Prisoner No. 12 is lent one of the tapes of the Architect of Our Dear Penitentiary by Officer. Owing to his ban from the library, this is the only way he can get access to the tape. They were tapes he recorded as journals, from what No. 12 hears; they were extemporaneous but no one believes that. Anyway, Architect has such a drag in his speech like someone who is perpetually dreaming, it is impossible to not notice. In truth, it is a good clue to go on but don’t people ignore the possibility of the impossible:

Any true philosopher, that is, one who is honest with himself, will end up having to change for the sake of the philosophy he creates. It happens because he makes the philosophy not for himself but for the society (town, city, state, world). To do this, he has to efface himself and take into account the myriad factors that allow propriety, that is, promote the continuity of the society. Unless he wishes not social participation for himself, he has to change on account of this philosophy. It thus ceases to be a personal philosophy – even though it is always going to be personal due to he being the originator – and becomes social.

It is important not to forget that any social philosophy eventually involves individual philosophy for it is among the myriad factors of society. Philosophy is nothing easy.

This I think is AN acme of love. The philosopher loves so much that he seeks to improve his relation with others (as a unit) and loves others so much that he seeks to improve their relations with each other. Also the philosopher loves individuals (himself included) so much that he gives them more to do, makes it difficult, to participate in society. And difficulty always works the same: unless there is loss of hope, effort is put in to endure the distressing situation. And as the level of difficulty is approximated by the persons abilities, the person improves – this is simply called Adaptation.

Philosophy is nothing easy.

Prisoner No. 12 encounters a portrait of the Architect of Our Dear Penitentiary watching two dogs fight, with the signature caption to the right side of the picture. It reads:

The point to cultural relativism was to not “throw the baby out with the bathwater” but this has been missed evidently. Cultural relativism is supposed to even out the landscape so every culture is appreciated for its own value. Something like a bazaar or a buffet really – a linear arrangement from primitive to advanced or evil to good helps only partially. By this, it is possible for one to pick out what is best or what is good in one culture and synthesize or integrate it with ones own. This obviously presents challenges because as soon as an encultured person judges, he prejudges so can best really be best? This presupposes that globalization which is a force for progressively increasing the spectrum of life viewed by whole man will be slow, that is, given all this resistance. Withal, it will happen given that man is such an impressionable creature and if not all of a culture, some of a culture will be attracted. And if they are not voluntarily, they will be involuntarily and this is usually the case where it is a matter of life or death of that particular resisting culture.

A lot of the time, you find the misunderstanding in a culture declining to learn anything from a foreign culture because of cultural pride whose purpose is laudable but practice is folly. This seems to me to be a conscious undermining of ones peoples potential, and a concerted effort to stay in the stark ignorance of the dark side of Pluto. What is that?!

For now, cultural relativism as a force will go through this misunderstood stage so that each people is aware of the intrinsic value to each culture just so in the future, the syncretism of globalization may take place.

It seems like one of the most basic tricks in business – “save for now, expand later” – doesn’t it?

There are many relativisms going round in the world today. This presupposes certain changes in the future which I am happy to predict but may not be a part of; I don’t know my lifespan. These changes I must say are pleasing to the entirety of being. What was once just a hope seems to be taking shape. Some are already in the synthetic stage, most are coming into the relativistic stage. No worries, relativism becomes a dominant perspective and this is agreeable.

And don’t ask me what is beyond the synthetic stage you dog! *guffaw* *guffaw*

Prisoner No. 12 watches from the yard as the pod falls from the tree in the distance. He turns, walks 5 paces to the right, 4 paces to the left, turns around in the direction of the tree again and launches into one of his soliloquys:

Mostly, hyper-individualism responds to hyper-individualism. It is an attitude that responds to tyranny. The boy goes off completely on his own and is hateful of anything that resembles his father – doctrines, attitudes, even just the critical attitude irks him. Interestingly, the father fears his sons tyranny too. In actual fact there is nothing like that there, it is only a lack of consciousness of other areas of oneself or plain hubris that wishes to be solely praised. Because the father does not see the possibilities, he rejects his sons aims. He believes it is impossible to do what he has not seen before or what he does not believe. It betrays a lack of belief in himself, notwithstanding the appalling faithlessness in his own son, for it is he who raised that son; was his influence that bad to raise him this weak? The son also becomes a hyper-individualist, continuing the line unconscious of actually resembling his father and contradicting himself.. haha.. how risible! haha.. how human!

It seems it is Change which is of the Gods after all, not vain immutability or intransigence.

As Prisoner No. 12 looks through a chain-link, a down-feather settles on his upper lip and he mutters:

In truth, there is nothing like a hyper-individual. We all need somebody. Even from the beginning, you needed somebody to transport you from the realm of possibility to that of actuality – whether your mother or a test tube. Even your emotions rebut you, don’t they? Quit the self-deception. Or you have magic?

Prisoner No. 12 looks through the chain-link around the prison yard into the distance and begins, as he sees the grass sway in the wind:

Any proper individual soon notices that his aims are thwarted by any hyper-individualism and so he must surrender a bit. It is much too difficult to do it all by oneself. Even the most rudimentary street science shows this, we do not need to calculate the energy needs.

Hyper-individuals seem to be severely plagued by anxiety for they believe the consequences of surrender of just a bit of their perspective will be nothing but failure. This is a radically abysmal way of thinking. A proper individual should be able to change and have faith that still he can accomplish the aim. Besides, one even amplifies the result – because of improved skill and view of issues – beyond the perceived limits of the aim. Hyper-individualism betrays a certain sense of fatalism that is disgusting because it accords not with life – that only one method can lead to a particular aim. This is a frame of mind belonging to believers in karma, and causality, too. And a frame of mind belonging to a bad father.

Prisoner No. 12 receives a new letter from his latest correspondent that expresses a profound helplessness. He remarks to himself, “how a man falls! From the high tones of the last time we met to this” then he shakes his head. He looks at the terrain that trudges slow across his skin with indifference then smiles. He proceeds to reply the hearty letter.

Prisoner No. 12: “The meaning of life is to live it.

Asking about the meaning of life will only lead to an infinite regress – one will ask the meaning of each and every meaning we get. This occurs by the very nature of the process that asks. What meaning are you looking for? Is it not a grand consequence? It can’t be any other for as soon as you ask the meaning of life, you include the people and things around you.

While we are here, our actions have meanings. They determine who lives or dies, who is happy or sad, who is hungry or fed, who is sick and healthy. We have our own functions to judge us while we are here. Our own functions – thought, emotion and sense – ask us for justificatory answers.

The only reason that question of the meaning of life has any meaning at all is context. There is a limit to how many – and various – questions can be asked at any time. Should all the questions possible – remember, simple and complex (from a combination of simple ones) questions – raise their voice, we will not get that question of meaning. All will eventually cancel themselves out and what results? Silence. We might say then that the meaning of life is Silence but what does Silence do. It accepts. And so, the questions resume and we answer them one at a time. In the end, it is a process of answering the questions posed by our experience.

Why should meaning be answered this way? Because the question does not ask of one side of the human experience but the whole. As such, the whole human experience must be answered with the greatest justice impossible – you become the court and they go against each other.

Also, the question is answered not by any particular method believed to be trustworthy for such belief is just another that tells us there is some meaning somewhere. By such ‘trust’, it is rendered all-powerful and thus, stands above justice – all roads lead to it, “where do I lead to?”, it asks of itself now.

As your father, the architect of our dear penitentiary liked to say, “look to the Cartesian plane, it is all you quest o dear acolyte”.

My advice is to find that question which is most raucous in you. If it is the meaning of life, well, that’s your unfortunate genetics or fate or whatever fancy name they got for it out there. Go ahead and find it but along the way, you will have to stay alive to find it, therefore, in the end, you will live. If necessity is not enough or looks foolish, know that the other questions are there waiting for a listening ear. Can I poke out my tongue, is it tactless in such delicate matter, o brother..”

No. 12 puts the folded paper to his chest and wishes it the best of luck in unlocking another heart.

(As the others are out in the yard and he’s on his own, leaning against his cells bars)

Prisoner No. 12: Will is a funny thing. No sooner than it has made its move does it regret its move. The myth of the paradox of Will.

[The bell rings for yard-time. At the same time, one goes off in Prisoner No. 12’s head]

Prisoner No. 12: Hmm…nowadays, an extreme extroversion of humanity has turned the majority of the self-same species to introverts.

(Owing to a lot of soliloquys in the past week which have annoyed the Warden, Prisoner No. 12 is not allowed to go out for yard-time. The natural response, nowadays, for Officer to such happenings is to go keep him company – selfish and selfless all at the same time)

Officer: My friend, there are many instincts. (No. 12 nods). A number of days ago, I was watching this program on TV where one of the guys went into this long monologue on willingness and unwillingness. Would you not say these are just opposing instincts?

Prisoner No. 12: You know, I have been thinking about something along those lines. It depends on how you look at it – it’s a matter of perspective all round – how you define instinct, narrowly or broadly, and what qualifies as instinct and then what that relation or phrase “opposing instincts” means.

Hmmm…anyway, here is something I thought of before:

Is philosophy a collection of instincts?

Then the further questions come in: Is it the collection of instincts? Or is it the collection of the instincts?

(As Officer keeps Prisoner No. 12 company while 12’s barred from yard-time, Officer gives a letter he snuck out from the clanging cage of the Warden)

Officer: I have a letter for you.

Prisoner No. 12: (aloud) Dear Man-I-do-not-know,

What I write here does not follow from what you say in your letter but understand that I appreciate your thoughts there even if I currently have no responses to them. However, I wish to make a point concerning this assertion you make concerning good and evil. It seems you are heading for a justification of principle based on amount of suffering seen. Such justifications defeat themselves. If you talk about people suffering and this becomes the justification for a certain principle or course of action, what you inevitably say is those others who in the future will suffer from your choice have a justified suffering. That is contradiction even though, it is potential contradiction. Nevertheless, look at those who will not be favored by your principle, are you saying they are justified in suffering? *Scoff*

So many contradictions but Ethics always thinks so much of itself because it thinks it is the native symbol of man, even it’s other names tell you something – humanistic..*scoff* All to make the logical man lose favor – against your own principles of fair play. However, here, you have seen your beloved principle betrayed and flayed by it’s own self. You see, this is where hubris gets you. All you ethical men are cheats, using your sweet words to gain ascendancy in the world – ingratiation. Pander – you just preach to the choir, you say nothing.

Ethics has to be judged by Logic. That is a baseline, that is a supreme standard. Take it or leave it.

Yours, From an ignorant position.

(Prisoner No. 12’s laughter at the letter gallops down the cellblock)

Ahh..a man after my heart. Just look at the several sarcastic statements he makes. (He shakes his head, smiling). Let’s get to repaying him already. Do you…?

Officer: The typewriter’s in the janitor’s, I’ll get it in a sec.

(He dashes around the block to the janitor’s)

No. 12: (dictating) Dear Son of the architect of our dear penitentiary,

Your comments make me smile. I see what you are saying but have you considered that such brute logic defeats itself. Oh! You blind men, you always want to turn away from the colorful world to something abstract rather than the sweet scent of Nature that swirls about you like the whisper of a lover…and we whisper back with fervent feeling. (clicks his tongue to savor the emotion).

Mind, however that, I made no assertion, those were just speculations.

I really do not see why you too do not see that your beloved Logic is defeated by itself. In fact, it is not fathomless that it be so as it is only blind men who populate that troupe – a troupe with eyes gouged out, skin peeled off and pyramid of eyes and meat rolling on a trolley behind it – ah, so you lot are spiders? can’t believe it, with all your great learning, you are just lowly arachnids.

Logic must be assessed by Ethics. It must needs be this way. (Since you say ethical people say nothing, I am mimicking them so I stand in solidarity with them by repeating myself for feeling effect). How else? can you condone the suffering of people just because it accords with some intangible, ghostly, principle? I know that you will say that this does not matter anything and is just as you said. You exposed the Ethical principle’s flaws, I agree with these arguments and they are part of what make me laugh so heartily. It is a thought I like to have as part of this grannd scheme of things that I like to call “in my head”.

In order to make my case as clearly as possible since you blind men already are more foggy than cataracts, I will start my case again.

You exposed the Ethical principle’s flaws, by showing me how it is not logical as well as not ethical, quite incredibly! Earlier here, I have shown you how yours is unethical and now, I show you how it is illogical. This is mano-a-mano, toe-to-toe; you gave me two arguments as your justification, I parry them with two of mine, my dear swordsman. I don’t know if we can get any else to supply the weight of these for they are such that they are at the bed of what we are considering – foundational arguments.

Now, how is your principle illogical?

You think you can decide to sideline suffering but what will you do when suffering leads to the loss of lives or even the loss of mind? What will you say then? Who will be logical in that situation where there are no men to occupy the camp of Logic? What will you say then? You see how your principle also defeats itself? You see the illogicality of your beloved metallic, cold and dry Logic?

Your declaration, “take it or leave it” is neither here nor there so I have reversed your conclusion in concluding to you. Logic has to be judged by Ethics.

You know who I am.