The New Oxford Dictionary defines ‘conscious’ as:  aware of (and (indeed equal tomy opinion) responding to) one’s surroundings: awake.  The term is derived from Latin conscious, ‘knowing with others or in oneself (from ‘con’ with + scire ‘know’ as in ‘be privy to’).


True primary knowledge is the immediate (to wit, unmediated, therefore real) response to contact. A contact (as single quantum) is an impact (such as the affect of a photon that strikes the eye stressor or a wave particle that strikes the ear), hence a (one-off) stressor (read: bit).


Contact stresses, hence triggers a response. A series of contacts triggers a series of responses. A biological hence dynamic system responding to a series of contacts appears (to an observer or a self-observer) to be alive. Creating an internal (meaning mental, hence virtual) connection between a series of contacts (hence a (secondary knowledge) pattern or map, to wit, a visual or sound image (i.e. a byte), all virtual, then applying (i.e. stressing, i.e. contacting) oneself with that map/image produces the self-affect of consciousness.


In short, consciousness happens as the function of internal, hence virtual pattern or map (=image) reading, the map (=image) deriving from the memory of contact series. Each map (or image) represents (virtually) a particular actual system state. Hence, consciousness serves as continuous system states reporting function. It is user friendly because vast streams of data have been compressed and transformed into easily accessible patterns or maps/images.


Obviously, the map (i.e. consciousness = the coming (or continuously relating) together of a series of individual contacts as bits of primary knowledge) is not the territory (i.e. the reality of a primary contact). The map (or image) created in the brain happens as virtual reality/territory. The actual (or real) territory in fact presents (hence acts as) quantised, that is to say, it happens (and therefore momentarily is because contact happens @ 1c2 capacity) as individual bit impact/stressor.


By providing system states reports, past, present and future, consciousness serves as navigation aid. It provides to the brain with user friendly data (i.e. images = maps) which the brain needs so that it can compute the probable best next step towards increased survival capacity, meaning, acquiring food, a mate or avoiding danger.



In this regard see:  Understanding the brain as blind biological navigation system, i.e. as Bio-Nav