As I've been writing Neuro-Space/Time Magic and exploring the concept of Identity, and how genuine changes occur in a person's life, I've been thinking a lot about consciousness. Consciousness is put on a pedestal in a way, as a big accomplishment, and I understand why that is. Consciousness, when applied in a mindful manner, can help a person control his/her reactions and even develop proactive strategies. As a friend of mine put it, it's awareness of awareness, which is significant when you consider that such awareness can be used to put a situation and responses into perspective. But (you knew there was a but coming), I also think that consciousness is a reaction. It's a reaction to the environment around you, as well as your internal responses to that environment. It's a reaction that focuses on controlling your response. You realize that a controlled response is the best possible solution for handling the situation. And perhaps what makes consciousness so useful is that such awareness can be used to put into place responses that are more useful for handling future situations. Awareness without action won't change anything, but awareness with action changes a lot. Those actions can be integrated into how we respond to situations, and in that process we can acknowledge that such actions are still reactions...conscious reactions applied to handle a situation from a place of awareness.
For a change to occur as it applies to behavior, you've got to make that change on a deep level. It's a change of identity, which includes a change of values and beliefs in order to support the action you'll take. Those kind of changes go deeper than conscious awareness, but conscious awareness can be used to go in and implant those changes and make them part of your reactive responses.
Consciousness is a tool. It provides some awareness of self, enough to be aware of the need to change and enough to allow a person to enter into an altered state of consciousness to go in and make those changes...and we'll still react...we'll just react with chosen reactions as opposed to ones put on us by events an circumstances.