An instinct of self-preservation is precisely what man does not possess. An
“instinct” is an unerring and automatic form of knowledge. A desire is not an
instinct. A desire to live does not give you the knowledge required for living.
And even man’s desire to live is not automatic . . . Your fear of death is not
a love for life and will not give you the knowledge needed to keep it. Man must
obtain his knowledge and choose his actions by a process of thinking, which
nature will not force him to perform. Man has the power to act as his own
destroyer—and that is the way he has acted through most of his history.