Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Dissertationsarbeit von Dimitry Okropiridze, M.A.

Dimitry Okropiridze, M.A.

Laufende Promotion

"The Semiotic and Material Dimension of Transculturality - Historicizing the Kundalin?-Phenomenon as a Key Term in Psychosomatic Self-Conceptions from the 19th to the 21st Century" (Arbeitstitel)

My current research focuses on the so-called Kundalin?-Phenomenon, broadly understood as an esoteric force, which awakens the human being to his or her full potential.

In the outgoing 19th century, Indologists and Psychologists developed a keen interest in yogic and tantric literature dealing with kundalin?. Influential figures such as the Oxford scholar John Woodroffe and the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung extracted the signifier from its Sanskrit sources and launched a persistent discourse on its beneficial and destructive effects, altering and reinventing its semantic range. Soon, kundalin? was seen as an omnipotent evolutionary force that was interpreted as the agency behind the course of global political and social events as well as personal transformation and wellbeing. Decades later, numerous South Asian authors with Orientalist inclinations, such as Gopi Krishna and Swami Muktananda, suggested that kundalin?'s impact would either destroy or transform humanity in the near future and demanded for a change of (mostly 'Western') consciousness through allegedly ancient practices offered by religious experts from ‘the East’.

The dissertation aims at a historical and praxeological analysis of the discourse on kundalin? in its transcultural and normative dimensions as a socially constructed and relatively recent ontological entity rhizomatically connected to a variety of signifying fields such as yoga, (psycho)therapy, and human potential. Therefore, the specific concern of this project is to historicize and organize the articulations of Kundalin? and identify the underlying structures of knowledge, power, and subjectivity that have governed the socio-historical sedimentation from the early theosophical reception in the late 19th century to the multilayered religio-therapeutic understanding of the present.


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Letzte Änderung: 14.05.2018