Consciousness and the unbearable lightness of being

Which came first, the egg or the hen? Does consciousness arise from matter or is it the other way around?

What is the root of all that exists? What is the ultimate principle underpinning the existence of the universe, life and consciousness? For a religious person the answer is very clear: God. But if the universe is self-contained and was not created by an omnipotent or omniscient being, where is the root of existence? In matter or in consciousness?