History, Culture and the Arts

[…]history is not the past - it is the method we have evolved of organizing our ignorance of the past. It’s the record of what’s left on the record. It’s what’s left in the sieve when the centuries have run through it – a few stones, scraps of writing, scraps of cloth. It is no more ‘the past’ than a birth certificate is a birth, or a script is a performance, or a map is a journey. It is the multiplication of the evidence of fallible and biased witnesses, combined with incomplete accounts of actions not fully understood by the people who performed them. It’s no more than the best we can do, and often it falls short of that.

Historians are sometimes scrupulous and self-aware, sometimes careless or biased. Yet in either case, and hardly knowing which is which, we cede them moral authority. Hilary Mantel, THE BBC REITH LECTURES – The Day Is for the Living, (2017)

There are perhaps only three narratives available about the politics of yoga's cultural heritage. One tells us yoga has got nothing to do with religion, and another tells us that yoga is Hinduism. The third narrative is somewhat harder to articulate than the other two: In some ways, yoga has got something to do with religion. Mat Witts

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