Consciousness is the quality or state of being aware.  To be conscious in the philosophical sense means to have mental processes that are self-directed  and which provide a locus of subjective experience. Animals are alleged to possess a form of consciousness  although this is not necessarily to be equated with the Christian notion of having moral worth or an immortal soul.
Consciousness in Buddhism
Consciousness or Vijnana in Sanskrit is the fifth of the Five aggregates in Buddhist philosophy of mind.
- ↑ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consciousness
- ↑ http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=fDMNg2y9UN8C&pg=PA161&dq=consciousness+%22self-directedness%22
- ↑ http://www.consciousentities.com/bats.htm
- ↑ http://psyche.cs.monash.edu.au/v5/psyche-5-16-saidel.html
- ↑ http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/448