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What happens when a Mormon preacher tries salvia in Alaska? He ends up a standup comedian in Texas. Those sentences would be a setup/punchline combo were it not for the too-true-for-TV horror that happened in between. Get ready to have your mind blown in what host Jeremy Vaeni says is one of his all-time favorite interviews!

Follow Steve Cantwell on Twitter: @myfavoritesteve and on Instagram: @thestevecantwell

From Whitley: This is a GREAT story! Miss it not!! (And if you’ve used a psychomanteum or had any salvia experiences, do tell in comments.)

45 Comments

  1. I smoked salvia once. One
    I smoked salvia once. One hit. And for about 5 seconds I could see sound and time slowed down and seemed to stutter, like a broken record. It was very short. I didn’t take a huge hit though.

    Thank you for sharing, amazing show.

  2. What a testament to the power
    What a testament to the power of the mind and the elasticity of the time-sense. While the experience may hold potential for growth, I wonder if that’s universally true. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to someone like Trump, for example, or he might find himself in a Russian gulag for ten years, with Putin his cell mate and Obama and Clinton his guards. Take it from there.

  3. Mind blowing is
    Mind blowing is right!!!!!
    Listened to it twice and have a feeling I will be thinking about this for many days. Time slip into a different reality? Incredible, just incredible. Great show!

  4. WOW! WOW! WOW! What an
    WOW! WOW! WOW! What an amazing interview.

    Steve, please come back if you can think of more you would like to share.

    As you were describing the Apple Orchard the thought that crossed my mind is the symbolic APPLE AS KNOWLEDGE/NOT THE DOWNFALL OF HUMANKIND; here you are gifted with/working the whole orchard.

  5. Wow! One of the most amazing
    Wow! One of the most amazing stories I’ve ever heard, and the way Steve tells it is completely credible. And Jeremy thankfully asked just about every question that came to my mind as Steve told his story. Really a great interview.

    From what I picked up from Googling, the laundry list of salvia effects are tangentially related to his story, but this intense time shift does not appear to be a common experience.

    Steve’s experience was remarkably similar to the story of a great episode of Star Trek The Next Generation called, The Inner Light. Only instead of a bong hit of salvia, the impetus was a mysterious object that emits an energy beam directed at Captain Picard. You can read about it on Wikipedia here, but beware that it’s full of spoilers:
    http://tinyurl.com/7l94woj
    I strongly recommend seeking it out and watching it. If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can watch it for free here, season 5 episode 25:
    http://tinyurl.com/y759nxnx
    It won the 1993 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. And for some reason it always had special meaning to me, because every time I watch it I feel like there’s some profound truth there that somehow applies to my own life, like this is how it will be for me at the end. It makes me emotional every time.

    1. Yes, that episode of Star
      Yes, that episode of Star Trek NG was one of the first things I thought of as well….. one of my favorites….

  6. That Star Trek TNG episode
    That Star Trek TNG episode was terrific, and you’r right it does have correspondence with Steve’s experience. But it highlights the thing that I wish Jeremy had brought up with Steve: When he was in “Tyler” did he make any attempt to contact any of his friends or family in the “real” world? Assuming he wasn’t in a clearly different time period, like with old-fashioned clothes and no cell phones, did he not remember any phone numbers or real places he could identify? (BobinNJ, you recall that Picard was in no position to do that.)

    1. I was wondering the same
      I was wondering the same thing Thea. Since this doesn’t appear to be other than an elaborate mental construct there may have been self-generated ‘safeguards’ built into it such as a subliminal fear of verifying his actual life which would be a move towards deconstructing the illusion, which being self-generated, would be self-defeating. Note that when he ‘returned’ and there was no longer an illusion to protect, be did investigate the ‘reality’ in Tyler, and found further evidence of its illusory nature.

    2. Thea,
      That is such a great

      Thea,

      That is such a great and obvious question, I’m now kicking myself for not having asked it. I did just write to him and will give his response on next week’s show.

      1. Thank you, I was thinking the
        Thank you, I was thinking the exact same thing throughout. I think it’s a very important point to reconcile.

  7. At once frightening and
    At once frightening and intriguing, where can I get this amazing substance? I`m joking folks, it is with You all of the time…time…time…

  8. First off, I am so glad that
    First off, I am so glad that Steve followed up on the reality of what he experienced in Tyler. I’m from Texas, and as he told the story of his ‘time’ there, it did not sound like Tyler, Texas, at all, to me!

    I am also interested in why Steve did not call up family in Alaska while on his sojourn in Tyler, so please let us know how he responds to that question, Jeremy! The fact that he didn’t mention trying to contact his family, and also told how overcome he was when he ‘returned’ and was so emotional and beside himself by seeing his wife and kids again tells me that HE did get an important lesson from the event. Only Steve knows for sure if he had been taking his home, family, and friends for granted before the event occurred. I can understand why he may have had a curiosity about someplace he had never visited, but TYLER, Texas? Why Tyler? This one baffles me, and I am a native Texan. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, great questions Sherbet!

  9. I’m about two thirds through
    I’m about two thirds through listening to this increadible story and Steve has just mentioned the 45 seconds in real life and whether he was tempted to take another hit, to see if he went back to Tyler…and then there was a question about what that says about time, or I would say the mind’s perception of time…which reminded of the movie ‘Inception’ and I suddenly thought “I wonder what would have happened if Steve took salvia again, whilst he was STILL in Tyler?!” Would there be some kind of Inception-like multi-layering, where a second hit would have taken him into a level that seemed to last for decades…and then another hit…centuries?!

    Also, talking about working on your psychology for years, you could do some serious ‘undoing’ in there…which leads me to my second question…what are the consequences of your actions in there? If the answer is ‘nothing’, then you could treat it as the most decedant of playgrounds, indulging in (*insert fevered imaginings here*)…but if there were still consequences on a soul level, then it might literally be…well…your undoing (in the classical sense, not the Vaeni sense).

  10. Thanks, Cosmic ๐Ÿ™‚
    Regarding

    Thanks, Cosmic ๐Ÿ™‚

    Regarding these anti-structural phases in one’s life…we know that the brain is supremely accomplished at generating a believable reality, to the point where it is said that only a relatively small part of what we see at any given time within the waking state, is actual reality…that most of it is actually filled in with what the brain/mind *expects* to be there. I was wondering whether that might then expand to a wider level, so that if you are presented with an anti-structural series of events, where naturally things become less predictable, that the brain cannot fill in the blanks, so almost gives up…and instead shows you what is REALLY there…hence the paranormal perception?

  11. Great account. Will the
    Great account. Will the subscriber supplement be up next week or did I miss it somehow? Thanks for this.

  12. Steve’s experience brought to
    Steve’s experience brought to mind the Lankavatara Sutra,a Buddhist text that posits that reality arises from the mind, i.e. from consciousness. That text was a major influence on Chinese Chan (Zen) Buddhism.

  13. Jeremy. did he mention aging?
    Jeremy. did he mention aging? 8 years is a long time. I’m also fascinated by the “spin” and being in sync. I’ve wondered if what we see and experience just depends on what frequency we are tuned too. Change the frequency, change the reality……

  14. Fascinating interview! I
    Fascinating interview! I wonder what kind of information could have been found in a library in that supposed world to see what, if any, historical differences there were from our world. The possibility of using salvia for rehab of prisoners troubles me. If we are indeed dealing with a truly alternate reality, to release prisoners into that reality could cause havoc there. We would need effective controls. This may be rather complex as it would entail communication and treaties or agreements set forth with the authorities in the alternate reality. They may no more want our criminals sent there than we would want their criminals sent here. Also, a despicable company like Monsanto should not be involved in any way shape or form with any of the research.

  15. I’ve been thinking more about
    I’ve been thinking more about Steve’s experience, and want to bring up a couple of things.

    When most of us remember our lives from the last 8 years, I think it’s usually in little events and snippets of unusual things or life events, and that is combined with the sense of time passing, the actual mechanism of which is really hard to pin down. Like why does one memory feel like 8 years ago when another feels like last week? It seemed like Steve’s life was a little bit one-dimensional in Tyler, like he didn’t travel, or get married, or follow current events. Is it therefore possible that what’s really going on here is that his mind just generated a fairly simple set of lucid dream experiences, whose time markers for memory got distorted by either the salvia or the seizure he had?

    The other thing fascinating me about all of this is that it at least seems to Steve like he had 8 years of lucid experience in 45 seconds. Now think of stories like Eben Alexander’s, who’s written 3 popular books stemming from his “afterlife” experience that he claimed stretched on for a long period of time while he was in essentially a brain-dead coma. Given Steve’s 8 years in 45 seconds, isn’t it at least possible that all of Dr. Alexander’s experience took place in the short time his brain was sinking into nothingness, and after being revived it just seemed like it lasted through the longer span of time? Similarly, I’ve sometimes wondered if the brain in death can compress time like that in order to extend, perhaps infinitely, the sense of consciousness? (The character) Hamlet feared that in death he might be haunted by bad dreams; perhaps that’s not too far off the mark?

    1. Hi Bob,
      While Steve’s

      Hi Bob,
      While Steve’s experience was truly mind blowing, there’s no indication it was ‘real’ in the sense of being an actual independent reality. The fact it was so utterly convincing is by itself insufficient to label it an alternate ‘reality’. The fact that several NDE’ers have similarly convincing experiences, including time dilation, doesn’t in itself mean they are similarly constructed. Neither does this principle apply to our day to day experience, though it may set the mind off chasing its own tail to the point of exhaustion…Several NDE’er’ have accurately reported conversations of family members in other parts of the hospital, or the world, or in the operating room at a time far removed from the brain’s transition state from active to inactive, accurately seen their future, and in the case of Alexander, his butterfly companion, if I recall correctly, was identical in appearance with a relative he had never seen or met. All of these examples take it beyond Steve’s experience, perhaps not in perceived reality, but in verification of a reality outside the boundary of the mind’s illusion.

      Just as in the UFO field however, there are confabulators among claimants to NDE’s. I recently heard a woman describe her NDE in detail. She was in a car accident and a coma for two days. She said when she came back she had no memory of her past and had to relearn how to read. She also said she immediately began to write down her experience when she woke from the coma since she couldn’t talk with the respirator down her throat. So apparently she couldn’t remember how to read, but she could start writing her book right away!

      1. Hi Steve,
        Good response. It’s

        Hi Steve,

        Good response. It’s not my intention to try to disprove Alexander’s experience, and certainly not all NDE’s (in fact I think there’s great evidence that they exist from reporting things seen in other rooms of the hospital, etc.) I’m just saying I had this bit of doubt from the time I read “Proof of Heaven”, because unless I missed something the main “proof” presented was that he had an experience during a time frame he seems to assume as continuous with his near-brain-dead status, and I think that is not well-established. I think Steve C.’s story gives some evidence that a lot can seem to happen in a very short time in this reality while the brain is in a non-ordinary state, and I’m postulating that ALL of Dr. Alexander’s experience might have happened while his brain was in a semi-functional state. As to the identity of his butterfly companion, I don’t recall that being a slam dunk, either, but maybe that’s selective memory on my part. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        But to your point (I think) about what we can call reality and what we can’t, that to me is the whole rub of Steve’s experience. He seems most comfortable now dismissing it as an absolute non-reality and a construct of his drug-addled brain. I feel like, “not so fast”. I agree about your “mind chasing its own tail to the point of exhaustion”, because when I try to think about it I feel a bit like a dog trying to understand a doorknob. But I do think there is evidence that the REAL non-physical consciousness links to the brain through quantum effects in the microtubules, where the quantum universe is really the all-encompassing consciousness itself (and as such, everything is linked together). If true, that doesn’t answer the question of whether we truly have any individuality that survives death, or we’re all just the same big goo squeezed through unique and very temporary physical patterns (our bodies and brains) to amuse itself. NDE’s and spirit mediumship seem to offer better evidence for individual souls, but I’m not a 100% believer in simpler interpretations like that.

        Anyway, if this big ball of consciousness simply seeks all experience, as is getting more and more popularly postulated lately, then Steve’s adventure in not-really-Tyler Texas may be equally valid to the reality he was returned to; or perhaps equally insignificant is more accurate. The notion that our reality is maybe no better than any other dream or salvia-induced confabulation is unsettling, but I think there’s probably more than a grain of truth there.

        1. Is it wise to use our
          Is it wise to use our consensus reality as the standard by which to judge all reality when we’re not really convinced of the reality of the consensus? My apologies for the somersaulting of thought, and for now, leaving it spinning…

          If the only standard of reality is that ‘I experienced it’ than all experience is real, but that would mean all hallucinations are as real as anything else. That can’t be true, so where do we draw the line? If an experience can be shared, that gives it credit. If that’s not possible, then if it leaves sharable remnants, such as the testimony of NDE’ers to actual events, that also gives it credit, continue the exercise ad-infinitum and does any experience come out as the ultimate reality? Not Really. Does that mean everything’s an illusion? Obviously going too far…maybe the problem is focusing on the ‘experienced it’ part and neglecting the ‘I’ part. Is there any experience, real or not, where the ‘I’ is absent? No. So that’s the key. So what if individuality turns out to be indivisible. It’s still there, which is more than you can say about anything and everything else.

          I know that doesn’t address differentiating reality from illusion very well, but maybe the differences aren’t as fundamental as each would claim. Also keep in mind that there is no illusion which does not derive its material from a reality. Couldn’t the opposite also be true, at least ultimately?

  16. It is rare to hear of an
    It is rare to hear of an account where time is so distorted for such a long time yet so realistically experienced. I had a somewhat similar experience in a dream back in 1991 where I lived in the dream until 2011 (20 years elapsed during that nights dreaming). I “awoke” at the end of the dream while I was climbing a tree in the dream and was struck by lightning in that tree. In the throes of a very fantastically freeing death I was in 3 places simultaneously for what felt like minutes. The first place was in the tree where I remained, yet I was also in my bed where I also remained and I was also in the afterlife where I watched the other two places and the other two selves going through the transformation of dying. Not all is remembered perfectly but eventually I was only in my bed only after the other two manifestations of “me” SLOWLY faded away and I was left awestruck for a very long period of time. Some time in the early 2000’s I saw an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where John Luc Picard went through a similar experience and I was profoundly moved by it as the parallels were truly uncanny.

  17. Steve & Jeremy,
    Wonderful

    Steve & Jeremy,

    Wonderful show; good fun, and lots of interesting ground covered.
    The story about how you found your dog is wonderful.

    This book helps me a great deal with Jung:

    Becoming Whole: Jung’s Equation for Realizing God
    by Leslie Stein
    http://a.co/7aP1yvP

    Steve, I would love to hear more about your journey.

    Thanks for sharing.

    -SD

  18. Yes, More Please!
    Yes, More Please!

  19. Regarding the whole thing
    Regarding the whole thing about ‘time’…

    Time is relative…Take a flight to another star system, for instance, come back having barely aged, then discover that everyone you knew on planet earth has passed, as have a few hundred years. In fairy lore, much the same happens. You live a magical life in the fairy realm, only to return to the real world where decades have passed.

    Take your own life…In mine, I remember distinctly how time seemed to move much more slowly when I was a kid, then, at some point (for me it was around age 25), time began to speed up. The older one gets, the faster time seems to pass. As the ‘end’ gets closer, it feels as if it speeds up even more. So, is that all in our heads? Yes, but it certainly feels as if time is passing faster and faster.

    With Steve, time appears to have moved in a different way. He lived in another life for 4 years, but returned ‘here’ where time had barely passed at all. ‘Time’ if you think about it, is what allows us to experience in the physical realm—wherever that might be, and even if it is all in our heads?

    Yesterday we took a nice long hike and I had to laugh seeing so much salvia in bloom along the trail!

    1. From what I’ve read, our
      From what I’ve read, our perception of time can result from a few things…one being how engaged we currently are, which is directly related to how new experiences are, or seem to be…although this can to some extent be tweaked by attempting to be ‘mindful’ of your experiences, which can tip you back into ‘Toddler time’…the other is that the length of time something seems to last is measured as a percentage of the time you have been alive…so for a two year old, a single year is half their life…but the same time for an eighty year old would seem very little…so as you think back in time, an event might be marked as seeming to last forever, whereas it was only so, in proportion to your age at the time. And there is also a third one that I recall, where time perception can be altered by your core temperature, so when you have a fever a night might seem to last for a week…oh, yeah…and then there’s Salvia, apparently!

      1. When I was in Navy boot camp
        When I was in Navy boot camp in the early 80’s those eight weeks seemed like a whole lifetime because every single experience was new. Beyond that, we were being given new identities complete with crew cuts and uniform uniforms, so it was very much like returning to ‘Toddler Time’. Lots of fun experiences and good people, but I still got the hell out as soon as I could…

        1. I have also experienced
          I have also experienced moments of time stopping…I’ve spoken of this one before, but it is one of a few incidents for me where time stopped. It happened to be on my birthday, December 26th, a few years ago ( The doves ‘froze’, and no movement at all outside my window. It was witnessed by me and my partner, and lasted for about 5 minutes.) Some highly strange things have happened to others on that date, in particular the incidents that began at Whitley’s cabin in New York, and the Rendlesham event. Those two happened on the same day, but years apart from mine and each other. There is some kind of connection—or it’s all just a crazy coincidence. If anyone else has had a really weird event on the day after Christmas, I would be interested in hearing about it.

          Time is the thing that truly grounds us firmly in the physical. As for consciousness, it can be just about anywhere, any ‘time’, or so it would seem. One of the reasons I stay away from drugs and ‘botanicals’ is because I have had so many strange experiences without them, so I’m not sure how experimenting with my genetic ‘wiring’ would affect me. My body doesn’t handle alcohol well either, and one small glass of wine and I am done. Even one dose of something like Valium for pain does a number on me. When my first baby was born, the hospital gave me some after my C-section, and I told them “No thanks” after one pill. The pain was preferable to the feeling of spaciness and total discombobulation.

          1. Hi Cosmic,
            I edited my above

            Hi Cosmic,
            I edited my above post to add that Time is the Counterbalance in my somewhat philosophical assessment of physical reality. It was not my intention to imply that Time is somehow separate however. To enter the physical is to enter the flow of Time. I admit it’s hard to reconcile your experience with this integration, however. One way might be to say that perhaps your consciousness left your physical, at least partially, but the fact it was a shared experience seems to imply it took place in more than just your consciousness. Do you suspect any kind of Visitor intervention? The other two incidents on that date both involved them, so perhaps their was a third party there; you, your partner, and a third, allowing you both to share briefly his vision, or at least to receive a message in the form of a demonstration.

          2. Not ignoring your question
            Not ignoring your question Steve, but suffice to say that after I posted a response yesterday, and SAVED it, it appears to have disappeared! We’ll loop back on this one at a later date. Maybe the ‘timing’ wasn’t right! ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Interestingly, Time is the
      Interestingly, Time is the one element integral to our reality, a reality of rock and metal and gravity, of the persistence and insistence of Matter, a reality whose marriage to Life seems startlingly fragile and strangely ill-matched, its existence hard and proscribed; Time is the Counterbalance which makes all of this hard reality helplessly dream-like, and without which it could never be real.

  20. Steve finding his dog in such
    Steve finding his dog in such startling circumstances suggests to me that consciousness is not bound to our brains but can “see” outside of our bodies — or is a shared, joint reality of some kind — or that a spiritual reality or ether connects us all.

  21. Even a relatively dumb person
    Even a relatively dumb person in our America knows who the president is. So was he aware of that in Tyler, Texas? And sorry, but I am curious: is sex better in this reality or in his concocted Tyler? Haha. I am alsdo intrigued that this experience unleashed in Steve as hidden talent for singing. Queen? Good taste. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Time stopping to me suggest a
    Time stopping to me suggest a running program that can be “paused”. I know others that this has happened to. Listen to Whitley’s show this week where they speak of electromagnetic “spin”, and remember Steve speaking of spinning at a different speed. Also his change of “spin” and clicking back in when returning. Interesting.

    1. Also a consciousness
      Also a consciousness completely independent of the program, observing it. Not only a consciousness, but an identity identical to the one embedded within the ‘program’, which incorporates the ‘stopping’ or ‘spinning’ of the program as seamlessly into its experience as it does those within the program.

  23. Talking about
    Talking about spinning…during meditation, if I do several body scans from the toes to the head (normally visualising that I am filling with liquid), I get to the point where I loose sense of where some parts of my body end and others begin…and if I continue to do the body passes, I start to get a sense of rotation, which quickly progresses to the point where I feel like I am rotating in four directions at once, clockwise AND anticlockwise along two axes…it seems like an impossible sensation but that is the only way I can describe it.

    1. Spinning…I have felt that
      Spinning…I have felt that sensation many times in the area of my 3rd eye. But…

      …Several times a week, I do a practice known as the ‘ The Five Tibetans’ or ‘ The Five Rites’. This is a series of yoga-like poses that are in motion. They supposedly can rejuvenate the body and lead to a long, healthy life. I say supposedly, so I guess ask me about it 40 years from now and we’ll see how it goes! ๐Ÿ™‚

      The first ‘rite’ is simply standing erect with the the arms outstretched and horizontal to the body, then spinning clockwise. At first, you might feel dizzy as all get out, but if you gradually add more spins, you’ll find that your balance improves, and you can spin longer with no dizziness. The dizziness gets replaced sometimes by a feeling that you can spin forever, getting you in the ‘zone’. This spinning is followed by the 4 other ‘rites’ or movements.

    1. Very interesting, Cosmic.
      Very interesting, Cosmic. What I didn’t understand was why they assumed that there wasn’t a sort of chain of entanglement that carried forward, because all the particles have a relationship as drawn. An analogy might be if I make a chain of 6 copies on a Xerox, but before sheet 3 gets copied to 4 I burn sheet 1. Just because I get to number 6 and it matches number 1 doesn’t mean that something magical happened. Which to me implies that their time entanglement doesn’t really need to exist to explain their results, or… I’m just an idiot.

      I like the “I’m just an idiot” theory, because if their supposition is true then it might explain precognition type events, assuming that consciousness in the brain connects directly with the quantum universe (something like waves inside the microtubules as I recall, but again the idiot thing applies with me.)

      1. I agree Bob, besides the
        I agree Bob, besides the needlessly confusing and misleading language used to ‘simplify’ the explanation such as ‘killing’ photon 1 (huh?) and ‘sending photon 2 on ‘a wild goose chase’ (No, they sent it on to be entangled with photon 3), there’s a clear chain of association with ALL the photons: If you see p1 and p2 as a single ‘entanglement’, and there must be two so you really can’t consider them separate (that’s the whole point) then by association, or, ENTANGLEMENT p1 is associated with p3 through p2, and p4 is associated with p3 through ‘direct entanglement, and p1 through p3. I don’t see where any jump back in time occurred.

        So either we’re both idiots, or the article does such a poor job of explaining the mystery that the author is, or we all are. I don’t get it, but I do feel ‘entangled’.

        I wish the author bothered to use his words as tools for clarity instead for drawing mental cartoons unrelated to the articles claims. Maybe a particle physicist could read it and fill in the blanks, but it’s not meant for particle physicists. I guess you’re just supposed to read it and nod with a blank expression, because the end result would be the same either way…

        1. No, we’re not idiots, and we
          No, we’re not idiots, and we may get the entanglement thing in a way that they simply don’t…But of course we can’t prove it. Oh, the irony!

          All I can say is, as an experiencer, I find it amazing that scientists go on and on about this sort of thing, and I am glad that they at least try to tackle it, but the problem is that old, missing ‘unified field theory’ problem. Macro/micro, or potayto/potahto. (Yes, they sound different, but it’s all the same thing.)

          Regarding Xerox copies, I see them all as clones of the original. And you can include the copy of the copy which still has a familial relationship with the original, once removed, twice removed, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

          I also love the way that physicists go on about spacetime (It’s not just connected, but a fusion of 3 dimensions with the 4th dimension of ‘Time’ ) until they do an experiment like this one, so once again its macro vs. micro. I can see an unusual object in the sky defying the laws of (Newtonian) physics (macro), and be told I need my eyes, and possibly my mind, examined. But I am supposed to take seriously an experiment involving a a single photon (micro, and, therefore, invisible)?

          Or maybe I’m just an idiot too…

          1. Well, it’s not everyone’s job
            Well, it’s not everyone’s job to be concerned about the economy and geographical layout of Tyler, Texas, so to each their own…

            And I’d imagine it’s hard to see UFO’s when you’re stuck inside an atom…

            I don’t mind that their theory is incomplete, I just wish they would make an effort that transcends Saturday morning cartoons to explain their truth.

  24. That was amazing!
    That was amazing!

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