Evin Phoenix is an upcoming PhD student in Clinical Psychology, with a special focus on empathy, altered states of consciousness, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and the cognitive shifts of both the cosmic perspective and the overview effect. For her graduate work, Evin hopes to propose the following thesis: As we become a space-faring civilization, and a critical mass of people experience the overview effect/ adopt the cosmic perspective, granular changes in the structure and function of the brain (particularly the neural correlates of empathy) will result – hopefully leading to a more empathic civilization over time in the scope of human evolution.
Evin is a lifelong devotee of humanistic philosophy, a memoirist, a professional musician and a poet.
Currently co-directing a Congressional campaign, Evin has also held leadership roles on the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and on Capitol Hill, co-founded a predictive analytics startup in Silicon Valley, founded a startup for women’s empowerment, worked for Tesla Motors, and served on the Board of Advisors for the Maryland Clean Energy Center after helping develop a solar energy startup in DC.
Evin began her journey to become a psychologist after working on Capitol Hill and seeing the systemic level of deficient empathy in our government and leadership. It is a personal mission of hers to explore the cognitive science behind empathy in relationship to humanistic psychology, and the role empathy plays in human evolution. In 2017, she spoke at the American Psychological Association convention on empathy in therapeutic practice for the APA’s Division 32, the Society of Humanistic Psychology.
She has her B.S. in psychology, with a thesis on interpersonal neurobiology and a prior degree in gender studies.
Recently invited to speak at Astronomy On Tap in Washington D.C., Evin is also an enthusiast of the space program, and particularly the Voyager missions. Evin’s essays on space philosophy and humanism were reviewed by Carl Sagan and Anne Druyan’s office as “precious words” that “touched the heart.”
A lifelong practitioner of mindfulness meditation, Evin is developing Guided Meditations for Space Nerds, an album of visualizations taking the listener on a journey through the history of the cosmos. From the Big Bang, the recombination & cosmic microwave background, the formation of the first galaxies and stars, the birth of our star, the formation of our solar system, the origins of life, human evolution, the launch of Voyager 1 and 2 and their possible discovery by distant life, and an imagined future “Big Crunch” end to the universe. The cycle starts all over again with another Big Bang to a new cosmic dawn. Hopefully these visualizations can enhance the cosmic perspective in every listener.
She is writing an upcoming memoir about a 10,000 mile solo road trip living as a nomad across the country, Letters from the Promised Land: 10,000 Miles of Passion and Discovery. Its companion soundtrack album of original acoustic folk rock, Songs from the Promised Land, can be found at www.evinphoenix.bandcamp.com.
Her other work, such as short memoir, poetry, and articles can be found at The Empyrean, an portfolio of art, writings, and humanistic philosophy – www.evinphoenix.com.