Living a “documented life” figures importantly in many personal journeys into transhumanity. But how, exactly, does this kind of “autology” (i.e., “study of self”) work?
- Somatology. First, we need a thorough understanding of our own physical bodies, based in our personal genome and extended by current science on fitness, nutrition, and wellness. For many, a personal somatology involves, at a minimum, genome sequencing and fitness+nutrition journaling.
- Psychology. We need to know how our own mind works. Cognitive science has much to tell us, of course, but because lacunæ in this field keep us from fully explaining our mental realities by reductionist reference to our brain physiology and chemistry, we still have to rely much on psychology. Knowing how our mind works requires us to experiment and to journal introspectively and reflexively, then to apply state-of-the-art psychological insights.
- Phenomenology. I would argue that we need, beyond just a personal somatology and personal psychology, a personal phenomenology, an understanding of the things that proceed from our spirit. (A personal “noumenology” seems an impossibility—we can’t know our spirit in its essence.) We need to journal expressively, letting our spirit make itself known daily in creative pursuits that reveal the core of our person.
Autology facilitates transhumanity for a reason that becomes clear when we think back to the writing on the wall at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi: “Know thyself.” Before we can transcend our own limits, we have to know our limits; we know our own limits only through meticulous autology.