Category Archives: Being and Feeling

Creating Community and Togetherness

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To remember

basics about us as humans = very social creatures.

  • massively increased our population > more & more find ourselves to be rather lonely.
  • western cultures > normal for a child to move out when they’re 18 and to begin their own lives
  •  focusing on careers => families + friends pushed aside
  • very toxic view of life
  • time to reach out to those you love, those you care about + maybe those you don’t know

Wellness Served

One of the basics about us as humans is that we are very social creatures. Thousands of years ago, we stayed together in groups, formed our own societies and relied on each other for support, safety, food and families. As society has gone on, we’ve definitely massively increased our population, but more and more of us find ourselves to be rather lonely.

In western cultures, it’s normal for a child to move out when they’re 18 and to begin their own lives, whether that be career or college. Maybe our kids come back for a holiday here or there, or a birthday, but usually families don’t see each other daily. We have societies in the east who find themselves hyper focused on careers, and families and friends are pushed aside as we strive to do better at work and with our career…

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Turning Your Home into a Sacred Space

Lots of Jews in our regions, for Sabbath keep the lights on from Friday afternoon, having no television or internet facilities and now being confronted with difficulties for feeling a togetherness and a feeling of having the right service for the Elohim, because they wonder if it would be all right to have a service via the modern tools and internet.

Having the Beis HaElohim and shuls already four months closed for study and prayer because of the corona lockdown, many feel 9 Av as an extra special day of sadness this year, them not having a meeting place, like our parents and grandparents were not able to gather because of the Nazi’s in the previous century. But this time it is not man but nature that keeps them and us in its grip.

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To remember

  • Take advantage of these unusual circumstances to experience something new.

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Preceding

Social Distanced but Spiritually Close

Hineni for our Virtual Services

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Find also to read:

  1. Eykhah – How can it be?
  2. Dark times looking like death is around the corner – but Light given to us
  3. Israel celebrates Purim amid Coronavirus outbreak – ILTV Israel news – Mar. 9, 2020
  4. Even in Corona time You are called on to have the seder
  5. One Passover tradition asking to provide the less fortunate with foods and help
  6. In a time when we must remain in our place
  7. 2020 A Passover seder meeting limited to members of the family
  8. 9 Av: Tisha B’Av 2020
  9. 9 Av 2020 en Dagen van droefheid
  10. Geestelijke affaires in CoViD-19 afzonderingstijden
  11. Voor het eerst in jaren weer een Pesach in isolatie
  12. Isolatietijd vrij te nemen voor jezelf
  13. Ontnomen van een gebedshuis #1 Doodveroorzakers
  14. Ontnomen van een gebedshuis #2 In de greep van een coronavirus

Cantor Matt Axelrod

וְעָשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְּתוֹכָם

They will make me a sanctuary and I will dwell among them.

For months now, we’ve all become accustomed to working from home–it’s gone more smoothly for some than for others. Social media has been replete with work-from-home fails: toddlers barging in on important calls, dogs and landscapers disrupting meetings with intrusive background noise, and even partially clad family members being caught on camera. Convenience aside, there’s a reason why work is kept in the workplace.

What we haven’t heard nearly as much about is praying from home. With synagogues shuttered, congregants have had to avail themselves of the various live feeds, streaming, and Zoom services that their temples have created. Furthermore, the pandemic and its continuing restrictions have forced us to begin planning extensively for the High Holidays considerably earlier than usual.

Be assured that your synagogue–wherever you belong–has already been thinking, planning, strategizing…

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An Ode Of Utopia

The world is inhabited by lots of peoples, all humans, which does not have to mean they are humane.

Those who say they honour Allah, the Most High Divine Creator Who made man in His own image, should make sure that they are worth to bear that image. Living according to the Laws of the Elohim Hashem Jehovah it is up to those lovers of God to work at the improvement of the living environment.

Many may call those callers for peace utopians, but the world shall have to come to know our world is not an unreachable Utopia.

ishambhavirhyming.wordpress.blog

Clouds are deep dark,
And sun is devoid of spark.
Earth is soaked in crimson hue,
And humans are many but humane are few.

So, I shook my slumbering soul,
As wide awake…
screams of gored humanity pierced into core
I wondered…
Isn’t Civilization taking a huge toll?!
Thus, I limned a utopian goal.

At the horizon a world is shimmering…
A world where we recognize all the differences and yet don’t discriminate,
Where we are encouraged to accommodate but not coerced to assimilate.

A world where black is valued for depth and white is valued for peace,
Where brethren isn’t swayed by shade cards and fraternity doesn’t cease.

A world where territorial boundaries do not matter,
Where compassion pours out for whosoever walking in tatter.
A world where amity exceeds the constructed limits,
Where from cosmos love spills and hope is all that sun emits.

A world where bonds…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Poetry - Poems, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Looking at an Utopism which has not ended

Marcus Ampe wrote a few days ago on WordPressUtopism has not ended” giving more clarification on his way of thinking and about his “Utopian Dreams“. In  a series of articles on his WordPress blog he continues to look at reasons why we should not give up hope for a better world and how some Christians and certain people are too much afraid for matters of social protection.

The Thousand-Year View from N.S. Palmer wants to apply time-tested ideas to the problems of our modern era and also took a look at Mr. Ampe‘s writing. N.S. Palmer preaches that we shouldn’t worry about things we can’t control, but it’s easier to say than to do. On that point we seem to differ. We cannot escape being in this system and having to live in this world at a certain time. But how we live and what we are willing to accept to happen plays an important role in our life. When people, living in this world, believe it could be very well possible to make it a better place for many, to some that might be an unreachable goal, to others it should be something to work at.

Trying to get a perfect society is something which we all should be doing. Though we agree only partly with Mr. Palmer who says

No society ever has been or ever will be perfect. {Utopia’s Biggest Problem}

him forgetting that one day Jesus Christ shall return and install the Kingdom of God here on earth. The Nazarene rabbi his government will be the most perfect governing body and shall give all its inhabitants the most perfect system to live in.

Mr Palmer further finds that

utopians waste their time and cause great harm by rejecting possible goals and pursuing an impossible goal. {Utopia’s Biggest Problem}

It is true that the goal set by utopians might be very unreachable, hence their name “utopists”, or followers of utopian dreams, thinking of utopia (1500-1600) being the imaginary perfect country in the book Utopia (1516) by the English humanist and statesman, chancellor of England (1529–32) Sir Thomas More, from Greek ou not, no + topos place”.

Because their goal can never be achieved, nothing will ever be enough. They think we should keep doing the same things, just do them harder. Spend more money. Take away more freedom. Police more speech. {Utopia’s Biggest Problem}

Such an imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens may be presented in several authors their stories. A utopia focuses on equality in such categories as economics, government and justice (a non-exhaustive list), and does not focus on “spending more money” like Mr. Palmer seems to give the impression. Neither do utopians want to take away the freedom of people. Just the opposite they want to secure that there is freedom on all sorts of levels: freedom of life, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, a.o. but most importantly also freedom of choice under the condition not to limit others. That utopians want to have more control on those freedoms and perhaps would want to see more control of having all people receiving the same liberties and same equalities, may demand a controlling apparatus or police, but does not have to mean we have to go to become a police-state or a state of repression. That is the wrong vision a lot of people who are against socialism, utopianism and communism want to send into the world.

There are many debates about what constitutes a utopia. Many who are against any social feeling, what they call part of the “left” consider utopians and their world or societies they want to build, “utopias” benign or dangerous. Concerning utopia fitting or not, or being essential to a Christian world lots of contradictory ideas go round. Many ask

Is the idea of utopianism essential to Christianity or heretical? What is the relationship between utopia and ideology?

One of the leading scholars in the field of utopian studies, Lyman Tower Sargent argues that utopia’s nature is inherently contradictory because societies are not homogeneous and have desires which conflict and therefore cannot simultaneously be satisfied. Sargent notes that some thinkers see a trajectory from utopia to totalitarianism, with violence an inevitable part of the mix, and we have the impression Mr. Palmer might do so also.

According to Sargent:

There are socialist, capitalist, monarchical, democratic, anarchist, ecological, feminist, patriarchal, egalitarian, hierarchical, racist, left-wing, right-wing, reformist, free love, nuclear family, extended family, gay, lesbian and many more utopias [ Naturism, Nude Christians, …] Utopianism, some argue, is essential for the improvement of the human condition. But if used wrongly, it becomes dangerous. Utopia has an inherent contradictory nature here.

And that describes very well the difficulty of that utopian world for which Mr. Ampe puts his hand in the fire. He as several other Christians believes in the purity man can come to reach, in which innocence is in the heart of that person, enabling people to walk freely in nature naked, without others having bad ideas. In such a free world naturism would for example never be a problem, because all people would abstain from wrong thinking and wrong acts. In an utopian world there is no place for sexual offensive acts to the public sense of decency. There being no place for obscenity by people keeping themselves to pure thought the same as the first people in the Garden of Eden had. It was only after they had done wrong and came to know good and evil that they became afraid of the other and wanted to protect themselves by covering their body. Such covering in an ideal world would not be necessary, the same as it was not a matter to cover oneself in the 1970ies and hippies could share their places freely with others without having to fear something to go wrong. Nakedness was no problem at that time, whilst now we see again a lot of shyness and fear of nudity among many young people as well as some elderly people.

We do agree many of the boom children tried to create a perfect society in the 196070ies but failed terribly. Though we are not ashamed that we tried to stimulate others to step on the wagon with us (dreamers). Many of our generation might have betrayed their ideas, but Mr. Ampe like several others, as a follower of the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ) believes the teachings of that rebbe are still worth going for.

Utopians just ask people to take the responsibility for others and to respect everybody and everybody around them. They would never stimulate capitalism, like N.S. Palmer gives the impression.

 

At the moment we can grow unto more tolerance by learning to agree to disagree, as well by not being afraid to dare to engage in thoughtful political discussions. Though at the moment we still face the difficulty that not everyone involved is really interested in finding out the truth. An other problem these days is also that lots of people do not realise that disagreement does not imply evil. On that fact Mr. Palmer seems to agree and writes:

Calm, rational debate helps them see the underlying assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses of each person’s viewpoint. That helps everyone understand the issues better. It also helps them understand each other better. Screaming, hysteria, and emotional theatrics do not. {Dialogue Is Not Harmful}

We believe the Bible offers a way to live together peaceful and gives us a nice picture in the Book of Isaiah, what that world can and shall be. We might be utopians or dreamers for many, but Mr. Ampe with his brethren and sisters in Christ do believe those prophesies are going to become true, and as such shall their utopian dream once become a reality, though it still may take some time.

Mr. Ampe also believes we can be united and should try to convince those who hate certain people, to have them to accept them as co-living citizens with the same rights as them. It is for mutual benefit and the common good that people must be rational enough to set aside their differences and come closer to each other with full respect for each other and for other cultures.

Big problem today to come to such an utopian world is the egocentric and egoistic attitude of the present population.

We believe the Bible gives enough directions to come to a better world already now in our lifetime, even before the return of Christ. We do not have to wait until the wars to expect or the Big Battle or Armageddon, before we shall come to think about that better world. Already today, in our lifetime, we can show others fundamental truths of life.

Some might think utopians want all to become “puppets” handled by someone in charge of everything. But that is a wrong thought about the world envisioned by us. We are against any dictatorial system. It is a world whereby people freely agree to follow certain ethics and moral laws. We also do not say everybody has to do the same thing in the same manner. In our ‘utopian world’, there is enough freedom to act freely. Already now we can try to come to agreements to live a certain way, and this without any force or violence.

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Find also to read:

  1. Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism
  2. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  3. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  4. Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, Demographic trends and New blood from abroad
  5. Lower and middle-class youth becoming tiny cogs in a larger whole that they cannot control
  6. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
  7. the Bible – God’s guide for life #3 Fast food or staple diet
  8. the Bible – God’s guide for life #4 Not to get the best from our diet– or from ourselves
  9. Determine the drive
  10. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #3 Rejoicing in the insistence
  11. The Scensual World – Mission & Vision
  12. Are Christianity and Capitalism Compatible?
  13. Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’
  14. The Upbringing of Ideas and the Extrapolation of Capitalism
  15. Utopism has not ended
  16. A famous individual by the name of Jesus of Nazareth

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Further related

  1. Utopia! 
    Utopia basically means paradise. And, in these times of social, political and ecological upheaval, to dream of a utopian world in which these problems cease to exist is completely natural.
  2. Utopia – Thomas More ****
  3. Broaden the Narratives: Mistaken Orders<
  4. Humanities Retribution
  5. Anarchy, State and Utopia
  6. Leon Trotzky
  7. Globalism: a Letter
  8. Money-Free World
  9. Alternative Earth
  10. The Citizen’s Convention on Climate: utopia or step towards change?
  11. Utopia….State of bliss!
  12. Technology, Utopia, and Horizon Zero Dawn
  13. Are We There, Yet?
  14. History Bends Toward Chaos
  15. “How will i get a cappuccino in your political utopia?”
  16. Why Common Sense Is So Uncommon
  17. Nothing Learned
  18. We Can Have Unity Without Unanimity
  19. How to Get a Healthy Society
  20. Rebecca Solnit on Hope
  21. The Blank Slate of Outer Space
  22. The Climate Crisis and the Need for Utopian Thinking
  23. And The Greatest Of These…Is Love
  24. An Ode Of Utopia

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Unwrapping once faith

We are born in all innocence. Once growing up we are confronted with many things of which we have to come to understand some things are good whilst others are bad. Good and badright and wrong – that will keep us busy all our life long.

No wonder we can regularly find people who question their choices in life. And that is what we all regularly should do. Go over our lives and find out what we have done, why and how.

IMG_3257A recovered alcoholism addict, US Navy Veteran, now non-smoker, who uses the pseudonym jeffw5382,  who seem to want to become a friend of many, by wanting to help them. He finds it important to whom he is relating to and how he is, really appropriate and adding to life, loving-kindness, and compassion. He also likes to reflect and to seek stillness, even in motion, silence even in comotion and

will be better for it as I emerge on the other side. {What am I doing?}

By the years gone by, he wants to process and digest what has happened. Though confronted with those facts he might say

However hard it may be to fathom, one thing I must do above all else is to wholeheartedly accept what is. Eliminating or changing unhealthy ideas, behaviors or situations from my life are other options, but. I must accept that things are exactly the way they are supposed to be at this moment. {It is possible!}

In 2017 his life depended on being of service. He wrote

Not only am I self employed in a service oriented profession, I have integrated a desire to be helpful and generous wherever possible. The most important realization to me about this is, that it truly is selfishness that is behind it. By recognizing and admitting that, I am relieved of the urge to pat myself on the back. It’s just something I have to do today. I must give back in measure of what has been freely given to me. {Enlightened Self Interest}

That year he also felt so lucky to be able to embrace, wholeheartedly, the idea that he can improve his conscious contact with God. He wrote:

I acknowledge that many face seemingly insurmountable obstacles when even considering this. It started with the barest beginnings with me. Saying Please when I wake and Thank you as I lay down to end my day. {Please and Thank You}

He at that time found it impossible to describe what or who his God was.

I ascribe to the idea that God is incomprehensible to the human mind. In addition, that the greatest obstacle to finding God is the word, God. In my endeavor to get and stay clean and sober, I devoured all sorts of spiritual and religious texts. {Please and Thank You}

Three years later he is feeling that he might be embarking on a treacherous journey of sorts.

I am delving into my long-held beliefs and frail faith to discover my true self. That one that is in me and in Him. {Here I go}

he let us know and invites others

to share in this adventure that you might also question everything, scrape, prod, rip open and take apart the conceptions and ideas that inhibit our evolution to realizing our inheritance. {Here I go}

For lots of people, life is a great adventure, with many ups and downs. Sometimes very deep downs and lesser great ups.

Jeff writes:

Everything upon which I have relied is suddenly revealed to be a mere reflection of what I have found comforting to my ego. If I am to uncover my truest self all these ideas, preconceptions and formulas have to be incinerated by the flames of Love. {Here I go}

He also speaks about God, though we are not sure yet which god he means, because in 2017 he still thought of a three-headed god. From our side, we could and can only hope he one day shall come to discover the Only Real God Who is the All-knowing Eternal and everlasting (i.e not able to die, whilst Jesus really died) invisible Spirit, whilst his 2017 godhead is a not all-knowing god, Jesus even not knowing when he would be coming back to earth.

It is nice to see he understands that God

is a jealous and merciful God. {Here I go}

which makes it so important to worship the right God and not just any god. We should only worship the God of Jesus Christ, the Spirit God, Who is revealed in the angels and in Christ, but also revealed in the righteous faithful.
It is that “I Am that I Am” we should look at. It is that Godhead Who wants to be found.

The blogger Jeff seems to be willing to seek and to find Him. He writes:

He wants me to seek Him only in all my doings. Being human with a myriad of selfish desires I chase and grasp after things I think will satisfy, these seeming insatiable cravings, and when I do go after them without discernment, I get smacked down, disappointed and left wanting. I then am again desperate, confused and left wondering why I have been allowed to forget the Love that is merely a breath away. (Jealous) Immediately I am forgiven and realize I have been taught. His Love and acceptance are eternal. (Merciful) {Here I go}

The big problem with man is that they prefer to give a man a higher position than God. Lots of people do prefer to put the human doctrines above the Biblical doctrines and they believe that those human theologians do know it better than those Biblical writers or penmen from God. Instead of accepting the sayings from God (like Him saying that Jesus is His only begotten beloved son) and to believe the Biblical sayings or writings from Scriptures.

All should come to see the light shining in the darkness, the sent one from God, being such a light for mankind and the solution against the curse of death.

“If nothing that can be seen can either be God or represent Him to us as He is, then to find God we must pass beyond everything that can be seen and enter into darkness. Since nothing that can be heard is God, to find Him we must enter into silence.

Since God cannot be imagined, anything our imagination tells us about Him is ultimately misleading and therefor we cannot know Him as He really is unless we pass beyond everything that can be imagined and enter into an obscurity without images and without the likeness of any created thing.” {It just doesn’t make sense}

When one keeps to the false human doctrines then a lot in the Bible might not seem to make sense, but when one really take the words like they are written in the Bible, they all make sense. It only demands an openess to be willing to listen to God Him speaking by His infallible Word, the Bible. Then you shall be able to

“receive the gift of an interior light that is so simple that it baffles description and so pure that it would be coarse to call is an experience. But it is a true light, perfecting the intellect of man with a perfection far beyond knowledge.” {It just doesn’t make sense}

Jeff writes

So to be calm, resolute in stillness appreciating what I can see and what I have experienced, being kind and helpful (if possible) to all I encounter, and forgiving those who are lost in hatred and poisoned by a vindictive heart, and also admitting that I am flawed. I am liberated into a Perfect Peace that Doesn’t make any sense. {It just doesn’t make sense}

But it is that incredible peace we have to look out for. It is possible for everyone to become a partaker of it.

Peace and Violence are with us and will be until the Lion lays down with the lamb {Nothing New}

But we have the great hope in the sent one from God: Jesus Christ, our saviour and the way to God.

Jeff looking for help; a little embarrassed and humbled to appeal for assistance covering impending medical expenses. (I must admit)

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2020: Week #29: The Shape of Summer

shelteringhaven

2020-06-28 17.12.36Summer days.

Pool parties. Graduation celebrations. Baseball games. Vacation flights.

But not always. Not this year.

Expectations are challenged. Thoughts shuffle. The shape of summer is arranged. And then rearranged.

Never having been this way before the heart – and mind – do not quite know what to make of these unexpected days. Shuffling the shape of summer. Arranging. Rearranging. Questioning. And. Still hoping. For normal.

Yet. In the midst of it all. There stands the Creator. Our Lord. Shaping summer. Holding steady in the unexpected and unfamiliar. Owning it all. Guarding each day. His faithfulness superseding all else.

“You own the day, you own the night; you put stars and sun in place. You laid out the four corners of earth, shaped the seasons of summer and winter.” Psalm 74:16-17, The Message

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When you hear the rain

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A virus giving the world an opportunity to re-evaluate and change the way we live

For weeks now many people have found themselves bounded to just a few square metres of their living quarters.

In the lockdown many people found themselves obliged to find ways to keep themselves busy and not pulled down by isolation. In this world of exuberant consumerism and going out for relaxation and meeting people, we were bounded to the modern tools of the internet to have virtual contact with each other.

Everybody now got some weeks just for themselves, enabling each of us to reflect on their life, but also on the way our society goes on with her materialistic life.

It seems this virus is giving the world an opportunity to re-evaluate and change the way we live, work, produce, and distribute goods and services. Travel, work, food, and manufacturing may have to dramatically change.

By lockdown hearing nature to revive, hearing more the sound of singing birds and seeing more animals going around free in nature.

Let us think about new and better ways to continue our life in the future.

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For thought

The key is how we respond to this new challenge. 


“All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.
All over the world, people are waking up to a new reality.
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes, there is fear, but there does not have to be hate.
Yes, there is isolation, but there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes, there is panic buying, but there does not have to be meanness.
Yes, there is sickness, but there does not have to be disease of the soul.
Yes, there is even death, but there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic.
The birds are singing again.
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul and sing.”

-from Richard Hendrick (Brother Richard) in Ireland, March 13th, 2020

 

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Ecological affairs, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Positive thoughts, Quotations or Citations, Welfare matters

At the end of the day…

Dutch translation / Nederlandse vertaling: Aan het einde van de dag…

Purplerays

At the end of the day, you can either
focus on what’s tearing you apart
or what’s holding you together.

Text and image credit: Spiritual Awakenings https://www.facebook.com/SpiritualAwakenings/

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Too Insignificant

Obscured from the universe,
I’m holding up my fears,
Letting out cries
That no one will hear

My tear, just a drop
In the big, boundless sea
Flowing where it takes it
Until it’s unseen

Nobody can feel
What I feel deep down
Even the loudest of screams
Don’t seem to make a sound

They travel their way
Into the empty air
Till they go unheard,
Landing somewhere

Waking each day
Feeling all the same
Was the world this terrifying
Even before I came?

Would it even matter
If I faded away
The sun would still shine
To start off yet another day

In a cold infinite world
My tiny world is unseen
Where my quivering pain
Is only for me to feel…

This poem deals with existential dread- the fear that you are too small and too insignificant in an empty, cold and vast universe to be able to…

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