Life is an Art Form

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Polina’s bookshelf: read

Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
3 of 5 stars
The book suggests that to live the most happy and fulfilled life one should focus on hight skill/high challenge activities that are meant to produce flow states instead of focusing on activities that usually give us a sense of happiness (m…
The Dance of Intimacy: A Woman's Guide to Courageous Acts of Change in Key Relationships
4 of 5 stars
This is one of those books that I wish I haven’t read! It clearly exposes the patterns and unconscious behaviours we engage in in our relationships. And once exposed I can’t just keep doing the same old thing and have to change. And change …
Creating Sparks -- Ignite Fun, Attraction, and Romance
3 of 5 stars
This one hasn’t had as great of an effect on my as some of his other paraliminals and does not make me want to listen to it again and again but perhaps this is due to the fact that I currently have other focus on my life. I will revisit it …
The Mirror of Relationship: Love, Sex, and Chastity
5 of 5 stars
The first part of the book had such a tremendous effect on my I transcribed most of it in an effort to “jot down” some quotes for later. Krishnamurti really leads you through questioning and discovering the truth for yourself whic…
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Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential
4 of 5 stars
A great tool for deeper self knowledge. Aside from many step by step exercises aimed at identifying and working with your archetypes, this book has a general effect of forcing one to see all of their life events and relationships as part of…
The Quiet Room
2 of 5 stars
A collection of landscape photographs and poetic verses. Since I am not able to appreciate the flow of poetry in English and some of the photographs were average it deserves only passing interest.
A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born to Do
4 of 5 stars
Excellent look at finding one’s life work centred around analogy with the alchemists work of transforming raw material into spiritual gold. Raw materials being our deep roots, past, heritage, soul longings. Final spiritual gold, multicolour…
Now, Discover Your Strengths
5 of 5 stars
Incredible information contained within, quite a paradigm shift and an invaluable contribution to my personal self awareness as well as plans and choices about future life path.
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The Way Of The Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Woman, Work, and Sexual Desire
4 of 5 stars
Listened to the book a second time, this time more thoroughly. Curious to have read my own review from a few years ago. The review this time is that the book is truly one of a kind and is extremely relevant to these times of confusion of ma…
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Spiritual Marketing: A Proven 5-Step Formula for Easily Creating Wealth from the Inside Out
5 of 5 stars
A great little gem on the manifestation process. It addresses topics like discovering and eliminating negative beliefs, visualizing and fusing your visions with emotion and even how to accept when the Universe does not give you what you wan…
The Power Of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential
5 of 5 stars
In my quest for simplification and ever expanding amount of free time this book has delivered not only the advise and inspiration I have been looking for but also many other gems of wisdom like focusing on one goal/project at a time, creati…
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Create Your Life, Your Relationships, and Your World in Harmony with Your Values
5 of 5 stars
Great insights into the dynamic of human communication when in conflict. The insights and suggestions are unarguably powerful and transformational but the application is extremely difficult as it requires a complete rewiring of our instinct…
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Bedazzled!: An Astrological Guide to Earthly Bliss with Your Man
4 of 5 stars
The book fascinated me from the first pages since it so precisely pigeonholed my partner as a Sag, it was kind of sad and funny at the same time. As we kept reading it together we recognized many of our friends in their signs and it even ex…
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Man's Search for Meaning
5 of 5 stars
I have listened to this book for the second time. I personally consider it an absolute classic (but then I am also a sucker for concentration camp stories). The main idea is that a person, when stripped away of all other choices in life, st…
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Stumbling on Happiness
5 of 5 stars
This one is disturbing to say the least, read at your own risk. It basically presents undeniable experiment findings that illustrate that how we predict and even (GASP!) how we remember what would make us happy is plain wrong and prefabrica…
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Clean Body: The Humble Art of Zen-Cleansing Yourself
5 of 5 stars
Great little gem that contains personal care recipes based on 5 simple ingredients: baking soda, lemon, olive oil, salt and white vinegar. I replaced 90% of my store bought personal care products with these recipes which makes for lighter t…
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French Women Don't Get Fat
5 of 5 stars
An absolute gem of a book which produced quite a few paradigm shifts in my relationship to food (and guilt!) and exercise. It delivers exactly what it promises – ability to enjoy any food without guilt and shed kilos without exercise. Sound…
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Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping
4 of 5 stars
I have had to stop half way as the book had to be shipped out. The first half of the book was written really well although it did start to wander a bit towards the middle. I have greatly enjoyed the author’s introspection on the various psy…
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Must-See in Kyoto
5 of 5 stars
Great little guide that fits into your pocket and covers everything about Kyoto: traditions, temples, history, architecture, cuisine, festivals, and on and on. Makes it really easy to plan a trip whether for 1 day or for 3 months.
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Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
5 of 5 stars
Amazing book that I am still trying to wrap my head around. Surprisingly it deals more with human behavior that the finance markets which made it so much more enjoyable. The author’s style is unique and very narrative, although admittedly s…
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Hotheads
5 of 5 stars
Very interesting and original view on human emotions and a brilliant dissecting of conscious and subconscious strategies in human relations: everything from nuclear stand off between countries to bargaining to finding a mate (aka love)
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Attitudes of Gratitude: How to Give and Receive Joy Everyday of Your Life
5 of 5 stars
Very easy read and contains a mountain of inspirational quotes and practical ideas to make gratitude part of your daily practice.
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Getting to Where You Are: The Life of Meditation
5 of 5 stars
Quite a mind blowing and mind numbing book. It does a great job of intellectually explaining very difficult concepts that the book itself states are beyond intellectual grasp. Be prepared to have your foundations shaken.
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The Simple Art of Sumi-E: Mastering Japanese Ink Painting
4 of 5 stars
Great introduction to sumi-e with photographs of various materials and brush techniques. The fun part is that all the photos are of LEFT handed artist which made it hard at times to follow the correct holding position.
I also greatly ad…
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Drawing Made Easy: Understanding Values: Discover your "inner artist" as you explore the basic theories and techniques of pencil drawing
3 of 5 stars
The book was above my capacity as an artist to follow but it certainly gives the basic understanding of values and a few important paradigms for the artist to adopt. Each new concept includes step by step exercises, but again, not for begin…
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Blink
5 of 5 stars
Meticulously researched and brilliantly and engagingly presented. This book covers many facets of split second decision making through various case studies and research findings. Each chapter has held my interest and at times read like a no…
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Easy-to-Use Zen: Refresh and Calm Your Mind, Body and Spirit with the Wisdom of Zen
5 of 5 stars
Great into to Zen philosophy, practices and zen in daily life from zazen to cooking to interior decoration. The book is written in the perfectly fitting zen style with minimal fluff and each chapter eloquently and concisely bringing its poi…
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In Search of Stones
5 of 5 stars
Great book by one of my favorite spiritual authors. I enjoyed reading and many concepts rang true and posted interesting questions. But the book felt incredibly long so paradoxically it detracted from its enjoyment even though each chapter …
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The Prophet
4 of 5 stars
Very poetically written but it makes it quite hard to read and distill the essence of each “teaching”. Still the wisdom is there and is quite simple and timeless.
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Get a Life
1 of 5 stars
I found it hard to understand the writer’s sentences and the story itself not at all engaging hence did not even bothered finishing the book.
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Think Positive Thoughts Every Day: Poems to Inspire a Brighter Outlook on Life
2 of 5 stars
Some easy reading poetry, mostly repetitive in meaning and nothing particularly moving or touching.
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The Sea
1 of 5 stars
I found the story not at all engaging and did not care for the writing style of the author – another book left unfinished.
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The Color Purple
5 of 5 stars
Great story interweaved with timeless spiritual wisdom.
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The Essential Lotus
3 of 5 stars
The introduction gives a very concise summary of the contents of Lotus Sutra, but the repetitions manner of the actual chapters selected for translation I found quite hard to read and follow and stopped half way through the book.
Interpreter of Maladies: Stories of Bengal, Boston and Beyond
4 of 5 stars
Interesting and subtle prose, it was a pleasurable read.
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The Goddess Oracle Deck & Book Set
5 of 5 stars
Great art, I love how the goddesses are depicted of all ages and beauty characteristics. Also the inclusion of a “ritual” for each goddess sets it apart from many other decks in that is offers an “experiential” approach …
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The Old Man and the Sea
3 of 5 stars
I was searching for some deeper meaning and trying to read between the lines and couldn’t, until someone said that this story is just that – a story.
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Night
4 of 5 stars
A harrowing if at times dispassionate account of the concentration camps survivor clearly portrayed the ultimate emotional death which is more haunting then any physical suffering described.
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Emmanuel's Book: A Manual for Living Comfortably in the Cosmos
5 of 5 stars
An excellent interpretation of the view of the world based on universal Oneness, undying soul and eternal safety.
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A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"
5 of 5 stars
Great book which does exactly what it says: spiritual psychotherapy course. Even though constant mentions of God and Holy Spirit can make it hard reading for those opposed to mainstream religion, the concepts presented in the book are quite…
Chicken Soup for the Soul
4 of 5 stars
Great collection of bite size stories to inspire and warm your spirit any day.
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Manifest Your Desires: 365 Ways to Make Your Dreams a Reality
5 of 5 stars
Great bite size reminders of Abraham’s wisdom. Makes for a great start of the day.
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Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth
5 of 5 stars
Amazing book that not only touches on money and success mindset but also subtly but profoundly changes some of the core conditioning and beliefs that govern our lives in general.
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Schindler's List
5 of 5 stars
Although the novel lacked the sense of gripping and did not evoke as much emotion as a holocaust account could have, it is nevertheless a very well researched and written piece and gives a sense of being true and correct down to every last …
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Tantric Awakening: A Woman's Initiation into the Path of Ecstasy
5 of 5 stars
Great account of a decade of tantric practice and a very vivid and eloquent narrative of all the various emotional and spiritual growth stages the author went through.
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Matthew Flinders' Cat
5 of 5 stars
Another great Bryce Courtenay book. I love how well researched his novels are and after reading each one I get an in depth look at an often shady area of life that surroungs us, this time being alcholosim and street life.
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Zen in the Art of Flower Arrangement: The Classic Account of the Meaning and Symbolism of the Japanese Art of Ikebana
4 of 5 stars
A great short intro into zen and presents its basics beautifully while at the same time attempting to convey what the author believes is impossible to convey in intellectual terms to the westerners. The book also sparked my interest in the …
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Green Tea: 50 Hot Drinks,  Cool Quenchers,  and Sweet and Savory Treats
4 of 5 stars
Great illustrations and practical recipes, although I found them a bit repetitive in terms of ingredients used. Also the introductory section on the green tea itself and it’s varieties was a bit short.
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The White Masai
4 of 5 stars
Amazing story of love and determination. The language is not very poetic and written “as a matter of fact” but considering it is a real account of someone’s life rather then a poetic embellished love story it probably adds to the …
The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women
1 of 5 stars
Very strange an ambiguous writing style, the only reason I kept reading was because it was so bizarre and I could not believe someone managed to produce a whole book written like this. The advise itself, when I could make any sense of what …
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The Gnostic Gospels
2 of 5 stars
Read the introduction to grasp the history of the Gnostic gospel discovery. But the rest of the book is about in what way (in authors opinion!) the gospels did not match the prevailing teachings of Orthodox church near 2000 years ago and wh…
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Simple Feng Shui
3 of 5 stars
A great quick intro to the topic of feng shui although I found the recommendations at time ambigious and not clear.
Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior
5 of 5 stars
Amazing intellectual representation of the higher consciousness that makes it very easy to comprehend.
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Sylvia
5 of 5 stars
Bryce Courtenay style and historical novel in one, I could not have asked for a better combination.
Time Shifting
5 of 5 stars
Great book about being in the moment and slowing down. Forces one to reevaluate life priorities and is great for recovering workaholics or those who feel guilty when they are not busy doing something. Subtly life changing.
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10-Minute Watercolours
4 of 5 stars
Great reference book and it’s small size makes it perfect for taking on the road. The organization is great as it gives tips on painting each individual type of subject as well as thourought introductory section to painting watercolours in …
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Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
5 of 5 stars
It is like practical version of the Power Of Now. Very accessible and quick read yet able to profoundly transform your every day life.
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Goddess: Be the Woman You Want to Be
4 of 5 stars
Great book and for a straight forward self help manual – a pretty engrossing read. Finished it off in only 4 readings and enjoyed every bit of it. Covers all topics from personal style, to relationship advise, life simplification, gardening…
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The Key
3 of 5 stars
Intriguing read but a bit too prosaic. The end was a bit anti climatic.
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
3 of 5 stars
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was a great, but Through the Looking Glass seemed too much of a whole heap of nonsense all disconnected without much of a narrative, was a struggle to finish.
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Jonathan Livingston Seagull
5 of 5 stars
Timeless message about the power of pursueing your dreams.
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Girlosophy: A Soul Survival Kit
4 of 5 stars
Great colourful inspiring book all about spirit and nurturing your inner Goddess. Beautifully compiled with many colours, photos, bold and exciting letters, a real pleasure to read.
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The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
5 of 5 stars
Practical and inspiring at the same time, awesome read. If you are a doer and not a dreamer this book will change your life.
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Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now
4 of 5 stars
Aside from the fact and the headings only vaguely related to the actual content of each chapter, it is a great inspiring and insighful read that made me ask more questions than it answered, which is a sign of a good book.
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Fishing for Stars
4 of 5 stars
Sequel to Persimmon Tree but has not “can’t put it down” appeal of it. Read more like a memoir and even through I live in Vanuatu and was interested in reading it’s history and development, as far as Courney’s books go this one is…
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Eleven Minutes
4 of 5 stars
I liked the book quite a bit. It has raised and cleared up quite a few moral and emotional questions for me. Although I must admin even being a Coelho fan I am getting quite tired of his “inimitable writing style” which feels to a…
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The Ultimate Gift
4 of 5 stars
Great quick read and clearly spelled out “laws” that govern not only wealth creation but living a good life in general.
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The Bridges of Madison County
5 of 5 stars
The novel created its own poetic language that is best read and understood with the heart than the mind.
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Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose
1 of 5 stars
I have looked through it reading the titles and looking at pictures, as one would with a fashion magazine. Quite a laughable attempt at a book, should have rather been a Cosmo special edition.
The One Minute Manager
5 of 5 stars
I love books that have no fluff and go straight to the point. This is one of those books that you can read in 1 hour and yet it will have a lasting effect on you and the principles of effective management will stay with you forever.
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The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Pocketbook Guide to Fulfilling Your Dreams
4 of 5 stars
Simple yet profound.
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Tao Paths: Love
3 of 5 stars
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Siddhartha
4 of 5 stars
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Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy and the New Science of Desire
3 of 5 stars
it seemed kind of interesting while I was reading it but I stopped half way and have no particular desire to finish it.
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Life of Pi
3 of 5 stars
a bit drawn out and uneventful but has a wonderful twist and an excellent message at the end of the story. definitely worth a read.
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Animal Farm
4 of 5 stars
great parable and a great insight into the history of Russian revolution
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By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
2 of 5 stars
the worse of all Coelho I have read to date, very ephemeral, people speaking like noone would ever speak in real life, very airy fairy. The message is pure and simple and beautiful as always but the delivery is not at all interesting.
Turning Passions Into Profits: Three Steps to Wealth and Power
4 of 5 stars
Great NLP intro and very accessible and usable advise and information. Left me wanting to study the field further.
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1984
5 of 5 stars
Read it in 2 days, basically could not put it down once I started. Many interesting points in it which make it well worth reading:

1. A general description of socialist society structure, which is good to broaden one’s knowledge …

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Introducing Quantum Theory
3 of 5 stars
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Jessica
5 of 5 stars
Another classic by Bryce, I was not able to put it down and read all night long until 7 am, I can’t remember any other book that would captivate me so. The story is as enthralling as it is sad and cruel, I can not believe it is actually bas…
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Journey to Ixtlan
3 of 5 stars
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The Tao of Pooh
4 of 5 stars
Great intro to Taoism, very well and concisely written. Highly recommended for those who want to grasp main points of this philosophy. Also can be read in one night and is very lively and easy read which is a bonus.
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The Consolations of Philosophy
4 of 5 stars
Great book combining introduction to philosophy, biography and main thoughts of several prominent philosophers and an outstanding self-help manual for many eternal human struggles and worries. Highly recommended, easy read and a lot of valu…
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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
5 of 5 stars
“Read” it as an audio book and although some heavy philosophical concepts were hard to follow in this format, the changes in voice of the narrator gave it a tremendous vividness. It is an extremely thought provoking book and prese…
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The Adventures of Anybody
4 of 5 stars
Got it in mp3 format so I guess I have got the best of both worlds – the content and the “best read out loud to you” part. I found my mind constantly wondering and trying to decipher what each sequence in the story was supposed to…
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Belle De Jour: Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl
3 of 5 stars
A bit lacking in the “interesting bits” department that I imagine many people would buy this book for. Has a lot of diary style personal life day to day experiences which don’t make for much of a plot. It felt most like a reality …
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