Consciousness can be experienced. And, yes, it is metaphysical in the sense that we do not possess the kind of language that would allow us to describe it similarly to natural, observable phenomena.
When you say: "If we evolved our thoughts are simply random chemical reactions. " I'm wondering if you mean that the fact that we have a consciousness means that we cannot have evolved. I think that's a non-sequitur on multiple levels. It just doesn't follow. Randomness is not the result of evolution. The way our minds are is the result of evolution. An important part of consciousness seems to be the ability to reflect, also oneself. It is quite conceivable that the ability to reflect mentally is a byproduct of the evolution of our language ability. Language is open-ended and recursive. It has given us powerful tools to reflect on (almost) anything. But there are some problems beyond our language, among which is the very problem of why first person experience exists in the first place. Why isn't information enough? Is first person experience a side product of something else? Why does it exist? I don't settle for "God did it" as an answer particularly when followed by projecting fantasies like God being some kind of anthropomorphic figure. To do so would be quite presumptious because we have no basis to assume we're the only ones in the universe capable of asking these questions. If a superbeing has created our world, it is best to acknowledge that such a being would be a mystery to us.
In my opinion I think consciousness can be felt because I think the mental ability to be able to sense or perceive dwells in your physical alertness that is being about by your mind, so in other words I think consciousness can be seen as well as it can also be proven but most of all consciousness can be felt the reason for my point is because let us take a look at an example.
If you look at a plant that is budding, gradually bringing out flowers and daffodils each morning go out to check it , there are different characteristics to show that this plants is actually conscious so the physical aesthetics and the noticing of the growth of the plants shows improves physical consciousness and when you actually physically measure the plants with a ruler or with a measuring device then it can totally be proven that this plant is actually conscious so also when you look at look at it and touch it even you yourself could feel that it is conscious that is why when doctors want to check for consciousness in human being they actually usually feel the person in order to show that they are alive.
So the truth is consciousness can be felt as much as it can be seen and also proven because I think it is not stereotyped or homogeneous but something wilder than the imagination of man, sometimes there is always a presence of consciousness but we do not even notice this is because they are even more method to actually prove consciousness it could be a reaction to a certain action but however it is I would like you to know that it can be felt as much as it can be proven or even seen and there are even more ways to actually prove consciousness