THEOSOPHY, Vol. 32, No. 11, September, 1944
(Pages 454-458; Size: 35K)
(Number 99 of a 103-part series)
SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
THE RETURN OF THE GIANTS"... The same gulf which is found to-day between Man and Ape, goes back with undiminished breadth and depth to the Tertiary period. This fact alone is enough to make its untenability clear." (Dr. F. Pfaff, Prof. of Natural Science in the University of Erlangen.)SHORTLY after the time of the writing of the Secret Doctrine, a powerful bulwark of the "ape ancestor" theory was found in Dubois' "Java Man," Pithecanthropus Erectus. Only a fragment of the skull cap of this creature existed, which Dubois, the discoverer, kept sequestrated from observation for decades. When finally and impartially examined, grave doubts arose regarding the significance ascribed to it by Dubois.
...even the "Giants" have not been left without their witnesses, ... To begin with geology; it has already confessed that the older the excavated skeletons, the larger, taller and the more powerful their structure. (The Secret Doctrine, 1888, II, 87 fn, and 278.)
Java has now furnished further light on this quasi-fraud, and with it perhaps the most significant of all anthropological discoveries since the Piltdown Man.
Under the title, "Giant Early Man from Java and South China," in Science (June 16), Dr. Franz Weidenreich of the American Museum of Natural History writes:Java, which stood in the focus of anthropologists fifty years ago when Eugene Dubois first announced the find of the "missing link," Pithecanthropus erectus, became a cynosure again when Dr. R. von Koenigswald, of the Geological Survey of Netherlands Indies, made a series of discoveries, each later one always more important than its predecessor. It began, in 1937, with the discovery of a large fragment of a lower jaw found in the Trinil beds of Sangiran. This jaw was much more complete than the one picked up by Dubois from the Trinil beds of Kedung Brubus, in 1891, and later attributed by this author to Pithecanthropus. Then followed the surprising discovery, in 1938, of a skull cap -- fragmentary too -- but much more complete than Dubois' Trinil skull which it resembles as one egg another in general form as well as in details. This specimen proved beyond the slightest doubt that Pithecanthropus is morphologically not a giant gibbon, and as such intermediate between ape and man, as Dubois insisted, but a true hominid very like the Peking man, Sinanthropus pekinsis.Thus the "missing link" is missing once more, its representative having moved too far up toward modern respectable society.... In 1939, von Koenigswald's native collector picked up an upper jaw from the same site from which the skull cap of 1938 had come. This jaw, almost complete, but slightly crushed, was the second surprise. It was in all dimensions larger than any known fossil or recent human jaw; there was a fairly wide gap between the canine and the incisor; the canine was not tusk-like but showed all the peculiarities of the Sinanthropus canines; the second molar was larger than the first and the third ones, and finally the palate was smooth and not covered with rugosities. In other words, the jaw exhibited several very distinct simian features beside its general human appearance, a combination never observed before....In other words, a skull half-breed between ape and man, not in line of descent from one to the other:...the anthropoids of our day have not existed at any time since the middle of the Miocene period; when, like all cross breeds, they began to show a tendency, more and more marked as time went on, to return to the type of their first parent, the black and yellow gigantic Lemuro-Atlantean. To search for the "Missing Link" is useless....It has long been known that in physical human heredity the crossing of races does not produce forms whose special characteristics (such as shape of nose, length of jaw, etc.) are harmonious means between those of the parents. Instead, the characteristics are mixtures of those of the progenitors. Such is the nature of the skull here discussed. A prolonged scientific war raged over the Piltdown man, due to a similar issue.
Such anthropoids form an exception [the only animal egos fated to become men in this Round] because they were not intended by Nature, but are the direct product and creation of "senseless" man. The Hindus give a divine origin to the apes and monkeys because the men of the Third Race were gods from another plane who had become "senseless" mortals.... the Hindu sees in the ape but what Manu desired he should: the transformation of species most directly connected with that of the human family, a bastard branch engrafted on their own stock before the final perfection of the latter. (S.D. I, 184-5 fn.)
A still later discovery by von Koenigswald, in 1939, from the same vicinity, brought another shock:This new and so far latest discovery, with which we were becoming acquainted just before the occupation of Java by the Japanese cut all ways of communication, is again the fragment of a lower jaw. It is undoubtedly a human jaw, but the features which render certain this identification reveal such an early state that they stamp this jaw as the most primitive human skeleton part ever found. However, this is not the only revolutionary disclosure. Not less momentous is the fact that this jaw exceeds by far in size, especially in thickness, all that is known of any fossil or recent human jaw, including the famous Heidelberg jaw. Contrarily to the latter, the teeth of the new jaw participate in this gigantism.We continue with several statements from Madame Blavatsky:
Von Koenigswald, recognizing at once the human character of the fragment and, of course, also its gigantic proportions, gave the type the name Meganthropus palaeojavanicus. So far we have no other word from von Koenigswald, but by labelling the specimen in this way he makes known that he considers the type represented by the jaw as a giant hominid different from Pithecanthropus. The new find ... introduces a completely new and unexpected form into our collection of fossil hominids.... When we make an inventory of all the lower or upper jaws of hominids recovered from the Trinil beds, we face the singular and certainly surprising fact that all four differ in size, the smallest being the so-called Pithecanthropus Erectus of Kedung Brubus, the largest the Meganthropus jaw, while the lower jaw of 1937 and the upper jaw of Pithecanthropus robustus fit in between the two extremes, the former again a little smaller than the latter. As these differences in size go hand in hand with differences in morphological characteristics -- the larger one is in general more primitive than the succeeding smaller one -- it is obvious that we have before us a group of closely related types each derivable from the other in the sequence of their size.The antediluvian ancestors of the present elephant and lizard were, perhaps, the mammoth and the plesiosaurus; why should not the progenitors of our human race have been the "giants" of the Vedas, the Völuspa, and the Book of Genesis? While it is positively absurd to believe the "transformation of species" to have taken place according to some of the more materialistic views of the evolutionists, it is but natural to think that each genus, beginning with the molluscs and ending with man, has modified its own primordial and distinctive forms. (Isis Unveiled, I, 153; S.D. II, xvi.)Thus we not only have a line of descent as indicated by the Secret Doctrine teachings in point of size; further we have the fact that H. P. Blavatsky elsewhere named the creature in advance "Meganthropos" -- in true scientific fashion!
The claim that physical man was originally a colossal pre-tertiary giant, and that he existed 18,000,000 years ago, must of course appear preposterous to admirers of, and believers in, modern learning. The whole posse comitatus of biologists will turn away from the conception of this third race Titan of the Secondary age, a being fit to fight as successfully with the then gigantic monsters of the air, sea, and land, as his forefathers -- the ethereal prototype of the Atlantean -- had little need to fear that which could not hurt him. (S.D. II, 9.)
Meantime, in South China, Dr. von Koenigswald found a huge tooth which he ascribed to a semi-ape form named by him Gigantopithecus Blacki. On this, Weidenreich says:... But the gist of the whole story, which arouses our foremost interest, is the fact that Gigantopithecus is not a giant ape, as von Koenigswald assumed, but a giant man and should, therefore, be called "Gigantanthropus." This follows beyond any doubt from the very characteristic pattern of the occlusal surface of the teeth, which differs fundamentally in the structure of the cusps from that of any known anthropoids but agrees even in the minutest details with the hominid pattern as shown by the molars of Pithecanthropus, Sinanthropus and even modern man. On the other hand, the form of the teeth, especially that of the third lower molar, and the condition of its root indicate that it has preserved a very primitive character, much more primitive than the known third molars of any fossil hominid. Therefore, we have the same combination which struck us in the human fossils of Java; namely, primitiveness together with gigantic proportions. But in the case of Gigantopithecus the gigantism reaches a new climax. The volume of the crown of the third lower molar is about six times larger than the average crown of modern man; compared with the corresponding tooth of the gorilla, it is about twice as large.Weidenreich computes the size of Meganthropus as being about that of a big male gorilla (i.e., about 400 pounds in weight). The reason for his caution in estimating the size of Gigantopithecus is quickly seen by applying the rule of weight as increasing as the cube of height. Gigantopithecus would be about 800 pounds and, if proportioned like modern man, nine feet tall. It is not very surprising that Weidenreich prefers to let the reader do his own calculating!
After some discussion on geological relationships and possible ages, which indicate that the forms come from the Lower or Middle Pleistocene, Weidenreich says:... Therefore, neither geological nor morphological facts can be produced against the assumption that Gigantopithecus is an ancestral hominid form which has been reduced in size and massiveness as it developed in the direction of modern man ... the answer to another question which forces itself upon the mind has to be postponed until further evidences are at hand. Are gigantism and massiveness indispensable features of the earliest mankind, and, consequently, characteristic of all human forms; or have they to be regarded as accidental, regional or individual variations as they occur in other mammalian groups? The occurrence of large fossil human skulls with very thick individual bones in early or late stages, for instance in Homo soloensis, Homo rhodesiensis and in the Heidelberg jaw, seem to indicate that gigantism and massiveness may have been a general or at least a wide-spread character of early mankind.The Pleistocene is a geologically recent age; the Secret Doctrine and even some modern scientists teach that the human race is immensely older. How much larger, then, were still earlier forms?
The gradual decrease in size of the human race is of course in strict scientific correlation with the decrease in the size of animal forms, and one day this will dawn as a blinding light, as a fact so logical and so obvious that a generation of scientists not far from now will wonder whether the skull walls of their immediate ancestors were not almost as substantial as those of Gigantopithecus.
Readers of this magazine may recall scattered references,(1) over a period of years, to discoveries of similar trends, especially in the Americas; which, because they were made by ordinary awkward people without degrees, were never scientifically credited or investigated. Some of these discoveries may now have to be revaluated.
One may count with certainty upon the fact that the teachings of the Secret Doctrine upon the subject will go unnoticed, or if noticed, that references to them will be carefully censored out, as has already been the case more than once in scientific literature. Science can never lend itself to the propagation of such "superstitions" as Theosophy -- especially when they are true!
Meantime, in a letter well-known to many theosophists, written by a Mahatma in the Eighties, occurs a remark which one may suspect to be no more gratuitous than anything else They wrote:... The vril of the "Coming Age" was the common property of races now extinct. And, as the very existence of those gigantic ancestors of ours is now questioned -- though in the Himavats, on the very territory belonging to you we have a cave full of the skeletons of these giants -- and their huge frames when found are invariably regarded as isolated freaks of nature, so the vril or Akás -- as we call it -- is looked upon as an impossibility, a myth.One surmises that the Adepts hold trump cards in the matter of the giant races; but that they will not be played until the Movement has ripened to the point where credit will be given where credit is due.
Compiler's Note: Before going on to the next article in the series, here are the four short items found in earlier editions of THEOSOPHY magazine, which are referred to by the Editors in the one footnote found in the above article. They are from the "On the Lookout" section of four different issues of the magazine. Neither of them are the whole section, which is in every issue, and which always covers many different subjects, but are only small portions of it. And on another note, the same footnote at the bottom of this page also points to four articles from this "Science and The Secret Doctrine" series which also have related information; for your easy reference, here are their numbers that I have assigned to them within the 103 articles in the series: (23), (28), (45), and (53).
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 11, No. 8, June, 1923
ON THE LOOKOUT
[The 1st of 4 references]
A small newspaper clipping contains a remarkable amount of truth and error mixed. It is stated that the origin of all giant stories are the Hindu legends of the Rakshasas. This is so, but, instead of the Rakshasas themselves being, as the clipping states, merely storm clouds, they were ourselves, as Atlanteans; the builders of the life-size Easter Island statues, and of the menhirs and other cyclopean remains all over the earth, including many South American structures. It is further attempted to explain the South American legends of giants by the discovery of the bones of prehistoric gigantic animals. Now we have a suspicion; so wild and heretical that we hardly dare voice it; but we shared in Charles Fort's Book of the Damned. (A collection of disinherited but not denied scientific facts.) Therefore, we make bold to print it, while disclaiming its origin:"It may be, that as time goes on, we shall have to admit that there are remains of many tremendous habitations of giants on this earth, and that their appearances here were more than casual -- but their bones -- or the absence of their bones--It would truly be dreadful should Mr. Fort's suspicion be true, or partly so -- but it would be a joke for the gods.
"Except -- that, no matter how careful and unsuspicious my disposition may be, when I go to the American Museum of Natural History, dark cynicisms arise the moment I come to the fossils ... gigantic things -- that have been reconstructed into terrifying but 'proper' dinosaurs -- but my uncheerfulness--
"The dodo did it.
"On one of the floors below the fossils, they have a reconstructed dodo. It's frankly a fiction; it's labeled as such -- but it's been reconstructed so cleverly and convincingly--"
Our journalist remarks: "It is a scientific fact that most races of men, in former ages, instead of being larger, were smaller than at the present time. There is hardly a suit of armor in the Tower of London that is large enough for the average Englishman of today to put on."
Be that as it may, it is a fact, "scientific" or otherwise, that the prehistoric skeletons of Volcan de Agun averaged 6 to 7 feet in height; that many Mound-Builder skeletons were of the same magnitude; that the Carson City footprints in sandstone were rejected as human because of their length and the length of stride; that tribes remote from Sanskrit "mythology" and from fossil bones have the same legends that the ancient inhabitants of the Pacific, as discovered by MacMillan Brown and others, were of a greater stature than any existent race, as an average; that the Cro-Magnon "prehistoric" man has no superior in physique in the modern world; that in Scotland a stone ax seventeen inches long by nine inches broad was discovered; in America, in Ohio, a copper ax weighing twenty-two pounds and twenty-two inches long; in Wisconsin a stone ax twenty-eight inches long, fourteen inches wide, eleven inches thick, and weighing three hundred pounds.
Does our imaginative writer wish us to believe that these little toys were used by smaller men than those of today?
[End of the 1st reference]
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 12, No. 8, June, 1924
ON THE LOOKOUT
[The 2nd of 4 references]
THE HUBBARD DISCOVERY
In this magazine for September, 1923, we mentioned a reported discovery by Mr. Samuel Hubbard, of remains of giants in the Grand Canyon of Arizona. Owing to press unreliability, we did not notice this to a great extent. We have now, however, obtained more knowledge on the subject, and there remains no doubt that Mr. Hubbard has actually made a discovery composed of the following parts:(a) Petrified bodies of two human beings about 18 and 15 feet in height respectively. One of these is buried under a recent rock fall which would require several days' work to remove; the other, of which Mr. Hubbard took photographs, is in a crevice of difficult accessibility. The bodies are formed of a limestone petrification embedded in sandstone.The prediction we made on the date noted above has proven true to the letter. Mr. Hubbard, an old resident of Oakland whose bona fides is beyond question, has been received with anything from the polite evasion of Dr. Osborn to the contempt of a so-called scientist who remarked publicly that "Hubbard saw snakes and not giants."
(b) An ancient beach, now sandstone, containing a great number of footprints of a giant race, men, women and children; the prints of adults about 17 to 20 inches in length, and corresponding in size and shape to the Carson City and Blue Ridge prints. With these prints are associated those of a huge elephant, similar in size to the remains discovered in the La Brea pits -- Elephas Primigenius, we believe -- and very small horse tracks, probably corresponding to the Pliohippus. This beach was evidently occupied when the river was many hundreds of feet above where it now is. Some of the human prints are partly covered by the overlying stratum of stone, which is gradually weathering off.
(c) Wall drawings showing dinosaurus, elephant, ostrich, and ibex; also the same figure of the serpent with the egg in mouth as found in the Mississippi mounds, with numerous other drawings. One drawing shows an elephant attacking a man; if the drawing is to scale, and if the elephant corresponds to the La Brea animal, the man is about 18 feet tall.
Mr. Hubbard, who is not identified with Theosophy or any other scientific heterodoxy, has proven remarkably patient under this reception, contenting himself as reports seem to show, merely with reiterating the facts. His discovery was made in 1896, and further elaborated in two subsequent expeditions. Throughout that time his reception has been the same; no scientist of repute has dared even to investigate personally.
Three standard objections are made to the discovery: First, it is against the Darwinian theory, therefore cannot be true; Second, such human skeletons would crush under the body weight. This, it is almost needless to say, ignores the known strength of the human skeleton, as well as the present and former existence of any number of animals whose bulk imposes at least as great a strain; Third, human flesh will not petrify. This last is simply a theory and not a fact, yet it is held superior to an attested fact. Knowing the real nature of the lime-laden water of this district, we see little difficulty in the possibility of a shell forming, within which the body might decay, leaving the outer form intact; nor in the possibility of the immediate formation of a sand mould about the body, in the course of a freshet, which would remain to be filled with lime by infiltration as the flesh decayed.
A further theory is that the bodies are carvings. Whereupon we have a vision of some unskilled hand -- Indian, are we to suppose -- carving, in stone which defies a steel chisel, human forms so perfect that the surface veins show; transporting them (weight at least about two and a half tons) into a position almost inaccessible, and certainly not permitting the use of tackle, and finally, embedding them in another stone so cleverly that no junction is visible; moreover, inserting the legs entirely beneath the surface of the sandstone; and then leaving the forms to be found by chance! Yet this folly is scientific, while Mr. Hubbard's discovery is unscientific!
This recalls vividly the reception of the Carson City giant prints. They were (a) not human because of their size and the length of stride; (b) produced by an ordinary man wearing wooden sandals. Whereupon we are called upon to visualize a primitive man pursuing game (and from the age of the prints, perchance eluding the festive sabre-tooth tiger), wearing wooden clogs twenty inches long and seven broad! If puerility can go farther, we know not the time, the place, nor the occasion.
THE LOS ANGELES SKULLS
Meanwhile, the discovery of modern type skulls in Los Angeles, under conditions indicating an age of one-half to a million years, creates more difficulties in the path of a hard-pressed theory. It is reported that "specialists on the subject of early man will have to examine skull before the matter can be definitely settled." In order, we presume, to determine whether the skull fits the Darwin theory, and from that determine whether it is really old or not.
Dr. Hrdlicka, on a previous occasion, remarked that if there were remains of early men in America, they would have been found in old caves and stream beds long before now. The Calaveras skull was just such a find. And how was this disposed of? It was of a modern type, therefore a fake. So saith the oracle.
The incredulity of scientists of pre-Chladnian days in regard to meteors, still ever and anon rouses a resounding chuckle in the scientific world; but verily does the modern savant seem bent upon making himself a veritable figure of fun for future generations -- generations which will probably be as incredulous in the face of facts as the present, since the scientific mind seems incapable of learning by experience. In the meantime, we challenge science to investigate in person the Hubbard find.
[End of the 2nd reference]
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 17, No. 6, April, 1929
ON THE LOOKOUT
[The 3rd of 4 references]
The time must come when science will have to recognise something far more upsetting than the original promulgation of Darwinism; namely, the former existence of the human race in conformations vastly different than now dreamed of. All testimony may not be reliable; but there is fire where smoke is seen.
According to a press clipping, dated Nayarit, Mexico, May 14, 1926, Capts. D. W. Page and F. W. Devalda discovered the bones of a race of giants who averaged over ten feet in height. Local legends state that they came from Ecuador. Nothing more has been heard of this, but that is not surprising; the word "giant" will flutter the feathers of any scientist into rapid flight, metaphorically speaking, in the opposite direction. So also with a report from the Washington Post, June 22, 1925, and the New York Herald-Tribune, June 21, 1925. A mining party, it is reported, found skeletons measuring 10 to 12 feet, with feet 18 to 20 inches long, near Sisoguiche, Mexico. The Los Angeles Times, October 2, 1927, says that explorers in Mexico located large human bones near Tapextla, indicating a race of "gigantic size." All this, if unfounded, would be straining coincidence or imagination pretty far.
There are also universal traditions of giants; some are given in the above items, and the New York Times Magazine of July 12, 1925, gives them in some detail; also speculates on the cause for modern giants. In regard to this Madame Blavatsky said that modern giantism is atavism.
Turning from direct testimony to the indirect and inferential, we find that a 38 pound copper ax was found in one of the Hopewell mounds of Ohio. It is naively remarked that "it must have been a ceremonial ax, because too heavy for ordinary use." (Science News-Letter, November 19, 1927.)
Yet there are popular reports of giant skeletons -- which immediately crumbled to dust -- taken from some of these mounds. The fact that science now considers the mounds to have been used for burial purposes by Indians of modern stock, does not negative the fact that they may have been built and so used by races lost to tradition; prehistoric tombs have been used by relatively modern races in other parts of the world.
BIOLOGY AND GRAVITY
The San Francisco Examiner of September 13, 1925, has an item on the discovery of the largest known turtle, in India; it is presumed to have lived about 6,000,000 years ago. It is curious and significant that this is now about the age Dr. Osborn gives to the human race. This turtle, however, adds further point to the following:The fact that the bones of the mammoth and mastodon, and, in one case, those of a gigantic salamander, have been mistaken for human bones, does not make away with the difficulty that, of all the mammalians, man is the only one whom science will not allow to have dwarfed down, like all other animal frames, from the giant homo diluvii to the creature between 5 and 6 feet that he is now. (Secret Doctrine, 1888, II, 352.)The stock objection to the previous existence of any large races, is the increasing disproportion of strength to weight with the increase of height. Yet in the San Francisco Chronicle, November 8, 1928, Dr. Barnum Brown, Curator of Reptiles at the American Museum of Natural History, describes the gorgosaur, a reptile 30 feet in length and with a head clearance of 15 feet from the ground. This animal, it is claimed, traveled in 50 foot leaps! Therefore we have a creature of gigantic size, weighing many tons, manifesting the agility of a dickey-bird! There are other such examples, but so far as we know, science has never taken note of the anomaly.
Since the mathematics of the matter are indisputable, it appears that explanation has to be drawn from something out of the ordinary. That something, perhaps, lies in the Theosophical teaching that the laws of matter, of gravitation and cohesion, have not always been the same; but that, even as science now discovers that matter itself is in evolution, all the laws having to do with it are in process of gradual evolution.The claim that physical man was originally a colossal pre-tertiary giant, and that he existed 18,000,000 years ago, must of course appear preposterous to admirers of, and believers in, modern learning. The whole posse comitatus of biologists will turn away from the conception of this third race Titan of the Secondary age, a being fit to fight as successfully with the then gigantic monsters of the air, sea, and land, as his forefathers -- the ethereal prototype of the Atlantean -- had little need to fear that which could not hurt him. (S.D. II, 9.)
[End of the 3rd reference]
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 25, No. 3, January, 1937
ON THE LOOKOUT
[The last of 4 references]
"GIANTS IN THE EARTH"
At least two more giants -- or their tangible remains -- await scientific explanation as a result of the archaeological discoveries of the year 1936. The New York Times of August 16 reports a find near San Bernardino, California:Portions of a gigantic human skeleton, believed to be the bones of a prehistoric man, were unearthed the other day in a gravel pit by a steam-shovel operator.HUMAN RIBS--"A YARD LONG"
The skull was half again as large as that of a modern man's. It had a huge prognathous jaw, high cheek bones and jutting teeth in the upper jaw ... it was Mongolian in conformation. It was partly fossilized.
Near by, several vertebrae, a leg bone and three finger bones were uncovered. They were dimensionally proportionate to the skull.
But the San Bernardino giant is a pygmy compared with the headless skeleton reported found in Nicaragua (New York Times, February 14):Press accounts say that the skeleton of a gigantic man, with head missing, has been unearthed at El Boquin, on the Mico River, in the Chontales district. The ribs are a yard long and four inches wide and the shin bone is too heavy for one man to carry. "Chontales" is an Indian word, meaning "wild men."We are perhaps safe in predicting that if and when the scientific eye is cast upon this Chontalean Gargantua the result will be the same "thunders of silence" that heralded the discovery of 200 huge skeletons in a cave in Calaveras County, California. But theosophists may be content with the fact that if all the evidences of giant races among the ancient inhabitants of the western world were laid end to end, they would reach back to Atlantis.
[End of the 4th reference]
SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
(Part 100 of a 103-part series)
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ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:
(1) "On the Lookout," XI, 386; XII, 377; XVII, 277; and XXV, 138. Also, "Science and the Secret Doctrine," XVIII, 400; XIX, 215; XXI, 222; XXII, 204. [Note: You will find copies of the four items from the "On the Lookout" section, which are referred to by the Editors here, at the end of the article that you are now reading; and for easy reference you will also find, in my brief lead-in commentary placed between the end of this article and the material that I have added, the four numbers that I have assigned to the "Science and The Secret Doctrine" articles which are also referred to here, out of the total of 103. --Compiler.]
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