I guess everyone knows about Cervantes's character "Don Quixote" and the metaphor within it's lifestyle. Even though every single individual understands it differently, in my opinion Don Quixote is the image of the visionary, the true free spirit living it's own dream beyond ignorance and the convention we call life, or existence (in terms of society). Despite others perception of him as a madman he has the clearest vision of them all.

Done with presenting my incomplete idea of this character, I will go on with my question, that is:

Considering you live like Don Quixote, in your personal dream, in the subtle meaning of walking your own way, what happens when your dream world collapses and you are banished from it, with no chance of ever turning back home? What is to be done, when it seems the universe itself rejected your destiny, and you are a paria (outcast), a stranger without no belief in any meaning?

  • I tried to vote this up, it doesn't seem to register- This is a valid question regarding the sublime, which is addressed by Kant, Hegel and Nietzche, to say the least. An explanation of the down vote would be helpful. – ataraxic Oct 22 '12 at 14:56
  • 1
    @ataraxic the questioner doesn't mention the sublime (or Kant, Hegel or Nietzsche); can you clarify what you mean a bit? (Just in passing, there are several down votes on the question; I am almost certain your vote has been tallied correctly.) – Joseph Weissman Oct 22 '12 at 23:44
  • Khael's last sentence is a description of sublime experience. -One helpful aspect of answering questions is to let people know what they are hitting upon. A meta suggestion: since one purpose of this forum is to teach, requiring a comment by down voters would help a questioner know how to proceed. As it is, there is no way to know whether the topic itself is being rejected, or how the question has been asked, or...who knows? – ataraxic Oct 23 '12 at 12:53
  • 1
    @ataraxic this discussion really belongs in meta, but just quickly: voting is anonymous for good reasons. Let's not start demanding down voters out themselves; to me that's a significantly worse thing than voting without comment. – Joseph Weissman Oct 23 '12 at 14:19
  • 1
    -1 "We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion." – DBK Nov 5 '12 at 17:40

You are asking what happens when we become aware that what we believe to be the important driving ambition of our life is shown up as insignificant. We experience the sublime. The unpleasant awareness of something more consequential than ourselves which is outside of our knowledge.

See the Ridley Scott film, The Duallists, which is based on a Joseph Conrad novel, which in turn draws on a true story of two French officers in Napolean's army who serve effectively, but their careers are consumed by an absurd perpetual standing challenge. Whenever they cross paths they must dual, and somehow they continually fail to kill one another.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.