"Consciousness" is almost a cop-out. Of course, it is the only epiphenomenon we can agree on. Rather than "I think, therefore I am," we can say "I am conscious, therefore I am." But the nondualist would say, "There is simply and only unity consciousness -- nobody unique exists -- there is no you or me ... just consciousness." And the mind says..."hogwash." Because the mind bifurcates and labels and "owns" its thoughts. (Yes, and synthesizes and organizes and discovers stuff.)The sense object is an object appearing IN consciousness. The sense organ is also clearly an object appearing IN consciousness. They are both objects appearing to you, and if you look, they are not actually perceived 'out there'.
The challenge is not to refine our concepts, but to experience the unity. And yes, some approach that experience by seeking and studying -- jnani yoga. So when Peter Dziuban, enigma, David Carse, Tony Parsons and others say "Consciousness is All" in 50 different ways, maybe one bell rings...maybe a tiny epiphany...maybe not.
I happen to agree that "Consciousness is All," but, to use David Carse's phrase, the "divine hypnosis" of maya/samsara is rather compelling. How do we know that? Well, mainly because 95% of the people in our society buy in to all of the egoic mental structures which assign and elevate the concept of separate selves...and have for millenia, the distant Upanishads being tossed in a corner.
This forum and our favorite authors and teachers are a whisper in the tornado. Have a great 2011 anyway!