Written replication of Yoga memory
2.1. As discourses are written down the effect is that their form and content are fixed and frozen in time while the surrounding language and culture continue to change. Every succeeding generation of interactors has to re-establish their interpretation – reflecting their specific historical and cultural horizon – of the textual replicator.
2.2. As in an orally based transmission the interactors have to develop a meta-system of understanding: text based exegetic discourse – meta-texts – aiming to explain the meanings of the signs and language of the original text. The number of meta-texts will multiply. Hence the discourse encounters the problem of a steadily increasing growth in the complexity of the DNA replicator: not only the text but also a cluster of meta-texts needs to be transmitted and soon the meta-texts need their own meta-meta-text (Assmann 2012).
2.3. This hyper complexity of the cultural memory generates the emergence of canon. Over time contending systems of texts and meta-texts are bound to surface. They then of necessity cause conflicts between various interactors – cultural specialists – about the definition of a canon and who rightly represents this canon (Assmann 2012). The control and management of the DNA replicator – the canon – becomes crucial for social power.
2.4. New historically conditioned meta-texts sometimes become the new canon. Hence new discourses claim that they are the true and direct representation of the original replicator. The new cultural specialists claim they embody the tradition’ and in this way legitimise their power. If the guardians of the old canon have become weak, disinterested or extinct, as often seemed to be the case for yoga, the canon has accordingly changed. However it will be claimed by the new guardians that there was no change of canon – everything is really the same. This process happens smoothly and continuously if the degree of institutionalisation is low, which was the case within the cultural and religious fields of liberation and salvation in India.
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