Ideas, thoughts, character, memories are the conclusions of our minds.
Usually, what we hold true and adopt into our personality are ideas that were passed on to us by these mechanisms.
But the more we uphold our individual personality, the more we’re bound to walk into a trap. It is when we abandon the concept of individuality, of which life after death is merely an extension, that we are free to shape our lives whichever way we want.
It’s like a fun game. All games are designed to absorb us to the full. And still most games are better played when we don’t forget that they’re just games.
Our ideas, thoughts, character and memories live on in as much as we pass them on to our children or peers, just as we have acquired them from our parents and peers.
The fact that we perceive these ideas, thoughts, character and memories in that particular combination to be us, is an achievement of our memory towards a certain purpose.
Whatever we think about life, it’s a model. We need models, because we’re sense-making creatures, not because there is a meaning to life.
As an exercise, walk into an old-folks home and watch people’s memories fade away. Their personality fades. And yet you can’t say that the person is gone. Just the same as a baby, that hasn’t developed a personality yet, you can’t say that he/she is not a person. In my opinion we need a life model that includes these and other fringe-type of situations (mental illness, coma, paranormal, etc)
The latest research simply shows that need for a better model. The more we know about the brain, the more we have to adapt our models. And I’m not convinced that the model of individuality serves towards our happiness. It does serve towards our survival, that is sure. That’s why, when you touch on it, people instantly relate such a move to death and yearn for a life beyond.