ARCHAIC TRAVEL GUIDE: PATANJALI
(This is part of a series of informal notes, taken during ongoing collaborative conversations on the subject of the problem of consciousness.)
Patanjali seems to have lived in what is now India sometime during the first 5 centuries BCE. He collected a vast amount of information related to the exploration of consciousness. The collection was first transmitted orally and later written down. It is usually referred to today as The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Although often claimed by Hindu apologists, Patanjali’s work is not formally religious at its core. The information in the collection may extend back to Neolithic and possibly even Paleolithic time, since there has been human habitation in the Indian subcontinent for at least 70,000 years.
The Sutras may be used as a kind of Fodor's or Lonely Planet for the landscape of consciousness. Like any travel guide, it gives ideas about methods of travel, sights that should not be missed, places to avoid and so forth.