Homeopathy Papers Organon & Philosophy

The Organon: Still Relevant or Replaceable?

The author, an eminent homeopath and Organon scholar, corrects numerous distortions of Hahnemann’s ideas that have crept into the literature. He urges us to go back to the source.

(The ‘Bible’ or the ‘Old Dusty’ Bible?)

The Past

From 1810 till 1843, Samuel Hahnemann produced six editions of his master work, The Organon. Would he have produced, amended or extended his sixth edition to a seventh edition if he had lived longer? I have no doubt he would have, as he was a tireless worker, very much in tune with the patient in the first place, and the homeopath in the second place. His love for his profession and the dedication he showed throughout his life is without any doubt an example for all of us. No persecution by medical colleagues, no betrayal by other homeopaths and no personal tragedy ever stopped him from following Aphorism 2: the eternal search for the speedy, gentle and permanent way.

Did everyone in his time follow his advice in the Organon? Definitely not! But those who did not, like Lux with his isopathy, are just a footnote in the history of homeopathy. All the famous homeopaths who broke ground for us, followed strictly to the Organon, although mainly to the 4th edition under the influence of James Tyler Kent. It still remains a mystery to me that Kent never practiced according to the 5th edition which he should have known, especially in the light of great similar aggravations he caused among his patients and his own dictum that “no similar aggravation was the best course” (as stated in his Lesser Writings).

Did Hahnemann always follow what he wrote in the different editions of the Organon? Hahnemann had the tendency to accept something for his next edition of the Organon when he was very sure of the facts he presented. For instance, when it came to alternating remedies on the same day, an advice from Dr Aegidi, he rejected this after carefully experimenting with this for about ten months. To those who can understand French, try to get the microfiches of the Bosch institute in Germany. You can see for yourself, in all his cases of the last five years in Paris, how Hahnemann still struggled with several cases and how he used different potencies, going from 30C in ascending order, to 198C, 200C and also used the olfactory dose, which he often applied in his office and then instructed the patient to take the same remedy later in the week according to what he deemed right. He also often gave placebo: 14 days remedy and then 14 days placebo. I am sure if Hahnemann had email he might have used a different way of dosing, but I am glad he did not have email so he could at least enjoy his last years in the cafes of Paris. I am often surprised to hear, from some teachers, comments about his last years in Paris: “He only used LMs six times,” “He never used LMs,” “He gave a dose every day,” and this from people who do not understand French. (Only two volumes are translated at this point in German). But the student who hears this nonsense believes it, as most have no recourse to check such statements.

By studying the Paris cases one can see that up to his last days, Hahnemann still experimented and, as we said, with only one goal in mind: Aphorism 2. One thing is sure though: he never changed the ground principles and Laws of homeopathy. He omitted aphorisms, extended them or brought two together to make his ideas clearer. Changes were only made in repetition, doses and potencies, LMs being “his most perfect” potencies yet, limiting similar aggravations. This must not be translated as “LMs cannot aggravate!” I think that aphorism 246 is quite misunderstood: He states that IF the remedy is carefully chosen (right name), administered in water and given in small doses (dose) and thirdly, highly potentized (potency), and fourth, given at intervals that experience has shown to be the most appropriate (repetition)…the same well chosen medicine can now be given daily, even for months if necessary, in the treatment of chronic diseases (Bold from author). Nowhere does he say, “Give the Remedy Solution Bottle to the patient, tell him to take a dose everyday (after succussing each time—a very important detail) and come back when the bottle is empty.” Yes I have seen this done by homeopaths in their practice. Mechanical repetition is never done as it does not follow one of the most important homeopathic tenets. I can assure you, that administering LMs this way will aggravate! And most likely, these are patients you won’t see back!

The Present

I have taught and visited many countries in this world. And no doubt, in most schools the Organon and Chronic Diseases are taught as they should be, in the first year. Mind you, there are schools where both masterworks are never taught. There are many problems in the homeopathic world when it comes to understanding the Organon and Chronic Diseases, both of which need to be studied side by side. First of all: How is it taught, reading it like any other book, without discussion in depth? Even modern editions of the Organon with little side comments are not sufficient. A profound discussion of each aphorism should be done, and all aphorisms should be put in sections (potency selection, anamnesis, dose selection, etc.). The reality is that everyone claims they studied the Organon, and yet few practice according to the Organon. Where does this schism come from? Part of it is that it was taught in the first year, but in the second and third year, time is devoted solely to the “new” methods of finding a remedy, which are nowhere to be found in the Organon. The student believes at this point that indeed this Organon is an “old dusty bible”, only used by those who are stagnant in their thoughts, dogmatic and stubborn in their beliefs.

The reality is quite different. I have asked worldwide the question, “How do you give a remedy to the patient for an acute case?” Not once have I heard the right answer, which is of course in the Organon (§158). If we don’t even agree as to how we dose for an acute disease, I wonder how we can get along for chronic diseases? As a medical doctor, I can go everywhere in the world and discuss cases according to conventional medicine, and there will never be such misunderstanding. Even if we learned inaccurate principles, all medical schools taught the same basis (and I would like to see this changing to at least introduce homeopathy as a medical specialty). This is the first thing we should do in the homeopathic world: apply all the aphorisms of the 6th edition, not in theory, but in practice. Then we would not teach ideas like, “It does not matter what potency and what dose we give the patient, as long as the remedy name is correct.” This is mistakenly called the “simillimum.”

It also looks like a sport to misquote Hahnemann and use that to advance wrong ideas and theories. I already mentioned “alternation” of remedies. It is not called alternation when the remedy is changed to another because the patient’s picture changes! There is no such thing as giving one remedy in the morning and one in the evening. Others play with words: “Hahnemann does not treat ‘patients with diseases’, he treats diseases.” And they quote every aphorism where Hahnemann uses the word “disease”. This is taken out of context. Better first to define what disease/illness is in homeopathy and how Hahnemann viewed it! § 3: “If the physician clearly perceives what has to be cured in disease, i.e., in each individual case of disease…” So you cannot just take the word disease out of this sentence and claim, Hahnemann treated diseases. He says “to approach the INDIVIDUALITY, the individual with the disease.” This is very different than the pathological situation we call disease in allopathy.

When some teachers talk about exterior and interior diseases they confuse the notion of “triggers, etiology, causality, ailments from, NWS” with “disease”. These triggers are not diseases, but cause disease by disturbing the Vital Force. In § 5 and 7 Hahnemann discusses triggers or “ailments from”. These causes were identically formulated 5,000 years ago in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the classic book, SuWen: “Ineptitude in the investigation into the etiology of an illness by neglecting to take into consideration the patient’s social and material circumstances, immediate environment, dietary habits, emotional tendencies, and possible toxic contaminations constitutes a blunder of the physician.” (Neijing SuWen, 221 B.C. Ch 78, p 294)

In § 6, Hahnemann talks about the ordinary physician (allopath), how he “never sees the immaterial element, the vital force causing the disease.” This is an application of Quantum physics (also applied in Traditional Chinese Medicine) versus the linear Newtonian physics’ approach of allopathy. Here again it is understood that each individual’s vital force (VF) is different, so we must consider again the individual with a disease, not only for his specific characteristics, but also as regards potency selection (the stronger the VF the higher the potency and vice versa).

If we want to define disease in homeopathy (dynamic and organic pathology–no matter what the name is) it should be as follows:

“The true nature of any chronic disease, no matter what the name is, is the result either of an injury by exterior forces (climate, poisons, trauma, medications, vaccinations, chemicals–causing endocrine disrupting effects [EDCs], and so on) or interior forces (emotions) to the Vital Force (an immaterial spirit-like dynamic entity–Qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine). As a result, the patient is derailed from his intended course, creating a disease state, causing him to follow a path that is far from the original, natural, intended path or purpose of life and individuation–the long process of becoming an individual. The disabling condition of this chronic disease will not develop unless any of these triggers falls on the right soil (called miasm in homeopathy), a necessary basic pathological mechanism specific to the illness and its related group of illnesses. To bring about a cure, the homeopathic physician is guided by the exciting factors or triggers causing the different phases in the human life that fell on the underlying cause, usually a chronic miasm, the analogue to our current genetic mapping or genome. The obliteration of disease and regaining of health, regardless of the name of the disease, is the undoing of the dynamic mistunement of the Vital Force, a true alteration of the state of health, that cannot be achieved by the present model of conventional medicine with its materialistic Newtonian concept of health. The Vital Force produces symptoms, makes disease, when encountering one of these triggers (§ 12a).”

How could we think, looking at this definition, that we can separate the individual from the “kind” of disease he will exhibit, regardless of the disease name? Or, that everyone will react the same way to the identical trigger and then be classified with names such as “diarrhea, flu, pneumonia, A.D., M.S., etc.

Yes, Hahnemann uses the word “disease” (and so does TCM), but obviously it is far removed from the allopathic meaning and understanding as Hahnemann amply demonstrates in his aphorisms. In allopathy the disease name is coined to use a protocol identical for all with the same disease name. My question to those teachers is: By saying, “Hahnemann treats diseases, not patients with diseases,” what principles in homeopathy do they not respect? How is the homeopathic treatment different? If one still applies all the ground principles of homeopathy, then uttering such a statement is just “word playing” and only brings confusion to the student and possibly approaches allopathy’s mode of operation. The real question is: “What therapeutic consequences does your statement have that are different from someone who says, ‘We treat the patient with a disease?'”

Hahnemann says in §11: “It is only this VF thus untuned which brings about in the organism the disagreeable sensations and abnormal functions that we call disease.” And in §12,”It is only the pathologically untuned vital force that causes diseases.” This is exactly my definition of disease above!

And further in §11: “Natural substances that have been found to be medicinal are so only by virtue of their power to modify the human organism through a dynamic, spirit like effect upon the spirit-like vital principle that governs life…The influence of medicines upon our organism is exerted dynamically, as if by contagion, without the transmission of the slightest particle of the material medicinal substance.”

Hahnemann of course uses the word “cure” here too, but again in the whole context, cure follows Quantum physics (before it was discovered by Planck and Einstein) as cure takes place without the transmission of any molecule of the substance, versus the Newtonian physics “cure” of allopathy.

That disease or rather “pathology” is important, I have explained in Chapter Three of Hahnemann Revisited. Therefore, it should be a must that all homeopaths get some education in pathology and physiology, as is presently done in all the TCM schools worldwide. Some homeopathic colleges, as in South Africa, provide an extensive allopathic education but a rather poor homeopathic education.

That there are different disease origins, obviously no one contests. Hahnemann distinguishes between acute (§73), half acute, true chronic miasmatic diseases (§78), iatrogenic diseases (§74), “false” chronic diseases due to hygiene/life style (§77)… all this is addressed already in my books (See Hahnemann Revisited, Achieving the Simillimum, an Advanced Guide, and further in the discussion). But to go from here to saying that there can be more than one disease present at the same time (which is correct –see §40) and therefore we need more than one remedy at the same time is of course, not true. Even with complex diseases (§40) we have to take the “totality of the §153 symptoms and it still will only be one simillimum at a time (how do we define simillimum otherwise?). Two dissimilar diseases will suspend each other (§ 40) most of the time, {they of course do not cure each other}, but in time “the two diseases can become associated” at which moment they can be existing beside each other. The cure “can be accomplished by the timely alternation of the best antisyphilitic and antiscabies remedies …….”. Notice the use of the word “timely”. This is not a mechanically fixed alternation of remedies but done when the dominant miasmatic state comes up (See also CD). “There also have been rare cases of violent epidemics, where two dissimilar acute cases have appeared in one and the same body, complicating each other for a short time.” (emphasis by author). How rare? He gives an example where there is one case of this scenario in 300 cases in general. Most of the time, these complex diseases are caused by allopathic suppression or wrong homeopathic treatments, leading to a situation that is more difficult to treat and cure.

Mixing of remedies and administering several remedies in a row in a very short time span, like one week, is very popular with too many homeopaths, even teachers. They seem to have good arguments. One of them is that modern times are very different from Hahnemann’s time, with more complicated diseases, thus (in their opinion) requiring a mixture or several remedies in a row to bring about homeostasis. An even more powerful logic is, “Hahnemann did it too!” He was a “poly-pharmacist who used combination remedies with great success” ….

But when did he do this and what did he have to say about it? Some newcomers to homeopathy might be fooled by the many false portrayals of homeopathy but not those with experience. It is my duty to set the record straight.

This double remedy method originated with Dr. Karl Julius Aegidi (1794 -1874), one of Hahnemann’s disciples and physician to Princess Frederica of Prussia. In cases where he could not find one remedy to match the symptoms (don’t forget we are talking about the experiments of the early 1830s with fewer remedies than we had now!), he combined two homeopathic remedies that fit the case. He communicated this to Hahnemann who did his own experiments.

In response to Dr. Aegidi, Hahnemann wrote on May 15, 1833 the following letter, in which he is open to the idea:

 

“Do not suppose that I reject anything good from mere prejudice… All I desire is the Truth… Two remedies should be given in combination in a highly potentized form, provided each, in its own, is homeopathic to the case. In such a case it is an advantage to our art, which should not be repudiated and I am likewise to hear that Von Boenninghausen approves of this plan. At the same time, I shall protest and earnestly warn against the arbitrary combination of any two drugs indiscriminately.”

As you can see, even when he did his own experiments, Hahnemann speaks about remedies homeopathic to the case, from which I understand that they were never given at the same time, but rather, alternating with each other.

Hahnemann intended to mention the double remedy method in a footnote in the 5th edition of the Organon but in the end, he decided to remove this footnote. At first, it had mainly to do with political reasons, as not to give allopathy a weapon in which they could say, “You see? You have to imitate us already!”

But now, see what Hahnemann wrote a few months later! In a personal letter to Von Boenninghausen, he wrote, “October 16, 1833: From many attempts of this kind of double remedies, only one or two have been successful, which is insufficient for the establishment of a new rule. It seems to be a very doubtful and very difficult method; from several trials in this manner only one or two turned out well, which is insufficient for the proposing of a new theory.”

Only in the time span from May til October, 1833, enough to perform his experiments, did Hahnemann abandon this theory. He says to Von Boenninghausen that his experiment with double remedies proved a failure because they did not work as well as single remedies (it was only successful in one or two cases). Does that experiment sound like it was very successful as some claim?

As we know, he writes in the 5th and 6th edition of the Organon, § 273, that:

“In no case of cure is it necessary to employ more than a single simple medicinal substance at one time with a patient. For this reason alone, it is inadmissible to do so….”

And in the Organon § 274 he writes:

“The true medical-art practitioner finds in quite simple medicines, employed singly and unmixed, all that he could wish for….”

He mentions all his reasons for doing this, such as that single remedies have been fully proven and that even in case of failure of therapy we confirm from the accessory symptoms or the new ailments caused by this remedy, the findings of the provings of this remedy; in other words, a confirmation of its proving symptoms.

Hahnemann’s experiences with double remedies were a failure and he realized that the pseudo homeopaths would abuse the dual remedies and the allopaths would call it a return to polypharmacy. Even Dr Aegidi, who introduced this idea, abandoned it very quickly. As you can see, the whole truth is quite different!

Conclusion

There is much more that can be said about the debate of the usefulness of the Organon. I just draw your attention to §275 and §276 when it comes to the “dose” (quantity) to understand the importance of the dose. To those who would call the Organon an “old dusty bible” I have always asked only two questions, which I will pose again:

1. Which aphorism in the sixth edition of the Organon is incorrect? 2. What new aphorisms do you propose for a 7th edition?

So far I have had no takers, but I would love to discuss the new ideas in a polite and respectful debate.

________________________________________

Dr. Luc De Schepper holds degrees in medicine, acupuncture and homeopathy. He is founder of the Renaissance Institute of Classical Homeopathy, an internationally distinguished lecturer and author of fifteen books. His works include:

Achieving and Maintaining the Simillimum: Strategic Case Management for Successful Homeopathic Prescribing.

Homeopathy and the Periodic Table

Hahnemann Revisited: A textbook in Homeopathy for the Practitioner

www.drluc.com

email: [email protected]

Editor’s note: See Dr. Bhatia’s interview with Dr. Luc De Schepper https://hpathy.com/homeopathy-interviews/dr-luc-de-schepper/

About the author

Luc De Schepper

Luc De Schepper

Luc De Schepper, M.D., Ph.D., Lic.Ac., C.Hom., is a licensed physician and acupuncturist in Europe (since 1971) and the US. (since 1982). He studied and practiced homeopathy extensively for many years, wrote 15 textbooks of homeopathy, alternative medicine and acupuncture and has the largest school of homeopathy in the US. He spends part of his time helping the poor in South Africa, Kenya and Sri Lanka and teaches all around the world, lately bringing homeopathy to China. For more information visit www.drluc.com

15 Comments

  • hi Dr. Luc:

    Thank you for your wonderful and thoughtful article, with respect to the Organon and Hahnemann. It is good how you remind us to keep going to the “source”. Homeopathy needs the Organon and Chronic Diseases as its foundation. Without these two important works (and all the other works written by the Old Masters), Homeopathy just wouldn’t be Homeopathy. I appreciate how you remind us that we have to keep re-examining the foundational works of Homeopathy, if we wish to help mankind in the healing of diseases in the quickest and most gentle manner possible. Thank you for helping me to stay on the right path, with respect to the study of homeopathy, with the Organon and Chronic Diseases as my foundation (among other great works of the Old Masters).

    Patrick

  • Hear! Hear! Long live Hahnemann’s work and integrity through homeopaths and teachers who adhere, unswerving and completely, to the Organon and Chronic Diseases!

    Lippe was reportedly called “Ajax” in his time for being such a proficient prescriber, and he is said to have read the Organon 50x – once per year – and humbly claimed to only then have begun to fully understand it.
    (from Seminar in Homeopathy and Psychiatry by Andre Saine.)

    I can personally attest to the superiority of Hahnemann’s advanced methods (5th/6th Ed Organon)over 4th Ed. dry dosing (after practicing 4th Ed. for almost a decade,and then the advanced methods 10 yrs)-and to the benefits of greater clarity and accuracy in prescribing from Dr Luc’s teaching(which I always checked and measured with the Organon!)

    Hahnemann’s method, including all the details regarding posology, matters; he didn’t say “Imitate me but imitate me well” for nothing.
    Tricia Feijo

    • p.s. should be, Lippe read the Organon twice yearly!

      However he read it so many times, the impressive fact remains to be that he not only read it but earnestly studied it -as we must.

  • Dr. Luc, in the begining you said that if Hahnemann were alive he would have sure published future editions of the Organon. Can you, with your extensive study of his works, share your ideas about the ways in which ‘he’ would have brought changes to his work, considering the changes in our social architecture, knowledge about human organism and diseases and microorganisms etc?

    • Dear friend

      I think that Hahnemann would have adjusted some of his aphorisms or put the accent on others. Especially those aphorisms concerning DOSES (amount). Above all, if he could come back he would be dismayed at what is practiced in his name or how he is insulted as that old man and his bible by peopole who are ignorant of his writings. I think what he would deal with, as we all have to do, is how to adjust to the constant suppressive methods of allopathy, universallyy accepted by patients. But I am convinced that the majority of the aphorisms would remain intact as they remain the basis of healing, no matter what time we live in or whatever “new mysterious” disease shows up. I will demonstrate the validity of the Organon in my new upcoming book about Autism. I think what Hanemann could have benefitted from is Jung’s writings and especially the clarification of dreams, unknown in his time and alas unknown to most homeopaths. I think Hahnemann would felt at home with Jung, Wilhem Reich, Kant, Schopenhauer and I would love him to see incorporate some pertinent Nature Laws of Tradional Chinese Medicine into the Organon as TCM is another Quantum medical approach just as homeopathy is. I guess such work remains in our hands and should be taught rather than the endless new provings of substances as most homeopaths still struggle with understanding the polychrests.
      Warm regards
      dR luc

      • Thank you Dr. Luc for your reply. Considering the scientific understanding of microbes and their causal relationship with disease, do you think the theory of chronic miasms would have evolved differently?

      • Bravo Luc de Schepper. We need you to speak directly to our opponents who are MD’s, such as Stephen Novella and Ben Goldacre. The medical professionals in homeopathy, scuh as yourself and Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier, need to speak with one voice to our detractors in the medical community (and your are the man) just as physicists such as Brian Josepshon, Prof. Rustum Roy, Georgos Anagnostatos, Prof. William Tiller, need to speak to our detractors who are physicists.
        Anyone who practices homeoapthy needs to udnerstand the supramolecular basis for it. Thye weakness of homeoapthy is that its spokespersons, homeoapths, have had NO CHEMICAL explanation for it when indeed there is one.
        This has been homeoapthy’s weakness, that it has not explained itself chmeically, when in fact it can: In a word CLATHRATES, gas hydrates.
        DO NOT LET THIS SLIP FROM YOUR GRASP!
        John Benneth
        Portland, Oregon

        • Dear friend
          The rest of my life as has been my whole life will be dedicated to promoting good homeopathy. I am writing a book about autism now due next year which will be a great boost for homeopathy and in May 2011 we will have a great European congress where true classical homreopathy will be stimulated. Hope to meet you one of these days

          Dr luc

  • Thanks Dr.Luc, this is a very good article you have written on Organon,Disease,Individualisation,Acute & chronic diseases.This is a must for every TRUE homeopath to read Organon & Chronic diseases regularly to understand homeopathy in a right way.I would like to tell that I have gone through your works “Hahnemann revisited” & “Achieving &…”, and found them very useful in my daily practice.Thanks again.

  • Dear Dr. Luc,
    I enjoyed reading your article.
    We are studying the Organon and we are enjoying every bit of it. Each aphorism does require reading and rereading. The rewards are great.
    I did see a you tube interview with a homeopath who describes Dr. Hahnemann’s Organon as a book to cure diseases. It was surprising that such a lucidly presented work could lend itself to such misrepresentation.
    Your article is timely and helps re orient us.
    T.Syamala

  • Dr Luc – Total enjoyment to read this article where the aphorisms are integrated into the presentation bringing to light the meaning of Hahnemann’s writing. I was especially struck by this paragraph:
    And further in §11: “Natural substances that have been found to be medicinal are so only by virtue of their power to modify the human organism through a dynamic, spirit like effect upon the spirit-like vital principle that governs life…The influence of medicines upon our organism is exerted dynamically, as if by contagion, without the transmission of the slightest particle of the material medicinal substance.”

    Homeopathy is truly a spiritual awakening of the individual. Vera Resnick and myself have been studying “The Organon” online together the past month and will continue throughout the year. Everyone is welcome to join us on our radio show. It is a great adventure and we are learning the meaning of experimentation, protocols, respect, the smallest possible dose, and a ‘true physician.’ Thank you for exemplifying this model and extending yourself to teach others from your years of experience and wisdom.

    in light and health,
    Debby

  • Dr Luc – U r quite right in advocating the Organon as still useful. But onething I must say in this regard. We all know that this is a science. And we all know that there is no end of Science and its progress. So, we must keep thinking about making it more successful way of treatment.

    During my studenship I asked the same question to one of my Professor Dr. Israt Naeem Bhatti but I was asked not to think about changing the Organon. No reason was stated in this regard and when I tried to discuss it further, I was asked to leave the class or keep silent.

    I also raised this issue in a local magazine Homeopath, but of no avail. My letter was published and everyone commented this type of thinking is not right. ”

    I had propsed a research on “Pathological Changes by Homoeopathic Medicines” at that time because I was too much obsessed with asking for more and more symtoms to my patients and they became bored with such type of minute questions. I wanted to practice Homoeopathy in a easier way so that every one can get benefits of Homoeopathy and this way Homoeopathy may florish further.

    Now I hope that You will comment on what I proposed and You may have some better suggestions for me.

    Thanx

    Dr. M. Irfan Abbasi

    Islamabad, Pakistan

    • Dear friend

      Pathological changes were already studied and advocated in the U.K.Your questions refer to what is science and what is not science? The quantum paradigm has validated the principles of homeopathy but Adolph Lippe,died in 1888) one of the staunchest defenders of homeopathy and known as one of the best prescribers in the history of homeopasthy had this to say: “How can a Law of Nature change. Can it become more or less of a law after fifty years. Would one claim that under the law of gravitation an apple could be made to drop to earth faster, because oif fifty years of study, research of practice. We know more and more drugs than were known before. Our experiences and verifications are more complete, but the law, we claim, has not changed and never will change.” This my friend no one practicing homeopathy should forget: The organon remains the basis on which everything else needs to be build. Anything new is build on the Laws that Hahnemann has set forth no matter what neo-gurus who don’t understand the Organon pretend
      Warm regards
      dR luc

      • Excellent article. The study and the re_study of Organon and the Chronic Diseases is the need of the hour. This is relevant to this day as law will never change.
        Very few have followed Hahnemann’s words. imitate me, but imitate me exactly

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