ago they most likely didn't have imaging equipment to determine absolutely precise locations.

@pallidin

Progressive relaxation will yield better results then trying to stimulate one Chakra/Gland.
You help all the energetic/glandular systems in this way.
 
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  • #44
Moonbear
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According to Ayerveda Medicine the Chakras are:
  1. Root Chakra
  2. Navel Chakra
  3. Solar Plexus Chakra
  4. Heart Chakra
  5. Throat Chakra
  6. Crown Chakra
  7. Brow Chakra

The Chakras are in the same location as glandular structures recognized by Western Medicine:

  1. Gonads
  2. Leydig Gland
  3. Adrenal Glands
  4. Thymus Gland
  5. Thyroid Gland
  6. Pituitary Gland
  7. Pineal Gland

The only out of place items are the Crown Chakra/Pituitary Gland.
The Pituitary Gland, at the base of the skull, is a direct connection between the endocrine system and the nervous system through the Hypothalamus.

An educated guess is the Pituitary stimulates nerves at the top of the head leading to the incorrect location. Also, 5000 years ago they most likely didn't have imaging equipment to determine absolutely precise locations.
Nope. The pituitary controls the glands of the entire body. Endocrine glands aren't neural, they are ENDOCRINE, which means the hormones are released into the BLOOD to circulate around the entire body until they reach their targets, which in the case of the pituitary are all of the other endocrine organs of the body.

And, since endocrinology is part of my specialization area, I'm really curious to hear your explanation of what a leydig gland is. There are leydig CELLS in the testes (gonads), but no leydig "gland" and nothing near the navel.

The thymus is nearly absent in adults, as its main function is in the developing immune system.

The pineal gland is not near the brow. It sits just posterior and superior to the hypothalamus of the brain, in a region called the epithalamus.

The solar plexus is more properly called the coeliac plexus, and is a bundle of nerves around the aorta at about the level of the stomach or pancreas. It is located close to the midline of the body. The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys, located laterally in the body, so these are not in the same place. The renal arteries, which also provide branches to the adrenal glands, branch off the aorta inferior (lower) than the celiac plexus, so one could not even claim the blood supply originates at that location.

Again, this is sounding like people trying to fit completely outdated ideas to modern knowledge of biology and medicine without actually having a solid understanding of biology and medicine. It's like trying to justify alchemy by trying to stretch the comparisons to modern chemistry.
 
  • #45
Moonbear
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I never referred to "arousal of the genitals" in terms of erection or erectile tissues but to the experience of an sensation that is localized in the genital region. I am going to speculate without doing research on the electro-chemical triggers to erection that "something" must signal the heart to pump blood to the gentials and that this "something" has to do with a electro-chemical charge that is associated with a hormonal response caused by some sort of reaction caused by a sexual stimuli.

Those perceived sensations happen in the brain, not the genitals. Look up "limbic system."
 
  • #46
Simple10
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Moonbear said:
And, since endocrinology is part of my specialization area, I'm really curious to hear your explanation of what a leydig gland is. There are leydig CELLS in the testes (gonads), but no leydig "gland" and nothing near the navel.

The Leydig Gland is located in the mesonephros tissue. It is about the size of a pea and exists in all vertebrates. It was discovered in 1892 by Franz von Leydig, Professor of Comparative Anatomy, University of Tübingen in 1857 and University of Bonn in 1875.
If Endocrinology truly is your specialization, there may be a history book with your name as the person who discovered the functions of the Leydig Gland.

Moonbear said:
Nope. The pituitary controls the glands of the entire body. Endocrine glands aren't neural, they are ENDOCRINE, which means the hormones are released into the BLOOD to circulate around the entire body until they reach their targets, which in the case of the pituitary are all of the other endocrine organs of the body.
Simple10 said:
The Pituitary Gland, at the base of the skull, is a direct connection between the endocrine system and the nervous system through the Hypothalamus.
I don't see any contradiction comparing our statements. The Pituitary is linked to the Hypothalamus.

Are you trying to say that the Endocrine system has no effect on the Autonomic Nervous System and vice-versa?

Moonbear said:
The pineal gland is not near the brow. It sits just posterior and superior to the hypothalamus of the brain, in a region called the epithalamus.
Unfortunately I do not have access to imaging equipment.

Moonbear said:
The solar plexus is more properly called the coeliac plexus, and is a bundle of nerves around the aorta at about the level of the stomach or pancreas. It is located close to the midline of the body. The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys, located laterally in the body, so these are not in the same place. The renal arteries, which also provide branches to the adrenal glands, branch off the aorta inferior (lower) than the celiac plexus, so one could not even claim the blood supply originates at that location.
If the Adrenals turn the volume too loud, will it get on the coeliac plexus' nerves?
 
  • #47
Nick666
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I'm amazed that whoever invented these chackras, forgot about the *** hole. I mean really, you lose about an atomic bomb worth of energy through there, everyday.
 
  • #48
pallidin
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@ Simple 10

I remember now. What I was practising was Kundalini Awakening.
The pleasent but powerful energy I felt grew to about the size of a softball.
When I attempted to move it up, it moved, and it scared the heck out of me so I stopped.
Probably shouldn't have stopped, but it was seriously weird, and very powerful.

I found a website referencing this. Not sure how accurate, but seems like what I was doing: http://www.swamij.com/kundalini-awakening.htm

pallidin
 
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  • #49
turbo
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No, the nervous system functions through ion gradients...it's chemical, not electrical. And arousal of the genitals is due to a shift in blood flow. There is nothing special about the genitals compared to other parts of the body in terms of how they function.
Yep! You can blush. Other things can happen, too.
 
  • #50
Math Is Hard
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I'm amazed that whoever invented these chackras, forgot about the *** hole. I mean really, you lose about an atomic bomb worth of energy through there, everyday.

The "base" or "root" chakra maps to that area.

(I live in California, so I know these things.)
 
  • #51
Simple10
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@ pallidin

Fear, doubt, condemnation, brings doubt, illness, fear, and then disillusion; and the hill to be climbed again.

Your Kundalini experience may have been incomplete, only rising part way up the spine.

Awakening the Kundalini is like college finals, there is a lot of study and preperation.
I show up at a college classroom and observe people taking their final test. I decide to take it along with them but I am unable to complete the test, only answering about a third of the questions, the rest I don't know the answers to. A difficult task for anyone.

With progressive relaxation, starting from the feet and going towards the head, you will accomplish a similar thing to Awakening the Kundalini and stimulate the chakras/glands without creating an imbalance by focusing on one chakra/gland, causing overstimulation, and in a slower more studied manner.
You will build other essential mental skills; improving concentration, overcoming distraction, learning to be sensitive to the physical body and it's processes, overcoming unrealistic emotions like fear (of suffocation while breathing).

I would do 4,5 or 10 cycles a day of progressive relaxation. Starting from the feet and working in large body groups, feet, calves, thighs, hips, waist, chest, hands, forearms, upper arm, shoulder, neck, head.
After doing this for a week or two, I would then begin to relax smaller areas, toes, soles, heel, top of foot, ankle...
After doing that for awhile you may become aware of individual muscle tensions or antsiness, it's time to reduce the size of the area of focus again to individual muscle sections. Your goal is to relax or dissipate that tension or antsiness when you reach the location through progression.
After accomplishing the dissipation of tension from individual muscles, you may become aware of sluggish or blocked pressure/energetic spots, mainly in the same muscles that experienced tension but no always.
You don't want to dissipate the pressure/energetic spots but open them up to allow stuck/sluggish pressure/energy to flow or flow better.
After accomplishing this you will be at a very deep level of relaxation.

This method is universal and has no requirement in a belief or dogma. You do not have to believe in Kundalini, Chakras, QI, or Glands for that matter, to benefit from the exercise. But it will stimulate them as a natural part of the process, in a much more encompassing method, in a slow and gentle manner that does not shock the system and allows for personal discovery.

Then, discover how an emotion creates a particular breathing pattern. learn to create an emotional state just by breathing in it's pattern.

If you have accomplished the above then you can move on to Awakening the Kundalini, if you so believe. Now you are ready, having dilligently studied and prepared for the finals.

@ nick666

In Traditional Chinese Medicine they believe while exercising you must keep the rectum contracted to prevent the leakage of vital force.
 
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  • #52
freq_mod
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Interesting thread. I like yoga. I took a semester of it. I'd take it again. I mean what could be better than rolling around on the floor with a bunch of college girls for an hour or so.

I'm no expert in Hinduism, but I like certain aspects of it. I think the problem occurs when people take things literally. I tend to look at Hinduism, and all religions for that matter, metaphorically.For instance, Someone might have read or heard something about the "third eye". Some might take this to actually mean there is some sort of strange eye coming out of their forehead. Personally, I look at it as the ability to see with the mind. In other words, to use logic and reasoning.

All these things, like chakras and third eyes, were just ways people described and explained natural phenomena the best they could 5000 years ago.
 
  • #53
ibcnunabit
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I have heard of healing done through "chakra alignment" or something of the sorts... But is there even any way at all to see if it truly works? Or if it is the placebo affect only? I have a friend that works with this stuff, and she truly believes in what she does... I am a skeptic personally, but when science has taken prayer and ruled out the placebo affect, I won't bet that chakras are nothing at all... But how do you rule out the placebo effect?


It would help if one could demonstrate that chakras were or weren't aligned, or even what a chakra was, as a phenomenon. Even if something corresponding to what is called a chakra exists, the lack of any demonstration of one lends a lot of doubt as to these "services" that are allegedly performed.

But, just as accupuncture meridians and "chi" has been identified as very real DC currents that naturally occur in the body (and help direct healing through normal physiological processes, for example--see The Body Electric), chakras may correspond to similar (or even the very same) sorts of cellular activity. Perhaps this will be discovered in the future. Until then, I have to take it all with a healthy dose of skepticism.
 
  • #54
ibcnunabit
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Sorry CEL, I am swamped today and having a hard time finding the exact study with so little time (needless to say, googling "prayer" brings up so much garbage). The one I remember reading about, the people didn't even know that people were praying for them to rule out placebo. This study appears that the patients knew someone was praying for them, which doesn't rule out placebo.

The study you refer to (it was from Columbia University) is now a well-known fraud:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200412/prayer-healing-hoaxes

http://www.csicop.org/si/2004-09/miracle-study.html [Broken]

Its findings were loudly trumpeted in the media, but the discovery of fraud was much less reported. People still triumphantly refer to it as "proof that prayer works," but it's no such thing.
 
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  • #55
ibcnunabit
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Again, sorry I couldn't find the right one, but I have no more time to search. This is the best I could find from a reputable source.

http://www.dukehealth.org/HealthLibrary/News/5056"


Here are some reports and commentary on the findings of the Duke study:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,189691,00.html

http://www.dimaggio.org/Eye-Openers/prayer_does_not_work.htm [Broken]

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Prayer_does_not_help_heart_patients,_study_finds

http://articles.latimes.com/2006/mar/31/science/sci-prayer31
 
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  • #56
Evo
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The Leydig Gland is located in the mesonephros tissue. It is about the size of a pea and exists in all vertebrates. It was discovered in 1892 by Franz von Leydig, Professor of Comparative Anatomy, University of Tübingen in 1857 and University of Bonn in 1875.
If Endocrinology truly is your specialization, there may be a history book with your name as the person who discovered the functions of the Leydig Gland.
You must have gotten that bit of misinformation from an online source as I see it in several mystic misinformation sites. Moonbear is correct, it's Leydig cells.
 
  • #57
drezz1
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They are special points on the body through which money can be extracted from Californians.

That's one of the best responses I think I've seen on this site.
 
  • #58
Pythagorean
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Those perceived sensations happen in the brain, not the genitals. Look up "limbic system."

Can you say anymore about the phenomena you're referring to (at least it's name). The limbic system encompasses a bunch of different functions and I'm particularly interested in the difference between perceived sensations and "real" ones. By real, I mean that they actually originate from the nerve endings in a specific location on the body.
 
  • #59
Simple10
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You must have gotten that bit of misinformation from an online source as I see it in several mystic misinformation sites. Moonbear is correct, it's Leydig cells.

I prefer the horses mouth when it comes to quoting the "Mystic". Even well meaning authors have fabricated info stating it has come from the "mystic" in question but exists nowhere in his records.
Yet the books are still in multiple printings without the corrections.

Regarding Leydig Cells, I did not state that "there is no Leydig cells". They exist in the reproductive organs. Discovered by Franz von Leydig.
I did state the addition, which has not been studied well since it's discovery in 1892, of the Leydig Gland which resides above the reproductive organs, between the genital bone and the kidneys is the region of the menosophrose tissue.

Rats and sharks are the only vertebrates that the Leydig Gland is being studied currently.

"The Leydig Glands are a series of branched tubular glands that secrete into the epididymus and ductus deferens. The Leydig gland is the modified anterior section of the menosophrose that produces and transmits a milky secretion that congeals into refractile bodies following fixation in formalin.
Jones and Lin (1993) conclude that the Leydig Gland secretions are the main source of the increase in protein concentration of the luminal fluid in the ductus deferens in Heterodontus."
Luminal Contents: Sertoli Cell Bodies, Sertoli Cell Cytoplasts, and Leydig Gland Bodies


The Leydig Gland
Who Named It

I have tried to access the University of Bonn website but could not get access to archives that might reveal Leydigs original work.

[addtional statements and link deleted by Ivan]
 
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  • #60
Ivan Seeking
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I have tried to access the University of Bonn website but could not get access to archives that might reveal Leydigs original work.

If you can provide a source, we can explore the issue. You cannot make unsupported scientific claims and then reference a "psychic".
 
  • #61
imiyakawa
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From a qigong perspective, these are energy centres in the body in which chi is said to be stored and flow through. e.g. in the head, solar plexus, naval and some others. So yeah, they're claimed to be energy centres.

With qigong practice, you learn to move the chi around your body (it's always said to be moving, but you can feel it). It starts off feeling like a warm current flowing around your body then is said to feel like fire moving outside the body by more advanced practitioners.

You can gather this chi inside your naval (a 'chakra') and make a gumbling sound.

Here's a video;

But i can't talk about 'chakras' from an Hindu perspective.. don't know anything about that.
 
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  • #62
Pythagorean
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If you can provide a source, we can explore the issue. You cannot make unsupported scientific claims and then reference a "psychic".

Well, he did provide a quote from a biolgoical scientist. Here's the reference:

Evolution of the Vertibrate Epididymis
R.C. Jones
Dept of Biological Sciences
University of Newcastle

And here's a whole slew of journal articles on the Leydig gland from google scholar:

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?h...Y3&q="Leydig gland"&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=ws

I'm not saying anything about chakras, just pointing out that the Leydig gland seems to exist in biology literature. People who only found it on mystic sites were biasing their search with assumptions. Mystics draw off of real science plenty, it shouldn't discredit the fundamental scientific idea just because a mystic used it on their web page.
 
  • #63
Evo
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Well, he did provide a quote from a biolgoical scientist. Here's the reference:

Evolution of the Vertibrate Epididymis
R.C. Jones
Dept of Biological Sciences
University of Newcastle

And here's a whole slew of journal articles on the Leydig gland from google scholar:

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?h...Y3&q="Leydig gland"&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=ws

I'm not saying anything about chakras, just pointing out that the Leydig gland seems to exist in biology literature. People who only found it on mystic sites were biasing their search with assumptions. Mystics draw off of real science plenty, it shouldn't discredit the fundamental scientific idea just because a mystic used it on their web page.
Uhm, did you notice that those are references to marine animals, not humans? Moonbear is correct, they don't exist in humans.
 
  • #64
Pythagorean
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Uhm, did you notice that those are references to marine animals, not humans? Moonbear is correct, they don't exist in humans.

To be fair, you've only just now added the qualifier "in humans" as far as I can tell in this thread. I'm nitpicking at the fact that the Leydig gland does exist, despite being on a mystic site. I don't care where it exists.

I'm not sure what's keeping this thread going; I hope we're not still holding out for evidence proving the existence of chakras...
 
  • #65
Ivan Seeking
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Well, he did provide a quote from a biolgoical scientist. Here's the reference:

What you can't see is what I deleted. :wink:
 
  • #66
Mk
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Now, I'm not an expert on chakras, but it seems to me that to really understand what they are we'd have to have a review of the philosophy of the region. It sounds like chakras are how people hold the various types of suffering. The types of suffering are distinguished from each other based on their causes.

There are three types of suffering in the philosophy that I am familiar with, dukkha-dukkha, viparinama dukkha, and sankhara dukkha. Pain, illness, old age, death, unmet expectations, and the realization that happy moments will not last. To eliminate this suffering humans must seek to eliminate desire, and seek to eliminate the illusory idea of "self."

Is not the idea of a "chakra" closely related to this? I have rarely heard of "chakras" from people claiming to be physicians, or referred to existing in a realm any other than spiritual metaphysics. If so, I think this thread would better be deserving of the philosophy or general discussion forum.

Also Dave, that was hilarious. I was quietly laughing for several minutes.
 

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