Sorry, I realise they're tricky questions, but from your previous posts I'd be really interested to hear what you think, feel free not to answer if you'd prefer.
I think initially, we do retain much of ourselves. I think it depends on how good your life was here, and how sudden your passing was, on how easily you let go of 'you'. I like to understand it as people that pass on have a lot of love for those they leave behind, and they may not want to move forward until they are happy we are ok, or maybe until we have gone on with them. Unhappy souls may not want to leave behind unfinished business or possessions. (I think higher souls remember everyone they ever were, and can use these guises when communicating with us, so as to have a form we can relate to.)
Im not sure about the moving through time bit, any experience I have had has been with souls close to us, who have not moved up the ladder, so to speak , I think on the higher levels the spirit can move at will through time, it is fairly irrelevant to them, I had what you might call an insight into this once while meditating but I honestly am lost for words as to how to explain it.
I'm sure they'd be wasted on me anyway, but I think I get the general idea.
Reincarnation, Karma, Enlightnment, Nirvana (a state of non existance)
All fairly Buddist, but i've come to believe in the idea of the Eternal Spiral as a representation of the path we take, moving from the periphary to the centre, each path unique and encompassing manyfold reincarnations, from amoebas, fleeting beings, up through trees and gods to oneness.
(and just to comment on a fiew posts i saw, matter is energy there is no distinction, e=mc2 )
The best guide is the testimony of the Near Death Experiencers (who all but die on the operating table and have out of body experiences). Check out Raymond Moody's books - it seems that yes, we retain much about ourselves, but the 'we' who is doing this expands in an extraordinary and indescribable way
We won't know until our time has come, but the way i see it we believe in other things throughout our daily lives why not the after life? I've heard people saying theres no proof, but theres no proof that there isn't either.
In a way its like a safety net for all your fears of dying, if you have any.
I think I heard a bible basher in america give "mathematical proof once". Twas funny.
He constucted a little table, 2X2, benifit if our right, cost if your wrong on top and believe, not believe on the side. Like I said, proof
The question you(I think) should be asking is where is the proof that he/she/it doesn't exist.