Perhaps, if they became religious about consciousness, then it would be overrated. Has ecqart tolle gone to far into it, and stayed there? Well, it's true that he lived on a park bench for some time, after his break through. On the other hand, he is doing quite well, isn't he?
For myself, i have never found my search for being more conscious to be without it's rewards. I went the monkish route for a little while. It was a phase just after i lost my belief in the bible, wherein i started finding my true self. Bible belief was the last straw, the last block in my foundation of belief. It was very traumatic, letting that go of it. Letting my conscious be more free, at that time, allowed me to see another levels of things.
Greater consciousness has made me feel connected w nature and other people too. As well, w the 'other side'. That's not to say that i dwell on those facets. I'm busy w work and this life, while being conscious of those other things at the same time. I'm not that involved w other people, nature, or the other side, simply because i don't see the need. The potential, the possibility to be is there, though. Perhaps, it's a matter of balance.
The interesting thing about expanding consciousness and the mind, is that the mind is used to get there. Yet, once there, the mind shunted into the background. The mind is not to be trusted, totally. Afterall, has the mind always been right? As jws, we learned how to use our minds, and basically live in our minds. Is that not a good demonstration of the untrustworthiness of the mind? I'm not saying that thinking isn't good. Just that thought isn't the beall and endall of our human existence.
Science is a good subject to bring into the consciousness discussion. Vivisection, the dissection of live animals was routinely practiced in the past. Science said that the struggling of live animals as the were cut up was merely reactions, not suffering. Today, science recognizes that live animals do suffer. That is a slight expanding of consciousness of scientists, in general. A look at the history of science shows a similar trend. While many scientists admit mistakes of the distant past, often they feel that now science has finally arrived. I am certain that further expansion of the consciousness of science will come, as it learns more.