Faydysh, D: Transhumanism and the heroic ego


Diana Faydysh


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This presentation will examine the philosophical and psychological foundations behind the rapidly developing idea of transhumanism and its effects on the body and society. Transhumanism (H+), translated as “through humans” or “post-humans,” strives for the transformation of the human condition by developing widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance the human intellect and body to eliminate illnesses and imperfections, with an end goal to overcome death. This movement is not just a technocratic version of humanity’s quest for immortality but the resulting trajectory of the Modernist era that gave rise to self-contained individualism and Heroic ego development. This leads to an object-oriented ontology in which humanity worships progress and evolution to achieve a united, technocratic, pleasure-seeking, soulless world. Thus, transhumanism not only alters human anthropology but also becomes an ideology that destroys cultures in the name of globalization.

The question is: Where does this ideology lead us? The negative consequences of the individualistic, pleasure-focused attitude can not only be examined in society but also inside the human body. Reviewed in scholarship created within a deep psychological tradition, the oncological illness will be examined as a phenomenon to identify patterns in modern experience. During oncological illness, a cell behaves exactly the way modern society’s ideologues assume society to function. Unlike healthy cells, cancer cells do not stop growing and dividing; they do not share life energy with the rest of the body, instead of keeping it all to themselves. This is individualism, a pleasure-focused outlook, and striving for immortality on a cellular level. Cancer cell immortality is an internal failure and false goal setting that leads to tragic death. Yet naively, Western civilization acts as if, when the same attitude is applied to all society rather than the body, the outcome will be different.

Presenter Bio:

Diana Faydysh, an international student from Russia and Switzerland, is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis on depth psychology from the Pacifica Graduate Institute, California. She is at the practicum at the Valley Community Counseling clinic, which offers long-term psychoanalytic therapy. She received her MA in counseling psychology with an emphasis on depth psychology from the same institution. In her MA thesis, Diana explored how the death drive can manifest thought the Female Orgasmic Dysfunction. Currently her research focus continues to be on revising death drive, and also inquires into the development of psychologies and its effect on people when influenced by radical socio-political changes. In 2019, Diana won the American Psychological Association's Division 39 International Scholar Award.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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