While consciousness’ perception of itself, as being something different and separate from the objects in the outside world, (not like the instinctive reaction of other animals which is to un-analytically treat those things in their environment which sustain them as though the sustenance and the consumer are one, and to unthinkingly ignore everything else as though it had no existence), serves well regarding things tangible, it does not fare so well when turned in the other direction.
In that the basis of consciousness’ operation is its instinctive feeling of separateness from whatever, physically, is the focus of its attention, it cannot suddenly, or simply, abandon this programming when it turns its spotlight on matters that are intangible, (primarily speaking). That is, when it turns its attention on itself.
(Amongst the ordinary this results in such fantasia as: religion, philosophy, psychology, literature, literary criticism, cinema, and the cell phone phenomenon.) Consciousness can only think about itself as being something that is somehow separate FROM, and other THAN, itself.
A notion which, when put to paper, is ridiculous. Yet, if you but check in your own head you find that this is undeniably the way consciousness looks at itself….whenever it tries to look at itself.
There it is and there it is.
What-you-are, (which is physical and inalterable), has no image-of-itself; does not think about itself; and has no verbal consciousness of itself. While what-you-think-you-are seems to consciousness to be otherwise – seems like daisies in the flower bed of the former. What-you-think-you-are grows entirely from the soil of what-you-are, and a drab land the latter would be were it not decorated by the blooms of consciousness.