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Bokisig religion as it had developed by the time of the Second Confederation was based on three broad tenets.

First tenet – Nvm[]

The first is best summarised by the term Nvm, which depending on context can be translated as either chance (as in randomness) or paradox. It expresses the fact that chance is a fundamental principle of the world and that it is futile to attempt to fully work out its workings. Various evidence has been put forth by philosophers for this.

During the early years of the rule of Kwazhíz (8721 to 8740), Meɫ Katasmé, a Kasaki from the famous Tower of Knowledge at Katázhg, collected and commented in writing on some mythological writings from the clay tablets in the tower's Chamber of Clouds, including the Tale of the First City, as well as the Story of the Fickle Friend. The latter tale is quite rudimentary, but constitutes an important source document due to the commentary of Meɫ Katasmé, not only from a philosophical, but also from a linguistic point of view, as his commentary paraphrases the cited Early Bokisig text in the Classical form of the language.

Tale:

“Amongst the gods, there is a fickle friend. On

some days, this fickle friend would take the shape of a woman to lie with [the deity of sleep] <Ke>; on others, they would take the shape of a man to lie with [the goddess of life, and former’s partner] <Kalegto>. Both of them desired the fickle friend, and on the days where the fickle friend would not show, they would be in torment. The torment of <Ke> gave birth to nightmares, the suffering of <Kalegto> to the pain of childbirth and the “bloods” [specific plural form of “blood” to refer to menstruation]. We are taken ill regularly

yet it cleanses us.”

The EBKSG version of the last three sentences reads:

ke-hɛ

ʔuʔut

ʔut.he

keno-tun

legto-mɛ

Ke-GEN.AL

suffering

bad

dream-PL

Give.birth.to-PFV

“The suffering of <Ke> gave birth to nightmares”

kalegto-hɛ

ʔaʔot-kat

ʔaʔot.he

ligheku-tun

hil-te-nɛ

ʔiʔaguma-mɛ

Kalegto-GEN.AL

pain-PL

painful

birth-PL

blood-PL-and

propel-PFV

“The pain of <Kalegto> set in motion the pain of childbirth and the bloods”

mu.nɛ.dɛx

pusom-kanɛ-ʔe

nilokhe

1PL.INC

get.ill-CVB-DS

be.cleansing

“Although we are taken ill, it is cleansing.”

The CBKSG form of the last sentence went on to become a popular motto:

<Munétx pusukanē niloxe>

Commentary by Meɫ Katasmé:

“Our

heritage1 says the tales are true, and we know from looking at the world that they are true. Even the gods are subject to the whims of a fickle friend, and experience pain and joy due to chance, and so do we. It is obvious that chance is something that we cannot know. It means not to know even if you know

everything. It is a tale that says something is and is not.”

1 The “heritage” mentioned by Meɫ Katasmé here is the commonly accepted set of mythological tales, collected and stored – often in form of clay tablets - in libraries, palaces and the houses of the rich and powerful.

The last three sentences of Meɫ Katasmé’s commentary here already indicate that the tenet of Nvm goes further than just asserting the existence of chance, i.e. a decidedly non-deterministic worldview. It also maintains that paradoxes, in this context defined as “something that is and is not”, form an integral part of the world. So in addition to “just-so stories” based on chance events, usually involving deities (so as to showcase that chance even affects deities), evidence for the Nvm tenet is also provided in form of logical paradoxes.

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