Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverends Oh
Providential Significance of Hoon Dok Hae
Prof. Taek Young Oh
Unification Theological Seminary
Barrytown, New York
On September 1, 1997, at the celebration of the ninth anniversary of the "Proclamation of Heavenly Parentism" at Belvedere, True Father proclaimed a "New Start." He instructed all blessed families to set aside one hour each morning from 6:00 to 7:00 to recite the Family Pledge, then read Blessing and the Ideal Family; Way of God's Will; and the three providentially important speeches: "View of the Principle of the Providential History of Salvation," "In Search of the Origin of the Universe" and "True Family and True Universe Centering on True Love." Then we must live based on those Words.
On October 3, in Uruguay, True Father added the speech "True Family and I" and God's Will and the World to the selected material to read, and declared that a new book Blessed Family and the Ideal Kingdom would be published in the near future which combine everything except God's Will and the World.
On October 13, True Father named the daily morning reading session Hoon Dok Hae. He also emphasized many times the importance of Hoon Dok Hae at the International Leaders' meeting, which was held right after the celebration of the 38th True Children's Day on November 1.
The reason why True Father has emphasized the importance of the Hoon Dok Hae is that since the Declaration of the Realm of the Cosmic Sabbath for Parents of Heaven and Earth, the direction of God's providence has shifted from the Age of the Divine Principle as the utmost priority to the Age of Living Life with True Parents being the highest priority (True Father, East Garden, Sept. 13, 1997).
Reaching the point where all humankind will become blessed families, True Father, who desires to build the ideal world centered on these blessed families, is expecting every blessed household, through participating in the Hoon Dok Hae, to realize the new tradition which True Father has established, and to live a life of oneness with the True Family.
True Father's thought that was revealed through the Hoon Dok Hae, will remain eternally as a new tradition in every blessed family and can be understood through examining the characteristics of God's Providence from the Declaration of the Realm of the Cosmic Sabbath for Parents of Heaven and Earth on August 9 (July 7 lunar) given on True Children's Day November 1. These characteristics are: the time to buy True Parents' words without cost, the time to become one with True Parents, and the establishment of the ideal world centered on the blessed families.
II. Providential Background
Since the Declaration of the Realm of the Cosmic Sabbath for Parents of Heaven and Earth, God's providence has been progressing rapidly as if one day was equivalent to a thousand years. After that declaration, True Father held a special meeting for 200 pre-blessed couples in Alaska, emphasizing the essence of faith, and that faith "should not simply end with just believing and knowing, but it should flower into a life of attending God."
True Father, after declaring the "New Start" at Belvedere on September 1, said "Even though people do not know, we have already entered into God's direct dominion," beginning with the Holy Wedding ceremony of Young Jin Nim and Hyung Jin Nim on September 6. Following that, at 7 o'clock on the morning of September 11 at East Garden, the Age of the Realm of the Fourth Adam was declared. This declaration became possible because of the Holy Wedding of Hyung Jin Nim, the youngest son of True Parents.
The Age of the Realm of the Fourth Adam means that the True Family restored the same position as that where Adam and Eve could receive the Blessing, reaching their perfection without the fall, and that every blessed family must attend the True Family, and practice the heavenly way of life in order to accomplish the original ideal family which Adam and Eve were supposed to realize through receiving the Blessing.
In the Age of the Realm of the Fourth Adam, the life of attending True Parents is more important than knowing the Divine Principle. On September 14 at Belvedere, True Father emphasized many times how important it is to attend the True Family and to live together with them. This speech has the longest title in Unification Church history: "Let us (1) believe True Parents; (2) know True Parents; (3) live together with True Parents; (4) become one in True Love with the True Family; and 5) start to live a life in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth." As expressed in this title, we have to experience the heart of True Parents both internally and externally as if it were our own,2 and "to start living a life in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth as the way that all blessed families who live in the Age of the Realm of the Fourth Adam should practice" (True Father, Nov. 11, 1997, Belvedere).
On the morning of October 13 at the Hotel Victoria Plaza in Uruguay, True Father gave the official name Hoon Dok Hae during the reading session between 6 and 7 a.m. At that time True Father explained the meaning of this name and the reason why he had given it.
III. Time to Buy God's Word Without Cost
A. Literal meaning of the Chinese characters
True Father went on to explain (Oct. 13): The Hoon Dok Hae is the time for learning the Words of Truth. It is different from the Dok Bo Hae of North Korea when the ideas of communism are simply read and forgotten. The character hoon is a combination of the characters for "word" and for "river." River contains the meaning of "life" and "eternity" and signifies something which flows beyond national boundaries. Therefore, the word hoon conveys the meaning that the words of True Father are eternal, that they are life, and that they are beyond the boundary of hometown. The character dok is a combination of the characters for "word" and "to sell." Therefore, it conveys the meaning of "selling the words." According to this interpretation of the words given by True Father, Hoon Dok Hae means a gathering that sells and buys True Father's words which have "eternal life" that goes beyond national boundaries and includes living with the Words.
Based on True Father's interpretation that the water of a river implies God's Words, if we can understand the "water of the river" spoken of in the Bible, then the importance of Hoon Dok Hae will appear more clearly. Let us first examine the meaning of Hoon. The Israelites who came to the event of drawing water, which was held on the last day of the Tabernacle festival3 commemorating the 40-year wilderness life of their ancestors. Jesus said, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water (Jn. 7: 37-38)." Jesus figured himself as the origin of the water of a river4 and said that living water will flow out of the belly of the believer.
The important thing is that this water from the river is not something you have to buy but it is something which you can drink without having to buy it. God invited those who "thirst" and the "poor" and let them drink and eat without cost (Is. 55: 1). Besides, he accused those who "spent money for what was not bread, and for what does not satisfy" (Is. 55: 2). With the water of the river, Jesus encouraged those who "thirst" to drink without cost. This water is the "water of life."
In Rev. 22: 2, it is said, "On either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." The Hoon Dok Hae, so named by True Father, is the time during which we drink the "water of life" without paying anything as it was revealed in both the Old and New Testaments. Eternal life is promised to people who attend this reading session. And this promise is given to anybody beyond race or nation.
B. Value of the Word
We must make an effort to discover True Father's life course of blood, sweat and tears which is hidden inside the Words when you read them during the time of Hoon Dok Hae. True Father once shared his experiences of having fought a spiritual battle for 43 days with many saints and sages in the spirit world, including God Himself, in order to restore the Words.
True Father said that when he explained the Principle of Creation, the Fall, and the Principle of Restoration for the first time, all sages, including God, had laughed at him in the beginning. Nevertheless, True Father asked God to evaluate him after listening to his whole explanation, and then he completed it. After True Father's explanation, God asked all the saints and the sages: "If you have any question or objection, please say so." However, nobody said anything. Then God took Reverend Moon's hand, declared Reverend Moon's victory, and gave him the heavenly seal of recognition (True Father, Oct. 30, 1997, East Garden). Through this victory, True Father united the spiritual world.5
Thus, True Father's Word is not something that was given by someone, but it is the Word he himself has gained as the result of his own efforts and battles. When we read his Words, we will understand True Father's life and realize how holy and valuable a person True Father is through His life course. True Father once asked us: "Is the Word valuable or is True Father valuable?" With such a question, he said that we must first know Father's life in order to understand the Words because the Words of True Father were all based on life itself (True Father, Sept. 20, 1997, Caceras, Brazil).
True Father, who found the Eternal Word of Life, is more valuable than the cosmos from the viewpoint of God. On September 1, 1997 at Belvedere, True Father explained the meaning of his own name. The word "Sun" means "fish" and "lamb," symbolizing "ocean" and "land." "Myung" means "sun" and "moon," symbolizing "yin and yang" and "Heaven and Earth." "Sun Myung" means "shining bright and clear," while True Father's last name "Moon" means "Truth." Therefore, True Father's name not only symbolizes every aspect of the cosmos but also is the truth teaching about the cosmos. According to True Father, all the contents of the cosmos are included in His name. True Father asked us if we wanted to buy True Father. Responding to members answering "yes" he said: "Since God already bought True Father by giving the whole cosmos, you cannot buy me, no matter how seriously you want to." True Father is now saying that we can buy True Father's Words, which contain all the contents of the cosmos, for free, by our attending the Hoon Dok Hae.
C. The meaning of "Buying the Word Without Cost"
True Father wants to sell his Words during the Hoon Dok Hae. Therefore, "Buying the Word without Cost" means, first, that the Word cannot be bought by money. People in this world often think that they can buy anything just by paying money. Of course, we can buy books which contain True Father's Words. However, we cannot buy the contents inside the Words by paying money. Furthermore, needless to say, we cannot buy the contents of True Father's life course. If you wanted to buy it by paying money, you would have to pay more money than God had spent to buy it. Actually, God gave the cosmos (which includes both the physical and the spiritual worlds) to buy it, so you could never gain such an amount of money on this Earth.
Second, it means that the Words contain eternal grace. If the Words were something you could buy only by paying money, the poor would not be able to buy them. Even though the Words have incredible value, if they could be bought by paying money, we cannot call this "grace." However, we find infinite grace in True Father's invitation to "buy the Word without cost."
Third, the aspect of demand is included in True Father's invitation. In the Bible, when the people were invited to drink the spring water, the will of the people who were invited was respected (Rev. 3:20). Since True Father's invitation to the Hoon Dok Hae is grounded in True Love, no one has any reason or excuse to refuse it.
Since October 29, 1997, True Father has warned us of the possibility of the "great judgment" of humankind after the 360 million couples Blessing. 360 million couples is 720 million adults, and if we suppose that one couple has 4 children or relatives, about 3 billion people are included in the blessed families. If so, then more than half of the human population could be recognized as members of blessed families. Therefore, True Father said that no matter what kind of judgment True Parents might bring to the people, he could not be accused by anybody (True Father, Oct. 30, 31 & Nov. 1, 1997, East Garden; Oct. 31 & Nov. 16, Belvedere).
True Parents, as true parents of humankind, are really hoping that the time of the "great judgment" may just pass. One of the most important conditions True Father can use in order to avoid the great judgment is to let people join this Hoon Dok Hae. Anybody who joins the Hoon Dok Hae, and buys True Father's Words which can give eternal life for "free" and "drink them" can pass the great judgment. In order to save humankind from this great judgment, True Parents have given a warning that everyone must attend the Hoon Dok Hae, even demanding it.
IV. The Time for Becoming One with True Parents
A. The meaning of October and the 13th
True Father named the morning reading session Hoon Dok Hae on October 13, 1997, and emphasized the meaning of this day. Traditionally, members of the Unification Church have understood the significance of October as being the "month of liberation." True Father emphasized the meaning: Real liberation means that through being liberated from the jail of Satan, we become one with True Parents (True Father, Oct. 1 & 4, 1997, Hotel Victoria Plaza, Uruguay).
In order to become one with True Parents, we must remember the life of True Parents which lies behind the declaration of church holidays and ceremonies . We should repent and have a heart of sorrow that we could not walk together with True Parents during the time when they were going through their suffering course and have a heart of sorrow. From now on, we must make a pledge that we will go the way of becoming one with True Parents.
Number 13 is the number of Jesus and the 12 disciples added together. Jesus was crucified because those 12 disciples could not unite with him.6 The fact that True Father gave the name of Hoon Dok Hae on the 13th has the meaning of restoring through indemnity the failure of the 12 disciples who could not unite with Jesus. In order to restore that failure, every blessed family must know True Parents and become absolutely one with them.
October 13 is the 43rd day from September 1 when True Father declared the "New Start." The number 43 coincides with the number of 430 years that the Israelites suffered in Egypt before they left for Canaan, the land of milk and honey, under the leadership of Moses. In order for the Israelites to enter Canaan with Moses, they had to absolutely unite, centered on Moses. However, they were unable to do this.
The reason why True Father gave the name Hoon Dok Hae on October 13 is not only to restore through indemnity the failure of the Israelites who could not unite with Moses, but also to restore the failure of the 12 disciples who could not unite with Jesus. When we become one, the "standard" of unity is not "I", but True Parents who are the embodiment of God's Words, and True Parents' Words.
B. Becoming one with the Word
The tradition of becoming one, centered on True Parents' Words, began with the True Family. At East Garden, centering on True Parents, they started reading the Words from the end of August 1997. Through this reading, True Parents began to educate the True Children directly. Until that time, True Parents were not able to educate their children directly because of the providential reason that they had to love Cain children first. Now it has become possible for them to teach God's Words directly.
True Parents and True Children have established the tradition of becoming one, centered on the Words. On September 1, 1997 at Belvedere True Father said that based on this new tradition, every blessed family must resemble East Garden in which everything is harmonious, centered on the Words, and that from now on persons who have not inherited this tradition will not be able to enter East Garden. True Parents are expecting every blessed family to inherit this new tradition which began in East Garden and go the way to becoming one with True Family. In order to do this, we must get rid of our past conventional lifestyle. True Parents always think of something new, create new things, and require us to live a proper life corresponding to these new things. If we keep our past conventional lifestyle for even one day it will be difficult for us to understand True Parents; it will also become painful to accept the Words of True Parents, and it will be more difficult to live according to those Words. Moment by moment, we must deny ourselves, and continually nurture ourselves in order to return absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience.
In order to become one with True Parents, we should not be imbued or influenced or drawn into surrounding cultures and traditions. The Israelites who entered into Canaan guided by Joshua, aroused God's wrath because they were influenced and absorbed by the culture of the Canaanites and stained their blood through their relationship with them. The culture and tradition of the Unification Church are neither something that goes along with the conventional culture and tradition, nor can they compromise with the culture. As the culture and tradition established by True Parents, they are totally new. They are such that they are being established from the position of Adam and Eve before the fall, True Father is expecting us to know deeply the fundamental spirit of this culture and tradition through the Hoon Dok Hae.
The standard which evaluates how deeply we are one with True Parents is the very Words of True Parents, especially the most recent ones. True Parents emphasized many times that the only words we have to teach (even to those who are pre-blessed) are the Words of True Father that are written in Blessed Family and the Ideal Kingdom (True Father, Sept. 21, 1997, Caceras, Brazil; Nov. 1, 1997, International Leaders meeting, East Garden). This is the sole standard of life for blessed families. This is because the Words of that book are based on True Parents' life (True Father, Sept. 13, East Garden).
The fact that True Parents have emphasized the importance of the Hoon Dok Hae and decided that the Words we should read are Blessed Family and the Ideal Kingdom, is related to the providential transformation from the age of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity to the age of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. Since the age of the Unification Church was, in one sense, an age of theoretical battles, a logic for those battles was required. The necessary logic for those theoretical battles was Divine Principle, Unification Thought,, and Theory of Victory over Communism.
The age of the theoretical battle has come to an end, however, and the age of constructing the Kingdom of God on Earth has come. The most important mission of True Parents, ultimately, is not that of becoming the victors in the theoretical battle, but that of building the Kingdom of God on Earth and in Heaven, in other words, the Ideal World, which is the Will of God. To do this, the most important thing that we can do is read the Words of True Parents that are based on the contents of True Parents' life course, and establish a new tradition in our daily life like that of the life of True Parents.
I think the content of workshops conducted by the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification needs to be changed to reflect more the educational contents based on the book Blessed Family and the Ideal Kingdom, thereby corresponding more directly to the new providential age. At this time, the lecture contents of workshops should be changed from unnecessary doctrine-centered lectures to life-centered contents based on the new tradition of True Parents, in accordance with the providential shift from the age of the Principle to the age of Life itself.
V. Building The Ideal World Centering On Blessed Families
A. The meaning of the period between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.
True Father instructed that every blessed family should participate in the Hoon Dok Hae between 6 and 7 o'clock every morning. According to True Father, the reason we start at 6 a.m. is because God created humankind on the sixth day. The reason we continue to 7 a.m. is because we must indemnify humankind's mistake, which made God restless even on the seventh day, that being the day when God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, was supposed to rest (True Father, Sept. 14, Belvedere).
Humankind, after having been created on the sixth day, should have become the embodiment of God, achieving individual perfection according to God's purpose of creation. They should have realized an ideal husband and wife relationship through being ideal spouses and then established the ideal family (True Father, "The Significance of Celebrating July 1", July 1, 1997, Salo Boro Hotel, Brazil). In this way, all humankind, all families, must allow the True God to come and rest in the family as His true place. It is True Parents' desire that we learn the way of realizing such an ideal through the Hoon Dok Hae.
Through the Hoon Dok Hae, we read True Father's Words again and again, even thousands of times, until we digest all the words which are in Blessed Family and the Ideal Kingdom (True Father, Nov. 1, 1997, International Leaders meeting, East Garden). Based on this foundation, blessed families will become enabled to live naturally and automatically according to the Words. True Father said that after the "Proclamation of the Cosmic Sabbath of Heaven and Earth," the theme of the prayer of blessed families should be: "True Parents! Please enter my mind and dwell there" (True Father, Sept. 28, 1997, Corrientes, Argentina). The content of such a prayer has to be expanded to the levels of husband and wife, family, clan, tribe, nation, world and cosmos.
A blessed family is a family who has a connection of lineage with True Parents. The place where such blessed families live, there the Kingdom of God is (True Father, May 1, 1997, Belvedere). The Ideal World, which True Parents are eager to realize, cannot be established only through the foundation of present blessed families. According to True Father, the Completed Testament Age is the "Age of Blessed Families" (True Father, "Cutting Off of Satan's Lineage and the Ideal Kingdom," Oct. 31, 1997, following Pledge service, 38th True Children's Day, East Garden), and Heavenly Parentism is also blessed familyism centering on God and True Parents (True Father, Sept. 14, 1997, Belvedere). The biggest obstacle to establishing the ideal world where only blessed families live, is Satan's lineage.
The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth will start from the point where Satan's lineage is completely eradicated. It is impossible to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth if there remains even a small part of Satan's lineage. Therefore, True Parents desire that even embryos in their mother's womb drink the holy wine and be cut off from Satan's lineage. The goal of the providence during the next two years is to "cut off Satan's lineage" and to establish the "Blessed Family and the Ideal Kingdom."
True Parents understand that this earth, when completely cut off from Satan's lineage, becomes the "global family," rather than the expression "global village" (True Father, "Highway of True Love," Nov. 16, 1997, Belvedere). In order to realize one great family on this globe, centered on True Parents, True Father is stressing the importance of the Hoon Dok Hae. His desire is that people completely cut off Satan's lineage through the holy wine ceremony, then learn the life and tradition of True Parents through the Hoon Dok Hae.
True Parents have read Blessed Family and the Ideal Kingdom more times than anyone else (e.g., True Parents read the words for 12 hours on the boat when they were exploring the Paraguay River). True Father really loves these Words even though they are the Words he himself has spoken. He places the highest value on these Words. He does not want to change the Words he has already spoken, even small points, and even though they may contain expressions that are not so smooth. Whenever True Father reads his Words, he reads them with the same standard as he had when he prepared for that speech.7 That is, he clearly remembers the difficult providential situation of the time when he first spoke those Words. Many times I have seen True Father trying to hold back his emotions and his tears when he reads his Words.
B. Hoon Dok Hae must be in Korean
On November 1, 1997 at the International Leaders meeting at East Garden, True Father ordered all National Messiahs to translate Blessed Family and the Ideal Kingdom into the language of their mission country. However, soon after that instruction, he said that every blessed family must read the Words in Korean. He also said that those who do not understand Korean should be able feel the Heart of True Parents who have emphasized the importance of Korean through the voice sound of the reading, and that they also must feel the spirit of True Parents which is contained in those Words.
It is apparent that the unification of languages through the Hoon Dok Hae is in True Father's mind. True Father, who has stressed the importance of Korean for the last 13 years, has used every opportunity in order to encourage us to study Korean.
On the occasion of the International Leaders meeting on June 6, 1997 which was held right after the True Day of All Things, True Father spoke for 30 minutes on the importance of Korean. Later, on August 10, He said that leaders who did not speak Korean could not attend International Leaders meetings. On September 1, True Father said that studying Reverend Moon's speeches which were not taken directly from original language has no value. On November 1, He made it very clear that although international marriages will be allowed from the third generation of the True Family, candidates to become spouses of the True Family members must be able to speak Korean. In fact, True Parents have not wanted to use any translation at any International Leaders meetings since August 9, 1997.
The reason True Father emphasizes the importance of studying Korean is because He deeply desires to realize the unification of languages which were divided into many different languages at the time of the Tower of Babel. Members of the Unification Church accept international marriages very easily. True Father worries that if three generations in a row have international marriages, such big families will have difficulties communicating with each other because of language problems whenever all families of three generations gather. In that case, they will agree on speaking True Parent's language in order to solve this communication problem, and that language is Korean. He said that every blessed family must be able to speak Korean because True Parents expect them to speak that language (True Father, "Highway of True Love, Nov. 16, 1997, Belvedere).
The Hoon Dok Hae takes place between 6 and 7 in order to let God rest since He could not rest on the seventh day after He created humankind on the sixth day. True Parents are longing for the establishment of the Ideal world through blessed families who join in this Hoon Dok Hae. We are supposed to understand True Parents' deep Heart which longs for the unification of languages by reading the Words in Korean in order for us to become one with True Parents in Heart.
The Hoon Dok Hae is a new tradition which True Parents established for all blessed families, responding to the providential shift from the age centered on the Principle to the age centered on Life. True Parents' desire is that every blessed family will buy without cost the Words of True Parents which are the source of Eternal Life, beyond the boundaries of race and nation, by attending the Hoon Dok Hae.
Through their attendance, all blessed families have to become completely one with True Parents and True Family in Heart. And through offering the time between 6 and 7 every morning, every blessed family should invite God and True Parents, who created humankind on the sixth day and wanted to rest on the seventh day in our mind and heart and let them dwell there. Furthermore, by letting God and True Parents settle within our families, the ideal world will be established based on those families. This is the desire of True Parents.
Again, unlike the Dok Bo Hae in North Korea, where communist ideas were read and forgotten, our Hoon Dok Hae is the time to read True Father's Words from 6 to 7 every morning, and is the gathering through which we discover True Parents behind the Words, realize the spirit and tradition of their life course, and practice such a traditional lifestyle in our family.
True Parents, with these same things in their own minds, absolutely keep this time without any exceptions. They think that the time of the Hoon Dok Hae is the most valuable time in a day. To follow this new tradition established by True Parents with a joyful and grateful heart is the way that we, all blessed families, are supposed to go.
1This paper was printed by The Unification Church History Committee of Korea, "Sabo" 154 (Nov.-Dec., 1997): 121-8.
2True Father said the education on shimjung within Education Theory in Unification Thought must be more than 70% and emphasized that the standard of shimjung is most important in the spiritual world (True Father, Sept. 11, 1997, East Garden).
3The Israelites hold a 'Tabernacle festival' every year to remember their ancestors' difficult 40-year period of wilderness. During the festival they put up tents, other than their houses, and hold a few kinds of ceremonies. On the very last day of the festival, they hold the ceremony of drawing water and offering it to the alter, wishing for the following year to be fruitful. This reaches the peak of the festival. In order to understand the festival more deeply, see Archbishop J. H. Bernard, "Gospel According to St. John, vol. 1," The International Critical Commentary (Edinburgh: T&T, Clark, 1969): 280-83.
4Ibid., 282; also, Raymond E. Brown, "The Gospel According to John I-XIII," The Anchor Bible (Garden City, NY: Double Day & Company Inc., 1960): 320.
5Unification of the spiritual world and heavenly seal of recognition from God in "True Family and True Universe Centering on True Love" is in relation to the victory in the spiritual battle.
6From the speech given at the celebration for the 42nd anniversary of True Father's release from Seo Dae Moon prison, Oct. 4, 1997. Hotel Victoria Plaza in Uruguay. True Father said, "Every year, every member must receive the day with the heart of repentance and an apology that you could not offer even one privately purchased food for Father during Father's imprisonment."
7When True Father prepares a speech, True Father has total focus and forgets everything. For example, although he sees that a fish is hooked on a fishing pole, True Father gives no thought to reeling it in. And with the purpose of going to the bathroom, True Father has found himself in the bedroom instead without realizing it This is how much True Father becomes totally absorbed in preparing a speech, (See True Father's speech given at East Garden on July 23, 1997 following True Mother's speech tour in Pusan, Korea.)
Translated by H. Sakai
Edited B. Lancaster
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