The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
IRANIAN COSMOLOGY & ESCHATOLOGY
Setting The World Alight: Reflections on the Frashkart
“And they will make a new world, freed from old age and death, from decomposition and corruption, eternally living, eternally growing, possessing power at will, when the dead will rise again, when immortality will come to the living, and when the world will renew itself as desired” Yt19.11 (1)
This passage, one of the most beautiful to be found in the younger Avesta, proclaims at once with missionary zeal the goal towards which all Zarathushtrian efforts were directed: nothing less than the total transformation and perfection of existence (Frashkart).
Zarathushtra’s vision of the supreme deity, Ahura Mazda, was that of a good God: wholly benevolent, totally loving, the author of all quality, beauty, and of everything life-enhancing and positive. But precisely because he was entirely good, he was not all-powerful. He possessed a vulnerability that was an attribute of his goodness, a vulnerability present in all those who are sensitive and benevolent. Ahura Mazda desired Man to participate with him in bringing the creation to perfection. (Y31.21). Man was free to accept the call or to refuse it. The invitation was given freely, without any threats of punishment or promises of reward: the end result would be reward enough. The process towards its completion: a journey of creative self-discovery in which the individual would both find and fulfill his intrinsic humanity.
Answering this divine call, the followers of Zarathushtra saw themselves as a loose brotherhood of individuals working (each on his own initiative) in a common cause alongside their God to transform the world -- their thoughts, words and actions reflecting the longings of their prophet:
“May we be among those who bring about the transfiguration of the earth” Y30.9 (2)
The means by which this desired end was to be accomplished was by an ever-greater growth and evolution of the ‘light of glory’ (xvarnah). This primordial light, uncreated because it was a natural property of the deity (Ys 12.1, 31.7, 35.10), was the energy out of which Ahura Mazda had created everything in existence including the divine beings of the pleroma. It was a light that filled the heavens, the ‘abode of light’ (Y31.20) but was undeveloped and latent in matter. The basic duality in the philosophy of Zarathushtra was not that of light against darkness, but of manifestation and latency of the light (the menok and getig states of existence). In addition, the word ‘xvarnah’ carried with it the implication of “destiny”, suggesting a positive bias in the universe towards the emergence and evolution of the light - a kind of anticipation of the Frashkart at the heart of creation: an assurance that,
“All shall be well..... and all manner of things shall be well” (3).
But this was not the purely abstract light of the Gnostics and Manichaeans. It was not an alien presence imprisoned in the grossness of matter, calling out to the individual to free him,
“Out of the stinking body…out of this desolate place”. (4)
The light did not require the individual to reject matter or retreat into the rarefied world of the intellect. This radiance was an intrinsic property of matter. Man belonged to the earth and the earth belonged to Man. He would never be able to feel himself ‘at home’ anywhere else but in the material world. The Zarathushtrian conception of this interrelationship of man with nature was very strong. Man was not placed into the universe like an object among other objects in the way that the God of the Old Testament placed Adam into an already-completed garden. Rather he was born out of his environment like an apple from a tree, or ripples from a pond. (5)
Hence arose the Zarathushtrian respect for all life and nature, a reverence which the prophet himself voiced in his songs:
radiance of the sun and the shimmering of the dawn at the break of
and which his followers echoed:
revere all the holy creatures that Mazda has created,
When he looked about him at the physical world, the Zarathushtrian was confronted by the goodness of Ahura Mazda reflected, in some form or another, in every object and being which he saw; and (in the later literature) each element of the physical world was imagined as under the protection of one or other of the Amesha Spentas (Holy Immortals), the hypostases of Ahura Mazda.
The final transfiguration of the world, its final ideal state (Frashkart), is an image of the universe ablaze with the auroral light of the xvarnah, a light illuminating all things animate and inanimate, bestowing meaning and value upon them, and opening up their dimension of transcendence.
Persons, Lighting Haloes
Most of us are able to experience a human being in one of two ways: as an object (a collection of tissues, chemical processes and electrical impulses) or as a person (an indivisible whole with a face and a name). Once an object is perceived as a person, a mysterious new dimension opens up: we recognize something that exists on a higher level than mere sensory perception. We respond to the infinite within the finite. To recognize a ‘person’ when all we have before us is a mass of physical characteristics - hair, teeth, tissues - is to perceive that object ‘qualitatively’, i.e., to see it in ‘a new light’: in the light of the xvarnah.
We take for granted our remarkable ability to perceive persons: we hardly give it a second thought. Its sheer wonder becomes clear only once we experience someone who possesses no such intuition: the classic autistic person. Broadly speaking, the severely autistic individual can be described as being trapped in a world of physical matter and strict reasoning. He finds it difficult to communicate, to imagine or to deal with other people socially. Although good at learning complex rules, he is nevertheless incapable of reacting sympathetically to others because he can never imagine what anyone else is thinking: he has no concept of ‘mind’. The whole interior (infinite) world of the person as ‘person’ is unknown to him. His relationships are directed chiefly towards objects: which is how he perceives other people -- as objects. (8)
Science knows nothing of the person. (9) The person (the uniqueness of the person) cannot be expressed in concepts at all. It evades all rational definitions because all the properties by which it could be characterized can be met with in other individuals. Personality can be grasped only by direct intuition. Similarly, a face - the symbol of the person - differs from all other faces in very minute details, barely describable in words. Yet to other human beings, the recognition of these features as a unique person goes far beyond what science can explain. (10)
Once the internal world of another individual is revealed, by virtue of our recognition of him as a person (an object open to infinity), the whole world of human relations suddenly becomes possible: co-operation, intimacy, compassion, understanding, love..... Civilization.
When we fall in love with another human being, we are seeing that individual as more than just a person. For a time, the image we have of him or her is ‘complete’ (because illuminated strongly by the light), ‘whole’, and hence (whole-ly) holy. That atmosphere of wonder and colour that suddenly surrounds the object of our attentions (when coincidences abound, when the world suddenly becomes saturated with meaning and everything in creation revolves around this single human being), is a quality of the xvarnah. We are loving someone who does not (yet) exist. (11) We are seeing them as they will appear (one day) in the full light of the Frashkart.
The halo (the aureole, the nimbus) is one of the great abiding icons of Zarathushtrianism. This is the light which in Zarathushtrian as well as in Christian and Buddhist iconography, is to be found glowing about the heads of great kings, priests or holy men. Each of us has set at least one halo ablaze in the course of our lives. When we fall in love, it is as if we have lit up the beloved’s halo. Perceiving their dimension of transcendence, we recognize the divine in them. For what is a halo but a human being ‘lit up’ with the light of great love, value, or ‘destiny’? A lover does not love the physical body of his beloved at all, but the ideal image of her, the angel to whom she corresponds. Of course he does love her body also, but for the sake of her “person”: because it belongs to her and manifests her reality. That physical body can be old as a grandmother, sick, diseased, (barely recognizable as a human being), punctured by tubes and plugged into monitors, but still loved and adored for the person within it.
In Zarathushtrianism, every man is called. He is called out of himself to respond to his (finite) condition and his environment to the furthest limits of his possibilities: to ‘be awake’ (Y30.2) to reality and participate in the recreation of the world. Of course he may refuse the call (in which case his response will be negative). But he may be unable to break out of the circle of the ego: (he may not possess a sufficient degree of freedom to make the decision). Man is a centre of response, not primarily a centre of radiation. He determines himself by relating creatively to his environment. (13) His freedom, such of it as exists, is entirely vocational. Freedom is a response to an invitation to be taken out of oneself. To be free is to be creative. The individual cannot transcend himself from within; he can only be taken out of himself by another. This ‘other’ in Zarathushtrianism, is Vohuman.
In common experience, meanings and ideas seem to come to us from ‘outside’ ourselves, from beyond the ego; and they seem to be given to us all at once. We often talk of that knowledge that comes without prior reflection and which is truly ‘illumination’ (an immediate intuitive grasp of reality, totally different from the process of reasoning). (14) We speak of the ‘light’ of reason, of ‘dazzling’ logic, of ‘flashes’ of inspiration, ‘brilliant’ ideas, of someone being a ‘bright spark’, etc. All of these terms give some indication of the light that Vohuman embodies. He is the light of the mind by which we see (more) light. Vohuman (the Good, or Enlightened, Mind) was traditionally visualized in Zarathushtrianism as the archangel with responsibility for the whole animal kingdom, (including Man). This was because in the long evolution from instinctive animal, Vohuman was the force that unconsciously guided Man to his present stage of development, kindling the light of consciousness and self-awareness in his human ancestors. (This is an idea which today finds echoes in the Anthropic Principle in Physics and Cosmology). (15)
Although not the fullest revelation of Ahura Mazda, Vohuman is the one most accessible to Man. First of the immortals to reveal himself to Zarathushtra, he was the light by which the prophet was able to perceive the other hypostases of Ahura Mazda, the Amesha Spentas. So Vohuman is the door to the “abode of lights”. Through him, Man has arrived at a momentous stage in his evolution where he is able at last to take responsibly for his own actions.
“Listen to the ultimate Truth, consider it with a clear mind and decide for yourself, each man and woman personally which path to take: good or evil“ Y30.2 (16)
This element of freedom and choice in Zarathushtra’s philosophy is startling. It becomes all the more remarkable when we compare it to ancient Greek notions of freedom where the whole idea is heavily circumscribed. Homeric heroes were not responsible for their actions at all: it was the gods who led men to disaster, love, death, ruin, wealth, etc. Whenever they felt themselves stirred into motion, whipped to life by emotion, desire, reflection, or anger, the Homeric heroes knew that some god was at work in them, sweeping them up into a current of life greater than their own. No-one, not even old Priam, was able to accuse Helen of any guilt. “To me,” he said, “you are not the cause, only the gods can be causes”. (17)
We are, all of us, born with a potential for obedience. We all secretly long for someone to tell us what to do: we long for gurus, specialists and wise men. Milgram, in his famous experiments, described this as a kind of congenital flaw in adult human nature. (18) Zarathushtra too, seemed to have craved some kind of clear direction from his God: a series of commandments or authoritative instructions. (Y34.12) But in the end he did not receive any. He could no longer be treated as a child. In the same way, the Zarathushtrian must decide for himself, freely as a mature individual, whether he wishes to participate with Ahura Mazda in the creative process or not.
But the true extent of individual freedom is greatly exaggerated. (19) There is a common myth among us that we are always making momentous decisions about our lives, our careers, etc. We feel ourselves to be masters of our own fate, but any close examination soon teaches us otherwise. Anyone who has ever practiced meditation knows just how little control over his own mind he really has. Thoughts and images bloom without any conscious intervention; and it is extremely difficult to hold a single thought for more than a minute or two. Most (if not all) of these thoughts reflect the background of an individual’s inner desires and feelings. Desires and passions are the engines of our inner lives, operating fairly independently of our conscious selves. (But Man is neither a free agent nor a puppet, for both views presuppose a separation of the individual from his environment).
So what exactly is this free choice which Zarathushtra would have us make, and which lies at the heart of his whole philosophy? At its most basic, our freedom (such of it as exists) lies entirely in the choice of which emotional currents to follow; which images and appetites to cultivate in our minds; which thoughts to react to, which to let go. Of all the chaotic interior voices just on the borders of consciousness, Zarathushtra would have us listen only to the wise and the gentle ones - to conscience (Daena) or to the other voices reflective of an ‘enlightened mind’ (Vohuman). It is easy to become fascinated by the katabolic forces of greed, egoism, violence, pornography, etc., for they can be hypnotic.( 20) The Good Mind, however, is able to see things clearly in the ‘light of glory’. This is essentially similar to Rumi’s advice to us to:
…Water the fruit trees and don’t water the thorns.
It may seem like common sense, but we all know that human beings are perfectly adapted for deceiving themselves. It is remarkable how easily we find credible ‘reasons’ for watering those thorny lusts and greeds of our secret internal lives,
“the Daevas, .... the seeds of bad thoughts” Y32.3 (22)
So our choice is ultimately whether to be on the side of the angels, or on the side of the egos: whether to give room to the energies that build up and support creativity and life, (the best choice) or to refuse the call and support the impulses that lead to stagnation, self-interest and decay. From this choice, everything else flows, absolutely everything: words, actions, evolution, the Frashkart itself.
Quantum Physics informs us that Consciousness is the missing link between the bizarre world of electrons and everyday reality. If the mere act of observing an electron can wholly alter the nature of the electron’s reality (wave or particle?) what, one wonders, might result from an observer observing himself? Constantly mindful, forever vigilant, the Zarathushtrian watches over the chaotic contents of his own mind, choosing to follow only those which reflect the Good God himself. (Here the symbolism of the Zarathushtrian priest tending his fire becomes highly significant). How he deals with this raw material determines what kind of human being he will become.
But how is one to decide which are the thorns and which the fruit trees? Having ‘seen the light’, and trusting his life to this new consciousness opening up within him, the Zarathushtrian is able to perceive the Truth (Asha), Reality. The light of Vohuman allows him to distinguish what really exists (exists fully with an infinite dimension) from what only appears to exist (finite being, incomplete realization subject to change). Truth is equated with Being; and it has value, because it is better to be than not to be. Asha is the Truth, the real divine order of things. Faith is only necessary in the darkness. In the presence of the Light, we are able to see, if not always clearly, the path that requires no faith. (23) The traditional Zarathushtrian promises as part of his daily prayers to worship the Good God Ahura Mazda, to abjure the Daevas and hence, to walk in the path of Asha. But because God is infinite, there is always an infinity of giving and receiving; and hence also, at every moment of one’s waking life, an infinity of choices to be made.
An old woman slips and falls on the sidewalk. I must decide (immediately) whether to help her or not. If I want to, I can find a variety of very plausible ‘reasons’ (rationalizations) (24) for not helping her - I will be late for work; there is bound to be someone more qualified to help; the police will want to interview me; the woman will think I am trying to rob her, etc., etc. On the other hand, there will be gentler voices in my mind telling me that this woman could be seriously hurt; that she may need immediate help; that I would want someone to help me if I was in her position.....I must decide which of these thoughts to entertain, and what my conduct should be (25). And this is what the Zarathushtrian alchemy is at root: not some prayer or pious intention, but at every moment of my waking life making small, apparently insignificant, decisions in thought and deed whose consequences could be momentous. If I do decide to help, my decision may appear irrational to my ego. It may, nevertheless, be rational in the wider sense of improving life for everyone: bringing a little light (xvarnah) into the world. I must consider what kind of world I am creating at this moment; whether my actions lead ultimately to the lights of the Frashkart, or to the hell of the Daevas.
In deciding to help the old woman, I am not seeking a reward; nor am I following a divine commandment (how can one command someone to honour, respect, or love?) I do it because it is the right thing to do. It is Asha. It is part of being human. All rewards are (in the end) shackles - fame, sex, drugs, power, beautiful houris - the physical as well as the nonphysical. Rewards are the honeyed traps of predators, symbols of our dependency and lack of freedom, and we should avoid them if we can. Zarathushtra himself, while seeming to ask Ahura for ‘rewards’ and ‘commandments’ finally admits that:
choice of Righteousness is its own vindication.
The real ‘rewards’ come with being mature and exercising wholeness (holiness, health) and integrity (Haurvatat). One cannot reward another person with well-being. No-one can force another to be healthy or ‘fulfilled’. Similarly, any ‘punishment’ will also be purely personal: the failure to evolve, the poverty of imagination, of lost opportunities; a self-loathing, lack of self-esteem, etc.
Our response to the divine call then, must be creative if it is to be free and personal. (27) The more unique our response, the more free it will be. The rosebush does not ask the oak how to grow acorns. Both plants reach out for the light, but each has its own response to the presence of sunlight and soil. Answering the call of reality in full freedom, Man is called to become an artist with God in the creation of the great work (Frashkart) and he is entirely at liberty to create according to his own vision. Even at the molecular and cellular levels, matter is bubbling up ever new creative schemes and compounds under the pressure of divine light. Our creative response is merely a “higher”, more sophisticated form of this basic universal creativity.
Psychiatrists tell us that subconsciously we expect sex to provide a mystical unity, the spouse a divinity, the home a heaven. The world of the Frashkart is the only place where all these desires can be fully satisfied; and there is a homesickness for it which many of us feel but cannot articulate fully. The search for it has been visualized as a journey because man has always seen himself as a wayfarer, always setting forth, responding to the invitation of further horizons. It is a journey of self-discovery to the East (but not to the physical East), from where the source of all light (the sun) rises; or to the Mountain of the Dawns (where Zarathushtra received his own illumination). It is a search for the lost part of one’s self, the part that makes one complete and infinite. We cannot begin the journey unarmed, or unprepared. At the very door of the imagination lie pent-up resentments, obsessions and passions waiting for an opportunity to erupt. Unique to each person, these have to be dealt with before the journey begins. Instead of conquering the world and attempting to dominate other people, we need to conquer our own demons. For this reason Pathanjali places Yama as the prerequisite of any spiritual quest. (28)
So many traditions bear witness to the experience of the uncreated light that it is impossible to indicate even a tiny representative sample here. It is the fire of the Burning Bush seen by Moses (29); the pillar of fire before the Israelites in the desert (30). It is the Kibriya. It is the tongues of fire revealed to the apostles of Christ at Pentecost (31); and the light of the Transfiguration glimpsed by them on Mount Tabor (“Lord, Lord, this is a good place to be”) (32). The Manichaeans, blinded by its beauty, looked in disgust at the material world that had become dark and dead for them in contrast. Rumi wrote eloquently in praise of it, but at first he was terrified of its illumination:
lost my world, my fame, my mind The sun appeared and all the shadows ran
The Islamic philosopher who borrowed more elements from Zarathushtrianism than any other was probably Suhrawardi. For him the universe was an infinite sea of lights: nothing existed that was not light. It is interesting to note that Suhrawardi reserved a special place for Vohuman in his Philosophy of Lights. Whereas he equated the other Amesha Spentas roughly with Plato’s Archetypes (his latitudinal order of lights), Vohuman (Bahman) he considered the primary ‘archangel’ of the longitudinal order: the first light emanating from the Godhead, the nearest to the supreme Godhead himself (Hormuzd).(34)
All truly great symbols overflow the boundaries of meaning and invade the world of the senses. Light (perhaps the greatest symbol of them all) is no exception. Many of the early Christian saints such as Gregory Nazianzen, Cyril of Alexandria, Maximus, Macarius of Egypt, Andrew of Crete, John Damascene, Symeon the New Theologian, Euthymius Zigabenus, etc., all spoke of the Divine Light as if they had seen it with their bodily eyes. For if the intensity of the light is in some way a ‘measure’ of ‘wholeness’, some argued, then surely it should be experienced by the ‘whole man’ and be perceptible to the physical senses as well as to the intelligence. “I had often [bodily] seen the light”, (35) wrote Symeon the New Theologian in the eleventh century in defence of this position - and we have to believe him. But the dispute as to whether the light could in fact be seen with the bodily eyes split the Christian Orthodox Church. Gregory Palamas (the Byzantine ‘apostle of light’) healed the rift in the fourteenth century with a series of compromises, but he still remained tantalizingly ambiguous on the subject:
light has sometimes also been seen by the eyes of the body,
Yet the basic intuition of a synchronism between the spiritual and the sensual continued to be felt and expressed. Writers like Rumi and Ibn Arabi conceived of the spiritual and the sensual as ‘conspiring together’ (37) in some mysterious and irrational fashion. And Suhrawardi, when defining his fifteen varieties of spiritual light, seemed often to be describing what are known today as ‘photisms’: intense flashes before the eyes sometimes experienced by people who practice meditation. Varying in intensity from pinpoints to large areas of bright and coloured lights, these photisms have been experienced by far too many people for them to be easily dismissed. Individuals as varied as Ibn al-Arabi and Emanuel Swedenborg have investigated them, (the latter thinker believing them to be internal ‘signs of approval’). (38)
Is the divine light then purely intellectual; is it spiritual, physical; or perhaps all three? Is it a property of the very nature of God, or merely his energy? In the end, the real nature of this light defies all attempts to grasp its full significance, because you cannot demonstrate that which is itself the cause of all demonstration.
The Light of Eternity
who will work with me, Zarathushtra, to bring about the great Renovation…
Zarathushtra’s vision of the last things (Frashkart) included a final judgment, immortality and eternal life, (Ys 51.13, 45.7) images that readily influenced many of the other major religions. But in my opinion, we can never really be sure what he, himself, understood by these concepts. In the Avesta, ‘Immortality’ and ‘Perfection’ (Amertat and Haurvatat), are most often spoken of as if they were a pair, (Ys 45.10, 31.21) and this information (perhaps) provides us with a clue.
‘Integrity and immortality’: an eternity of endless days repeated ad nauseam? Perhaps. But there are other eternities. The life of man is composed of an indefinite number of discrete eternities: - the eternity of the moment at the breast; the eternity at the first recognition of a mother’s face; the bone-painful eternity of first love (with which we are imprinted for the remainder of our lives). Each of these infinities is complete in itself, and the material fact that time seems to end them does not negate the greater awareness that they are indeed eternities, complete and whole immortal morsels of eternity; immortal because complete, eternal because time itself closes the circle of their completeness. Eternity is not just the endless extension of Time (this is temporal immortality, or ‘everlasting life’). Eternity lies around us in fragments (we search for the whole and the whole searches for us); and each fragment is itself an eternity because it is whole, organic bliss. How would we ever know if we were in eternity? How could we recognize it? It is possible only from the outside, once we emerge from the shell of its all-encompassing completeness.
Science can give us insights here. Mathematicians and physicists inform us that infinities are most often to be found between the boundaries of limits. Between the integers 3 and 4, for example, there exists an infinity of real numbers, e.g., 3.1, 3.11, 3.111, etc., etc.: infinity held back, as it were, behind the barricades of limits. But if the distance between here and there is infinite it is nevertheless easy to cross over. It is as if the cracks in the sidewalk reached down to unfathomable depths, but we walked over them confidently every day. Indeed, we do seem to cross countless infinities every day of our lives, especially in our dealings with others (for the distances between two individuals can be greater that the distances measured by astronomers). This perhaps illustrates why Vohuman (linked so closely with the scalpel of the conscious, rational mind) is not the full revelation of divinity.
Intimations of the Frashkart already lie about us here and now if we know how to look. We collect morsels of it when we cultivate a garden, (our word for paradise comes from the Persian word for garden) sing a song, or fall in love. The breath of eternity hangs over everything that is truly alive. (40) Whatever actions a Zarathushtrian performs in his daily life, whatever thoughts he thinks with his good mind (Vohuman) become ‘holy’ (whole-ly) filled with meaning:(41) (for what is meaning if not revelation, something ‘revealed’ by the light).
to sweep and dust a room is to restore order, and so is a way of worshipping
We must attain the ability to see ‘with the two eyes’ (43) as Ibn Arabi termed it: the ability always to keep one eye on the material Getig state, and the other fixed firmly on the spiritual, the world as it will appear at the end of Time in the light of the xvarnah.
Images of the Frashkart are bound up with an ‘incandescence of the inward layers of beings’ (44) - a process by which the world slowly begins to lose its opacity, without ever losing its concreteness, somewhat in the way that a person with a face and a name becomes discernible to the mind from a mass of physical details. This light from within (like the light that lit up the subterranean Var of Yima (45)) shines from every object revealing a universe that is at once familiar and intensely personal, imbued with meaning and beckoning with wonder like the atmosphere of a fairy tale (which is the atmosphere of the real human world):
the mystic contemplates this universe, it is himself (nafs, his Anima)
The light of the Frashkart also reveals and exposes the inner condition of every soul, and this revelation can be painfully shocking. The tension between what the individual could have become, and what he has become, constitutes (in part) his personal ‘reward’ or ‘punishment’. He sees at last ‘in a new light’ the child-soul he has nurtured (or maltreated) throughout his life coming towards him (in person) on the Chinvat Bridge, the ‘bridge of judgment’ (Y51.13):
“..to the men of evil deeds, of evil thoughts, their depraved souls shall go to meet them with that which is foul In the house of the lie they will truly find their abode” Y49.12 (47)
or in the words of a later writer:
that we hide today, unwilling to disclose the depths of our hearts to
I have been told that devout Jews praying at the wall of Jerusalem sway backwards and forwards in imitation of a candle flame before the roaring fire of God. I don’t know if this is true, but I hope it is. It has always been coupled in my mind with another image: of a Magian tending his fire for a lifetime, and finally becoming a part of it. These combined images, of the swaying Jew and a fiery Magian, are my personal icons of the Frashkart: human beings burning in the divine light of which love and persons and divine revelation are made.
is made from the smoke of hearts who burn away.
May we, too, be among those who bring about the Transfiguration of the world.
Ryszard J. Antolak was born in the late 1950s and educated at the Universities of Edinburgh and Stirling in Scotland. Apart from various writing and research projects, his professional life has been spent in Education, working mostly with children and adults with Complex Learning Difficulties. He discovered Zarathushtra by accident at school, and his interest has continued ever since. He lives in the central belt of Scotland.
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