What is consciousness? Where does it come from?
I don't know. But I do firmly believe that it is not magic. Whatever it is, it is purely physical.
And I do know a story about how it may have arisen. Don't take it as a scientific explanation. It's not. It's just a story, which might have a hint of validity about it, but then again, might not.
It begins with life. Living organisms capable of reproducing and reacting to stimuli. Organisms that react to stimuli appropriately would be more likely to survive and reproduce than organisms that didn't.
But what response is appropriate can be hard to determine. Is that a predator, or a mate? Should I go towards it, or away from it, or play dead? And so the brain evolved. An organic computer to make decisions.
For a brain to make good decisions, it needs to model the world around it, and predict consequences of different possible actions. If I jump over this hole, can I make it to the other side? If I chase that prey, will I be able to catch it? The more accurately the brain models the world, the better the decisions it can make.
Then a species of social primates evolved. For social creatures, it's helpful to model the others in your group with more detail than other animals, because you interact with them more often. The better your model of them, the more likely you can get them to share their food with you.
But since you're all the same species, they're modelling you too. So the most accurate model of them is to recursively model them modelling you. In other words your brain has to have a model of itself. And that's essentially what consciousness is. It's the brain thinking about itself, trying to predict its own actions before it makes them.
This story doesn't answer everything. Particularly not the hard problem of consciousness. But I think it does a decent job of addressing the easy ones. Assuming, of course, that's it's even remotely true, which it might not be.