Speaking of refactored agency, here’s an article covering the new subfield of neuroparasitology. Apparently it is fairly common for one organism to biochemically take over another and influence its behavior, so the host ends up acting in furtherance of its occupier rather than itself.
When I read this, I had a momentary flash of all the other, non-biochemical brain parasites that have infected me: all the ideas and goals I have played host to, concerns for money and status and respect and righteousness. All the people I ever knew and felt a need to impress. All the things in the world that attempt to snag my attention and have planted a symbolic seed in my head that draws me in their direction. All these are parts of me but they are also introjected mechanisms with their own interests, divergent from my own.
But it is probably wrong to say that there is a true self in there that is being infected by outside agents. More like I am constituted by this chaotic assemblage, which is no more or less than human culture.