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eISSN: 2373-6445

Psychology & Clinical Psychiatry

Review Article Volume 1 Issue 6

Epic Consciousness: A Pertinent New Unification of an Important Concept

Vernon M Neppe, Edward R Close

Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute and Exceptional Creative Achievement Organization, USA

Correspondence: Vernon M Neppe, Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute and Exceptional Creative Achievement Organization, USA, Tel 206-527-6289

Received: August 08, 2014 | Published: November 12, 2014

Citation: Neppe VM, Close ER (2014) EPIC Consciousness: A Pertinent New Unification of an Important Concept. J Psychol Clin Psychiatry 1(6): 00036. DOI: 10.15406/jpcpy.2014.01.00036

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“Consciousness” has traditionally been the most difficult term to describe because it’s conceptualized variably and incompletely between, and even within different specialties. In this theoretical paper, we propose for the first time a detailed new “EPIC Consciousness” classification integrating four is overlapping EPIC “prongs”: Existential, Paradigmatic, Information-meaning and Cybernetic. Each necessarily comes with new terms.

E: Existential “distinctions” of Consciousness are further subdivided into “extent, content and impact distinctions”

  1. Consciousness extent substrate: measurable ordinal Consciousness dimensions are tethered to measurable Space and Time dimensions.
  2. Consciousness content matrix: This Consciousness container is comparable with mass- energy containers.
  3. Consciousness impact: Consciousness impacts and influences the “extent” and “content”.

P: Paradigmatic levels of Consciousness: Consciousness involves a four-level gradation

  1. Qualit Consciousness: the most basic consciousness (Qualit) level always exists in everything inanimate or animate as everything contains the most fundamental discrete finite physical meaning. Qualits are quanta plus meaning.
  2. Neurobiological/ Neurological Consciousness: the endpoint nervous system expression of all living (animate) beings. They have awareness and responsiveness.
  3. Psychological Consciousness: involving humans and animals. The psychological is disputably partly separated from the neurological.
  4. Higher Consciousness disputably outside the brain: This might involve dreams, meditation, creative, transcendent, psi and altered states, plus mystical traits.
  5. These four levels are all applicable to living humans.

Information converted to meaning: Infinitely large repositories of general information are expressed as direct targeted, specific meaningful information.

Cybernetic consciousness communications: This provides a mechanistic input, central and output model, applicable to any consciousness models like stimulus-organ-response, dendrite-neuron-axon, or stimulus-brain (central)-motor: The four EPIC prongs are always applied together, reflecting the unification of consciousness in its broadest general applications.

Keywords: consciousness, epic, existential distinctions, paradigmatic consciousness, quality, higher consciousness, extent, content, impact, cybernetic, information, meaning, psychology, neurology, TDVP

Re-examining the consciousness concept (Part 1)

Consciousness has traditionally been the most difficult of all terms to describe. It is a complex, misused and ambiguous term.

Four factors particularly may contribute to this difficulty:

  1. The everyday use of the concept of "consciousness" has varied.
  2. Different specialists conceptualize it from their specific framework.
  3. Even within these specific groups, it may be applied variably, imprecisely and ambiguously.
  4. There are many components to it and few recognize that these different elements should be assessed.

Therefore, when scientists speak of “consciousness” they are not talking about a uniform phenomenon but one relative to a specific context, usually based on their own specialty. We believe that consciousness should be precisely conceptualized. This is difficult as some aspects of Consciousness are disputed. Neurologists, for example, may argue that there is no separate Psychological consciousness; and certainly the origins of consciousness in near-death experiences and in meditation may be debated; and the accumulating data suggesting even subatomic quanta having some kind of meaning1‒12 remains controversial.

A proper description of “Consciousness” should be uniform and it should specifically indicate what is being specified at that time. Because there are many facets to Consciousness, its description requires a precise extra vocabulary to avoid its current ambiguous and fuzzy use. The description should apply the appropriate components: We suggest four separate “prongs”, what we call “EPIC prongs”, to ensure that what is being described is consistent and amplified in the appropriate context. This should be applied to all descriptions of consciousness. We recognize the broad concept of Consciousness is unified, yet we understand, too, that most times, we may be applying only one or two elements to these prongs. If so, those elements should specifically be defined. If we do not do this, we may not portray “like with like”, and we may reach inappropriate conclusions.13,14 We need consistency in our phenomenological descriptions.

We apply two principles:

  1. We use the generic term “C” to communicate the unified and broad range of Consciousness. 3 This generic term C includes more than what is manifesting to us subjectively, but includes the hidden aspects. 3 Therefore, when we use “C” we refer to all facets of EPIC Consciousness.
  2. To ensure the key elements are applied in any specific description, we apply the four-pronged new “EPIC Classification of Consciousness”

The acronym “EPIC” involves four key approaches integrated together: the “EPIC” components stand for Existential C, Paradigmatic C, Information-meaning C, Cybernetic c. Each component can be applied to every description of C, and every component, E, P, I or C, can be applied to any of the other EPIC elements, spelling out E_P_I_C. We briefly outline below and then amplify.

E: “Existential distinctions” of C

The E of EPIC: A distinction is anything that can be distinguished, in any way whatsoever, from everything else15,16 Any finite object, event, image or thought distinguishable from its surroundings.17‒21 Therefore when we talk of consciousness—of a broader C—it, too, can be distinguished in many ways. We use the phrase, existential distinction, to refer to the ways in which we can make distinctions pertaining to all of existence.22 These distinctions involve three important ways in which we can classify reality; namely the extent, the content and the impacts. These “existential distinctions” when applied to consciousness, can be described as the “how” of C: How does it work? How do we classify what exists, but what we don’t necessarily directly experience: How does this Existential C work? We see it works in different ways so if we use one global term we do not have the “like being compared with like”.14,23,24 Consciousness too can have extent, content and impact.3,19 We therefore differentiate three significant ways in which consciousness can exist reflecting the “Existential Distinctions” of Consciousness

Extent: Space and time can be measured and are dimensions which mean they have extent; consciousness cannot be exactly measured, but we can talk of a bit of love or of high emotions, these are ordinal measures of the extent of consciousness.

Content: Mass and energy have content. Consciousness can also have content—it is what it contains. So it can contain a specific dream about us going down a road and noting a big event and then it moves and we’re in a hotel. That is content.

A special “how” is how C impacts, influences and is impacted on. The most common impact is communication such as us speaking. We talk and we influence. Another may be so-called psi phenomena where, hypothetically, we may influence be influenced some intuitive element or by maybe by prayer23,25,26 and does a Divinity influence us. The impact can be on the consciousness content and there be changes induced the extent of consciousness. It may be more intense or less so. And of course, mass-energy can also impact, for example with an earthquake. We can understand that the world can exist in many ways and whereas consciousness is important, so are the building blocks of the world we live in, the measurable extent of space and time, and its contents objects of mass and energy.

P: “Paradigmatic levels” of C. The P in EPIC

These reflect the gradation of levels of Consciousness (C).3,23 We can conceptualize C from the

  1. Most basic quantum level—which we refer to as “quality” level because it includes consciousness
  2. Through to the brain and nervous system of living beings
  3. Through to the psychological factors that involve humans and animals
  4. Through to a “higher” consciousness disputably outside the brain.

These levels are the “where” of C—“where is the specific kind of consciousness localized?” The levels in the quantal involves everything inanimate (not living) and animate (living), and then the animate: the neurological in all living beings even the most basic protozoa; the psychological awareness and responses in animals and mankind; and then we go outside the brain, an area of dispute as to whether it is separate from the brain— the higher consciousness in humans maybe involving creativity, mystical states, altered states of consciousness and, most disputed, but appropriate for this theoretical example, even elements that could be regarded as still existing after physical death.

Of course, these are examples only and technically all these where levels may often overlap.

I: Information converted to meaning

The I in EPIC: General information becomes targeted when expressed as specific meaningful information, applied in any of these models. We call that meaning.3,23 This is the “why” of C because it is the pertinence of our C. Specific meaning is developed from general information at all these paradigmatic levels, and it applied with these distinctions (it impacts onto content and extent). Moreover, it can be recognized using any processor model. Effectively, we need to provide a “handle for consciousness”. That handle of C needs specific meaning as opposed to being overwhelmed with an unending repository of general information.3,23 We humans filter27 what is coming in and utilize what is pertinent.3 At every level of these four EPIC prongs, there has to be general information: But, for this to have relevant for us in Consciousness, we must convert the raw informational knowledge to an understanding that is appropriate for our handling. General information becomes targeted when expressed as specific meaningful information, and it is applied in any of these EPIC models. Why do we restrict our meaning? Why not just stay as an unending repository of information? We believe this is not only to prevent being overwhelmed with information but to integrate this meaning so we can function. We so to say, “use our horses, for necessary courses”.

C: Cybernetic consciousness communications

This provides a mechanistic input, central and output model, again applicable to any of these models. This is the “which” of C. This is the processor model we see in computers. This is a mechanistic input, central (receptor) and output model taking consciousness into the modern world of Cybernetic computer communications certainly. But for many years we’ve applied the idea of C in many specialties like psychology, in neurology, and in our nervous system. Table 1 provides a simplified but illustrative tabulation.3



















Different response;








Sensory stimulus

Reflex arc or brain

Motor response


Psychological Behavioral





Higher Consciousness


Bidirectional filter



Objects and Events

Awareness or apprehension


Manipulation or influence


Afferent influence

Central event or object

Efferent impact


Table 1 The cybernetic loop of consciousness

We differentiate the three elements of the loop reflecting respectively applying the “which of the three” loop (incoming, central or outgoing) examples as the simplified computer and paradigmatic level examples: quantum level; neuronal and nervous system; psychological (behavioral example given below); and broader consciousness; as well as the practical levels of Consciousness Research (where awareness may not exist; it may autonomic or unconscious).3,18

This EPIC classification therefore integrates these four non-exclusive conceptualizations. They are always linked: e.g., Consciousness (C) Impacts its Extent and Content; it can be objectified at the Quintals, Neurobiological, Psychological and Higher Consciousness levels; consciousness mechanistically has input, receptor and output; and the targeted meaningful information is applicable for every consciousness component. We cannot talk of how it works existentially without referring to what levels we’re examining, where in the cybernetic loop the C we’re conceptualizing is, and why the specific meanings are pertinent. All of Consciousness (C) is incorporated into this EPIC. The four levels are necessarily linked because they can be always be conceptualized along four prongs. The integrated EPIC approach can be applied to every description of C; and every prong component can be applied to any of the other prongs.

Applying EPIC, we recognize that consciousness always exists as a meaningful unit that underlies every aspect of reality. Existentially, consciousness impacts and influences the extent and content of events and objects (but Consciousness is only one component, as indicated, because in our real world mass and energy can influence these). This allows for a precise classification of any specific description of C, as well as a broader overall C.

Essentially, the EPIC approach to Consciousness creates a unified, integrated single concept of C- applicable across multiple specialties. We can conceptualize consciousness more easily by recognizing the four questions:

  1. The Existential How does it exist?;
  2. The Paradigmatic Where is it located? ;
  3. The Informational Why Consciousness and not just Information?; and
  4. The Cybernetic which part of the process is it?

But we recognize exceptions. In the discipline of philosophy particularly, “consciousness” is often applied imprecisely and ambiguously based on a specific philosophical, mystical or theological model. Nevertheless, we conceivably could apply this 4-prong EPIC concept even to Philosophy, too, though, in this paper, we target its more precise use in the sciences.

Incidentally, Philosophy particularly, uses the amorphous and ambiguous term “mind”. What mind includes May or may not imply consciousness, or purely the so-called non-physical elements. So we avoid the term, as it is unclear.

Explaining consciousness: an epic re-examination (part 2): the how, the what, the why and the where

Let’s examine each of these subdivisions again, this time, to obtain a more practical, better perspective. We return to “EPIC”.

  1. Existential reality distinctions of Consciousness: The How

We begin with the E for EPIC: We have seen how the Existential Reality Distinctions differentiate three significant kinds of experiences of consciousness, namely the extent, the content and the impacts of C. These reflect the “Existential Distinctions” of Consciousness: How it impacts, influences and is impacted on itself; and how the conscious content becomes modified; and the degree of change— the extent. We already understand that this how relates to all of what exists, not just our individual subjective reality.

Extent of Consciousness: The Extent of C reflects (what we have defined and conceptualized in great detail as mathematical) dimensions. Consciousness (C) is separate from other dimensional substrates, namely Space (S) and Time (T) so there are S, T and C substrates. This “C Substrate” allows us to measure the extent of C as different dimensions, by applying ordinal measures (such as good, better, best; slight, moderate, severe, profound). The C-substrate is the most subtle of the STC triad without which reality would have no meaning.

This extent is motivated scientifically and mathematically in a Theory of Everything model we have developed called the Neppe-Close TDVP model (short for the tongue twister (Triadic Dimensional-Distinction Vortical Paradigm). This new paradigm shift is strongly motivated in our E-Book “Reality Begins with Consciousness”.3 Essentially, the C substrate is inseparably tethered to the other two substrates of Space (S-substrate) and Time (T-substrates): These are necessarily partly tethered inseparably together. Even more, we have demonstrated there are 9 finite spinning dimensions20,28 providing some cogent mathematical, empirical and theoretical support to postulate 3 finite dimensions each of Space, Time and Consciousness making up the first 9 finite dimensions.29‒31 This may sound complex and it is, but it extends the fundamental perception of our finite reality world, which even more remarkably according to TDVP, this finite sub reality made up of miniscule quanta, is embedded within the unending, unbounded infinite that is not quantized in pieces but continuous in that it does not have specific points. And the finite and higher finite above the 9 dimensions (called the “transfinite) is a mirror that mirrors all in the infinite which we cannot directly access.

Content of Consciousness: Whereas there is tethered (linkage) of Space, Time and C extent, we can refer to Content by the term “matrix”. This matrix contains Mass and Energy. It also importantly contains C. This “C matrix” reflects the Content of Consciousness: It’s not directly measurable in extent. Instead, it is an abstract container that “contains” “consciousness”. The triad of Mass-Energy-Consciousness containers are also always linked. These containers involve things or “stuff” in the philosophical sense, and they are specific constants—what is contained, and not the “form of containment”. Therefore, content can be descriptive e.g., a yellow or hard rock or the rock weighs 40kg, reflecting mass; a specific impression or thought or dream content would be the content of consciousness: the “process” (the abstract idea, or auditory hallucination would be process extent not content): So a psychotic patient may hear voices for most of his waking day (extent process) and the voices may say “go with your green spaceship to New York” (that is content). Content measures are specific, concrete, and qualitative compared with established standards, but not direct extent measures of space, time and degree of processed consciousness.

Impact of Consciousness: Consciousness can Impact on the content container constants and the measurable extent variables. This C interface reflects the impact and influence of C. Consciousness impact can interface in a major way on any or all of Space-Time-Consciousness extent and on Mass-Energy-Consciousness content, just as physical events like force of earthquakes might. C impact may have different aspects:

  1. Regular speech communication involves, inter alia, C interface.
  2. Psi also does.
  3. So does a theology of the infinite or infinity of infinities.32

A real-life yet esoteric example of C interface impact would be applying the strategic and tactical thought processes in a chess game. This reflects on the form and process such as impacting one’s creativity and logic to a specific degree (or extent), because of experience (a mainly learnt automatic process) or consciously with some new idea or learn process, consequently solving the problem. The ideas are used to impact the game’s reality and influence the outcome. The actual moves imply the content of a specific game. At a more profound level, it may even involve the inspiration one obtains from “hidden” realities, outside one’s usual 3S-1t experience. We may even apply our intuition.3,33 Unlikely, but possible in this example, might be the interfacing of prayer, or the ways in which we unconsciously organize via psi or clinical experience.

  1. Paradigmatic C: The What level

The paradigm of consciousness (C) is at what levels is it relevant? Paradigmatic C reflects a graduation from the most basic quantum inanimate level through to the nervous system of living beings, through to the psychological factors that involve humans and animals, through to a “higher” consciousness disputably outside the brain. Effectively, this reflects the “Paradigmatic levels” of C: We can apply it to different science models, and to different levels. The first question is: What levels of this paradigm are we describing?. A basic Consciousness level always exists in everything inanimate or animate because everything contains that most fundamental discrete finite physical element, and this is linked in extent with space and time, and in content with mass and energy. We call this “Qualit” Consciousness3,23 because it refers to more than the conventional Quantum. This is so as it is Quantum plus meaning. At the next level, all living beings have awareness and responsiveness in the nervous system-neurobiological consciousness. This is always linked with psychological consciousness. A “Higher Consciousness”, disputably outside the brain or body, may occur in states like dreams, meditation, creativity, transcendent and altered states, or may occur as a trait in, for example, mystics or near-death descriptions.

“Paradigmatic consciousness”: This can be applied across the broader sciences and other endeavours as a global, unifying term for four levels of meaningful information:

  1. The physical sciences including the subatomic, macro physical and cosmological research.
  2. The biological / life sciences with neurological, biological and anatomico physiologico pathological elements;
  3. The psychological sciences across the systems spectrum of individual psychological, family, group and social, cultural, anthropological and ethnic, and mysticospirituotheological.
  4. The consciousness sciences, includes any kind of subjective experience, afferent or efferent, including psi and exceptional human experiences.

Paradigmatic Consciousness can be conceptualized across four levels of consciousness

  1. A basic consciousness level always exists in everything inanimate or animate as everything contains the most fundamental discrete finite physical meaning linked in extent with space and time, and in content with mass and energy. We call this Quantal (or more broadly “Qualit”) Consciousness: The term “quantum” is used specifically to describe the discrete infinitesimal units of mass and energy, but not purpose or meaning; the term “quality” is a broader term meant to include quanta, plus the more subtle qualitative aspects of consciousness. So all of mass, energy and meaning is included in Qualit Consciousness (Q-C). We argue cogently, based on the known apparent quantum mechanical “contradictions” such as the split screen and delayed choice wave-particle observer research, and the entanglement work where distant particles apparently interact with each other, that have remained unexplained,18,34‒36 that a simple and parsimonious explanation is that Consciousness and Meaningful Information is, indeed, a critical component of this level 3. Though many would still dispute this contention, because it has vast implications, we regard meaning as an essential component, even at that infinitesimal level. However, even if it were not, then Qualit would simply be synonymous with Quantal, and there would be no Quantal Consciousness that existed. While we regard that conclusion as incorrect, it is nevertheless a legitimate option.
  2. In all sentient beings, consciousness also involves various levels of awareness and responsiveness in the final common pathway—neurological consciousness (N-C) is reflecting a product of the functioning brain and nervous system plus biology: a biochemical-electrical admixture occurring in restricted 3S-1t. So all animate existence (“life”) has N-C.
  3. N-C is always linked with psychological elements (P-C) in humans and also in animals (psychological data is obtained from animals; some might debate that plants have psychological awareness without active responsiveness, too, but we will not enter that controversy, here). Depending on one’s orientation, the psychological may or may not involve an addition to the neurological biochemical-electrical consciousness—is it more than brain or just reduced to biochemical-electrical brain? Nevertheless, P-C still involves the brain as an endpoint, but while controversial, we must allow the possibility that there may be situations where it could also have components that derive in location from outside the brain (again, we’re not debating the merits here).
  4. Additionally, there may be varying levels of “Higher Consciousness” (H-C):
    a) a separate transfinite discrete meaning (Transfinite Consciousness) and
    b) an unending continuous information repository resulting in meaning in the infinite (what we call “Meta consciousness”).

We refer to these two repositories of Higher Consciousness in combination, because the origins of ostensible transfinite consciousness and Meta consciousness elements may be largely inseparable. We propose that Higher Consciousness may not be experienced almost at all by many living sentient beings, or may be accentuated by such states as dreams or meditation, or may occur as a trait in, for example, mystics. HC could be hypothesized to be pertinent linked with other traits, such as in near-death experiences or out-of-body experiences and in alleged survival after bodily death. These four levels (Qualit, Neurological, Psychological, Higher) constitute together “paradigmatic consciousness”. These levels can be applied broadly at every level of the sciences, and, as an aside, we have found ways for it to work mathematically, or even philosophically.

Therefore, C defines a unit always made up of quantum plus meaning (collectively together called “qualits”), of neurological and psychological consciousness in sentient beings, and of possible transfinite discrete and meta conscious continuous meaning linked with various levels of the continuous unending information repository in the infinite. This way, consciousness always exists as a meaningful unit underlying every aspect of reality. By contrast, the philosophical term “consciousness” has been used variably so unless carefully defined applying an EPIC or related classification, it appears more imprecise and ambiguous as it depends on the specific philosophical, mystical or theological model. All these paradigmatic consciousnesses could theoretically (and likely) be applicable in a single example, such as in a mystic.

  1. Meaningful information theory: The Why

Effectively, we need to provide a handle for consciousness. It needs specific meaning as opposed to being overwhelmed with an unending repository of general information. At every level of these four prongs, there is general information: for this to have pertinence for us in Consciousness, we must convert the raw informational knowledge to an understanding. General information becomes targeted when expressed as specific meaningful information, applied in any of these models. The third question, then, is: Why do we need to restrict to meaning (from overwhelming information) and integrate this meaning so we can function? There are many conceptual frameworks to Consciousness. The EPIC approach to Consciousness is more than description of “ways” it is different- existential conceptual distinctions of extent involving dimensions, content and impact. It is more than different “what” paradigmatic levels, the Qualit, Neurological, Psychological and Higher Consciousness. It is more than cybernetic “how” consciousness communication loops—incoming, central and outgoing. We still need to solve what C is. C involves specific information that is translated in one of these ways into “meaning”. Meaningful Information is the I of the EPIC and involves the “Why”.

So the third component of EPIC, the I, is directed information. The information could be conceptualized as an infinite repository of data. This becomes converted from the general (information) to the specific (meaning). Meaning may be primitively expressed (for example. at the Qualit Level) or advanced descriptively (e.g. involving Higher Consciousness insights). There are degrees of meaning.

Like C, meaning too, is difficult to conceptualize, likely because it, too. Involves all these different conceptual EPIC frameworks.

  1. Meaning is directed at any “what” or paradigmatic level: all of quality, nervous system, psychological, or higher consciousness (transfinite discrete or continuous meta consicousness from the infinite).
  2. Meaning can be existential manifesting in different “ways”. It can”
  1. have ordinal extent and be measured (e.g., strongly versus minimal)
  2. contain content, and
  3. Impact and influence other events or objects existentially.
  1. Meaning has “how” cybernetic relevance: afferent —incoming— awareness or less directed apprehension of objects or events—where this may not even register in clear consciousness but may influence personality, behaviours, or motivation. Alternatively, it may involve the manipulation or perturbation by inducing responses—the outgoing loop, the motor responses such as muscles in the body, or the autonomic nervous system, or executive decisions. In between, there is the central receptor or receptacle or synapse or processor for meaning between the input and the output—this is the way meaning is integrated.

Meaning involves the “why”: It is what is intended to be, or actually is, expressed or indicated. It is the significance, importance, pertinence and relevance. These ideas imply cognitive elements: a wisdom, knowledge, and understanding at some basic or advanced scale of amount. It also has emotional affective meaning, and this might even be at the Higher Consciousness level, where, for example, love and hate, kindness and unkindness may be involved. And meaning involves motivation, action and drive. Meaning can be used for good and bad. Meaning, of itself, is neutral: It can be experienced, conceptualized, perceived or interpreted variably, including positively or negatively.

  1. Meaning involves systems theory: It can be any or all of, for example:

Socio cultural, moral, ethical, individual, psychological, familial, ethnic or involve spiritual growth. So, meaning can go beyond the individual. Every one of these levels is critically important when we talk about this integrated systems approach, the ethico bio psycho familial group socio ethnic spirituous cultural approach. Meaning has specificity, compared with information which is general. So meaning derives from the great repository of information. We postulate that this involves not only the conventional thinking of the brain alone, but like those in areas like Humanistic Psychology and Transpersonal Psychology,23 we argue that this repository involves a higher consciousness as well.

Meaning phenomenologically reflects:

  1. Why and not how.
  2. General information translated into specific, targeted meaning.
  3. Meaning has ordinal degree: It can, for example, be basic and advanced. We do not expect the qualit to have anything but basic meaning; our postulated higher consciousness would be advanced.
  4. Meaning can be conceptualized as reflecting the target of an infinite repository of informational continuity, and translating into finite pixels: It has quantized (in its general meaning) discrete bits.
  5. Meaning is not only received but has expressions (outputs) of relevant behavior.

Cybernetic consciousness “c”: The Whereb

The fourth way to conceptualize Consciousness is to apply a cybernetic model.

We differentiate here C for Consciousness and small c for Cybernetic in the term EPIC or more correctly then EPIC.
i. We can, at least, theoretically apply this to all levels of Paradigmatic Consciousness. We are not here debating if these occur in reality. We apply cybernetics regularly in humans: In Psychology, we talk of Stimulus, Organism (implying a central mechanism) and Response; in Neurology, we refer to Afferent (out-going sensory receptors), Central (Brain or Spinal Cord) and Efferent (motor system effectors). We can apply this at the Qualit level given the concept of quantal meaning: Is a wave-particle “apprehending” the position on a screen? Does it respond in some way (a “perturbation”)? Is the screen the distinctive separation of afferent and efferent? Finally, still applying these different levels of the What, we can conceptualize receiving and transmitting meaningful information at the Higher Consciousness levels—it can indeed influence and be influenced. Theists might regard this as “prayer”. But these levels can be as simple as “speech communication” with its back and forth. At these levels, we describe distinctive “awareness” and “response and manipulation”. We talk of the central “receptors”. And we can go beyond the What Levels model and extend our paradigmatic cybernetic model to machines, such as computers and robots and artificial consciousness (Input-Processor-Output).

At every level of C interface there is a communication that is bidirectional involving impact and influence and feedback loops to Extent and Content and also Impact itself. There is a coordinating receptor “centrally” and the impacts or influences relate to objects and events.

This prong provides for the mechanism of the computer—the where: It is a mechanistic input, central and output model (like a computer). This takes consciousness into the modern world of Cybernetic communications. But, for many years we’ve applied the idea of C in many specialties like psychology (Stimulus-organism-response) and in neurology, for example (dendrite, synapse, axon). The third question is: Where are the input-receptor-outputs involved in this Cybernetic C?

This four-pronged classification therefore integrates these four non-exclusive conceptualizations. The linkage is such that we cannot talk of What, How, Where and Why without any of the others. All of these four are always linked.

Let’s revisit the EPIC four prongs with a concrete example of someone during meditation, who is applying Consciousness, often without even realizing it:

(E) The existential how does it fit together? He is able to impact the sublime sound he hears, and translate this to an awareness of conscious peace (content) and experience a profound depth to this consciousness (extent). Besides the passive impact, he may be able to influence his incoming experiences so that his experiences are bidirectional.

(P) The paradigmatic content what level

The meditator utilizes all his different levels of C; these seamlessly integrate without him being aware:
i. at the basic Qualit inanimate level every particle in his body (disputably) is imbued with meaning;
ii. his brain is a key: his Neurobiological expression reflects his nervous system and physiology. His brain reflects more than that, however.

  1. The brain is the endpoint expression for all kinds of consciousness in the living—Quantal, psychological and higher consciousness. “Endpoint” literally refers to the final common pathway. But the term “endpoint” is a misnomer. This is so because brain modulation can occur at any point in the process, not just the end.
  2. If he has brain damage, or different anomalous brain functioning or has modified his brain’s awareness and responsiveness, as in altered states of consciousness like his meditation, his processing of any other form of consciousness might be substantially modified.
  3. The brain is the limiting central processing element: It both filters all incoming information and allows “reduction valves”37 limiting our experiences to certain ranges (e.g. we cannot directly experience infrared or ultraviolet rays; and we do not echolocate even though dolphins do). This way the brain ensures a specific evolutionary utility and does not overload the meditator. This brain “filtering” function is obvious.27
  4. The brain also involves the enhancing central processing element: By allowing feedback with the environment, and actively choosing and accentuating information it acts as the captain of the team. This feedback element with accentuation of the relevant is a critically important, but less obvious function, than the pure filter.
  5. Further alterations may occur with different kinds of functioning of the brain: For example, temporal lobe functioning in so-called “subjective paranormal experients” is different,38‒40 and so are the “subjective paranormal experiences” of temporal lobe seizure patients. These may allow both groups to experience a heightened, different subjective reality41,42 So if the meditator had either or both of these conditions—and this does not necessarily imply pathology in “experients”—his experience would potentially be different.
  6. Let’s imagine an alternative scenario: What would happen if the meditator was deceased? Let’s not debate survival after death here, but speculate as to the result if there were survival. We could argue that any surviving so-called “discarnate entity” would not utilize what living beings would experience as a “brain in 3 spatial dimensions in a moment in time”. If so, could that consciousness experience be more general informational because of the absence of a filtering system or way to emphasize areas to process?
  1. The meditator certainly has Psychological motivations and defences that might be separate from his physiology: We emphasize that the term “Consciousness” is used here as a composite term: We are not differentiating psychological levels like pre-conscious, unconscious or collective consciousness. In this example, we’re defining them all in the composite way of the broader elements of psychological consciousness.28
  2. He specifically tries to access Higher Consciousness levels. Some would argue this is an extension of his Psychological Consciousness, and still based within the brain. The Transpersonal Psychologist would be well prepared to perceive a transcendence of self as possibly accessing more than just brain psychology.23 

(I) The informational side in this meditator

A big question would be why is the information he is receiving restricted to his specific meaningful requirements? He is able to access information from a higher repository and translate it into meaning. While alive, this meaning is still processed through his brain and that ultimately produces the specific subjective experience; but that occurs only after appreciating a certain sublime satisfaction psychologically. He does not realize that every molecule, every atom in his body is participating.

(c) Where is that specifically cybernetically located?

Is it awareness, central processing or response? The meditator is allowing the reception of all of these prongs into his broader C. He is then integrating them passively, and sometimes actively (depending on the kind of meditation—so-called “hitbonnenut” is active).3 And he is responding both automatically autonomically lowering his blood pressure, and deliberately by allowing his thoughts to merge with what he regards as the ‘infinite’. From that profound height of consciousness, he has still come down to a simple cybernetic machine. Mechanically, his body has used input, receptor and output. He has done all this without actively cogitating, but effectively, the meditator is applying every element in the four-pronged approach to consciousness.

Integrating aspects of the epic consciousness model (Part 3)

We now can ask several important questions. While these are ancillary to our direct understanding of Consciousness, they important to integrate into our thinking. These are all specialized elements, so our aim here is to provide a priority system, understanding that not many readers will be able to fully appreciate the detail.

The integrating areas we cover are:

  1. Integrating the Impact and Influence by applying the cybernetic model.
  2. Integrating Altered States of Consciousness
  3. Integrating Higher Consciousness: Why is it necessary and what is the evidence?
  4. Integrating Qualit Consciousness
  5. The integrated perspective
  6. As part of the integrating process, we provide Tables for the first three of these sections.

Integrating the Impact and Influence by applying the cybernetic model

We have indicated how effectively there is an incoming, central and outgoing element to cybernetic models, for example, for computers, or for individuals in psychology, neurology or even higher consciousness. The purpose of (Table 1) below is not to be comprehensive— that would require a book— but to illustrate how the different levels of consciousness can be applied, integrating the Cybernetic model into consciousness research. We provide a way to appreciate the pertinence and versatility of the whole discipline. The focus here is on one particularly important area, the Existential Distinction of the Impact and Influence of Consciousness (the How), at the different Paradigmatic Levels (the Where), applying the Cybernetic (What) model and showing how Informational Meaning (the Why).

This Table therefore integrates a complex and important part of the EPIC classification of Consciousness. Table 2 is multidisciplinary, providing a perspective, and may not be easily understood by all depending on their specialty, but even then it serves to provide principles, rather like a complex math formula would, demonstrating the unification of the Impact component of Consciousnessc.

Impact Variables







Bidirectional Process and Form


Intent or Influence

Impact or perturbation


(the four “I”s)

or object


Cybernetic loop

Acts on variables of content or extent (dimensions)

Acquisition /apprehension


Objects or events





Neuron (cell)




deliberate regular communications; but can be accidental or unconscious.

Communication (subliminal, non-verbal and oral speech)

Volitional and intentional thought

Muscle and executive actions


deliberation degree of impact process13,43


Impact process of postulated psi mechanisms

psi deliberate /automatic/“guided”, “unconscious” /actively involved

First sight?44 (? DAT, PMIR, CIRTS45 may also reflect “First Sight”.)

Decision augmentation theory (DAT)?46

Psi mediated instrumental response (PMIR)?47,48

Higher consciousness/ meaningful information

Bidirectional transfinite and infinite components

Divinity, medium ship, meditation, religious practice

“Channeling”, “medium ship”



“Gesher”, Bridge, filter

interventions, physical medium ship


Quantum (Qualit)

Quanta have meaning

Subatomic/ sub Quantal

all finite matter/ energy





Impact densityd

Per n-dimensional unit of extent











Table 2 Variables of Impact (This is a provisional speculative model). dImpact density is a way to quantitate events or objects ordinally. It is mentioned here as an aside to show how even Impact can be calculated through measuring the extent

This cybernetic model focuses on how we distinguish input-receptor-output. We apply the impact that consciousness will have on objects or events. Importantly, consciousness can influence the container of content (for example, the actual story line of dreams) and the extent of events (meaning can have enormous impacts) and possibly physical objects (healing or improvement in Therapeutic Intent may be an example). This impact involves cognitions, affects and drive and this may parallel the influences on other thinking, emotional and motivational processes. We cannot directly measure the impact something is having, but we can indirectly by measuring the significant influence on the extent of change of events.

However, the Impact reflects only a specific form, not the contents themselves. In form, when the influence impacts at the coming in level of meaningful information level, it’s afferent. It would via information or object acquisition, awareness or apprehension include simple communication like speech, centrally by specific intention, translation or possible augmentation of decisions46 or through mediation of responses47,48 (in psi, we refer to ESP or extrasensory perception). Impact can influence at the outgoing, efferent level by specific manipulation or generally perturbing. In psi, this would be psychokinetic. The specific manipulation could also include simple use of one’s motor system such as muscle movements, as well as indirectly through, for example, physical machinery. Distinctions of impact may influence finite reality deliberately—this could be psi induced. However, theologians would also argue that this is how a Divinity interacts or how “guidance” occurs.

Form and Process

Essentially, this cybernetic model of Impact involves form and process. The form is the structure (e.g. an auditory hallucination—e.g. hearing voices outside the head); the process is the “how” that structure impacts (e.g. the voice form may be specific and accusatory and this is measured by Consciousness Extent —it influences very badly the extent of the consequent behavior. It also influences the Content (e.g. “go get a shotgun” is what is heard). The Impact can influence or be influenced by the variable containers of content of substance or essence.

Measures of Impact including C, can be expressed as density through per unit extent. It is difficult to conceive of Impact without both C matrix (content linked with mass and energy) and C substrate (measurable extent linked with Space and Time). However, Impact should also have real connections to Space and Time in many cases. Because Impact is a process and reflects form, it will always interface with content as well as extent as per (Table 1).


We differentiate in (Table 1), the degree of deliberation of Impact. This can range from completely automatic to very deliberate. Degree of deliberation most commonly involves the obvious usual communication that takes place in sentient beings, namely oral, written and non-verbal speech and also subliminal communication. Our tabulated model is a provisional theoretical one, and certain of these headers may not occur or even exist depending on the psychological and scientific model one applies, and, their interpretations may be mechanistically different. But it could reflect a good start because it attempts to demonstrate the impact of general communication, psi, theological and consciousness links. There are physical equivalents to C that impact reality, for example, natural earthquakes, machines and someone lashing out at another.

Postulated psi influences: First Sight, DAT, PMIR and CIRTS

There are also excellent examples of postulated mechanisms in the psi literature that could impact content and extent at the afferent, central and efferent levels. Particularly prominent is Dr Jim Carpenter’s 2012 First Sight44 theory. First Sight postulates that psi is an always occurring “normal” process. It is so fundamental that it occurs in all cognitive processes. It even precedes regular speech communications or thoughts or all actions. There is strong empirical support in the literature for this kind of mechanism to exist,44 and even the detailed and careful presentiment studiesd support thise. It may be that the “moment” of the “present” is more than a “moment”: a certain broader preparatory extension of time.

Decision augmentation theory46 (DAT of Ed May, Jessica Utts and James Spottiswoode), Psi mediated instrumental response47,48 (PMIR of Rex Stanford) and Dick Bierman’s Consciousness Induced Restoration of Time-Symmetry (CIRTS) could be separate or be part of “First Sight”. Decision Augmentation Theory postulates that humans integrate information obtained by anomalous cognition into the usual decision process. The result is that, to a statistical degree, such decisions are biased toward volitional outcomes. In the PMIR model, individuals may unconsciously obtain “extrasensory” knowledge of events relevant to their personal needs, and use this knowledge to modify their behaviour in a way which will be instrumental in satisfying those needs. CIRTS is more complex involving time symmetries in physics while processing information by the brain.

These mechanisms may or may not be pertinent or correct, but are good working hypotheses. They may replace, supplement or be essential to the more consistent comprehensible methods of communication that constitute speech.

Range of impact

Effectively, deliberation explanations may range from automatic or pre-existing (e.g., the “meaning” reflecting part of the tethered STC triad), to deliberate conscious actions by self or guided by another (e.g. guided reality as implied theologically). They may be unconsciously motivated in individuals. We propose that deliberate or automatic impacts, influences or intents may occur at every level of the “individual-units”. An individual unit means not only an individual, but uses the various levels of unitary individuality, for example, group, individual, family, ethnic, cultural, social, species systems levels. We are all this way interconnected in every way, particularly in C.

How is C distributed across dimensions? This is our speculation based on our conceptualization of mental status: Examples at the lower (possibly first three) Consciousness dimensional levels (C substrate) would be Cognition (thinking), Affect (emotion) and Volition (drive). These can reflect degrees of extent in the Impact that is made: The “form” of the mental status varies: For example, a great lack (“paucity”) of thought is different from overwhelming thought; slight sadness is different from profound; lack of motivation is different from the highly motivated—these are ordinal degrees of difference and can be measured using questionnaires. At the Higher Consciousness level, we may be referring to wisdom or loving-kindness or valor or courage or it may be negative such as evil or cowardice.

Integrating altered states of consciousness

There are special paradigmatic instances across these spectra:

  1. Altered states of consciousness, e.g., 10 different kinds, impinge particularly neurobiology, consciousness and psychology. The neurological classification of Clear Consciousness, through to Stupor and ultimately deep Coma, does not cover this, and we need to take into account all available data.
  2. In our TDVP model, mystical experiences might be impinging our Infinite continuity: But we cannot not fully appreciate this directly; instead, it may be mirrored in the Transfinite discrete Consciousness (C) which, at that level entirely envelops Space (S) and Time (T), as well. In this model, the Transfinite experience of Higher Consciousness reflects not only a unification of S, T, and C, but can explain how a mystical reality “in the beginning” begins with consciousness: At that highest N-dimensional level, all of S and T are contained in the C.

Table 3 below lists examples of altered states of consciousness (ASCs).14 It reflects the complexity of the area, but also shows how difficult it is to understand even various states of consciousness and their interface with neurological, psychological and higher consciousness. These altered states are often acute over short periods, but may be maintained for example in a mystic. There may be subdivisions for many, for example, not all “out of body experiences” are the same.3,37 Originally Neppe applied ten different ASCs,14,49 but has added mystical, meditative, Out-of-body, Near-death, and separated our hypnagogic/ hypnopompic and dissociative making up sixteen. This is not intended to be a complete list but it demonstrates the variability of the concept.3

ASC type

Variations (each is a separate Altered State)


“Normal” Wakeful Consciousness Awareness


Stage (1-4s), dream (with many variants)


Psychotic, psychiatric, transitional (describe)


Hypnagogic (going to sleep) or Hypnopompic (on waking)


Lucid hyperawareness


Ganzfeld, meditative, mystical religious, experimental


Religious-like; Trait ASC; potentially for weeks or longer


Meditative; subdivisions of active and passive and between


Near death experience (including NDE like phenomena)


Out of body experience (various separations from the body)


Dissociative ASC


Dissociative, focused, Clear


Abuse of recreational drugs (drug should be stated)


Transitional or between states,




Unclassified; not otherwise specific; other

Table 3 Neppe’s proposed asc terminology classification14,50

We have indicated that Neurological Consciousness refers to a process of awareness and responsiveness. The ordinary day to-day state often is referred to as “clear consciousness”, and impaired consciousness (i.e., due to disease) often is described as “clouded.” Such clouded consciousness may involve progressively decreasing levels of awareness of and responsively to the environment, ranging from drowsy torpor to stupor to semi-coma to coma. However, the whole area of Altered States of Consciousness is s sometimes superimposed upon these neurological levels. For example, certain people having so-called “near- death-experiences” may have had them in clouded consciousness and even in coma. Neppe has called these Unconscious-ASCs or U-ASCs, where an U-ASC is one of the various altered states of consciousness (ASCs).14

There are several classical ASCs. Several such states might (disputably) be conducive to psi, e.g., hypnotic, Ganzfeld, meditative, mystical, or religious. These can be sub classified into different ASCs, occasionally in combination, and sometimes between states, in which case both can be mentioned.14

Integrating Higher Consciousness: Why is it necessary and what is the evidence?

The use of the term “higher consciousness” for consciousness that is outside the brain is heavily disputed. The sheer concept forces a paradigm shift in thinking about consciousness. However, we have pointed out that there are sixteen different major altered states of consciousness plus other sub-groups.14 These would all be possible examples.

In addition, there is a whole literature in Consciousness Research for such areas of “psi” —examples involve terms that I have critiqued,51 but are still in common use, namely “extrasensory perception” (ESP) and “psychokinesis” (PK): The layperson equivalent terms are psychic, paranormal, anomalous and sixth sense.

Statistical data supporting psi research

A century of research in psi has revealed profoundly statistically significant results: 9 different areas in the discipline have generated results of one in a billion against chance. No matter how much one wants to absolutely deny such data as an inconvenience, we cannot give the remarkable frequentist statistical phenomena generated, even when one examines only the very best research projects. As an indication, we often in Medicine and in Psychology, accept a standard 1 in a 100 level. In this instance, each of these is at least ten million times more statistically stringent, and additionally there are nine different but related areas. This is covered in detail elsewhere3,7 and is listed here to give a perspective. These nine areas of research are independent, so they could technically be combined for an even more amazing statistical figure. Effectively, they can be seen as replications of the broader area of Consciousness Research.3 Most are based on data meta-analyses, and take into account unreported studies. But they are related enough to each other to come under the same global umbrella of research in the disciplines of psi though clearly further analysis would take into account there non-independence of each other. But this kind of data, when examined legitimately, would be sufficient for any open-minded scientist to accept that something is going on. And clearly it has enormous implications for what we’ve called “Higher Consciousness” as we’ve defined that as “consciousness occurring outside the brain” at some point.

The nine “six sigma” (about one in a billion against chance) research areas, include six heavily researched ones, Random event generator, Ganzfeld phenomena, the Global consciousness project, Presentiment, Retrocognition/ precognition --- the Bem protocol. There are also three that are very cogent namely Survival and “superpsi” (we do not differentiate these), Staring and Precognition.3,52 Table 4 there is no easy way to explain these phenomena within a reductionistic physicalistic standard model. This means that we might need to use a multidimensional model to explain them because this goes outside our conventional reality perspective.3,28

The nine well-researched areas of parapsychological research each showing six sigma results (<1 in a billion—109— against chance)

These six different areas of Consciousness Research have been analyzed in detail

RV: Remote viewing

REG: Random event generator

Ganzfeld phenomenon

GCP: Global consciousness project


Retrocognition / precognition—Bem protocol

These three other psi areas have further <1 in109 chance occurrence

Survival and “superpsi”




Table 4 The nine well-researched areas of para psychological research each showing six sigma results

Genius and creative imagination

Another major area supporting “Higher Consciousness” is the area of “genius”. We maintain there is a valuable stage before science is applied empirically: Some call these “Eureka moments” and some “opening to the infinite”. We could also call it a “prescient perspicacity”, or even an “epiphany”. Now you might say: Where is the data for this? The data is the repetitive biographical history of tens of Nobel laureates and other original thinking scientists: These ideas do not just develop from solid work; they develop often as dramatic insights.53,54 They happen long before the published correlative data. We have a place for subjective, spontaneous experience and thinking in this world.13,40,41,55

Integrating TDVP into Higher Consciousness

Moreover, in the broad metaparadigmatic model that we have developed, TDVP’.3,28,19,56,57 (“Triadic Dimensional Distinction Vortical Paradigm”) we motivate and in fact, mathematically derive a 9 dimensional spinning reality (9D-spin). This means that our conventional limited four dimensions (space: length, breadth, height;3 embedded in a moment in time (1t) that we call the present we call this 3S-1t is just a tiny reflection of our experience; the rest of reality is hidden. The postulation is that there are likely 3 different consciousness dimensions. If so, what we are calling Higher Consciousness relates to one or more of the finite dimensions 5 to 9. The consciousness components work with space and time, and mass and energy. Even more so, that higher consciousness, need not only be 9D but there is a transfinite reality and an infinite in which the finite and transfinite are embedded. So this is what Higher Consciousness (HC) may reflect— the transfinite consciousness or even what we call the “meta consciousness” —higher consciousness deriving from the infinite.3,52


In summary, the highest level of consciousness may be a “higher” consciousness disputably located outside the brain. It involves the awareness that something is beyond the brain and is the final rung in that ladder of growth. Examples may be altered states, the easiest and most common possibly being dreams plus transcendence of self, near-death descriptions, through meditation, peak experiences and psychedelics58 and other altered states, or may occur as a trait, for example, in mystics; the findings of consciousness research; creative imagination including genius events. It could also allegedly imply that it is the component of awareness that survives physical death and there is one in a billion data for that too.3,52 And finally, but very importantly, the mathematical demonstration of a 9 dimensional reality strongly motivates the presence of a Consciousness outside the brain.

Integrating “qualit consciousness”

We have also used the term “Qualit Consciousness” as a broader alternative to so-called Quantum Consciousness. The quantum here may be applied as the smallest discrete integral particle unit; however, we have cogently argued that there is theoretical support in the TDVP model for consciousness to be tethered from the start to space and time and also to mass and energy.4,31,59,60

Amongst some supporting elements in Physics research 12,61‒63 are the “particle-wave” double-slit and delayed choice experiments.64‒65 These could support the role of “consciousness”: However, some deny any “meaning” role; they apply a dozen quantum mechanics explanations);31,66 unexplained entanglement31,36,67‒70 and the Aspect experiments on entangled particles large distances apart, replicated and amplified by the experiments that followed.31,71 The research generated certainly can support extra dimensions and /or some kind of mirrored awareness mathematically and empirically 17. Similarly, our subatomic physics data support spin (vortices) plus the postulated 9 dimensional spin model that TDVP suggests with the derivation of the Cabibbo mixing angle in particle physics through a 9-D spin model all suggest that particle physics and particle-wave may be more complex.3,17,18,28,

The integrated perspective

Consciousness is used in so many ways and within so many different specialties that we have seen a need to unify the concept into the broad term “C”. The complex term, Consciousness can certainly be accurately conceptualized, but only when recognizing in what way we are describing it, and in what context. We regard C (reflecting broader Consciousness) as a unit and believe it can appropriately applied to any paradigms, and even allow shifts in thinking. These paradigms are not separate, but constitute a unit reflecting a complex concept. Like many other terms, we need to be precise and clear. The four prong EPIC classification of Consciousness does exactly that. We can conceptualize the broad Consciousness to speak generally about any or all aspects of the four distinct prongs EPIC Consciousness, namely EPIC: Existential, Paradigmatic, Informational and Cybernetic, or to recognize its unitary nature. By these means, we can be specific about the kind of consciousness we’re referring to, namely:

Existential E

How—in what ways and on what—is C acting: How is the whole reality expressing itself latently, and in what way is it overtly pertinent in our experience? What truly exists? The existential approach distinguishes the impacts and influences of C, from the container of our specific information in C, and from the ways we measure the extent of C.

Paradigmatic P: Paradigmatic level? “Where is it located?”

Is our awareness and responsive related to the most basic Qualit unit? And are the nervous systems common to all living beings but specific for each organism, plant and animal playing the major role not only as the final common pathway but also integrating information all the way through? Are the psychological dynamics with the increasing complexity though to human’s features that we need to account for, or are they just expressions of our brain? And under what circumstances can we access the possibly special extra that we refer to as higher consciousness?

Informational I

Why is that specific Meaning from Information pertinent for us? We’ve recognized that specific meaning is very different from general information itself and the repository of information while unending needs to be translated into specific, pertinent meaningful components for us to maximize its use.

Cybernetic c

Which Cybernetic Input-central-receptors are being applied? Specifically in this instance of Consciousness —where do we locate each? Do we apply a computer, psychological, neurological or other model to assist? Should we integrate all of them? We can still conceptualize all these components of C together as a unit. But we also can recognize the specific different uses and applications of the concept of “consciousness”. Consciousness is an extremely important term, and in the future, its consistent application is critically important so that proper scientific communication is not ambiguously compromised.


We acknowledge permission to publish from who holds the copyright over this work.

Conflicts of interest

Author declares there are no conflicts of interest.




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