To continue with another somewhat general topic, let us migrate towards the discussion of hope. In specific, your reaction(s) to the following quote, and also how it differs from your idea of what hope is.
"Hope is the denial of reality. It is the carrot dangled before the draft horse to keep him plodding along in a vain attempt to reach it."
Personally, I took this quote to mean that when you have hope, you are blinding yourself to reality. In connection to the Allegory of the Cave, I saw the light as not reality, but as hope. It lights the darkness, but leaves shadows in its wake, and those shadows are what we fear, because they are the unknown. The darkness is reality, and the only way to face reality is to look away from the light. Thus, they are no more shadows, they are a part of the darkness. The quote goes on, latter, to say that we need to take the carrot away and walk with our eyes open. Hope is not going to save us, hope will do nothing, and if we follow the carrot, we'll be following it until we realize how we've wasted away.
That's how I took the quote in a nutshell. What do you think?