Where is your attention?
Who is directing your attention?
Who is receiving what is coming in through your attention?
Consciousness is the faculty of that.
There is general consciousness and then there is one’s own consciousness that we can refer to as “the consciousness”. The latter is what in Gnosis is called “essence,” which in Buddhism is called “buddhatta”. It is that within us which is immutable, eternal, and irreducible. In Gnosis, it is called essence for its essential nature. For Buddhists, the essence has the capacity to become awakened so that one can become an “awakened one” or buddha, hence it is called “buddhatta” for its potential nature.
To say that consciousness is self-awareness is partially correct. Varying levels of self-awareness can weaken or empower the essence. To empower the consciousness we must make the consciousness aware of itself for what it is.
By drawing attention to the consciousness, we can begin to know ourselves beyond the mere established parameters of the personality which is only a facade.
We can further differentiate that consciousness is not the mind. It is not the intellect. The consciousness, mind, and intellect are not the brain. However, when empowered, the consciousness directs the mind and intellect. When the consciousness is asleep, it is instead directed by the mind and the intellect. The clearer we become about the job of the consciousness, the easier we can remain in the superior states of consciousness.