Stanislaw Lem, "Golem XIV"
When man wants to learn about himself, he must move circuitously, he must explore himself and penetrate from the outside, with instruments and hypotheses, for your genuinely immediate world is the outside world. A discipline which you have never created (a fact that at one time rather surprised me), the philosophy of the body, ought to have been asking as early as preanatomical times why that body of yours, which to some extent obeys you, says nothing and lies to you ￢ﾀﾔwhy it hides and defends itself against you, alert to the environment with every sense and yet opaque and mistrustful toward its owner. With a finger you can feel every grain of sand, and with your vision you can clearly distinguish the branchings of distant trees, but the arterial branchings of your own heart you are totally unable to feel, although life depends on them. You must content yourselves with information from the shell of your body, which is efficient as long as it is not sensate in its innards, whose every injury reaches you as a vague rumor through the affliction of obscure pain, since you cannot distinguish, from it, between a trifling indisposition and the precursor of destruction.
This ignorance, a rule of the unconsciously efficient body, has been established by Evolution according to a design that does not provide for assistance given, in the body's interior, by its possessor, an assistance in the form of intelligent support in the enduring of pain.
...or in support of creating an 'identity" of one from many. A singular consciousness out of a "collective" outcry from a multiplicity of communications from billions of living cells.