CONSCIOUSNESS: How much time each day do you actually spend conscious? I don't mean merely awake, I mean self-aware. How much time do you spend just following patterns of action and mindlessly executing one program after another? Wake up, get dressed, drive to work/school, sit/stand around for a few hours, drive home, watch TV, go to sleep. If you're like most people, you turn the radio on in the car while you're driving to keep your mind occupied, so that you don't have to actually think about anything during this otherwise dead time. Most of our daily activities do not require conscious thought to perform. We do it once, learn the ropes, and then just follow the same pattern over and over again.
How many of us truely are intelligent beings? Every single human? Most? A few? None? Cogito ergo sum -- I think, therefore I am. I have no doubt that every human has some periods of self-awareness, but I think they're rare and spread far between, and most people don't even realize it. Thinking is a lot of work, and it's more efficient to develop patterns and heuristics to help us make decisions and carry out our every-day activities. I'm certainly not saying that these routines are bad; can you imagine how frustrating it would be if you had to devote considerable mental energy every time you drove to work?
It seems as if the goal of many people is to think as little as possible.