Yoga in Asia--Mimetic History: Problems in the Location of Secret Knowledge

Yoga in Asia--Mimetic History: Problems in the Location of Secret Knowledge On one level, and with reference to a specific frame of reference, embodied forms of practice that have come to be associated with Yoga and Taoist philosophy appear to be very similar if not identical in terms of form, structure, and purpose. However, there is no clear-cut history of communication between eastern and southern Asia concerning the exchange of ideas linked to these practices, and where some scholars presume direct, linear exchange, and obvious congruity, others see radical difference and discontinuity. Taking the inspired work of the Bengali scholar Prabodh Candar Bagchi as a point of departure—and eternal return—the argument presented here is twofold. First, it is highly problematic to conceptualize cross-cultural contact in the premodern period not just in terms of the modern geopolitics of nationalism—which is fairly obvious—but also in terms of a history of ideas that is itself structured by modernity. Second, secret knowledge transforms what is in fact impossible—immortality, transcendence, enlightenment—into a historical vortex that is both local and global. Mimetic history is the recursive pattern, structured through the paradox of secrecy, whereby the impossibility of embodied enlightenment is reflected in forms of practice that, in terms of both time and space, endlessly anticipate perfection. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East Duke University Press

Yoga in Asia--Mimetic History: Problems in the Location of Secret Knowledge

Loading next page...
 
/lp/duke-university-press/yoga-in-asia-mimetic-history-problems-in-the-location-of-secret-uo0fDH7hNZ
Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Duke University Press
ISSN
1089-201X
eISSN
1548-226X
DOI
10.1215/1089201X-2009-005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

On one level, and with reference to a specific frame of reference, embodied forms of practice that have come to be associated with Yoga and Taoist philosophy appear to be very similar if not identical in terms of form, structure, and purpose. However, there is no clear-cut history of communication between eastern and southern Asia concerning the exchange of ideas linked to these practices, and where some scholars presume direct, linear exchange, and obvious congruity, others see radical difference and discontinuity. Taking the inspired work of the Bengali scholar Prabodh Candar Bagchi as a point of departure—and eternal return—the argument presented here is twofold. First, it is highly problematic to conceptualize cross-cultural contact in the premodern period not just in terms of the modern geopolitics of nationalism—which is fairly obvious—but also in terms of a history of ideas that is itself structured by modernity. Second, secret knowledge transforms what is in fact impossible—immortality, transcendence, enlightenment—into a historical vortex that is both local and global. Mimetic history is the recursive pattern, structured through the paradox of secrecy, whereby the impossibility of embodied enlightenment is reflected in forms of practice that, in terms of both time and space, endlessly anticipate perfection.

Journal

Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle EastDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2009

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off