Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Pulsar
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:07 pm

another thing to practice before approaching the practice of 4 immaterial jhanas is right speech.
"Abandoning
false speech, he abstains from false speech. He speaks the truth,
holds to the truth, is firm, reliable, no deceiver of the world.
This, too, is part of his virtue"
"Abandoning
divisive speech he abstains from divisive speech.
What he has heard here he does not tell there to break those people apart from these people here. What he has heard there he does not tell here to break these people apart from those people there. Thus reconciling those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united, he loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create concord. This, too, is part of his virtue"
"Abandoning
abusive speech, he abstains from abusive speech. He speaks words that are soothing
to the ear, that are affectionate, that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing and pleasing to people at large. This, too, is part of his virtue"
"Abandoning
idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal, the Dhamma, and the Vinaya. He speaks words worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable, circumscribed, connected with the goal. This, too, is part of his virtue"
above is an excerpt from DN 2
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

Pulsar
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:27 am

In the conclusion to Buddhist Path to Awakening, R. Gethin writes "a path to awakening is a process of change and development. He observes that the transformation involves coming to know the relationship between unawakened mind and the awakened mind. Some kinds of ordinary minds actively perpetuate the defilements, while other kinds of ordinary minds 'actually approximates rather closely to the waking mind itself"'
Task of the spiritual path is to maximize these Kusala or skillful tendencies. Samatha and samadhi emphasize stilling the mind, Gethin explains, allows natural skillful tendencies to grow and strengthen. Gethin concludes one must cultivate jhanas; it is in these states that the skillful tendencies, the body pakkhiya dhammas are fully activated" :candle:

Pulsar
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:42 pm

To stress the importance of ridding oneself of the hindrances before jhana meditation, to most wiping greed is easier than wiping ill will. Constant practice of Brahma viharas is of enormous help.
BB's introduction to Majjima Nikaya also says 'Another method for attaining the jhanas mentioned in the suttas, is the four divine abodes---boundless loving kindness, compassion, altruistic joy (which is basically the ability to partake in other's joy), and equanimity. Tradition holds the first three to be capable of leading to the threee lower jhanas, the last of inducing the fourth jhana"
This makes a certain degree of sense, since equanimity is the predominant factor in the 4th jhana.
Practicing Muditha was harder for me at the beginning, and then I read in a sutta, imagine yourself sharing in the joy of devas of luminous worlds, and that image helped.
One just has to find one thing that works for one. Even if you think you are unable to jhana meditation, try the brahma vihara method to begin with.
The word jhana sounds exotic, but it is merely periods in which your mind is amazingly serene, to begin with. Don't you have short bursts of those?
Later we can work towards the 4th, which is the most critical.
But until then it is useful to practice wiping the remaining hindrances.
Sloth and torpor can be a tough one. The commentaries imply, when you win that one, one gets a sense of awakeness, I call it like a window opens and sun pours in, or the feeling of a sunrise, you are no more sleepy, it is perfect for meditation.
When MN 128 say the meditator lost the stability of meditation, or lost the vision of light, it is the sleepiness that creeps in making you give up meditation.
Also be sure that you have perfect confidence in the 4 Noble truths.
That is what it means when it is said
doubt is a hindrance
technically. :candle:

auto
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by auto » Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:52 pm

Pulsar wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:42 pm
Practicing Muditha was harder for me at the beginning, and then I read in a sutta, imagine yourself sharing in the joy of devas of luminous worlds, and that image helped.
One just has to find one thing that works for one.
.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthes ... ynesthesia
Neurologist Richard Cytowic identifies the following diagnostic criteria for synesthesia in his first edition book. However, the criteria are different in the second book:
Synesthetic perceptions are spatially extended, meaning they often have a sense of "location." For example, synesthetes speak of "looking at" or "going to" a particular place to attend to the experience.
when you do that aren't you actually go there, because of lack of mind development you don't see it this way and think it is mere imagination?

asmr
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomou ... n_response
Autonomous – spontaneous, self-governing, with or without control
Sensory – pertaining to the senses or sensation
Meridian – signifying a peak, climax, or point of highest development
Response – referring to an experience triggered by something external or internal
jhanas are same kind, they are sensory, right


in order to have sensory response in a body you need go through a particular world(appear there) and cultivate that so that it will cause neurons to fire in the body. Too insane theory?
So much then of your belief that there isn't other worlds or that they are not your concern, while unknowingly you demonstrate these abilities.

Pulsar
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:43 am

My dear Auto:
you wrote
jhanas are same kind, they are sensory, right
Ok I get it, how you perceive buddhist jhanas, but the Rupa jhanas or fine material jhanas are not really sensory.
Pl tell me how you define sensory? or
Let me explain how the canon explains those, to enter the Form Jhana sphere, i.e. fine material sphere,
one has to leave the sensory or gross world, or Kama world, meaning the world where senses
gain their thrills or satisfaction. To do that one has to get over the five things that block one from
entering the fine material world.
What are those five things? can you pl. tell me? I've discussed this before
on this thread. I shall get to the other points later, one thing at a
time.
With love :heart:

Pulsar
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:00 pm

To all, AN 9.41 Tapussa.
A sutta on how Buddha himself tripped on Jhana practice as an unawakened Bodhissata, yet through persistence overcame each drawback. I shall simplify the beginning, upto first jhana. You may read the entire sutta, but for our purpose, at this point just pay attention to first jhana only, in the sutta reading. My comment is meant to encourage those who have not tried any jhanic level concentration.
Consider this as a partial Cliff note on AN 9.41
Once upon a time there was a householder named Tapussa, he meets Ananda. Buddha had taken leave of Ananda and gone to the great woods, to pass the day.
Now Tapussa says to Ananda
I know in this dhamma and discipline there are young bhikkhus whose minds launch out upon renunciation, (meaning launching into jhana)

In that dwelling, their minds become limpid, settled, and freed

BB explains in the foot notes,
  • renunciation in AN 9.41 means an internal quality, implicitly identified with firm settling on jhana
The point of first jhana is to create a dwelling free of sensuality, of irritations and aversions, of dullness and drowsiness, of worry and restlessness, and of doubt. Removal of the clutter, thus purification of the mind is the result.

PS Renunciation/jhana is the dividing line between the multitude and the ones who practice quiet meditation in this Dhamma and the discipline.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

auto
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by auto » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:43 pm

Pulsar wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:43 am
Pl tell me how you define sensory?
pertaining to the senses. The S letter from asmr

https://suttacentral.net/mn43/en/sujato
“What can be known by purified mind consciousness released from the five senses?”

“Aware that ‘space is infinite’ it can know the dimension of infinite space. Aware that ‘consciousness is infinite’ it can know the dimension of infinite consciousness. Aware that ‘there is nothing at all’ it can know the dimension of nothingness.”
you can assume by that that the mind(what knows) in jhana is not released from the five senses.

https://translate.google.com/#view=home ... ext=senses
a faculty by which the body perceives an external stimulus; one of the faculties of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.
the feelings what arise in jhana are sensory: You feel feelings there.


while the ākāsānañcāyatanaṃ..are perception attainments, except the last one:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"Monk, the property of light, the property of beauty, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of space, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the property of the dimension of nothingness: These properties are to be reached as perception attainments.
.
Pulsar wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:43 am
What are those five things? can you pl. tell me? I've discussed this before
on this thread. I shall get to the other points later, one thing at a
time.
i guess hindrances, but it would be already two topics.

you don't like prolly the idea that the fine material jhana is sensory, since you think you need be away from the Kama world(
Pulsar wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:43 am
Kama world, meaning the world where senses
gain their thrills or satisfaction
). Gotta know the difference, in jhana are feelings but they aren't sensual, in Sutta its said not to afraid of them this is different kind of pleasure..maybe it shows how close the rupa jhana pleasure to kama pleasure is.

Pulsar
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:36 am

Auto wrote
i guess hindrances, but it would be already two topics
Dear Auto: the topic is the four rupa jhanas, and related misconceptions. In order to discuss Four Rupa jhanas, reference to hindrances is essential, for with hindrances, intact, there is no Buddhist jhana. Hindrances block gaining familiarity with rupa jhana.
This thread is not about the four Arupa jhanas Why do you insist on dragging Pulsar into a topic that Pulsar has called unnecessary and confusing and extra work, I have clearly explained this before, using MN 125 and MN 36.
Arupas got tucked into the Pali canon, by those who had later become buddhist, and had already practiced these in their prebuddhist life. It is a major Snafu, not essential for gaining buddhist insight. Of course it might help, like transcendental meditation might, or repeating a word like Buddho or Oma hum, or Sarvam Asti.
The latter type of meditation is fine for some, I guess that is why such meditations persist in society.
But it does not serve a purpose for the buddhist, who is bent on destroying the defilements.
I admit the some compilers along the way noticed this corruption and to make it right, copy and pasted stuff linked to insight, onto these.
Meditation that is not linked to insight, is purposeless in the buddhist context. A plumping up of Arupas to cover up a glaring error resulted, in some suttas.
It has created a mass of confusion in the canon, for folks who are intent on getting their info from the canon, not the commentaries, or writings of various Ajahns.
There was a period when I was groping like the blind men, (the fable of the elephant) "What is Buddhist jhana? what is the meditation that prevailed in Buddha's day? Commentaries too are rife with errors.
I am no more confused regards this, so I wanted to alert others like me, forget Arupa jhana, get on with it, dismembering the fake aggregates. the fake self erected by the illusory aggregates.
Can we not talk about the Arupa jhanas anymore? I think their presence in the canon is the ultimate revenge of the brahmanical tradition on the buddhist. Surely you are aware of the conflicts that existed between clingers of Upanishads and buddhists, and how the former tried to wipe the teachings of the Buddha from the face of the earth. But Pulsar does not hold ill-will anymore, these are merely historical facts.
Have an elegant Sunday dear Auto. will address the Kama issue in a short while.
with love :candle:

chownah
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by chownah » Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:25 pm

Pulsar wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:36 am

Arupas got tucked into the Pali canon, by those who had later become buddhist, and had already practiced these in their prebuddhist life.
That's quite an assertion. I'm doubting that you can substantiate that with sutta references but I'm glad to be emptied of this doubt.
To me it looks like "Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four ARupa Jhanas.'"
chownah

Pulsar
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:31 pm

Dear Chownah: Pulsar will not take credit for this assertion. First Pulsar read of a reference to this in 'Buddhist Ethics' authored by H. Saddhatissa, a famous Sri Lankan monk who later resided in England, who also did a ton of work with untouchables in India. To prove this assertion using suttas, only a scholar can expend that kind of time. It is already been done. Keren Arbel's "Early Buddhist Meditation", one example. She is not the only scholar that has handled this subject.

To give you a minor example take a peek at MN 125 Bodhirajakumara or MN 36 Mahasaccaka. These describe Buddha's awakening like this.
aloof from pleasures of the senses, aloof from unskilled states of mind, I entered on and abided in the first meditation which is accompanied by initial thought and discursive thought, is born of aloofness, and is rapturous and joyful. But yet, Prince, the pleasurable feeling, arising in me, persisted without impinging on my mind. By allaying initial thought and discursive thought, with the mind subjectively tranquillised and fixed on one point, I entered on and abided in the second meditation which is devoid of initial and discursive thought, is born of concentration, and is rapturous and joyful. But yet, Prince, the pleasurable feeling, arising in me, persisted without impinging on my mind. By the fading out of rapture I dwelt with equanimity, attentive and clearly conscious, and I experienced in my person that joy of which the ariyans say: ‘Joyful lives he who has equanimity and is mindful,’ and I entered on and abided in the third meditation. But yet, Prince, the pleasurable feeling, arising in me, persisted without impinging on my mind. By getting rid of joy and by getting rid of anguish, by the going down of former pleasures and sorrows, I entered into and abided in the fourth meditation which has neither anguish nor joy and which is entirely purified by equanimity and mindfulness. But yet, Prince, the pleasurable feeling, arising in me, persisted without impinging on my mind.https://suttacentral.net/mn85/en/horner
Immediately after sutta goes into the Higher Knowledges, how Tatagata awakened. Pl read the sutta.

There is no mention of a cessation either, neither any Arupa step. Now take a peek at Ariyapariyasena MN 26, clearly a doctored sutta. Between the Rupa Jhanas and and what now is called cessation, four arupas got tucked in. I shall copy and paste the first one only.
Then again the monk, with the complete transcending of perceptions of [physical] form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance, and not heeding perceptions of diversity, [perceiving,] 'Infinite space,' enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of space. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One
So the Theravada compilers noticed this, and added This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One. A super clever tactic, each Arupa description ends like this. Many suttas got modified to defend Arupa. The last line is my thinking, once a falsity is introduced, one has to defend it all the way.

My big gripe is, the added 4 steps that sounded like one was climbing the Himalayas the way it is described, kept me away from exploring jhanas for the longest time. Words employed totally intimidated me. With the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, [perceiving,] 'There is nothing,' enters & remains in the dimension of nothingness

But on a later day thinking about it, i could see how it all happened within 4th Jhana. It is called the state of the imperturbable, nothing taps on the mind, its limitations are removed, by the purity of consciousness. It is all in the mind, pure cliche, pl forgive Pulsar :)
If you think like a quantum physicist you would know, how the consciousness can become infinite now, since the restrictions introduced by the limits of 'I' are removed. Infinite, spaceless. Enough room to do the work Buddha accomplished across the night of awakening. Why is the need for additional steps for us? something Buddha clearly demonstrated that one can do without :candle:

chownah
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by chownah » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:22 pm

Pulsar,
Thanks for the reply. You have spent some energy showing that your view is that arupas are not necessary for attaining the goal. I do not assert that arupas are necessary for attaining any specific goal so there is no reason to try to convince me of their being not necessary.

My question was about your description of those who allegedly put things into the suttas about arupas. I don't see how even in principle it would be possible to come to those conclusions. You have not shown how this is possible and I am sure that it would be a daunting task to do so and I don't expect you to even attempt to do it yourself.....in fact even showing conclusive evidence that a sutta has been altered is a complex task and I don't expect you to undertake that task either.

I guess the best that I could ask for is an explanation of how in principle one would find out the characteristics of those who allegedly altered suttas with the arupas....although only try to explain if it is a simple explanation as this topic is not a pressing one for me and my interest is mostly just idle interest but one never knows what will turn up when indulging in idle interest especially when dealing with the dhammic scriptures. I have no concern about you teaching that the arupas are unneccessary....I think you are probably correct in this although they do seem to have benefitted some individuals.

Also, if we consider the buddha to be a "buddhist" is it then true that the buddha might have been one of those who had later become buddhist, and had already practiced these in their prebuddhist life.....and tucked the arupas into the pali canon?
chownah

auto
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by auto » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:10 pm

Pulsar wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:36 am
Auto wrote
i guess hindrances, but it would be already two topics
Dear Auto: the topic is the four rupa jhanas, and related misconceptions. In order to discuss Four Rupa jhanas, reference to hindrances is essential, for with hindrances, intact, there is no Buddhist jhana. Hindrances block gaining familiarity with rupa jhana.
This thread is not about the four Arupa jhanas Why do you insist on dragging Pulsar into a topic that Pulsar has called unnecessary and confusing and extra work, I have clearly explained this before, using MN 125 and MN 36.
with this post too(you have done it before) you just jumped on a word i used and miss the post: are jhanas sensory or not.
Pulsar wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:36 am
Arupas got tucked into the Pali canon, by those who had later become buddhist, and had already practiced these in their prebuddhist life. It is a major Snafu, not essential for gaining buddhist insight.
its your problem. The 4 ayatanas make sense to me and more so if i read that the 8th one is the attainment by a reminder-sankhara.

i don't care about if they are within 4th jhana or before 4 jhana. Or you say you have them in 4 jhana, or isn't mentioned in some of the Suttas, it doesn't change the technical information.


Besides how you know you are doing jhana at all(exactly what you say to me, this is too old, put some Your jhana descriptions from what happen when you are sitting and don't use Sutta words[which can mean anything])...people here are too polite with you.
Pulsar wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:36 am
Have an elegant Sunday dear Auto.
and wtf are those? haven't you grow up yet?

Pulsar
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:36 pm

Chownah wrote
I think you are probably correct in this although they do seem to have benefitted some individuals
Are you able to tell me what extra benefit they received by engaging in the 4 Arupas?
Buddha himself had learnt the Arupas from his teachers Alara Kalama and Uddkarama Putta, and rejected them,
since they only lead one to Brahma Worlds. What helped Buddha was the memory of first rupa Jhana
he engaged in as a child, under the rose apple tree.
For Buddha the goal was the release from suffering, not rebirth in brahma worlds.
Thank you for being polite Chownah :candle:

Pulsar
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:04 pm

Auto wrote
Are Jhanas sensory or not?
Auto, you say you sit in jhana, yet you do not understand the basic instruction
Quite secluded from from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters and abides in the first jhana
This is what the canon says.
Jhanas are free of sensual pleasures, during the Jhana sitting senses are intact, but the attention
is not on what enters through the sense doors.
Auto wrote
Besides how you know you are doing jhana at all(exactly what you say to me, this is too old, put some Your jhana descriptions from what happen when you are sitting and don't use Sutta words[which can mean anything])...people here are too polite with you.
True no one else can know what a person engaged in jhana experiences. This is what the buddha
said. Why does Auto sound so upset? A person who engages in jhana gains tranquility, and gains insight to the
truths of the teaching.
Auto asked
What do I experience?
Pulsar experience a cessation of suffering during these times, a tranquility and an equanimity, to summarize.
Auto wrote
Pulsar wrote: ↑Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:36 am
Have an elegant Sunday dear Auto.
and wtf are those? haven't you grow up yet?

Why does Auto sound so angry? Have an elegant Sunday means a Sunday full of jhana Piti.
It is true people here are polite with me. Have you not read in the canon, that when folks
met each other in the stories of the canon, they were extremely polite to
each other. Why would not the good people of Dhamma wheel who follow Buddha not do the
same? :candle:

auto
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Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by auto » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:00 pm

Pulsar wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:04 pm
Auto wrote Are Jhanas sensory or not?

Auto, you say you sit in jhana, yet you do not understand the basic instruction
Quite secluded from from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters and abides in the first jhana This is what the canon says.
Jhanas are free of sensual pleasures, during the Jhana sitting senses are intact, but the attention
is not on what enters through the sense doors.
https://suttacentral.net/sn35.23/en/sujato
And what is the all? Kiñca, bhikkhave, sabbaṃ?
It’s just the eye and sights, the ear and sounds, the nose and smells, the tongue and tastes, the body and touches, and the mind and thoughts. Cakkhuñceva rūpā ca, sotañca saddā ca, ghānañca gandhā ca, jivhā ca rasā ca, kāyo ca phoṭṭhabbā ca, mano ca dhammā ca— This is called the all. idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sabbaṃ.
https://suttacentral.net/mn49/en/sujato
‘Well, good sir, if you have directly known that which is not within the scope of experience based on all, may your words not turn out to be void and hollow! ‘Sace kho, mārisa, sabbassa sabbattena ananubhūtaṃ, tadabhiññāya mā heva te rittakameva ahosi, tucchakameva ahosīti.
Consciousness that is invisible, infinite, radiant all round—*that’s* what is not within the scope of experience based on earth, water, fire, air, creatures, gods, the Creator, Brahmā, the gods of streaming radiance, the gods replete with glory, the gods of abundant fruit, the Overlord, and the all.
so what is Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ, since brahma is generated by 1st jhana then it possible isn't rupa jhana. Also the All could be reference to Mahabrahma.
Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ could be imperturbable, consciousness without attributes/features. is it a-nimitta?

here it still seem that rupa jhana is pertaining to the All, that is sense organ and its object, jhana is sensory.
Pulsar wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:04 pm
Why does Auto sound so angry?
i don't expect you to understand, but i think it is a superpower

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