The persistence of instinctive life in the guise of human intelligence is one of my most constant and profound contemplations. The artificial disguise of consciousness only highlights for me the unconsciousness it doesn’t succeed in disguising. From birth to death, man is the slave of the same external dimension that rules animals. Throughout his life he doesn’t live, he vegetatively thrives, with greater intensity and complexity than an animal. He’s guided by norms without knowing that they guide him or even that they exist, and all his ideas, feelings and acts are unconscious—not because there’s no consciousness in them but because there aren’t two consciousnesses. Flashes of awareness that we live an illusion—that, and no more, is what distinguishes the greatest of men.
— Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet