For most, there is a big difference between what we’re experiencing and what consciousness is experiencing through us. When we’re identified with the mind and person, our vantage point is through that lens. Even though consciousness enables all experience, when we’re identified with a local person, we’re confined to that content and mechanism.
Yet consciousness itself doesn’t have that filter. So we can suffer even when our true nature is benefiting from the experience.
For example, in Unity stage, consciousness is increasingly comprehensive. Whatever we put our attention on, we recognize ourselves as. For example, we put our attention on a cat, bird, or tree and experience what it is to be that being. However, as consciousness, our experience is not the same as the occupant who is identified with the content of their experience.
In another example, I’ve experienced the Self wake up to itself through another person a number of times. (When you are that Self, another aspect of you is waking up so it’s shared.) However: did they recognize the shift? Sometimes yes, sometimes they’re uncertain, and sometimes no. Yet, at some point, the person will dissolve enough that they will recognize it. Then the awakening becomes abiding.
The distinction between the local and cosmic perspectives becomes less and less as we climb the stages. And we become able to shift between the koshas (layers) as easily as shifting focus.
In this curious way, we’re already awake. It’s only for the local to see through the fog of identification to discover its true nature as cosmic. Thou art That.