Questioner: What is the source of consciousness?
Nisargadatta : Consciousness itself is the source of everything.
Questioner: Can there be life without consciousness?
Nisargadatta : No, nor consciousness without life. They are both one. But in reality only the Ultimate is. The rest is a matter of name and form. And as long as you cling to the idea that only what has name and shape exists, the Supreme will appear to you nonexisting.
When you understand that names and shapes are hollow shells without any content whatsoever, and what is real is nameless and formless, pure energy of life and light of consciousness, you will be at peace -- immersed in the deep silence of reality.
extract from the book "I Am That.pdf " ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj Chapter 13. The Supreme, the Mind and the Body