"We know we are alive and know we will die. We also know we will suffer during our lives before suffering - slowly or quickly - as we draw near death. This is the knowledge we “enjoy” as the most intelligent organisms to gush from the womb of nature. And being so, we feel shortchanged if there is nothing else for us than to survive, reproduce, and die. We want there to be more to it than that, or to think that there is. This is the tragedy: Consciousness has forced us into the paradoxical position of striving to be unself-conscious of what we are - hunks of spoiling flesh on disintegrating bones. Nonhuman occupants of this planet are unaware of death. But we are susceptible to startling and dreadful thoughts, and we need some fabulous illusions to take our minds off them. For us, then, life is a confidence trick we must run on ourselves, hoping we do not catch on to any monkey business that would leave us stripped of our defense mechanisms and standing stark naked before the silent, staring void."