Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.
When we move beyond the ‘hard problem of consciousness’ by abandoning the tacit premises of materialism and physicalism, a vast panorama of questions opens up.
Is consciousness indeed, as Schrödinger suggests above, the primal experience, the elementary primary fact all our philosophy and all our science are built upon?
Does consciousness arise in the world, according to the physicalist view (e.g., when a sufficiently complex nervous system evolves), or does the world arise in consciousness? And, if the latter is the case, how does that happen? If the world is a dream arising in consciousness, why does it arise? And why is the dream structured as it is, why is it a cosmos, not a chaos?
Matter and spacetime appear to have their own order, their own laws that govern our experience. Are those laws intrinsic to consciousness? Are they in turn a creation of consciousness?
Another possible approach is that of pantheism. In this perspective the world exists and consciousness exists, they are both primary. But the world is infused with consciousness, everything is conscious to some degree, from the most elementary (say, an elementary particle) to the cosmic scale of the universe itself.
If that is so, why are we not aware of it? The reason might be that we recognize consciousness only when it is close enough to our own level. I am aware of the consciousness of my dogs and cats, but the consciousness of an atom and that of a solar system both elude me, they are too different.
Or you might say matter and consciousness are just two sides of one coin. Dual aspect monism suggests that mind and matter are the dual manifestation of one substance, which is perceived from the inside (in the first person) as consciousness, from the outside (in the third person) as things.
In Re-Visioning Consciousness, we will explore together the tip of the iceberg of these profound questions, perhaps the closest philosophical enquiry comes to our existential and emotional involvement.