Many believe consciousness comes from the body but how can consciousness arise from a combination of five inert elements of which the body is made – earth, water, fire, air and space? Or even the expanded 118 elements of the period table? In other words, how can something, sentience, come from nothing, insentience?
Does moonlight come from the moon? It appears to but it is reflected light from the sun. In this moonlight metaphor, the moon is a stand in for the jiva (human being) a reflective medium, while the sun is original light or consciousness (Brahman). The Vedas share that jivas borrow their sentience from the one sentience – consciousness.
The Five Features of Consciousness. A summary from the Upanishads by Swami Paramarthananda.
1. Consciousness is not a part, property, or product of the body.
2. Consciousness is an independent entity, which pervades the body and makes it sentient.
3. Consciousness is not limited by the boundaries of the body.
4. Consciousness survives the destruction of the body; it continues to exist even after the death of the body.
5. The surviving Consciousness is unrecognizable because the reflecting medium called the body is not there.