For two reasons, I believe that all Consciousness in this sphere is based in human souls. The first reason is because I was shown this as part of the message I received, and that human souls have the capability to change the rules of this sphere, and ultimately, collectively remove themselves from it. The second reason is that human souls have the ability to perceive this universe, this sphere of existence, in all its complexity and immensity. The powers of perception we have gifted ourselves with are that strong.
So, what about trees and animals? Do they not have their own consciousness? At its ultimate, Consciousness could reside at the base of everything in our perceived existence: trees, animals, rocks, the earth, stars, galaxies. All of our perceptions could arise out of their own pieces of Consciousness, or they could arise into existence in our perceptions, out of our collective souls’ Consciousness. I favor the latter, and it makes them no less “real.”
I don’t want to take this question of “where consciousness resides” too far, since I sense the structure of this is extremely complex. Suffice it to say that my ego is an offshoot of my soul, possessing consciousness albeit in a more limited form than my soul. My body is a perception of my soul, experienced by my ego. So the only true consciousness resides in my soul. In the same way that my soul produces my body, it can produce everything that I experience in life and in the afterlife, all produced as perceptions. All of these perceived beings/things are as real as my body, and my body is a perception as well .
You might be thinking that it is too self-important to believe that we human souls are the centerpiece of our sphere of existence, with nothing else really present, only perceptions. I have thought the same as well, but as I have worked more and more with these ideas, and sensed the vast array of possibilities beyond duality, and beyond simple existence or non-existence, I have come to accept our souls as the sole inhabitants of this sphere. Remember, there is an infinite array of spheres out there in addition to our little sphere. That knowledge makes us seem much less important, and puts us in our place. But we still have important work to do.
How does an ego come into existence? To create an ego, the soul puts a “suit” on an extension of itself. So the extension is still Consciousness, but the “suit” provides an emotional make-up, an intellectual ability and orientation, a personality, and particular aspects of karma built up through past lives (other ego extensions of the soul).
In the ego, Consciousness is experiencing through a much more limited fashion than through the soul, which is already limited due to being in this sphere and subject to the strictures of duality. A needed evolution in this life eventually is to discard more and more pieces of the “suit” so that we egos become more fully our souls. And then ultimately for our souls to identify and discard more and more of duality so that they can return to the basic substance of their souls, pure Consciousness, without the strictures of duality.