Day 1 Breakfast

Graham Phoenix (now known as Sat Purusha) and the personal development guru,Chris Howard, had a series of powerful conversations when they were working together in Venice, Italy. They were conversations that ranged widely but focused on the subject of Men and Masculinity. Both Graham and Chris spoke about their personal lives and experiences and drew some powerful conclusions for men.

Masculine and Feminine Energy

(The conversation has been edited for clarity in reading. The meaning has not been changed and nothing has been deleted.)

Chris: 

This is Chris Howard and I’m here with Graham and Cheta Urmila Phoenix in Venice, Italy. We are going to have a conversation about relationships, about men and masculine energy and Cheta is here to weigh in from the female side. 

We’re sitting in a café in Venice talking back and forth. We hope that you’ll get tremendous value about masculine and feminine energy. 

We’re going to do this at breakfast and lunch over the next two days because Graham is writing a guide to masculine energy, something I am fascinated by, quite frankly. 

I have read David Deida, ‘The Way Of The Superior Man’. I had an introduction to these ideas at an important time in my life as a man. By the way, I never thought of myself as a man, I always thought of myself as a boy and here I am in my forties. 

I think this is going to be insightful because I am going to be asking questions that go right to the root of issues that I have in my life. We are going to be discussing masculine energy with Cheta giving the women’s point of view. 

Graham: 

We’re having breakfast in this fabulous place in Venice. Cheta and I were sitting here before you arrived, having a cup of coffee, people watching. We are sitting in a lovely square and I was watching some of the Italian men. Italian men have a certain confidence about them which is fabulous to watch. 

There was a man walking across the square in red pants with a white belt, lovely cream leopard skin shoes, a white shirt, carrying what looked like a little hat box. He had such confidence in himself. He was in his forties and he was walking through the square on his own. He owned where he was. It was so wonderful to see how he was being himself and enjoying being himself. That is one of the real keys for me.

Chris:

What is funny about that is that I’ve been watching, believe it or not, the men too Graham. I hope that doesn’t sound weird.

Graham:

No, but there are great lessons here.

Chris:

Yeah! Last night I took a walk down here, in Campo San Stefano. I was walking through these little back alleys. I love Venice, it is so beautiful. It reminds me of Amsterdam so much with all the winding streets. I got lost in some of the streets last night. They almost look like back alleys on movie sets. The buildings look like they have been made as fronts with nothing inside. 

I was watching the interactions between people and it is interesting how everybody is so animated, of course, we know that, we know the Italians are like that. To see how they communicate with their entire bodies—it is wild, that masculine energy. I was watching the interactions between the men and the women. I watched how animated they were, and it seems that just in the communication, even using the body to communicate, I felt the strength. I felt that masculine strength coming through.

Maybe you can tell me something more about this, because there seemed to be no hesitation or reticence in how they were communicating. It’s in your face but is not in your face. Everybody accepted it.

Graham: 

It’s about ownership for me. It’s about having the presence and the sense of grounding to know where you are in the world and who you are. It’s owning who you are. It’s not about fitting a certain model. It’s not about men only being a man if they can run fast, or if they have a trimmed waist or whatever. It doesn’t matter what you look like or how you walk, as long as you own what you do. 

I’m in my sixties and I’m a bit overweight and that’s fine. As I walk along the street I’m absolutely clear who I am, what I look like and how I behave. I’ve been through a process of working at who I am, and being happy with that. I’ve been through a process of knowing that, as a man, I can deal with what comes at me. I know how I deal with things and I have an energy inside me which is there all the time. 

I feel good sometimes, bad sometimes. We all go through the dips and flows of life, but through them I’m happy with who I am. I don’t want to be someone else, I want to be me and be strong in that. Being strong in that I can take whatever the world throws at me, whatever my lovely Cheta throws at me.

Chris:

She’s got a big smile listening to her man. I love this.

Graham:

Yes, and that’s very important, because one of the differences between men and women is that women can be less grounded. That’s not a criticism, it’s just that the feminine energy is more flowing; it can be more chaotic, more emotional. We all know that women are more emotional, and that a man is someone who is never unsure of how to deal with that. He’s always living in the experience of how to be, how to react to life and his woman. 

Chris: 

I have to say when you say, “they are never unsure of how to deal with that”, then I must have never have been a man up to this point in time. I look back over my past and I see that I’ve had no clue about how to deal with women, how to deal with that chaotic type of energy. It’s not been a place of comfort for me, quite frankly. Here I am in my forties and, as I said, I’ve never thought of myself as a man. I have always thought of myself as a boy. 

I know that in the past, I’m talking up to two years ago, when I’d said I’m dating I thought, “what girl am I going to date?” I never thought of dating a woman, I thought of dating a girl. I would use that word. You talk about those chaotic states, I wouldn’t want to deal with them. I’ve got to be honest here, it makes me sound like a chump, but I’d say, “Get out of here! I don’t want to deal with that.” 

Graham: 

That’s one of the things about being a man, it’s not a physical toughness, but almost a psychological toughness which comes from certainty. An interesting example is something that drives men mad, something they find very difficult to deal, it’s called ‘female testing’. Women test men all the time and men find it so annoying. In a marriage, they’ll often end up looking on it as nagging. Women are checking that the man is doing something, checking on how he’s feeling. Saying things like, “How are you feeling?”, “What’s happening about this?” Men get very defensive and close off, often saying things like, “Look, just leave me alone. Give me some space.” 

I thought about this and I realised what women are doing. They’re doing the most basic thing for them. They need to trust their man. Their man is the strength in their relationship or in their family, particularly if there are children involved. The woman needs to trust that the man is going to stand strong in whatever happens, in whatever situation comes along. She’s programmed, almost, to be not quite sure.

Chris:

So, why is that? 

Graham: 

It comes from a basic instinct of looking after the family. 

Chris: 

Got it! So, attracting the right man who’s going to take care of her, who’s going to take care of the family, that’s hard-wired in. 

Graham: 

Yes, she needs to know that he’s going to provide for the family, that he’s going to protect her from intruders, from people who are going to come and attack the family either financially or physically.

Chris: 

So, those are tests that the woman does. I’ve experienced them and I never really thought of them as tests, I just thought of them as being irritating. 

Graham: 

That’s right. If you do a slight reframe on that, you’ll realise that a woman only does that when the man she’s with is the one she wants to be with. When she’s with a man she wants to be with she tests him just to make sure he’s grounded and solid. 

Chris: 

How do the tests come across, what are examples of those tests? 

Graham: 

She’ll ask you questions, she’ll ask you how you’re going to do something. “What are you going to do about money? We’re not earning enough money, what are you going about it?” “What are you going to do about this?” “Oh, that’s a great place, we can go over there. We’ll go that way.” 

She’s constantly throwing things at him. She wants to see, not whether he’ll stick to what he wants to do, but whether she can ever throw him off, whether she can ever make him show that he’s unsure. 

Chris: 

Do they know what they’re doing when they do that? 

Graham: 

No, it’s instinctive, not deliberate. What I realised is that it’s the highest form of love. When a woman’s doing it, she’s only doing it because she loves the man. When I saw that, I celebrated. When this happens between Cheta and me, I look at it, I think about it and I remain strong. I don’t get annoyed. Often we’ll do what she wants to do. A man’s role is often to help the woman to achieve what she wants. I regard it as love. 

Chris: 

Yes, that’s fascinating to me, but I’ve not regarded it as that. I guess I call it a lack of maturity or just not knowing. I’ve had relationships and I started getting tested like that and I think, “Take a hike. I am not interested. I am done.” I’ve not had the time or the mind space for that. 

I’m going through shifts in my life, right now, to where I’m more 

interested in learning more about relationships and who I am than I’ve ever been before in my life. That’s becoming the priority over my career, over any amount of money that I make, and it is a good place to be. 

I want to back up just a bit and pose the question, “Why is it important for somebody to learn about masculine energy, about feminine energy, about relationships?” These discussions that we’re having, what’s in it for people to even listen to these discussions? Why does somebody need to know this stuff? 

Graham: 

One of the important reasons is that there’s great pressure nowadays, for very understandable reasons, for everyone to be the same. There’s been a history of male domination. That history has been littered with men fighting and dominating and abusing women. There’s been a reaction to that. The feminist movement is trying to give some strength back to women. It’s great that this gets resolved, but one of the side issues has been a tendency for everyone to move in the same way. Women at work have had to become more masculine in order to achieve, and they’ve taken that into their private lives. So many women have become more masculine. In response many men have become softer and weaker. 

Chris: 

When you say, “women have become more masculine”, is it to make up for the fact that they used to attach themselves to a man and that man would be there to take care of them. Now, men are leaving those women for younger models and the women find themselves needing to be strong because they’re on their own, later on in life. 

Graham: 

Oh, they need to because that model of femininity is based on the idea of a relationship. I know many women in their thirties who are single, they’re divorced or they haven’t married yet and they’re desperately looking for a man, not to take care of them, but a man that they can have polarity with. 

Chris: 

When you say, “polarity”, what do you mean?

Graham:

Polarity is an energetic thing, it’s sometimes sexual. A relationship is based on, at a very basic level, a sexual polarity between a more dominant and a more submissive partner.

Chris:

So, the dominant would be the male, masculine energy, the submissive would be the female energy.

Graham:

Generally, yes, but not necessarily so. A relationship can work equally well the other way around, where the female is perhaps the stronger, more dominant one.

Chris:

If the female is the more stronger, dominant one is, does that mean they’re in their masculine energy? Or is it possible for them to be stronger and more dominant in their feminine energy?

Graham:

I see the simple description of masculine and feminine as too crude. It’s not a simple duality where you move from masculine to feminine. In the work I do, I talk a lot about different qualities. I talk about there being six qualities in masculine energy and six qualities in feminine energy. They’re different qualities that we have in our lives. So, we can be a masculine, but a compassionate, man. We can be a caring and a nurturing man, but still be masculine. 

Chris: 

When you say compassionate, when you say nurturing, are those feminine energetic qualities that we’re embracing and bring into masculine energy?

Graham: 

Yes. Equally, a woman can be very feminine but, at work, be focused, powerful and successful, but they’re still not in their masculine. They have to take on the masculine qualities of focus and dynamism to achieve, but they retain their femininity. You can see it’s more complex than it seems. 

Chris: 

When we think back to the point of “what is the value in it for somebody to really understand about masculine energy?” are the conversations that we’re having more important for a man or a woman to listen to and learn about these issues? 

Graham: 

Both, because one of the things about polarity is that we fire off each other. I think everyone would understand that we’re programmed to be in relationships, in pairs. It’s a biological, a psychological imperative, it’s something that we all seek. The sense of masculinity or femininity exist to fire off each other. Cheta and I found that, when we started having a relationship, we realised we started because I’d grown stronger as a man. 

My growing stronger as a man enabled Cheta to go deeper into her femininity, because her ability to trust me allowed her to let go of some of the masculine qualities that she’d adopted to help her through life.
Chris: 

So, she was able to trust you because of how you showed up.
Now, I’m going to ask you a point-blank question. If somebody is in their masculine energy, is it part of their masculinity to conquer others sexually or is it just part of the psyche of the man, himself? Is it part of what is hard-wired in biologically and chemically, as a man, to just be with one person or is it to conquer? 

You hear about people in the press, particularly politicians, the Bill 

Clinton’s of this world, about high-powered men that are addicted to how they spread their sexual energy in multiple directions. Where is the trust in that, or is it not necessary? 

Graham: 

That’s very true, there is no trust in that. The point is that a genetic, biological view of men and women is a very different view from the socialised view we have of living together in communities. On a simple basis, the species expands by mixing up the genes. In early stages it was very necessary for children not to be just born within a community because the genetic material can become smaller with the result that the race or tribe dies out. 

Chris: 

It was necessary for the man to spread his seed. 

Graham: 

The man had to go around spreading his seed into neighbouring communities. It was hard-wired into a man to have no control, no inhibitions, to spread his seed everywhere. You can see that behaviour not just in heterosexual relationships, but also in homosexual relationships. Men, if they drink or take drugs, will lose their inhibitions, and spread it everywhere. 

Chris: 

Now, that’s interesting. If they drink, or take drugs, they lose their inhibitions, it puts them into an altered state of mind and that causes them to be—what were we saying—less faithful perhaps, or less dependable for sure? 

Graham: 

Being faithful and dependable is a more socialised condition. It’s a socialised condition that’s necessary for bringing up families. One of the important things to consider, nowadays, is the social basis of family support. It means that male dependability is less important. 

Many women bring up families as single parents and the state supports them or they get work. So men are going back to… 

Chris: 

…doing whatever they do. Where’s the trust in that, once again? Is it possible for a woman to trust that in terms of a support system? 

Graham: 

No, but what has happened is often that trust has been transferred to the state or the wider family. Many women don’t trust—men full stop. 

Chris: 

Now, don’t you think, though, that that ruins relationships and families? When I look at the developmental stages that people will go through as a child, I think there are major gaps, areas that are missing, if a father is not present, if a man is not present. You have single mothers that are raising children, for whatever reason, or even single fathers. Don’t you get children that are lopsided, that are emotionally retarded, for lack of a better word. 

Graham: 

That’s what is happening, both men and women are growing up without the models, without the male and the female role models. Men are brought up, generally, by women and, in good relationships, the man is around to be a role model. In single-parent relationships, the women bring up the men, they do a great job, but they still don’t provide that male role model. 

Chris: 

How could they possibly have all the qualities that they need to create men?

Graham:

They can’t. If they try to, they can often give the wrong feminine role model. Men can grow up confused about what women are like. They grow up thinking women are the ones who are strong, they think that men are weak and they move into weakness that they don’t know how to get out of. The important thing about this work is often providing the male role models that men have not had. 

I was recently coaching a client who is in his early thirties, helping him go through a simple process of giving up his day job and moving into being a musician, growing his life as an independent musician. What came out of it was that he realised he had never had a role model in his father. He’s about half my age, he’s the same age as my sons. The interesting thing was that he got so much from the coaching because he took what I was helping him understand, not as coaching in a sense, but as mentoring from an older male role model. That, for him, was very powerful. He said, “This is the first time in my life I’ve ever talked to an older man about intimate things.” 

Chris: 

When I look at my past I see that my parents were divorced when I was five years old. My father, he was a lovely man. I love him, he is my dad, he was not there when I was growing up. I did not have that male role model for a significant portion of time. When I look back I see the missing gaps in my emotional development. I’m not blaming Dad, I’m not pointing a finger. I’m just saying that there were things that I found were missing as a child. I had to come to grips, later on in life, with the fact it was okay for me, as a child, to feel scared. It was okay that I was sad, that I didn’t have my father there. I had to embrace those things because, as a child, I ran from them, I got tough, got strong. In the process I stopped allowing myself to be vulnerable, I stopped allowing myself to be emotional, to have emotions. I put up walls around myself, emotionally, which prevented me from having great relationships. It is not unusual, I bet. 

Graham: 

No. You’re probably in the majority and that’s why this work is so crucial. I’m very lucky, I had a stable childhood. My parents stayed together. I had a good father who was remote, he was at work most of the time, but he had strength. I have two sons in their early thirties and I’ve been careful in how I bring them up. They’re independent now and I show them how to live through how I live, so their best model is just looking at me. 

I show strength with them, I don’t show weakness. I show purpose in how I comment on what they are doing. I give them independence. I show them that, as men, they can grow up and make their own decisions. Starting at the age of sixteen, I allowed them to make their own decisions. I’m intimate with them. We hug and we kiss. We reveal our weaknesses. I’ll reveal my weaknesses to them to help them see that you can be a man, have issues and weaknesses, and things that need to be sorted out. 

Chris: 

I know that there are many men that struggle with that. They don’t want to show that they have weaknesses. They don’t want to show that they have issues, myself included, I throw myself into that pile. More recently I’ve become more vulnerable. The world sees a little bit more of who I am underneath, but I’ve known that sometimes it is easier to look at other people than it is to look at oneself. 

I’ve known many men that are tough on the exterior. You know things are happening on the interior that just weren’t being shown, that’s got to be a torturous place. I’m thinking it’s got to be a torturous place to be a man where you’ve nobody to talk to. You’ve nobody and so you aren’t revealing who you really are. I throw myself into that and say, “Yes, it was a torturous place. It has been a torturous place.” That’s a sad, a lonely place. 

You know, I’ve been sad, I’ve been lonely underneath everything and that doesn’t lend itself to good relationships, that lends itself to needy relationships. It lends itself to compulsive behaviour to fill up the neediness or the loneliness underneath and attracting the wrong types of partners.

Graham:

Attracting the wrong types of partners; it leads to alcoholism, drug addiction.

Chris:

It leads to any kind of addiction, drug addiction, alcohol, television, food, whatever…

Graham:

A lot of men will see that being a man is somehow being tough.

Chris:

It’s glamourised in the media, in television and movies. 

Graham: 

As men we’re all capable of putting on this tough mask. What we often do as men is put the mask—I’m tough, I’m masculine—and underneath, we’re a complete raging mess. We don’t want to reveal this to anyone. So we drink or we have sex. 

Chris: 

Compulsive sex. 

Graham: 

Men have affairs at work with young secretaries who love it because they like the power of an older man, but underneath they’re a complete mess. What we need to do as men is to completely rewire that and go right back down and get to know what the mess is underneath, accept what’s there and find a true – if you like – authentic revealing of our masculinity. Now, you may come back and appear to be as tough as before, but it’s real. Underneath, there’s nothing going on that you’re not willing to talk about. 

Chris: 

With other men—masculine relationships. 

Graham: 

Masculine relationships are critical. I mean, men need to go off and climb mountains with other men, or go to the bar and drink too many beers, because they want to talk through their issues.

Chris: 

I tell you what, I’ve never, all my life growing up—up until now—had relationships with other men, that would have been the last thing on my checklist. You ask me, do I want to have a relationship with a man? No freakin’ way, and I’m not talking about a romantic relationship. 

Where did I find my comfort? It was hanging out with women. I always had a girlfriend, I was always in some sort of a relationship and they were likely, as I look back, co-dependent relationships where I wasn’t a whole human being coming in, I was only being half a person. 

It’s funny because the media glamourises being a half person, being incomplete; people say, “you complete me.” Well, that’s pretty screwed up. If you’re a half human being coming in to a relationship, finding another half human to screw, and you come together and make a whole human being – that’s kind of undershooting the mark. If it’s two whole human beings coming together you can create something far more. 

Graham: 

There’s a very simple image that demonstrates this. It’s what I call an ‘A-relationship’ or an ‘H-relationship’. An ‘A’ is two people leaning against each other.

Chris: 

Co-dependency. 

Graham: 

Co-dependency. One goes, it collapses. An ‘H-relationship’ is two people standing in their own power, with a strong relationship. Before Cheta and I got together, we were great friends. 

Chris: 

How long have you been together, by the way? 

Graham: 

We’ve known each other for about four years now. We got married last week. 

Chris: 

I know, congratulations! 

Graham: 

A week ago today, in Ely Cathedral in England. 

Chris: 

Ely Cathedral and now, we’re in Venice, I know you guys are staying on for another week for your honeymoon. That’s awesome. 

Graham: 

Before we actually got into a relationship I was trying to create a relationship and I was doing what you were talking about. I was in that place of trying to fulfill a need and she said something incredible to me. She said, “Look, you’re a great friend, but, I don’t need another girlfriend. I need a man. I need a relationship with a man.” 

Chris: 

What did that mean, “I don’t need another girlfriend?” Cheta, what did you mean? 

Cheta: 

He was great to talk to and to chat with and you know, have lovely conversations with—and—that’s all it was. There was no polarity. There was no sense of me being able to trust him. I could talk to any of my friends the way I was talking to him. 

Chris: 

So, you didn’t feel like you were able to trust him at that point, you didn’t feel like you had any polarity. What did you have instead? What were you receiving?

Cheta: 

There was a great friendship. There was equality. We could work together, we could laugh together, socialise together, but that was it. I actually sent him on his way. I sent him packing.

Chris: 

So, what changed things? 

Cheta: 

He changed. 

Chris: 

How so? How did he change from your perspective? 

Cheta: 

He stepped into his centred power. 

Chris: 

How did that manifest? 

Cheta: 

How do I put it in words? We were having this conversation, he was in Seattle and I was in England and we were having a Skype conversation. He was saying, “I want to be in relationship with you.” 

Chris: 

So he was Sleepless in Seattle. 

Cheta: 

He was Sleepless in Seattle, trying to persuade me on the phone that this was such a great idea. 

Graham: 

Because it was a great idea. 

Cheta: 

I said, “Well, I can make up my own mind, thank you very much. I don’t need persuasion.” I said, “There’s this intervention that I once saw where a man stands there, as a woman throws all her emotion at him, everything that he’s done wrong. He’s just standing there, being strong and present.” 

Chris: 

Just like in a seminar-type environment? 

Cheta: 

Yes. 

Chris: 

Okay. So, she’s throwing all the stuff and she’s acting chaotic. 

Cheta: 

Yes, exactly. He was just taking it. His instruction was: just take it, just look at her and love her. I used that as an example with Graham, saying, “that is what I want.” How do you put that in words?

Chris: 

Why is that so important to you? I’m still trying to grasp this concept of letting somebody go off like crazy and standing there as a pillar and loving. This is new to me. I can see the value. What’s so attractive to you Cheta as a woman, about that? 

Cheta: 

I can actually be a woman around that. 

Chris: 

So you can be authentic. 

Cheta: 

I can be authentic.
We’ve moved beyond the people we were when we met because we 

grow and we evolve. But what was amazing for me to realise was that I had these rules. I had to control, I had to keep myself grounded, not being taken off into this chaotic energy, because that was just too scary for me. With Graham stepping into his power and that groundedness—which I tested quite a bit before I actually could trust him. 

Graham: 

Oh yes. Oh, I was tested and hurt, and hurt because I was being challenged and I didn’t like it.

Chris:

I don’t like that, and I’ve been in that position too. 

Cheta: 

Then he stayed there, then it opened up for me the possibility that I could actually become more of me and allow that energy, allow my own feelings to be more present.

Chris: 

Did you know what you were doing in terms of testing him? Was it a conscious activity? 

Cheta: 

No. 

Chris: 

It was just unconscious.

Oh, I have to tell you, there’s been a girl in my life – and I’m trying not to share too much about this, but at the same time bring it up as an example. She was like that. As we talk about it, I think, okay, maybe she was just testing me. In fact I know she was, as we bring this all up now. I wasn’t being present. I loved her; I still love her to this day very much. Is she the relationship for me, that remains to be revealed. We’re not in a relationship today. We have a relationship, but we’re not in a romantic relationship. 

She would throw all sorts of stuff and say, “why aren’t you present? I need it, you know, I need to know if you were the person that I’m meant to be with, come and do this.” She was demanding attention all the freakin’ time, every moment and I just – I couldn’t do it. I would have business things going on and other things happening and my head would be elsewhere. 

Granted, I wasn’t present anywhere and that was part of my issue. This is part of the stuff that I’ve been working through, the ability to be present , be a human being and be emotionally available and to have that level of intimacy. These are all breakthroughs that I’ve been exploring and adding to on a day- by-day basis, but she needed it every single moment. My reaction was not to look at her and love her. My reaction was to say, “Well, then take a hike. I don’t need this.” 

I’m being honest; it makes me sound like a jerk, but… 

Graham: 

No. I saw a very interesting interaction the day before yesterday, here in Venice, between an Italian man and woman in their mid-thirties. They were sitting in a café next to us and, suddenly, she got up exploded and walked out. She walked down the lane outside and stopped. You could tell she was really angry. I’ve no idea what happened, I heard nothing of it. He got up and he just followed her. He didn’t go rushing after her to grab her or try and sort it out. He just followed her and took his glass of wine. She stopped halfway down the lane and he got up to her and just stood there as she did what an emotional person – and women are emotional people – do, she exploded. She was leaning towards him, shouting at him, gesturing, going on and on. 

That must have gone on for a good ten minutes. He just stood, and all I saw him say was the occasional word, but he was present. He was listening to what she said, not reacting to it, not arguing, not doing anything, allowing her to vent until it had all gone. So, the energy fell out of it. Then, he talked and she listened and had a cigarette She vented again. This went on for about twenty minutes and slowly her emotion and her anger dissipated. 

They ended up hugging and talking and walking away together. What he had done there was that he had just been present with her. He had just given her all the attention; whatever happened, she needed some attention. There was something going on and she just needed to have him there and he allowed that. He didn’t go, you know, “How dare you shout at me?” or whatever was going on. What came out of it was quite strong. They walked away together, quite strong. Whatever happened, something had cleared. 

Chris: 

I have to say, what happens when as a man I need to vent? What happens when I need to get my stuff out, where I’m angry, and I don’t want to… I know we’re running out of time here, so we’re going to have to talk about that on our next lunch or our next breakfast. Graham: 

I have a great story about that. 

Chris: 

I want to hear it. Let’s wait and then we’ll go over that. Thank you for joining us here and look forward to the next discussion because I want that question answered. 

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