Hi wwcj! Please be patient with me! This article by Prof. Raman is the sketchiest, bare-bones presentation of a speculation on consciousness as a universal field. It's great merit (from my point of view) is that, while recognizing the physical basis of consciousness in biological entities, it does not make consciousness an epiphenomenon (or simple by-product) of that physical basis exclusively; i.e., brain activity. The Universal Thought Field (UTF) and the Particular Thought Fields (PTFs) of individuals are able to interact on this model. Personally, I disagree with Prof. Raman's statement that PTF-to-PTF communications require physical media such as writing, language. The UTF itself may mediate this sort of communication.
As to defining what consciousness is, as I mentioned there seems to be a tendency among Eastern European scientists today to just generally regard anything that falls under the head "consciousness" as a spiritual phenomenon because they want to make plain its non-physical nature.
Of course, over here if you say "spiritual," everybody starts thinking "religion," and then you usually get into the same-old silly dust-up between atheists and believers, and the thread blows up. I hope that will not happen here. For while Prof. Raman's paper certainly does not rule out religious belief or religious experience, as a physicist, such speculations go beyond his pay grade. They are not his topic here.
I'm working on a more extended reply, wwcj. Boop will be back later. Thank you so much for writing!