Tag Archives: zen

Guest Post: Success Is Failure

This is a guest post by: http://zenmusings.home.blog

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This notion may seem shocking, yet that is only because of our conditioning. In reality there is no success or failure, there is only the present moment, and the present moment cannot be a success or a failure. It just is.

What are you striving for? More. More of what?

The more you succeed in anything the greater is the need to go on succeeding and this perpetuating wheel only brings suffering and delusion.

The tribal man in the forests does not strive for more. He hunts for what he needs. He does not accumulate wealth, wealth matters not to him for he lives only for the present moment. He cannot hoard more food than will keep and in his community everything is shared, there is no striving to have more than his neighbour.

Why should we live any differently?

What does it matter to this present moment whether we have £100 pounds in the bank or £100,000? When your mind is always bent towards the future and what you think you need next, you miss out on the present moment. You miss out on really living.

We must enjoy life, enjoy what we do and be present every minute we do it. There is no future nor past, only now.
Do not think in terms of success or failure, rather make the most of every second, by just being present.

This is a guest post by: http://zenmusings.home.blog

Symbols #6: Zen Circle

Zen Circle is a symbol originated in Zen Buddhism that symbolizes effortlessness and enlightenment. The beauty with which is drawn itself is a replica of the message. The effortless brushstroke teaches us to just be.

Also known as Enso or the Infinity Circle, the Zen Circle conveys some of the most primary concepts of Zen Buddhism that is, enlightenment, effortlessness, and imperfection. It is drawn with a fluid elegance, which evokes peace and a sense of wholeness among the viewers.

Glossary Of Spiritual Terms

“A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Afterlife: The continuation of life after the body is medically dead.
Ahimsa: A Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist concept of refraining from harming any living beings.
Akashic Records: Claimed to be a universal collection of every thought, word, and action. Some think of it as the collective unconscious or the Universal Mind
Ancestor worship: Also known as Veneration of the dead, is based on a belief that the deceased, often ancestors, live on after death having the ability to influence the lives of the living on earth.
Angels:One of a class of spiritual beings; a celestial attendant of god. In medieval angelology, angels constituted the lowest of the nine celestial orders (seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations or dominions, virtues, powers, principalities or princedoms, archangels, and angels).
Ascetism: A lifestyle in which a person denies him/herself worldly pleasures as a virtuous way of spiritual discipline.
Astral Body:The astral body is a subtle body posited by many religious philosophers, intermediate between the intelligent soul and the physical body, composed of a subtle material.
Astral Plane: It is the world of the planetary spheres, crossed by the soul in its astral body on the way to being born and after death, and generally said to be populated by angels, spirits or other immaterial beings.
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Bahá’í Faith:The Bahá’í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá’u’lláh (“buh-howluh”)a Persian nobleman from Tehran in the 1860s. He left his life of princely comfort and security for spiritual pursuits. In the face of intense persecution and deprivation, he brought humanity a stirring new message of peace and unity.Today, there are about seven million Bahá’ís worldwide, most of whom live in non-Muslim Third World countries
Blessing: A favor or gift given by God which could bring good fortune, happiness,and loving grace.
Bliss: Supreme heavenly happiness; utter joy or contentment.
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Chakra:any of the seven major energy centres in the body
Chant:A short, simple melody, especially one characterized by single notes to which an indefinite number of syllables are intoned, used in singing psalms, canticles, etc., in church services.
Channelling:Psychic Channeling is a form of mediumship that encompasses the transfer of information and to communicate with the passed on souls.
Cosmology:The study of the physical universe considered as a totality of phenomena in time and space.
Consciousness:The state of being conscious; awareness of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.
Contemplation:Full or deep consideration; reflection
Creation myth:Symbolic narrative of the creation and organization of the world as understood in a particular tradition.
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Deism:A belief in the existence of a god on the evidence of reason and nature only, with rejection of supernatural revelation (distinguished from theism).
Deity:A god or goddess.
Dharma:Essential quality or character, as of the cosmos or one’s own nature.
Dhikr:A meeting of dervishes at which a phrase containing a name of god is chanted rhythmically to induce a state of ecstasy.
Dimension:Extension in time: Space-time has three dimensions of space and one of time.
Divinization:In Christian theology, it is the transforming effect of divine grace. Also known as theosis.
Duelism:Dualism is the concept that our mind is more than just our brain. This concept entails that our mind has a non-material, spiritual dimension that includes consciousness and possibly an eternal attribute.
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Emanationism: The doctrine that describes all existence as flowing from God, the First Reality, First Absolute, or Principle.
Enlightenment:A state of awakening in which the individual transcends desire and suffering and attains oneness, or Nirvana.
Entheogen:Any substance, such as a plant or drug, taken to bring on a spiritual experience.
Epiphany:A sudden realization of great truth.
Eschatology:a belief concerning death, the end of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humankind. It relates to Christian doctrines concerning the Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead, or the Last Judgment.
Esotericism:The practice of limiting knowledge to a small group who hold secret doctrines.
Eternal return: A concept where the universe is believed to be recurring, and will continue to recur, in a self-similar form an infinite number of times across infinite time and/or infinite space.
Eternity:Time without beginning or end;existing in infinite time. Or the endless state a soul enters into upon a person’s passing.
Eutheism: The belief that God exists and is good.
Existence:The state or fact of existing; being.
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Faith healing: A religious belief that the power of belief, prayer and faith in God can heal disease and sickness.
Fasting:A spiritual practice in many religions where a person voluntarily does not eating food for varying lengths of time.
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Gnosticism:A heretical movement of the 2nd-century Christian Church, teaching that esoteric knowledge (gnosis) of the supreme divine being enabled the redemption of the human spirit.
God: The name given to the one all knowing supreme creator of the universe
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Heaven:A place regarded in various religions as the abode of God (or the gods) and the angels, and of the good after death, often traditionally depicted as being above the sky.
Holy:Dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred: “the Holy Bible”; “the holy month of Ramadan”.
Hymn:A song of praise or thanksgiving to God or a deity.
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I Ching:An ancient Chinese manual of divination based on eight symbolic trigrams and sixty-four hexagrams, interpreted in terms of the principles of yin and yang.
Iconolatry:The worship of sacred images.
Inner peace:A state of inner harmony with the absence of fear and hostility.
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Japa:A spiritual discipline involving the meditative repetition of a mantra or name of God.
Jihad:In Islam, An individual’s striving for spiritual self-perfection.A Muslim holy war or spiritual struggle against infidels.
Jot: The Creator’s radiance illumines each and every soul when the spirit enters the body at birth.
Joy:To take great pleasure and rejoice.
Justice:The quality of being just; fairness.
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Karma:The total effect of a person’s actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person’s existence, regarded as determining the person’s destiny.
Koan:A paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment.
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Light: The Creator’s radiance illumines each and every soul when the spirit enters the body at birth. Also known as jot.
Love:A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.
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Mantra:A word or formula, as from the Hindu Veda, chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer.
Meditation:A practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.
Metaphysics:The branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, cause, identity, time, and space.
Miracle:An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God
Moksha:The ultimate spiritual goal, the soul’s release from the bonds of transmigration. The soul, once entered upon a bodily existence, remains trapped in a chain of successive rebirths until it has attains the perfection or enlightenment that allows it release. The methods by which release is sought and attained differ from one philosophical school to the next, but most schools consider moksha to be the highest purpose of life.
Muraqaba:The Sufi word for meditation. Literally it is an Arabic term which means “to watch over”, “to take care of”, or “to keep an eye”.
Mysticism:Belief that union with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect, may be attained through contemplation and self-surrender.
Myth:A traditional story, esp. one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.
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Namste:A Hindi salutation or greeting. Namaste means, “I bow to the divinity in you,” in accordance with the Advaita Vedānta doctrine that says ātman and Bráhman are one.
Neopaganism:Any of various religious movements arising chiefly in the United Kingdom and the United States in the late 20th century that combine worship of pagan nature deities, particularly of the earth, with benign witchcraft.
New Age:A broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture, with an interest in spirituality, mysticism, holism, and environmentalism
Nirvana:A transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and samsara.
Nondualism:Nondualism is the implication that things appear distinct while not being separate. The word’s origin is the Latin duo meaning “two”. The term can refer to a belief, condition, theory, practice, or quality.
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Oneness:Identity or harmony with someone or something
Openness:The quality or state of being open, ready to accept new suggestions, ideas, influences, or opinions.
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Pandeism:A form of deism; belief, based on rational examination of our universe and in a God which designed and created our universe by completely becoming it
Panentheism:The belief or doctrine that God is greater than the universe and includes and interpenetrates it
Pantheism:A doctrine that identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.
Parapsychology:The study of the evidence for psychological phenomena, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis, that are inexplicable by science.
Perception:The ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.
Pilgrimage:A journey to a sacred place or shrine.
Prakash:Physical manifestation of spiritual light, or jot, upon the birth of an enlightened beings.
Prayer: A reverent petition made to, or to commune with God, a god, or another object of worship.
Prophecy:A prediction of what will happen in the future.
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Qi(chee): The circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine.
Qigong:A Chinese system of physical exercises and breathing control related to tai chi.
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Reality: That which is real; an actual existence; that which is not imagination, fiction, or pretense; that which has objective existence, and is not merely an idea.
Reincarnation:Rebirth of the soul in another body.
Religion:A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
Repentance:To make a change for the better as a result of remorse or contrition for one’s sins.
Revelation:A manifestation of divine will or truth.
Revivalism:Belief in or the promotion of a revival of religious fervor.
Ritual:A religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order
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Sacrifice:A surrender of something of value as a means of gaining something more desirable or of preventing some evil
Sadhana:One of a number of spiritual practices or disciplines which lead to perfection, these being contemplation, asceticism, worship of a god, and correct living.
Saint:A person acknowledged as holy or virtuous.
Salvation:Preservation or deliverance from destruction, difficulty, or evil.
Satguru:A great teacher; a supremely wise guide.
Self-realization:The development or fulfillment of one’s potential.
Seven Deadly Sins:Also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of objectionable vices that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning fallen humanity’s tendency to sin. The currently recognized version of the list is usually given as wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
Seven Virtues:n Catholic catechism, the seven virtues refer to one of two lists of virtues, most commonly referring to the 4 cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, restraint or temperance, and courage or fortitude, and the 3 theological virtues of faith, hope, and love or charity; these were adopted by the Church Fathers.
Seven Heavenly Virtues: An alternative list that is opposed to the seven deadly sins, and consists of chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility.
Shabd Guru:Shabd means sound (or hymn), Guru means teacher or knowledge that transforms you. The simplest meaning is that Shabd Guru is a special sound or hymn that is a teacher.
Shamanism:Any religion similar to Asian shamanism (especially as practiced by certain Native American tribes). A basic principle of shamanism is the belief that everything has a spirit and is alive. The tree has a spirit, the rock has a spirit, my drum has a spirit, and yes, even this computer has a spirit. If everything has a spirit and is alive, we humans then find ourselves in a position of equality rather than dominance. If you follow this logic, you begin to realize that shamanism is a radical act. Shamans don’t follow the laws of man; they follow the laws of spirits. They don’t dominate the earth and its creatures; they strive to live in harmony and balance.
Shinto:A Japanese religion incorporating the worship of ancestors and nature spirits and a belief in sacred power (kami) in both animate and inanimate things. It was the state religion of Japan until 1945.
Shunyata:Central philosophical concept in Hinduism and Buddhism , denoting the lack of substance or independent reality of.
Simran:The realization of that which is of the highest aspect and purpose in one’s life’, thus introducing spirituality.
Soul:The spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.
Spiritism:The vital principle or animating force within living beings.
Spiritual Evolution:Spiritual evolution is the philosophical, theological, esoteric or spiritual idea that nature and human beings and/or human culture evolve along a predetermined cosmological pattern or ascent, or in accordance with certain pre-determined potentials.
Spirituality:A system of belief or religious practice based on supposed communication with the spirits of the dead, esp. through mediums.
Sufi whirling:A physically active meditation which originated among Sufis, and which is still practiced by the Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi order.
Sufism:Mystical movement within Islam that seeks to find divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God.
Supplication:To ask for humbly or earnestly, as by praying.
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Tao Te Ching:
Classic text of Chinese philosophy.
Tenrikyo:Largest and most successful of the modern Shinto sects in Japan.
Theism:Belief in the existence of a god or gods, esp. belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures.
Theosis:In Christian theology, it is the transforming effect of divine grace. Also known as divinization
Torah:In Judaism it is the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures. A scroll of parchment containing the first five books of the Hebrew.
A literary and philosophical movement, associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, asserting the existence of an ideal spiritual reality that transcends the empirical and scientific and is knowable through intuition.
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Unitarian Universalism:
A religious association of Christian origin that has no official creed and that considers God to be unipersonal, salvation to be granted to the entire human race, and reason and conscience to be the criteria for belief and practice.


Regard with feelings of respect and reverence; consider hallowed or exalted or be in awe of) “Fear God as your father”; “We venerate genius”


Represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience.
Meditation involving concentration on the body, or the insight that this provides.


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Yana (Buddhism):
In Buddhism, it represents an augmentation to the analogy of the spiritual path, to include the idea of various vehicles that can take the practitioner along that path.
Yin yang:Two principles, one negative, dark, and feminine (yin), and one positive, bright, and masculine (yang), whose interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things.
Yoga:A Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.


Meditation as practiced in Zen Buddhism.”

Source: http://www.universalonehealing.com/glossary/

Billions Of Years Ago, You Were A Big Bang

“It’s like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it’s dense, isn’t it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting. But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you’re a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don’t feel that we’re still the big bang. But you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually–if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning– you’re not something that’s a result of the big bang. You’re not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as–Mr so-and- so, Ms so-and-so, Mrs so-and-so–I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I’m that, too. But we’ve learned to define ourselves as separate from it.” – Alan Watts

Re-Thinking Hallucinations

“I want you to rethink your notion of what hallucination is.

Various dictionaries define hallucination as:

“A sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind.”
“Perception of objects with no reality.”
“A sensory experience in which a person can see, hear, smell, taste, or feel something that is not there.”
In our culture, the label “hallucination” has a strong negative connotation because it implies a thing is unreal and hence inferior.

The problem, of course, with these definitions is that they assume a naive realist paradigm. Meaning, they don’t take seriously the possibility that nothing may exist outside of mind. How can we ever distinguish a hallucination from a normal perception, given that the only thing we have of reality is perception itself? We can never validate our perceptions by matching them up to some other facts — not even in theory — because all facts must be perceived to be known. Perceptions are the only facts we’ve got! If hallucination is defined as a perception of something which isn’t really there, then that opens the possibility that the entire world is a hallucination, because you can NEVER be sure that there is anything behind your perceptions.

And that’s exactly right! The trouble is, people don’t take this conclusion seriously. They dismiss it as some philosophical abstraction.

If you’re like the typical person, you hold hallucination as a category of experience which is separate from ordinary “real” experience. To you, hallucinations are clearly unreal and inferior to real perceptions. But now I want you to consider the radical possibility that everything is a hallucination! Consider that there are not two categories of experience, one “real” and one “hallucinatory”, but only one category: hallucination. You might wonder, “But Leo… Why call this one category hallucination instead of perception?” Because hallucination is closer to the fact. Hallucination is defined as perception without an object. Which is EXACTLY what we’ve got! Which is why mystics all around the world have referred to reality as “a dream”, “an illusion”, “Maya”, etc.

Perception = hallucination! There is nothing else behind it! There is no physical, external world behind your everyday perceptions. Which literally means that what you think of as solid, tangible, physical, material reality is just a hallucination, albeit a rather persistent one — one which is shared by most of the people in your tribe. That is, until you start to play around with altered states of consciousness or psychedelics. Then you quickly realize how intangible, unreal, and hallucinatory your everyday experience was all along.

This is exactly why psychedelics are so effective. And also exactly why they are so demonized by mainstream culture. The problem with psychedelics from the social point of view is that they reveal the distinction between “real” and “unreal” to be an artificial construction. And that’s bad for business.

The problem with people who demonize psychedelics is that they assume that they will ingest this physical chemical substance which will then alter their physical material brain, conjuring up “just” hallucinations. So why bother trying it, right? It’s just going to be some wacky fantastical delusion which has no bearing on real physical life.

But this logic makes some overlooked existential assumptions: 1) An assumption is made that the distinction between “real” and “hallucinatory” is somehow inherent to reality rather than artificially constructed by human consensus. 2) An assumption is made that psychedelic experiences are less genuine or truthful than ordinary experiences. 3) An assumption is made that things like “the brain”, “the body”, “chemicals”, “reality” are all REAL physical things, and not themselves hallucinations or conceptual constructions. 4) An assumption is made that a hallucinated chemical cannot interact with a hallucinated brain to reveal the hallucinatory nature of hallucination. But what if everything you’ve ever experienced or known, including the idea that your experience is “real”, is just a hallucination? What if you’re begging the question due to paradigm lock?

Think of it this way: if you are lying in bed sound asleep, you can dream up a hallucinated alien chasing your hallucinated body while you fight it off with a hallucinated machine gun which can puncture its hallucinated skin resulting it a hallucinated victory and even a hallucinated feeling of joy. So in a dream — precisely BECAUSE everything is a hallucination — a hallucinated weapon is very useful. Without it, you might get eaten alive!

Now, what if what you call “reality” works just like that?

That would be quite the mindfuck! Which is why so many people who casually try psychedelics get terrified. If we are familiar with the deep lessons of epistemology, that’s exactly what we should expect when people make such deep existential assumptions so carelessly. You CANNOT accurately evaluate consciousness from a naive realist paradigm! The paradigm is so deeply flawed that the only way it can be sustained is by staying far away from any possible altered states of consciousness. Your life must be designed to maintain the consistency of your experience, because literally your entire sense of reality depends upon it. So if ever such a person happens to casually ingest a psychedelic substance, they have one of two choices: reject the experience, blaming it on the evil, delusional psychedelic, or swallow their pride, admit they were deeply wrong about the nature of reality, and have their entire paradigm overthrown.

Let me be very clear what I’m saying here: reality is literally a self-interactive hallucination, whether you’re on psychedelics or not. There is no such thing as “real”. The notion of a “reality” had to be constructed by humans! How else would it exist? It exists from the human’s point of view. The reason it SEEMS so real is precisely because there’s nothing to easily contrast it with — the hallucination is so all-encompassing you can’t see its edges.

To avoid this inconvenient truth, mainstream society expends a lot of energy spinning intricate webs of belief, ideologies, and rules to construct and maintain bubbles of delusion which insist that ordinary experience is really “real”. What society must tell you is, “No! Reality is really real! It is that way! We didn’t construct it. We promise! Trust us. What, are you crazy??? Do you want us to lock you up in the loony bin?” But the truth is, the notion of “reality” is just a social convention. It is a useful convention in order to get a normative grip over the minds of the masses so they can be manipulated towards the propagation of the species.

No wonder the world is so ideologically fucked up. People are eager to kill other people over mere webs of belief because the very nature of reality and the success of the species is at stake (for them). Now that’s what you call Maya at its finest!

The irony is that this insight was revealed to me by a psychedelic.

P.S. You might still be left wondering, “But Leo… What about REAL crazy people, like those who hallucinate demons? Aren’t they really psycho?”

Well… Maybe they aren’t as psycho as they seem. After all, what is the concept “psycho” but a social convention? If you really cared about understanding “psychos”, you’d have to find a way to enter their paradigm, their reality. And if you ever did, maybe you’d agree with them ;)”

Source: https://www.actualized.org/insights?p=46