Shortly after Paul began studying the Way of Ni Tzu he dropped out of College. For five years he traveled his country, and lived in various walks of life, finding those where he could live as a free spirit. Doing work that intrigued him, though only making compensation affording an ascetic's lifestyle, and meeting and learning from many people, but very much apart from those around him. During this time he practiced the Way of Ni Tzu, which his friend from College, Atony, had initiated him into at the camel level, and learned many mysteries of the world, and most especially those which had been reveiled by the Great Prophet Zarathustra.
Then Paul fell into one of the subtle prisons of his country, though it was too subtle for him to notice this happening to himself. One morning the Sun gave its light through the basement window as Paul sat up, and Paul saw his shadow cast upon the carpet.
"Shadow" said he "how can it be, that I waste in this cave? How long have I been here? Never mind, what does time even matter in this cell! Wasn't I free just yesterday, or no, yesteryear? Yes, I was a free spirit, I remember that now, what I had started to forget. When I was cold I would follow my Inspiration with confidence. When I thirsted I would divide my needs through Intuition. When my situation became precarious I would Implement another. Am I now Imagining an escape?
"You are an honest shadow cast from a reliable source, the Sun! Oh, but let me tell you, there are deceptive lying shadows in the world! This cave is packed with those kinds of shadows. See? In the corner there? That is a machine that makes shadows, but casts them in the image of true things, faked through the whole surface! Spend enough time with it, and you can begin to believe that those shadows are the truth, that the shadow is the real world! They pretend to be what cast them. Not like you, you mine me, and imitate, but doesn't pretend to be anything but what you are, my dear shadow.
"I remember now, yes, I remember clearly, from when I was free, that brief time when I had burst from the prison? With out getting my release papers, my diploma they called it. I wandered a world imprisoned. Everyone lived in these little caves, thinking themselves to be free, to have access to the whole world. They saw the shadows they were given, and thought they had the world at their fingertips. Even when they left their caves, they carry little boxes of shadows with them, and those who have friend do so like family visiting a prisoner... communicating through a clear screen. Yes, I remember, there is no lock... yes the guards call this 'my room' and they don't lock it, only the shadows, images of the imaginations of my keepers, are there to hold me here.
"Oh! Thank you shadow! Oh, how did I slumber so?"