Consider for a moment opening one's eyes wiithout memory or memories; without an understanding of one's environment, without an awareness of one's individuality, without a conception of one's being and without an appreciation of one's history. What is it one would see, hear and feel? What would be the sensation? Surely, to instantaneously re-initalise one's existence without the cushion of gestation would result in confusion to say the least, an agonising over-simulation most probably and no solace in nostalgia for the womb.
Memories of where one has been, of journeys an of participants, leave a particular perspective but they only 'exist' in perspective too. It is not possible to grasp memory in terms of appreciation an recollection any more than it is possible to mentally recreate an event in its entiirety.
Only memories give us a sense of time, a sense of space and a sense of society. However, whilst individual an collective memories can generate open-ended discussion, an understanding of memory itself enables confidence to embark towards a partial understanding without preconceptions or an expectation of fulfilment.