The symbolic-value is about inter-subjectivity – general shared perceptions. High status’ is a good example of this: it only exists in the eyes of the public. A much admired and respected holy man in mediaeval India would not find much recognition if he turned up as an advisor in a modern global cooperative. Hence it is outside the individual, in his or her cultural context (habitus) – the inter-subjective shared sign and perceptual system – that we find whether or not values have symbolic significance
It is exactly this inter-subjective cultural context which is principally the target of the written yoga discourse. Either the yoga discourse attempts to address this context or it directly makes an effort to create it. Thus the written yoga discourse is often about turning yoga into power and difference: immortality, super-natural powers, semi-divinity, release, divinity, gnostic insight, and ontological transformation.
In this way the texts praise yoga for its marvellous power to make a person undergo astonishing transmutations – sometimes incomprehensible. This advertisement of yoga’s power has significant public relational effects, to use modern jargon. The outcome is a symbolic message signalled to society with the implication that people project superiority, difference, status and power on the adept and yoga. This is symbolic-value – the creation of social difference. Thus the yoga professional who trades his cultural and symbolic capital with society is born.
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