Let us take some time and examine the viability of your senses to provide real understanding. Your senses are of limited quality. For instance, our vision is limited to within a certain range of light waves. Physicists tell us that the total known range of light waves is from far infrared at 3 millimeters, to vacuum ultraviolet, at .3 nanometers, (one-billionth of a meter). The average range of light waves visible to human senses is from 400 to 700 nanometers. We hear within a specific decibel range. We taste, touch, and smell all within specific ranges of flavors and tactile sensations, These given sense limitations function as a clearinghouse, filtering out all senatations not precisely corresponding to our standard range of reception. The result of this filtering process produces a standard range of experience patterns, and their corresponding states of consciousness. So within the limited range of our senses is a broad spectrum of possible misperceptions. Who has not misperceived a coiled rope or hose for a snake, or a leaf lying on the ground as a bird or squirrel? Thus we can understand that using our senses as a competent measure of reality is not always reliable, couple that with the capacity of our emotions to misinterpret our perception of reality, and we have a formidable dynamic for misperception. There is a American Indian saying that gives credence to our capacity to misperceive our senses, in goes: "Believe, only 50% of what you see, and nothing of what you hear."
Thus far we have a good argument for not trusting our senses to distinguish reality, but that is not altogether enough evidence to conclude that a rock has consciousness. Here we will turn to a specific field of physics called Quantum Physics for an opinion. Scientist in this field, theorize that at the core of the material world there is a non-material realm that can be termed consciousness. And as we can say that the material world is made up of atoms, we can also say that this indwelling field of consciousness is what the universe is made of. A rock then, is fundamentally made up of fields of electromagnetic energy-molecules modulating on an energy level of very high frequency and low amplitude. The rock's outer wrapping (as to density, form, and color) is the direct effect of the quality of the energy radiating from within. Thus even a rock, whose outer nature appears inert, has an inner, non-visible nature of dynamic energy.
In the Chandogya Upanishad, a father, Uddalaka is teaching his son, Svetaketu about the invisible nature, called the Self, our higher Self, the Atman:
..."Please Father, tell me more about the Self."
"Yes, dear one, I will,Uddalaka said.
Bring me a fruit from the nyagrodha tree."
"Here it is, sir."
"Brake it, What do you see?"
"These seeds, Father, all exceedingly small."
"Break one, What do you see?"
"Nothing at all."
"That hidden essence you do not see dear one,
From that a whole nyagrodha tree will grow.
There is nothing that does not come from him.
Of everything he is the inmost Self.
He is truth; he is the Self supreme.
You are that, Svetaketu; you are that."
Consciousness is a medium that we, and all things manifest, live, move, and have our being; much as water is the medium of aquatic beings. It is the essential core of all being and is the nexus between all manifestation. The same core of consciousness is within you, as Lao-Tzu calls the "10,000 things."
However, not only does consciousness support and sustain being, but also generates it. Consciousness as consciousness, is a pervasive, most subtle, ether like fluid, infilling space, the largest mass, and the most minute particle, all this while maintaining its infinity. Its is analogous to our Sun-probably the highest consciousness in our solar system. The Sun continuously emits its rays in a 360 degree pattern. It does not discriminate where its rays impact. All things within its range receive as much unconditioned sunlight as they are capable of receiving. Yet the Sun's essential quality remains the unchanged. Of course, even the Sun lives, moves, and has its being from Universal Consciousness, and this is were a complete analogy brakes down.
Here, as we are discussing Universal Consciousness, know we are touching the apex of thought. Our thoughts are reaching to our Source. This is such a sacred sphere of thought that the ancients would not blasphemy by giving a name to the Source. In the Sentences of Sextus, Sextus the Pythagorean, says, "Do not investigate the name of God because you will not find it. For everything called by a name receives its appellation from that which is more worthy then itself. So that it is one person that calls and another that hears. Who is it, therefore , who has given a name to God?"... To the ancient sages, God was Unspeakable, Unutterable, Ineffable. They would speak of It in the most pure and sacred location, among humans of wisdom, and would only mention It in the most universal terms, such as, That, Self, That which is and is not. Consciousness qua consciousness, in its most pure and universal ideation, is the quintessence of all being; Consciousness is the Source. All things originate from that, all evolutionary developments appear under Its will, and all things will return to It.
Contemplate the idea of Universal Consciousness; let your mind open to Its possibility.
One truth many paths. Be good do good.