The walrus is Paul!

I am not referring to one of the Beatles. The gentleman I am referring to is the so-called “apostle” Paul, whose original name was Saul.

Paul is the walrus because he is the odd man out, and for several interesting reasons. One of which is that he was not a part of the Lord’s inner circle. Paul was not a part of the Lord’s original twelve apostles and plays no foundational role in the Holy City, the New Jerusalem.

“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Rev. 21:14)

So Paul is most definitely the walrus when it comes to the Second Coming or having special authority, even though many theologians put his importance above that of the other twelve.

According to theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, Paul’s writings are not a part of the inspired Word of God, either.

While Paul’s work was important to spreading the Christian movement abroad and he is now the “go-to” guy for fine-tuning Christian doctrine, his actual writings came from his own prudence and subjective estimation of things. His writings were not Sacred in and of themselves.

The reason why Swedenborg came to this conclusion is that Paul’s writings did not contain the deeper, sacred meanings that are contained within God’s true Holy Word. Remember, that the canonical Bible consists of stories that were decided upon by the judgment of finite human minds. Some of their choices were correct, and some were incorrect.

In other words, not all the stories in Scripture represent God’s true Holy Word. (See my post entitled “God’s Holy Word vs. The Canonical Bible.”) Since I have addressed the topic of higher meaning within the stories of Scripture in dozens of earlier posts, it would be too tedious to address this enormous topic here and now. Rather, I would like to address more urgent issues – a misfortunate outcome of Paul’s writings.

Paul is the walrus because he did not make it clear enough to his readers that LOVE trumps both FAITH and HOPE. Today much of the Christian Church is misguided because of a misinterpretation of Paul’s words “that man is justified by faith without the works of the law.” (Romans 3:28)

Swedenborg points out that Paul was not trying to tell people that they were no longer responsible to the Lord’s commandments, but that they no longer had to follow the numerous tenets of Mosaic law, such as circumcision or the law of the red heifer.

The Lord made it quite clear that one was to “love God” and “love the neighbor.” These are the two great commandments upon which all divine law hangs.

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me . . . and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him, and will make my abode with him.” (John 14:21, 23)

Furthermore, in Revelation 20:13 it states: “and they were judged every man according to their works.” So even after the Lord’s dying on the cross and His resurrection, He still demands more than “mind faith,” but faith put into action (which is love).

Paul supports this: “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” (Romans 2:13)

Merit, is not sought by those who sincerely place loving God and the neighbor above themselves. This is what makes good works selfless and truly spiritual.

So the doctrine of justification by faith alone is bogus. And, because of that, much of orthodox Christianity has become the walrus as well. (No wonder it has been like pulling teeth to convince people that Sacred Scripture also contains higher levels of meaning.)

About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at
This entry was posted in god, Inner growth, Life after death, love, Reality, religion, spirituality, unity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to The walrus is Paul!

  1. Russ says:

    Paul was not trying to tell people that they were no longer responsible to the Lord’s commandments, but that they no longer had to follow the numerous tenets of Mosaic law, such as circumcision or the law of the red heifer.

    This is a good question. What “law” was Paul referring to when he used the word “law” in the book of Romans and elsewhere?

    Fortunately, Paul himself, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us exactly what he meant when he used the word “law”:

    What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” [Rom 7:7]

    Paul clearly identifies the “law” he is speaking of in the passage above. What part of the law is it? It is the section of the law that says, “you shall not covet”. The law that Paul is referring to is the very heart of the Law of Moses, the Ten Commandments.

    In fact, the New Testament never makes a distinction between the “moral law” and the “ceremonial law.” This distinction was created later but the writers of the New Testament never made this distinction at all.

    Just one verse earlier Paul tells all New Testament believes of our new relationship to the Law of Moses. He says, “But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.” [Rom7:6]

    In verse 6 Paul tells all believers in Jesus Christ that we are dead to the law and then in verse 7 he identifies the exact law that we are dead to – the section of the law that says, “you shall not covet” – the very heart of the Law of Moses – The Ten Commandments.

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Russ,

    Thank you for your thoughtful and scholarly response.

    The only “law” that leads to salvation is the Ten Commandments. The Lord, when He came into the world, simplified these ten laws into two – love God and love the neighbor. These two are the heart of the law.

    When one sincerely loves God and neighbor “coveting things” is automatically covered and becomes repulsive to the faithful. So I am not sure why you feel that covetousness is the very heart of the law.

    My two main points in this post were that Paul was misinterpreted (which led to the false doctrine of salvation by faith alone) and that his writings are not to be considered the Holy Word. Paul did however make a distinction between God’s spiritual/moral law and Jewish ceremonial law when he admonished Peter for his “judaizing” (Galatians 2:14-16).

    Sp[iritually yours,

  3. John says:


    To say that justification by faith alone is bogus strikes at the very root of the Gospel. You also dwindle the Scriptures (Canonical Bible) to mear stories. You are anti Christ and and very much a heritic. You will have to account for your smooth words one day. Oh your pretty good. You come close that even the elect almost believe your nonsense. Oh by the way OldSchool36 used you and your false teaching to expose you for who you are. A complete moran heritic.

  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear John,

    I think you have Russ confused with me. But I thank you for your “Christian” response.

    Sorry, but your inadequate theology is being replaced. This replacement is the New Jerusalem! Be careful that you don’t grow seven heads and gain an appetite for a little child born on the moon.

    You probably don’t know what I am talking about, do you?

    That is precisely why the Lord will come again in the “midst of clouds.” You probably think the
    Lord will return on an overcast day, rather than to break through your mental obscurity and doctrinal fog concerning the deepest mysteries of faith.

    Spiritually yours,

  5. Interested Reader says:

    I’ve been reading this blog for awhile and really appreciate the “new” way you explain things, GodGuy!

    The Ten Commandments are certainly important for us all, but above all, what’s happening to the great commandment “Love Thy Neighbor” here, John? This name-calling is certainly not a very Christian thing to do. We are all God’s children and we should respect each other and our opinions, rather than calling each other names. (I’m not sure what moran is, but in context with calling someone a heretic, I assume you’re being rather mean.)

    A loving God does not “judge” us and condemn us, so what right do we have to judge others this way? We are truly our own punishment.

    Thanks again, GodGuy, for raising interesting topics and giving us all such good food for thought!

  6. Russ says:

    Salvation has never been by the law of God. Not in the New Testament and not in the Old Testament. Salvation has always been provided only by the blood of the sacrifice and never by the works of the law. David did not keep the law. He did not love his neighbor as Jesus commanded. He murdered his brother and committed adultery and yet David is described as a man after God’s heart. David was not saved by his works. He is saved by the grace of God through faith just as Paul describes in Romans. Even if Paul had never written Romans, the testimony of David still stands.

    I have several problems with your elimination of Paul’s epistles from the New Testament. Firstly, the book of Acts testifies that Paul was ordained by God to be the first missionary. He preached to the gentiles a message. What was that message that he preached? It does not stand to reason that Paul would preach one message to the Gentiles and then later write that he preached an entirely different message. “Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.” [1 Cor 15:11]. Paul is the main character in the book of Acts. Paul’s epistles and the book of Acts are forever intricately connected and cannot be separated.

    Secondly, the Bible is not complete without the many instructions and doctrines that are communicated in Paul’s epistles. For example, Paul gives instructions on who is qualified to be a leader in the church [1Tim 3 for example].

    Thirdly, Peter refers to Paul’s writings as the word of God. “…as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.” [2 Pet 3:15,16] Notice that Peter refers to Paul’s epistles as being the word of God when he says, “as they do also the rest of the scriptures.” If Peter did not consider Paul’s writings as authoritative, he would not compare his epistles to scripture. Instead, he would simply say, “don’t listen to Paul because his letters are not on par with scripture.”

    Fourthly, you have no authority to remove or add to God’s word. Paul’s epistles were read and copied and accepted in the early church. They were accepted because Paul was the one who preached to the gentiles the way of salvation. It would not make sense for the early church to come to faith through Paul’s preaching and then reject further instruction from the very one who brought them the message of salvation in the first place.

  7. John says:

    thegodguy and Interested Reader,
    Unfortunately, most professed Christians today seem never to have gotten past Matthew 7. That’s too bad, for they should proceed to read Matthew 23. In that chapter alone, Christ calls the scribes and Pharisees names 16 times. The names are “hypocrites” (7 times), “son of Hell” (once),”blind guides” (twice), “fools and blind” (3 times), “whited sepulchres” (once), “serpents” (once), and “offspring of vipers” (once). Since Christ was without sin, we may deduce by good and necessary consequence that name-calling as such is not a sin. Since everything Christ did was righteous and virtuous, we may deduce by good and necessary consequence that accurate name-calling is a virtue. I guess Jesus was not being Christian. Mean Old Jesus. Shame on You.
    Moran was supposed to be Moron. Ok, I guess that one was a little mean. My apologies to both. How’s “monstrous miscreant”? Well, the Oxford English Dictionary says that “monstrous” means “outrageously wrong or absurd,” and “miscreant” means “a misbeliever, heretic; an ‘unbeliever’, ‘infidel’.” Is this phrase an accurate description of thegodguy? Justification by Faith Alone, bogus? It’s the very heart of the Gospel. Interested Reader please be careful. Sweet, soft words are great but there are times to call a spade a spade. Especially when Life and Death/ Heaven or Hell is at stake.


  8. thegodguy says:

    Dear Russ and John,

    You make a good argument from your “linear” knowledge of Sacred Scripture. But you continue to argue that the Holy Word contains no “higher” messages within its literal sense – as if a God of Infinite Wisdom is incapable of such a thing.

    In Genesis, Adam and Eve are damned forever and removed from Paradise simply for eating the wrong piece of fruit. Yet, Cain, their son, is given Divine protection after murdering his brother Abel. Does God’s Wisdom include acting on a “whim?” These strange scenarios contain deeper, and more profound teachings.

    You reject that Scripture contains higher levels of truth. One post by me will not prove my point to your satisfaction. That is why I have approached this topic from many angles and with many posts (which you probably have not read).

    However, what I can do is show you, if you insist that Paul’s writings are a part of the Holy Word (as opposed to simply the canonical Bible), is that even his “literal” message of salvation has been misinterpreted. Paul tells us this about law and justification:

    “Not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” (Rom. 2:13)

    In other words, we are to APPLY the commandments to our lives. Paul rejected faith without good works when he states:

    “God will render to every man according to his deeds.” (Rom. 2:6)


    “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10)

    This is why the Lord told people to “clean the inside of the cup” and told the prostitute that He saved from being stoned to “sin no more.” Did the Lord lie to the prostitute? Should the Lord have told her to wait until He had died on cross so that He could appease the Father? What nonsense!

    And perhaps the final “kill shot” to the idea of justification by FAITH alone is Paul’s words:

    “Now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Cor. 13:13)

    So Russ or John, now please explain to my readers why you think God would never use symbolic language and offer greater depth to his communication with humanity.

    Spiritually yours,

  9. Russ says:

    I do not deny, as you have accused me, that the word of God is not deep. Those are your words, not mine. Any “deep truth” however, cannot contradict what God clearly states in His word. God is able to communicate to His children clearly. His word is clear and easily understood by those who are born of His Spirit. To teach that the child of God is somehow not complete without understanding these “deep truths” is to accuse God of being unable to communicate clearly with children.

    But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. [2 Cor 11:3]

    “Not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” (Rom. 2:13)

    This is absolutely true. If you can keep the law perfectly from your youth until your death, you can be justified by the law. However, Jesus is the only person in history that was able to do this and neither you nor anyone else is able to keep the law of God perfectly, including myself. Paul clearly teaches this:

    What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. [Rom 3:9]

    …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… [Rom 3:23]

    So while it is technically possible to be saved by keeping the law no one is able to do it because we are all under sin.

    “God will render to every man according to his deeds.” (Rom. 2:6)

    Let me add one verse. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Rom 6:23]

    If we are rendered according to our deeds, we will all die in hell because we are all sinners. Eternal life is a gift that cannot be earned.

    The fact that Jesus instructed the woman caught in adultery to “sin no more” does not mean that she was saved by sinning no more. She was saved by grace through faith alone. Our good works testify of the transformation that God has done in salvation but they do not add to the righteousness that is by faith alone.

    You have not told me how the murderer and adulterer David was saved by his own works.

    What good works did Israel do besides complaining when God saved them from slavery in Egypt? Did God save the entire nation because of their good works or because of His grace?

  10. Interested Reader says:

    In my opinion, when Jesus called someone by an accusatory name in the Bible, it was done to teach us some deeper lesson that holds up, even centuries later, when we read it. I don’t think God would waste time calling people names if it served no larger purpose than what was literally happening at a single moment in time. We need to approach this by asking ourselves what can we learn from what is written, that goes “beyond” those written words? How can we apply this lesson to our own dealings with people today at the office or on the bus?

    That’s what I like about the way thegodguy serves up these topics for us to think about. If he hadn’t written this post, I might not have thought about this topic today and I’m grateful that he helped us all stop and think a bit about what’s really in our hearts that will or won’t help us find heaven.

    Thanks for the nourishment!

  11. Wayne Hyatt says:

    During Jesus Christ’s ministry, many of the Jews reacted to him with anger because He went against what they “knew” from the doctrine and long traditions of the Jewish church. I have to wonder how many Christians will react with the same kind of anger when they learn of the Second Coming because it will not match what they “know” from the doctrine and long traditions of the Christian church.


  12. thegodguy says:

    Dear Interested Reader,

    I am glad that my posts have been helpful to you.

    Spiritually yours,

  13. thegodguy says:

    Dear Wayne,

    Yes, there is always a rejection of new knowledge. This results from people having a corporeal/sensual understanding of Scripture and spiritual topics. The Jews were expecting a Messiah to save them from Roman oppression by “kicking butt.” Now, the Christian world anxiously awaits the Lord’s return to kick some butt.

    The Lord makes it clear that we must examine our lives. This is why He states the we are to “clean the inside of the cup,” and not “look at the splinter in someone else’s eye,” when we have a “shaft” in our own eye.

    The Lord wants to save us from our “inner” oppression – which keeps us a slave to the temptations and allurements of the physical world.

    Spiritually yours,

  14. thegodguy says:

    Dear Russ,

    Forgive me for suggesting that you don’t think God’s Word is “deep.” You have shown no interest in Biblical interpretation beyond its literal sense. For the better part of a year I have been sharing the deeper meanings of Scripture to my readers. Therefore, it will be most helpful to my readers if you will provide some specifics in order to make these deeper levels of God’s wisdom more lucid.

    Yes, God wants to communicate to his children CLEARLY. I do not think a child would confuse Paul’s words “Now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity,” as meaning anything other than that charity TRUMPS faith alone. Salvation and spiritual life are impossible without ACTIVITY. Charity is not merely giving money to the poor or to widows. Charity is sincere love to others through selfless service that is based on spiritual principles.

    Religion is WALKING WITH GOD. To walk with God, one must APPLY the commandments to one’s life. Otherwise, we can be saved in spite of ourselves. The doctrine of salvation by faith alone is a lazy man’s religion and removes responsibility from our lives. The reason why the world is messed up is from the lack of responsibility we have for each other.

    We would never tell a child not to be “good.” The idea of basing redemption on what happened on the cross is counter to living a life of Christian love. Certainly, David could not have been close to God’s heart from anything that took place on the cross – which traditional Christianity insists is the only means by which grace and guiltlessness is obtained.

    And what does “perfection” have to do with salvation? Only Jesus was perfect as you correctly state. We cannot be perfect like Him. Rather, we can continually perfect and improve our lives. Even angels, who are finite beings, are not perfect. Perfection can only be infinite perfection and infinitely divine!

    Where in the Gospels does it say that the prostitute Jesus protected was saved by grace through faith alone? You are making things up. Do you think she continued her life as a prostitute? No one can impute righteousness to another, any more than one can change the spots on a leopard. Neither can God bestow His infinite righteousness onto finite beings. God wants us to return to INNOCENCE. It is when we follow the Commandments that our good deeds become innocent (as opposed to deceitful).

    Do you think we can be turned into Gods and be righteous just like Jesus?

    Spiritually yours,

  15. thegodguy says:

    Dear Russ,

    I am sorry but I will not publish your latest response. You are unable to express to my readers in a lucid way what you mean by Scripture being “deep.” Instead you keep throwing more of Paul’s literal words at me. This tells me you only wish that this discussion is played by your “rules.”

    Paul’s letters and writings are not the Holy Word. Plus, many of his statements are misinterpreted – especially concerning faith alone vs. charity.

    Salvation by faith alone contradicts everything Jesus taught during His ministry. I also maintain that the literal sense of Holy Scripture contains deeper meanings. These higher meanings offer us new levels of truth from which to build our theology and doctrines. There was more to the Lord’s ministry on earth and His death on the cross then meets the eye. Paul did not write in this divine multi-level style.

    So while I haven’t published your latest response, there are several elements in it that I would like to take on later with new “titled” posts. I think I will address the Lord’s ransom and what is meant by the Son glorifying the Father and the Father glorifying the Son. I will name this future post, “The Hidden Agenda Of The Lord’s Ministry.”

    With Thanksgiving approaching and the fact that I have to get out a new book soon, give me about a week. Then Russ, we will be able to pick up where we left off.

    Spiritually yours,

  16. Don Brandis says:

    Since Swedenborg didn’t find an inner sense to Paul’s letters, there isn’t one. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t an enlightened Christian. I think he was probably a spiritual, and of course they remain pretty confused about the Word and doctrine even in heaven. A close study of Paul compared to descriptions of spirituals in the Writings would be informative, and perhaps someone has done so. Eckhart thought Paul was enlightened, and he ought to know. In sermon 57 in Walsche’s collection he commends Paul’s text from Romans 9:3, about giving up God for a friends sake. “Paul left God for God: he left everything that he could get from God, he left everything God could give him….in leaving these he left God for God, and then God was left with him…”

  17. thegodguy says:

    Dear Don,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I am not suggesting that Paul was not a smart guy. The problem is that finite human prudence does not equate to the Lord God’s Holy Word.

    Remember that the canonical Bible contains stories that were chosen based on the judgments of merely mortal men. Some of their picks represent the true Word of God and some don’t.

    The only real way a narrative in the Bible can be verified as a legitimate part of the Holy Word is if it contains, deeper, coherent spiritual teachings. In this way we get a glympse of the depth of God’s INFINITE wisdom.

    Paul’s writings do not contain this inner depth. What is even worse is that Paul’s message is misinterpreted. He himself states that charity and love trump faith alone and hope. Out of this misinterpretation has emerged false doctrines of salvation and making God into three Persons.

    Those who have studied Swedenborg’s multi-leveled exegesis of Scripture grasp doctrinal things that you have no access to with your mere literal and “linear” understanding of God’s Truth. Look at it this way, all the various Christian denominations have emerged from their own LITERAL interpretation of Scripture. Quoting the literal words solves nothing. This doctrinal divisiveness and subjectivity can only be remedied by the discovery of higher levels of meaning in the Holy Word. These higher meanings also offer rational explanations for some of the more fantastic stories and strange visions depicted in its pages.

    Spiritually yours,

  18. Don Brandis says:

    I am a Swedenborgian Christian, have spent years reading Swedenborg’s theological works, and I place a very high value on the inner sense of the Word. No religion and no division within any religion has a monopoly on spiritual truth.

    I wish you well with your blog and your book.

  19. thegodguy says:

    Dear Don,

    Spoken like a true post-modernist!

    Are you defending the doctrines that “faith alone saves” or that God is “three Persons?”

    Swedenborg’s ideas include concepts that many Eastern religions embrace. There is even a book by a Buddhist scholar that compares Swedenborg’s ideas with Buddhism. The title of the book is “Buddha of the North.” I also see a general trend where religion seems to be moving in Swedenborg’s direction.

    “Monopoly” is your word not mine. Those who have a high value of the inner sense of the Word are only “scratching the surface.” The Swedenborgian movement has stalled. The purpose of this blog and my next book is to re-energize this movement.

    I have studied BOTH Swedenborg’s scientific and theological works for 35 years and believe that I have made some new discoveries that have been overlooked by past researchers. Not only has Swedenborg given the world a more adequate theology but also the means by which we can begin to unify science and religion.

    If I succeed I will make “Swedenborg” a household word!

    Swedenborg said that those of all religious faiths can enter heaven. He excludes no one! Heaven is radically diversified. But don’t forget that heaven and the spiritual world are also hierarchically structured. HEAVEN IS NOT THE SAME FOR EVERYONE. Some people have better knowledge about God than others and some can ACT upon that knowledge better than others.

    God loves all people of all religious faiths EQUALLY (even those who reject God) but different people accept God with different levels of intensity.

    I wish you well, too. Have a happy holiday season!

    Spiritually yours,

  20. Don Brandis says:

    Faith alone is empty, like the lamps of the foolish virgins in Matt. 25, see AC 4635-4638. Texts are important, as they are vessels of enlightenment. When we Christians are enlightened it is the texts we have made our own that are our vessels, texts we have taken up as the cross, leaving self behind to follow the Lord into the kingdom of God. Enlightenment is real religion (the kingdom of God, regeneration, the birth of the Son in our souls, realization).

  21. thegodguy says:

    Dear Don,

    We are in complete agreement!

    I spend several chapters in my upcoming book on the issues and challenges of enlightenment and personal spiritual evolution. My challenge is to provide greater insights to what Swedenborg was talking about – and in a way that can respond to the challenges of the New Physics and modern cosmology.

    I edited the last statement in your above response. This blog promotes NO church organization. This blog is an “adventure in thinking.” Those who benefit from my posts will benefit. Those who don’t will move on.

    It is my challenge to present Swedenborg’s ideas to the world in fresh new ways that will capture the world’s imagination. I have no control of what people will do with these ideas.

    In fact, few Swedenborgians read or comment on this blog – yet I have gotten thousands of “hits.”

    I do not need or depend on any church organization to help me form a personal relationship with the Lord God. A regenerated person is a “church.”

    Have a happy holiday,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s