I along with many others do not disagree at all with many religious and yoga scholars’ disregard for the contemporary life situation. Neither do many post-moderns like me disagree with their fascination for ancient religions and liberations discourses – we are also charmed. However, most contemporary social scientists would be cautious about any research being uncritical and admiring. Any scholarship which inadvertently reinforces ancient religio-political power discourses would similarly today be met with deep scepticism.
The blind spot of the filter
I doubt whether such a research programme as Eliade’s – entangled by romantic fascination and politics – is able to capture the symbolic aspect of religious discourses and practices, because it is itself blinded by such symbolic projections. It will tend to accept uncritically what is presented as the truth and wisdom of sages’, because this claim is a priori believed to be so by the scholar. With Baudrillard, we could say that when such research believes that it has identified the use-value of for instance yogi practices (i.e. that it has illuminated and explained the underlying actual reality to which the yoga sign – for instance samadhi – points ) then such scholarship in reality only confirms and reinforced the symbolic-value implicitly propagated by the yoga discourse. Such scholarship cannot contemplate the idea that yoga signs are empty’ – to use a phrase from Baudrillard – as it assumes a priori that they must point towards something real – the sacred. There is, in other words, a blind spot in this filter, making it blind to the possibility that yoga signs could be social symbols only pointing to other social symbols – a system of mirrors mirroring each other.
Step your feet closer together. Root down through your legs Eagle Pose Yoga , stretch your chest and head forward, place your hands on your hips, and come Eagle Pose Yoga up with a strong inhalation. Purpose: To coordinate neck and lateral thoracic spine movements. Contraindications: Ankylosing spondylitis with fusion, thoracic vertebral fracture, severe degenerative scoliosis. Props: A yoga mat, possibly a blanket. Avoiding pitfalls: Retain your shoulder blades firmly together on your back in the Shoulder Loop; avoid leaning forward. Sit cross-legged on the floor. If your knees are higher than your hips, sit up on a folded blanket or pad.
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