and our memories? I think those are thoughts too though - just more permanent. If you think about it actually, a memory is just a thought that is stored. Talking about declarative memory here not motor and stuff.
But really, what happens to our thoughts? If they don't get stored they just vanish. After we die, all our thoughts die - even the stored ones. Unless, perhaps we share the thoughts - orally or in writing or in some other physical form. If we talk to someone, the thought is shared, modified somehow but at least is stays on in someone else's consciousness. And perhaps if they find it relevant enough they will share it or write it down and there the thought lives even longer...
If it's written it can live forever I guess. Like quotes - that's a great way to preserve thoughts. But then, when do we decide which thought is worth preserving and which is not? Because really, for the most part is us who first decide whether a thought is worth preserving or not. I would be the first one to decide whether to say something or not. For instance I am only writing this now because I want to remember this question, this idea, and be able to perhaps come back to it later when I browse my blog sometimes. Our brain is finite, unfortunately(?). So we take notes.
So when is a thought worth keeping? When we don't want to forget sth - we think it's important info, or when we think it's intelligent, or pleasant, or funny, or interesting. And then I guess all the other thought just sort of... get lost. It's like natural selection for thoughts. Interesting though... because we still continue to have really useless thoughts (according to this line of judgement) - we just don't particularly want to save them.
So, I guess... no wonder some people really try hard to be memorable and interesting. Because really if you are not, all your thoughts die with you and there dies your contribution to the collective consciousness.
Bah... I'll stop.