If the universe consists of matter, and if matter is all there is, and if everything is reducible to the interaction of elementary particles, as many scientists say nowadays, then consciousness must be a reflexive relation of matter to itself, seen as a property of matter. In this sense consciousness would be cosmos perceiving itself. But from the materialistic point of view this matter's property of seeing itself would not be necessary. We only happen to be here, seeing the world around us, and the world could just as well be there without us. This seems very implausible to me.Pelegrin_1 wrote:“We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos
I think we must turn the picture upside down. What it self-evident is the being of the transcendental subject, the Cartesian 'I am', or the 'metaphysical I' of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, which is the precondition of all being, something we cannot get rid of. But the being of the subject presupposes the being of the material world, which in turn can be interpreted as my relation to the others. The world is material because the others must be material in order to be in relation to me. But the others, just because they are others, i.e. other subjects, are manifestations of the transcendental subject, the very same 'I am'. So in the end the world, or universe, just because it is material, is the relation of the transcendental subject to itself, or my relation to myself. And this makes reality causa sui, potentially transparent to itself, and the being of the universe needs no explanation, because it is the relation of the self-evident subjectivity to itself, not the transcendent, irrational element that Sartre saw as “superfluous”.
To complete the picture, an additional element is needed, not so popular nowadays but necessary in this context, namely a modified concept of transmigration. So the transcendental subject has a spatial and temporal relation to itself. The spatial relation, through the material universe, guarantees its being in general and maybe in the end its transparency to itself, and the temporal relation, through transmigration, guarantees its eternal being.
Now, this is speculation, of course, and a metaphysical hypothesis, but I think philosophers must have some courage in addition to critical mind.