March 13, 2002

Rising Phoenix Series #10: Time for Action & Selfless Dedication to Love

Hello everyone

Another VERY powerful one! Read on...

And pass it on!

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network (ERN) Coordinator
Subscribe to the ERN list through this site above.


1. The Way Ahead
2. We Still Have Time... IF We Act NOW!
3. How to deal with the media, the Internet and the New World Order


Sent by "Gaynor Coleman" <>

Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2002
Subject: The Way Ahead

The True Cost of World Domination

When on September 11th, terrorists destroyed the World Trade Centre in New York, we were told it would only be a matter of weeks before similar events would befall Britain. Armed police soon appeared in our town centres, the airports became places of exceptional security and everywhere there was fear. It was a carefully laid plan to evoke the greatest alarm. Only then could the government enact major constitutional changes including declaring war on Afghanistan. It has been a war without proof of guilt, a conflict that has killed thousands of people and created over a million refugees.

Six months later, the fear has proved unfounded but the world is rapidly falling into a new dark age, where all values are being lost. The American president has placed over ten countries on his target list and even considers the use of nuclear weapons. It is madness unprecedented. Where is the essence of man’s compassion, his spiritual sensitivity? Where is the divine nature of man that lifts us in consciousness above that of animals and sets us on a level with our Creator?

Rarely in history has the mass of people seemed so helpless when one country has been given such awesome power; it is as if the last days were truly being acted out on the world stage. Curiously, most people are quite happy to sit back as spectators in one of the grimmest adventures in human evolution. Is there nothing to stop this downward slide into chaos?

Well there is, but at a price that may well change the well ordered lifestyle of the earth's richest nations. The idea of isolationism is no longer viable. What is happening to our brothers and sisters in far off lands has a direct impact on us. We can no longer hide from the truth and hand our future over to one man, even if that man is the president of the world's most powerful nation.

If we really believe that this life is not just a few entertaining years given to us by a chance of nature. Then we must search out a high meaning to our purpose here. To accept that we are in reality, living Spirits drawn to this time and place to oppose the seemingly unstoppable forces of Darkness.

Most see themselves trapped, unable to change the course of events; but there is a higher law that challenges Evil. It is the law of the Creator, the law of God. To many it is a mystery, for they constantly ask 'why does God not stop these things in the first place?' It works only when humanity responds with the greatest power of all - the power of Love.

To think the present earthly condition is unstoppable one has only to look at what is happening in that other earthly kingdom - the domain of money and commerce. Wars are costly, both America and Britain are already feeling the effect. Both governments are preparing their people for heavy increases in taxation, but they won't blame it on the real cost - War.

America was ill prepared for such a venture given that its economy was already suffering from months of recession. This action by the President might well be seen as justifiable revenge. Now the only industry still making a profit is 'Defence'. All the rest are in terminal decline: telecommunications, power generation plants, chemical factories, airlines and railways just to name a few staggering under the weight of increased security. Needless to say, that when industry finds itself with its back to the wall - it is the person in the street that ultimately pays the price.

Some of the least able to stand the cost is the holiday and travel industry with many major airlines in or contemplating bankruptcy. They are worst hit with the enormous expense of hardened cabin doors, close-circuit television cameras and transponders that allow air-traffic controllers to plot with greater precision aircraft movements since 11th September.

There is something more, the one thing we most prize in the west - Freedom. Since the bombing of the World Trade Centre, there has been, especially in America, an outright control of news and communications. The Internet, that opened up the world to everyone, is now monitored by numerous secret service organisations both in the US and Britain. 'Rightly so,' I hear many people say. But is this intrusion into public liberty a need or an excuse? Who really is controlling us? Behind this wall of government is another body, far more powerful and controlling than any American president. It is the very essence that this whole business is about - it's called Fundamentalism.

The war is not about terrorism - it's one Fundamental philosophy fighting another and it's been going on for centuries. Northern Ireland, Israel - the Cold War, these are only the outward signs. They have one purpose, to control the human mind and to stop us realising that we all have a direct communication with the ultimate source - God.

Now the problem is world size. We are no longer on-lookers but part of the plot, the only way out is to realise our own potential, to claim our own right. To do this we must accept our role as Divine Beings, to come together as one united whole. Our weaponry is not guns or missiles, battleships or fighter aircraft, but something we were given at birth, the power of unconditional love.

Next year America will spend 379 billion dollars on defence, enough money to feed all the starving millions in the world and still have plenty to spare. If there is no need, there is no greed and peace would prevail. It's so simple. Why hasn't it been tried? Just because a few powerful people do not want peace and are driven forward by a demonic power that seeks enslavement and control of the masses. Now is the time to stand together with a single aim - to protect this planet, to bring peace and harmony to all nations - and, in God's true grace to be the instruments of His unconditional love.

In the end the only difference is the colour of our skin and the way we live, underneath we are part of that divine miracle – the human family.

Robert Armstrong


Wow! This is a magnificent and most inspiring text. Thanks Gaynor for forwarding it to me and special thanks to you Robert Armstrong for writing it.

There is an idea that came to mind today during a meditation regarding the fact that Light servers around the world now need to unite in active healing service for the Light so as to magnify their global peace and harmony-making efforts and thus succeed in transmuting the current efforts and plans of the Dark Ones and in so doing assist the invisible legions of Light in co-creating the conditions whereas as many souls as possible will be able to transit/ascend into the coming Golden Age.

It is a very simple idea. Each individual soul is to be invited to commit 100% to the highest possible Light service through joining in conscious, willing devotion to the new Council of Love. In a nutshell, anyone willing to do so simply commits oneSelf to anchor in all possible ways the sacred vibration of Unconditional Love and thus chooses to manifest through self-inspired thoughts, words and actions the perfect embodiement of Love locally, globally and spiritually.

So it is clearly NOT a structured organization. There is NO control over what participating souls choose to accomplish as part of their inner commitment. And there is no one trying to keep tab or evaluate the accruing effects of the Council of Love activities around the world. We simply all need to surrender to the inner knowing that All is in perfect divine order, trust that millions of Light servers both on the earthly and heavenly planes of existence are actively carrying on their Life Missions and self-appointed sacred duties. This is the ultimate Leap of Faith based on the inner, tingling resonance of unconditional Love that grows everyday within and all around us. This is pure Magic just as is the utmost Miracle of Life through which we all breathe and consciously manifest our divine Selves. And the Council of Love is simply an Idea whose time is now finally coming.

Beyond religious beliefs or any sort of man-edicted dogma, the "Council of Love" proposal aims at tapping the infinite reservoir of loving compassion and true kindness that resides at the heart of all living sentient beings. And to join in, all one has to do, as I did this morning, is to declare from the deepest Source of divine Will power that lies at the heart of each soul/spark of God we are in essence, "I hereby commit my Self to be guided by Unconditional Divine Love in everything I do, say and think, from now on and forever."

Every Council of Love member will be encouraged upon receiving the initial invitation to daily reiterate this commitment so as to anchor it at the deepest possible level and thus open the inner doors through which the split second guidance from the God Spark within will come through, along with the fearless courage and utmost resolve necessary to accomplish, express and conceive, in blissful resonant harmony with All That Is, the good deeds, words and thoughts of Love thereby divinely inspired, for the Highest Good of All.

I trust you - and all the other recipients of this email - will also resonate in synchronous harmony with this simple suggestion about which your comments and further suggestions are all heartily welcomed...


NOTE FROM JEAN: I already have some feedbacks on this "Council of Love" proposal. Yours are MOST welcomed too! More on this in the next Light Series compilation along with an amazing "Declaration of Freedom and Unity" in another one.



We Still Have Time... IF We Act NOW!

by Patricia Diane Cota-Robles
The New Age Study of Humanity’s Purpose
PO Box 41883, Tucson AZ 85717

Communication networks around the world are being flooded with valid information, misinformation and disinformation. During this unprecedented time, it is imperative that you, as a dedicated Lightworker, use your full capacity of Divine, Discerning Intelligence to evaluate everything that comes across your path.

Take whatever you see, hear, read or experience into the deepest recesses of your heart, and blaze the Flame of Illumined Truth through it. Then command your manipulative, lower human ego into the Light, and ask your God Self to reveal to you any Truth that is contained within the information or message you received. Ask for everything that is not Truth to be clearly exposed to you as well.

We have each been preparing for aeons of time to be the Heart, Head and Hands of God in the world of form during the defining moment of Earth’s Transfiguration and Ascension. This is that moment! It is vital that we stay on purpose and not get mislead by the myriad distractions that are being projected onto the screen of life by the forces of imbalance.

Any of the scenarios that indicate the “plan” is for someone else to miraculously intervene in our lives and save us in spite of ourselves and our free will is a deception. It is true that we are receiving more assistance from the Legions of Light in the Heavenly Realms than ever before, but we are responsible for co-creating the perfection of Heaven on Earth ourselves. Each of us alone must make the personal decision as to whether or not we are going to voluntarily do what is necessary in order to Ascend up the Spiral of Evolution with the planet Earth and the rest of Humanity. No one outside of ourselves can do that for us.

Our God Selves know this. That is exactly why we agreed to go through countless lifetimes of preparation in order to be capable of fulfilling the mission we have embarked upon in this lifetime. We are co-creating, with the assistance of the entire Company of Heaven, a unique experiment that has never been attempted in any system of worlds. Never, in the whole of creation, has a planet that has fallen to this depth of negativity and chaos been given the opportunity to Ascend through two dimensional shifts in such a short period of time. We are Ascending up the Spiral of Evolution from the 3rd Dimension through the 4th Dimension into the 5th Dimension.

The reason the prophets and seers of ancient times foretold of the coming Golden Age of Eternal Peace and Prosperity is because they witnessed what life on Earth will be like in the 5th Dimensional Realms of Limitless Physical Perfection. The 5th Dimension vibrates with a frequency of Light that transcends the discord and maladies we are experiencing on Earth. The mutated frequencies of disease, poverty, war, corruption, greed, hatred, suffering, pain, violence, death as we know it and every other human miscreation cannot be sustained in the 5th Dimension.

That does not mean that every human being will Ascend into the 5th Dimension and miraculously start behaving in a positive way. What it means is that anyone who is not vibrating at a frequency of Light that is compatible with the 5th Dimension WILL NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE THE SHIFT.

The souls who are refusing to accept the opportunity to move into the Light that is now being presented to every man, woman and child evolving on Earth will be left behind. They will be forced to continue their dysfunctional existence in a 3rd-Dimensional reality. That means for those unfortunate human beings the tragic plight of the most negative situations on the planet will continue. There will be no respite, and they will wallow in their misery and pain until a distant time in the future when they will once again be given the opportunity to awaken and move into the Light.

At the present time there are horrific things taking place all over the world, and yet there are millions of awakening Lightworkers who are working diligently with the Light to heal the pain and make things better. Can you even fathom what life will be like in the 3rd Dimension once the Lightworkers have completed their Ascension into the 5th Dimension, and only souls who are committed to wreaking havoc, pain and suffering are left behind? The thought of it breaks my heart and boggles my mind.

When we witness the terrible pain and suffering people are inflicting on other people, the nature kingdom and the environment, it is difficult for us not to fall into the self-righteous attitude of thinking they deserve whatever they get. There may even be a lurking sense of gratification in imagining them writhing in agony in the 3rd Dimension for what they have done. The only reason there is any comfort in those thoughts is because we have forgotten that we are all one, and those wayward souls are just other facets of ourselves. What affects one part of life affects all life. There is no separation.

Just for a moment, imagine that the most degenerate, evil person on the planet is someone you love. What if it is your child or your husband, wife or parent? Imagine how hard it would be for you to know they were suffering in poverty, war, oppression, disease, corruption, pain and all manner of human depravity while you are abiding in the wondrous 5th-Dimensional Realms of Limitless Physical Perfection.

You understand that they have done horrible things, but in your heart of hearts you know that in spite of their appalling behavior, there is a person inside whom you love, a person whom you know is capable of better things. You believe, with every fiber of your being, that this person will one day awaken and choose to move into the Light. You never give up hope, and you keep holding the vision, invoking the Light and praying daily and hourly that they will wake up and choose to turn their life around in time to make the shift into the 5th Dimension.

The feelings of love, compassion and hope you would have for a loved one in that situation are the same feelings the Spiritual Hierarchy is urgently striving to awaken within our hearts for ALL Humanity. It is only through our love, compassion and dedicated invocations of the Light that the recalcitrant souls who are resisting their own awakening have a chance to get their heads above the human effluvia of their lives in time to choose the path of Light.

We never know what set of circumstances compels people to choose the negative paths they have chosen or what causes them to make the self-destructive decisions they make. What we do know is that everybody is doing the best they can according to their wisdom and understanding.

That profound Truth was made very clear to me when I witnessed a documentary on television that included an interview with some six-and seven-year old Palestinian boys. These beautiful, normally innocent children were being brainwashed into being suicide bombers. Their eyes glistened with expectation as they reported that they could not wait until they were old enough to be suicide bombers. They said that the greatest honor they could give to Allah (God) was to give their lives to destroy Israelis. We hear the adult suicide bombers echoing the exact same corrupt beliefs. This is something they have been programed to believe since they first formed a rational thought.

Mind control and negative programing is behind all of the maladies manifesting on Earth at this time. Whether people are programed by their parents, teachers, peers, religions, governments or life circumstances, destructive beliefs are taught; they are not inherent in the human psyche.

The belief that in order for us to survive and live in security, comfort and abundance we must compete with and often harm another part of life is an erroneous, fear-based program that has been instilled in the consciousness of the masses of Humanity for thousands of years. That negative belief system is self-perpetuating and manifests circumstances to confirm its validity. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

That core belief is at the root of the atrocities we are now witnessing on the planet. Those atrocities include the looking-out-for-number one, dog-eat-dog consciousness associated with corporate corruption, the greed that is creating the collapse of the global economy, the disregard for the Earth that is resulting in environmental pollution, the abuse of power that is corrupting governments, the lack of reverence for life involved in wars, crimes, illegal drugs, gangs, violence, ethnic cleansing, prejudice, religious fanaticism, hatred, selfishness and on and on ad infinitum.

It is now time for the collective cup of human consciousness that has sustained that fear-based belief for thousands of years to be shattered. It is time for a new Matrix and Archetype to be created in its place that will bathe the consciousness of the masses of Humanity with the patterns of perfection from the Causal Body of God.

Since the dawn of the New Millennium, a very elaborate Divine Plan has been unfolding step-by-step involving the God Selves of all Humanity and the entire Company of Heaven. The plan has assisted in preparing Humanity for the moment when the Earth and all her life will be ready to receive the patterns of perfection from the Causal Body of God that will result in the tangible manifestation of Heaven on Earth.

With the incredible outpouring of love, compassion, generosity, friendship, unity and oneness that expanded through the Heart Flames of Americans and people throughout the world after the events of September 11, Humanity reached the critical mass of preparedness. Now all is in readiness, and it is time to implement the next phase of the unfolding Divine Plan.

The fulfillment of this phase of the Divine Plan will result in effectively expanding the Divine Intelligence within the Flame of Transfiguring Divine Love that is now pulsating in every person’s Heart Flame. As that Divine Intelligence expands within every person’s heart, It will push to the surface of the conscious mind, and expose in the Light of Truth, the distorted belief systems that are preventing people from remembering they are Beloved Children of God and that they are One with ALL Life.

The acknowledgment of these Divine Truths is a critical factor that will awaken even the most depraved souls. It is impossible to sustain the dog-eat-dog, worthless, worm-in-the-dust consciousness once people remember within the Divinity of their own hearts that they are Beloved Children of God and One with ALL Life.

The Legions of Light in the Realms of Illumined Truth have said that the assistance the victorious accomplishment of this phase of the Divine Plan will give to the recalcitrant souls who are in danger of not awakening in time to make the shift is beyond our comprehension. The Beings of Light are imploring every Lightworker to respond to the Clarion Call of our Father-Mother God.

The Spiritual Hierarchy is beseeching us from the very core of their Beings to listen to the inner promptings of our God Selves. Every awakening Lightworker has been prepared to assist at some level in the fulfillment of this vital phase of the Divine Plan. We are being asked to listen to our God Selves and to respond with courage, trust, willingness and confidence. We must not allow our manipulative human egos to prevent us from fulfilling our facet of this glorious Divine Plan with thoughts of lack, limitation, insecurity, failure consciousness, unworthiness or any of the other ploys our egos use to prevent us from accomplishing our Divine Missions.

CLIP - Read the rest at



From: "Suzanne Ward" <>
Subject: How to deal with the media, the Internet and the New World Order
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002

William Thomas is an ocean sailor, former member of the U.S. military, and an award-winning independent investigative journalist with 35 years' experience covering crucial "under-reported" stories. He is the author of 'Scorched Earth', 'Bringing The War Home', 'Alt. Health', 'Chemtrails Confirmed', and 'All Fall Down: The Politics of Terror and Mass Persuasion.'


by William Thomas

Step 1:

Stand together. Love and support one another. Calmly and compassionately correct the misinformed privately and personally. Never attack people and organizations working with good hearts and intentions on the worldwide web. Do not forward or contribute to hurtful gossip on Internet chat rooms.

Step 2.

Ignore mass media mesmerizers. Learn to read between the lines of newspapers -- or don't read them at all. Network news is 9/10 disinformation and distraction. Turn it off. Televised negativity sent hypnotically into your central nervous system cannot be "edited" out. It is spiritual and physical poison.


Step 3:

Vote with your wallet. Boycott network-advertised products from corporations engaged in war-making, environmental degradation or "food" and drugs that harm human health. Become informed. Search the Web and learn who really owns the companies offering goods and services. When purchasing necessities, buy from local producers whenever possible. Buy used. Recycle. Repair. Swap. Park your car and check out electric-assisted bikes (3,000,000 now in use in Japan). When upgrading computer gear, give away your older, working equipment to activists and community orgs.


Support independent authors, reporters, documentary filmmakers and independent media.

Recent polls show that the majority of Americans with Internet access are ignoring network "managed news" in favor of direct access to firsthand news sources, commentators and analysts on the worldwide web. Cross-check all information with your heart as well as your head. Does it "ring true"? Does it resonate? The most reliable reports include references and sources.

Consider the blinkered, built-in bias of mass media. Understand the symbiotic synergy of an out-of-control Military-Corporate-Entertainment establishment that battens on bloodshed. Since the slaughters in Vietnam, Panama, East Timor, El Salvador, Tibet, Kosovo and the Persian Gulf it is clear that broadcast and newspaper chains have become self-censoring sales arms of nine multinational owners: Time Warner, Disney, News Corp., Viacom, Sony, Seagram, AT&T/Liberty Media, Bertelsmann, GE.

With assets greater than most treasuries of once-sovereign nations, weapons-makers such as General Electric (NBC) must "sell" attacks on former allies and henchmen in order to market, manufacture, deploy and detonate obscenely expensive weaponry. Cheerleading broadcasters (CNN) boost ratings and ad revenues by glorifying weapons and warfare. This self-perpetuating war economy enriches weapons makers, while impoverishing entire nations. Now moving toward the "high ground" of orbital space, a Pentagon monopoly on increasingly destructive and robotic weaponry is intended to keep the world's "have nots" from claiming their share of resources enjoyed by a wealthy minority. This is folly. You cannot eat, inhabit or make something useful out of an ICBM buried in the ground. It is unnecessary. If we are conscientious in our consumption, there is still plenty to go around.

Fear and lies perpetuate this planet-threatening scam. World trekkers who find lodging among local populaces know that most people in all cultures are friendly and warm hearted. Contrary to incessantly negative news reports, travelers like myself have found that random violent death is unknown in most communities, and that almost everyone everywhere wants only to see their children grow and prosper in peace.

Demand new directions in the spending of your tax dollars. The money, talent and resources squandered annually on armaments that failed to protect America from an alleged few fanatics armed with Exacto knives is enough to eliminate the scarcity, female oppression, environmental degradation and illiteracy that drive most conflicts.

Step 5:

Remember who and where you are as a crewmember operating a fragile, bio-connected space colony hurtling through the cold, irradiated vacuum of deep space. Every Trekkie knows it makes sense not to rip apart the solar radiation shielding, pave over water-purifying wetlands, cut down oxygen-replenishing forests, or pour carcinogenic and DNA-altering poisons into fresh water recirculators. There are no lifeboats. Respect your ship. It's the only one you have.

Step. 6:

Long live the 'Net! In the credibility wars currently being waged over the survival of Spaceship Earth, the attacks on Afghanistan to secure oil and heroin routes; efforts to escalate the bombing of Iraq (one million dead so far); the Sept. 11 deception; and ill-advised attempts at "climate control" to maintain petroleum pollution and profits (instead of switching to more efficient and renewable energy) -- are now running head-on into the Internet. And losing.

The world is waiting for goodhearted Americans to wake up to the cynical deceptions practiced on them at Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin, the "incubator babies" of Kuwait, 9-11 and the (s)election of a president who immediately proclaimed his preference to be dictator. The tyranny of an unchecked Superpower presidency backed by a compliant and complacent media will end when the present-day Internet becomes accessible through TV sets in every home. There is major money driving the fiber-optic revolution toward mass Internet access. Watch for it soon.

Protect your cyber freedom now. Beware newly instituted "Cyber Security" offices, and attempts by any government to install Communist China-style official "filters" on all Internet and Email access. Fortunately, would-be government censors in North America and the European Union know that any attempt to restrict free access to Email traffic and the Internet will instantly impact the digital information and cash-flow on which nearly every business depends. While threats to Internet access remain moderate at this moment, efforts by the Military-Corporate-Entertainment establish-ment to control all public information have gone into hyperdrive since Sept. 11.

Anyone hosting truth-telling websites can consider setting up "mirror sites" on the computers of friends in at least four countries. Each replica site is capable of being activated within minutes if their North American site is "taken down" by government pressure on servers, or a "hack" attack. If necessary, limited Internet access can be delivered by commercially available Single-Sideband radio. Check the ocean-cruising (sailing) sites for more info.

Step 7:

Vote "yes" for reality. If you like it, celebrate it. If you don't like it, change it. Remember why dope is called "dope". Take yourself and your children off Ritalin, Prozac and Paxil. Keep vaccination needles out of your children's arms, and your own.

As Edward Abbey echoed Walt Whitman: "Resist much. Obey little." Enjoy and protect your freedoms by exercising them in responsible ways every day. Learn to differentiate chemtrails from contrails. Call local authorities and the media if you spot chemtrails being spread over your community. Call them back. Support the revival and immediate implementation of U.S. House Resolution 2977, which calls for a ban on space weapons, electromagnetic warfare, mind control technologies and "chemtrails".

Know that power has nothing to do with megatons or megabucks. Real power is instantly and only accessible through the truth of an open heart. Do not fear would-be warmongers and controllers. Though they can be immensely destructive, evildoers always collapse from their own corruption, conceits and contradictions. This is the law of karma. There are no exceptions.

Step 8:

Express your gratitude aloud at every opportunity. Laugh often. Remember that well-informed ridicule is the surest way to skewer arrogant authorities who overstep legal, ethical or spiritual bounds.

* Be vigilant without becoming paranoid. Authorities caught in their own fearful projections are most likely far too busy to notice you. Taking sensitive information public is your best defense against those who want to restrict it.

* Be thankful. Always support, encourage and congratulate conscientious officials. Exercise every available democratic process to hold the rest accountable. After all, you are paying government officials, police and military personnel to serve and protect you and your community.

* Be accurate. Help reporters do their jobs. Use proper punctuation and capitalization in news messages. For rapid referencing in clogged "Inboxe s", include immediately recognizable descriptions in Email "subject" lines. When posting articles, provide sources -- time/date and name of publication or news broadcast, title and author's Email and URL if available.

* Be careful. Seek second opinions on the most alarming information you receive online. Reflect on hysteria-heightening messages for at least 24 hours before forwarding widely or posting on the Web. Misinformation can be dangerous. Issue full retractions immediately. Remember that information cannot be recalled like faulty tires. No matter how quickly errors are caught and corrected, once posted they can haunt the sender for months. (I know!)

* Be helpful. Accompany all issues of public concern with suggested solutions, including descriptions of working alternatives already in practice. Include access phone numbers, URLs and mail addresses to publications and organizations that address public problems in ways that affirm and protect life.

* Be passionate! Show your outrage at injustice in creative, constructive and nonviolent ways. Avoid expressing or supporting hatred, which leads to blind intolerance. Foster and learn from diversity in gender, customs, locale and individual viewpoints. Remember that the most contagious and subversive act is a smile.

Step 9:

Love your home planet. Respect and learn from your elders. Remember that all children are in our care. Honor their trust. Our shared future is either enhanced or encumbered by every choice you make. Thank you for your choices.

Step 10:

We are all in this together.

With love and respect,

William Thomas