The final backgrounder for the debut of Yoga Science at ISSSEEM in Boulder next month is finally here — whew! It took a lot of work, but it was also most informative.
I think this piece forms an important link in my “Yoga Science Argument:” if we allow “Yoga” as a term for the full range of esotericisms and we then take a look at current opinion in the historical sciences, we discover a single global story that begins with the first human migrations about 50,000 years ago that eventually populated the earth.
The story continues with a long and complex history of human migrations now beginning to be unraveled by geneticists helping coordinate the many findings of the more traditional fields of paleontology, anthropology, and archeology. (For the fascinating details on this story, see the wikipedia artilce on Early Human Migrations.)
Then, we enter “history” proper — meaning written history — with such marvelous overviews of ancient esotericism as McEvilley’s marvelous Shape of Ancient Thought referenced previously (see blog post for Jan 13, ’08).
From there we can fast forward through the 1st Millennium AD and land in the period that led up to the European Renaissance when “science” as we know it was getting started right alongside the esotericist revival patronized by the de Medicis — “the doctors.”
How the “tree of esotericism” actually developed across the full span of pre-history and then further branched out over the course of recorded history is a vast tale, and one that will likely turn out to qualify as “ultra-hyper-complex” as well.
All the same, if you read through this 28 page summary sketch of some of that history, I think you’ll get a strong sense of how deeply interconnected and colorful the history is of the many esotericisms we find alive in our midst today.