Can you remember the time when humans thought that the mystery of the human brain could never be resolved? Probably not, as it is some 80 years ago. We have had some tremendous accomplishments in the field of neuroscience that enabled technologies such as deep brain stimulation implants for PD patients.
Nowadays we ask ourselfes the same question about consciousness: is it truely something special, given to us by a greater entity or "merely" an emergent property of functions designed for better survival and social bonding (which would be just as astonishing)?
Scientists are getting closer to resolving what conciousness is, by observing the moment a decision is conciously made after the unconscious data gathering the brain does.
But have a look yourself:
ScienceDaily - witnessing the brains "aha!"moment
There is also a very interesting TED talk about what consciousness is.
Watch it before reading on, as I spoiler the end here:
I do not fully agree with the conclusion drawn that a mind cannot be transferred to a machine.
We can simulate parts of the brain with computer chips and parts if the "living, breathing" body by prosthetics.
And as he states even a "simulated" hand feels natural, so why shouldn't this hold true for the brain and consciousness itself.
But give the talk some thought yourself... ;)