The Valley

A reconstructed autobiographical story

 of what took place some 12,000 years ago


I had just made my way up into the desert on the arid hills to the east of the delta where my partner and I live. I can still see the wide valley below, an expanse with wide rivers and streams, a fertile delta, warm and humid, the sky over it always hazy, a liquid sun barely visible.

We live and work in the valley. We tend our gardens and orchard and keep animals; we are homesteaders, a new kind of thing these days, something we are pioneering.

As I am climbing up the hillside, I'm ascending into the clouds but then, quite suddenly, the sun breaks through and the clouds quickly evaporate. It is getting hot, very hot, blazingly hot.

Originally, some years ago, before we and a small group of friends settled in the valley below, we lived in the mountains on the sundown side of the delta where the wooded hills were shady and cool. The hills were densely populated by many tribes, all hunters and gatherers, but lately it seemed they had turned into warriors, always feuding with each other.

Many years ago those western hillsides had been a tropical jungle full of cedars and fruit laden trees, figs, nuts, berries. It used to be good hunting, we could easily catch plenty of fowl, and the fishing in the streams used to be very good. The food supply had always been abundant, everything ready for the taking, but… things had changed…

I am climbing my way up this hot, parched hillside and I'm burning my feet on the hot hard packed orange soil and I'm approaching a part were the hill is studded with many leafless prickly bushes, about two or three feet apart from each other. As I’m making my way through the bushes, a strange sensation overcomes me, I feel some kind of worry coming up in me - some kind of fear is trying to raise its head inside me. But although I don’t want to give into it, I do want to find out why I so suddenly feel this fear.

I walk carefully through the bushes and suddenly about ten feet in front of me I see a small snake, a kind of viper, about twelve inches long, crawling from underneath one of the bushes slithering along towards me. It make me stop in my tracks and as I stand there I start to shake, my fear increasing, almost overtaking me and I stand there trembling, pretty near stunned…

Back in the forested hills, in the tribe where I grew up, we had been taught to fear snakes. Also, we had been made to be afraid of the wide, often flooded river valley at the foot of our hills, the same valley in which I now live with my partner. We had also been made very fearful of the desert beyond the valley, the deserted, lifeless hills on other side of the valley, hills we could see only during some rare bright days when the air was very dry and clear. Actually, we had been made to be fearful of pretty well anything that was not in our own tribe’s hillside territory.

There were two very important people in our tribe, two men to whom we used to look look up very much. One was our tribal leader, the other was our ‘man of knowledge’, we sometimes called him the ‘snake man’. Of these two men, I liked the the wise one the best, he explained life to us and the nature of things and he helped us understand ourselves. He wanted us to figure out the natural order of things, not for him, but for ourselves.




The other man, the tribal chief, was very powerful as well but he wielded his power in a more threatening way, he did things we couldn’t figure out or understand. He tried to control us by instilling fear, using punishment and rewards to get us to do his bidding. He was often angry and it was hard to anticipate his moods. He used to say, “Don't ever leave the tribe, I warn you! If you ever will, you will surely meet with death. Here you can count on my protection. At least you know what you can expect from me. Out there,” he said as he pointed to the valley below and the hills beyond, “Out there the unknown is very frightening and I warn you, if you ever meet with the unknown, it is going to make you wish you were dead. Out there also there is no food, the water is bad, there’s nowhere to hide, there’s nothing out there but poisonous vipers and only death awaits you.”
That was his way of holding us in his grip, keeping us tightly bound to and within the tribe. That’s how the chief worked his powers, how he attempted to exercise control over us. How he dealt with anybody always included some form of threat or punishment, sometimes mild, sometimes severe… and he often threatened with death.

Of course his way of dealing with us got copied by many of us and his manoeuvres were in turn exercised in a similar manner amongst all of us… Now fear and lack of freedom pretty well fully permeated our way of life and our dealings with each other.

But, come to think of it, we were hardly ever dealt with immediate death and punishment, his threats were actually only sporadically executed - although… when they were, they seemed well timed and dramatically performed. It surely kept us living in a state of constant fear and uncertainty.

It took me a while to understand why the wise man said that we lived in a state of suffereing and illusion, that our ‘way of life’, the way we normally lived - so fearfully - was actually illusive. It took me a while to realize that we had only been made to believe that the illusion of what could befall us was more real than the reality of freedom that we were been made to believe we actually lost. The illusive power of fear seemed more real than the freedom that was only seemingly taken away in such a threatening manner.

Of course in reality the illuded and alluded threats could never all happen.
Imagine, if every threat was actually executed by the chief (and the others who copied his strategies), he would never have any underlings, he would not have anybody to rule over. He must have been well aware of how he used the illusion of pain, death and punishment cleverly to make us fully confused and make us accept that we would never have any freedom apart from that conditional semblance of freedom that he promised if we subjected ourselves to his rules.

Hmm… So, one single example of death or punishment, timely performed and shown as a dramatic example, would make all of us forever live in fear, as if it could and would befall us every moment.

That must have been what the wise man meant by that we lived in illusion, that our life - our way of living - was illusion, that the constant illusion of fear had made us lose sight of direct reality and unconditional freedom.

I could now identify that fear, it was the same fear I felt coming up in me as I walked up this hill… I felt it even before I saw the viper.

As I'm seeing this viper winding its way towards me, I’m thinking - thinking quickly - “Sure there is something to be careful with, but… fearful…? I have no reason to be fearful. Really, why should I be? This creature has never seen me; it might never even have seen another living being like me. How can it possibly imagine that I might put it in danger? Maybe it doesn't even see me. What do I know about this viper? I certainly have no reason to harm or kill it, the only reason I would have to hurt it is because someone made me fearful of it…, but it seems that I’m only scared because I was taught that I should be.”
At that moment, a warm feeling welled up in me, a love actually for that small creature, a care not to scare it. It is like - this is so strange - what I feel for this animal is so very different from the fear that I had been taught to have for it. I then became happy, ecstatic even, I loved the thing.

Before I go on with this part of my story, I have to explain a bit more about my tribe.
The wise man, our man of knowledge, was a very different man than most of us. He loved people and instead of working with threats, he worked with imparting love, knowledge and understanding. To us younger ones he was our friend and we trusted him. The chief though, we were afraid of him because he had power over us and he took advantage of the fear that he actually created in us. The wise man on the other hand wanted us to know more about who we were, what we actually are - what it is to be human - that there is more to our being than what we are usually told to be. He taught us about mind and spirit and he even taught us about our body, something he called anatomy. He would say, “You can know and understand yourself. You’ve all seen people die and you have seen that after people die that their bodies eventually fall apart; you have seen that eventually we all end up as bones. Now… of all those bony parts that you have seen that humans have, the most important ones form actually our backbones, our spine.” He did not often use the word ‘spine’ though, he more often called them our ‘serpent bones’ as he pointed to the vertebrae that our spine is composed of.

We knew of course that we were different from snakes, but we also knew how snakes shed their skin, and the wise man found that very important and he used it to help us understand that shedding as a symbol for life going on, life renewing itself… again and again. Although we humans don’t change our skin, through this symbol we came to believe that we humans somehow change lives through time… that we go on from body to body. It was not symbolic though what the wise man was teaching us about our own ‘serpent bones’. He wanted us to understand how some mysterious energy flows through the backbones of our spine, and that that energy goes from our head to our tailbone and that, from various places of the spine, that it flows to all the other parts of our body.

I remember collecting the small back bones from bird and fowl skeletons, stringing fibres through the small holes in them and wearing them as a necklace. I loved to suck the soft stuff from inside those bones. I remember how I concluded that that gooey stuff formed a kind of worm shape inside those bones, something that seemed to hold itself together, and that that mysterious energy that the wise man spoke about somehow flowed through that soft stuff. I concluded that it was probably the same with us as in other animals, also with fishes and snakes.

The wise man would ask, “Don’t those serpent bones look the same as the bones of our own spine? Doesn’t our body contain the same kind of bones? Well, living energy runs through those bones - life energy - and it goes from the bottom of the serpent bones upwards to where your head is, and it is there - inside your head - that it finds out what you need to do, and it is from there that it tells your body how to do it and where it helps you doing it.”
“In fact,” he said, “the most important part of our body are those serpent bones that not only keep us erect but also keep all the parts of ourselves connected. Through our spine runs this beautiful power, from the bottom up - from the earth up actually - and from the top down - from the sun on down - and we humans take that energy into us and it is that energy that is the origin of life which keeps us alive, which keeps everything alive actually.”
He taught us about the fibres through which that energy runs to all parts of our body. He explained how our intestinal system operates, what lungs are and why we have them and he demonstrated how to breathe properly. He showed us how to handle our body effectively and efficiently.
All that was a pretty new stuff, we had never really looked at ourselves that way before.

Ah, our wise man! He was the one who had figured it all out.
He taught us that understanding creates freedom, and that freedom enables one to find solutions that are appropriate to any problem that may arise.

We very much needed solutions, especially now that we, mountain people who until recently were so used to having nature provide plentiful in the wild, had run into challenges that were caused by overpopulation: too many tribes and the tribes were getting too large to sustain themselves without encroaching on each other’s territory. There was now a shortage of food and game, there was a lack of good drinking water and especially - because of all those shortages - there were the recent and frequent feuds between us and our neighboring tribes. A few disastrous things had happened lately and the various tribal chiefs had not been able to solve them. In fact whatever they did in terms of raids and hunts in an attempt to deal with the shortages, only caused the problems to become even larger.

But let me return to the story of the viper.
While the snake was still slithering towards me, I suddenly discovered - surprising myself - “Wow, I don’t have to be afraid. This animal is like our own serpent bones, the snake like bones that keep us together and upright. That little snake and myself actually have something very important in common!” And as I’m concluding this, I am getting quite ecstatic, my hair is standing on end. It even feels like I am floating in the air; it feels like I am rising up from the red soil upon which I am standing.
At that point, I'm becoming aware of something that I had never felt before; there seems to be something like a large egg shape bubble around me. And I know what it is! It has to do with that energy that the ‘wise man’ always talked about, it is inside us but it also surrounds us. It is something that I up to now had never really fully understood. And I felt myself floating even more.
And the little snake…? It just slithered away easily between my feet and nothing of what I was at first worried about that could happen, actually did happen.
I was totally amazed at what I just discovered. I now know for sure that our chief instilled us with fear: rather than giving us freedom - he enslaved us so that we became useful for his purposes. This man, our tribal chief talked about badness in the world, that there is good and evil, that the fights we are having with the other mountain tribes are actually about the fight between good and evil. He even assured us that those on our side were good and those who were not with us were evil.

That cannot be so, I just know it. It is clear to me now.
That is the story we are being told to make us fearful… so that we do the chief’s bidding, so that we would fight his wars. It just cannot be so! There is no evil except for something very illusive that is cleverly and craftily put in our heads, something which we are tricked into believing to be real but is not really. Our minds have been filled with fear so that we cannot see anymore what’s really real… I just met this snake that didn't do anything to me at all although it was supposed to be harmful to me and I was supposed to be fearful that it would hurt me and that it would even kill me.
We were made to believe that there are evil powers in the world outside our tribal confines and that only ours chief was able to protect us from those who and used evil powers.
I now realize there is no evil as opposed to good. That distinction you won’t find anywhere in nature, only perhaps in human nature… in the denatured human really.
Those assumed opposites don't exist as such; they only exist as notions in someone’s confused mind. First that fallacious notion took a hold in the mind of him who intended to use it to instil fear, and subsequently it overtook the minds of those in the grip of his spells, their unsuspecting minds now filled with fear and false notions of opposing and conflicting forces - the flawed idea of good versus evil as though those opposites existed in reality and were so to speak needed to balance each other out as though they depended on each other in some strange devious way!

As I was realizing this with great clarity and insight, it was as though my body started to rise up even higher and I felt an enormously powerful energy coming up from below me… from the earth itself. The earth actually felt like an enormous globe beneath me! I never realized that the earth was like that, and I suddenly knew that we live on a beautiful, large living entity, that the earth itself is a living being.
It then felt as though my spine became like the trunk of an enormous tree, erect and massive, its roots growing from me deeply into the earth, spreading ever so widely throughout the whole earth, the very soil from which we have grown, from which we originally came forth.
I then became aware that my arms grew into branches that were expanding wider and wider into the heavens and as I was spreading out, the glorious sun was glowing ardently down into my whole being.
All-this-right-here, energized by the widest expanse of the earth and the universe and us humans - each of us actually being a channel through which the earth and the heavens communicate.

It was as though the sun, which first stood straight above me, was now coming down into me, surging its energies throughout my whole being, my branches and leaves invitingly embracing the sun’s rays that were suddenly forming an energetic crystalline star hovering about a foot above my head. As I looked up into it I immediately knew that it was somehow also a part of my whole being. As it descended into me, my earth-like energy also ascended into it, and the energies all merged into each other. I then could look into the shape and I distinguished a huge crystal-clear gem. Inside the gem I saw vibrationary patterns that were taking on the form of a multi-faceted star, its bright lines joining the many connecting points into a complex multishaped figure that at once held many geometric shapes inside each other, a cube, a tetrahedron and a few more multifaceted shapes. The points and edges themselves were of a deep scintillating blue, but the whole formation showed itself at once while gyrating seemingly in all directions and sparkling in a myriad of vivid but pastel-like colors.

As the crystal came down into me, merging with me, my chest inside opened up so widely that it was as though my core received this divine energy as the greatest gift in the highest state of glorious bliss.

Then I suddenly felt as though I was exploding into the whole universe, being at once the whole universe as well as all its constituting parts and I realized the divinity of it all.

All and everything divine and each individual part of it uniquely so!

I eventually found myself squatting, my hands holding my face, elbows resting on my knees.
Having come down from this intense state, I then caught myself gazing far down into the distant valley below, ruminating my thoughts, thoughtfully focusing on the work my partner and myself were doing down in the valley.

A little later in the day, after my return to the valley, I met my partner and told her of my experience. She - this being of life - was not at all surprised, my story so much backed up and supported her own awareness and experiences.

The wise man always pressed upon us to “Know yourself” but also to “Find out for yourself!” Now I realize that he meant not to just believe someone based on their authority, but find out and experience for yourself, “You can at some point know directly and personally what I now can only point out to you.”
Maybe my partner because she is a woman always already experienced more directly. Did she not carry life already, bringing forth life?! Maybe women have an innate trust in the way nature works, the way life goes. Maybe over time men have been compromised too much by fear - and anger too - perhaps to get motivated for their hunting escapades… or now, more recently, in their wars against the neighboring tribes.

This belief about good and evil - that whole notion is actually flawed - I get it!

Evil is a ‘thinking thing’, one does not actually see evil, one may be seeing accidents or inadvertent things that do happen (by all appearances catastrophes are an inescapable part of nature), but in addition, under undue pressure, one has been forced to develop a certain kind of imaginative thinking, caused and enhanced by fear that also increases fear and creates subsequent suspicion, scepticism and habitual questioning - in all a total lack of unconditional trust. This in turn creates a certain kind of imagery - illusion - which causes suffering. This way an added layer of suffering is created mentally, something that envelops the natural occurrences of pain and natural discomforts. This ‘manmade’ suffering causes one to see, experience and interpret things that naturally happen differently - not the same way anymore as they were seen and witnessed before the illusive fearful imagery came into play.
It is quite arbitrary really, anything that may look good to one, may look evil in the eyes of someone else. Flawed thinking overall makes you see things differently; it makes you interpret everything differently from when you just simply observe. Thinking can be good, of course it can be when it is pure and unadulterated, but it can also make that what you normally know as right and straightforward, look strange, crooked, bad or even evil, and… it might get you to make other people think and experience poorly and falsely as well and thus, subsequently, they also might get into situations of abusive strategizing, manoeuvring and manipulating.

Many years ago now, before we - then still a couple of youngsters - descended into the valley, the wise man had been talking a great deal about cause and effect, ‘causality’ - how in nature everything is causally related to everything else in a “mutual and reciprocal way” - how causality (when we humans do not interfere with the natural flow of things) affects other things in a complex but dependable manner. However, we humans somehow learned to interfere with the natural course of things and we have been able to cause changes that without us would not have happened. The wise man pointed out how it was sometimes hard to figure out if the changes were actually what we wanted or not.
Years ago, he told us, he discovered that it is possible to glean something very simple and useful from this the complexity of cause and effect. It can be used to our advantage when the results are clearly foreseen and planned to be advantageous to the furthering of life. He discovered that it was possible to intervene in the natural processes of cause and effect and that - providing it is used for the good of life in general - that no adverse side effects would accompany the results.

(Whoever reads this now, thousands of years after these thoughts, should realize that the sages and smart people of this current age are not any wiser or more intelligent than the sages of yore. The insight and engineering skills needed to conceive of, for example, making fire, cutting flint stones, forging arrow heads and adzes, the invention of pottery and the wheel, were as involved as we now are figuring things out with the ‘tiniest entities conceivable’ that are being experimented on in the ‘greatest machines possible’. In fact in the olden days it wasn’t like Isaac Newton who could stand on the shoulders of giants before him who helped him to see further, the original sages had to pretty well start from scratch, from square one.)

The wise man’s main discovery was how in the natural order of things ‘cause and effect’ was also two- directional and not necessarily linear as far as time goes. His discovery was not at all the ‘action/reaction’ or the ‘eye for an eye’ strategy that it eventually became for the tribes who remained on the hillsides and who from there ventured in to other lands taking their own misguided ways with them. Unfortunately they had learned to resist causes by replacing their natural effects with counter actions. Human nature had become a false nature, different from non-human nature.

Let me describe how life was before we young ones, moved down into the river valley from the hillsides.
The population of the tribes on the forested hillsides had been expanding rapidly over the last generations and the supply of food from the hunts and from what was available from foraging had been dwindling fast. We now had to compete with our neighbors for larger hunting grounds as we had pretty well run out of game in our own territory. All of the tribes experienced the same problem and as we couldn’t figure out how to get more food in a peaceful manner other than by raiding the neighboring tribes we resorted to ugly but well tested tribal warfare. That is what the tribal chiefs wanted us to do and keep doing. The wise man though, our man of knowledge, who had become like a mentor to some of us, especially the younger members, started to teach us that there was a way out of this.
As I said already, he had discovered some predictable regularity in the way things follow up on each other - cause and effect - he had drawn his initial conclusions mostly from the way seeds fall from plants and trees and then, after, turn into new plants or trees. He also saw that most seeds did not turn into new plants and he wondered how and why that did not happen. He eventually saw that when you set the conditions right with moisture and sunlit spacing that they would turn into new plants. He was always looking, observing and drawing conclusions. He predicted things, not because he could look into the future but because he understood the past. He had figured out how things happen, that there are natural laws or rules that nature follows, and knowing those rules one could predict what would happen. But also, and that was his greatest discovery, following the rules and applying them with things such as seed and animals, he could change the future and… he could foresee how it would change.
Nobody had ever thought that way; there was security in his ways, not the fear of never knowing what would happen. "Things that happen are not a matter of blind chance," he said, "nor luck, neither do they depend on boons, prayers and mysterious ceremonies."

That was the kind of thinking behind everything he did, but recently that thinking was also behind his experiments with the seeds he collected and planted and with the tame animals he bred from the wild mountain goats and mountain sheep.
He got those of us who were interested to start collecting seeds, gathering up certain animals and he suggested that we eventually move down into the river valley, planting the seeds in an ordered and planned manner and that we take care of the animals we had set aside to stay with us for herding. Maybe we could do that even better with some especially prepared animals that would take more easily to the humid environment of the valley, the wild boar could probably be transferred too, but surely the newer breed of sheep and young goats. He predicted that if we did this according to his prescribed ways we would always have plenty of food.
He did other interesting things with seeds. He ‘calculated’ with dried beans and nuts that he laid out in front of him in neat patterns. He could tell from the patterns in which the beans were laid out how large the next crop - that’s how he called it - would be or how the herd of cattle would grow in numbers.
We could now make use of land that we had thought to be taboo or waste… Before our new experiments muddy valley grew not much that was of any use to us, but now, he said, that land was waiting for us to be cultivated.

He invented new words for things he had understood and helped us to acquire the same understanding and learn the new words. In front of him he always had a clean flat spot of hard dirt and with a stick he would scratch shapes in it and he would apply sounds to those scrapes. He even made a string on which he first strung little bones or small shells with a hole through them. He organized them in certain sequences that he gave special sounds to, “numbers” he called them and he would have us repeat the words after him as he uttered them. Later, with a similar string but now with knots he would make shapes that we had never seen before: straights, triangles, rectangles, squares. He could also make the most perfect circles and other round shapes with his strings.

We kids loved him… we would lay out shapes like he did, using small pebbles, twigs and strings and he would get it right for us if it did not work out well at first.
Years later in the valley we would use his methods to lay out plots of land and build buildings from sun baked bricks of clay. The shapes of those bricks were made with strings that were divided into twelve parts; when you folded the strings just right the bricks were always straight and all had the same size. The strings we used were always divided into twelve small sections and the wise man always had us count them in two ways, either in sequence or he had us divide them up in groupings of three, four and five. That was especially handy as we kids also wanted to make his ‘magic’ shapes, triangles, squares, circles and snake forms.

In the past before the overpopulation problems in the hills, when there was still enough roaming area available on the hills, the tribes lived an ambulant life moving through the forests between the hills from dale to dale. If we would move down into the river valley we would still have to live a more or less nomadic life to deal with the unpredictable flooding each year. That’s why many of us thought that taking up life in the wet river valley with its many floods was unwise, the wise man though had been studying the floods and discovered a certain regularity to them. The larger floods always came from the rivers in the mountains once every so many ‘moons’, as we called it. The smaller floods always came from the sea and somehow also had to do with the moon, but those smaller floods happened often twice a day and could be very well predicted. He suggested that we could organize our movements in the river valley around the predictable flooding.
What if we would go down into the wider flatter areas whenever it was possible and safe, we could always return to ‘higher ground’ closer to the hills when it was not as safe and accessible.
In addition, there would always be potable water in the river valley, while on the hills during a certain period we would always run out. Also in the valley sunshine was always filtered by low clouds of humid air, it would be warm but not as blazingly hot as certain times of the year in the hills and hopefully there would not be as many thunderstorms and wild fires down in the valley.
The wise man foresaw that if we built the right environment in the valley, we could grow shrubs and trees that would produce the fleshy fruits like figs that we liked so much, as well as those that could provide us with the nuts we so fondly collected in the hills. We could even grow large areas of those grassy weeds of which the kernels were so tasty.

To most of us eager youngsters it made sense, it had never been done before, we felt that anything would be better than the wars, bloodshed, strife and hatred. My girl-companion and I decided to take it on. We decided to go into the valley; we actually started planting saplings from some fruit trees that we thought would grow fast and tall enough to deal with the shallow flooding on the edges of the valley. We also started to grow grasses of which we were able to get the grains grow larger than in their wild form. We planted a kind of tree of which the fruit was more edible than the quince fruits that we had learned to chop up and cook and press for their juice and jelly. The young mountain sheep and young goats took very well to the valley's expanse. We started collecting more animals and settled down for longer stretches of time - we called 'husbandry' - although we had to keep to some form of nomadic life as well.

It was good that we had left for the wider valley, the tribal wars kept increasing and many tribal members were killed, but our chief, instead of following the advice of the wise man, was fearful that he would lose his power. He foresaw that, instead of the women collecting foodstuff, that many of the youngsters - young women as well as young men - would start to grow their own food, fruit, nuts, roots. And instead of men hunting, these same youngsters would have their own animals for meat and milk! They would become independent! What would happen to the traditional role of men and women? Men not hunting, not being ready for tribal defence and raiding others tribes? That was not to happen, he decided. Young people who would be free?! No way! That way the old way of life would have no use anymore; he wouldn't be able to pressure anybody to follow his orders.

He eventually sent fighters into he valley.

In the meantime we had increased in number and the mountain people who came down into the valley to fight us, could not prevail over us as they were lacking food and as they tired out quickly on the treks they had to make to reach us. Also as the terrain was flat, there was no way for them to gain an advantage... there was nowhere to hide. In addition we knew about the timing of floods and found many ways to escape them or instead have them landlocked. They eventually withdrew and we were able to attend to our farming practices uninterrupted and in peace.

After an especially good growing season we decided to send a group of our people back to the hills and visit not only our own tribe but various others as well. As we had inflicted no harm while we defended our independence, we intended to convince our tribal brothers and sisters who still lived in the hills, that the way of going about living our new way - being free and self-sufficient, being able in the ways of animal husbandry and agriculture to produce food in a steady dependable way - that it was a better way of life in these new times. We showed them that one could live in love and peace again, that one could trust again without fear of manipulation and wars. Gradually we gathered more followers.

The chief became immensely upset and got the visiting groups rounded up and banned from ever returning to the hills, also he placed guards so that no one from the hills could move down into the valley below.

We now knew that we would take up living in the valley permanently and in increasingly large numbers.

Of course in the eyes of the old chief, the snake man, our man of knowledge, was blamed for our misguided and “evil” way of life.

There was an interesting encounter once when the old chief came for a secret visit to one of the gardens in the valley. Initially he spied on us... or was it perhaps voyeurism? Eventually, as he was found out, he cursed us forever as he lost his patience...

But that story is already known in a biblical way, although I’m sure that as that story got passed on and was told and retold again, that it became a story that was the opposite of what actually took place.

by Wim Borsboom

Friday, August 25, 2006