There are various problems as to how we can be conscious now of what no longer exists.
You may be conscious of a friend either by seeing him or by "thinking" of him; and by "thought" you can be conscious of objects which cannot be seen, such as the human race, or physiology.
Looking fixedly eastward he seemed to be conscious
of some faint lightening in the sky.
Her presence and her touch upon his breast or face would often stop this, and then they learned to expect that he would for some time remain still, with his eyes closed, and that he would be conscious
on opening them.