Chapter Five: Who Is The Holy Ghost?

Who is this Holy Ghost Fellow?

While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
(Acts 19:1,2)

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1: 35)

They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!” (Acts 4:7-9)

If you’re like I was, you are probably familiar with the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, but that’s about as far as it goes. To many of us he is nothing more than a mere incantation, something not too distantly related to the “hocus pocus” we mumbled magically as children as we played sorcerer.[1]

I was reared in a Catholic country, Peru, where my dad worked for a multinational corporation. My mother, raised in the Roman Catholic Church, took me quite naturally to the local parish church, conveniently located around the corner of our house on Avenida Dos de Mayo in the suburb of San Isidro in the capital city of Lima. There I learned to cross myself and say the words, “En nombre del Padre, Hijo, y Espíritu Santo, Amen” as my hand made the sign of the cross across my chest, ending with a kiss of my thumb crossed across my index finger. Roman Catholics know what I’m writing about. In English the prayer is “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Amen.” It is the way Catholics end a prayer. It is a benediction of sorts, a call to the Trinity and the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost? What or who are we writing about here?

Fast forward my life to the early 1970s as I emerged from graduate school, entering the academic world with a newly-minted Ph.D., a doctor of philosophy in history. I was trained as a social scientist, a humanist, an objective interpreter of our past. I pored over sixteenth and seventeenth century documents in the Archive of the Indies in Seville, Spain, in 1970 while writing my dissertation. I was trained to make intelligent, rational decisions on the documents, their meaning, test their authenticity, probe their validity, analyze them rigorously, place them in the context of their times, and finally incorporate them into a work that emerged as my doctoral thesis, or dissertation in academic jargon. I was, and am, a pretty good scholar.[2]

Somewhere along the line I also stopped developing as a pretty good Christian. I always had a skeptical, doubting nature. I still do. Perhaps that is why I relate so well to doubting Thomas, the disciple who wanted to see and touch Jesus with his own eyes and hands to prove the authenticity of his Resurrection. Thomas would have made a good modern social scientist, probably a sociologist or historian.

Anyhow, getting educated, and, indeed, super-educated to the Ph.D. level, drew me more and more into the rational world where one is trained to only trust the senses, to seek facts that are verifiable, to trust to man as a reasonable creature who can derive laws and obtain facts from the natural world we inhabit. Natural and physical scientists (biologists, chemists, physicists, etc.) are especially rigorous practitioners of this way, but all academics, from anthropologists to zoologists, psychologists and political scientists, embrace the scientific method. Part of this method is putting any experiment to the test: can it be duplicated or replicated? Are the facts readily available?

Sure, there is another world out there. It is the one of the mind and the heart, where knowledge and wisdom exist to provide us with moral and ethical foundations, but even these have a “natural” basis that does not presuppose the existence of Christian faith or hope to understand them. One does not need to have faith in the Greek philosopher Aristotle to understand his precepts and teachings.

Perhaps the most interesting of the ancient secular philosophers was the Spanish-born Luciua Annaeus Seneca. He was the leading “Stoic” of the time, and his life almost exactly paralleled that of Jesus Christ. Both were born around 4 A.D., Seneca on the western fringes of the Roman Empire, in Córdoba, and Christ on the eastern fringes, in Judea. Seneca lived a longer life, mostly in Rome until 65 A.D., and he may have even had contact with the Apostle Paul, but that is mere speculation.

Seneca served for a time as tutor and adviser to the Roman emperor Nero in his youth. As a leading Stoic, one of the central themes of his writings is that all human suffering has a meaning in the order of the universe. Suffering, after all, is a part of the human experience. We all suffer. Sorry. This book will instruct you on how to conduct yourself as a Christian, but I can’t present you with a way to avoid suffering. We hit this subject head on in the next chapter (6), “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?”

What makes Seneca so interesting is that many of his teachings paralleled Christian doctrine as first taught by Jesus and then elaborated by Apostles such as Peter and Paul, all contemporaries of Seneca.  The similarities are striking.

Live with me as if God saw you; converse with God as if men heard you.

God is nigh to you, he is with you, he is in you; I tell you, Lucilius, a holy spirit resides within us, an observer and guardian of our good and bad doings, who, as he has been dealt with by us, so he deals with us; no man is good without God.

From the time that money began to be regarded with honor, the real value of things was forgotten.[3]

Seneca’s wisdom was derived from a deep knowledge of the ancients. While not wholly original, that it itself was forgivable, as Will Durant wrote in The Story of Civilization, for “in philosophy all truth is old, and only error is original.”[4] Much of Seneca’s wit and wisdom could easily have fit into the Bible of the Old or New Testament.

I persist in praising not the life that I lead, but that which I ought to lead. I follow it at a mighty distance, crawling.

Abundance of food dulls the wits; excess of food strangles the soul.

Behold a spectacle to which God may worthily turn his attention: behold a match worthy of God, a brave man hand-in-hand with adverse fortune.

Fire tries gold; misery tries brave men.

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare to attempt them, but they are difficult because we do not care to do so.

The fear of war is worse than war itself.

Life, if you know how to use it, is long enough.

Human affairs are not so happily arranged that the best things please the most men. It is the proof of a bad cause when it is applauded by the mob.

A large library is apt to distract rather than to instruct the learner; it is much better to confine yourself to a few authors than to wander at random over many.

Truth will never be tedious to him that travels through the nature of things; it is falsehood that gluts us.[5]

As a good Stoic, Seneca, like the Jewish ascetics of Jesus’ times, lived a frugal, monastic life, sometimes drinking only water, eating little, sleeping on a hard mattress, even when he was surrounded by wealth and at the epicenter of power in Rome. He was concerned about matters that transcend the human cosmos, such as the problem of suffering, or, more exactly, assigning a meaning to suffering, much like in the Book of Job. Like the ancient Hebrew prophets, Seneca scolded Roman society of his times for a terrible decline in morality and the concomitant rise of depravity and self-indulgence.

Where are we going here you might ask? A chapter on the Holy Spirit, has taken us to the bizarre world of the Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burns.[6] What I want to underscore here is that while Seneca’s teachings are strikingly similar, and his truths and values are timeless, he was not a Christian.

Seneca failed to apprehend Christianity, and the eternal life promised to us by Jesus Christ. Equally important for this chapter on the existence of the Holy Ghost or Spirit, is that Seneca committed suicide (he was ordered to do so) without the knowledge, or the hope, of life after death. We, on the other hand, accepting Christianity, know what lies beyond, if we but live a life of faith and let the Holy Spirit indwell and direct us.

We pray regularly to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, or what is known as the triune God. We know the father to be God, the son to be Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost to be, to be…whom? Let’s turn to Scripture for some answers.

Being properly modern in our technology, as mentioned above in this chapter, we looked up “Holy Spirit” in our electronic version of the Bible and we got ninety-three hits. For those few of you out there still “computer challenged,” that means the expression “Holy Spirit” appears ninety-three times in the Bible. Of these, only three are in the Old Testament. So, we may assume–from a quantitative standpoint at any rate–that the Holy Spirit is a New Testament figure in the main.

Before we go further, let’s try and settle a semantic problem. Is there a difference between the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost? Not that I know of. It is basically a matter of translation. Ghost may sound too much like “Casper the Ghost” to some ears, trivializing the concept. Spirit sounds more congenial, less confused with the occult, magic, and other popular manifestations of the spirit world.[7]

The Holy Spirit first appears in the New Testament in the first chapter of Matthew, verse 18:

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

There is something supernatural going on here. Mary conceived of Jesus through the action of the Holy Spirit. This is called the “immaculate conception.” Luke records the same event in 1:35

A little further on John the Baptist recognizes that his baptisms with water for repentance are but a precursor to the power of Jesus Christ who will follow him.

“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,” John told his followers while I only “baptize you with water.” (Luke 3:16)

The Holy Spirit appears in numerous other occasions in the gospels. When Jesus’s disciples worry about how they will defend themselves if arrested and brought to trial, he counsels them to “just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” Or, as we may say in the secular, “go with the flow.” Ministers and preachers will often refer to an “anointing” when moved by the Holy Spirit in their sermons.

And Jesus, as he was preparing to leave his disciples, sensed their anxiety and fear.

“Don’t worry,” he told them. My father will send “the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, in my name (and) he will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

It seems that Jesus spent a lot of time calming down his worrywart disciples!

“Peace I leave with you,” he told them. “My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Good advice.

In fact, let’s pause a moment here in our consideration of the Holy Spirit, for there is more, much more, that the Holy Spirit gives us as described in Acts and other books of the New Testament.

My pause is to emphasize the relationship between you and the Holy Spirit, or with Jesus himself. For our purposes, let’s consider them one, indivisible, without the theological overtones of the triune God. Jesus told his disciples, and, by extension, all of us, “do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” I am there for you always. I will lift your burdens from your hearts and minds and breathe into you a peace that transcends all understanding. Turn to me with your worries, your concerns, your despondency, your feelings of insecurity, your material needs, your deepest secrets of guilt and sin, turn to me, lay them on me and be free, be at peace. It is at this profound level of our relationship with our God that the Holy Spirit acts. He is there, all the time to give us succor and peace. He is the active agent of our God in our Christian lives.

The Holy Spirit in effect was given to us as Jesus’ direct representative in our lives after his departure. Yes, we can pray to God, and we can pray to Jesus. But we can also pray to the Holy Spirit who will not only listen, as God and Jesus will, but was sent to ACT in our lives.

Before Jesus ascended into heaven for the last time after returning to visit with his disciples following his resurrection, he left them with what is called the “Great Commission.”

“Therefore go,” he told them, “and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mathew 28:19)

The Great Commission was the command to proselytize and spread the Word, to bring Christianity to all the world. The Holy Spirit would soon play an even greater role in the disciples’ lives. But, as was their wont, they continued to worry. What’s going to happen to us? What about the Kingdom of God that Jesus had preached about so eloquently?

“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” they asked him.

Jesus, even gentle and patient, did not chide them, as he had on occasion in the past. Instead he said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

They pondered on this and some other prophetic-like sayings.

Then, on the day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day after the sabbath of Passover week, the Holy Spirit descended on them with wind and fire in a startling moment that transformed the vacillating, worried disciples into different men. The passage is one of the most famous, and important, in the New Testament. It appears in verse 3 and 4 of the second chapter in the Book of Acts.

“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:2-4)

What happened here? It is both extremely simple and immensely controversial. The simple part–and by far the most important–was the infusion of the disciples with the Holy Spirit, who then transformed them from timid, doubting souls, unsure of themselves and their mission, into bold, successful apostles for Christ. That same Holy Spirit resides in you once you have accepted Jesus Christ into your life. And the transformation in your life can be just as life changing as that experienced by Peter and the other believers gathered together that day of Pentecost.

Remember, the goal of this book is to learn how to live a Christian life. The Holy Spirit was sent to us by Jesus to be our guide, to teach us, to infuse us with the power to substitute God’s will for our own. The Holy Spirit is our “connector,” if you will, with God’s kingdom. We are like computers. But, without an operating system and software, a computer has no way to work. The Holy Spirit becomes our new operating system–replacing the old one–and we learn new software through reading the Word and putting it into practice.

Let’s return to the disciples who were as astonished as their listeners by the appearance of the Holy Spirit that morning in Jerusalem. When they “spoke in tongues” the many Jews gathered in Jerusalem from other nations were dumbfounded to hear their own language being spoken by these largely uneducated Galileans.  Parthians, Medes, Romans, Egyptians, Libyans, Cretans, Arabs, and others heard the disciples declaring “the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

“Amazed and perplexed,” they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

A few snickered. “They have had too much wine.”

Peter rebuked them. “It’s only nine in the morning!” These men aren’t drunk. Let me explain. And, filled with the Spirit, Peter proceeded to do so in what would become a model sermon. First there came a reading from Scripture. Then an explanation of events. This is followed by the story of the death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus, and Peter ended with an exhortation to repentance and baptism.

In this instance, Peter’s scriptural lesson came from the prophet Joel (2, beginning with verse 28). Peter almost quotes Joel word for word in verses 17-21 of Acts 2.

`In the last days, God says,

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

your young men will see visions,

your old men will dream dreams.

Even on my servants, both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days,

and they will prophesy.

I will show wonders in the heaven above

and signs on the earth below,

blood and fire and billows of smoke.

The sun will be turned to darkness

and the moon to blood

before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

And everyone who calls

on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

It is important to underscore a few key elements. ALL people–Jews and Gentiles of Peter’s time– who call on the name of the Lord will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. In our contemporary world, this means all people, regardless of condition.

Peter then explained the life of Jesus, with the central theme of his death and Resurrection. Jesus “received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.”

As Peter told the story of Jesus, the Lord and Christ, who was crucified by the Jews, the people “were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

Then Luke, the author of Acts, recalled, “about three thousand were added to their number that day.” This was the first major conversion of large numbers to Christianity and a defining moment in the fledgling life of the body of believers who came to be known as the “church” over the centuries.

These few days are crucial to understand, for the events were closely associated with the appearance of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Peter and the believers. The Spirit prompted the Apostles not only to speak in tongues, but many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the Apostles. New converts were added daily. The disciples were transformed from timid, questioning souls into bold and confident witnesses to Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit appears constantly in most of the books of the New Testament that follow. One can argue, with much persuasion, that indeed the life of a Christian today–as since the time of Jesus on earth–is measured by his relationship to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit empowers us with gifts and talents that in turn produce what are called the “fruits” of the Spirit. Indeed, if one were to ask, “hey give me a synopsis of the Christian message in a few words,” I would refer you to two passages of the New Testament.

The first is John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

And the second (1 Corinthians 13) is the greatest gift of the Holy Spirit, and, coincidentally, my favorite passage in the Bible.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

We have jumped ahead a bit here. In the passage above, Paul refers to a number of gifts of the spirit such prophecy, faith, charity, and knowledge. In an earlier passage, he expounds with clarity on different kinds of gifts, and, especially, on the diversity of humankind and how the Holy Spirit accounts for these differences, endowing each Christian with different gifts, all contributing to the benefit of the whole.

As always, Paul’s words are more felicitous than mine!

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

Paul proceeds to explain that all gifts of the Spirit are for the common good, even though not all of us may receive all gifts. In other words, each one of us is endowed with something special. Again, Paul’s words:

To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Then Paul uses a wonderful metaphor of the body to explain how all this works to the common good. The body is a unit he explains, made up of many parts. So it is with Christ. Baptism led all–Jews and Gentiles, slaves and freemen of Paul’s day–into the body of Christ. Today Christianity is made up of the broad spectrum of humankind across the world–black, white, Indian, Asian, Eskimo, and scores of other ways we distinguish among people. Each is given special gifts, but we all work for the common good.

“Now the body is not made up of one part,” Paul explained,  “but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:14-20)

That body today is the church, which is why it often is referred to as the “body of Christ,” although other meanings are attached to that phrase as well.

Paul then really got cranked up on his metaphorical body just as any good writer who is on a roll.

“The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:21-26)

There is not much in the way of explanation needed here. Paul then describes the church, or the body of Christ, as made up of many parts.

“God has appointed first of all apostles,” Paul wrote, “second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.”

He then asks rhetorically, “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?” Clearly, the answer is no. But, just as in the human body where there are many parts working harmoniously, so in the body of the Church each one of us is blessed with different gifts of the Holy Spirit. We too should work harmoniously for the common body of Christ.

And to help us, the greatest gift is love, “the most excellent way,” in Paul’s words. The most beautiful passage in Scripture then follows, quoted above. Without love, all the gifts are nothing. It touches us at the core of our faith.

Take a moment here and reread that passage, which begins with the lines:

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing….”

Read it out loud and let it roll over you and through you, penetrating your heart and mind.

Furthermore, as we yield to the Holy Spirit and allow those gifts to manifest themselves in our Christian lives, the “fruits” of the Spirit will become evident.

What is a “fruit” of the Spirit? Paul lists the fruit in Galatians 5:22 and in other passages. They are manifestations of the Spirit within you. They are, in fact, characteristics of a Christian life.

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control

Phewww, that’s quite a list. I never said being a Christian was easy! Many of those attributes listed above are, of course, not necessarily associated simply with Christianity, but represent virtues that humankind can aspire to across the spectrum of beliefs. Even non-believers, agnostics, and atheists can in the main agree that we would all be better if if patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control, for example, characterized our daily existence, whether in Cleveland or Cambodia, China or Havana.

As we near the end of this chapter and get ready to turn to one of the most difficult questions in Christendom, “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?” in the next chapter, let me recall for you a paragraph from above.

Remember, the goal of this book is to learn how to live a Christian life. The Holy Spirit was sent to us by Jesus to be our guide, to teach us, to infuse us with the power to substitute God’s will for our own. The Holy Spirit is our “connector,” if you will, with God’s kingdom. We are like computers. But, without an operating system and software, a computer has no way to work. The Holy Spirit becomes our new operating system–replacing the old one–and we learn new software through reading the Word and putting it into practice.

In essence, we are “empowered” by the Holy Spirit. Gifts and talents are given to us and we have but to accept the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we do, and we do this every day of our lives by our words, our prayers, our reading of Scripture, and our very thoughts, then we will have the power to be patient, to know peace and joy, to show kindness, to do good, to be faithful and gentle, to exercise self-control, and, most important of all, to love and be loved.

Sometimes we have to reach out to the supernatural to love where we only feel resentment or hate, to be kind where we desire retribution, to be faithful when the temptation can be so easily rationalized, to sense peace instead of flashing anger, to give rather than take. It is then that the Holy Spirit abiding in all of us responds to our call.


[1] Some of you will recognize that the “hocus pocus” of children was perhaps derived from the Protestant mockery of the Roman Catholic Mass, when the priest, in Latin, spoke the words hoc est (enim) corpus (meum), “this is my body”  as he consecrated the host in the Catholic Mass.

[2] For those curious enough, the dissertation was eventually published in Spanish and English, thus fulfilling one of the cardinal rules of the academic world, “publish or perish.”

[3] Found in James Michener, Iberia, Spanish Travels and Reflections (New York: Random House, 1968).

[4] Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Part 3: Caesar and Christ: A History of Roman Civilization and of Christianity from their Beginnings to A.D. 325 (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1972 (1944)), p. 307.

[5] Ibid., 303.

[6] In fact, Nero didn’t fiddle while Rome burned., he recited poetry. See the following web site: http://www.nonsuch.dircon.co.uk/dict/glossary/nero.htm

[7] For a good web site on the Holy Spirit, go to: http://www.spirithome.com It belongs to Robert Longman, a layman Christian, but who has studied the Holy Spirit with immense energy, enthusiasm, and faith. His email communication to me, June, 1999, basically endorsed the Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit difference. There isn’t any. It is a matter of preference.

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