at a loss
There is something outrageous in a person’s misdirecting a traveller who has lost his way and then leaving him to himself in error, yet what is that compared with causing someone to go astray in himself? The lost traveller, after all, has a consolation that the country around him is constantly changing, and with every change is born a new hope of finding a way out. A person who goes astray inwardly has less room for manoeuvre; he soon finds he is going round in a circle from which he cannot escape.
(but taken from The Seducer’s Diary, p.6).