Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"ALL is Mind" - The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational - And how to free yourself from them by Mastering your Mind; Self Mastery

Good is subjective. Instead ask yourself "does this allow me to grow, or does this limit my growth?"
The following post is one of the most empowering tools for our growth as Individuals we have shared on this blog.

"ALL is Mind" - The Kybalion - Book of Thoth or Hermes. One of the most misunderstood aspects of ourselves is the Mind. All that we are passes through this omnipresent aspect of ourselves we can call the mind. Therefore, rational processes are actually your ability to direct the mind into action; bringing forth all that we see in the universe. As such, the greater our ability to Master the Mental plane the greater our ability to gain Spiritual attainment and the fruits of a harmonized life and Being; the development of a perfecting soul.

Soul Growth is a function of our ability to create a Subjective Internal Representation of our experience which is in harmony with the Objective External Reality. For an detailed explanation of this see the post Emotional Guidance Scale (Explained in detail) How to be guided by your emotions, instead of controlled by them. By Justin.


Intrinsic Knowledge - internal understanding of what a thing is, how it relates to All that IS - is the key to the puzzle of our life on Earth; where we develop the Mastery of Mind and the Self. Therefore, any process or belief which is Extrinsic will always limit us on the Mental plane and create a Dependency on the External Source. For Example, if your doctor tells you that 'salt is bad for you' and provides no evidence for you to come to your own conclusion about this assertion, if you believe it (accept it as truth without doing the rational work of understanding why) then you are now Dependent on the Doctor. This is called Co-Dependency and this modality is rife on earth as being one of the most dis-empowering Social Programs for our soul growth we can fall into. 


How can this knowledge help you on your path towards Spiritual Attainment, Self Empowerment, and Blissful Enlightenment? By revealing the mechanism, or technique through which we relate to our reality (Mentalism and the Rational Process), we can begin the life long process of expanding ourselves, and in doing so, 'reach the mountain top' described by many spiritual masters the world over. 

Lack of Rational Process Creates Co-Dependencies

How does all this relate to Co-Dependency? As we described in the post The Theory and Practice of Black Magic - How can you tell if you are Practicing Black Magic?, any choice you make to limit your growth, and not develop Intrinsic Knowledge must always be balanced by creating an external dependency. This is Co-Dependency. Hence our world is filled with Experts and Guru's who 'know better' then we do. 

What is a Bias?
Bias - prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair
Bias is a term which usually calls up ideas of bigotry, prejudice and limitation. But within the context of our relation to the Universe, Bias is the tool we use to develop Automatic Programs of interpretation and meaning; what Psychology has come to call 'the sub-conscious.' Pick up a hot pan on the stove without an oven mitt and you will have the experience of burning your hand. Now, when you see a pan on the stove you have a Bias towards thinking the pan is hot which guides your behavior, choices and emotions, to avoid the past experience and pick up the pan with an oven mitt. 



As we can see, biases defined this way, are actually fundamental to moving through life, but how are Biases formed? Biases are formed by a Rational and Logical Process which many in the New Age Community have misunderstood. The Mind is the filter through which your total experience passes and your Emotions are the energy charge associated with something in your experience as a result of passing through the mind. If you are Aware or Conscious of a thing in any capacity it is a Mind Phenomena, charging you with Emotions due to the framework of understanding you have created with respect to that thing. The Intuition which emotions yield is part of a process for making a choice, which is decision making and a Rational Process. Therefore, Emotions are just as much a part of the Rational Process and the Mind, as Logic and Reason; the two are intrinsically interconnected in our everyday experience and cannot be separated. 

As a side note, the phrase "Heart Space" has been used by many in the Awakening Community to refer to some state of BEing outside of Mind Function. This is one of the conceptual fallacies pushed by our would-be masters to lead us astray. "Heart Space" is more accurately described as the consciousness of total acceptance with your experience and an open-mindedness to receive new perspectives and data in totality. Love is by definition inclusive.

Because we have the ability to learn and "automate" how we feel towards our experiences, Biases can be either empowering or dis-empowering. The key is to not limit yourself with Absolute Conclusions about anything in your life experience; an absolute bias. For Absolute Conclusions or Flags of Truth are part of our Ego Identity, and as such when challenged, cull up defensive mechanisms which limit our growth. The following post details some of the many biases we create for ourselves as a result of this schism. And our unwillingness to change our Biases creates a co-dependency with our ego, others and the world at large.

I have expanded on the below post to include a perspective that the following 12 Cognitive Biases are part of conceptual web of Co-Dependency with Externalizations to limit our understanding and ability to know the world as it IS, instead of how we want it to be.


- Justin


Source - Nexus Illuminati

by George Dvorsky

The human brain is capable of 1016 processes per second, which makes it far more powerful than any computer currently in existence. But that doesn't mean our brains don't have major limitations. The lowly calculator can do math thousands of times better than we can, and our memories are often less than useless — plus, we're subject to cognitive biases, those annoying glitches in our thinking that cause us to make questionable decisions and reach erroneous conclusions. Here are a dozen of the most common and pernicious cognitive biases that you need to know about. 

['The 'New Age' philosophy of abandoning the Mind comes as a reaction to a lack of mastery of the Rational Processes (mind atrophy) which are inherent in the human experience. Errors as a result of poor reasoning does not mean that all reasoning must be discarded. "Elephants are gray, but not all gray things are Elephants."]

Before we start, it's important to distinguish between cognitive biases and logical fallacies. A logical fallacy is an error in logical argumentation (e.g. ad hominem attacks, slippery slopes, circular arguments, appeal to force, etc.). A cognitive bias, on the other hand, is a genuine deficiency or limitation in our thinking — a flaw in judgment that arises from errors of memory, social attribution, and miscalculations (such as statistical errors or a false sense of probability).

Some social psychologists believe our cognitive biases help us process information more efficiently, especially in dangerous situations. Still, they lead us to make grave mistakes. We may be prone to such errors in judgment, but at least we can be aware of them. Here are some important ones to keep in mind.


1. Confirmation Bias


We love to agree with people who agree with us. It's why we only visit websites that express our political opinions, and why we mostly hang around people who hold similar views and tastes. We tend to be put off by individuals, groups, and news sources that make us feel uncomfortable or insecure about our views — what the behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner called cognitive dissonance. It's this preferential mode of behavior that leads to the confirmation bias — the often unconscious act of referencing only those perspectives that fuel our pre-existing views, while at the same time ignoring or dismissing opinions — no matter how valid — that threaten our world view. And paradoxically, the internet has only made this tendency even worse.

[This is a form of selective data processing or 'cherry picking' where we only absorb data which confirms our accepted meaning in relation to a thing. Co-dependency with our world view, where we need to find things to confirm how we want the world to be, instead of how it IS. The key to freeing yourself from Confirming a Bias is to look Consciously at the bias and ask yourself if it is true within all possible contexts for which it applies. For example, if you have a Bias that 'cancer has no cure' expose yourself to ALL the data which relates to this topic along with the counter argument and come to an Internal or Intrinsic Conclusion. Finally, keep an open mind with respect to the conclusions you draw as to leave the door open for a deeper understanding.]

2. Ingroup Bias

Somewhat similar to the confirmation bias is the ingroup bias, a manifestation of our innate tribalistic tendencies. And strangely, much of this effect may have to do with oxytocin — the so-called "love molecule." This neurotransmitter, while helping us to forge tighter bonds with people in our ingroup, performs the exact opposite function for those on the outside — it makes us suspicious, fearful, and even disdainful of others. Ultimately, the ingroup bias causes us to overestimate the abilities and value of our immediate group at the expense of people we don't really know.

[This is a more explicit form of Co-Dependency where we choose to 'go along with the crowd' instead take the risk of disagreeing with a group; an emotional dependency on others. Because most of us do not have Intrinsic understanding of things in our world, we tend to go along Experts because we have not done the work of gaining personal understanding; a temporal compensation for lack of Mind Mastery. Once we do take the time to understand something, it becomes very easy to make a stand for what we know in the face of the accepted Group Dogma. 

For example, most people do not know there are cures for cancer already in use on Earth, but if you have gone through an alternative treatment like the Gerson Theraphy, this fact is undeniable. In this case, you can simply share your experience with a group becoming an Expert in your own right. But if you choose to go along with the group, in spite of your intrinsic knowledge and experience, this is reflective of a fear of ostracization from the group. This is yet another form of Co-Dependency, wherein your sense of 'being accepted' is more important than sharing your truth; you will deceive others by going along. Freeing yourself from this is a matter of being brave enough to question a long-held belief and speak it clearly to your peers.]





3. Gambler's Fallacy

 

It's called a fallacy, but it's more a glitch in our thinking. We tend to put a tremendous amount of weight on previous events, believing that they'll somehow influence future outcomes. The classic example is coin-tossing. After flipping heads, say, five consecutive times, our inclination is to predict an increase in likelihood that the next coin toss will be tails — that the odds must certainly be in the favor of heads. But in reality, the odds are still 50/50. As statisticians say, the outcomes in different tosses are statistically independent and the probability of any outcome is still 50%.

Relatedly, there's also the positive expectation bias — which often fuels gambling addictions. It's the sense that our luck has to eventually change and that good fortune is on the way. It also contribues to the "hot hand" misconception. Similarly, it's the same feeling we get when we start a new relationship that leads us to believe it will be better than the last one.

[This form of Co-Dependency is with the concept of luck, or that the events in our lives are attributed to an allotment of magic energy which eventually 'runs out.' This reaction to events in our lives is again due to a lack of Key Knowledge and Understanding or Intrinsic knowledge; underdeveloped Mental Mastery. Luck, as a concept, is by definition, beyond our creative influence. Possibly the idea of the God's casting fate over us is where Luck comes from.

unlucky because you get into a car accident form work, prevents you from looking at the events objectively and coming into awareness about knowledge you can gain to empower yourself in the future. Again the idea of Cancer is a great example. If you think of yourself as having 'bad luck' because you got cancer it blocks you from developing any rational process, looking at your habits and life, to determine if you could have prevented it, or more importantly what the factors were that caused the cancer in the first place. 


long term Nutrient Deficiency in conjunction with overwhelming Toxicity, contrary to accepted medical doctrine. Freeing yourself from this is a matter of honestly looking at the events in your life and how you contributed to their happening. Very little in our personal experience is beyond our creative influence.]


4. Post-Purchase Rationalization

Remember that time you bought something totally unnecessary, faulty, or overly expense, and then you rationalized the purchase to such an extent that you convinced yourself it was a great idea all along? Yeah, that's post-purchase rationalization in action — a kind of built-in mechanism that makes us feel better after we make crappy decisions, especially at the cash register. Also known as Buyer's Stockholm Syndrome, it's a way of subconsciously justifying our purchases — especially expensive ones. Social psychologists say it stems from the principle of commitment, our psychological desire to stay consistent and avoid a state of cognitive dissonance.

[This form of Co-Dependency is with who we think we are in contrast to who we really are; Worship of the Static Ego. Often we think of ourselves as making sound decisions and when we are confronted with data revealing otherwise we tend to run from the truth. "To Err is Human," and justification of the past is an attempt to hold on to the idea that we are infallible. It is only when we honestly acknowledge our mistakes that we can begin to empower ourselves with the gems of wisdom hidden in our past. This is the key to freeing yourself from Justifying your Mistakes, in attempts to avoid the growth that comes with recognizing them.]


5. Neglecting Probability


Very few of us have a problem getting into a car and going for a drive, but many of us experience great trepidation about stepping inside an airplane and flying at 35,000 feet. Flying, quite obviously, is a wholly unnatural and seemingly hazardous activity. Yet virtually all of us know and acknowledge the fact that the probability of dying in an auto accident is significantly greater than getting killed in a plane crash — but our brains won't release us from this crystal clear logic (statistically, we have a 1 in 84 chance of dying in a vehicular accident, as compared to a 1 in 5,000 chance of dying in an plane crash [other sources indicate odds as high as 1 in 20,000]). It's the same phenomenon that makes us worry about getting killed in an act of terrorism as opposed to something far more probable, like falling down the stairs or accidental poisoning.

This is what the social psychologist Cass Sunstein calls probability neglectour inability to properly grasp a proper sense of peril and risk — which often leads us to overstate the risks of relatively harmless activities, while forcing us to overrate more dangerous ones.

[This from of Co-Dependency is with the mechanisms we use to avoid the personal fears that trigger intense emotions. Trauma, is the condition of experiencing something which is so intense we unconsciously choose to dissociate from the experience to protect ourselves from the emotional upheaval. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the term associated with this behavior. Many of the things we label 'bad' are a result of the Trauma associated with becoming aware of certain experiences and things which are a result of the world views and perspectives we have been programmed with. As a result, the greater the extent of dissociation with the experience or idea the greater emotional response and the more likely our decisions will be clouded by irrational processes attempting to avoid a long-forgotten trauma. Fear, when consciously associated with an event or thing can be useful, just like the smell of smoke coming from somewhere can draw your awareness to a fire in the other the kitchen.  But, when we choose to run from the source of our fear, we create a bonanza of triggers eventually leading us to make all sorts of irrational decisions.

The key is to face your fear head on and expand your knowledge about the thing you fear so deeply it becomes part of you, transcending the fear entirely. For example, many people fear flying and as a result never fly at all, but once you examine your fear and realize it is unjustified, then you can make the critical first step of facing it, by flying and overcoming it with more experiences.]



6. Observational Selection Bias


This is that effect of suddenly noticing things we didn't notice that much before — but we wrongly assume that the frequency has increased. A perfect example is what happens after we buy a new car and we inexplicably start to see the same car virtually everywhere. A similar effect happens to pregnant women who suddenly notice a lot of other pregnant women around them. Or it could be a unique number or song. It's not that these things are appearing more frequently, it's that we've (for whatever reason) selected the item in our mind, and in turn, are noticing it more often. Trouble is, most people don't recognize this as a selectional bias, and actually believe these items or events are happening with increased frequency — which can be a very disconcerting feeling. It's also a cognitive bias that contributes to the feeling that the appearance of certain things or events couldn't possibly be a coincidence (even though it is).

[This Co-Dependency is similar to 'cherry picking' accept it is done with your own past experience because we have a new awareness enriching our perspective with things which we were previously unconscious of. Because we do not like to think of ourselves as unaware, we conclude that there is more of this thing than there was in the past. For Example, when we become aware of Chemtrails, we begin to see them more and more, and sometimes we try and conclude that more are being sprayed. 

The key is to recognize that while we are aware of many things Consciously, there is a great deal we are Unconscious of. "The key to wisdom is knowing what you do not know." Keep an open mind about all things for absolute certainty creates an Egocentric Identity which now must be projected by selective observation.]


7. Status-Quo Bias

We humans tend to be apprehensive of change, which often leads us to make choices that guarantee that things remain the same, or change as little as possible. Needless to say, this has ramifications in everything from politics to economics. We like to stick to our routines, political parties, and our favorite meals at restaurants. Part of the perniciousness of this bias is the unwarranted assumption that another choice will be inferior or make things worse. The status-quo bias can be summed with the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" — an adage that fuels our conservative tendencies. And in fact, some commentators say this is why the U.S. hasn't been able to enact universal health care, despite the fact that most individuals support the idea of reform.

[Our apprehension for change in our lives is a direct result of Fearing the Unknown. This is one of the Primal Fears and it is creates a host of Co-Dependent tendencies, where we place our choice not to move into the unknown onto others for their approval. For example, if we have a friend who as died from cancer, it becomes much more difficult to realize that cancer cures have existed because there is a huge level of unknown factors we become aware of in relation to something we feel we have already understood. 

The key is to realize that you do not have absolute knowledge and become aware of the thing you are so staunching trying to appose. Questioning an assertion because you want to understand it is different than attempting to stop an idea from being explored. Therefore, do not discard new information simply because it counters your world view and explore the unknown as a child explores the world.]


8. Negativity Bias


People tend to pay more attention to bad news — and it's not just because we're morbid. Social scientists theorize that it's on account of our selective attention and that, given the choice, we perceive negative news as being more important or profound. We also tend to give more credibility to bad news, perhaps because we're suspicious (or bored) of proclamations to the contrary. More evolutionarily, heeding bad news may be more adaptive than ignoring good news (e.g. "saber tooth tigers suck" vs. "this berry tastes good").

Today, we run the risk of dwelling on negativity at the expense of genuinely good news. Steven Pinker, in his book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, argues that crime, violence, war, and other injustices are steadily declining, yet most people would argue that things are getting worse — what is a perfect example of the negativity bias at work.

[Before we get into this Bias, let us first address the terms 'good and bad.' We use these words all the time to share value judgments we have. "This tastes bad! Her outfit looks good. You got a bad grade on your paper." So what is good and what is bad? These are Subjective perspectives based on an Objective context within our experience. And while these terms can convey much meaning, without defining what the context actually is, we limit ourselves in our understanding and communication with others leading them to simply say they agree instead of probing for deeper understanding. 

The Negative Bias, or our tendency to have more awareness of 'bad things' is an attempt to gain knowledge about the world so we can navigate it free of the jarring effects of being faced with the unknown. As we discussed in the above Bias, the Fear of the Unknown is a powerful motivator. And in a sense, our desire to know about things which can be viewed as 'bad' is revealing our willingness to venture into the unknown. This is an indication we are ready to taste the truth. However, if we dwell, on 'bad news' it reveals we are Co-Dependent with meanings we deem 'bad' usually to confirm the belief: 'the world is a f-up place.' 


The key is to ask yourself why you find 'bad' things in your experience desirable, and get to the root of your obsession. What is your world view? The answer to this question is at the core of this Bias. The more we expand our knowledge and link the pieces of truth together, the more we transcend such limiting world views.]



9. Bandwagon Effect

 

Though we're often unconscious of it, we love to go with the flow of the crowd. When the masses start to pick a winner or a favorite, that's when our individualized brains start to shut down and enter into a kind of "groupthink" or hivemind mentality. But it doesn't have to be a large crowd or the whims of an entire nation; it can include small groups, like a family or even a small group of office co-workers. The bandwagon effect is what often causes behaviors, social norms, and memes to propagate among groups of individuals — regardless of the evidence or motives in support. This is why opinion polls are often maligned, as they can steer the perspectives of individuals accordingly. Much of this bias has to do with our built-in desire to fit in and conform, as famously demonstrated by the Asch Conformity Experiments.

[Our desire to 'fit in' is fundamental to the human experience. While we are Individuals, we are also a Human Family and our desire to feel connected to our fellow humans is a powerful motivator. When we cast the context of our personal truth in contrast to a group dogma, now we have the tension differential which leads us to subdue our personal experiences for a Group Bias. 

A research study was done to determine how often the average person lies and it was found that we lie or deceive an average of 3 times every 10 minutes. Within the Context of Group Bias, this is a result of our Co-Dependency with the sense of connectedness we feel towards others and groups at large. Lying, as a way to avoid sharing a truth which may disrupt another or cause your sense of connection to falter, is at the core of this Bias. 


The key is to realize sharing of yourself, fully and completely will always create greater connections with others in the long term. However, in the short term, your candid expression of self may push others away who are not accepting of you and the truth's you embody. This can cause a sense of loneliness which leads us towards going along with the crowd. But bravery in the face of such things, will not only transcend the addiction to social acceptance, but begin to transform the social group who is ostracized by your truth. A service to others modality of expression.]



10. Projection Bias

As individuals trapped inside our own minds 24/7, it's often difficult for us to project outside the bounds of our own consciousness and preferences. We tend to assume that most people think just like us — though there may be no justification for it. This cognitive shortcoming often leads to a related effect known as the false consensus bias where we tend to believe that people not only think like us, but that they also agree with us. It's a bias where we overestimate how typical and normal we are, and assume that a consensus exists on matters when there may be none. Moreover, it can also create the effect where the members of a radical or fringe group assume that more people on the outside agree with them than is the case. Or the exaggerated confidence one has when predicting the winner of an election or sports match.

[Similar to Group Bias, but in reverse, our tendency to project our personal beliefs on to others presumptuously is at the core of a Projection Bias. This is in response to our fear of being 'wrong' which leads us to assume others agree by default. When errors in our understanding are presented to us we feel compelled to 'force another to accept our beliefs' even if they are inaccurate for the reality we are attempting to understand. 

The key to overcoming this bias is to first realize we do have the capacity to make mistakes, and instead of thinking we are 'all alone' in our process, realize we have an entire host of other beings who can assist us in our understanding. Holding up a flag of truth with Absolute Certainty is where most of us go astray. We tend to think in Absolutes instead of Probabilities because uncertainty is the unknown, and as we discussed above, fear of the unknown is an ever present obstacle in our human experience.  


Instead, realize you cannot be absolutely certain about anything, and as such, holding your belief in the sphere of possibility allows you to remain open minded and receive new data without the Ego injuring effects which accompany absolute beliefs; because absolute beliefs are part of our Ego Identity. This is where our Co-Dependency with our 'image of self,' the ego, causes us to need agreement from others even in the face of great conceptual error. Other's must 'Co-sign' onto our beliefs so that we do not feel the emotional upheaval from being 'wrong.'


Being Conscious of your uncertainty about a thing, which is then shared openly with others, allows you to not feel 'wrong' when being confronted by differing opinion. This skill of remaining Objective will empower you to avoid the Projection of your Bias onto others. If a belief is only possible, instead of absolute, it is not part of our Identity and is easily discarded for a better idea without causing the trauma of feeling like we are 'wrong.']



11. The Current Moment Bias


We humans have a really hard time imagining ourselves in the future and altering our behaviors and expectations accordingly. Most of us would rather experience pleasure in the current moment, while leaving the pain for later. This is a bias that is of particular concern to economists (i.e. our unwillingness to not overspend and save money) and health practitioners. Indeed, a 1998 study showed that, when making food choices for the coming week, 74% of participants chose fruit. But when the food choice was for the current day, 70% chose chocolate.

[Co-dependency with 'feeling good' is a constant struggle in our human experience. Many of us are addicted to our emotions instead of being guided by them. Reacting to an emotional situation leads us to make choices in our present which hinder our progress in the future. 

For example, most of us eat sugary foods in the morning which force the body to release Insulin to counter the toxic levels in our blood. This in turn, causes the mid-morning 'haze' where we feel tired and unmotivated, leading us to drink energy drinks and even more sugary foods to 'pep up;' a constant roller coaster of energy and motivation ensues. In contrast, if we choose to eat fruit in the morning, or nothing at all (fasting till lunch time) our bodies will slowly release energy over time maintaining a constant energy level throughout the day avoiding the pitfalls of low energy and motivation. 


It is easy to see with the above example that our addictions to 'feeling good in the moment' cause us all sorts of future hurdles. Therefore, the key to transcending this Bias is to be brave in the face of your emotional needs, and ask yourself what is the best choice long term? Eventually, we will begin to realize our needs for short term stability cause us long term pain, and a new 'path of least resistance' will emerge.]



12. Anchoring Effect

Also known as the relativity trap, this is the tendency we have to compare and contrast only a limited set of items. It's called the anchoring effect because we tend to fixate on a value or number that in turn gets compared to everything else. The classic example is an item at the store that's on sale; we tend to see (and value) the difference in price, but not the overall price itself. This is why some restaurant menus feature very expensive entrees, while also including more (apparently) reasonably priced ones. It's also why, when given a choice, we tend to pick the middle option — not too expensive, and not too cheap.

[Similar to Justification Bias and Current Moment Bias, we tend to make choices based off a limited contextual framework; 'cherry picking' our reality to justify our beliefs. For example, if your friend has stolen from you in the past causing you to get upset, you may justify stealing from them in turn, even though you know very well how this can feel on the receiving end. 

The context of our decision-making process is the key to undoing nearly all Biases. When you find yourself charged to make a choice in favor of a thing, take pause for a moment and attempt to look at the context from which you are viewing this choice. Just because your friend stole from you in the past, does not mean doing so now will make you feel any better; not to mention the problems you create for yourself with this person in the future. Instead attempt to harmonize your past experience with the present moment, and realize not stealing from your friend will set a new pattern of behavior. The key is to be brave and question your own justifications as to develop a holistic contextual framework which takes into account all possible outcomes and ramifications.]



Images: Lightspring/Shutterstock, Tsyhun/Shutterstock, Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock, Everett Collection/Shutterstock, Frank Wasserfuehrer/Shutterstock, George Dvorsky, Barry Gutierrez and Ed Andrieski/AP, Daniel Padavona/Shutterstock, wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.




Source:

http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-12-cognitive-biases-that-prevent.html

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