Larry Mullins

January 12, 2013

A VICTORIOUS LIFE on EARTH

“Today, like every other day we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
RUMI

The brilliant poet suggests a way to fill the void we feel each day. I personally hate that vacuous feeling. But, I do not have a musical instrument. How do I fill the inner void with beauty? I recall other great words: “Without vision, the people perish.” It seems to me vision–the consciousness of possibilities–is the answer. But also, without faith in that vision, the people still perish. So my daily problem seems to be: First the vision. Next, impregnable faith in that vision.

This begs two questions. What will the vision look like? And, how to I kindle the mustard seed of faith necessary to ignite that vision with passionate meaning and purpose?

What is my ultimate vision? What is my legacy to be? How do I want people to remember me? The clearer, more vivid, more charged this vision is, the more replete it will fill the emptiness. And if we add this infallible mantra, we can attain, or begin to attain, the consciousness of a victorious life on earth:

“The consciousness of a victorious human life on earth is born of that creature faith which dares to challenge each recurring episode of existence when confronted with the awful spectacle of human limitations, by the unfailing declaration: Even if I cannot do this, there lives in me one who can and will do it, a part of the Father-Absolute of the universe of universes. And that is ‘the victory which overcomes the world, even your faith.’”

The Urantia Book

LARRY MULLINS

March 12, 2011

Discovering the Secret of Self-Mastery

When I was a young man, I had an experience that gave me my first inkling of what it feels like to have power over thought and a deep sense of self. When I made this discovery, I was certain I had found the secret of the universe. I had yet to learn that having knowledge of something is not the same as knowing it or owning it. We really do not own something until we incorporate it into our experience and share it with others. Yet, even though I would find it necessary to retrace my steps time and again and relearn the value of self-mastery, the original experience was a critical beginning. It was my introduction to the power of mind control and self-induced inner peace.

As an eighteen-year-old, I lived in a dysfunctional home. I was angry, poor, and had little hope. In this shadowy world, there were many temptations and diversions, but few positive possibilities. Or so it seemed. Too bored and indifferent to study, I barely managed to graduate from high school. Soon, I was working as a laborer in a local lumberyard. On the surface, I appeared defiant and confident, but inside I was in constant fear, turmoil, and despair. It was as though I was not really fully awake and was watching the world through a long tunnel. Then, I happened into a barbershop and met a man known in the neighborhood as “Don the Barber.” From there, everything began to change.

A haircut was a rare occasion for me in those days. I had passed the tiny barbershop many times, but had never entered it before. Don was middle-aged and walked with a severe limp. His intensity and friendliness immediately struck me as unusual. We were alone in the shop, and as he cut my hair, he talked about mind power, human will, and other subjects that seemed peculiar to me. I could not imagine why he wanted to discuss such offbeat ideas with me. I answered most of his overtures and questions with a grunt or a few mumbled words.

When I paid this unusual man, he suddenly handed me a small book with a worn blue cover. I turned the old tome over in my hands and noted the title: Raja Yoga … or Mental Development, by Yogi Ramacharaka. “Why don’t you read this book, and tell me what you think?” he suggested. In those days, such books were unusual in our culture. I was deeply suspicious. A yogi, to me, was a skinny guy with a turban who could lie upon a bed of nails.

“You don’t believe all this stuff, do you?” I asked.

He smiled. “Well, just read it. Think of it as a cafeteria of ideas. If one appeals to you, take it. Otherwise, pass it by.”

I tucked the book under my arm and promised to return it. When I got home, I decided to look the book over. I began to read by the afternoon light of my window. I read words unlike anything I had ever read before: “Before man attempts to solve the secrets of the Universe without, he should master the Universe within—the Kingdom of the Self.”

For a young man who had concluded he was fighting a losing battle with a hostile universe, the concept of a refuge within—a Kingdom of Self—was irresistible. The idea that there is another, better self within, with access to powerful resources unavailable to my present state of consciousness, was thrilling. It seemed to me that I had been playing a life role far below my capacities, one I did not relish. Down deep, I wanted to be something else. Raja Yoga declared that my “real” self was hidden by the fake outer persona, a facade that I presented to the world so that I could cope and get along. I was even more astounded by the assertion that it was possible for any normal person to control the mind and achieve inner peace. The idea that I could control thought was completely unique to me. The greatest of all demoralizers is the state of being in which we are helpless victims of our thoughts.

Regarding the many grievances that tortured my mind, I read:

“Yet this is an absurd position—for man, the heir of all the ages: hag-ridden by the flimsy creatures of his own brain … It should be as easy to expel an obnoxious thought from your mind as it is to shake a stone out of your shoe; and till a man can do that it is just nonsense to talk about his ascendancy over Nature, and all the rest of it. He is a mere slave, and prey to the bat-winged phantoms that flit through the corridors of his own brain. Yet the weary and careworn faces that we meet by the thousands, even among the affluent classes of civilization, testify only too clearly how seldom this mastery is obtained. How rare indeed to meet a MAN!”

I read and read. I was unaware of time or space. When the light from the window was so dim I could not read anymore, I looked up and observed the dark disorder I lived in. There is a better way to live, I thought. Of course, I knew that if I had money I could live on a higher material level. But the stunning new idea was: There is a better way to live now. I could create my own world within! It could be my own gallery of peace, freedom, and joy. I reasoned that if my mind could generate and sustain thoughts as clear and pure as a mountain stream, no one could hurt me anymore. No matter what others did, they could not destroy, or even affect, my inner kingdom—unless I let them. It all seemed so simple.

The pivotal, enduring insight I gleaned that day was this assurance that I had choices. I gained the knowledge that no matter what circumstances surrounded me, I could master my inner life. At the time, I had no idea how difficult such inner mastery would turn out to be. It would take the better part of a lifetime and what seemed to be endless grief before I could consistently win the battle within. Even so, in times of despair, the original revelation that we can control our thoughts gave me hope. That day, I also accepted responsibility for the secret place, my inner life. The strange book that Don the Barber lent me made me conscious of self, of being, in a way I had never imagined before.                                                           LARRY MULLINS

October 9, 2010

Creativity: The Ultimate Secret revealed

For many years I have made a living as an illustrator, graphic artist and by creative writing. I have taught many classes on creativity. I have told a few people the ultimate secret of creativity, but never published it until now.

When people would ask me, “How do you draw a picture?” I always responded with a question. “What is your telephone number?” A bit puzzled, people always responded with their number. I then would always say the same thing: “What was it that looked for that number, and where did it find it?” Of course, they can’t answer. The truth is, no scientist, philosopher or theologian can answer that question. We have no idea how the mind works. We do not know where the drive to create comes from, nor how it successfully manifests.

We do know that there are two stages to creativity: the inspiration, the gift, or the idea, is the first stage. Everyone gets inspirations. Lots of them. It is my belief that the most lofty of these ideas come from God, or more precisely, the Universe Mother Spirit. There is no problem with finding noble inspirations, normal human minds are invaded by them constantly. It is the second stage of creativity where most of us stumble. As T. S. Elliott put it, “Between the idea and the reality … falls the shadow.”

The ultimate secret, the difference between a creative artist and the average person is very simple. The creative artist shows up. Every single day. At the easel, the writing desk, the kitchen, the nursery, or the classroom. They show up, and they struggle to actualize worthy ideas into realities. I have no idea how the creative process works. I only know that if I show up, most days a miracle will occur. My role in this process is solely to cooperate with the mysterious flow and strive to follow guidance I am given. Some days I fail utterly. But some days are glorious, and even though I am only a small bit player in the whole process, I love it. because I know that, for some reason, the great Creator has endowed us with the power to allow the creative process to work, or to stop it cold by simply not showing up. Showing up is an important victory for me.

I can offer one other “secret” that works for me. It is based upon the advice Jesus once gave to a messenger who was to carry an important message. Jesus told him to carry his message fearlessly, joyfully. Because “… this night an unseen messenger will run by your side.” So, I greet each day thankful for a special angel who, along with other unseen friends, I imagine is at my side assisting me in my efforts.

To some, I realize these notions may seem especially over the top, perhaps even crazy. I remind them of the admonition of Zorba the Greek: “A man [or a woman, of course] needs a little madness, or else he never dares cut the rope and be free.”

Dare to cut the rope.

Larry Mullins

March 28, 2010

Peak Experiences that Change Lives … Yours may be Next

In Abraham Maslow’s studies of Self-Actualizing people, nearly all of them reported sudden, unexpected moments of overwhelming joy, the legendary Peak Experience. However, though we rarely if ever talk about them, virtually all of us have had Peak Experiences. The precious moments of transcendence are so intimate, so personal, that we are not inclined to share them with anyone. In fact, Maslow noted that a discussion of these highest states of consciousness seemed to embarrass most people, including Self-Actualizers. And yet, for a fortunate few people (including Maslow himself), a particular Peak Experience was a life-changing experience. It was as though the curtains of material reality parted, and revealed another reality. This Peak Experience permanently altered their world view. For most of us, however, Peak Experiences come and go and become faint memories. We may even suppress them.
What makes the difference? In a recent ezine article, I tell the story of my own transforming experience. I note in that article that those magnificent moments of vivid transcendence soon began to fade, and I was left with only a memory. The cold world of material reality began to intrude. Briefly here, I can tell you that I came to eventually learn that this fading reality is experienced by even the highest and most noble Self-Actualizers. This by no means indicates the Peak Experience was not real. It rather indicates that what we are occasionally able to see is a reality that has not yet been made manifest. It is the domain of what is not yet real, but ought to be. Material reality is the domain of science, the domain of fact, the domain of what is. Peak Experience reality is the domain of the visionary, the domain of what ought to be.
I came to understand that most of us fear the Peak Experience. Self-Actualizers somehow embrace it. The fading glory of their particular Peak Experience does not disturb them because they are able to live their unfinished lives as though they are able to see what others have not yet seen. They have been chosen by a great ought-to-be. And they have yielded to it and in surrendering to it they have been lifted. They belong to it. There is no higher calling for any of us than this.
LARRY MULLINS

March 6, 2010

Beyond the cults of self-improvement

Abraham Maslow has been unjustly blamed by some for fostering a “me generation” of ego-centered narcissism. Reasonable examination of Maslow’s ideas will show little correlation to the fads of “self-development” that are centered around ego-embellishment. These cults seem to form around gurus, or ultra-energetic motivators who leap upon a stage and assure their adoring flock that they, too, can be “great.” It is professed that if one can only become fearless enough, free enough, brilliant enough, and can visualize success vividly enough, one can find happiness. The facts of life do not support this notion.
The failure of the “ME” philosophy has now become as obvious as the insolvency of the Freudian “ethic.” Yet, in the face of our disillusioning role models, unhappy celebrities, and the continuous unraveling of the lives of rich and famous personalities, many aggressive would-be “achievers” persevere in worshiping the gods of power, narcissism, and fame — and to “keep score” with money and material possessions.
The new and everlasting philosophy of noble values, what Maslow called Being values or Metavalues, is different. It embraces full use of your powers along the lines of Integrity, Caring and Excellence. It is based upon the classic triad of values, Truth, Goodness and Beauty. In The MetaValues Breakthrough, I describe how Truth in action is observed as Integrity, Goodness in action as Caring, and Beauty in action as Excellence. Self-actualizers become conscious and passionate channels for these supreme values.

January 4, 2010

Should Values be the Exclusive Domain of Religion?

From the Preface of The MetaValues Breakthrough:

Abraham Maslow believed that values should not be the exclusive domain of religionists. He advocated a science of values. Yet he also grasped that MetaValues transcend the disciplines of science, theology, and philosophy. Unlike Rand or Hitchens, Maslow understood that science does not have all the answers. Science can tell us much about material reality, or what is. Science can even suggest possibilities, what could be. But the poet or the religionist offers a vision for us of what ought to be. And science without values builds bigger bombs and more efficient gas chambers. Dr. Maslow fought hard to break down the barriers between science and religion:
“I [have] pointed out that both orthodox science and orthodox religion have been institutionalized and frozen into a mutually excluding dichotomy. This separation into Aristotelian a and not-a has been almost perfect … Every question, every answer, every method, every jurisdiction, every task has been assigned to either one or the other, with practically no overlaps. One consequence is that they are both pathologized, split into sickness, ripped apart into a crippled half-science and a crippled half-religion.”
Unfortunately, Maslow was never able to distill his ideas for mainstream readers; he wrote almost exclusively for his peers. The world is the poorer for this, because Maslow uncovered truths about the human condition that are tremendously uplifting and inspiring—and are easily within the understanding of nearly every person on the planet. With this book, nearly four decades after Maslow’s death, individuals at last have a program that shows them how to put these truths to work in their lives.

From Chapter Eight of The MetaValues Breakthrough:
Dr. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has now been around so long that it is a yawner for most students in Psychology 101. Although important progress has been made by many pioneers, the great new frontier of the human mind -the summit of the pyramid- has not yet been fully explored. There is no recognized science of values. And the vast majority of humankind still actualize only a small fraction of their potentials. The time has come to propose a new model of humankind that is based upon Maslow’s metamotivation theory- a model that better embraces the farther reaches of what a human being could become.

Larry Mullins

January 1, 2010

The Peak Experience and Self-Actualizing1

My personal journey began with a Peak Experience. However, I was to learn that such experiences may redirect lives, but they soon fade away. What is needed is a way of life in which the elusive process of self-actualization becomes an experience-able reality for the average person. I am now convinced that there are no super people who live at sustained peak levels of consciousness that are unattainable by the “ordinary” person. The MetaValues Breakthrough lifts the lid from human potential as never before. Virtually any normal person can access the inexhaustible power of MetaValues. Knowing how to do this, aspiring actualizers no longer need to be helpless victims of the volatile ebb and flow of human motivation. Even a meaningless life of stultifying boredom can be dramatically converted into a quest toward actualizing some personal mission—a worthy vision or dream—something that is not yet a material reality, but ought to be. The MetaValues Breakthrough is not a self-help book, but rather a MetaValues-help book. My premise is not that we can lift ourselves, but rather that we can be lifted.

November 28, 2009

The MetaValues® that will Change the World

TRUTH, BEAUTY and GOODNESS

The MetaValues® that will Change the World

 “The world is in a crisis of values.

And we are all called to leadership, all of us, to meet this challenge.

For the first time in the history of civilization, large numbers of us can choose to answer this call. To do this successfully, we must understand the power of the primary MetaValues that govern the universe: Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

Along with this limitless power comes boundless opportunities.

And also, the modulating inspiration and energy that will

ensure we use this power wisely.

 Because when our successes allures us towards arrogance,

Truth reminds us of our limitations.

 When our self-interest compresses our perception of reality,

Beauty reminds us of the richness and diversity of the world we live in.

 And when unbridled power corrupts and does injury,

Goodness cleanses and heals.

 For it is the MetaValues of Truth, Beauty and Goodness

that will energize us to lead with confidence and Love,

and will best serve as the touchstones

for our philosophies, our choices, and our actions.”

 

LARRY MULLINS

August 7, 2009

99% of Salespersons Lack these Two Ingredients for Super Success

The supreme alchemy for success is a perfect balance of confidence and love. The more confidence you have, the better. Provided you have an equal degree of compassion. The more compassion you have, the better … provided you have an equal degree of confidence.

Leading salespersons have this perfect alchemy. Great leaders have it. It’s not true that you can have too much confidence. You need an absolutely impregnable self-respect. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this provided, that is, you have an equal degree of respect for others. Compassion tempers confidence, and changes it from being overbearing and annoying to being gracious and passionate.

It is equally true that you cannot have too much compassion. Provided, that is, it is balanced by an equal degree of confidence and self-respect. Impregnable self-confidence changes saccharine and deferential behavior into a spiritual fragrance that engages and allures other personalities.

This is the ultimate formula, the fail-safe alchemy for success. Simple, yet profoundly difficult. In fact, only one percent of humankind learn to master the elegant balancing act of enlightened self-interest and service. They are known as self-actualizers.

Learn how to become one at www.MetaValues.net .

August 3, 2009

Book Publishing will Never Be the Same

How David Hancock is Helping Authors Get Published
While Re-Inventing the Book Publishing Industry

When a group of street performers observed the declining customer appeal of the circus, they re-invented it. In less than twenty years Cirque du Soleil achieved a level of revenue that Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey took more than a hundred years to achieve.

In a similar way, Walt Disney had a bad experience when he took his daughters to a carnival, and he created Disneyland. Disney revenues and stock began to soar. Walt Disney did not improve the carnival, he revolutionized it. David Hancock had negative experiences becoming a published author a few years ago. This triggered much the same creative process, resulting in a new publishing company that is quietly and dramatically transforming the publishing industry.
While major publishers are foundering, closing divisions and canceling titles, David Hancock’s fledgling company, Morgan James Publishing, enjoyed a 52% increase in sales last year. Morgan James is still one of the fastest growing publishing companies in America.

How did David Hancock do it?
David had studied the cutting edge techniques of the top marketing experts and applied them to a successful mortgage banking career. He then wrote two excellent marketing books. “Publishing a book helped me double my bottom line in less than eight months, and I enjoyed the positive reinforcement that came from my book helping other people. But the traditional publishing process was a terrible experience.” David then self-published and distributed a third book. This experience was not encouraging. The self-published book lacked the prestige of a recognized imprint.
Hancock became convinced that the world needed a new kind of publishing company. He decided to create it himself. His vision was as daring and revolutionary as that of Walt Disney and Cirque du Soleil. With a slight twist. David added what may seem to some a Quixotic vision, one of service. He wanted a publishing company that put the author first. When David Hancock founded Morgan James Publishing in 2003 the odds against success appeared formidable. The industry was not robust, and David’s experience as a publisher was limited to a single book.
Unconventional from the beginning, David and his wife, Susan, named his new company after their two children, Morgan Renee and Ethan James. Much in the manner of Disney and the Cirque du Soleil team, David began developing a business plan by identifying the industry’s costly sacred cows and then chasing them off the reservation. First, the traditional publishing model of the expensive long-run printing of titles was discarded in favor of a blend of printing technologies with short runs to cover demand with print on demand as a back up strategy. Market demand would dictate quantities of each title. Morgan James became the first high-volume title publisher with Ingram Publisher Services and Lightning Source, a finely tuned print and distribution combination owned by the Ingram Book Group. In one stroke, Hancock addressed production problems and achieved distribution venues. Eventually, his sensitive management of book store relationships would result in returns of less than 25%, compared to the industry average of 50%.
This was clearly an innovative approach to the economics of publishing. But David Hancock had insight into something more—something that the publishing industry, and many other industries, have too often neglected. Like Disney and the Cirque du Soleil team, he realized that successful business models have dimensions beyond pure economics. Disneyland and Cirque du Soleil passionately focus upon serving customers with extraordinary creative products of value-enhanced significance. David appreciated that publishers’ most important assets are the creators of their books—their authors.
Hancock’s new model would cultivate talented authors, both known and unheralded, with uncommon consideration and respect. Morgan James would become the world’s first Entrepreneurial Publisher™. The old school patron-clerk relationship between publisher and author was discarded. In its place, a collaborative entrepreneurial team would be formed to develop each publishing project. The author would be consulted and in the loop during the entire publishing process, including the design of the cover and interior of the publication. This was virtually unheard of.
And there is yet another dimension to the Morgan James’ Entrepreneurial Publisher® model. David understood that it is self-evident that a publishing business model would not work unless it could sell an appropriate number of books. David was aware that all successful marketing and advertising theories turn on this principle: Nothing happens until a sale is made. Mainstream publishers today are unwilling to risk large budgets to market books. Unless authors happen to be celebrities, they will find it necessary to market their own books. A few years ago this involved considerable time, expense and arduous grunt-work. That obsolete model was pre-internet.
Today a savvy author has access to Amazon and a host of other internet options to interface with prospective readers and sell books. But few authors have the sophisticated knowledge necessary to make the internet work with maximum efficiency in their behalf. As internet guru Mark Joyner (a Morgan James author) might express it, authors had the will and the internet gave them the means, but they lacked the knowledge. Hancock decided upon another breakthrough solution. He would put the tools of the internet at his authors’ disposal and teach them how to use them.
Here David had distinct advantages. He could draw upon his extensive study of the proven principles of marketing, especially those state-of-the-art techniques that involve the internet. He could use his precious connections with the best internet teachers and make their products available to his authors. Suddenly it became possible for talented unknowns as well as top authors to interface with untold numbers of readers in cyberspace for little or virtually no cost.
The result was electric. Authors have generally proven to be better than publishers at marketing their books. And the publishing world will never be the same.
How to Win Friends and Help Authors Sell Books
I had the good fortune to see David’s philosophy operate in real time recently in Phoenix. I attended a three day seminar featuring internet guru Armand Morin. Several Morgan James authors were in attendance, courtesy of the Morgan James Author 101 University marketing program. David attended the seminar, and I found him to be remarkably accessible and gracious. So much so that my fascination about self-actualizing personalities kicked in. I wanted to know what drove David’s passion to help authors. Fortunately, I learned more during several brief encounters with David over the three-day period.
In one particular instance, David and I sat down together for an informal chat in the hospitality center of the hotel. We were soon joined by several authors. In this circle of eager writers, David patiently listened as one after another discussed his or her book and unfolded their goals and visions. During a lull I asked David to reveal his secret for working successfully with authors, he replied: “I try to catch their dream.” Indeed, one must watch David in action to appreciate the significance and depth of this, his own passion.
I came to realize that perhaps what I was observing was an example of servant leadership. I know some will sniff at this remark and even regard it as corny. But those who are not embarrassed by this concept will find the next few paragraphs of particular interest.

The Remarkable Power of Organizational Values
I believe it is the company’s core values that make Morgan James a different kind of organization. I am not referring to a list of principles in some formal document, unread and gathering dust in an executive’s credenza. They are values that are more lived than formally stated. They begin with David Hancock and they permeate the entire Morgan James organization … operations and production, sales; and relationships with associates, vendors, authors, and the general public.
First is the pragmatic core value of excellence. From a material perspective, the operational essentials of profitability and well-crafted products are basic. The company focuses on four book categories: Business, Self Help, Inspirational, and Health. Morgan James is very selective about the quality of what it publishes. The prevailing principle is that the company will not publish anything that David would not feel comfortable showing his children. Appropriate content, character, and family values are weighed to determine whether an author’s work makes it. And making the team is not a lark. Over four thousand five hundred manuscript proposals are submitted annually, and an average of 163 survive the cut.
Once accepted, however, an author experiences a second essential core value: integrity. Trust is cultivated and fostered. What David Hancock promises, he delivers. What the organization says it will do, it does. Author relations are funneled through a single individual, and responses to inquiries are swift and reasonable. An entrepreneurial and marketing training program kicks in. Authors retain rights to their intellectual property, and books stay in print. Royalties are generally larger than those common in the publishing industry. There are a host of other benefits, such as group health insurance, that are too numerous to list here. The bottom line is that authors are made to feel valued as important assets, as part of a family.

There is a third core value that should not be overlooked: caring and mutually beneficial relationships. On the practical side, strong relationships with authors and vendors have resulted in authentic strategic advantages. Yet Morgan James goes beyond the pragmatic and embraces community responsibility. A percentage of the revenue of each book goes to Habitat for Humanity. The company places the Habitat for Humanity logo on the back and inside of its books. David appreciates the Habitat for Humanity’s life-changing work of helping low income families build homes they can afford to buy. Many Habitat for Humanity home dedications are visited by a large van with Habitat and Morgan James logos, featuring imprints and authors. New homeowners are gifted with a small library of books. David explains that these activities help his authors and raise public awareness of Habitat for Humanity’s work for the less advantaged.

The core values of integrity, excellence and caring—vibrant and in pragmatic balance—seem to form the essential foundation of Morgan James Publishing.
In the first five years, the Morgan James business model moved from start-up to a 15 million dollar company. Many well-known writers have joined its author base, including Jay Conrad Levinson, Robyn Spizman, Rick Frishman, Mark Victor Hansen, Dr. Robert Anthony, and Tony Alessandra. Morgan James was ranked 44 on Fast Company’s “Fast 50” in 2006. David Hancock was a finalist in the Best Chairman category in the 2006 American Business Awards, hailed as “the business world’s own Oscars” by the New York Post.
Hancock has proven that the publishing industry was ready for his entrepreneurial author concept. The pubic is obviously hungry for his products. Of the future, he says: “Of course, we are watching, planning and positioning ourselves for this new economy, but we are optimistic in our continued growth and reach in the marketplace today and in years to come.”
One thing seems certain to me after meeting David Hancock. He is loving every moment of working with his authors and actualizing his mission to “catch their dream.”

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