Zen Buddhism considers that all living beings are made of 5 components called aggregates.
Matter = our body
Perception = our 5 senses
Mental= our mental intellectual activity
Feelings= our mental emotional activity
Consciousness is our fifth aggregate. The last on the list but the most important one.
Consciousness is our deeper, genuine, spiritual true “I, me” and not our acquired and transient one
All of us are different physically, mentally and emotionally and yet we all have the same consciousness and awareness.
Consciousness is an universal immaterial entity allowing each of us:
To be aware and experience Reality in its infinite expressions:
Reality inside self such as our material body-brain and non-material mind.
Reality outside self such as our surrounding world thru our 5 senses and thinking..
To function and interact as living being.
Because it is immaterial, consciousness cannot make us aware of Reality and be functional without being “downloaded” or “incarnated” into material entities which act as receptors.
These receptors are called living beings such as you, me or any other living beings. Our body-mind
that is the first 4 aggregates ( see above) can perceive Reality and acts accordingly only through consciousness.
Maybe, an analogy between consciousness and our material entity will be electromagnetic waves (EMW) allowing various receptors such as radio, TV, cell phones, etc.to functions properly.
EMW are “immaterial” but become material when they are received.