Sorry for the clickbait title, but I’ll try to tie it all together somehow. Just thinking out loud, so feel free to throw slings and arrows …
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.
Is there a “self” if memory is lost? All of us have heard the painful stories told by relatives of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s. Pascal noted long ago, “Memory is necessary for all the operations of reason.” Who are we, then, if all our memory/experience is wiped away?
I’m thinking about the Resurrection and the nature of God. Memory, to me, seems tied up with the physical brain, so what happens to memory when the physical brain decomposes? How is it reconstituted? I tend toward the belief that the human being is a holistic creature. We don’t have a soul so much as we are a soul. But even if one holds the traditional belief that humans are body and soul, and the soul goes to be with God at death, then how is the consciousness preserved without an embodied self? If we equate spirit with thought, then what happens to the spirit when the brain is unconscious, as during deep sleep or coma? Does the spirit depart and then return upon wakefulness? That doesn’t make sense, so I think it’s a mistake to equate consciousness with the spirit.
Perhaps the question is unanswerable, but it seems to me the answer is in God’s nature. Our lives and experience are not lost in God, because God remembers every moment. Abraham was called the father of faith and a “friend of God.” God doesn’t forget his friends. He recalls every instance of memory and is capable of restoring it to us in its wholeness. Every individual self can be restored to its last conscious state because God will not let go of his friends. He remembers every tear and every memory. Nothing is ever lost on him.