Ever changing identities

We change as the world changes, the world changes as we change. We are never the same person, or are we?

Ruks Moreea
6 min readFeb 26, 2024


Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash

I came across an article recently, questioning whether we were the same people we were as children, teenagers, and young adults. Personally, the blunt answer is no, as we go through our formative years in the comfort of our family homes, schools, and eventually, universities. Our first graduate roles are merely an extension of universities, albeit expecting us to be more responsible and mature. Many of us would have met our spouses by the end of this shrouded period and many would become parents, thus cocooning our children with the same concept of our childhoods. Some of us would become carers of elderly parents, thus reversing the parent and child roles.

All in all, we are never the same and always evolving. This is a broad perspective that many older readers would identify with, thus emphatically concluding that we are never the same person. However, some of us may feel that they have never changed, that their needs and wants have always been the same, and that they have remained pretty much flatlining throughout their lives… So, why does one even bother to question if only just organically changes or would one circumstantially change?

Perhaps we can explore our evolving identities in a metaphysical and physical sense.

Metaphysically versus physically

In a philosophical sense, the idea of identity and sameness can be quite complex if one refers to the concept of personal identity across time, or perhaps something more metaphysical.

In a metaphysical sense, the question of whether we are ever the same person is often explored in discussions about consciousness, the self, and existence, as a whole. Some philosophical perspectives suggest that our identity is constantly changing due to the accumulation of experiences, thoughts, and interactions with the world around us. From this viewpoint, we are never truly the same person from one moment to the next because we are always evolving.

On a physical level, our bodies undergo constant change as cells regenerate, age, and respond to environmental factors. From this perspective, our physical selves are in a constant state of flux, and we are not the same person in terms of our physical makeup over time.

Thus, in both metaphysical and physical senses, the idea of being the “same person” is complex and subject to interpretation.

Delving deeper in the Metaphysical Perspective

From a metaphysical standpoint, the concept of personal identity often revolves around the continuity of consciousness and the sense of self. Philosophers have debated whether there is an essence that persists through time, despite changes in our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences. Some argue for a psychological continuity theory, suggesting that as long as there is a chain of overlapping memories and experiences linking our past and present selves, we can consider ourselves the same person. Others challenge this notion, proposing that identity is more fluid and continuously evolving, influenced by both internal and external factors. Ultimately, the question of whether we are ever the “same person” from a metaphysical perspective is a matter of ongoing philosophical inquiry without a definitive answer.

How about our Physical selves?

Physically, our bodies undergo constant change at the cellular level. Cells divide, die, and are replaced, leading to a continuous turnover of biological material. Over time, our bodies age and experience wear and tear, further altering our physical appearance and capabilities. From this perspective, we are not the same person in terms of our physical makeup over time. Even our brains, which play a central role in shaping our thoughts and experiences, undergo structural and functional changes throughout life due to neuroplasticity. Thus, while we may maintain a sense of continuity in our physical appearance and bodily functions, our physical selves are in a constant state of flux and changes are tangible. However, our reactions to these changes are subjective. Some embrace the aging process naturally, while others choose to tweak nature a little.

Our experiences in the physical world

Our experiences in the physical world play a significant role in shaping both our metaphysical and physical selves.

Metaphysically, our experiences shape our thoughts, beliefs, values, and emotions, all of which contribute to our sense of self. Every interaction, every success, every failure leaves an imprint on our psyche, influencing how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. These accumulated experiences contribute to the ongoing evolution of our identities. For example, a person who undergoes a profound life-changing event, such as traveling to a new country, experiencing a loss, or achieving a long-held goal, may emerge from that experience with a shifted perspective, altered priorities, or newfound insights about themselves. In this way, our experiences in the physical world contribute to the continuous development and transformation of our metaphysical selves.

Physically, our experiences also have tangible effects on our bodies. For instance, chronic stress can lead to physiological changes such as elevated cortisol levels, altered immune function, and increased risk of various health conditions such as cardiovascular disease. Conversely, engaging in regular physical activity, taking up a new hobby, learning a new language, maintaining body movement, maintaining a balanced diet, and practicing stress-reduction techniques can promote physical well-being. Additionally, exposure to environmental factors such as pollutants, pathogens, and poor lifestyle choices like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption can negatively influence our physical health and appearance over time. Thus, our experiences in the physical world not only shape our metaphysical selves but also have direct implications on our physical bodies.

Making changes for a better changed YOU!

Making small and positive changes to our lives can have a significant and long-lasting impact on reducing the negative effects of external factors on both our physical and metaphysical well-being.

Some strategies you may find useful are:

1. Mindfulness and Self-awareness: Practicing mindfulness can help us become more aware of our thoughts, emotions, and reactions to external events. By cultivating mindfulness, we can develop greater resilience and emotional regulation, hence reducing the impact of negative experiences on our metaphysical and physical selves.

2. Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Engaging in regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and avoiding harmful substances can support our physical health and resilience. These habits can also positively influence our mood, cognition, and overall well-being, contributing to a more stable metaphysical state.

3. Cultivating Positive Relationships: Surrounding ourselves with supportive and positive individuals can provide a buffer against stress and adversity. Building strong social connections and fostering meaningful relationships can enhance our sense of belonging, purpose, and self-worth, contributing to our metaphysical growth and resilience.

4. Continuous Learning and Personal Growth: Actively seeking opportunities for learning, personal development, and self-improvement can stimulate cognitive growth, expand our perspectives, and foster adaptability. Whether through reading, pursuing hobbies, or engaging in formal education, lifelong learning can enrich our metaphysical selves and enhance our ability to navigate life’s challenges. Physically, our minds feel sharper!

5. Practicing Gratitude and Optimism: Cultivating a mindset of gratitude and optimism can help us reframe negative experiences and find meaning even in difficult circumstances. By focusing on the positive aspects of life and expressing gratitude for what we have, we can nurture a more resilient and hopeful metaphysical outlook.

6. Seeking Support: The hardest thing to do is recognise when we are in disarray. My humble advice: never hesitate to reach out for support when needed. Whether from friends, family, or mental health professionals, seeking support can provide valuable guidance, perspective, and coping strategies during challenging times, both in the physical and metaphysical realms.

By incorporating these small changes into our lives, we can reduce the impact of negative changes in the physical world and cultivate a more resilient, balanced, and fulfilling existence in both the physical and metaphysical senses. We can cultivate a strong mind, and a strong body, thus creating a stronger and better physical self and identity.

In summary…

Both metaphysically and physically, the notion of being the “same person” is complex and multifaceted. Our identities are shaped by a combination of psychological, social, and biological factors, leading to ongoing transformations and reinterpretations of the self over time. However, our perception of our changes is highly subjective. Overall, the connection between our experiences in the physical world and our development as individuals is profound, impacting both our metaphysical identities and our physical well-being. Being of service, practicing kindness, and maintaining loving relationships with our family and meaningful people keep us in a stronger mental space.

Physically our changes are visible, but metaphysically, we can make our changes more positive, to create a positive impact on the world around us. The world can positively change, largely thanks to us.



Ruks Moreea

Alternative Thinker. Lover of All Things Good & Life. Interested in humanity, spirituality, conscious parenting and human energy. MSc Psychology,PhD, FRSPH