Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby Kumara » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:12 am

In The Jhānas and the Lay Disciple According to the Pāli Suttas, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi says
(3) A number of texts on stream-enterers and once-returners imply that they do not possess the jhānas as meditative attainments which they can enter at will. Though it is obvious that disciples at the lower two levels may have jhānic attainments, the latter are not declared to be an integral part of their spiritual equipment.

Anyone knows what those texts are?

(In case some wonder, I'm aware that the venerable (at least at the time of writing the above) still believe that the orthodox Theravadin jhāna is the same as what the Suttas described. But, please, I'm not interested to debate on this here.)
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby Zom » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:36 am

There are some in Anguttara, where, for example, it is said, that once-returners reborn in kama-loka (non-jhana realms) while non-returners - in rupa-loka.

One of the best texts on this account is AN 3.94 Sarada sutta

http://books.google.com/books?id=lt7kFlVNONcC&pg=PA327&lpg=PA327&dq="afterward,+when+he+departs"&source=bl&ots=hm0LJxWcoQ&sig=SUS-4j_igmnFKKFN81vMo-vv8rc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uSKLUq7KF6iV4wS8m4BY&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q="afterward%2C%20when%20he%20departs"&f=false

Here it is said that one gains stream-entry before jhana, and only afterwards, when he dispels sensual desire and ill-will, he will be able to enter it, and in this case he will die as non-returner.
Last edited by Zom on Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:42 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:37 am

Hi Venerable,

It does not quite answer your exact question, but perhaps the discussion around SN 12.70, Susima Sutta is helpful.
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=12606

In particular Bhikkhu Bodhi's footnotes such as: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 06#p191168

:anjali:
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby Kumara » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:06 am

Zom wrote:There are some in Anguttara, where, for example, it is said, that once-returners reborn in kama-loka (non-jhana realms) while non-returners - in rupa-loka.

Would you mind being more specific?

One of the best texts on this account is AN 3.94 Sarada sutta

Here it is said that one gains stream-entry before jhana, and only afterwards, when he dispels sensual desire and ill-will, he will be able to enter it, and in this case he will die as non-returner.

This is interesting. We're assuming that the commentaries are correct that dhammacakkhu means stream-entry. Know any reference in the Suttas for that? I wonder if it means only "path entry", and that these are called either dhammanussaris or saddhanussaris.
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby daverupa » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:01 pm

MN 14 wrote:"Even though a disciple of the noble ones has clearly seen as it actually is with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, still — if he has not attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that — he can be tempted by sensuality.


Perhaps there is a clue in this passage.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby santa100 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:07 pm

Kumara wrote: This is interesting. We're assuming that the commentaries are correct that dhammacakkhu means stream-entry. Know any reference in the Suttas for that? I wonder if it means only "path entry", and that these are called either dhammanussaris or saddhanussaris.


Dhammacakkhu as stream-entry was mentioned in SN 13.1 ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ):
In the same way, monks, for a disciple of the noble ones who is consummate in view, an individual who has broken through [to stream-entry], the suffering & stress that is totally ended & extinguished is far greater. That which remains in the state of having at most seven remaining lifetimes is next to nothing: it's not a hundredth, a thousandth, a one hundred-thousandth, when compared with the previous mass of suffering. That's how great the benefit is of breaking through to the Dhamma, monks. That's how great the benefit is of obtaining the Dhamma eye
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby Zom » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:26 pm

This is interesting. We're assuming that the commentaries are correct that dhammacakkhu means stream-entry. Know any reference in the Suttas for that? I wonder if it means only "path entry", and that these are called either dhammanussaris or saddhanussaris.


In this sutta it is explicitly said that dhamma-eye is the destruction of 3 lower fetters (which is, ofc, a fruit of stream-entry).
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby Kumara » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:49 am

Zom wrote:
This is interesting. We're assuming that the commentaries are correct that dhammacakkhu means stream-entry. Know any reference in the Suttas for that? I wonder if it means only "path entry", and that these are called either dhammanussaris or saddhanussaris.


In this sutta it is explicitly said that dhamma-eye is the destruction of 3 lower fetters (which is, ofc, a fruit of stream-entry).

Thanks for that. Here's BB's translation:

when the dust-free, stainless Dhamma-eye arises in the noble disciple,
then, together with the arising of vision, the noble disciple
abandons three fetters: personal-existence view, doubt, and
wrong grasp of behavior and observances.

Perhaps I'm being a bit nit-picky here. "The dust-free, stainless Dhamma-eye arises in the noble disciple,
then, together with the arising of vision..." Aren't there 2 things here, which entails the abandoning of three fetters?
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby Kumara » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:58 am

santa100 wrote:Dhammacakkhu as stream-entry was mentioned in SN 13.1 ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ):
In the same way, monks, for a disciple of the noble ones who is consummate in view, an individual who has broken through [to stream-entry], the suffering & stress that is totally ended & extinguished is far greater. That which remains in the state of having at most seven remaining lifetimes is next to nothing: it's not a hundredth, a thousandth, a one hundred-thousandth, when compared with the previous mass of suffering. That's how great the benefit is of breaking through to the Dhamma, monks. That's how great the benefit is of obtaining the Dhamma eye

So, this equates "breaking through to the Dhamma" with "obtaining the Dhamma eye". But that "to stream-entry" bit isn't in the Pali. Thanks, but this still doesn't satisfy me.

In case some here are wondering, I see a distinction between entering the Path (which is expressed in this sutta as "breaking through to the Dhamma" and "obtaining the Dhamma eye" and stream entry.
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby santa100 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:17 am

Kumara wrote: So, this equates "breaking through to the Dhamma" with "obtaining the Dhamma eye". But that "to stream-entry" bit isn't in the Pali. Thanks, but this still doesn't satisfy me.


Ven. Thanissaro simply highlighted what was already shown clearly in the paragraph about Stream-entry:
In the same way, monks, for a disciple of the noble ones who is consummate in view, an individual who has broken through [to stream-entry], the suffering & stress that is totally ended & extinguished is far greater. That which remains in the state of having at most seven remaining lifetimes is next to nothing: it's not a hundredth, a thousandth, a one hundred-thousandth, when compared with the previous mass of suffering. That's how great the benefit is of breaking through to the Dhamma, monks. That's how great the benefit is of obtaining the Dhamma eye
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby Kumara » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:45 am

daverupa wrote:
MN 14 wrote:"Even though a disciple of the noble ones has clearly seen as it actually is with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, still — if he has not attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that — he can be tempted by sensuality.


Perhaps there is a clue in this passage.

Though it doesn't answer the question, it's helpful to me. (Quite a few serious translation problems there though.)
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby SarathW » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:10 am

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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby Kumara » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:18 am

santa100 wrote:
Kumara wrote: So, this equates "breaking through to the Dhamma" with "obtaining the Dhamma eye". But that "to stream-entry" bit isn't in the Pali. Thanks, but this still doesn't satisfy me.


Ven. Thanissaro simply highlighted what was already shown clearly in the paragraph about Stream-entry:
In the same way, monks, for a disciple of the noble ones who is consummate in view, an individual who has broken through [to stream-entry], the suffering & stress that is totally ended & extinguished is far greater. That which remains in the state of having at most seven remaining lifetimes is next to nothing: it's not a hundredth, a thousandth, a one hundred-thousandth, when compared with the previous mass of suffering. That's how great the benefit is of breaking through to the Dhamma, monks. That's how great the benefit is of obtaining the Dhamma eye

Not quite. The dhammanussari and saddhanussari aren't sotapanna yet, but they would be before their life ends. See SN 25:1 where it says they are "incapable of passing away without having realized the fruit of stream-entry". So, logically they too have "at most seven remaining lifetimes".
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby santa100 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:39 am

Kumara wrote: Not quite. The dhammanussari and saddhanussari aren't sotapanna yet, but they would before their life ends. See SN 25:1 where it says they are "incapable of passing away without having realized the fruit of stream-entry". So, logically they too have "at most seven remaining lifetimes".


No, logic dictates that Saddhanusari and Dhammanusari will have at most: seven PLUS the remaining lifetime it takes for them to realize the fruit of stream-entry, which is NOT what SN 13.1 said. SN 13.1 precisely said "at most seven remaining lifetimes". By the way, MN 14 was referenced by Ven. Bodhi in his "The Jhanas and the Lay Disciple According to the Pali Suttas". He further explains:
[MN 14:]"Even though a noble disciple has clearly seen with perfect wisdom that sensual pleasures give little satisfaction and are fraught with suffering and misery, rife with greater danger, if he does not achieve a rapture and happiness apart from sensual pleasures, apart from unwholesome states, or something more peaceful than this, then he is not beyond being enticed by sensual pleasures."

[24] The first part of this statement implies that the subject is at least a stream-enterer, for he is referred to as a "noble disciple" (ariya-sāvaka). Though the term ariya-sāvaka is occasionally used in a loose sense that need not be taken to imply attainment of stream-entry, here the expression "seeing with perfect wisdom" seems to establish his identity as at least a stream-enterer. Yet the second part of the statement implies he does not possess even the first jhāna, for the phrase used to describe what he lacks ("a rapture and happiness apart from sensual pleasures, apart from unwholesome states") precisely echoes the wording of the basic formula for the first jhāna. The state "more peaceful than that" would, of course, be the higher jhānas.
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby robertk » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:48 am

mundane jhana is not even needed to become an arahat, so how could it have be for sotapanna.
Even leprous beggars can become sotapanna if they have the requisite parami and hear Dhamma.

http://www.buddhanet-de.net/ancient-bud ... ggo-03.htm
Udana 5: So?avaggo

3: The Discourse about the Leper Suppabuddha





Thus I heard:
at one time the Gracious One was dwelling near Rajagaha, in Bamboo Wood, at the Squirrels' Feeding Place.

Then at that time the leper known as Suppabuddha (Wide Awake) was in Rajagaha, a poor man, a wretched man, a miserable man.

Then at that time the Gracious One was sitting teaching Dhamma surrounded by a great assembly. The leper Suppabuddha saw while still far away that great crowd of people assembled together. Having seen (that), this occurred to him: “Undoubtedly in this place some comestibles and edibles will be distributed. Well now, I could go to that great crowd of people, perhaps I will get some comestibles or edibles in this place.”

Then the leper Suppabuddha went to that great crowd of people. The leper Suppabuddha saw the Gracious One sat teaching Dhamma surrounded by a great assembly. Having seen (that), this occurred to him: “Here there are no comestibles or edibles being distributed, this ascetic Gotama is teaching Dhamma to the assembly. Perhaps I also could hear the Dhamma”, and he sat down right there (and then), (thinking): “I will also listen to the Dhamma.”

Then the Gracious One, applied his mind and encompassed fully the whole of that assembly with his mind, (thinking): “Who here is able to understand the Dhamma?” The Gracious One saw the leper Suppabuddha sat in that assembly, and having seen (him), this occurred to him: “This one here is able to understand the Dhamma”, and having regard to the leper Suppabuddha he related a gradual talk, that is to say: talk on giving, talk on virtue, talk on heaven, the danger, degradation, and defilement of sensual desires, and the advantages in renunciation - (these) he explained.

When the Gracious One knew that the leper Suppabuddha was of ready mind, malleable mind, unhindered mind, uplifted mind, trusting mind, then he explained the Dhamma teaching the Awakened Ones have discovered themselves: suffering, origination, cessation, path. Just as it is known that a clean cloth without a stain would take the dye well, so to the leper Suppabuddha on that very seat, the dust-free, stainless Vision-of-the-Dhamma arose: “Whatever has the nature of arising, all that has the nature of ceasing.”

Then the leper Suppabuddha having seen the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, penetrated the Dhamma, crossed over uncertainty, being without doubts, attained full confidence, having become independent of others in the Teacher's teaching, after rising from his seat went to the Gracious One, and after going and worshipping the Gracious One, he sat down at one side.

While he was sitting on one side the leper Suppabuddha said this to the Gracious One: “Excellent, reverend Sir! Excellent reverend Sir! Just as, reverend Sir, one might set upright what has been overturned, or open up what has been closed, or show a path to one who is lost, or bear an oil lamp in the darkness so that those with vision can see forms, just so has the Dhamma been explained by the Gracious One in countless ways. I go, reverend Sir, to the Gracious One for refuge, and to the Dhamma, and to the Community of monks. Please bear it in mind, reverend Gotama, that I am a lay follower who has gone for refuge from today forward for as long as I am furnished with life.”

Then the Gracious One instructed, roused, enthused, and cheered the leper Suppabuddha with a Dhamma talk, and after greatly rejoicing and gladly receiving this word of the Gracious One, after rising from his seat, worshipping and circumambulating the Gracious One, he went away. Then not long after the leper Suppabuddha had gone a cow with a young calf having attacked him, deprived him of life.

Then many monks went to the Gracious One, and after going and worshipping the Gracious One, they sat down on one side. While sat on one side those monks said this to the Gracious One: “That leper called Suppabuddha, reverend Sir, who was instructed, roused, enthused, and cheered by the Gracious One with a Dhamma talk - he has died. What is his destination? What is his future state?”

“A wise man, monks, was Suppabuddha, who practiced Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, and did not trouble me on account of the Dhamma. The leper Suppabuddha, monks, through the destruction of three fetters, is a stream-enterer, not subject to the fall, and is assured of arriving at Full Awakening.”

When that was said, a certain monk said this to the Gracious One: “What was the reason, reverend Sir, what was the cause, through which the leper Suppabuddha became a poor man, a wretched man, a miserable man?”

“Formerly, monks, the leper Suppabuddha was a son of a wealthy merchant in this very Rajagaha. While going to his pleasure park he saw the Pacceka Buddha Tagarasikkhi entering the city for alms, and having seen (him), this occurred to him: “Who is this leper roaming around with his leper's robe?” And having spat, and circumambulated him (disrespectfully) on the left side, he went away.

As a result of that deed of his for many years, for many hundreds of years, for many thousands of years, for many hundreds of thousands of years, he boiled in the nether regions. And as a result of the remaining part of that deed of his he became a leper in this very Rajagaha, a poor man, a wretched man, a miserable man.

(But) he came to the Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One, and obtained faith, obtained virtue, obtained learning, obtained liberality, obtained wisdom. After coming to the Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One, and obtaining faith, obtaining virtue, obtaining learning, obtaining liberality, obtaining wisdom, at the break up of the body, after death, he arose in a fortunate destiny, in the world of Heaven, in the companionship of the Tavati?sa devas. And there he surely outshines the other devas with his beauty and repute.”

Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:


“As a man with vision, while he is endeavouring, (would avoid) dangerous paths,
(So) a wise man in the world of the living, should avoid bad deeds.”
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby Kumara » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:08 am

robertk wrote:mundane jhana is not even needed to become an arahat, so how could it have be for sotapanna.
Even leprous beggars can become sotapanna if they have the requisite parami and hear Dhamma.

http://www.buddhanet-de.net/ancient-bud ... ggo-03.htm
Udana 5: So?avaggo

3: The Discourse about the Leper Suppabuddha

I agree that "mundane" absorption jhana is not required. For the sake of discussion here, let's completely rule that out. I'm speaking not of the Visuddhimagga type, but the kind the Suttas speak of.
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby Zom » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:54 am

Perhaps I'm being a bit nit-picky here. "The dust-free, stainless Dhamma-eye arises in the noble disciple,
then, together with the arising of vision..." Aren't there 2 things here, which entails the abandoning of three fetters?


No, I don't think so. I see this sentence this way: "when there is X, then (in this case) there is Y": "When there is a vision (dhamma-eye), then there is dropping of three fetters" or, in another words: "If you see it, fetters are abandoned".

Concerning dhamma/saddha-nussaris (which are those on the Path to stream-entry) Ven. Bodhi gave good comment: they are described by another formula: "one who has entered on the fixed course of rightness", while stream-enterers are described by "dhamma-eye" (classic example - Ven. Kondanna, the first sotapanna in the world -)

I agree that "mundane" absorption jhana is not required. For the sake of discussion here, let's completely rule that out. I'm speaking not of the Visuddhimagga type, but the kind the Suttas speak of.


Suttas always speak about mundane jhanas. And these jhanas are needed to gain non-returning or arahantship. See MN 64.
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby daverupa » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:51 pm

Kumara wrote:
daverupa wrote:
MN 14 wrote:"Even though a disciple of the noble ones has clearly seen as it actually is with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, still — if he has not attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that — he can be tempted by sensuality.


Perhaps there is a clue in this passage.

Though it doesn't answer the question, it's helpful to me. (Quite a few serious translation problems there though.)


Unless I'm thoroughly off-target, the text is:

MN 14 p wrote:Yato ca kho me, mahānāma, ‘appassādā kāmā bahudukkhā bahupāyāsā, ādīnavo ettha bhiyyo’ti– evametaṃ yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññāya sudiṭṭhaṃ ahosi, so ca aññatreva kāmehi aññatra akusalehi dhammehi pītisukhaṃ ajjhagamaṃ, aññaṃ vā tato santataraṃ; athāhaṃ anāvaṭṭī kāmesu paccaññāsiṃ.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby Sylvester » Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:16 am

Thanks for that. Here's BB's translation:

when the dust-free, stainless Dhamma-eye arises in the noble disciple,
then, together with the arising of vision, the noble disciple
abandons three fetters: personal-existence view, doubt, and
wrong grasp of behavior and observances.


Perhaps I'm being a bit nit-picky here. "The dust-free, stainless Dhamma-eye arises in the noble disciple,
then, together with the arising of vision..." Aren't there 2 things here, which entails the abandoning of three fetters?


Bhante

I think it's just a peculiarity of the idiom. If you look at the Pali -

Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, saradasamaye viddhe vigatavalāhake deve ādicco nabhaṃ abbhussakkamāno sabbaṃ ākāsagataṃ tamagataṃ abhivihacca bhāsate ca tapate ca virocati ca.

‘‘Evamevaṃ kho, bhikkhave, yato ariyasāvakassa virajaṃ vītamalaṃ dhammacakkhuṃ uppajjati, saha dassanuppādā, bhikkhave, ariyasāvakassa tīṇi saṃyojanāni pahīyanti – sakkāyadiṭṭhi, vicikicchā, sīlabbataparāmāso


The more standard "seyyathāpi ....evameva ...." (Just as XXX, in the same way noun(s)+predicate) structure found elsewhere (which are otherwise clauses within a same sentence) has been split into 2 sentences in AN 3.94. This type of structure of simile always has a clear description of the substantive noun (ie the simile's "tenor") that is meant to be compared to the simile's "vehicle" (in this sutta - space and the sun). In this case, the substantive tenors are the ariyasāvaka and the dhammacakkhu, and I think it's inescapable for these 2 to have made their appearance. Without them, the simile finds no referent/tenor to be compared to the space and sun. I think the saha dassanuppādā simply defines the temporal connection between the abandonment and the arising of vision.

If you notice, BB has actually translated the simile into a more customary clauses within a sentence structure, rather than follow the Pali's 2 sentence structure.
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Re: Stream-enterers and Once-returners No Jhānas?

Postby Kumara » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:14 am

Sylvester wrote:I think the saha dassanuppādā simply defines the temporal connection between the abandonment and the arising of vision.

Thanks for trying, Sylvester. It's still not convincing for me.

Anyway, back to the OP. Anyone has any idea? I wrote to BB himself. Haven't heard from him yet.
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