Chapter 46:     Lessons

Transcribed from dictation, ADAM speaking

It's 2:00 in the morning.  I've just spent an hour playing and singing, 
but now I'd better get back to the story again, time being 

After the Kha-rat Dagrolyt and I went back to our little meadow and back 
to studying Atli, wrestling, haka, Dagrolyt teaching me constantly.

Atli is the Nokhon "Bible", their version of religion, philosophy and law.  
The philosophy is peaceful, but is illustrated with just as many nasty, sexy 
and cruel stories as any human scripture.  However the main point, the 
Number One Message, is simple enough: "Ø'ø'e'rah!"  In English 
that's "Be Nice!"  

I've learned a lot of the Atli, but don't know what percentage of it that 
even is.  A tenth?  A thousandth?  Or is there even an end to it?  It 
just seems to go on forever, this incredible structure of language and 
law, sort of like passing the Bible on down the generations by memorizing 
every word and teaching the next to do the same.  There's such a volume 
of text that I have no time to think about or analyze it, because more 
keeps coming in so fast.

Dagrolyt would squat facing me and chant Atli at me, a few minutes
at a time.  There's a chanting cadence to it, like poetry, which
makes it somewhat hypnotic to hear.  Then I repeat that for him 
verbatim and he'd correct me on inflections and wording, even
facial expressions and bodily gestures:  I had to learn an entire 

And that performance has not changed since the beginning of time 
as they reckon it, every Nokhon is supposed to do it exactly like 
Da'at-hat, the original Speaker of the Atli, orated after the sinking 
of Atlantis, or so I've been told.

I'm not sure yet just how accurate Nokhon racial memories are. That 
is, I know I have my own limitations and I'm sure everybody else 
has them too and I know I couldn't help putting myself into that 
performance--so is it still REALLY exactly like the original version 
from thousands of years ago? I doubt it, but maybe, who knows? It's 
like singing a song with only three musical tones, but an infinite 
variety of rhythms and volumes and gestures.  Those tones, by the way, 
could fit into a 12-bar-blues, make of that what you will.  Sometimes 
there's even hand-clapping, squatting and standing and dancing, all 
while you chant the words of this weird verbal Bible.  Almost like 

Well, it goes like this:

(ADAM chants slowly in Nokhontli, stiffly at first, then dramatically, 
finally passionately, until he suddenly breaks off...)

Whew! That's the trouble with it, I always get too involved in it, like 
it takes over me.  Maybe there really IS a spiritual high you get from 
this and I don't know if any of it is true or not, but it sure FEELS true.

Of course, what it's supposed to be is the literal word of God. Just like 
all other religions, I guess.  But at least it's an interesting story.  

Long ago, no one knows how long because they don't count years, there 
was a great civilization, the city-state of Atlan.  Sound familiar? 
well, it was located on a big island called Tis, natch.  There 
were many races of men living there, but it was ruled by tiny men with 
powerful technologies, who considered themselves superior to all others, 
especially that race marked by hair upon their bodies.  The Nokhontli 
were slaves at that time. 

Just before the catastrophic destruction of Atlan-Tis the Nokhon
priesthood got together and prayed for The Solar Spirit to send them 
word, to lead them through their tribulation, to correct them
from the errors that had so offended The Solar Spirit that It had
allowed them to be enslaved by such inferior men. 

They prayed and prayed and they dreamed and dreamed, until finally all 
the priests experienced exactly the same dream--they were to find a 
certain man who would be emissary for the word of The Solar Spirit, the 
channel through which God could at last speak directly to Nokhonkind.

After a certain amount of trial and error they were fated to meet
Kayiin, who was a wanderer and thief and murderer.  He had killed 
their oldest priest to steal a golden cup, but was caught, judged and 
condemned to death.  Bible fans out there might have noticed that the 
name Kayiin seems pretty close to Cain.

Kayiin the thief tried to bribe them with a magic potion he had somehow 
acquired in his travels: a nectar distilled from a tree in the center of 
a magical garden in the faraway land called Yøden.  Kayiin told his 
accusers that the potion would reveal the Truth to anyone who drank it.  
Instantly the priests knew that they had found the man they'd been 

They would grant his life in exchange for the potion, but he had to 
taste it first to prove that it wasn't poison.  The thief didn't want to 
take it, believing that if he did he would no longer be Kayiin the liar.  
But the priests convinced him that he wouldn't be Kayiin at all if he 
was dead, so he took it.

Kayiin went into a deathlike trance for three days.  Finally he sat up, 
resurrected, fully awake and full of vibrant life and he asked the 
priests "Are you ready to listen?"

So the priests listened to this guy Speak.  From this point on he is 
referred to as Da'at-hat, the noble name they have given him instead of 
his thief name.  Because everything he said rang of truth, of absolute 
knowledge, divinely inspired.  

Da'at-hat said that he was just a man, but that The Solar Spirit was 
speaking through him.  Of course everybody wondered: is this really The 
Solar Spirit speaking, or just a very clever thief-murderer-liar?  The 
only way to tell was to listen and decide for oneself and they listened 
so hard that they memorized everything perfectly.  There were twenty-
seven priests who heard the first part. Then there was a secret part 
that only nine got to hear.  And an extra-classified super top-secret 
final bit that was only told to three priests.  They were all convinced 
that what they were hearing was the Real Thing.

It took several years for Da'at-hat to say it all and then he was suddenly 
done talking. Finished. Everyone tried to worship him, considering
him a Holy Man, but he got into an affair with another man's woman--
in which he killed the man, robbed the temple clean of all gold and 
disappeared out of town on some mysterious adventure.  Apparently 
he'd become the worthless and unscrupulous Kayiin once again.

So even to this day, Atli is presented as a question: are these the 
words Inspired by The Solar Spirit, or the ravings of a Wicked Genius?  
And when you perform it you take the frame of reference: I am on trial 
for my life, I must fool these priests into thinking I'm who they're 
looking for.  Who knows? perhaps I'll be inspired.  Like it's all some 
sort of Cosmic Joke...or maybe an inspired Unconscious Truth.

I won't even attempt to give an accurate translation of it yet, there 
are too many words I don't know any English for and some concepts I'm 
shaky on.  But eventually, that could be a project for you and me, Art.  
I'll bet the UW Anthropology Department would be interested in 
sponsoring it.

Anyway, the Atli spoken by Da'at-hat told a history of how several races of 
Mankind developed, some from godlike beings--avatars--and others by 
evolving up from animals. Among the godlike descendents are the 
Nokhontli--naturally, it's their religion--and you little NokhSo twerps 
out there in skesk-land are those sub-humans descended from monkeys, 
just like Darwin says. 

At first the races coexisted in harmony, there was an era of magic
--probably psychic powers and telekinesis--when sorcery was more
powerful and common than science.  But the avatars were always 
better at sorcery than the races of monkey-men, who became jealous 
and there were great struggles for supremacy.  

The monkey-men had few psychic abilities, they were small and physically 
inferior to the large Men of Nokh, but they were clever in their own way: 
they invented things, devices, weapons.  So wars destroyed every culture 
and society they ever devised; civilizations rising and falling one after 
another, always ruined by the monkeys who made war.  They just wouldn't 

But one war seems to have resulted in radiation which mutated and 
degenerated the monkey-men into even smaller, weaker, versions of men, 
Nokhsoli.  They became too puny to survive without certain protections, 
so they had to stop waging war to concentrate on developing a high-tech 
civilization.  Then there was a long peace.

While the Men of Nokh, remaining godlike, had no need for civilization 
and continued to live as free nomads, at one with nature.

But finally Man as we know him gets it all together and builds the
greatest civilization ever seen--Atlan-Tis. Lots of technological
wonders; steam, electricity, telecommunications, lasers, just like
today--then on to artificial intelligence, antigravity, like in our 
science fiction stories.  Their magic at last seemed equal to the 
avatars, they seemed to have nothing more to be jealous of.

There was supposedly a period of enlightenment and peace and equality, 
when all races could be citizens of Atlan-Tis, perhaps the highest level 
any civilization on Earth has ever achieved.  Even the Nokhontli came to 
see and wonder and stayed, seduced by the wonders of that fabulous city.

But eventually the tiny people, maybe driven by their feelings of 
inferiority and smallness, used their technology to make slaves of all 
others.  The enlightened city became a fascist state.  

Not only that, the tiny people had plundered nature to a degree that the 
world around them was dying, poisoned by the wastes of a city consuming 
all natural resources in every direction, spreading its greed farther 
and farther away to feed the bellies of the machines that powered the 

The Men of Nokhon had been slaves for generations when Da'at-hat spoke to 
the 27 priests.  There were no longer Nokhon sorcerers at that time, 
only priests of a feeble religious movement which the Masters tolerated 
because it kept the hairy giants docile.  But among the Truths that 
Da'at-hat told those priests were old secrets of sorcery.  

After that the advanced civilization of Atlan-Tis fell.  Not by war, or 
technical problems, but because the major island of Tis sank beneath the 
sea, exactly like in the legend we know.  

The priests of Nokh claimed that they had done it.  That Da'at-hat had told 
them how to do the magic, that it was revealed in the Atli.  And since 
then, they have remained free of the taint of civilization, perfecting 
their powers of sorcery instead, so that time and again they have toppled 
civilizations which go too far in their destruction of nature.  And our 
modern Western civilization may be next.

A fun story.  Suppose any of it is true?

I was getting that sort of stuff pumped into me all the time, as well as wrestling, haka training, working towards eventually being accepted as a student of the Sha-haka discipline. One of the basic magics almost every squatch learns is how to become invisible. Of course, they're not REALLY invisible; the magic is to trick the observer into not noticing you. It's done by inducing a minor hypnotic trance, the "magic" part is doing so at a distance. It requires haka and some self-confidence, you have to BELIEVE that the other guy can't see you--and he won't. Maybe. An important variation of that magic is to distort the vision of someone aiming a gun at you--a situation Sasquatches sometimes experience--so that they will miss the target. The image is shifted between the eyes and the brain. Once again, you have to have faith to make it work. Among the other subjects I was expected to learn as a Sha-haka candidate was Ahaka-wo, soul-travel, or maybe "astral projection" is the best English translation. At first I thought Dagrolyt was kidding, but he was serious and insisted that it worked once you mastered the technique. We would practice Ahaka-wo after the haka meditation exercises, since our bodies were calm by then. We'd lie on our backs and let ourselves drift into that feeling between asleep and awake, then I was supposed to feel a kind of fluttering through my body, a changing of frequency, which should get faster and faster until I could disconnect my Ahaka from my body and go on an astral trip. Well, I scoffed, so Dagrolyt demonstrated that he could do it. I went to the far end of the meadow and muttered something to myself, seeing Dagrolyt all the way over on the other side and watching for any possible eavesdropper, like maybe one of the girls out to fool me just for fun. I said, "Can't fool me," in English. When I went back to him, he told me what I had said, correctly enough...but in Nokhontli. He had "been there" with me when I spoke, but he'd heard me speak what I MEANT, rather than the sound I'd made. I tried and tried; got as far as feeling the fluttering in my body, but when it came to sliding my Ahaka out, I seemed to be stuck. I never projected. Dagrolyt said it was quite normal for this to take a long time to learn and that I couldn't expect to rush it. Most people never achieve it. All he wanted me to do was practice it. I practiced it a lot. I wanted to look in back home, at you folks, at Melly, because I missed you all, to make sure you were all okay. I thought maybe I could also catch movies for free, music concerts, just go without my body. There would be a lot of cool advantages to being able to do it, naturally. Even better than Internet. But I never really believed in it and half the time I was "practicing" I was just daydreaming about how cool it would be, so it never happened.
I also learned another kind of lesson: what it's like to live in the squatch world when those damned little humans invade it. Dagrolyt and I had been out gathering ingredients for khos and other magical potions. It had turned into a long day and we were coming back late, so it was just after sunset as we came over the last ridge between us and our nice little meadow, glad to be almost home. But that's when we saw the three mysterious objects glowing brightly on the other end of the plain near the waterfall; red, orange and blue. Those were three colored nylon dome tents illuminated from within, pitched right in front of Dagrolyt's bakhl. "Khask, Nokhsoli!" Dagrolyt cursed. It was already too dark for whoever they were to see us, but we approached by moving along inside the treeline rather than directly across the open meadow. Could be a bunch of gun-crazy drunken campers, you never know. But we had to check it out: Myrøla and Misma were supposedly trapped inside the bakhl. Squatch-quiet, we got very close until I could smell pasta with cheese, beef jerky, some beer--but no gunpowder. Three couples, young adults. They had just eaten dinner and were hanging out between their tents, socializing. Well-lit in the glow of camping gas lanterns, I could see that they were dressed for climbing, had ice-axes and coils of rope stacked beside their tents. They conversed about a "Northern slope" that they would be taking on in the morning. Seemed to be nice people, far as I could tell, but then they had to go and say: ", what a beautiful spot this is! And it's like no one's ever been here before, seems so pristine, so untouched..." "Yeah, but enjoy it while you can, since the National Park has opened this new alpine trail there'll be lots of trekkers passing through here from now on." "Whatever, wait till we tell the rest of the club about this place, they'll LOVE it here!" Dagrolyt couldn't understand English but I translated it for him later and he was not pleased. Neither was I. The bakhl's entrance was only 20 feet away from that group of people, we couldn't risk going in just then, so had to slip back into the darkness and wait for them to retire to their tents. Misma and Myrøla found us out in the woods. They'd been hiding there waiting for us to show up and--unlike the Nokhsos--had heard/smelled/seen us as we neared the tents. They were quite unhappy about the situation; like all women, they were home-makers. "I've never seen any Nokhsoli here before," Myrøla bitched, "and now there's so many!" "Khask, our bakhl, our nice little meadow!" Misma wailed, while Dagrolyt was silent. "What can we do about this?" I asked. "From what you heard, nothing. Find a new bakhl," he said without emotion. "But this is such a nice place," I countered. "The Nokhsos take all the nice places," Myrøla complained again. "Ra, we get the rest--if there IS any rest," Misma miseried. "Well, I could go talk with them," I offered, although knowing it wouldn't be smart for several reasons. "We're not going to show ourselves, it always causes more of them to come later, with noisekillers in hand." "Okay, we don't show ourselves, but we can make them think there's SOMETHING SCARY here." "No, I've been through all this before," Dagrolyt maintained, "it always escalates and goes bad and never ends up being worth it. Let's just go find a new home." After a few hours the Nokhsos went to bed and we finally got to sneak into our bakhl. Once inside it was evident that the climbers had not yet discovered the cave, although they might in the light of day. We took the few possessions Dagrolyt had stored--Sha-haka mixes and pouches--leaving no sign that anyone had ever lived there. As we passed the tents again we could hear and smell that one of the couples was busy having sex, so I thought: how nice for you, but we're the ones getting screwed. We passed undetected and kept going on into the night, but I was really tempted to leave a nice clear set of Bigfoot prints between their tents.
I was offended by the unfairness of having our home taken away so effortlessly by passing strangers--who didn't even know what they'd done. I suppose I experienced what all Nokhons feel about the unstoppable wave of tiny Nokhsoli consuming all of the world around them, like locusts or rats. I was angry in spite of being aware that those people were as innocent as we were: it was just bad luck. They had all seemed respectful of nature, probably Sierra Club conservationists, and I'll bet that if we had explained the situation to them they would have profusely apologized for causing us any hardships. Fortunately, we did not have to wander aimlessly in search of a new home; Dagrolyt knew these mountains and forests well and had long ago noticed several good locations. He led us down from the high alpine zone to the densely forested mountainsides, which were too convoluted for man-made trails or roads. It took us a few hours to arrive at his intended target and ascertain that we were in luck: it was still unclaimed by either Nokhon or Nokhso. Our new home was a small valley contained by steep and thickly forested slopes, a tiny creek running through it. The floor of the valley was strewn with large boulders, but otherwise grassy and open with a view of the sky that made it perfect for a kha-rat. As for a bakhl, there was no cave although a large rock overhang halfway up the slope could provide shelter against rain, which was a good starting point. Squatches don't build houses or even teepees, since man-made artifacts are forbidden by Atli; besides, that would involve "work" and "design", two very foreign concepts for them. They are allowed to drag a little brush and maybe stack some fallen trees to form a natural-looking shelter with no frills. But I automatically went into Whole Earth Catalogue Architect-mode, like a kid making a tree house. We rolled some of the boulders up under the overhang to form a wall, packing the spaces between with loose pine needles from the forest bed to make it windproof. Hollowed out a flat floor by digging with branches. Even made a door of woven vine maple. It took us a few days, but we ended up with the nicest, biggest and most invisible bakhl anyone could wish. The girls were happy again.
I finally went to go see Magga again after we had established our new home in the valley. By then even my wrestling was getting pretty fair, so I felt confident enough to take a few days off and just let the Atli run around in my head without any other input for a while. Dagrolyt agreed and he had his own rounds to make, so we agreed to meet again in four days. It was a whole day's walk to the hilltop where Mastinta taught magic to her girls, but about three hours if I ran all the way. I really wanted to see Magga again, I'd been thinking about her a lot. She was also glad to see me. But I was surprised to see that several rivals had also come to visit her. There were always about five guys hanging out to flirt with her, coming and going. She was popular because she was so pretty--yes, even limp-dicked Nokhon men noticed her nice curvy body and appealing smile. Happily, she soon let me know that it was no contest. Most of those guys were there to say, "Hey, choose to serve ME, I'll treat you right!" I had come only because I wanted to make love with her, even though there was no shyøma driving me to it and she liked that. I had the Nokhso attitude that sex was a nice way to spend quality time with your girl friend. She was all for having sex, as much as I was, but she expected me to just yøramma her right there with everybody else around, including all the rivals. Evidently she'd been bragging about how I liked her so much that I could service her anytime and they'd all said that was just talk. Funny thing: none of those guys offered to screw her without shyøma, even though it was clear that she valued that in a man. But I wasn't about to put on a show, I insisted that we go for a walk into the woods. She thought my shyness was very ragno, cute, assuming that I'd probably discovered that I couldn't perform after all. Nokhon guys always think they're hot while high on shyøma, but later on they're really not interested. Sex without that Ma-mløt-klys intensity was just too boring to be worth the effort. So I found a cozy nook in the forest to lay us down in and she was surprised at how horny I was for her and how nice it was for both of us. But what really got her was that I didn't just get my rocks off and roll off (male chauvinists are the same everywhere, I guess). She hadn't really expected an intense sexual session at all without shyøma, but that's what we had and she really liked it--and me. Actually, I wasn't worried at all about performing without shyøma. I'd been having a good time with Misma and Myrøla back at Dagrolyt's. There are about three good days after a full moon while the shyøma is diminishing; even a whiff does wonders, so the four of us had played around a lot. After that the others became less interested, although Dagrolyt did take on one or the other once a day for a kind of Tantric magic, otherwise it was just a quickie now and then. But I hadn't lost interest at all, oh that greedy lust went away, but not the general horniness I've always felt. Sometimes the girls weren't into it, but if I caught them at the right time and sort of began with a back rub to make them feel good, they would usually go for the whole rubdown. Only problem was there being two of them and when I was all done, the other had gotten turned on and was waiting for her turn. If I sound like a sex maniac, guess I was for a while. Too many years of sexual frustration can get to you and suddenly here I was in take- all-you-want land. Just had to have. But Magga was the one I was really feeling horny for, even though she wasn't there. I'd pretend that the back I was rubbing was Magga's, which worked pretty well for a while, but finally I just had to go rub the real Magga. When I did, she thought my "techniques" were fun and had a hard time comprehending that she was actually the very first woman I'd ever had yøramma with. So I told her about my frustrating love-life among the NokhSoli and she did her best to make it all better.
Magga told me that Dazlask, the outcast, had been pestering the women's bakhl ever since the last Kha-rat. He was often seen prowling around the hill at night. A man had tried to send him away but Dazlask had wrestled him down and then become even bolder about coming near people. Finally Mastinta had told all the girls to throw rocks at him whenever they saw him, until he was driven down the hill. If he returned they would do so again until his time of exile was done. While I was visiting Mastinta's hilltop, one of my rivals challenged me to wrestle. It wasn't out of jealousy, I don't think, so much as to show Magga who was the better prospect. There was no dignified way out of it, so I had to do it. But I surprised myself and held the guy off to a draw. For me that was fantastic--I didn't even care about winning, I just didn't want to be defeated and shamed. Of course, this guy wasn't that good, nothing like Dagrolyt, even I could see what he was doing wrong. I went back to practice with new confidence.
Actually, I also need to practice singing and playing the guitar some more. There is a song I want to work on, now that the haka is all turned on. I may need it at the final Kha-rat. So I think I'll take a break and go do that now.

Chapter 47

Adam out of Eden