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25910 Posts in 9966 Topics by 982 Members Latest Member: - Ferguson Most online today: 85 (July 03, 2005, 06:25:30 PM)
+  Africa Speaks Reasoning Forum
|-+  SCIENCE, SOCIOLOGY, RELIGION
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| | |-+  Need Help Defining Ancestor
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OlOrisa_Olokun
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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2006, 04:30:14 PM »

Olorisa. What are the qualifications in order to comment on your elitists crap? And who should I apprentice under to become experienced? If I answered yes to all of the questions you posted does that render me an authority on the subject?
if u answer yes to my questions and maintain your answers that would make you a liar. if you answer no, that would just make you uninformed.

if you want to answer and give responsible advice, stop "preachin" and become a devotee of a lineage recognized Traditional Afrikan Spiritual system. There are lots to choose from.

But this is not a white man's religion. Opinion, quite frankly, doesnt matter.
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When we have the determination to restrain our lower desires, the door is opened for us to fulfill our highest aspirations.
preach
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2006, 06:35:34 AM »

What is interesting Olorisa is your assumption on my religion and/or belief system. Can you name my religion? I'll grant you three attempts.
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OlOrisa_Olokun
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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2006, 03:10:12 PM »

What is interesting Olorisa is your assumption on my religion and/or belief system. Can you name my religion? I'll grant you three attempts.
Let's be clear, if I want to know your religion, if it was my business and knowing would be beneficial to me or mine, I could find out by simply asking the Ancestors via divination. Plain and simple. BUT..I don't want to know, its not my business and knowing it wouldn't be particularily beneficial to me and certainly not mine...

In any case, my point is not to indicate your religious leaning - but to illustrate your colonization, conscious or otherwise by Eurocentricism. The fact that you believe your *opinion* is what defines Egun reverence is a European reaction. Its not your fault. All of us, including myself, held that belief when first encountering the Egun.

Egun reverence is a SCIENCE. It is not rooted in opinion. My suggestion is that you re-read my post and look for the true message. We all have a MULTITUDE of Ancestors to work with....but we don't choose who is an Ancestor. The Collective Ancestors do that. Just as a boy does not choose who is an elder, only other elders may hand down this dinstinction.

You are trying to debate or have a war of words or clash for the sake of clashing in an attempt to assert your "right" to believe what you want and to advocate for others here that "think" that one opinion is as good as another. I am not arguing with you. I am not belittling anyone's relationship with the deceased in their family.

I am saying heal those decease that need healing. Seek the guidance and offer reverence towards those that earned the right to be viewed as Ancestors.

Afrikan Spirituality is taught and passed down in lineages as SPIRITUAL SCIENCE. Science, even spiritual science is never EVER based on opinion. It is rooted in observation, study, proof. Everything that I have shared thus far is in sync with traditional Afrikan SCIENCE.

Among the Yoruba, Egungun Priests work exclusively with Ancestor Spirits and they teach the community different names for different levels of death and deceased. The category governing EGUN or Ancestors is clear - it is rooted in emotional, social, intellectual, political and spiritual balance. Suicides, criminals, rapists, liars, the gullable, the fools, the lazy - while not the same in terms of the severity of their actions or their intent all fall OUTSIDE of Ancestorship.

But if you don't believe, set up a space for all the suicides in your family and start pouring libation to them. I PROMISE you that you will be in need of mental help very soon after. You will invoke the energy of their pain, their suffering and their lack of closure. And then you will be sure - opinion means nothing in SCIENCE.

Let's Heal the Community by spreading the Truth..and nothing else.
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When we have the determination to restrain our lower desires, the door is opened for us to fulfill our highest aspirations.
preach
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2006, 12:20:07 AM »

If we all agreed there would be nothing to reason or critic. Opinion is not contrary to science. Science involves systems or developments through trial and error or experimentation. Perhaps you should study the math.



bless you.
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Oshun Auset
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« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2006, 04:52:43 PM »

Preach, How can one reason or critique something you don't know much about? That seems illogical. Calling Ifa 'elitist' because you don't/didn't understand it,  isn't exactly an honest approach is it?

What is Egungun
by Babalorisa Adeyemi Efundeji Oyeilumi


We honor and give praise to God, whom is known by man names. We pay tribute to the divine force with us and our presence, for we know that without spirit of trust, belief, tradition, love and patience, our circumstances in this country and the world could be many times worst. Ase!

Ancestor Spirits
The Supreme Being is no stranger to the Yoruba or African. God is incomparable and is established as ďThe CreatorĒ, having no equal, and is not represented by an image. God is also the absolute controller of the universe, using divinities (Orisa) as lesser agents, delegating authority and functions. God also allows the ancestors to act as intermediaries between man, woman and God, and between man, women and the divinities.

The Egungun (ancestors) are the guardians of family morality and they can come down to help or molest, to create adversity or grant happiness.

Origin of Egungun
Egungun is regarded as the collective spirits of ancestors who occupy space in Heaven. Hence, they are called Ara Orun (Dwellers of Heaven). These ancestral spirits are believed to be in constant watch of their survivors on Earth. They bless, protect, warn, and punish their Earth relatives, depending on how their relatives neglect or remember them. Their collective functions cut across lineage and family loyalty. They protect the community against evil spirits, epidemics, feminine, witch-craft, and evil doers, ensuring their well-being. The spirits could be evoked collectively or individually, in time of need. The ďplace of callĒ is either on the graves of ancestors (Oju Orori), the family shrine (Ile Run), or the community grove (Igbalele).



The ancestral spirits may be invited to the Earth physically in masquerade, and such masquerades are referred to as Egungun or Ara Orun. The supernatural powers the ancestor have over the community become real as the different Egungun perform their religious, political and social function. Egungun appearances resemble the Yoruba view of life after death. The coming out of Egungun is a time of festivity and entertainment. A time of deep belief in divine guidance and protection also a way of immortalizing oneís name.

One of the principle Odu which shows how Egungun was is Oturupon-Meji. Another is Owonrin or Aseyin. A lot has changed with the religion since the first Yoruba slave landed on the western shores from how it was practiced in Nigeria along the side of the Atlantic.

The Egungun
It is believed that everyone has the power and ability to communicate with those who have passed beyond this life. This communication can simply involve remembering a revered ancestor and making use of that memory as a role model for life decisions and through the use of dreams. Because the festivals (places where there are Egungun) are not easily accessible in this country, Orisa worshippers in the west have created several alternatives. Using this alternative approach the first step in the process of honoring the ancestors is the set up of an ancestor shrine for prayer and meditation. There are a number of traditional African ways for building an ancestor altar. If you do not have access to either a Babalosa or a Babalawo, we recommend that the altar be set up with minimal elements. Clean the room or space by smudging (smoke from burning leaves) Ewe, herbs, saying a prayer to the water, light a candle, also placing food, water, fruit, incense, names of ancestor/relative you wish to honor. A offering of food, in small portions on a small, preferably chipped, white plate, should be placed at the altar prior to your family sitting down for a meal. You can also place a cup of coffee or tea, some flowers and cigars. Once you are in communication with your ancestors, they will make specific requests for the kind of offering they want. Once the offering has been made you should thank the ancestors for the blessing that you want. Once the offering has been made you should thank the ancestors for the blessings that you have already received. You may express your thanks in your own words.

Even the trauma of the slave trade and the horrors of the middle passage did not erase the long history and rich lore associated with ancestral devotion, from the Africanís mind. In Cuba, most if not all, of the public performances of Egungun masquerade had passed out of use by the early 1900ís. This was not the case for the Yoruba taken to Brazil. They were able to continue and maintain most of the customs of their homeland. This was due, in part, to Brazilís proximity to West Africa., also to easy movement back and forth of free Yoruba. Today Brazil can boast of the largest Yoruba population. One sees Egungun masqueraders maintaining their Yoruba heritage in much the same way their African counterparts do. This Egungun masquerading is not to be confused with the brand of Brazilian spiritism, developed and propagated by Alan Kardec, the European Spiritist.

Egungun in Oyotunji Lineage
As with all cultures of the world, all wisdom, knowledge and understanding of any given nation or ethnic group has been historically preserved in secret societies. For the Yoruba of Southeast Nigeria, one of the many secret societies is the Egungun Society or Egbe Egungun. It is through this society that the Yoruba preserve and nurture the history of wholesome community and family development and growth and elevate the memory of their ancestors. Through enshrinement celebration and ritual, one such society, Egbe Egungun Jalumi is a secret society of African-Americans dedicated to reclamation and preservation.

This lineage, as a society, was started 25 years ago (c1973), in Oyotunji Village. By 1975, the late Chief Otu Priest, Orisamola Awolowo, was acting in the capacity of the first Alagba of that society. It now includes six alagba. Two other initiated and practicing priest, of Gary, Indiana and Milwaukee, Wisconsin help perform ceremonies. Oyotunji grew and grew, assisting national groups.

In Yoruba religious doctrine, Iku (death) is an Orisa. A creation of Olodumare entrusted with the duty of escorting man and woman from this world to the next. He is known as Ojise Orun (Heavenís Bailiff) In this case, death is likened to a debt, everyone must pay, and Iku is the collector.

It is Ikuís ability to transform those we love and cherish, thus hiding them from our mortal view that causes such pain, anguish, bewilderment in society. The descendants in the diaspora have evolved and offer a response to the pain of death. This response is best observed in the workings of the Egbe Egungun. Egungun originated among the Oyo Yoruba, who have adapted and added to the masking traditions honoring the ancestors, found among the Nupe Itapa. The Society is composed of spiritual specialists, who oversee the observance of ancestral devotion and come to the aid and comfort of the community when death strikes.

There is a well known Yoruba expression, ďAyeí Loja Orun-Ile Ė Earth is but a marketplace, Heaven is Home.Ē Earth is often seen as a farm, at the end of the day we return home to count our gain and losses. So too is our sojourn on Earth. Ase


Babalorisa Adeyemi Efundeji Oyeilumi is one of the founding members of Damballah Wedo and Oyotunji Village. He is one of the first African-Americans to be initiated to Orisa. He is a priest of Obatala.

http://www.rootsandrooted.org/egungun.htm
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Heaven for a Thug?: Why Libation and Young Warriors Don't Mix

Since as long as anybody can remember, young brothers have been pouring out liquor on the street corner for their fallen friends, young men that have died from gang violence, disease, police violence and drug wars.

Thug Heaven?

This act of libation has spawned a popular aspect of Hip Hop, where young people now pay homage to fallen "street soldiers" which inevitably pushed the question, "Is there a Heaven for a G (gangster)?" A question that young warriors have already answered which some common notions as "Only God can judge me" and "Thug's Paradise".



Well the short answer is yes. Africans and Native Americans believe EVERYONE makes to Heaven, with the exception of disturbed souls whose death was so violent and traumatic that they have to be ushered into the afterworld through special means. Many middle passage, civil war soldiers, Vietnam vets, lynching victims etc. fall into this category. There is a "heaven" for thugs, but it isnít pretty.

Heaven is simply the afterworld and it is "good" or "bad" based on how you live. Indigenous people say rapists go to live with rapists in the afterworld. Killers, egomaniacs, bigots, etc. They go to a place to reside with people like themselves. So they will be surrounded, at least initially with all the misery they experienced in life.

When we tell the family of these dead children that their children are finally at rest, we are most likely deceiving them. Many relive their days on Earth so they can fully understand the evil they caused others. Their souls do not rest. They are tormented and troubled. Especially if they are among those that didn't make it to Heaven, but instead are waiting for spiritual work to be done on their behalf.

We call these people that die but do not become Ancestors "Dark Deceased" in some cultures. They are not honored, nor believed to have lived long enough to understand and achieve their divine destiny.

What do Thugs do in Heaven?

What they do in Heaven is the same as what righteous people do. They recount their time on Earth, hear what lessons they failed to learn, and begin to process that for reincarnation. Some are so terrible that they are not given opportunities to return as long as their evil is felt on Earth. If Hitler was human (and I have reason to doubt that he was) you can be sure that he probably hasnít reincarnated yet. It wouldnít be logical to let such a person cross over into Life again when millions of spirits that havenít caused as much suffering are waiting to reincarnate as well. (Please know these references to numbers are for human understanding and arenít to be taken too literally. The point is that many ancestors and what we call "Yet to be Born" are waiting to experience Divine Creation.)



Should I pour out a little Liquor?

But itís important to realize that the pouring of Liquor or Libation is a rite reserved exclusively for those that lived good moral lives. When we pour libation to a person we are honoring and invoking their character, behavior and beliefs. We are asking them to bring us more of what they gave us on Earth.



When we pour liquor to fallen "street soldiers" we are invoking the sale of drugs, the use of firearms, the objectification of women, the fear they breed among our elderly, the vice grip they hold on our blocks. We are asking them to bring more of that into our lives. To help us continue to fight gang wars. To help continue to be able to do whatever it takes to get fly clothes rims and secret "cribs" where we hide secret girlfriends. We are invoking their desire for money, their desire for revenge, their desire for power and respect.

We are welcoming more crime, more death, and more materialism into our lives.

When we pour liquor to a dead gang member we are praying for more gang members. When we pour liquor to a dead pimp we are praying for more pimps to be born and molded. In doing so, the cycle continues. There is a spiritual consequence for performing the rite of libation on the wrong people.

"The Rules"

 We do not pour libation for people that died in violence that was not community endorsed (a just war) - In most cultures they donít get public funerals either.
 We do not pour libation for criminals. - In most cultures they donít get public funerals either.
 We do not pour libation for deceased children, even if they were good people. What could a child spirit offer us in the way of wisdom??? (Some culture differ here or at least restrict their communications with child spirits.)
 We do not pour libation for people that died of ailments out of norm for their age or that betray a bad lifestyle. - In most cultures they donít get public funerals either.
 We do not pour libation for people that commit suicide. No exceptions. (This is always the one that everyone feels they ought to do"anyway" and end up getting hurt even WORSE.)
 We only pour libation for Elders that were moral and responsible.

Healing the Thugs

If you have a loved one that didnít die as an Ancestor you can pray for their spiritual elevation in your prayers to God, not the Ancestors. Pray that they learn the lessons of their lives well and that they make it safely to the afterworld, if they arenít there already. Light a candle every once in awhile for them.

If you feel the presence of a relative or friend that died violently, was a criminal, a sexual predator, a poor parent, or had any other bad characteristics that made them unpleasant to most, you should demand that they leave and find divine spirit. Itís not your job to help them do that, because as vagrant spirits they are more dangerous than they were alive and they can become very desperate and violent in their confusion. Only a professional spiritualist should call and work directly with one of these spirits. Again, you can light a candle for them to move towards for spiritual realization. This acts as a spiritual trigger, a "metaphor". That is it. Anything more and you may get hurt. (Literally. I have seen this happen with my own eyes.)


What Impact do Dark Deceased have on our lives?

Many of you are fighting with spouses because of vagrant spirits that couldnít keep relationships during their lives or battling with a boss that walks with a vagrant spirit that was a slave master etc. Or you want to give up the gang life but feel "compelled" back by an old friend that is now a morally unresolved spirit.



This is why we shouldnít pour libation to our young warriors that were involved in crime or violence. This is why we should not call their names in praise. This has nothing to do with the love that we have them. It is about honoring and invoking the right kind of energy and wisdom into our lives.

Ever notice how your grandparents didnít speak about certain people after they pass away?

http://africanamerica.org/groupee/forums/a/frm/f/96970854
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OlOrisa_Olokun
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« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2006, 04:38:09 PM »

One of the articles above is by my godfather, who is incidently is one of the 1st Afr-Ams to be initiated to Orisa'Ifa. the other article is by myself.
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When we have the determination to restrain our lower desires, the door is opened for us to fulfill our highest aspirations.
preach
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« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2006, 08:10:42 AM »

Was that a short lesson on what you assume I don't know much about? If so no thank you. Most religions are the same they just practice different rituals.

If I don't understand I will ask, if I see wrong I will speak- old preach saying

The list of people who you/they don't pour libation for is crap. Learn a new custom, the art of forgiving.



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preach
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« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2006, 03:05:07 PM »

Monks, if people speak badly of me or badly of the teaching or of our order of monks, you should not because of their ill will hold any thoughts of enmity toward them or any spite, nor even be at all worried. For if you are angry or displeased with them it will hurt you more than them. Indeed, if you were to feel angry or displeased, would you then be able to know what is well intended and what is badly intended from others?"

"No, we would not be able to know this."

"So, if others speak ill of me or the teaching or the order, you should with goodwill unravel the untruth of what they have said and make it all clear to them, saying, 'For this reason, that is false; for this reason, that is untrue; these things are not within us."

-Digha Nikaya
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Eja
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« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2006, 04:52:37 PM »

"If it don't make sense to me, it's nonsense." - Old missionary saying. An early example of what might be expected from one veiling his congenital ignorance with misplaced arrogance.

"We seek a new African identity, one that has nothing to do with African practices." - new naygrow saying.

"Africa without Africans, ahhhh....."
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preach
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« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2006, 06:42:22 PM »

Please elaborate Eja.
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Eja
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« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2006, 06:56:49 AM »

Elaborate? Why not?

You pass judgement on things you have no knowledge of. Just like a missionary.

I repeat, you know nothing but feel like you are qualified to pass judgement. That is arrogance at a nauseating level.

You call African customs "elitist crap" and "crap". Then you come on here quoting some monk, are you aware of the status held by monks in traditional buddhist societies (e.g. Tibet)?

But I may be wrong, you may be quoting a hindu monk, and since we know how egalitarian they are, you are still well justified in using his words to beat up on a piece of 'elitist crap' from Africa. Yes, I know of naygrows who find wisdom and light everywhere and from everyone with the exception of those who are related to them. Are you an African? If yes, where are you from?

I am Yoruba, and the things you are calling "crap" are my tradition. There are other words that I could use in responding to you. But I will leave it here.
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Oshun Auset
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« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2006, 04:29:26 PM »

One of the articles above is by my godfather, who is incidently is one of the 1st Afr-Ams to be initiated to Orisa'Ifa. the other article is by myself.
Alafia OLOrisa Olokun,

Cool!(That sounds really immature but it is my first reaction) I figured as much when I was posting it because the 'voices' sounded similar.

Quote
Yes, I know of naygrows who find wisdom and light everywhere and from everyone with the exception of those who are related to them

Eja,

You took the thoughts write out of my head(and stated them better than I could ever have).

Preach,

Honestly, how can you lump 'all religions' together. This would be the equivalent of lumping the European and African(as well as other indigenous people's) worldviews together. If anything this website has proven beyond any doubt is that they are vastly different in thought and application/practice. How can you logically ask questions about and simultaneousely insult the very same thing? If you are asking questions it means you don't know or overstand something, so how then can you be simultaneousely qualified to judge it(or even be comfortable doing so)?

The 'forgiving' comment makes it sound like you are spiritually stuck in the Western-Euro-X-tian wordlview. What does 'forgiving' have to do with whom one pours libation for? Pouring libation is not just a 'nice thing to do' as has been explained on this thread.

I think your bruised ego is at play here. Unfortunately you are bad talking, before fully overstanding your own ancestors'(and relatives) spiritual technology in the process.†
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preach
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« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2006, 09:48:38 PM »

The traditional Afrikan stamp does not make a religion, thought, person, place or thing right and/or just. I ask questions to learn then critique my observations.
Is it possible that I study what you two study? Or is that not possible because I may or may not find fault in some of the teachings? All schools of thought started in Alkebulan. Peace be upon Buddha aka Sut Nahsi
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OlOrisa_Olokun
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« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2006, 12:57:52 AM »

The traditional Afrikan stamp does not make a religion, thought, person, place or thing right and/or just. I ask questions to learn then critique my observations.
Is it possible that I study what you two study? Or is that not possible because I may or may not find fault in some of the teachings? All schools of thought started in Alkebulan. Peace be upon Buddha aka Sut Nahsi


It is impossible that you are studying what we study for a few basic reasons:

  • We do not practice subterfuge. We are required to announce ourselves as what we are when we speak, at bare minimum once we have been asked. If you were a devotee a traditional afrikan belief system you would have surely stated so by now, unless your purpose was less than ethical.

  • Traditionalists don't critique. We practice science. There is nothing to debate or critique. We know Ancestors because we talk to them. We know the deceased because we interact with them. We dont need intellectual jargon or emotional response or simpleton quackery to explain or make sense of the reality of what happens when misaligned people become misaligned dead - they need elevation, not invocation.


Again, if you want to query suicides and manic depressed dead people at your shrines and ask them to provide you with advice and speak to Olodumare on your behalf, do so with caution. If you'd like to stop debating and start getting to the nitty gritty, ask the Ancestors to resolve the "debate" for you. They will provide you with the answer that we are giving you already. Just do get a divination reading from someone qualified and trained to talk to Ancestors and allow the Ancestors to speak definitively on the subject and the case will be closed.
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When we have the determination to restrain our lower desires, the door is opened for us to fulfill our highest aspirations.
preach
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« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2006, 10:50:24 AM »

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children.

-Kahlil Gibran

I believe that in our quest, some of us get too wrapped up in the ritual aspects of traditional afrikan religions, when in actuality when need to embrace the core values.

-preach

Traditionalists are indeed critiquing/judging someone when they exclude them based on certain shortcomings that are not so extreme as to not be forgiven. Subterfuge? My child I have not deceived you, when you saw only one set of footprints on the internet it is then that I carried you.
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