Shining My Light Bright and Clear

I recently returned from a 2.5 week-trip to Southern France; a trip that seems to resemble a yearly pilgrimage—both within and without—to a sacred region of France that bore for a long time (and still does, obviously) so many mystical signs, imprints and landmarks: from ancient Mystical Schools, to Celtic influence, Roman infrastructure, medieval flourishing, and a rapidly-spreading Church of Amor supported by the Bons Hommes and the Bonnes Femmes (the good men and the good women); or Parfaits and Parfaites.

The main purpose of my trip was to attend a 7-day seminar (The Sacred Awakening of the Hidden Keys and Codes of Illumination: Languedoc, France led by Judith Kusel. The structure of the seminar was as follows:

3 days for Unit 1,

3 days of break and excursions, and

4 days for Unit 2.


Judith is the very person who did my soul reading 2.5 years ago and revealed to me my profound connection to the land of Montségur, along with a spicy pinch of “mission to pursue.” I have made some steady progress on the path of re-discovering, supported by the many ‘spiritual informants’ I since met along the way. My gratitude goes to all of them as I am diligently working on the puzzle of my spiritual life. In addition, Judith gave me an interesting piece of information, dating back to the second half of the 12th century, along with the advice to get to the land of France three days early. More on that specific piece as my story unfolds.

I had high expectations for this seminar, not so much in terms of knowledge, but in terms of spiritual communing with other souls—Ancient Ones, from what Judith had told us early. We were meant to gather at this time and every person who chose to make the trip was apparently led by her or his own soul. Where did my expectations come from, and what was I planning to unearth? I believe I still didn’t know as I wrote into my notebook on the first day, “What am I doing in this room?”

What I didn’t foresee were the learning conditions and the way the content was conveyed to us. We were sitting in theater style, with little prospect of direct interactions with our peers, except during breaks. Judith was sitting or standing behind a small table, lecturing to us as she followed her clearly delineated, information-filled PowerPoint presentation.


I quickly realized that this was not my favorite type of learning because I favor, since my ‘investment’ in The Art of Hosting a few years ago, a more egalitarian type of circle-gathering with so-called facilitators, as opposed to instructors. To make matters more challenging, the hardness and limited thickness of the chairs didn’t agree with my coccyx. It was difficult sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes. In a nutshell, hard on the body, and dry content in the mouth.

To spice things up a little more, the energy in the room didn’t feel quite supportive—for whatever spiritual or Divine reason. I am not gifted at feeling or sensing energies, either from people or in a specific locale, but this time it was so incredibly palpable.

What surprised me the most is that the energy felt exactly the same after our three-day break. None of these ‘vying energies’ had subsided. What was going on?

In fact, the second day of Unit 2 felt very climax-driven—read towards the bottom of the pit. We listened to a long mediation that morning, one that I couldn’t connect with, and I decided to leave the room to get a breath of fresh air.

I forgot to mention that I was also struggling with hearing difficulties, despite some recently-repaired hearing aids; and switching from reading glasses to capture my notes and no glasses to read the slides had an irritating effect on me.

Why were learning conditions so challenging? I knew there was a message for me in that personal ordeal and my thoughts, after some careful examination, led me to believe it had something to do with what I would call “self-leadership.” Taking initiative for my own actions, walking my talk, and not relying on someone else for something, knowledge, skills or spiritual information, which lies deep down within me.

As I discussed this situation with my friend Altair, he clearly advised me to ‘dissolve’ as I entered the seminar room and get reborn into a pure state of mind and a refreshed state of heart. Easier said than done, given the conditions.

And yet, suddenly, out of the morning blue, things turn around during the third day of Unit 2; the last day we would spend indoor, within the walls of this beautiful chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse.

That day was September 1st which happens to be, according to the French Roman catholic calendar, the feast day of St. Gilles. Several people wished me a happy ‘feast day,’ taking me by surprise because I haven’t spent September 1st in France for a good 20 years.


St. Gilles and the Hind

The atmosphere in the room had changed greatly and the topic at hand was no longer information-filled. Judith lectured that morning about Love and its various manifestations. Finally, the dense forest I was in had cleared into a clairière (prairie, or open space). What a blessing!

In addition, to add a nice layer of cream on the cake, we ended up the day in a circle, sharing our experience of the past few days. Feeling true to myself, I jumped at the occasion and shared my initial frustration, dealing with the energies, as well as the clearing and lifting up I had felt that day.

I also rectified what needed to be rectified: my contribution to humanity in terms of self-leadership. The Friday prior, at the end of Unit 1, I didn’t hear the question (what is your contribution to humanity?) that was asked of us as we closed the first three days and gathered in a circle. Instead, lost into my own down-the-pit adventure, I shared what I collected in the garden over the lunch break: rosemary and the significance I attributed to it: Rose Mary.

What I just shared concerns the factual, or material part of my journeying to Southern France to attend Judith’s seminar. There was, to corroborate the experience, a spiritual filigree as well. It was, in hindsight, a stop we (a family of friends from Sweden and I) made in the small touristy town of Mirepoix. We were not meant to take that route and yet it seemed something, someone was leading me to the church at the end of the town square. Even restaurant owners, when asked about the possibility of using their bathrooms without consumption, pointed out to that church. Divine guidance.

What caught my attention in that beautiful church is the presence of a labyrinth; not on the ground, not a walkable one, but a framed one as the picture below shows. I had never seen such a representation of a labyrinth, and the path appeared to be made of little white stones, glued together, forming a real labyrinth.


I was led to this labyrinth in Mirepoix during the 3-day break between Unit 1 and 2. This spiritual tool to access deeper levels of consciousness started to take on more significance as the seminar progressed. I started seeing the analogy with my own walking. Were the first five days a test of Purgation (name of the first phase as we walk toward the center of the labyrinth)? And did I experience some form of Enlightenment on September 1st (day 6) as it seemed I could finally see the Light.

And what Union (the phase walking back out into the world) would mean to me?

Day 7, the last day of the seminar, would provide me with some clarity and a wonderful answer in the form of a message from within. We spent the day outdoor, at a gorgeous site down the southern hills of Rennes-le-Chateau. A retreat center called Les Labadous.


I didn’t connect to the meditation we did on the plateau that morning. I wanted to remain hearing aid-free, and that had its disadvantages. Judith’s words got carried away in the wind, blessed that we were with hardened cow dung. An eagle made its way around us in the sky, as if signaling something meaningful or auspicious to our group. It was a peaceful, love-filled morning and yet, I spent most of it in my mind. What happened to that desire to commune with the rest of the group?

Things changed a bit as we headed back to the compound, about ¾ of a mile away. Lunch awaited us and there was ample time for rest and relaxation, in this soothing environment. We then gathered for the final sharing, in a circle, in the Arcadia Room. This is when the message (I had been unknowingly waiting for a long time) came up – clear and crisp.

“It is time to shine your Light, Gilles, bright and clear.”

Along with it, mesmerized by the beauty of the natural environment, came the inner desire to initiate a gathering at this very site during the following spring. A gathering whose framework would match the path of the labyrinth: a phase of Purgation (3 days), one of Enlightenment (out in nature for 2 days), and a final one of Union (3 days).

I received a remarkable confirmation of this inner message the next day as I attended a Catholic wedding in the Paris area. Friends of mine were marrying their daughter. The bride and groom had made a selection of texts for the service.

One of them was an excerpt from the Gospel of Matthew, 5: 13-16, which I would like to present in both French and English.


Comme les disciples étaient rassemblés autour de Jésus, sur la montagne, il leur disait :

« Vous êtes le sel de la terre. Si le sel se dénature, comment redeviendra-t-il du sel ?

Il n’est plus bon à rien : on le jette dehors et les gens le piétinent.

Vous êtes la lumière du monde. Une ville située sur une montagne ne peut être cachée. Et l’on n’allume pas une lampe pour la mettre sous le boisseau ; on la met sur le lampadaire, et elle brille pour tous ceux qui sont dans la maison.

De même, que votre lumière brille devant les êtres humains ; alors, en voyant ce que vous faites de bien, ils rendront gloire à votre Père qui est aux cieux. »


13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the Light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

16 In the same way, let your Light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.


I was home, so to speak. No other confirmation was needed. Only action.

This message, and all what had happened until it was delivered, informed my Thursday evening virtual gatherings. From alluding to the Labyrinth to the journey within to the need to shine my Light bright and clear.

Our September 1st gathering was entitled, ‘Walking the labyrinth of Life.’

There are two other excursions that I would like to report; they both occurred before the onset of the seminar.

Judith had told that she had a vision of me going up a mountain in Montségur, wearing a brown tunic, and accompanied by a woman with long dark hair. I was carrying a satchel with two scrolls in it, and buried it somewhere. It was my mission to recover these scrolls.

The information was confirmed by two of my ‘spiritual informants.’ One even gave me a timeframe as to when this occurred: between the years 1160 and 1177. This person asked me to visualize the scrolls and asked that “what belonged to me be returned to me.”

It is with that mindset that I visited Montségur, staying in fact in the village under the pog for three nights. My first attempt at climbing the mountain was definitely a humid and a jetlagged one. I made it to the top, my feet wet, and couldn’t find anything around.

For my second attempt, on August 23rd, I decided to get up early and enjoy the sunrise over the top of the mountain. I was equipped with some tools; a trowel, a pair of gardener’s gloves, a flashlight and some sage I wanted to burn within the castle’s walls. The sun was supposed to appear at 7:08 and I started my climb at 6:30. On the way up, even before I got out of the wooded area, a message came through—from within:

‘The material is not as important as the spiritual.’

Did it have anything to do with the mission I saw myself embarking on? Perhaps.

The fact is that I didn’t find any scrolls ‘up there,’ although, admittedly, I still looked into a hole in the dungeon with my flashlight. And still burned some sage in and around the castle. Needless to say, the experience witnessing the appearance and rise of the sun was grand and unforgettable, illuminating. An orb seemed to usher the sun, like a guide or a protector.


Another excursion that left a taste of ‘inachevé’ (un-completed) in my mouth is the trip I took with my friend Magali to the town of Opoul-Périllos, a couple miles away from the Mediterranean. Right before flying to France, I had finished reading a thick book by Danish author Lars Muhl entitled, The O Manuscript. It is an account of the author’s spiritual journey over a period of 10 years or so, summed up in three parts: The Seer; the Magdalene and the Grail. Toward the end of the book, both the author and the heroine of the moment, Ish-a-tar, find themselves in a place called Salveterre; Lars Muhl in the 21st century and Ish-a-tar in the 1st one. Salveterre is a monastery where Mary Magdalene is said to have lived, and it was Ish-a-tar’s goal to meet with her and receive guidance.


Magali and I were on a similar pilgrimage, knowing Salveterre (or what is left of the buildings) is located right above the village of Opoul. Périllos lies four or five miles beyond Salveterre, in a desert-like area, and has been attached to Opoul after its last inhabitants left at the end of the Second World War.

There are three chapels in or near Périllos. One is dedicated to St. Michael, another one to Ste. Barbe, and the last one to Ste. Katarina. Here is what Lars Muhl writes (on page 511) about the village of Périllos and the main chapel (the one dedicated to St. Michael).


There are those who think that Périllos fits into the legend of the Grail. In one of the oldest stories of the Grail, Perlesvaux, it is said that the one who is seeking the Grail ought to visit the “Chapel of Périllos.” The Knight of the Grail is the “Chosen One” or “Christ,” who places himself in the empty seat, the Seat Perilous, at the Round Table of King Arthur. When we consider that the legend of the Grail originates in the mystical figure of Kyot, who apparently lived in Narbonne, it is perhaps not so very strange that we are also talking about the area of Périllos.

Unfortunately, the “Chapel of Périllos” was closed. It is open to the public one day a year, on Pentecost Monday. And our request to get the key at the city hall of Opoul was turned down.

I would like to close with one insight I gathered during the seminar—one that shone in the midst of all the knowledge and energy we were blessed with.

Judith taught about the civilization of Lemuria during Unit 1 and mentioned that all souls on Lemuria were androgynous. Somehow, this piece of information rang true to me, dearly and deeply. At the same time, I thought about an informant friend of mine who had mentioned Lemuria to me earlier this year. I contacted this person and, mystically, she had felt my energy calling.

Old souls reuniting?

Yes, most likely; and for what purpose?



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Salt and Light

Salt and Light

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

“You are the Light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”

“In the same way, let your Light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:13-16


salt and light sermon

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Letters to a Young Poet — Rainer Maria Rilke

Letters to a Young Poet

… have patience with everything unresolved in your heart
and to try to love the questions themselves
as if they were locked rooms or books written
in a very foreign language.

Don’t search for the answers,
which could not be given to you now,
because you would not be able to live them.

And the point is, to live everything.
Live the questions now.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~


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A Prayer — Max Ehrmann

A Prayer

Let me do my work each day;
and if the darkened hours
of despair overcome me, may I
not forget the strength
that comforted me in the
desolation of other times.

May I still remember the bright
hours that found me walking
over the silent hills of my
childhood, or dreaming on the
margin of a quiet river,
when a light glowed within me,
and I promised my early God
to have courage amid the
tempests of the changing years.

Spare me from bitterness
and from the sharp passions of
unguarded moments. May
I not forget that poverty and
riches are of the spirit.
Though the world knows me not,
may my thoughts and actions
be such as shall keep me friendly
with myself.

Lift up my eyes
from the earth, and let me not
forget the uses of the stars.
Forbid that I should judge others
lest I condemn myself.
Let me not follow the clamor of
the world, but walk calmly
in my path.

Give me a few friends
who will love me for what
I am; and keep ever burning
before my vagrant steps
the kindly light of hope.

And though age and infirmity
overtake me, and I come not within
sight of the castle of my dreams,
teach me still to be thankful
for life, and for time’s olden
memories that are good and
sweet; and may the evening’s
twilight find me gentle still.

~ Max Ehrmann ~

(The Desiderata of Happiness)



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It is time for you to discard your faith, your belief in the illusion and WAKE UP!

You know that moods affect you as they pass through you, and you also know that they do pass through. The human experience, as a separated being within the collective dream or illusion, is a passing experience, it does not last, it is temporary, impermanent, in fact it is momentary! However time appears very real to you, like a river flowing through an ever changing environment of moods – emotions, feelings, worries, anxieties, fears, pain and suffering, interspersed briefly with hopes, desires, contentment, and pleasures. But it always flows – slowly or rapidly depending on the individual’s choice in that moment – it is never still.

However, you are each eternal beings living in the eternal and timeless now moment, always present in God’s divine Presence, the only state of existence. Anything else is unreal, a figment of your imagination, a game in which you, like a small child, have put your hands over your eyes and, in the very brief moment before you remove them, you feel alone, separate, abandoned, in fact terrified. There is nothing to fear because only Love is Real, so rest in the joyful certainty that that seeming sense of separation, aloneness, abandonment is utterly unreal!

The only Reality, All That Exists, is God. Therefore you are all One with Him because there is absolutely nowhere else that you could be! Humanity is finally, after many eons, choosing to awaken into Reality. However, for that to happen you have to release your fearful stranglehold on the illusion. That means you have to let go of all your imaginary – truly they are not real – hates, resentments, judgments, fears and any sense of self righteousness as all of those hide Love from you. They act as a cloak, a veil, or a fog that hangs between you and Reality, hiding It from you. They too are imaginary, constructed by you because you feared that your choice to experience separation from God had made Him extremely angry with you, and so you constructed them in order to hide from Him.

But God does not know anger, let alone harbor a sense of anger or judgment against even a single one of you! How could He know anger when there is only Love? He joyfully and lovingly awaits your awakening as His Will for you is eternal happiness, and He knows that your awakening is inevitable!

Your task in the awakening process is just to let go! To let go of every sense or feeling of guilt, of unworthiness, of shame, of fear, because every one of them is totally invalid. God created you, therefore you are, each and every one of you, perfect divine beings. As humans that does not seem to be the case, and that is because of the limits and restrictions that you built into the game that became the illusion.

You are Love! All that God creates is Love, and God loves what He creates unconditionally in every moment and without exception. If He loves you then why would you not love yourselves? It makes no sense, in fact it is quite insane for any of you to judge as unworthy, shameful, sinful, untrustworthy, ugly, or evil any of God’s divine Creations including, of course, yourselves. He offers only Love to you, and he offers It continuously in every moment, all that you have to do is to open your hearts by releasing your ferocious grip on whatever is not of Love, and Love will fill them immediately, and your joy will be ecstatic.

Fear is what is holding you back, fear that you are unworthy sinners deserving only hell. That is insanity because there is no sin and no hell. What you experience as sin and hell are imaginary and completely unreal aspects of the illusion, the game of separation in which you are engaged, which is itself quite unreal. It is time for you to discard your faith, your belief in the illusion and WAKE UP!

When you allow Love to flow into your hearts, as It will when you cease to shut It out with judgment and all the other related non-loving thoughts that furnish your minds, you will wake up because it is impossible to remain asleep when Love fills your hearts. As humans there are very few of you who have not experienced an intense love for another, and when you are having that kind of experience do you sleep? No, you are fully awake and vibrantly alive with joy. When you awaken into Reality, your divine and eternal Home, your vibrancy and joy in life will infinitely exceed all your previous experiences and totally surpass whatever expectations you have been holding about your return to your awakened state.

I know it is hard for you to conceive of the infinite joy in which Reality enfolds you, waiting for you to awaken and engage with it. So remind yourselves at least once daily, and preferably many times, that God’s Will for you is complete and eternal happiness right now! He does not want you to wait lifetimes, He wants you to be happy, to be in joy right now! All you have to do is open fully to the Love that is your true nature, to your Oneness with Him and all of creation. When you hold and maintain the intent to do that all that you have been holding onto that is not in alignment with Love will fall away and you will move from the darkness of fear, anger, hatred and resentment into the brilliant Light of God’s eternal Love and immediately know yourselves as you truly are – infinitely bright aspects of the Oneness that is God.

Your loving brother, Jesus

Photo Richard Stanley

mirroring image montsegur

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Total self-honesty is an essential aspect of the awakening process by John Smallman

Humanity’s return to full consciousness, its awakening from the illusion, is proceeding apace. A massive awareness is growing that life on Earth followed by death are not your final destiny, that in fact what you are experiencing on Earth is but a passing moment in which you are learning the lesson that Love is All That Exists, and that your physical forms are are purely temporary vehicles or residences that you occupy while you do this. They are ideal for this purpose, but when you all “graduate,” as you all will, you will no longer have need of them because your natural state is infinitely limitless and filled with potentiality beyond your wildest dreams. The joy you will experience in Reality, at Home in the Presence of God, is WAY beyond your ability as humans to even conceive of, and it is to that that you will awaken.

On Earth, as humans, your task is simply to release anything to which you are clinging that is not in alignment with Love. When you do that, even for a moment, you will feel an enormous shift in your energy, a lightening of the burdens that you seem to be carrying. Most of you have at some time been forgiven for something you did or said that was intended to hurt another, and which you later regretted. And when you received that forgiveness it felt as though an enormous weight had been lifted off your shoulders. Likewise, when you let go of any resentment, bitterness, anger, and hatred that you have been “nursing,” you will feel lighter and joy will flow in to replace those unloving aspects that you have released.

All your suffering and unhappiness flows from judgmental attitudes you hold and from your sensed need to have those judgments enforced to make others pay for the pain you believe that they have caused you. But the pain, the suffering is truly caused by your dwelling on your perceived mistreatment by others, long after the moment of mistreatment has passed. You are effectively continuing to punish yourselves by dwelling on memories of unpleasantness from the past, or on imagining new unpleasantness in the future. But there is only Now! So live in the now and live in peace, your natural state.

Forgiveness of yourselves is essential. Nearly everyone has been inculcated with a strong sense that they are not good enough, and that they must strive constantly to improve themselves. Within the illusion it does make sense to become educated and learn the basic social rules that enable agreeable interactions with others. However, in childhood, many are discouraged from doing what appeals to them, from doing what they are intuitively or instinctively drawn to, and are instead induced to study and learn what their “elders and betters” decide is appropriate for them. This leads to distrust of their own inner guidance and a consequential ongoing internal conflict that often leads either to boredom and depression, or to powerful rebellion.

Now, as adults, you need to let go of those imposed shoulds and musts and all the negative self-judgments and guilt to which they led you. You are all spiritual beings with countless friends and mentors in the spiritual realms on whom you can call for assistance, and who enthusiastically await that call. Go inwards when you seek guidance, for there you will find amazing resources to help you release all that no longer serves you.

Discussing options and possibilities with human friends can be very helpful, but in the end you need to make decisions based on your own intuition and the guidance offered to you by those on whom you call in the spiritual realms, plus your own sense of what is right for you. Only you can know what that is and act on it, and that is all that you are asked to do.

All humans make errors because being human has severely limited your abilities to fully understand either the world around you or situations that arise there. Errors are learning experiences and lead to wisdom. Therefore do not judge yourselves harshly for making them, instead, gently forgive yourselves, learn from them, and do not refuse to admit to having made them. Total self-honesty is an essential aspect of the awakening process that you are all undergoing, and when you are totally honest with yourselves you will be at peace because then you know that you can trust yourselves. Trust of yourselves and others is very important. Without trust you are constantly expecting to make errors that must then be disguised, and you expect the same from others, thus causing yourselves unnecessary stress. With trust, when you make errors you forgive yourselves and move on.

You have probably noticed that those who are most peaceful, content, and at peace with themselves are people of honesty and integrity, people that you intuitively sense that you can trust. Trust responds with trust, and distrust with distrust. Betrayal is a consequence of the latter. When you are utterly honest you can almost always intuit whether someone else can be trusted or not, and that makes life a lot easier.

Everyone wants to be loved and trusted because Love is your natural state, but often, out of fear and due to previous bad experiences, many choose to be suspicious, believing it is a practical course to take in a world where so many are betrayed daily. But, as trust leads to trust, so suspicion leads to suspicion; what you think about and expect is what you experience. Suspicion locks out love because it cannot trust, and love and trust are inseparable.

As I and other channels keep reminding you; “You are all perfect beings because what God creates can only be perfect.” However, within the illusion as humans, you are, because you chose to be, severely limited in your skills and abilities. You chose this experience in a futile attempt to separate yourselves from Source, and to prove that you had no need of God. It was only a game you chose to play, but because God gave you power equal to His when He created you as perfect divine beings, because everything that He is He lovingly shares with all of His creation, the game you invented, the illusion you built seems totally real to you.

To uncover its unreality engage with Love, and only with Love, because nothing else is Real. You must all have heard the saying: “Perfect Love casts out fear.” And it is true, because there is nothing other than perfect Love. Anything that is not Love is unreal, illusory, and therefore will not last. You all will awaken into perfect Love, because that is your divine and inescapable destiny. So release your grip on any remaining self-righteousness, resentment, bitterness, or hatred that lingers from past hurts, and allow yourselves to awaken, and revel in the joy that ensues.

Your loving brother, Jesus


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My mind was a mirror — Ernest Hyde

My mind was a mirror

It saw what it saw, it knew what it knew.
In youth my mind was just a mirror
In a rapidly flying car,
Which catches and loses bits of the landscape.

Then in time
Great scratches were made on the mirror,
Letting the outside world come in,
And letting my inner self look out.

For this is the birth of the soul in sorrow,
A birth with gains and losses.
The mind sees the world as a thing apart,
And the soul makes the world at one with itself.

A mirror scratched reflects no image —
And this is the silence of wisdom.

~ Ernest Hyde ~

(Spoon River Anthology)

self realization ramana maharishi

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