‘It is not at all clear that methods useful to discover the principles behind other aspects of ourselves and our world will be applicable in the case of consciousness. The difficulty of these issues becomes clear when we recognize that the kinds of introspective awareness that show us consciousness are very different from the “extrospective” tools of scientific analysis. No amount of brain research has given us access to consciousness as it manifests internally to each one of us. In fact, knowing everything that we know about the brain would never lead us to posit consciousness as its product if we were not simultaneously aware of consciousness from the inside of experience. Scientists can test and analyze evidence of consciousness in many ways, but can never see consciousness itself from the outside. The gap between internal and external views of consciousness is, at least so far, an unbridgeable one.’ (The Six Perfections)
And these days I tend to think of this as a good thing; that we should be a little humble about this not-knowing, and also how this not-knowing could inform our place in the order of things.