Since you exist as part of a system (which includes other people and objects), you must have an impact on those things. The stimuli you represent when someone sees you, the changes you cause in the environment and how those changes affect other people mean that you are literally a part of those other people and things (as long as ‘who we are’ is shaped in any way by experience, which it is).
- It’s proven that our experiences change who we are, because different experiences shape the connections in the brain which are responsible for our understanding of the world; the structure of our brain iswho we are (everything psychological is biological).
Since it’s impossible to be non-theoretically disconnected from other things/people, there is no persistent “self” identity which isn’t interconnected with everything else. Theoretically there could be a self, but people who believe in the principle of interconnectedness believe that it’s impossible to have that theoretical self exist in the real world where you are never cut off from the experiences caused by the things and people you see and know.
Many buddhists who believe in reincarnation believe that once attaining enlightenment, a “buddha” must continue to be reincarnated in order to help those around them achieve enlightenment. Due to the buddhist principle of interconnectedness, they see the reality as being that it’s useless to attain enlightenment just for yourself, and that your work can’t be done unless every being becomes enlightened. An individual who achieves enlightenment and then continues to be reincarnated in order to help others achieve the same thing is referred to as a Bodhisattva.