Naively, we look upon the body as if it were simultaneous with consciousness. But according to the Buddha consciousness apprehends name and form which means that consciousness actually preexists the body (here, ‘name and form’ refer to the physical body and the mentations which are localized within it).
Imagine the mess we would be in if the physical body, with respect to time, came before consciousness so that our consciousness had to helplessly watch the body do something crazy. In this situation we might be like helpless passengers in the backseat of a car being driven by someone who was under the influence of alcohol. We could only watch what was happening from our passive position.
Unless there is some part of us which is completely prior to the body that is, also, naturally linked with body, it would be impossible to control our body. The body is something, in this respect, that is animated and posterior to consciousness. Our consciousness, insofar as it is observational, is the result of the invisible inflow of mind which, in Buddhism, is will-like and animative. As such, observational consciousness can, in the words of Zen master Hui-neng, be aware of its original face before it was born which is the animative mind.
In a state of ignorance we are only conscious of our animated body. By the same token, we are also conscious of suffering and death, which happens only to the carnal body of which we are aware. Being sufferants, we are unconscious of the mind which is free of suffering, life giving, and, essentially, disembodied. Our consciousness, in ignorance, is only going in one direction; thus, limiting itself.
Mind, especially, activates the entire body while consciousness is aware of the activated body as a determinate, concrete thing—as felt being. Consciousness also has the additional capacity to be aware of the pure or pristine nature of Mind, itself, and is thereby able to realize nirvana which is liberated mind as pure Mind. By being aware of pure Mind, consciousness no longer comes to subsist, dependently, upon the physical body as it once did. Its new object is now the pure Mind which is luminous and and primordially disembodied.
This new consciousness is a reversal from its previous condition. Whereas before it was aware of only name and form, now consciousness is aware of the disembodied nature of pure Mind which is nirvana.
In such a state, one is conscious of the body being energized which means that one is disembodied, relatively speaking. To energize means to animate the body such that animation is one thing, and the thing animated is another which is subordinate and dependent. But this is not to imply any sort of stark separation. Rather, the separation is a spiritual one. It is somewhat analogous to the surging of water and its subsequent bubbling. Ordinarily, we are never aware of this process taking place within us. We have never known, otherwise, than to be enthralled with the animated body, bearing its pain. This is the human affliction. This is the noble truth of suffering which is not the ordinary kind of suffering.