There is irony in the modern idea that consciousness is an accidental side effect of brain complexity.
Actually, it’s the other way around. The impression we are a body comes from identification with the appearance of it. We could refer to the body as a side effect of the dynamics of consciousness.
Our first liberation in Self Realization is liberation from that identification with the body-mind, with the idea of a local me.
The second liberation is that of the heart and senses in God Consciousness.
The third liberation in Unity is a deeper freedom from the local sense of self when we recognize we are everything.
A further liberation is from consciousness and all prior enlightenment into Brahman.
And a still further liberation is from Brahman into pure Divinity.
Eventually, even the body is liberated. But that is yet to come as it’s not individual.
To understand this, remember that even the first awakening is from the local sense of being a separate individual. At some point, usually after Unity, we recognize we are cosmic, even on the level of the body.
As each apparent person wakes up, that aspect of the cosmic awakens – including the body.
When enough aspects of the comic awaken, the group consciousness steps up into an “as if” awakened state. The majority enjoy a value of enlightenment. This enables a much greater value of Divinity to be embodied. That leads to a higher group consciousness, and so forth. These are the side effects we really want. 🙂
We live in remarkable times.