Threads of Yoga - Matthew Remski
Threads of Yoga is a “remix” of Patanjali’s yoga sutras, pieced together from a dozen other translations, classical commentaries and reflections from 15 years of personal practice. It presents this ancient text in a revitalized form, as if Patanjali’s vast acumen for consciousness studies had benefited from the discoveries of modernity and postmodernity. It’s a project I began with my friend and colleague Scott Petrie.
In the text and commentaries, I blend philosophy, psychotherapy, literary theory, anthropology and aesthetics. I am specifically indebted to the literature and practice of psychoanalysis for my thoughts around the child-developmental and psycho-evolutionary stages displayed in classical yogic thought.
I have given the textuality of my remix a fluid mood, presenting it in prose form, in sentence form with contemporary poetic line-breaks, in its conventional mode of one aphorism per line, as well as aphorism-plus-commentary interlaced. My intention is that this visual flexibility helps to hint at the oral and performative quality of the aphorisms, and to loosen the feelings of calcification that often accrue to ‘important books’. My thought is that if this book is as visually variegated as the oral tradition is variegated in accent, tone, projection, aural ambience, digression, and anecdote, perhaps it can actually begin to do what it describes: disrupt conscious patterning with moments of perceptual wonderment and unexpected integration.
Interlaced amongst Patanjali’s reveries are my own, in the spirit of encouraging others to dream in the language of yoga philosophy as well.