Tag Archives: You-Know-Who

On Freedom and Knowledge

Dearest Father,

It would appear that free will is an immense and insurmountable quandary. If it is taken from the perspective of good and evil then you do not have it, for you can never choose evil. If we take it from the basis of constraint and power then we do not have it, for our wills are not free at all but are limited by predetermined rules we cannot change. The last point is among the reasons I am writing yet another letter on this issue, for Doubt has not allowed me to rest since I sent you my last missive. Adamant that freedom, however small, is still freedom, he has forced me to think more deeply about the wills of your children, and to consider that perhaps we still possess our wills even if they are constrained, that we still have some agency even if it is not limitless.

In some way I agree. Though tiny and feeble our freedom may be, it still feels, for lack of a better word, like it is there. As I said in my last letter, even my illustrative prisoners possess freedom in certain things. They can choose to behave properly while serving out their sentence; they can choose the friends and foes they make whilst incarcerated. They are not free, but they are not completely bound either.

There is, however, one issue with this line of thought, and as I mentioned in my last letter it is one of judgement.  You see, the biggest reason we are given for our inability to reach the Great Upstairs with you is that we are not good. Against a being as wonderful and perfect as you we are bad, fundamentally stained and unworthy. The elders of the House do not say that we are a different kind of good; they say we are not good at all. When you are the standard anything that is not you is not it. If we are not as good as you we are not good, period. If one can be so harsh, so abrupt, so binary in meting out the judgement that shall serve us for all eternity, why then can one not be equally harsh in viewing the very constructs around which this judgement is made? If you are the model of free will then anything that is not like you in that manner is not free. Your children have a saying about having cakes and eating them that expresses this succinctly. We cannot use binary means to judge our worth, and then turn around and use continuous means to judge our freedom. Where you are the standard, there can be no deviant.

Still, Doubt had a point. True, our wills are not free; they are limited. However, they have not been shown to be completely constrained. We have some leeway. We may not possess the almighty, world-creating freedom of our Father, but we have something. While a stubborn part of me was unwilling to give quarter to these thoughts, my curiosity was piqued and I decided to explore the implications of this. You, for whatever reason, decided at the moment of our creation to constrain our freedom, to (perhaps ironically) limit it to two “things”: good and evil. This compromise would mean that we have solved our problem. We have some freedom, and we have will. What your children have done with these things can now be squarely laid at our feet.

I had barely finished nodding my head at his postulations when Doubt turned around and attacked his own words. We may have some freedom, he offered, but is it freedom that matters? There are certain kinds of freedoms that are ultimately pointless and others that are infinitely more useful. The freedom, for example, that allows our aforementioned prisoners to eventually break free of the bonds keeping them in prison is a very useful freedom. The one that allows them to sleep on whatever side of their cot that tickles their fancy is, on the other hand, quite useless. Admitting that we have some kind of freedom is not enough. We must be able to see if this freedom is useful or constructive, if this freedom serves some purpose. And to that end Father, Doubt revealed one thing that rendered all the freedoms you have given us pointless: knowledge, or perhaps more accurately, ignorance.

Once again Father, I must look to you to make his point. Ignoring the immense freedom that power brings, there is still a certain advantage afforded to beings like yourself that know what their choices mean. Knowing which choices to make, knowing which choices would have certain desired consequences, these are forms of knowledge that are not just invaluable but essential if one is to consider your children truly free to choose. Knowledge is power, and power is freedom; he who knows more can choose better, and the very existence of Doubt tells you all you need to know about the state of your children’s knowledge.

We often say that the road downstairs is paved with good intentions, and this truism illustrates exactly what is wrong with the ignorance you have allowed to fester among your children. You have made a world, Father, where it is not enough for one to want so fervently to do good; one must also know how to do good. This would not be quite the issue it is if you saw fit to bestow upon your children wonderful, perfect intellects that revealed intimately both the good things and the bad, so that intent was coupled closely with knowledge, so that ignorance would be no defence for there would be no ignorant people. Instead you have made beings with minds most weak, beings that learn only through repetition, beings that forget very easily, beings that need continuous experience in order to truly know.  You have made beings with whom there exists such a disparity in beliefs they cannot agree on what good and evil are. If we do not even know what these things are, if we cannot trust our own heads, one what basis can you say we are free to choose the right things?

Now, there are those within the House that state that all these flaws of the human mind came as a result of the Fall, that the sins of the First Brother clouded our heads and hearts. And while this answers the questions surrounding our immense limitations, it also raises a very terrifying corollary. It means, Father, that Adam, of sound mind and heart, knew what he was doing when he consumed the forbidden fruit. This leaves one with the scary conclusion that he either possessed intent most evil, or he was a terribly foolish person.

Think about it Father. For one to believe that before the Fall we were perfect one has to believe that Adam knew exactly what eating that fruit meant. The deceptive words of the serpent become useless in this world, for Adam would know that he was not going to become you; he was instead going to die. And not only was he going to die; he was also going to damn his sister-wife and every last one of his offspring to death as well. This is stupidity and evil to the most extreme, for he effectively traded happiness and paradise for death and destruction. Only a being most evil would do this in full knowledge of the consequences, a being that doesn’t care much for itself or for anything really, a being we have seen personified in the history of the House as You-Know-Who… (I wonder, was he also possessing of perfect intellect before his fall from grace?)

Of course because the fruit itself was from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, this means that Adam could not have known that he was doing evil, even if he perhaps knew the dire and damning consequences of his actions. In one move we appear to have created a terribly evil being that is not even aware of his evilness.  Is it any wonder that he fell? Could he really have been called good along with the rest of your creation when such evil lurked within his soul?

Thus, our First Brother was either ignorant and good when he fell, or knowledgeable and evil. The first option means that we have never been free of ignorance; our minds have always been weak and clouded. The second contradicts the very need for the act that led to the Fall in the first place, making it a useless, if already frightening, conclusion.

And so Father, even with the assumption that we possess some freedom to power our wills we are left realising that this freedom is once again useless as it does not (and never did) contain the most necessary ingredient for free and informed choice: perfect knowledge. It seems Doubt pushed me down this path of limited freedom with the express intent of dashing my hopes, for once again I am left with the unfortunate conclusion that your children in no meaningful way possess free will. We are not as free as you, and even in our limited existence we lack the necessary tools to have prevented our Fall and to save us from ourselves.  This calls to mind once again the question of judgement, Father, for one must wonder on what standard you judge beings that have been handicapped from the very beginning.

As I sit here and ponder that even my once little friend is silent; this, it seems, is a question neither of us can answer.

With much thought,

Your Prodigal Son

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On Sacrifices and Their Worth II

Dear Father,

But a few days ago, the Season of the Fast reached its end. Whether or not this was the initial intention of the Family elders when they planned the House Calendar, the end of the season coincides with the birth of spring and this, I believe, carries with it some powerful imagery. In my homeland, once termed the Dark Continent, we do not experience such things as spring and winter. For us, there are two seasons. The rains come and then they go, and they do so on a cycle that has nothing to do with the Season of the Fast. As a result back when I was young and in the House, any significance attached to the timing of the season’s end was lost on me. Not so in the land in which I find myself. Here the rains are beginning to fall after months of snowy skies. The trees are growing leaves again; the birds have picked up their songs, and squirrels have resumed their foraging. As the members of the House beat their drums and blow their trumpets in celebration, so too does the rest of nature. Significant, for the end of the season marks what has been termed the three most important days in the history of House, and by dogmatic extension, the history of the entire earth. It marks the death and resurrection of our brother and saviour, your perfect incarnation among your children.

But a few days ago the Universal Family, and those in the House that have not yet cast aside everything connected with the Family, bowed their heads to mark the Brother-Saviour’s crucifixion.  This, we are told, was the sacrifice of sacrifices, the sacrifice that ended all sacrifice. So great is the significance of this sacrifice that its extent is among the things that caused one of the greatest splits from the Universal Family. The reach of this sacrifice, the permanence of its effects, is a key dispute between my Family and the ever dividing Family of Rebels. Without this sacrifice, all is lost. Your children are eternally doomed, and You-Know-Who has won the battle. With this sacrifice, not only do we have a fighting chance, the tides have been turned irrevocably. Because of the blood of the Brother-Saviour, You-Know-Who is bound to lose. We know not the day or the hour, but we have been assured that when it comes, he will fall once and for all, never to rise again.

But anyone can die, or so they say. The real special thing about your sacrifice was the resurrection, the rebirth, so to speak. It makes for wonderful symbolism when your children’s voices are raised in praise, joy and exultation, marking the anniversary of your resurrection just as the very earth gives new life to the its inhabitants. Perhaps this is why the House elders in the days of yore picked this time for the season. Or perhaps, as some say, they were simply trying to garner the favour of the Outsiders whose lands and hearts they wished to capture. It is of no consequence. Your death and subsequent resurrection mark the very foundation of the towering domicile I have left behind. They give reason to the lives of all those within the House. They bring hope, they bring the good news, and they provide the basis on which the House has spread its message over continents and over oceans, growing its bounds though blood as much as through words.

Sitting, contemplating the significance of these events, with my undesirable friend on my shoulder, I was struck by how foolish, how petty, my ramblings were a little over forty days ago. While acknowledging the fact that the Season of the Fast was to prepare us to appreciate the greatest of all sacrifices, I still had the audacity to wonder whether or not certain sacrifices were worthy of your person. It is rather evident that none on this earth is. So much so that you, purest of the pure, had to take human form and die, in order to show us how it was done. You had to take it upon yourself to demonstrate to us that no sacrifice, however great could possibly match what really was necessary to save us from ourselves.

The sacrifice we celebrate marks why the House is often called the House of Love, especially in the face of other Houses. None other claims to have a Father that so loved his children he was willing to lay his life down on their behalf. None other claims to have a Father that boldly and unflinchingly went into suffering and pain and torture, just so that he could be with his children again. It is among the greatest calls to uniqueness, the greatest points of appeal, that the House has been able to lay claim to over the centuries. Deep inside, dear Father, your children simply want to be loved, and what better way to pull them to your bosom than by erecting a House whose very symbol is the ultimate gesture of expressible love?

But while I sat and mused on the wonders of the season’s end, filled with what can only be called nostalgic appreciation, my little friend, ever ready with cancerous utterances, had a word or two on this very subject. Now I would rather not mention the horrendous things he said; but I promised to write you about our experiences. Such a promise is not one that should be cast away so easily.

Per his name, my winged friend saw fit to cast his deep shadow over the very notion that the Brother-Saviour’s sacrifice, your sacrifice, is in fact the greatest of all sacrifices. If, as I have discovered, sacrifices must be measured by not just what they deprive us of but also by how much they achieve, it seems only fair that your sacrifice be brought under the microscope as well.

To that end, dearest Father, the question is thus: Exactly what were you deprived of in your sacrifice? In the weeks past I have abstained from food for the duration of the sun’s journey across the sky. I have endured my natural hungers, so that by suffering through them my mind may be driven towards you. This entire journey is predicated on discovering you more; what better way to ensure that you stay on my mind all the time than by tying it to something the body cannot do without?

Now when Doubt asked this question I was quick to provide an answer very much like the one I arrived at myself. Your sacrifice aside, the very act of coming to us and taking human form allowed you to experience life as we saw it, to identify with us. And Doubt, the ever wily and disgustingly brilliant little fellow, laughed and pointed out that per House dogma, you know everything. What more is there for you to know, dear Father? How could you, perfect being that you are, not know what being human feels like? You made us, down to the last hairs on our heads, or so they say. It is unfathomable to think that you do not know how we feel. The subject of suffering makes this an even bigger conundrum. What purpose did your suffering serve dear Father? Can one even say that you suffered, in the same way that your children suffer? And even if you did, why would it matter? For a being as knowledgeable as yourself, suffering would simply be experiencing something you have already “experienced”, something that you would not need to be reminded of as you can never forget. No. It seems your sacrifice then was for our benefit, perhaps to make us see you as we see ourselves… to humanise you, so to speak. We are the ignorant ones, not you. We are the ones that need to see the truth.

While this answer seemed to send Doubt flapping away in silent thought, the reprieve was not to last too long. He was back soon, with even more disturbing words. He pointed out that this fact, that the incarnation of yourself in flesh was simply to humanise yourself, had diluted the effect of what was to be considered an amazing sacrifice. You cannot suffer, in any way that makes sense; the feelings cannot be new to you, and you in your almighty glory, were already aware that you were to break the chains of death and rise again on the third day. In fact, this last bit reduces the sacrifice even more. There is, in effect, no sacrifice, for you died knowing full well that you would rise. There wasn’t, at the very least there shouldn’t have been, any fear or uncertainty in your heart. There was no finality. Listening to his words the sacrifice that defines the House suddenly seemed like a small thing, a simple formality. When one knows the outcome of an event, when one knows that it shall go in his favour, does one really lose anything by fulfilling all righteousness? Does one learn anything by going through the motions?

Of course I have heard such musings before, and it seems Family dogma on the full humanity and full divinity of the Brother-Saviour was crafted specially for such purposes. By being just as human as the rest of your children, he was subject to the fears and uncertainties that we feel every day. So even though he knew that he would rise, it did not make the experience any more enjoyable, or perfunctory. I can understand this. But my friend was not convinced, and I am afraid I must agree. Just as the Brother-Saviour is a man, he is also you. And you do not fear; you are not ignorant nor are you weak. It feels safe to assume that in a battle between Fatherly natures and childish natures the Fatherly would win, awesome and mighty as it is, especially when it exists in such great amounts as it did in the Brother-Saviour. So even as he approached the cross, bleeding from back and breast, he must have known all too well how everything would play out, and I cannot help but feel that that makes him no more than an actor on a very elaborate and realistic stage. And actors make no sacrifices, except to sell the act that they are making sacrifices.

Now there is the issue of the justice which must be served. We, your children, abandoned you Father, and made a rift so great that only the death of someone as awesome as yourself could heal it. To that end the sacrifice was absolutely necessary. Of course this raises other questions, such as the nature of justice itself, and punishments and sin, questions I hope to pose as I grow wiser on this journey. But it doesn’t answer the question of ultimate purpose. Per your omniscience, you already knew this was to be done; one can go as far as saying you already “did” it. You gained nothing doing it, and, perhaps more importantly, you lost nothing. You didn’t really die, and whatever part of you one can say perished that day was soon recovered … resurrected. Once again, it feels like everything was nothing more than a performance, more for our adulatory, love-seeking eyes than anything else.

In a final attempt to wipe the smirk off my friend’s face I half-heartedly muttered that perhaps this was one of the many things we could not understand, and he laughed a deep, cruel laugh, his eyes rolling in their dark sockets. Even he could see that I knew (as well as he) that such an answer, such a subdued acceptance of ignorance, would not be enough to quiet him. A quest for truth is among the reasons for my journey; what would be the point if whenever confronted with the tough questions I simply waved my hand, like the wizened and disinterested elders of the Family, and said “We cannot understand.”? The Numidian references such wonderful, unfathomable paradoxes in his Confessions, waxing poetic about how you are “most merciful, yet most just … stable, yet incomprehensible; unchangeable, yet all-changing; never new, never old…”, and for a case like this, I suppose he would say that you are “dying while still alive; suffering, yet unaffected; reduced yet whole”. But while such words filled me with awe and wonder once upon a time, on this day they do little to calm my faltering, perturbed heart.

It pains me to say it, Father, but my little friend does have a point. A sacrifice’s worth is measured by things lost and effects had. I lost some culinary satisfaction, and in return I can only imagine that I was brought closer to you in some manner; I certainly felt so. But your sacrifice, when put against yourself, feels hollow, staged. A being that has everything has absolutely nothing to lose. And looking upon this earth you have made, looking upon the children in your image, I cannot help but feel that nothing has changed. There were wars before your death on the cross; there are still wars today. We died of disease and hunger and pain before your death; we still die today. We murdered and pillaged and lied and stole and cheated and raped before your death; we still do so today, with more pomp and flair in fact. As I sit here and pen this letter to you dear Father, I cannot help but feel that whatever You-Know-Who was supposed to have lost that day must have been trivial, for he carries on like nothing happened. Whatever the effects your death was to have had that day, they must be ethereal, for we are not much different than we were before. We are just as sad, just as fallen, and this realisation fills me with a sorrow that eclipses whatever appreciation I may have felt as I contemplated the joys of spring many days before.

And so, confused and afraid, I ask you my dearest Father: what was the worth of this sacrifice, this greatest sacrifice of them all?

With a heavy heart,

Your Prodigal Son

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On My Once Little Friend

Dear Father,

Time trudges on as it must, and so do I. Slow and steady progress is being made on the teachings of both Platocrates and Augustine, and I am starting to find that my journey may be a little more organic than I had imagined. I have taken many detours, exploring various sub-concepts espoused by the great men I follow, and in so doing I am learning far more than I could have hoped to had I simply stayed on the beaten path of justice, Republics and Confessions. The time is coming when you and I shall begin to have discussions on the thoughts and postulations of these and other men, but unfortunately, it is not here yet. At the moment I wish to draw your attention to the fellow that has been following me since my departure; in the weeks past, he has become quite the problem.

As I mentioned in my last letter, the little spat over the season’s sacrifice resulted in the shocking growth and enlargement of my companion. This growth seems to have affected more than just his size. His voice appears to have changed as well, turning slowly from its playful, high-pitched squeal to a deeper, more ominous baritone. And with this change in tone and size has come a disturbing change in demeanour.    When he first joined me, he yammered about useless, trivial things. I would look upon the sky and marvel at its blueness and he would ask how I knew it was blue and not some other colour. I would breathe the air and marvel at its coolness and he would ask whether or not it was hot to the fellow down the road. There was nothing too little, too simple, for him to have an opinion about, and while at times I found his yammering to be nerve-grating, it was for the most part rather harmless.

All that changed when the Season of the Fast began and I was forced to consider what to give up for you. For the first time, it seemed, he turned introspective; he turned serious. It was as though he understood the gravity of the season, and what a sacrifice to you would entail for a soul as lost as mine. For a few moments I felt he’d finally realised that his constant bickering was of no constructive value, and that he was to be quiet while I tried to sort out my deep questions. Of course that is not what happened. His questions did not cease; they became even more disturbing. There was nothing he did not drill; every point, every sacrifice I considered, he questioned till it could be questioned no more, causing me grow increasingly unsure of its worth and its importance. There was nothing I could hide from him, nothing that was sacred to him. Even when I tried to push from my mind the habits to which I was most attached he latched onto them in an almost prescient manner, asking why I did not wish to consider those for sacrifice, questioning my perceived nobility, how much I actually wished to sacrifice, and whether or not I was simply posturing to sate my inner guilt. In those days after we heard the bell it seemed like he saw into my very soul; I may have made light of the matter at the time, Father, but it was a very troubling period for me.

In the end, overwhelmed with uncertainty and unsure of even my innermost intentions, I decided to default to food. It has proven most helpful and useful, and after assuring myself with soothing words and intimidating the creature with harsh ones, he seemed to  quiet, and I was left in peace. The damage had been done, however, as I found the day after that he’d grown much bigger overnight. When I first noticed this many weeks ago I was filled with a deep dread. I already hated the way he had attacked me on the sacrifices; something told me that his playful and frivolous questions were going to get much fewer, and his deeper and more powerful ones much more numerous.

I mentioned last time how he seems to grow more talkative whenever my thoughts are focused on you and things concerning you. That was why I refused to add your Book to those I was currently focusing upon, in order to pre-emptively keep him from talking. But like a being that knows my innermost thoughts he has brought his questions regardless, determined to force conversation in his direction. It is not enough that I have tried occupying myself with a variety of things, from my on-going quest for you and for Sophie, to my normal duties as one of your children on this earth. Not to be deterred, it seems, he has wormed his new, deep voice into almost everything now. Where his questions were at once fun and foolish they now cast a spectre upon my day, paralysing me completely and preventing me from making a single decision. It is only when faced with matters of extreme urgency, or when I am able to muster the full breadth of my resolve, that I am able to get past his voice. If I have even a modicum of time to think on something, I find it impossible to shut him out.

This has been going on for a while now, and the longer it lasts the larger he grows. I mentioned in my very first letter how I wasn’t sure whether or not he was a minion of You-Know-Who, and in a funny and subversive manner, it seems even he is not aware. I have tried my best to figure out just what he is, and I think I may have arrived at an answer. He is not my conscience, that wonderful thing that many in the House have held up as reason to praise and thank you every day. No. While he may sound and act like it from time to time, I believe he is something even more fundamental than conscience, something that on some level even conscience needs in order to operate. I doubt he is some strange manifestation of myself, or my stereotypical innermost desires. If he were, it would be fun and terrifying to study him, not annoying and incapacitating. No. From the nature of his questions, and the timing of both his appearance and his growth, I believe he is Doubt.

Think about it, dear Father. He questions everything I do, even the very act of doing. He is always there, commenting on even the most mundane of human pursuits. He at times offers amusement and introspection, at others confusion and fear. And perhaps most important of all, he showed himself the moment I left the safety and reassuring protection of the House. Now I have no doubts that he has been with me long before I stepped beyond the Gates of the Rock. I mentioned, in the letter on my reasons, the many questions I had concerning you and your love and your presence; I am certain it was he that was the source of these questions. It seems he joined me when my faculties of reason reached a threshold, when I could finally look upon the world and attempt to understand it.

Where he came from, and who sent him, I do not know. Doubt, I have been told, is a healthy thing, a good thing. Perhaps then he comes from you. That would certainly explain why he grows bigger when I consider the more important issues on this your earth. On the other hand, Doubt is perhaps the underlying motivation behind my departure from the House, which from where I am standing, and from where history has stood, is almost always a bad thing. So perhaps he is from You-Know-Who. It has always struck me as odd that you would allow the Dark One so much access to your House and all within that he is able to plant his minions comfortably among us, and it seems this may be one of them. Strange then that only upon leaving the House did he appear; perhaps you were keeping me from seeing him, that I may defeat him without truly engaging him, and now that I am no longer under your care, you have removed the protective veil…

I have been thinking about what to do with him, Father. I cannot let him continue to grow, and it seems the more I leave him unattended, the more likely that is to happen. I have managed to get to him to cower on occasion, by either berating him into silence or by sufficiently showing him that he is wrong.  Now I am a cultured fellow, dear Father; shouting at someone to get them to shut up is something that should only be done when one has no other recourse. And so it is my initial intention to reason with Doubt. His biggest questions, my biggest doubts, lie with you: Who you are, what you do, where you are, why you seem to have left me, why I am compelled to seek you out. Of course these are perhaps the biggest questions that all of humanity has come to ponder across all ages. Silencing Doubt on such matters will not be easy, and in many ways I doubt simple reason will be sufficient to ensure that he stays quiet – as of this writing there is no issue on which I have managed to guarantee his eternal silence; the best I have been able to achieve is a simple reduction in the frequency of his questions.

So how, Father, shall I tackle and tame my once little friend? With tools learned from my quest for Sophie like reason, truth, observation and evidence? With a dogged, House-like conviction, even as he grows larger and fatter before my very eyes? With choice and fortuitous revelations from you, as you have done for others many times in the past? Of course you know the answer, dearest Father, and of course you will not tell me; I have been told that is not your way. I will not be deterred by this uncertainty, however; it is fairly evident that if the current situation persists the creature will eventually drive me mad, and I am very much in love with my sanity. So I plan to sample all three methods, to the best of my powers of course. Await my letters, dear Father; my battle with this beast is bound to be a very, very interesting one.

With a little hello from Doubt,

Your Prodigal Son

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On My Departure

Dearest Father,

I have left home. I cannot say I am surprised by this, and neither (I expect) can you. And no, that is not a reference to your wonderful gift of knowledge, which permits you to know anything you desire. No; even if you were of limited mind like me and the rest of my brethren, you must have been able to sense this inevitability through my behaviour these past years. I have left home, and I have taken with me my possessions, all that you have given me since the day I was born. I am writing specifically to you and not the rest of the Family because, well, they do not know that I have left. To them, I am simply not around. It is a testament to the size of both the Family and the Ground Floor that I can leave the House completely and no one would be able to tell I am gone. Those in my wing, my dearest, closest relatives, they would simply assume I am visiting another wing. And those in this supposed other wing? They have never met me; they will not be expecting me, and so they cannot be suspicious when I do not show up.

Keeping with tradition, you were absent when I shut the door behind me. You are always absent, even though the official Family line is: “You are Everywhere.” In fact, your apparent absence is among the reasons I left, but I am sure you already knew that. Nevertheless, it would have been nice to have you show up just this once, if only to bid me farewell. You cannot be happy that I am leaving, but I can cynically assume that some of my uncles and aunts Upstairs are slightly pleased by this turn of events; the celebration that is bound to ensue should I return is something I am sure they are looking forward too. Perhaps you share their joy. Regardless, happy or sad, I think, as all children do, that my Father should have been present for an event as momentous as this.

Your absence at the time of my departure is the primary reason I am writing to you. As I said, I took all my possessions. I have been told, however, that it is customary to give departing sons their inheritance as well. I have no idea what this inheritance could possibly be, but I am already giddy with anticipation. You are the greatest Father there is; one can only expect that the inheritance for your children would put the most opulent of humans to shame. I left a note with one of the guards at the gate before I left, but I have not received a reply. This letter addresses that. Without the peace of mind that comes from being at home, I find that I am in dire need of whatever tools you can send me. I know I left willingly, but you are my Father. Indulge me this last time, and I promise not to disturb you again. Besides, this is my inheritance, no?

In other news, the Outside is not nearly as scary as I was made to believe as a child. You cannot imagine (perhaps because you already know) the trepidation that gripped me as I opened the compound gate. I fully expected to be swarmed by You-Know-Who’s minions the moment I stepped out, immediately drowned in their calls and cries. But there was nary a whisper beyond the gates. In fact, had the gate not been standing behind me, I would have wondered if I had even left at all. All that is to say that I am faring quite well; I have seen nothing too shocking or out of the ordinary. I have, however, picked up a friend, a strange creature with tiny wings and bright eyes. It’s been flying beside me all day and even now, as I write, it watches me with its soft, tiny eyes. I am starting to suspect that it is one of his minions. Small fish like me probably deserve small watchers. I do not like it though; it’s eyes are a tad too piercing. I feel like it can stare into my head. Perhaps a tool in my inheritance kit will help me deal with it…

I’ll wrap up now. The bulk of my responsibilities have not changed since I left the House, and I must still attend to them. Alas the life of a young man remains largely the same, whether inside or Outside. I look forward to hearing from you Father; it can be very lonely on the other side of the gate.

With love,

Your Prodigal Son

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