Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dilip and Sri Aurobindo Vol I ,1932-33

You write in your letter that the tears were not real because your eyes were dry when you woke. The epithet shows the survival of a Russellian bias in your physical mind,—as if the physical were the only reality! They were perfectly real, only it was the reality of the inner self and the inner plane; for it was the inner being that shed these tears of ecstasy and bhakti. So too your meeting with Sahana and Sachin was a real experience, but real on the vital plane—and one sign of the reality was the way in which they acted, each with an exact fidelity to the vital state, Sachin ignorant and unable to understand and upset, Sahana who is awake within at once understanding what had happened and doing the right thing by leaving you to your experience. So too what happened in your dream about the Mother was real, but real on the vital plane, an experience of things that take place in the inner domains. It is a mistake to think that we live physically only with the outer mind and life. We are all the time living and acting on other planes of consciousness, meeting others there and acting upon them, and what we do and feel and think there, the force we gather, the results we prepare have an incalculable importance and effect, unknown to us, upon our outer life. Not all of it comes through, and what comes through takes another form in the physical—though sometimes there is an exact correspondence; but this little is at the basis of our outward existence. All that we become and do and bear in the physical life is prepared behind the veil within us. It is therefore of immense importance for a Yoga which aims at the transformation of life to grow conscious of what goes on within these domains, to be master there and be able to feel, know and deal with the secret forces that determine our destiny and our internal and external growth or decline.

The weakness in yourself of which you speak is there, as the persistency of these movements show but it is not in the heart —your heart is all right—but in the lower vital nature. All your weaknesses are there; the rest of your being is quite strong enough for the spiritual life. But this inadequacy of the lower vital is not peculiar to you, it is in almost every human being. This tendency to irrational sadness and despondency and these imaginations, fears and perverse reasonings—always repeating, if you will take careful notice, the same movements, ideas and feelings and even the same language and phrases like a machine—is a characteristic of the lower vital nature. The only way to get rid of it is to meet it with a fixed resolution of the higher vital and the mind and psychic being to combat, reject and master it. As you were determined to master the desire of the palate, so you must determine to master this "irrational knot" of despondency in the lower vital nature. If you indulge it and regard it as a natural part of yourself with good causes for existence or if you busy yourself finding this or that justification for it when it comes, there is no reason why it should let go its unpleasant grip upon you. Be firm and courageous here, as you have learnt to be with other movements of your lower vital; you will then, I think, find less difficulty in your meditation and your general sadhana.

Ramakrishna's Yoga was also turned only to an inner realisation of the inner Divine,—nothing less, but also nothing more. I believe his sentence1 about the claim of the sadhak on the Divine for whom he has sacrificed everything was the assertion of an inner and not an outer claim, on the inner rather than on any physically embodied Divine: it was a claim for the full spiritual union, the God-lover seeking the Divine, but the Divine also giving himself and meeting the God-lover. There can be no objection to that; such a claim all seekers of the Divine have; but as to the modalities of this divine meeting, it does not carry us much farther. In any case, my object is a realisation on the physical plane and I cannot consent merely to repeat Ramakrishna. I seem to remember too that for a long time he was withdrawn into himself, all his life was not spent with his disciples! He got his siddhi first in retirement and when he came out and received everyone—well, a few years of it wore out his body. To that, I suppose, he had no objection; for he even pronounced a theory, when Keshav Chandra was dying, that spiritual experience ought to wear out the body! But all the same, when asked why he got his illness in the throat, he answered that it was the sins of his disciples which they threw upon him and he had to swallow! Not being satisfied, as he was, with an inner liberation alone, I cannot accept these ideas or these results; for that does not sound to me like a successful meeting of the Divine and the sadhak on the physical plane, however successful it might have been for
1. Ramakrishna's sentence: " Bhagabāner opor jor chale jadi tār janye sangsār-tyag karā jāy. Je meye tār pranayeer janye ghar tyāg korlo se, bolbe  nā ô tui khete dibi ne? Ami tor buker opor boshe khābo"[You can dernand from the Divine only when you can leave everything for Him. The  woman who has left her home for her lover has the right to say,  "Won't you provide for me? I shall make you provide for me"?]
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the inner life. Krishna did great things and was very clearly a manifestation of the Divine. But I remember a passage of the Mahabharata in which he complains of the unquiet life his followers and adorers gave him, their constant demands, reproaches, their throwing of their unregenerate vital nature upon him. And in the Gita he speaks of this human world as a transient and sorrowful affair and, in spite of his gospel of divine action, seems almost to admit that to leave it is after all the best solution! The traditions of the past are very great in their own place,—in the past; but I do not see why we should merely repeat them and not go farther. In the spiritual development of the consciousness upon earth the great past ought to be followed by a greater future.
There is the rub that you seem all to ignore entirely the difficulties of the physical embodiment and the divine realisation on the physical plane. For most, it seems to be a simple alternative; either the Divine comes down in full power and the thing is done, no difficulty, no necessary conditions, no law or process, only miracle and magic,—or else, well, this cannot be the Divine! Again you all (or almost all) insist on the Divine becoming human, remaining in the human consciousness and you protest against any attempt to make the human Divine; on the other hand, there is an outcry of disappointment, bewilderment, distrust, perhaps indignation, if there are human difficulties, if there is strain in the body, a swaying struggle with adverse forces, obstacles, checks, illness—and some begin to say, "Oh, there is nothing Divine here!" As if one could remain vitally and physically ln the untransformed individual human consciousness, in unchanged contact with it, satisfy its demands, and yet be immune under all circumstances and in all conditions against strain and struggle and illness. If I want to divinise the human consciousness, to bring down the supramental, the Truth-Consciousness, the Light, the Force into the physical to transform it, to create there a great fullness of Truth and Light and Power and Bliss and Love, the response is repulsion or fear or unwillingness—or a doubt whether it is
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possible. On one side there is the claim that illness and the rest should be impossible, on the other a violent rejection of the only condition under which these things can become impossible. I know that this is the natural inconsistency of the human vital mind wanting two inconsistent and incompatible things together; but that is one reason why it is necessary to transform the human and put something a little more luminous in its place.
But is the Divine then something so terrible, horrible or repellent that the idea of its entry into the physical, its divinising of the human should create this shrinking, refusal, revolt or fear? I can understand that the unregenerate vital attached to its own petty sufferings and pleasures, to the brief ignorant drama of life, should shrink from what will change it. But why should a God-lover, a God-seeker, a sadhak fear the divinisation of the consciousness? Why should he object to become one in nature with what he seeks, why should he recoil from saddrśya-mukti [liberation by likeness to the Divine]? Behind this fear there are usually two causes: first, there is the feeling of the vital that it will have to cease to be obscure, crude, muddy, egoistic, unrefined (spiritually), full of stimulating desires and small pleasures and interesting sufferings (for it shrinks even from the Ananda which will replace them); next there is some vague ignorant idea of the mind, due, I suppose, to the ascetic tradition, that the divine nature is something cold, bare, empty, austere, aloof, without the glorious riches of the egoistic human vital life. As if there were not a divine vital and as if that divine vital is not itself and, when it gets the means to manifest, will not make the life on earth also infinitely more full of beauty, love, radiance, warmth, fire, intensity and divine passion and capacity for bliss than the present impotent, suffering, pettily and transiently excited and soon tired vitality of the still so imperfect human creation!
But you will say that it is not the Divine from which you recoil, rather you accept and ask for it (provided that it is not too divine), but what you object to is the supramental–
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grand, aloof, incomprehensible, unapproachable, a sort of austere Nirākāra [formless] Brahman. The supramental so described is a bogey created by this part of your vital mind in order to frighten itself and justify its attitude. Behind this strange description there seems to be an idea that the supramental is a new version of the Vedantic featureless and incommunicable Parabrahman [supreme Brahman], vast, grand, cold, empty, remote, devastating, overwhelming; it is not quite that, of course, since it can come down, but for all practical purposes it is just as bad! It is curious that you admit your ignorance of what the supramental can be, and yet you in these moods not only pronounce categorically what it is like, but reject emphatically my experience about it as of no practical validity or not valid for anybody but myself! I have not insisted, I have answered only casually because I am not asking you now to be non-human and divine, much less to be supramental; but as you are always returning to this point when you have these attacks and making it the pivot—or at least a main support—of your depression, I am obliged to answer. The supramental is not grand, aloof, cold and austere; it is not something opposed to or inconsistent with a full vital and physical manifestation; on the contrary, it carries in it the only possibility of the full fullness of the vital force and the physical life on earth. It is because it is so, because it was so revealed to me and for no other reason that I have followed after it and persevered till I came into contact with it and was able to draw down some power of it and its influence. I am concerned with the earth and not with worlds beyond for their own sake; it is a terrestrial realisation that I seek and not a flight to distant summits. All other Yogas regard this life as an Elusion or a passing phase; the supramental Yoga alone regards it as a thing created by the Divine for a progressive Manifestation and takes the fulfilment of the life and the body for its object. The supramental is simply the Truth-consciousness and what it brings in its descent is the full truth of life, the full truth of consciousness in Matter. One
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has indeed to rise to high summits to reach it, but the more one rises, the more one can bring down below. No doubt,  life and body have not to remain the ignorant, imperfect,  impotent things they are now; but why should a change to  fuller life-power, fuller body-power be considered some thing aloof, cold and undesirable? The utmost Ananda the body and life are now capable of is a brief excitement of the vital mind or the nerves or the cells which is limited, imperfect and soon passes: with the supramental change all the cells, nerves, vital forces, embodied mental forces can become filled with a thousandfold Ananda, capable of an intensity of bliss which passes description and which need not fade away. How aloof, repellent and undesirable! The supramental love means an intense unity of soul with soul, mind with mind, life with life, and an entire flooding of the body consciousness with the physical experience of oneness, the presence of the Beloved in every part, in every cell of the body. Is that too something aloof and grand, but undesirable? With the supramental change, the very thing on which you insist, the possibility of the free physical meeting of the embodied Divine with the sadhak without conflict of forces and without undesirable reactions becomes possible, assured and free. That too is, I suppose, something aloof and undesirable? I could go on—for pages, but this is enough for the moment.

February 19, 1932  
Last evening I just wanted to dojapa concentrating on the star Venus. I just tried trataka f= fixing the gaze on a point steadfastly) and took your name along with Mother's and Sri Krishna's. I did this just because the spirit moved me thus. I have tried this before many times, but with no tangible result or effect, so I didn't expect any this time either. But somehow last evening there was a most curious effect—and beautiful at that! I had a sense of deep peace and round the Venus a green disc developed which gave place to blue and then to violet which deepened to a self-luminous brightness and suffused the whole western sky—almost. I wondered if it was an optical illusion or hallucination, as the whole thing though it lasted for nearly a quarter of an hour vanished just as I closed my eye for a second after gazing steadfastly for about twenty or twenty-five minutes (at the very least). I dismissed auto-suggestion as an explanation, as I had never even dreamed of seeing any such colour, to say
1. Krishnaprem (Ronald Nixon) was professor at Lucknow University where Dilip met him in 1922. A few years later he gave up his lectureship for a post in Benares where he went with his Guru, Yashoda Ma. When the latter retired to a temple-retreat in Almora, he accompanied her and became a Sannyasin in the name of Krishna. Dilip had sent Sri Aurobindo a few letters from Krishnaprem.
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nothing of suggesting it. The phenomenon developed as unexpectedly as had my seeing of those sparks or hearing of those bells and flute notes. But I was sceptical and curious. So I tried it this evening too and with exactly similar results. The only difference was that the colour developed much sooner—in about ten minutes or so and lasted even after I had let my eyelids fall. And my consciousness too, was fully wakeful—I was in no condition of devotional fervour or trance—in fact I was conscious of everything, e.g. of somebody—Bula—passing behind me and sitting down to meditate on the sand. Then I lay down, closed my eyes and, opening them after a short meditation, concentrated on a star in the zenith. The first time I didn't see anything and was disappointed. Why should only Venus be fruitful of colour and no other star—1 asked myself. But the next time the same result. Then every star responded similarly—with an explosion of violet whose diameter grew. I don't know if this has any meaning, though I feel there is. But even if it isn't significant certainly it is curious as I am convinced it isn't optical illusion or hallucination. The reason is, not only was I in perfectly normal consciousness but I never see visions or things. Only sparks a few times—though the bells ring all the time—from year's end to year's end. But the colour was beautiful and persisting. How was it?

No, it was neither optical illusion nor hallucinatipn nor coincidence (chromatic) nor auto-suggestion nor any of the other ponderous and vacant polysyllables by which physical science tries to explain away or rather avoid explaining the (scientifically) inexplicable. In these matters the scientist is always doing what he is always blaming the layman for doing when the latter lays down the law on things about which he is profoundly ignorant, without investigation or experiment, without ascertained knowledge—simply by Solving a theory or a priori idea out of his own mind and Plastering it as a label on the unexplained phenomena.
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There is, as I have told you, a whole range or many inexhaustible ranges of sensory phenomena other than the out ward physical which one can become conscious of sep hear, feel, smell, touch, mentally contact—to use the new established Americanism—either in trance or sleep or an inward state miscalled sleep or simply and easily in the waking state. This faculty of sensing supraphysical things internally or externalising them, so to speak, so that they become visible, audible, sensible to the outward eye, ear even touch, just as are gross physical objects, this power or gift is not a freak or an abnormality; it is a universal faculty present in all human beings, but latent in some, native rarely and as if by accident in others, frequent or normally active in a few. But just as anyone can, with some training, learn science and do things which would have seemed miracles to his forefathers, so anyone, if he wants, can with a little concentration and training develop the faculty of supraphysical vision. When one starts Yoga, this power is often, though not invariably—for some find it difficult—one of the first to come out from its latent condition and manifest itself, most often without any effort, intention or previous knowledge on the part of the sadhak. It comes more easily with the eyes shut than with the eyes open, but it does come in both ways. The first sign of its opening in the externalised way is very often that seeing of "sparkles" or small luminous dots, shapes, etc., which was your first introduction to the matter; a second is, often enough, the seeing of circles of light or colour around objects, most easily round luminous objects like a star; seeing of colours is a third initial experience—but they do not always come in that order. The yogis in India very often in order to develop the power use the method of trātak concentrating the vision on a single point or object—preferably a luminous object. Your looking at the star was precisely an exercise in trātak and had the effect which any yogi in India would have told you is normal. For all this is not fancy or delusion; it is part of an occult science which has been practised throughout the historic and prehistoric ages
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in all countries and it has always been known to be not merely auto-suggestive or hallucinatory in its results, but, if one can get the key, veridic and verifiable. Your first scepticism may be natural in a "modern" man plunging into these lasting things of the past, present and future—natural but not justifiable, because very obviously inadequate to the facts observed; but once you have seen, the first thing you should do is to throw all this vapid pseudo-science behind you, this vain attempt to stick physical explanations on supraphysical things, and take the only rational course. Develop the power, get more and more experience—develop the consciousness by which these things come: as the consciousness develops, you will begin to understand and get the intuition of the significance. Or if you want their science too, then learn and apply the occult science which can alone deal with supraphysical phenomena.
As for what showed itself to you, it was not mere curious phenomena, not even merely symbolic colour, but things that have a considerable importance. The green circular disc you saw round Venus must indeed have been the aura of Venus which is of that colour; but this was only an introduction, a first application of the suddenly developed power of vision. Afterwards, what came, the blue and the violet were another kind of seeing more important for your Yoga; both are clearly associated with Krishna. Blue is his special and significant colour, the colour of his aura when he manifests, —that is why he is called Nīl Krishna; the adjective does not mean that he was blue or dark in his physical body whether in Brindavan or Mathura or Dwarka! Violet is the radiance of Krishna's protection—that is why it brought to you a sense of peace. The Mother says that she always saw it when she was in communion with Krishna and now too constantly sees it enveloping the Ashram. That this should be the first tiling when the power of vision broke through its state of latency is very significant; it proves that you are in contact, tile touch already there in your inner being and this force of presence and protection is already around you or over you
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as an environing influence.
Develop this power of inner sense and all that it brings you. These first seeings are only an outer fringe—behind lie whole worlds of experience which fill what seems to the material man the gap (your Russell's inner void) between the earth-consciousness and the Eternal and Infinite.
P. S. I remember when I first began to see inwardly (and outwardly also with the open eye), a scientific friend of mine began to talk of after-images—these are only after-images! I asked him whether after-images remained before the eye for two minutes at a time—he said/ "no", to his knowledge only for a few seconds; I also asked him whether one could get after-images of things not around one or even not existing upon this earth, since they had other shapes, another character, other hues, contours and a very different dynamism, life-movements and values—he could not reply in the affirmative. That is how these so-called scientific explanations break down as soon as you pull them out of their cloudland of mental theory and face them with the actual phenomena they pretend to decipher.

February 1932
... P. S. Colour and light are always close to each other,— colour being more indicative, light more dynamic. Colour incandescent becomes light. Gold-green: gold indicates at its most intense something from the supramental, otherwise overmind truth or intuitive truth drawing ultimately from the supramental truth-consciousness. Green has much to do with the vital and indicates here, I think, the emotional forces in their outpouring. The play of the emotional forces in the divine Truth is, obviously very pertinent to the working of the Krishna light.


It is only at the beginning that concentration is necessary to see these colours, afterwards it comes of itself. There was a long time when I used to see colours spontaneously or wherever I cast my eyes, just as you do now, and at every time of concentrated meditation they used to fill the room. Many, indeed, begin to see them spontaneously without any concentration at all, first with closed eyes, afterwards with the eyes open. Seeing them with the eyes .closed happens often enough to people who have never practised or even heard of Yoga; but in such cases it proves that there is some kind of occult vision there very near to the surface.
Now as to the tension and stiffness, the Mother saw it this  time in your meditation with her, because she had to look for the impediment. You told her that in meditating with her you never felt conscious of anything—and yet it ought not to be so since your receptivity was beyond doubt and you yourself say that you have always found the personal contact helpful. I may say in passing that consciousness and receptivity are not the same thing; one may be receptive, yet externally unaware of how things are being done and of what is being done. But for such an external consciousness there must be a reason, and she looked in the meditation with you and saw (not with the mind but by concrete experience) that it was this stiffness created by a tension and straining which made the consciousness rigid and closed it up. She did not mean that it closed you to the force or that it took away the inner receptivity, but that it closed you to the surface of what is being done. When that happens/ the Force works, as I have repeatedly written, behind the veil; the results remain packed behind and come out afterwards, often slowly, little by little, until there is so much pressure that it breaks through somehow and forces open the external nature. There is the difference between a mental and a vital straining and pulling and a spontaneous psychic openness, and it is not at all the first time that we have spoken of the difference. The Mother and myself have written and spoken of it times without number and we have deprecated pulling1 and straining and advocated the attitude of psychic openness. It is not really a question of the right or the wrong key, but of putting the key in the lock in the right or the wrong way,—whether, because of some difficulty, you try to force the lock turning the key this way and that with violence or confidently and quietly give it the right turn and the door opens.

June 9, 1932
I can only say that whether by tapasya or surrender does not matter, the one thing is to be firm in setting one's force to the goal. Once one has set one's feet on the way, how can one draw back from it to something inferior? If one keeps firm, falls do not matter; one rises up again and goes forward. If one is firm towards the goal, there can be on the way to the Divine no eventual failure. And if there is something within you that drives, as surely there is, falterings or falls or failure of faith make no eventual difference. One has to go on till the struggle is over and there is the straight and open and thornless way  before us.

I have read your correspondence with Subhash Bose.1 Your main point is of course quite the right thing to answer; all this insistence upon action is absurd if one has not the light by which to act. "Yoga must include life and not exclude it" does not mean that we are bound to accept life as it is with all its stumbling ignorance and misery and the obscure confusion of human will and reason and impulse and instinct which it expresses. The advocates of action think that by human intellect and energy making an always new rush, everything can be put right; the present state of the world after a development of the intellect and a stupendous output of energy for which there is no historical parallel is a signal proof of the emptiness of the illusion under which they labour. Yoga takes the stand that it is only by a change of consciousness that (the true basis of life can be discovered; from within outward is indeed the rule. But within does not
I. Subhash Chandra Bose (23 January 1897 - 18 August 1945), the well-known Nationalist leader. Dilip knew him from their student days in England. He was an admirer of Sri Aurobindo's revolutionary action. Resigning from the I.C.S., Subhash Bose entered the freedom movement and joined the Congress soon after his return to India in 1921. He worked with Chittaranjan Das, was imprisoned many times, and tried to orient the Congress towards firm action. In 1939, he fell out with Gandhi and the Congress, escaped in 1941 from house arrest, fled to Europe and stayed for a while in Germany, trying to muster support for an attack on British India. In 1942, Subhash Bose, reached Japan, then Singapore, and developed the "Indian National Army," which was to join Japan in its campaign against British India. In 1944, the I.N.A. launched its offensive from Burma, but could not proceed beyond Assam as the Japanese forces became increasingly engaged elsewhere. Subhash Bose disappeared in a plane accident in 1945.
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mean some quarter inch behind the surface. One must a deep and find the soul, the self, the Divine Reality within us  and only then can life become a true expression of what we  can be instead of a blind and always repeated confused blur of the inadequate and imperfect thing we were. The choice is between remaining in the old jumble and groping about in the hope of stumbling on some discovery or standing back and seeking the Light within till we discover and can build the Godhead within and without us.  


June 24, 1932 
The exacerbation of certain vital movements is a perfectly well-known phenomenon in Yoga and does not mean that one has degenerated, but only that one has come to close grips instead of to a pleasant nodding acquaintance with the basic instincts of the earthly vital nature. I have had myself the experience of this rising to a height, during a certain stage of the spiritual development, of things that before hardly existed and seemed quite absent in the pure yogic life. These things rise up like that because they are fighting for their existence—they are not really personal to you and the vehemence of their attack is not due to any "badness" in the personal nature. I dare say seven sadhaks out often have a similar experience. Afterwards when they cannot effect their object which is to drive the sadhak out of his sadhana, the whole thing sinks and there is no longer any vehement trouble. I repeat that the only serious thing about it is the depression created in you and the idea of inability in the Yoga that they take care to impress on the brain when they are at their work. If you can get rid of that, the violence of the vital attacks is only the phenomenon of a stage and does not in the end matter.

The Yogi goes still farther; he is not only a master there,
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but even while in mind in a way, he gets out of it, as it were, and stands above or quite back from it and free. For him the image of the factory of thoughts is no longer quite valid; for he sees that thoughts come from outside, from the universal Mind or universal Nature, sometimes formed and distinct, sometimes unformed and then they are given shape some where in us. The principal business of our mind is either a response of acceptance or refusal to these thought-waves (as also vital waves, subtle physical energy waves) or this giving a personal-mental form to thought-stuff (or vital movements) from the environing Nature Force. It was my great debt to Lele that he showed me this. "Sit in meditation," he said, "but do not think, look only at your mind; you will see thoughts coming into it; before they can enter throw them away from you till your mind is capable of entire silence." I had never heard before of thoughts coming visibly into the mind from outside, but I did not think of either questioning the truth or the possibility, I simply sat down and did it. In a moment my mind became silent as a windless air on a high mountain summit and then I saw a thought and then another thought coming in a quite concrete way from outside; I flung them away before they could enter and take hold of the brain and in three days I was free. From that moment, in principle, the mental being in me became a free Intelligence, a universal Mind, not limited to the narrow circle of personal thought as a labourer in a thought factory, but a receiver of knowledge from all the hundred realms of being and free to choose what it willed in this vast sight-empire and thought-empire.
I mention this only to emphasise that the possibilities of the mental being are not limited and that it can be the free Witness and Master in its own house. It is not to say that everybody can do it in the way I did it and with the same rapidity of the decisive movement (for, of course, the later fullest developments of this new untrammelled mental Power took time, many years); but a progressive freedom and mastery of one's mind is perfectly within the possibilities of
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anyone who has the faith and the will to undertake it. The rest hereafter.


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