This may be the most interesting subject in the world: consciousness. Something we all experience (at least, I think everyone else is conscious), something that defines us, something that can’t be seen or measured. Something that completely eludes science (so far). The “Hard Problem” indeed.
About the only thing we (sort of) know about consciousness is that it’s associated with the brain. Cut off a hand, it hurts, but you’re still you. But damage the brain sufficiently, and you’re gone. People like to talk about having a soul, and even as an irreligious agnostic I have no argument with that. “Soul” is just another word for “consciousness”.
Kudos to The Guardian for publishing such a thoughtful piece. There’s a book or two in there somewhere.