Consciousness is an illusion.
The fallacies that the unity "I" of language and culture represents the whole being and functioning of the organism to which the pronoun is attached, and "I" is able to understand and construct meaningful language, coupled with the ability of areas of the brain to register sensation and simulated sensation, make up the illusion of consciousness.

"I" is conceptual - it is not a causative agent- and only meaningful in language driven culture within the realm we have termed "consciousness".Looking closely at what constitutes "consciousness" - the things of which we are aware.- There is:

 (1) Seeing or vision describes the ability to detect light and interpret it as "sight".
 (2) Hearing or audition is the sense of sound perception and results from tiny hair fibres in the inner ear detecting the motion of atmospheric particles within (at best) a range of 20 to 20000 Hz. Sound can also be detected as vibration by tactition. Lower and higher frequencies than can be heard are detected this way only.
(3) Taste or gustation is one of the two "chemical" senses. Smell or olfaction is the other "chemical" sense.
(4) Tactition is the sense of pressure perception.
(5) Thermoception is the sense of heat and the absence of heat (cold).
(6) Nociception is the perception of pain. It can be classified as from one to three senses, depending on the classification method. The three types of pain receptors are cutaneous (skin), somatic (joints and bones) and visceral (body organs).
(7) Equilibrioception is the perception of balance and is related to cavities containing fluid in the inner ear.
(8) Proprioception is the perception of body awareness and is a sense that people rely on enormously, yet are frequently not aware of.

Add to these senses, emotional feelings, the special auditory and visual stimuli that constitute spoken and written language, an awareness of that strange phenomena silent speech, dreams and imaginings, and that is the limits of what we call "consciousness."

Our hearing and understanding of speech is not  the decoding of the sounds of language in the realm of "consciousness", any more than seeing is an awareness of processes that give rise to it. There is only a "consciousness" of the results of processing and not the processes themselves.

As "I" is conceptual, and only exists within the realm of "consciousness", it has no access to any of the neural processes that produce sensations.If  "perception" is defined as "the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information.",  then all perception is unconscious. There is no "consciousness" of perception, only the effects of perception on sensation.

A span of "consciousness" can be viewed as a continuum of externally and internally generated, or internally simulated, processed sensations. There is no hard question concerning "consciousness", only a hard question concerning sensation: how does the brain utilise diverse stimuli and manifest them as sensation.