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Breathing into LDT properly using reverse breathing

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7 minutes ago, GSmaster said:

 

How do you see those bodies? Eyes open?

Open or closed

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Reverse breathing is used for a specific purpose -- to generate heat in the lower dantien. Why do you want to do that?

If you're only starting to become sensitive to energy and want to work on the LDT,  just regular breathing, with the mind resting in the navel region of the stomach should suffice. 

 

In my case, the LDT 'fired' up while doing the "embracing the tree" standing meditation form, while looking into the horizon. There was a beautiful sunset and the sky was lit up like a brilliant painting with splashes of blue, orange, red and gray. Suddenly, I felt a twitch in the lower belly, and a swirling smokey sensation started inside the stomach -- that was my first conscious experience of the lower dan tien.

 

With time, when you do standing and/or qigong/moving meditation, the energy will start pooling in the lower stomach.

 

When you start getting a sense of the energy pooling there, fine tune your sense by letting it condense further down into a denser ball of sensation. Eventually, you will get to a point when the ball will become like a golf ball. The ball has a tiny hole in it, which is where you let the energy feeling go into. You might even see it in your inner-space, the energy pouring into that tiny pinhole of the golf ball like oil fills into a bottle with a narrow hole (or like when you fill the liquid soap dispenser in your bathroom from a larger container of liquid soap). It could also seem like fine silk threads falling into a ball of silk.

 

IMHO, don't focus on reverse breathing. Develop your LDT naturally using moving meditation and zhan zhuang standing.  

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3 hours ago, Spotless said:

Please look them up - fairly simple concepts to read up on.

 

I do differentiate between gross subtle and subtle in the sense that the gross subtle bodies are typically fairly easily seen and active and formed in most people while other subtle bodies are generally not easily seen, active or formed. Gross subtle would be the chakras, various energy channels - the majority of what is written about.

 

In most adults the gross subtle bodies are relatively undeveloped with generally two main centers in which trance awareness is most vibrant.


I’m alone thinking that this is BS? Or maybe I don’t know something?) 

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9 minutes ago, Power Of Will13 said:


I’m alone thinking that this is BS? Or maybe I don’t know something?) 

You don't know something. Why not empty your cup and ask if you don't know?

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Breathing into the lower dan tien LDT and filling it with energy is not dangerous.

 

However - packing it - as some martial arts practice is dangerous. 

 

So far the arguments and fears regarding breathing into the LDT come from the Marital side and they should be concerned as per those things sighted in my original post - manipulation of energy - energy packing - intense energy holding - this is all generally ego driven, dangerous and in actuality very low level practice however it may seem to those in its grip. It is certainly cool in the Martial circles but to those true heavyweights - they went way past this stuff in their youth and do not consider it as a particularly high high point of attainment - its more mechanical than an accomplishment of any inner refinement.

 

It is true - there is more of a concern about reverse breathing - but again it depends on the method and objective and the sanity of those practicing reverse breathing. If it is from a practice on the Martial side - then caution is a good idea - caution that you understand what packing and holding and constricting and forcing energy can do to you - that it is real and can seriously screw you up. But if you are simply doing reverse breathing and have taken the time to understand the general basics then it is quite safe as long as this does not become some long fixation or a normal way of breathing for you (in other words - you have taken the time to understand the general basics - and by general basics I mean pretty much everything that is at the basis of good practice.

 

 

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A warning that I have not seen mentioned here and which I have come across in China from martial artists, TCM doctors, and qigong practitioners is that regularly placing the mind upon the lower dantian (意守下丹田 in Chinese), especially in young men, can lead to excessive nocturnal emissions and premature ejaculation (I do not know what, if any, problems it could cause for women of any age). Various personal experiences from my own practice in my 20s as well as 30s lead me to put credence in this warning.

 

There are instructions unique to different schools which can mitigate this problem and take advantage of its causes to transform what has built up and is destined to "spill" for other uses. There are also Chinese schools that teach to avoid placing the mind upon the lower dantian at all. As always, best probably necessary to find an instructor in person if possible (the perennial advice). I cannot offer further details, I apologize.

 

To be clear, I don't know anything about breathing into the lower dantian, that's not what I'm talking about. But since whatever that is sounds like it involves keeping mental attention there, figured I should share this information.

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3 minutes ago, Walker said:

A warning that I have not seen mentioned here and which I have come across in China from martial artists, TCM doctors, and qigong practitioners is that regularly placing the mind upon the lower dantian (意守下丹田 in Chinese), especially in young men, can lead to excessive nocturnal emissions and premature ejaculation (I do not know what, if any, problems it could cause for women of any age). Various personal experiences from my own practice in my 20s as well as 30s lead me to put credence in this warning.

 

There are instructions unique to different schools which can mitigate this problem and take advantage of its causes to transform what has built up and is destined to "spill" for other uses. There are also Chinese schools that teach to avoid placing the mind upon the lower dantian at all. As always, best probably necessary to find an instructor in person if possible (the perennial advice). I cannot offer further details, I apologize.

 

To be clear, I don't know anything about breathing into the lower dantian, that's not what I'm talking about. But since whatever that is sounds like it involves keeping mental attention there, figured I should share this information.

 

The most useful information here from a qualified professional--thank you, as always, Walker. 

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2 hours ago, Earl Grey said:

The most useful information here from a qualified professional--thank you, as always, Walker. 

 

_/\_ Not trying to pass anything off as cardinal truths, just sharing a little bit of advice handed to me along the way... And keep these 20 year old aspiring wizard boys from having to waste all their money on Tide :D

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5 hours ago, Walker said:

A warning that I have not seen mentioned here and which I have come across in China from martial artists, TCM doctors, and qigong practitioners is that regularly placing the mind upon the lower dantian (意守下丹田 in Chinese), especially in young men, can lead to excessive nocturnal emissions and premature ejaculation (I do not know what, if any, problems it could cause for women of any age). Various personal experiences from my own practice in my 20s as well as 30s lead me to put credence in this warning.

This is probably a warning against exerting attention on the LDT, not simply resting the mind on the lower dan tien. Most people invariably overdo their focus -- as is the way of the doing mind, and especially the modern mind -- going overboard. Resting on the LDT is simply like laying your palm on a tabletop. How much effort is required to do that?

 

5 hours ago, Walker said:

 

There are instructions unique to different schools which can mitigate this problem and take advantage of its causes to transform what has built up and is destined to "spill" for other uses. There are also Chinese schools that teach to avoid placing the mind upon the lower dantian at all.

Never come across one -- can you share some names/references?

5 hours ago, Walker said:

As always, best probably necessary to find an instructor in person if possible (the perennial advice). I cannot offer further details, I apologize.

This is 100% sound advice. 

 

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11 hours ago, dwai said:

This is probably a warning against exerting attention on the LDT, not simply resting the mind on the lower dan tien. Most people invariably overdo their focus -- as is the way of the doing mind, and especially the modern mind -- going overboard. Resting on the LDT is simply like laying your palm on a tabletop. How much effort is required to do that?

 

This is a good observation. However, that's not how the advice was presented. I don't pretend it is a one-size-fits-all cardinal truth (I don't think it is), and it always seems to be the case that a reasonable teacher will emphasize that there are caveats and factors related to an individual's constitution, age, diet, mental habits, sex life, etc, etc. At the end of the day, the most important constant seems to be having an experienced guide on hand who is capable of giving individualized advice to his/her students when need be. 

 

Quote

Never come across one -- can you share some names/references?

 

I cannot, and they would not help much. One is from within the Longmen school (not a branch of it that I have ever seen mentioned in English) and the other from Yang style taiji (a branch that believes that the source of Yang-style taiji was Zhang Sanfeng). There are soooo many different interpretations of what Longmen Daoism or Yang style taijiquan are that I think those two names in and of themselves are almost meaningless. Any two Yang style teachers in the same borough of New York probably teach entirely different things, to say nothing of a Yang style teacher in Brooklyn versus one in China. As for the Longmen, at this point I don't even know if more than 5% of practitioners even bother to read any of Qiu Chuji, et al's writings, and sometimes it seems like if a method ever existed in China, there's somebody out there teaching it and calling it "Dragon Gate"... I predict within 20 years we will see Dragon Gate chakra-balancing essential oil crystal reiki and Nine Dragon Gate Secrets to Getting Rich (I'm not joking).

 

What I can share is this: both approaches involved the mingmen, with the understanding that it has a role in the conversion of jing to qi, and therefore prevents "spillage" while also taking advantage of what would "spill." The Longmen teacher still taught lower dantian focus and qigong, and combined this with intentional qi guiding using the mingmen. The mingmen is a key factor in this instruction, but not the only one. The Yang style taijiquan teacher eschews with any and all lower dantian practice and uses the mingmen directly.

 

Neither method is simple enough to guess what it involves (it'd take a page of writing to try and clearly explain either), so I hope sharing what I just did does not lead to at-home experimentation. Also, practicing either method without a teacher to help guide the process would be dangerous. I am certainly not qualified for such a role, so I'm not going to add any more details.

 

Finally, if somebody already has a good teacher who is teaching a practice involving the lower dantian, my intent is not to suggest that one should doubt one's teacher. I shared all of the above more for the DIY and "self-made-man" crowds.

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18 hours ago, Walker said:

 (I do not know what, if any, problems it could cause for women of any age)

 

If anyone thinks that the situation with practicing males -- what they should or shouldn't undertake, what is safe or unsafe -- is unclear, I can assure you that the situation with women is a hundred times worse, and reliable gender-specific instructions are a hundred times harder to find.  (Well, don't get me started I tell myself, and abandon the desire to go into the why's and wherefore's.)   I've come across these opinions though (leaving out a few that I don't find worthy of consideration, like the "slaying of the Red Dragon" and "devolving the breasts" misogynistic crap):

 

1. Women don't gain much from focusing on the lower dantien, which is naturally well developed in them anyway, and must instead use the middle dantien in most situations where males are asked to use the lower one.  By focusing on the LDT males are trying to create a "spiritual womb" of sorts and take their focus down from where it innately tends to "pop up," excessively exciting the heart-mind and neglecting those parts of their spiritual life that are about nurturing, patience, the hidden, deeply yin potentials.  Women, by the same token, should lift their spirit that is already down by virtue of their innately more yin nature, and develop power in their heart and in their breasts, the outward, "yangmost" part of their femininity.  

 

2. LDT practices are unisex.

 

3. Women can fix their female-specific difficulties (e.g. menstrual) by focusing on the LDT.  

 

4. Women can exacerbate their female-specific difficulties (e.g. menstrual) by focusing on the LDT.

 

5. It depends on the specific practice, school, and goals.

 

Personally, I find that reverse breathing into the LDT while the breath is in no way forced is at least not harmful, but I went through a lot of deep feeling body-inclusive healing which was accompanied by spontaneous reverse breathing at a humongous rate and for unbelievable stretches of time with no sign of hyperventilation because it was happening in context, as part of the systemically and sequentially (important!) retrieved earliest memories.  I believe any forced or excessively focused LDT breathing can trigger those unconscious systemic (not in the head) memories out of sequence and out of context, and that's where the danger really lies.  No one who hasn't connected their unconscious repressed earliest memories to consciousness knows what lies beneath.  We repress for a reason and forget for a reason.  I wouldn't raise the sleeping dogs just to see if they bite.  They do.    

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12 hours ago, Walker said:

 

This is a good observation. However, that's not how the advice was presented. I don't pretend it is a one-size-fits-all cardinal truth (I don't think it is), and it always seems to be the case that a reasonable teacher will emphasize that there are caveats and factors related to an individual's constitution, age, diet, mental habits, sex life, etc, etc. At the end of the day, the most important constant seems to be having an experienced guide on hand who is capable of giving individualized advice to his/her students when need be. 

 

 

I cannot, and they would not help much. One is from within the Longmen school (not a branch of it that I have ever seen mentioned in English) and the other from Yang style taiji (a branch that believes that the source of Yang-style taiji was Zhang Sanfeng). There are soooo many different interpretations of what Longmen Daoism or Yang style taijiquan are that I think those two names in and of themselves are almost meaningless. Any two Yang style teachers in the same borough of New York probably teach entirely different things, to say nothing of a Yang style teacher in Brooklyn versus one in China. As for the Longmen, at this point I don't even know if more than 5% of practitioners even bother to read any of Qiu Chuji, et al's writings, and sometimes it seems like if a method ever existed in China, there's somebody out there teaching it and calling it "Dragon Gate"... I predict within 20 years we will see Dragon Gate chakra-balancing essential oil crystal reiki and Nine Dragon Gate Secrets to Getting Rich (I'm not joking).

I'm not surprised about that...

12 hours ago, Walker said:

 

What I can share is this: both approaches involved the mingmen, with the understanding that it has a role in the conversion of jing to qi, and therefore prevents "spillage" while also taking advantage of what would "spill." The Longmen teacher still taught lower dantian focus and qigong, and combined this with intentional qi guiding using the mingmen. The mingmen is a key factor in this instruction, but not the only one. The Yang style taijiquan teacher eschews with any and all lower dantian practice and uses the mingmen directly.

 

Neither method is simple enough to guess what it involves (it'd take a page of writing to try and clearly explain either), so I hope sharing what I just did does not lead to at-home experimentation. Also, practicing either method without a teacher to help guide the process would be dangerous. I am certainly not qualified for such a role, so I'm not going to add any more details.

 

Finally, if somebody already has a good teacher who is teaching a practice involving the lower dantian, my intent is not to suggest that one should doubt one's teacher. I shared all of the above more for the DIY and "self-made-man" crowds.

I've come across this perspective earlier too. The folks I heard referring to the mingmen only don't de-emphasize the LDT. In any case, the LDT is connected to the mingmen anyway. In my experience, the energy flows out of the LDT into the mingmen, and then circulates up the back and into the arms/fingers. 

 

In the tradition I train in, we initially (by that I mean intermediate level) focus on the LDT and the spine (different ways of generating and releasing power), and eventually give up that focus entirely and focus on the surface of the weiqi field (and more). 

 

Beginners usually don't feel anything and should work on just getting their movements and postures right for a long time. 

 

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54 minutes ago, GSmaster said:

 

Sad situation.

Beginners are usually those who can feel Qi.

I’ve met only a handful who can. I think it’s got a lot to do with the age of said beginner. Usually in taiji the beginners are a bit on the grayer side (or hard style martial artists). 

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It's anyone's guess what people feel when they believe they feel qi.  A litmus test would be to insert some acupuncture needles in a few of their acupoints (of course do it correctly, so the practitioner's skill has to be without doubt), then give them a schematic drawing of the human body and ask them to draw the meridians where they could feel qi.  (Provided they didn't study these first of course.)  Interestingly, a percentage of acupuncture patients can.  The percentage is small, but I think these precious individuals are the atavistic reminder of the time when the whole system was developed by folks who could really, really feel qi.

 

Modern people feel "something," but the forgotten senses may outnumber the retained ones.  

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27 minutes ago, GSmaster said:

 

Qi does not have to move inside the body, it can move outside.

 

Well, yes, many things move outside the body that we can feel, and all of them have qi.  Wind, e.g..  Rain.  Warm air, cold air.  The stock market.  Internet memes.  My point is, "to feel qi" is something different, and since in the body it has its proprietary meridians and a method exists to amplify its movement there, what I proposed may be one way to make sure that when someone "feels qi" he or she feels something different from physical, psychological or ideational phenomena.  Qi phenomena are harder for most people to perceive, whether inside or outside the body.  They are part and parcel of all other phenomena, but direct perceptions of qi, whether outside or inside the body, may not be easily told apart from its effects.  Think of qi as the "cause" of whatever we feel, usually hidden deeper than the "effect" and not interchangeable with it.     

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46 minutes ago, GSmaster said:

 

It depends on teacher master school, some taichi masters who teach dont know of Qi.

I think It’s more on the students — usually people who operate from a strong sense of self are too closed off. They use their will to power through things (which is how most modern/urban/western people are - to me they are one and the same...even in Asia or other parts of the world). It has to do with the dominant culture they subscribe to.

 

But I’m sure you have your reasons to feel the way you do.

 

Do share your thoughts  :) 

 

 

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10 hours ago, GSmaster said:

 

It depends like I said from Master / School.

I call beginners people who can sense Qi, and Adepts people who can See Qi.

 

Interesting comment: 

 

In any kind of serious Zen tradition if you cannot see you 'Qi' (much as they don't use those terms) you are barely a beginner, you are still 'asleep'. The gateway state is the ability to see your breath, to 'watch' your breath enter your nose, both to valorise it and to correctly position your eyes on the central 'pole'. It appears as a type of flowing heat haze at first, buts gets progressively denser, and is not effected by any draft or the lightning conditions. You then move on to the whole staring at a plain wall until you start to see the Qi flowing in front of you in a tangible way, which you can then link to your breathing. Both of these practices are essential to progress in Zazen, sad that most western 'teachers' now say this guidance should not be taken literally.

 

Off topic but just for the craic - on RAB for LDT rotation, played with this practise for 10 years and if you don't use your Mingmen then you are totally dependent on your inborn quality, your ancestral gift in terms of your progress. Sorry for the old school computing ref but utilising Mingmen works as a kind 'turbo' button in a similar way to using a correct root lock does. Its not for everyone, and this whole area is particularly complex, confusing and not a little dangerous for women, who should focus elsewhere, as was said above.          

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23 hours ago, Taomeow said:

It's anyone's guess what people feel when they believe they feel qi.  A litmus test would be to insert some acupuncture needles in a few of their acupoints (of course do it correctly, so the practitioner's skill has to be without doubt), then give them a schematic drawing of the human body and ask them to draw the meridians where they could feel qi.  (Provided they didn't study these first of course.)  Interestingly, a percentage of acupuncture patients can.  The percentage is small, but I think these precious individuals are the atavistic reminder of the time when the whole system was developed by folks who could really, really feel qi.

 

Modern people feel "something," but the forgotten senses may outnumber the retained ones.  

Another good way is to have someone apply pressure on the acupuncture points in the way of say zen shiatsu. In my experience if someone can feel Qi, they will feel the activation/flow in affected meridian. This (what you outlined) is a better litmus test for beginners than see if they can feel “energy” outside their body. 
 

Most beginners are closed from heart and above — so they can’t feel energy. For them, ‘energy’ will trigger emotional responses. 

The ‘outside the body’ sensitivity comes when there is higher level of sung. 

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21 minutes ago, dwai said:

The ‘outside the body’ sensitivity comes when there is higher level of sung. 

 

For some purposes, yes.  For others, we can -- gasp -- use our brain! :D I'm talking about classical space-time feng shui which is all about detecting, analyzing and using complex patterns of qi in the environment.  I am yet to meet a human being who can feel everything a luopan can show to a trained eye equipped with taoist education.  Qi is the primary subject of study of many ancient taoist sciences, both internal and external.  One can feel some of the outside qi with sung proficiency -- but not the qi of the whole universe.  For this, one needs either an extensive education, or else to embody tao (but then one might not be human anymore... ;) )

 

I love taoist sciences.  Talk about "holistic..."  They don't leave out in the cold a single human ability when tackling any qi-related subject (which is to say, any subject in existence).  Not even the intellect.  :)   

 

 

 

imgbin-china-compass-luopan-feng-shui-feng-shui-compass-1vpRpn4zqwejxyBAkaywB3shi.jpg.eec62237c2f48f8b6172af9f9e30f5ef.jpg

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Taomeow said:

 

For some purposes, yes.  For others, we can -- gasp -- use our brain! :D I'm talking about classical space-time feng shui which is all about detecting, analyzing and using complex patterns of qi in the environment.  I am yet to meet a human being who can feel everything a luopan can show to a trained eye equipped with taoist education.  Qi is the primary subject of study of many ancient taoist sciences, both internal and external.  One can feel some of the outside qi with sung proficiency -- but not the qi of the whole universe.  For this, one needs either an extensive education, or else to embody tao (but then one might not be human anymore... ;) )

I used to think that way. However, i think we and our circumstances (culture, society, etc etc) define our own limitations. The limitation is only in the mind. If the mind opens up, the universe can fit in it quite happily. :)

 

16 minutes ago, Taomeow said:

 

I love taoist sciences.  Talk about "holistic..."  They don't leave out in the cold a single human ability when tackling any qi-related subject (which is to say, any subject in existence).  Not even the intellect.  :)   

 

 

 

imgbin-china-compass-luopan-feng-shui-feng-shui-compass-1vpRpn4zqwejxyBAkaywB3shi.jpg.eec62237c2f48f8b6172af9f9e30f5ef.jpg

 

Very cool...what is it?

 

 

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1 minute ago, GSmaster said:

 

Meridians are close to physical body, even people who don't feel Qi will feel this thing.

 

Like I said before the only test for sensitivity is to apply energy projection from 3-5 meter distance and watch people tell exactly where he feels Qi.

 

This is passable after about 15 mins of training with real master and not a fucking joke you have been wasting your life with. :D

Oh, the enlightened one who studies non dualism.

:D Go on...tell us all how awesome you are. That is all this has been leading up to, hasn't it? 

Son, there's nothing you can do or show me that I've not seen before. 

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19 minutes ago, dwai said:

I used to think that way. However, i think we and our circumstances (culture, society, etc etc) define our own limitations. The limitation is only in the mind. If the mind opens up, the universe can fit in it quite happily. :)

 

 

 

Too metaphysical for a taoist pragmatist.  I just want to...  you know...  roam the root of heaven and earth.  :D     

 

20 minutes ago, dwai said:

Very cool...what is it?

 

 

That's a luopan, literally "south-pointing needle" (a compass pointing to the south magnetic pole) -- the ancient taoist tool used for discerning, differentiating, analyzing, and using (or avoiding) all kinds of qi in the environment.  It is studied and used in classical Xuan Kong or space-time feng shui which includes San He (Landscape & Formations), San Yuan (Flying Stars), Ba Zhai (Eight Mansions) etc. It is based on the taoist fundamentals and extensive empirical observations of natural earthly and celestial phenomena.  

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2 hours ago, Taomeow said:

 

Too metaphysical for a taoist pragmatist.  I just want to...  you know...  roam the root of heaven and earth.  :D     

 

 

That's a luopan, literally "south-pointing needle" (a compass pointing to the south magnetic pole) -- the ancient taoist tool used for discerning, differentiating, analyzing, and using (or avoiding) all kinds of qi in the environment.  It is studied and used in classical Xuan Kong or space-time feng shui which includes San He (Landscape & Formations), San Yuan (Flying Stars), Ba Zhai (Eight Mansions) etc. It is based on the taoist fundamentals and extensive empirical observations of natural earthly and celestial phenomena.  

That’s fascinating - a geomancy gadget. Do you have more info on this (knowing you, you surely do :) )and would like to share? 

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On 1/13/2020 at 8:35 PM, GSmaster said:

 

That's not a proof.

 

 

Proof is evidence that compels a mind to accept it as true.

 

Different people accept different evidence.

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