There are two ways of looking at consciousness and the universe, and they seem complementary.
One is that the universe is consciousness, and I am that consciousness. This is what has been described by mystics of all traditions, and what an increasing number of people today awaken to.
The other is that the universe evolves consciousness – which goes through particular phases – and eventually becomes aware of itself as whole and as consciousness.
The first view is that of the whole, of Buddha Mind, God, Existence. The second view is that of consciousness functioning through a small self, not yet fully awakened to itself as Existence.
Footnote: “…the universe is consciousness, and I am that consciousness.” Of course, the “I” here is not the “I” of this body/personality. It is the “I” that is recognized when awareness awakens to its own nature as empty of any particular characteristics. From being exclusively identified with the small self, awareness awakens to its own nature – and then to Big Mind, Buddha Mind. To the universe as consciousness, and I am that consciousness.