Having traversed the various planes of consciousness it has become clear that consciousness itself is not findable. Consciousness is none other than what appears. Consciousness appears as this room and the words you are reading. It appears as the thoughts you are having and the body you are experiencing. It appears as the path, the various stages and fruitions of awakening. All your experiences are Consciousness. Because Consciousness is not findable the terms "itself" and "essence" are actually unfitting. It is neither existent nor non-existent. How can we say it exists if it cannot be found? How can we say it does not exist when experience is uninterrupted?
Consciousness cannot be located, pinpointed or isolated whatsoever. It cannot be contained or defined.
Consciousness on this physical plane appears as the body with it's senses and the mind with it's faculties. Consciousness on non-physical planes appears differently. In the astral plane it appears as a body of light with astral senses which are non-physical. On higher planes Consciousness/experience becomes less and less form based and linear. For example, Consciousness can appear as multiple realities— body/minds simultaneously. Imagine having 3 or 4 dreams at once. It seems impossible from the standpoint of physical 3-dimensional perception.
In cosmic-consciousness, Consciousness appears as the vastness of space, oceans of stars, nebulas even galaxies. In what some call God-consciousness, Consciousness appears as total infinity & eternity. Our world is only a speck in an unending ocean of light brighter than ten billion suns. Consciousness appears as that ocean, that infinity. The configurations of Consciousness are limitless. This Consciousness is without root, it has no discernible nature. Since it is unborn it is called No-Mind, Emptiness, Mahamudra, Radiant Presence, Perfection of Wisdom, Dharmakaya— the names are endless.
A configuration of unfindable Consciousness is intelligence— that which discerns, and conceives itself as an entity and so suffers from it’s own imaginings. The intelligence in and of each plane/configuration is none other than Consciousness itself. You as a person are a configuration of Consciousness. You as human, astral, mental, causal, cosmic and God-consciousness are all configurations/levels of Consciousness.
If the fundamental nature— Consciousness is not definable or findable, what is it then that is growing, developing and changing? Objects in dreams, also configurations of Consciousness, undergo transformation but nonetheless are products of the dream itself. What is the dream itself? Within the dream can you point to anything that is not the dream? Within experience can you point to anything that is not Consciousness?
The dream is none other than what appears as the dreamscape. Consciousness likewise is none other than what appears as configuration. The dream is the dreamscape. The dreamscape is the dream. Consciousness is configuration. Configuration is Consciousness. So the Zen saying “the Mountains, Rivers and Stars are none other than Buddha.” This means All is the fundamental nature. No thing is not It, yet It is not anything.
Consciousness has no end and it has no beginning. Whatever we define as beginnings and endings are in actuality Consciousness only. What we define as the beginning or ending of a thing is a designation by Intelligence, in this case, of human configuration. In dreams there are people, objects, situations, dramas, and environments of every sort. They are all the dream. Life is no different. It is all Consciousness/Configuration.