William James on consciousness and memory:
The stream of thought flows on; but most of its segments fall into the bottomless abyss of oblivion. Of some, no memory survives the instant of their passage. Of others, it is confined to a few moments, hours or days. Others, again, leave vestiges which are indestructible, and by means of which they may be recalled as long as life endures.
All I can say is, BEAUTIFUL!
Ah, ol' James boy thought he had the nature of thought here.
He doesn't for one instant think that thought isn't a stream, and so his narrative propagates and stands as an indestructible vestige that lasted his whole life long.
With the likes of Jeff Hawkins, I believe we have come a long way from all this fanciful notation such that we may finally have a real grasp on the nature of the brain. Boiled down very simply: Thought = Behavior = Perception = Memory = Anticipation. And all of this in a hierarchical columnar structure stands as a monstrously powerful realization.