Consciousness is us as the observer. We are not our thoughts and emotions. They belong to the energy field we are within. The human. Once we realise we are not who we think we are, we can explore our experiences within this life from a different perspective. Then we can become conscious of the world around us at any time.
There is reference to both a lower and higher state of consciousness. The lower state is day to day living and the higher state when we think also of others. This is a very fundamental way of explaining consciousness. It is inaccurate. Consciousness is an experience of an even higher state that has nothing to do with the human ego.
Consciousness is best explained as being in the present; the now. In this state of awareness, we can notice every detail within the surrounding environment. This might take some practice, but once you feel as part of the universe, you can start to accumulate some psychic traits, “magical” abilities and what was occult knowledge.