In the beginning, which is really no beginning and which has no spiritual meaning except in our finite life, the will wants to know itself, and consciousness is awakened and with the awakening of consciousness the will is split in two. The one will, whole and complete in itself is now at once actor and observer. Conflict is inevitable; for the actor now wants to be free from limitations under which he has been obliged to put himself in his desire for consciousness. He has in one sense been enabled to see, but at the same time there is something which he, as observer, cannot see.
D.T Suzuki wrote those thoughts in his 1927 book, Essays in Zen Buddhism. Defining consciousness is a difficult task. Consciousness is not just the awareness of our reality; it is in and around everything that exists physically as well as non-physically. Understanding consciousness takes more than rational thought so there are aspects and regions of consciousness that exist and function in ways that boggle our understanding. Our conscious mind paints a picture of our reality. Our ego focuses on that picture. Just like a flower that has many parts our consciousness is composed of parts as well. Each part is a whole within a whole. The inner self, the conscious mind, and the go are all designed to create the reality we believe we want. Believe is the trigger word for experiencing our reality.
Each aspect of our consciousness functions within a family of consciousness. The family is constantly changing based on our beliefs about it. We are products of a family of consciousness that forms individual aspects of itself in order to experience its own interpretation of an aliquant consciousness in physical form. Other qualities of consciousness interact with our family, and the result is a diverse reality.
That reality is our focused reality. Just outside of that focus is a plethora of realities that exist within the ever-changing regions of consciousness. There are fluctuations and gradations within this activity that go unnoticed since we rely on our ego to identify what is real. What is real extends outward with each thought we have so the result is an ever blooming consciousness that senses other parts of itself, but may not be in any hurry to accept them.