The philosophy of Existentialism exemplifies just such a situation. For, in their vision of how ordinary people ordinarily live their lives, the Existentialists also give enormous weight to the power of received social signs. Considerable portions of Heidegger's Being and Time and Sartre's Being and Nothingness are devoted to showing how easily human beings slip into making institutions of themselves, how frequently they are governed by external roles and images, and, above all, how deeply they fall under the spell of language. In his autobiographical essay Words, Sartre even goes so far as to explain his whole childhood and adolescent personality as the product of other people's words. For Sartre and Heidegger, received social signs run so deep that we can break free from them only by going through the experience of the Absurd – only by confronting an utterly blank world denuded of all ordinary socially created intelligibility, only by discovering an utterly bare self denuded of all ordinary socially created personality. An extraordinary and desperate kind of experience: yet Sartre and Heidegger give us the moral obligation of going through it. For the mere possibility of the experience enables the Existentialist philosopher to turn the tables on his own vision of how ordinary people ordinarily live their lives.