Consciousness And Experience
There are only two ways to explain consciousness, a personal subjective one, or an apersonal observational one. With the first option, no explaination is valid or necessary as every personal experience is unique and to fully explain it to others would be impossible. With the second option, consciousness is an observed behaviour with a outcome that can be predictable or unpredictable, but no more mysterious or complex than the actions of any machine or cause-effect system.
The mechanical causes of consciousness can not be completely determined by analysing our own experiences of consciousness, only by analysing what we think of as consciousness in others. To try to explain consciousness by self-analysis would never permit sufficient separation of the physical world and personal experiences, which are always unreliably subjective.
Anything that can only be defined by personal subjective experience cannot exist in a world without ourselves, and a world without ourselves is inevitable at some point, unless we wish to believe in a universe that exists only from our personal viewpoint (and thus, the universe ends when we die).
There are only two options; If our personal view of the universe is the valid one, then we don't need to explain consciousness. It is what we feel it is, and cannot exist beyond us. If, on the other hand, consciousness can exist beyond us, then it can only be explained and analysed independently of any feeling, experience, quale that occurs within us; it is then also easily explained as a behavioural phenomena.