User talk:Javierfv1212

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Tibet Maps[edit]

I didn't find the map I commented about (to add Ngari). But on the Map of the empire I can say that 'Tuyuhun' and 'Azha' look like they are two places, but they are just the Chinese and Tibetan words for the same palce respectively. Lhasa was around in the Empire, it was calledd Ra sa, but there is no particular reason to think it is important. As for other cities, a lot of places are mentioned in the Dunhuang sources, but I don't have a good sense of geography. Gutram Hazod has a great appendix to Brandon Dotson's new book about the Annals which discusses Old Tibetan places in the greatest detail that has been achieved so far. Tibetologist (talk) 07:28, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Wow, that's fascinating. I always thought the Potala was built on the site of the tsänpos' palace. Is that just a legend? At what point did Lhasa become the political center of Tibet? Since the Rinpungpas and the Tsangpas were based in Shigatse, the Phakmodrus in Nedong, and the Sakyas in Sakya, is it possible that Lhasa was never the capital before the Geluks came to power? However legendary Bhrikuti and Wencheng were, the Jhokhang must have been built at some point.
Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the early history of Lhasa:

After conquering the kingdom of Zhangzhung in the west, he [Songtsän Gampo] moved the capital from the Chingwa Taktse castle in Chongye County (pinyin: Qonggai), southwest of Yarlung, to Rasa (modern Lhasa) where in 637 he founded the first buildings of the Potala Palace on Mount Marpori. In 641 he founded the Rasa Trulnang or Jokhang.[2] Lhasa soon became not only the religious, but the political centre.[3] Lhasa remained the capital throughout the development of the Tibetan Empire until the reign of Langdarma in the 9th century, when the sacred sites were destroyed and desecrated and the empire fragmented.[4]

Citations 2 and 4 are from Footprint Tibet, which I think is a tourist guidebook (I guess I should expect that sort of citation from certain Wikipedians), but citation 3 references Stein's Tibetan Civilization for the statement that "Lhasa soon became not only the religious, but the political centre" during the Empire (worth noting that this sentence is slightly at odds with the preceding Wikipedia copy, which to my mind enhances its plausibility).—Greg Pandatshang (talk) 00:59, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Is it possible that it was kind of winter palace for the Kings? I don't think the Tibetan winter would be very pleasant inside tents. (Javierfv1212 (talk) 00:08, 3 April 2011 (UTC))


Thanks for all your recent additions to Ludus latrunculorum. I have for YEARS hoped to find Dr. Schaedler's essay reconstructing the game, and am glad to have Falkener's, and the ancient material. I would be glad to have Ra's reconstruction, which was here for a brief period, if there were any source for it. I searched, but did not find. J S Ayer (talk) 03:05, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

You're very welcome!, I found Schaedler's article at - I went ahead and added that to the page as well. What I have been dying to get my hands on is Austin's 'Roman board games' 1 and 2. Unfortunately all my searches have only led to those pesky university sites you have to pay to download the pdfs from. To be honest I find "Ra", whoever he is anyways, to be on the wrong track (though his rules sound very similar to Kowalski's rules so its not really a big deal that we don't know the source of it - maybe it's just someone who copied Kowalski?). I am not of the opinion that there was a "Dux" or "Aquila" figure and though it is not impossible for there to have been such a version of the game (maybe a combination of fidcheall or tafl games and latrunculi?), I still think that the fact that such an important figure was left out of the descriptions in Ovid, Martial and in the Laus Pisonis to be pretty decisive. With regards to the 'doctor's game", there really is no scholarly consensus on what exactly it is and thus cannot be proof for the existence of any Dux figure as posited by Kowalski. What are your thoughts? Javierfv1212 (talk)

Thanks again; it's always interesting to see what my searches have missed. I agree that the Stanway game is probably not Latrunculi, though we don't know how far people may have tinkered with it. What puzzles me is that the two bigger pieces were colored the same, and not like members of the two opposing forces. I want to reconsider the whole subject, and see how far the descriptions would apply to the spirited games of Twelve Men's Morris, or Merels, that my son played with me when he was a boy. That's about it for the moment; I will keep watch for further developments. J S Ayer (talk) 18:17, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Interesting, I'd like to get myself a board and some glass counters and play soem games with the various rules and see how it turns out. Also, one more question, do you know who "Robert Cooper" is? He has a set of rules for "military latrunculi" and "civilian latrunculi" at but I can't find anything about him. Javierfv1212 (talk)

No idea; I suppose the obvious thing to do would be to use the e-mail link and ask him. J S Ayer (talk) 20:01, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Southeast Asia Map Circa 1750?[edit]

Hi- a note of thanks for all your great historical maps. I am making edits to some pages on Laos and Lan Xang and was wondering if you could make another map c.1750? Lan Xang split between 1707-1710 into three kingdoms (and one principality), Burma, Ayutthaya and Lanna were the main kingdoms in the West, Vietnam occupied the east. There are some maps both before and after, but none for this period. I have some references if it would help- you should be able to make some edits to your existing maps of Southeast Asia.StampyElephant (talk) 00:34, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

East Mountain Teachings[edit]

Hi Javierfv1212. Thnaks for your edit at East Mountain Teaching. It's interesting to note that the first technique, meditation on emptiness, is commonly used to gain insight into emptiness into emptiness. Given the Madhyamaka-interpretation of emptiness, I wonder if this technique aims at suppressing the stream of thought, instead of stimulating critical, investigative thought. See Susan Kahn, The Two Truths of Buddhism and The Emptiness of Emptiness. It's a very interesting read, which made me finally understand what emptiness is really about: no inherently existing "things" (or "I"), but also no underlying transcendental Ground or so. "No-thing"! Zen may have incorporated Madhyamaka-teachings as well, hence the paradoxical language, to point to "the" unnameable. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:22, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Greetings Joshua, My understanding of the East mountain teachings is quite limited, however I think that the paradoxical nature of Chan is due to the use of several scriptures which can have different messages - Awakening of faith, the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra and the Prajñaparamita sutras. Attempting to combine the language and ideas in all these different Mahayana sutras, and to put these ideas in line with a meditation practice drawn from varying sources as well (such as Zhiyi's texts and the Dhyāna sutras) can lead to varying ideas. I'm currently making an article in my sandbox about one of the earliest Chan meditation manuals, the Tso-chan-i and the practice was definitely based on quieting the mind's stream of thoughts so that the inner undefiled mind (which seems to be related to 'Tathatā' or the "One mind" of the Awakening of faith). This text and this way of practice became very popular is probably the earliest form of shikantaza however this also led to a disagreement in zen which is the famous silent illumination vs koan division. The main reason here is that one can begin to see the practice of just "watching the mind" as being pure samatha with no vipassana content and thus being a practice which is non-conductive to liberation - hence the introduction of koan or hua tou practice. However if you believe that all you need to do to reach sudden enlightenment is to quiet the mind enough so that the obscured inner Suchness will reveal itself to you (as a pearl is visible in a pool when the waters are still) then the practice of just observing the mind or silent illumination makes sense. With regards to the conception of emptiness of the early chan schools, I think there was some disagreement as well, with some groups believing that the ultimate was just pure emptiness (emphasizing the prajñaparamita sutras) and others believing that everything was empty EXCEPT the 'One mind' or Suchness/Buddha-nature of the Awakening of faith. This is of course, the problematik of the Chan weltanschauung - a mixture of ideas and philosophies from varying complex Mahayana scriptures. And we can see this argument still going on today with the discourse of the Critical Buddhism. Javierfv1212 (talk)


Hi Javierfv1212. Thank you for your contributions! How about creating an archive for your talkpage? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:18, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

By the way, did you read Eliot Deutsch's "Advaita Vedanta: A Philosophical Reconstruction"? He gives a somewhat "phenomenological" twits or interpretation to Advaita; very interesting. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:27, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! I'll work on it soon lol I'm not really sure how everything works to be honest. And no I have not read that book, I don't have too much of a background in Hindu philosophy but Shankara is definitely interesting, thanks for the rec.

Emptiness as a mental state[edit]

A belated thanks for this edit:

"Emptiness as a mental state, in the early canons, means a mode of perception in which one neither adds anything to nor takes anything away from what is present, noting simply, "There is this.""

That describes very nice what I recognize from doing meditation and pondering over the question "What is 'I'?" When thinking about "I," images, I-feelings and memories come up; they constitute a vivid and very real "I." But when I turn the attention outward, to what's there, the thoughts become empty, and instead there's the awareness ("Gewahr-Sein," German) of the body and the breath. This "emptiness" have I recognized long time ago as what I am: "Leegte" (Dutch), emptiness. It is awareness, "Atman," Buddha-nature, et cetera. And it is ingraspable; when the thoughts want to grasp it, it's ungraspable; it has no other foundation. Quite scary, actually; not as liberating as the tradition tells us, on the contrary. But when I just 'describe' what's there, first the thoughts, then the empirical reality, then it's fine. And that's exactly, I think, what that quote describes. Thanks. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:51, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Thanks! Do check out the latest page I just created on Dharmakirti's Pramanavarttika. Let me know what you think and if there is anything I can help out with! Javierfv1212 (talk) 04:30, 1 February 2017 (UTC)
Interesting. I like the criticism of the unquestioned authority of the Vedas; when one accepts that authority, one is stuck to Atman and Brahman. Experience ("qualia") is much easier described and explained without those concepts. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:30, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

Buddhism Barnstar[edit]

BuddhismBarnstarProposal4.png The Buddhism Barnstar
Thanks for the articles about Buddhism. Your input on Lotus Sutra was also very helpful. JimRenge (talk) 18:32, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Apophatic theology[edit]

Hi Javierfv1212. Did you ever read anything about Apophatic theology? It's the tehology beyonf much of western mysticism. Recently I did some reading on it, in the context of Hesychasm and Contemplative prayer; I found the similarities with Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta quite striking. It even gives me a better understanding of Buddhism, and its teachings in Anatta, Sunyata, etc. All the best, and thank you for your thoughtfull edits, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 03:37, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

Hello! Yes I have heard of this, I find it interesting even though most Christians still hold to the classical belief in an eternal creator god, etc, which in Buddhism is considered an extreme view. Also it seems like even in Apophatic theology, there is no insight into emptiness itself, rather it seems to be a sort of linguistic skepticism about the ability to capture god in words - ie god is ineffable and unknowable (though in orthodox theology his 'energies' are knowable), but they still hold that whatever god is, it definitely exists as the ultimate reality, while for Buddhism and Dzogchen, the Dharmata, ultimate reality, etc is not bound by the extremes of existence and non-existence. Another big difference, is that in Buddhism and Dzogchen, reality is fully knowable by those awakened beings called Buddhas, but it seems like in christian theology, god itself is unknowable even if we can experience his energies through theoria/prayer/hesychasm, his ultimate essence remains beyond our reach as mere mortals. There is also a dualism between God and his creation, in Christianity, they are clearly separate, even if we can be said to be created in gods image. So ultimately, these two ideas (Buddhist thought and Christian apophatic theology) are quite different in many key ways. Javierfv1212 (talk) 01:37, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

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