In Self Realization (Cosmic Consciousness), the unbounded consciousness or Self within wakes up to itself through this apparent body-mind. The subject or observer value of consciousness awakens to itself here. The point wakes up to its wholeness.
With the Unity shift, the Self within recognizes itself in the world. The subject wakes up to itself in the objects of experience. I am that, and that, and that.
This develops in stages as we live life and experience everything as mySelf. Gradually, it deepens through the layers of experience, including memory and aspects of creation beyond experience. In other words, there is an initial recognition or realization followed by a whole series of further ones. As the Brahman Sutra describes, we build an aggregate of wholeness.
Soon, we shift from a subject-object relationship into a deeper Oneness. They are simply one. In the dynamics of consciousness, this leaves just the process of experience or devata value. Experiences arise and are contained within the space of consciousness which is mySelf.
This takes us into the Refined Unity stage, especially if there has been a Refined Self Realization (God Consciousness) stage prior to Unity.
The flow of consciousness through all forms and experiences becomes clear plus the mechanics of their becoming. There is also a progressive merging with all values and layers of experience culminating in God Realization. We become the expressed divine, merging with our beloved or developing a much deeper relationship.
And that opens the door to Brahman. Your road through these steps will vary. But it is the refinement of wholeness that leads to the Great Awakening.