Prisoner No. 12 has been abnormally quiet four days now. Officer is worried but from time to time, he hears laughs from there and he has this blank stare in his eyes. He’s coiled on the floor in the shape of a mollusc; he’s not eaten all these days, it may be surmised this contortion is influenced by the form of his bowel currently. He’s so absorbed in those tapes recorded by the Architect of Our Dear Penitentiary, or is it his photo album?

Architect: The way I see it is this – Socrates was not a man after knowledge, he was after ultimate knowledge. That’s what he was looking for and he never stopped. He wanted irrefutable truth but failed in his search. In this, he forgot something that was the doubtless the cause of his failure: his own ingenuity. Socrates could and would strive to examine any point and prove it moot. He did this by always opening up every viewpoint he was audience to. Had he left them alone to stand, he might have discovered it but he so obsessively oped all. In truth, one should say he should never have searched for them at all.

The effect of an encounter with Socrates can be likened to that with the HIV. That virus unlocks the security system of the body and leaves open for any attack to lay it waste. Socrates does similar arguments.

This chase for ultimate truth have I experienced before. It was born in a boy not even adolescent. Relentlessly did he search it out but then he hit the snag that hits everyone who goes too far: he died. That there was no ultimate truth killed the boy, he died in my arms. This boy was none other than my father. He died on his 20th birthday when I was but 7. From him, I learned the saying “I know nothing, nobody does, and that is my wisdom”. It was after this I discovered Socrates said the same thing. Even the method he usually used was much like Socrates’. Besides, both were largely vagabonds. I realized then that it was not just two disparate events, it was one type of man. That was my father, he chased knowledge and died on its pike, advising me not to emulate. I understood those last words affirming ignorance and they keep me creating with abandon as an Architect. That is the soul of my work, my fathers soul.

However, keeping the light of Truth burning above ones house provides the fuel that drives any expedition. For Truth is inexorable and thus, one keeps working, one keeps discovering, one grows beyond the limits of the fathers. Ultimate truth is one great abstraction and a shape-shifter at that.

Unlike my father, my work is not destructive but productive. And though I use my fathers functionalism, I do not share his indifference, almost distaste, for beauty, as can be seen in this spectacular Penitentiary I have built.

All in all, my father was a good man, I wish to see him again today although his face is in every single artifact of mine.

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