I am fond of asking people the rather simple question, "When did you first exist?"
Usually, they will give me their birthdate.
I follow up by asking them pointedly, "What is the earliest memory you possess and at what age?"
I never get an answer earlier than two years old.
I tell them, "That FIRST memory is when you began to exist."
That is when the fun conversation begins.
Existence of the mind, the essential beingness of your self is the start of identity and it is simultaneous with memory, in my opinion.
Consciousness and memory are so closely allied that it is frightening to contemplate what Alzheimer's really means.
All values proceed from life itself. Without life there is no means by which any benefit can be derrived.
Concommitant with that is our consciousness of what life is. We can ride the wild surf of experience, rational comprehension and utility to sandbar of life's end--but, no value accrues unless we exist for ourselves in memory.
I place memory of consciousness above mere consciousness. But, only just so.