Does Current Conscious Experience Imply Future Conscious Experience?

Does Current Conscious Experience Imply Future Conscious Experience?

Here’s an intuition that I’ve had for a while. Its conclusions feel very weird, so I suspect there’s some reason that this isn’t valid – I’d be happy to hear your critiques!

So, there are cases where people lose their memory of events around serious injuries or similar experiences. In such cases, victims frequently report a “time skip”, where from their perspective they go immediately from events prior to the incident to events afterwards. A diagram of this might look something like the following:

The arc drawn in black represents the “flow” of consciousness around the skipped period – from the perspective of the victim, consciousness flows from before the incident directly to some point afterwards, and the events occurring during the interim are simply not experienced.

However, from an outsider’s perspective, the victim appears to be conscious during all of these periods, even the ones that end up being “skipped over”:

This leads to a strange observation. If we take a point that lies within the “skipped” period, we find that the victim will not be conscious of their experience during this point, despite the fact that an outside observer will see them as behaving normally:

As a result, it would perhaps seem to me that – at least from an internal perspective – the fact that you consciously perceive the current moment indicates that you will maintain continuity of consciousness with it in the future. After all, if this moment were to be lost and “skipped over”, you would not currently be consciously perceiving it, because your conscious experience would already have skipped over it.

This in turn seems to hold that current conscious experience implies future conscious experience , since it implies your continuity of consciousness with the present moment will not be disrupted in the future – in other words, your consciousness will continue to “flow forward” from the present moment into future moments.

The potential philosophical and theological implications of this – if true – will remain unstated here, but are considerable.

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2 thoughts on “Does Current Conscious Experience Imply Future Conscious Experience?

  1. Seems like the difference here is between experienced consciousness (‘I am currently conscious’) and remembered consciousness (‘I remember those events’). It can be the case that all moments the person was experientially conscious, but those experiences don’t get recorded and thus are not remembered. That ends up feeling like a timeskip.

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