"Feelings. Whoa, whoa, whoa, feelings."
I doubt that homo semi sapiens, an accident of evolution, can understand consciousness.
Though early attempts may require the participation of some kind of god — think the Ancient Greeks and their warring gods in the sky, I suppose that trying to understand it is better than quitting.
I think consciousness, which begins life, occurs the moment our electron (bonded to other electrons we call people) creates a vibration. The formed wave has particles which our electron interprets as sensory data and a mostly shared story (which we call reality) forms. Everything except the electrons are an illusion, however. Death is what happens when our electron changes polarity and frees itself from the bond. We again float in Tao's calm space until bonding again. The vibration is familiar so we may have a sense of having been here before but each bonding creates a new Universe. My guess is that what we see in the Universe are representations of the calm, circular, expanded original Universe called Tao. Time is part of Tao and causes the magnetic polarities.
evolution is an accident.