I’m a dualist which means that I think that mind is fundamentally separate to matter and whilst your brain and nervous system might be the materialists answer to the question of mind and consciousness, I personally am not convinced. This is just mere mechanics not self awareness.
I believe in a type of substance dualism that mind and matter are made from two different types of material, one that is easy to cut up and examine, measure and play with (ordinary matter) and mind that has all of the opposite properties of matter. Both however are different expressions of the same thing.
I often think that when a person falls asleep the mind is devoid of all sense input from the body and rests for a while, when it can’t rest any longer it starts to create a brand new, fully formed and interesting reality for itself, replete with all sorts of sensations, experiences and differing laws of physics. We recognise this as a dream. The dream ends and after a brief few hours of non existence we get another dream and another, finally waking to this one consistent reality in the morning.
I further philosophise that when we die, the mind (being devoid of a body) cannot wake up so it is forced to do the same type of thing.
In a sense it dreams an afterlife for itself, how long this can go on for I do not know. Eventually however, I think the mind must once again attach to a body and emerge in this consistent reality we call life in the same way that we often dream the same dream or the same type of dream over and over again.
This begs the question is this reality also a dream?