I don't think that consciousness is explicable on physical terms yet I don't think that that means that consciousness is necessarily any more explicable on the idea of a purely mental reality. (ie. Descartes idea of a thing that thinks and who's essence is thinking) What philosophers think along the same lines as I do?

Probably the best known philosopher who thinks along similar lines is Thomas Nagel. While he believes that consciousness cannot be accounted for or understood in light of our current conception of the physical world, he is hoping (or has faith?) that we may eventually have a conceptual revolution that would anchor consciousness in the natural world without resorting to dualism. You can get to some of Nagel's work through his home page at the New York University website for him. Colin McGinn would be another promising thinker for you to engage. A number of other philosophers believe that our current concept of what it is to be physical is problematic, including Galen Strawson and Noam Chomsky.

On Descartes, you might consider a slightly different angle. He does not give center stage to the claim that the concept of a non-spatially extended thing provides a more intelligible grounding for our mental life. The way I read him (setting aside the so-called Cartesian circle) is that he first establishes the existence of the self as a thinking subject. He then considers whether he is identical with his body, and he concludes that he is not. This is because Descartes believes it is possible for him to exist and his body not exist. In a sense, then, what Descartes establishes (if successful) is that he exists and is not his body. His essence being immaterial or incorporeal may be thought of as a default position. In a sense, the way I read Descartes is the revers of Daniel Dennett's philosophy of mind. Dennett questions whether it is reasonable to believe that he exists as a substantial, concrete individual thing. He then claims to not find anything in the brain or elsewhere that is like the self as a substantial thing Then he concludes there is no substantive self but instead there is what he calls "a center of narrative gravity."

Read another response by Charles Taliaferro
Read another response about Consciousness