Friday, December 12, 2014

The Body And The Temple


The Body and the Temple


What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you.––1 Corinthians 6:19




The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples.—Doctrine and Covenants 93:35




Necessities for Exaltation


Latter-day Saints who understand even the basic doctrines of the gospel are privileged in that they do not have to wonder about the purpose of life. Prophet Joseph Smith said, “What is the design of the Almighty in making man? It was to exalt him to be as God.”[1] From Joseph Smith and from the scriptures it is clear that two things are essential for exaltation: temple ordinances and bodies.
The Prophet Joseph said there were certain ordinances “which God ordained for the salvation of man, to prepare him for, and give him a title to, a celestial glory.”[2] In latter-day revelations compiled in the Doctrine and Covenants, God says, “For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:33–34).
Joseph Smith also taught the following:


That which is without body, parts and passions is nothing. There is no other God in heaven but that God who has flesh and bones. John 5:26 reads: “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” God the Father took life unto himself exactly as Jesus did. [3]


Since we believe that God himself has a body and since we are in His image and wish to become exalted like Him, then bodies must be an important key. Paul taught that the body is a temple of God. Yet what is not as often quoted is the second part of Paul’s declaration: God “does not dwell in unholy temples.” The Prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon also addresses the importance of maintaining temple-bodies, saying that we will be judged for the deeds done in the body (see Alma 5:15).


Similarities between Temple Bodies and Temples of God


The word temple comes from the Latin word templum, which has a meaning similar to observatory, a space from where one can contemplate and consider the cosmos.[4] The ancient temples of God were in fact a microcosm of the cosmos and were built to represent human’s ascension through the cosmos to the presence of God.[5] The architecture of the body is also designed with ascension in mind, with the Kundalini rising through the lower chakras and eventually to God (see the chapters on Kundalini and the yogic anatomy).
By this point in the book, hopefully you understand that the technology of Kundalini Yoga is all about unlocking the divine within, merging finite and Infinite, and purifying the mind, heart, and body in order to stand in the presence of God. And I hope you joyfully note this technology complements the ordinances of the temple.
These technologies are not only complementary; they also have similarities and motifs that are impossible to ignore. It is clear from orthodox sources that the Lord has taught a body of esoteric principles called “mysteries” to His patriarchs in every age. Many scholars agree that these mysteries included temple rites and ordinances, as well as many other things.[6]
In the temples of the Lord, sacred ordinances are performed. In the Guide to the Scriptures, ordinances is defined as “sacred rites and ceremonies. Ordinances consist of acts that have spiritual meanings.” I am not the first to suggest that there are also ordinances of a kind that occur in the temple of our bodies. As I explained earlier, the term ordinance has a meaning roughly similar to the word sacrament in other Christian denominations. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland suggests that human intimacy is such a sacrament. As he explains, “For our purpose here today, a sacrament could be any one of a number of gestures or acts or ordinances that unite us with God and his limitless powers.”[7] Elder Holland adds that all special moments of union with God are sacramental moments and that we should seek them out as often as possible and appropriate. In doing so, we “gain access to [God’s] power.”[8]
The implications here are many. The premise of my entire book The Gift of Giving Life: Rediscovering the Divine Nature of Pregnancy and Birth was that giving life is a sacrament, as is death. And the premise of this whole book is that creating a daily practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation is an act that can unite us with God and His power; therefore, this technology is a sacrament, or inward ordinance.


A House of Sacrifice, a House of Covenants, a House of Prayer


In biblical times, the temple of Jehovah was a house of sacrifice (see Ezra 6:3, 10). When I was young, I was taught that the definition of sacrifice was giving up something good for something better. I suppose these teachers were trying to keep me hooked with the idea of “something better.” I later learned that sacrifice actually means “to make sacred.”[9]
In Psalm 50:5 we learn that the Lord’s people make covenants with Him by sacrifice:
“Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” The sacrifices spoken of involved sacrificial animals (first male without blemish), but since the time of Jesus Christ’s Infinite sacrifice, believers have been required to give an inward sacrifice of “a broken heart and contrite spirit” (3 Nephi 9:20). That sacrifice is possible only with a physical body.
As illustrated in Psalm 50:5, sacrifice is closely associated with the act of covenant making. The temple of the Lord is a house of covenants. Matthew B. Brown explains the following:
What type of covenants were entered into in the temple precincts? In 2 Kings 11:17 we read of a covenant entered into by the Israelites “that they should be the Lord’s people.” The nature of this type of covenant is clarified in Deuteronomy where it is stated that the children of Israel covenanted to walk in the Lord’s ways and to obey His commandments, judgements and statutes (see Duet. 29:12–15; 30:1–2, 8–10, 16, 19–20; see also 2 Kings 23:3; 2 Chronicles 15:8–12; 23:16). [10]


Do we not also make covenants privately with God and agree to be obedient to personalized instructions and commandments from Him regarding our stewardships and divine destinies? Can we not renew these covenants each morning through offering prayer and praise as we meditate and chant the name of God in the ambrosial hours (see “The Word” and “Sadhana” chapters, p. xx).
The Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and modern prophets refer to the temple as “a house of prayer.”[11] It is evident from numerous scriptures that prayer is considered a temple offering, keeping in mind that “prayer,” in the scriptural context, means more of what is now considered meditation:
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:15-16; see also Psalm 119:108)
Latter-day temples are also built with this idea in mind:
And let the lower part of the inner court be dedicated unto me for your sacrament offering, and for your preaching, and your fasting, and your praying, and the offering up of your most holy desires unto me, saith your Lord. (Doctrine and Covenants 95:16)
Therefore, it stands to reason that the praises to His name offered in the temple of the body are also sacrifices/offerings, in which God is “well pleased.” As you learned in the chapter on the Word, when we repeat certain high-vibration mantras (which praise the name of God), we change our bodies by repatterning the brain to allow us to merge with the Infinite. In the temples of God, there are also grand key words[12] that, through different means, allow us access to the presence of God.
I enjoy reading about the many forms of praise that the ancients, the early Christians, and the early Saints chanted in association with worship in and around temples. It appears that group meditation and chanting praises was a happy and frequent occurrence. Just one example is found in 2 Chronicles. The Levites’ job was to stand every morning and evening “to thank and praise the Lord” with one voice:
Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them . . . being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:


It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 5:12–13; see also 1 Chronicles 23:30)


Several other similarities may exist between temples and bodies. First, a temple is a house on which the Lord has placed His holy name. In the chapter on the Word, you learned how His name can be written on a temple body. Second, a temple is a place for the Lord and his Holy Spirit to dwell in. Is your body and your nervous system strong enough to house the Lord Himself? Practicing Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations prepares the body to accommodate more energy so that your own divine self can be unlocked, ascend through the body to merge and blend with the Infinite energy, and then descend back into the body.


Gestures and Acts


Anciently, mudras (gestures with the hands or arms) were connected with prayer in and out of the temples. In Psalm 134:1–2 we read, “Stand in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless [i.e., praise] the Lord.” And Psalm 63:4 says, “Thus will I bless thee while I live. I will lift up my hands in thy name.” When King Solomon dedicated the Jerusalem temple, “He stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven” (1 Kings 8:22; see also vs. 54). There are many other examples of praying and praising in the temple with uplifted, open, or stretched-out hands.
Though we don’t know all the details of the ancient mudras, it is sufficient to note that mudras have interrelated physical and spiritual benefits and that they are used in both technologies. (See Mudras, page xxx.) Stretching forth the hands opens the heart (see Ego Eradicator, page xx). This idea is evident in Job 11:13: “Prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands towards him.”  
Due to the number of references to God stretching out His hands or arms to reach out to His children, it would seem that these gestures, when made by humans, are more than symbolic in nature.


Patriarchal Pattern


The scriptures say that Melchizedek was able to stand in the presence of God because of his faith (Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:25–40). Enoch also walked in the presence of God (Gen 5:22), as did Noah (Gen 6:9) and all the other major patriarchs and dispensation heads. They each reached this level of awakening despite living in times of wickedness and turmoil on the earth.
Standing in the presence of God meant that these men had to have strong nervous systems (see page xx) and pure hearts (see page xx). This indicates that they had a practice that was physical as well as spiritual. They were high priests of both kinds of temples.
There is enough evidence (some of which is presented above) in scriptural accounts, prophetic teachings, scholarly research, and Jewish legendary material to reason that all of the ancient patriarchs[13] were acquainted with the esoteric body of teachings called the Mysteries of God, which included temple rites and perhaps other teachings such as Kundalini Yoga, though the teachings may have been called something different.
Every prophet’s role is to bring his people into the presence of God. Enoch was the only one we know of who succeeded, but all the others tried. The scriptures say Moses plainly taught the children of Israel the need for ordinances. He “sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:23). What do you suppose was the nature of the things he taught his people to prepare them for the blessings of the temple?
My answer to this question came the day after I posed it to myself. I came across a Kundalini Yoga kriya about which Yogi Bhajan has said, “Moses instructed the Jews to do this exercise before long journeys to raise their spirits, correct their slave mentality and give them the will to fight and not give in.”[14] My belief is that Moses taught them about inward ordinances.
Unfortunately, the Lord’s covenant people went far off the path at this point in history. They “hardened their hearts” and “could not endure his presence.” So, the Lord took the priesthood ordinances and mysteries out of their midst and gave them a fragmented, carnal version of the law.[15]


Jesus’s Ministry


At the time of Jesus’s earthly ministry, only fragmented versions of the ordinances were being performed in the temple. The mysteries, both the esoteric teachings and the ordinances of the priesthood, had been taken away or hidden up. As I have discussed earlier, there is evidence and I believe that God inspired Jesus to go to the East, where He could learn the sacred yogic technology that had been preserved there for millennia through a royal, priestly lineage.
When Jesus returned from India, one of His first acts was to find His cousin and set the example for all by receiving the first of the exoteric ordinances: baptism. Afterward, he did many things that are highlighted in the Gospels, as well as many more things that are not written. Though we don’t have all the details, there is ample evidence that Jesus taught His closest disciples a body of knowledge called “mysteries.” [16]
The word translated as mystery is musterion, which can mean either a “secret teaching” or a “secret rite.”[17] Scholar Robin Scroggs says the “wisdom” mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is esoteric. Scroggs suggests that if you take Paul’s words at face value, and there is no evidence not to, “He does have an esoteric wisdom teaching in which he instructs only a few and which the congregation at Corinth seems not even to have heard about.”[18] Another scholar shared the following:
That the more learned of Christians, subsequently to the second century, cultivated, in secret, an obstruse [sic] discipline of a different nature from that which they taught publicly, is well known to everyone. Concerning the argument however, or matter of this secret discipline, its origin, and the causes which gave rise to it, there are infinite disputes.[19[


The orthodox and apocryphal sources relating to these mysteries could go on for hundreds of pages. One historian says there is a cave located on the Mount of Olives and “authentic history informs us that in this very cave the Savior imparted His secret revelations to His disciples.”[20] When I read this information, I could not help but think of yogis meditating in caves. Modern revelation gives some insight that these mysteries include the fulness of the temple ordinances, as well as much more.[21]
It is interesting to note that Christ cleansed the temple twice—once at the beginning of His ministry and once at the end. He also took two forty-day sojourns—one at the beginning and one at the end.
After Christ’s resurrection, He ministered to His apostles at Jerusalem for forty days. What exactly happened during this forty-day visit? The scriptures say that He spoke to the apostles of “things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). This description is interesting when you consider Christ’s teaching that “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). Further, Luke 24:45 indicates that He “opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” “Opening their understanding” could refer to their intuition and their Third Eye, as well as to their hearts, which is what He commands us to understand with (see Proverbs 8:5). He also did many other things which are not written (see John 21:25).
It is evident from the quotes above that at least some early Christians practiced the temple ordinances and enjoyed a fulness of the priesthood, but after all of the apostles had died or disappeared, the authority of the priesthood did too. And though Christianity continued to spread, the deeper teachings and “mysteries of Godliness” were lost or badly corrupted. This state of affairs led to a dark age of civilization that would last for almost two centuries.


The Restoration


Most Mormons, and by now many others, know the story of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and how he had a personal visit from God the Father and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees in upstate New York. Then, through divine revelation and angelic visitation, he restored the gospel of Jesus Christ. As part of the Restoration, priesthood authority and the ordinances of the Lord’s temple were also reinstituted. What many forget is that the Restoration didn’t happen all at once. As is God’s pattern, He gave babes milk and then later he gave them meat, or the deeper doctrines and principles. And He had not yet given all. Bruce R. McConkie notes:


We are in the process of receiving all that God has spoken by the mouths of all his holy prophets since the world began. Only a small portion has come to us so far; we do not, as yet, begin to know what the ancients knew.[22]


M. Catherine Thomas, a retired professor of ancient scripture, explains:


We acknowledge that even in the Restored Gospel we do not yet have a fulness. Though there has been restored to us a flood of rich doctrines and a greater access to Truth, much yet remains to be revealed to each of us. The Restoration is still going on, dependent to some degree on our preparation and diligent seeking.[23]


Despite not having a fulness, Joseph was commanded very early on to build a temple. In fact, the early Saints, poverty-stricken though they were, built a temple even before they built a proper meeting house.
Accounts about the Kirtland Temple are interesting to read from a yogic perspective, as they contain many of the previously discussed elements, such as the power of the Word and raised hands. Jeremiah Willey relates in his journal that the First Presidency, the Apostles, and and other leaders “met in solemn assembly and sealed upon us our washings, anointings and blessings with a loud shout of Hosannah to God and the Lamb.”[24] Further, “Oliver Cowdery likewise testified that ‘Anointing blessings were sealed by uplifted hands and praises to God.”[25] There were also spiritual manifestations:


This eve the Spirit of the Lord rested on the congregation. Many spake in tongues, many prophesied, angels were in our midst and ministered unto some. Cloven tongues, like unto fire rested upon those who spake in tongues and prophesied. When they ceased to speak, the tongues ascended.[26]


Despite these awesome outpourings of spirit, the Kirtland Temple seems to have been only a preparatory temple, and the full ordinances were not revealed until later, in Nauvoo. The reason the Lord did not give the early Saints the fulness all at once is because, quite simply, they weren’t ready. Elder George A. Smith said the following:


If the Lord had on that occasion revealed one single sentiment more, or went one step further to reveal more fully the law of redemption, I believe he would have upset the whole of us. The fact was, he dare not, on that very account, reveal to us a single principle further than he had done, for he had tried, over and over again, to do it. He tried at Jerusalem; He tried away back before the flood; He tried in the days of Moses; and he had tried, from time to time, to find a people to whom he could reveal the law of salvation, and he never could fully accomplish it; and he was determined this time to be so careful, and advance the idea so slowly, to communicate them to the children of men with such great caution that, at all hazards, a few of them might be able to understand and obey.[27]


On numerous occasions, Joseph Smith insinuated there was much more that he knew that the Saints were not ready for. He told Brigham Young during the Kirkland period, “If I was to show the Latter-day Saints all the revelations that the Lord has shown unto me, there is scarce a man that would stay with me, they could not bear it.”[28] At another time, he said: “Would to God, bretheren [sic], I could tell you who I am! Would to God I could tell you what I know! But you would call it blasphemy and want to take my life!”[29]
Isn’t this always the case with truth when we are not ready for it? May we use the technologies that we do have to prepare our hearts for more restoration of truth and of our true identities.


Saviors on Mount Zion


As stated at the beginning of the chapter, God’s purpose in creating humans was to exalt them to be like Him. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, opened the way and set the example. In order to become like God, we must be saviors ourselves. We can accomplish this two-fold objective through both types of temples.
In the temples of the Lord, we perform saving ordinances by proxy for our ancestral dead. But there is another kind of saving work that we can do for our ancestors, by proxy, in the temple of our bodies. This saving work is sometimes called generational healing, chain breaking, or repairing the breach. One of the things about living in the latter days (or the Aquarian Age) is that there is a lot of temple work to be done. Also, the “blood and sins” of many generations needs to be cleansed from our physical bodies, mental bodies, and energetic bodies (see Generational Healing, page xx).
By purifying our bodies, we not only save ourselves but can heal generations of ancestors who can’t, for whatever reason, receive certain kinds of healing blessings without a body. The multitude of stories about ancestors who are coming and requesting both outward and inward saving ordinances emphasizes the importance of doing all we can while in our mortal bodies to elevate and perfect ourselves, so that we may be restorers of “paths to dwell in” (Isaiah 58:12).


The Priesthood Polarity


As Latter-day Saints know, the Melchizedek Priesthood is the power by which the ordinances are administered. Ordinances are essential for eternal life and exaltation, and therefore the priesthood is essential. As we also know, mortal life is essential—without a physical body, there can be no fulness of joy.
While some criticize the patriarchal pattern of the priesthood, it is balanced when you consider the yogic teachings. Yogi Bhajan taught that woman is sixteen times more powerful than man because her Aura is sixteen times more enmeshed so that it can expand to create life. Giving life is the ultimate inward ordinance; life is a critical key. In this world, women are the stewards over giving life. Eve led the way by making a courageous choice. Adam wisely followed her lead.
So while it is women who lead us into life, it is priesthood holders who lead us into eternal life through the ordinances of the holy priesthood. I believe that the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood is the only thing that can elevate a man to the same level of life-giving power as a woman is naturally and unconditionally granted.[30]
As I hinted at in my discussion of the chakras, God (and other exalted or translated beings) are no longer subject to opposition in all things. Yet there are certain natural laws that are eternal. There is a law that says that opposites make the vortex swirl, and this swirling vortex is the most powerful force in nature. Though God is not subject to opposition, there may still be a polarity power at work. In God’s case, however, it may be the perfect polarity of the exalted masculine and feminine, joined together.
It seems that a righteous woman and a valiant Melchizedek Priesthood holder, both exalted, is the only kind of polarity that can generate the power to create worlds. Therefore, in keeping with the theme of covenants and consciousness, not only is the eternal marriage covenant critical, but it is also critical to master the marriage relationship, what the yogis call “the highest yoga.”
This image from an ancient Chinese tomb, which contains both temple and Kundalini symbology, might be instructive.


fuxi_nuwa.jpg


Hugh Nibley included drawings of this depiction of the ancient Chinese mythological gods Fuxi and Nuwa in his book Temple and Cosmos, adding the following commentary :
In the underground tomb of Fan Yen-Shih, d. A.D. 689, two painted silk veils show the First Ancestors of the Chinese, their entwined serpent bodies rotating around the invisible vertical axis mundi.  Fu Hsi holds the set-square and plumb bob … as he rules the four-cornered earth, while his sister-wife Nü-wa holds the compass pointing up, as she rules the circling heavens.  The phrase kuci chü is used by modern Chinese to signify “the way things should be, the moral standard”; it literally means the compass and the square.[31]
We see the king and queen embracing at their wedding, the king holding the square on high, the queen a compass. As it is explained, the instruments are taking the measurements of the universe, at the founding of a new world and a new age. Above the couple’s head is the sun surrounded by twelve disks, meaning the circle of the year or the navel of the universe.[32]
There is so much to ponder about all of these symbols and about the temple of the Lord’s house and also about the temple body. I hope that as you continue to do sacred work in both temples that even more mysteries unfold to you.

As the work of the Lord continues to move forward, more temples will dot the earth and the technology of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation for the temple-body will continue to spread. I believe the spread of this technology is a necessary part of the restoration of all things. For my proof, I have my own growth experiences personal revelations, along with the witnesses of several hundred students who are growing exponentially in faith and purity.

[1]Times and Seasons, October 15, 1841, 578; see also Moses 1:39.
[2] Joseph Fielding Smith, ed., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book Company, 1976), 48.
[3] Ibid., 181.
[4] Matthew B. Brown, The Gate of Heaven: Insight on the Doctrines and Symbols of the Temple (American Fork, UT: Covenant, 1999), 1.
[5] Including the outer courts and inner courts, to the center, or holy of holies (the presence of God). For more about the architectural symbolism of ancient and modern temples, see Brown, The Gate of Heaven.
[6] Brown, The Gate of Heaven.
[7] Jeffrey R. Holland, “Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments” (devotional, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, January 12, 1988), accessed March 21, 2014, http://www.familylifeeducation.org/gilliland/procgroup/Souls.htm.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Yogi Bhajan, The Aquarian Teacher: KRI International Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Level I Yoga Manual (Santa Cruz, NM: Kundalini Research Institute, 2007), 202.
[10] Brown, The Gate of Heaven, 124.
[11] Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46; see also Doctrine and Covenants 59:9; 88:119.
[12] Abraham, Facsimile 2.
[13] Adam, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Jesus Christ.
[14] The title of the kriya is Emotional and Mental Balance and Prevention of Early Menopause. Originally taught by Yogi Bhajan on July 12, 1977.
[15] Joseph Smith Translation, Exodus 34:1–2.
[16] 1 Corinthians 4:1; see also Matthew 13:11.
[17] Brown, The Gate of Heaven, 182.
[18] As qtd. in ibid., 197.
[19] As qtd. in ibid., 197.
[20] As qtd. in ibid., 181.
[21]  Ibid., 180–184.
[22] As qtd. in  M. Catherine Thomas, Light in the Wilderness: Explorations in the Spiritual Life (Salt Lake City, UT: Digital Legend Press, 2010), 199.
[23] Ibid.
[24] As qtd. in Brown, The Gate of Heaven, 235.
[25]  As qtd. in ibid.
[26]  As qtd. in ibid., 237.
[27] George A. Smith, in Journal of Discourses, 2:214–215.
[28]  Millennial Star, September 1, 1851, 257.
[29]  Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City, UT, 1888), 333.
[30] Though not all women may have children, women still contain sixteen times the power of men. I can't say why this unconditional power is granted to all women when men have to remain faithful to be worthy of the priesthood. This is something for you to ponder. It may be interesting to note also that women are given some temple blessings unconditionally, while the same blessings are conditional for men. I cannot cite a source for this, but you can do your own research.
[31] Hugh Nibley, Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1992), 115.
[32]  Ibid., 111–112.

4 comments:

  1. Oh, Nam Joti Kaur! I am blown away! Thrilling and leaping with joy cannot adequately describe my reactions! Thank you for being a worthy vessel and a fearless light! Super excited to share this!!!

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  2. Wow. Incredible things here. I think I will need to read this many more times to fully understand.
    Question, what is meant by the word "enmeshed" when discussing the woman's aura?

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  3. This really is incredible stuff.

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  4. Thank you for sharing such profound insights. Many irritating questions have been laid to rest for me.

    ReplyDelete