Transmission, the Creation of Knowledge
In the regime of esotericism, transmission carries significant weight, not only as the act of conveying techniques and knowledge but also as the process and logic of legitimizing them. Simply put, esotericism justifies a particular type of knowledge according to how the knowledge in question is carried. The logic is twofold. First, the knowledge is authorized by the subject of the enunciated, that is, the one who is said to have initiated teachings in a tradition (e.g., a martial arts school, theater troupe, academy, or the like).1 It is noteworthy that the subject of the enunciated here includes such a mystic figure as a deity who initially bestows teachings upon the school founder in the latter’s dream.2 Second, the subject of enunciation, that is, the consecutive mentors, would be incorporated into the tradition of the teachings, and thereby into the collective subject of the enunciated. This “backward” process keeps legitimizing the subject of the enunciated, and, by extension, the enunciated per se, that is, the teachings. In this paradigm, therefore, transmission, which consists of imitation and repetition, is precisely the moment when “knowledge” is created, legitimized, and reinforced. This chapter investigates this type of “transmission” in conceptualized esotericism and underlying esotericism. How is transmission conceptualized in the esotericist regime, and what do esoteric practitioners take for granted when conceptualizing it?
KeywordsTotal Transmission Authentic Source Established Scholarship Textual Logic Late Father
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