User talk:John Hill

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Sadao Nakajima[edit]

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Hello, John Hill. You have new messages at Michitaro's talk page.
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File:Kurdish woman daughters.jpg[edit]

Hi, could you add information in the file discription where you took the photo and the circumstances, so why they wear traditional clothes. Thank you. Greetings --Zulu55 (talk) 12:56, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Hi! Thanks for your comment. I took this photo during a 6-week stay near Van, in eastern Turkey in 1973, where I was taking photos for an article on the Urartian civilisation for the National Geographic Magazine which, unfortunately, was never completed. At that time, there was considerable anti-Kurdish feeling and propaganda and Kurdish men were not allowed to wear their traditional clothes. However, it was common then to see Kurdish women in the region wearing their beautiful traditional clothes and not veiling their faces. Taking photos of the women was a pretty scary pastime, however. Although many women actually asked to be photographed, one woman warned me that, if their men caught me taking their photos they would kill me! The women generally positioned lookouts to warn us if Kurdish men were approaching, and then happily posed to have their photos taken, and thanked me after for doing so.
I was checked several times by the authorities and was actually roughed up a bit once and forced into a jeep and taken for hostile questioning in front of a mustachioed colonel in a large military base somewhere outside Van who spoke excellent English with an American accent (as I remember, he said he had trained in Colorado). I was only allowed to go free several long hours later after all my papers had been checked with Ankara.
A couple of times people tried to talk with me in the town of Van (including one old bearded man who spoke French) but were quickly surrounded on the street and hustled off before they could talk with me. I never discovered what this was all about - however, it must be remembered that, not only were the Turks having longstanding and ongoing problems with the Kurds, but Van is very close to the borders of Iran and the old U.S.S.R. and was, therefore, a very sensitive area.
I, and the people I was travelling with (my wife, step-daughter, and another family with 8 children), were forced to camp the whole time we were there in a small army communications base about 10 km south of the town of Van on the banks of beautiful Lake Van (just above the highway and a lovely small beach used by the soldiers) - presumably so they could keep a close eye on us. The authorities were clearly uncomfortable about me contacting and taking photos of Kurds and photographing archaeological sites, and obviously suspected me of some sort of nefarious activity. However, in the end, I was freely allowed to take all the photos I wanted and was generally treated very hospitably, by both the locals and the military.
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I hope my story is of some interest. I will certainly update the information on the photo.
Sincerely, John Hill (talk) 23:57, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Wow, thank you very much - it is certainly of interest. This tells so much more than just the picture. Thanks a lot!
PS: By the way: At german Wikipedia we try to enhance the colors of the picture: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Fotowerkstatt#File:Kurdish_woman_daughters.jpg_-_Wei.C3.9Fabgleich.3F --Zulu55 (talk) 09:54, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Anthony of Padua[edit]

Hi John. I apologize if my intended 4 digit edit on "Anthony of Padua" disrupted in any way, an thanks again for fixing it. Best, kim9teen — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kim9teen (talkcontribs) 01:04, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Appropriate forum to discuss self-published books is Reliable sources noticeboard[edit]

Hi, John,

I happened to see your message on another user's talk page, which I watch. The appropriate forum for discussing whether or not an author's self-published book is a reliable source is the Reliable sources notice board. I can tell you as a Wikipedian who is disinterested in the matter that you are discussing with the other editor (I haven't looked at the edits) that I myself would never post a link to my own publications on any Wikipedia page, as that also runs afoul of the Wikipedia conflict of interest policy, as the other editor mentioned to you on his talk page. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 12:09, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

It is good to hear from another editor on this matter. I take your point about not usually referring to, or quoting from, your own work. However, in this field there is frequently a shortage of relevant sources in English. Furthermore, many of the references I have made to my own book were actually to quotes and translations of quotes I have made from other scholars - often from sources that are difficult to access. Thank you so much for your interest and advice. Sincerely, John Hill (talk) 12:19, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I have left a posting at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#Books by John Hill Bgwhite (talk) 20:39, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

I'm very worried about how you are taking this. I completely understand your hard feelings. Please know I'm not judging you or your vast knowledge on the silk road and other Asian subjects. You have improved articles and I hope you continue to do so. I also think you didn't intentionally try to promote your book and your intentions were to only improve articles. Bgwhite (talk) 20:58, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your kind and thoughtful note. Please don't worry - I understand what you have been trying to do - and what my edits must have looked like. It is very important that Wikipedia is not abused and articles distorted by people pushing their own barrows. It is just that I have been through this process before and had thought what I was doing was not only OK, but would update the articles and make it easier for readers to check references. However, you were not to know that - and I have no doubt that you did everything in good faith. Thanks again for your concern. All best wishes, John Hill (talk) 22:13, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

With DGG giving his comments at the noticeboard, I'll bow out. Maybe to not give the appearance of COI, Stephan Schulz could update the articles to list the new editions??? FYI... I landed on the articles because you did the ISBN's wrong. I think you added a colon after ISBN (ie ISBN:), which didn't allow the software to do its wikimagic. See WP:ISBN for more info. Bgwhite (talk) 20:19, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Dromton . . . R A Stein quotation.[edit]

Hi John Hill, I have been working on the Dalai Lamas pages quite a bit as a newcomer, and the Ganden Tripa, adding stuff, and want to write more about the history of the DLs, and have been discussing with editors who are a bit hard to convince, as it were. One of them denies that Dromton is what you said he was in 2007 citing R A Stein; I found in the history that you had posted under Dromton's biography as follows:

"Dromtön is considered to be the 45th incarnation of Chenresig or Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and, thus, part of the early lineage of the Dalai Lamas (the First Dalai Lama is said to have been the 51st incarnation).[1]"

Now my opponent in debate who denies all this has added "need quotation to verify" on that reference so I wonder if you could extract a relevant quote from the book (which i don't have, obviously) which substantiates the whole sentence? And add it to the reference? Can you do that, please? I would much appreciate it. If you have time you can read my discussion with "Ogress" on the Dalai Lama talk page under "Section on History - is it relevant to this article?" The chapter title quotation can be inserted HERE if you wish to copy and paste this text:

[2]

The previous simple reference formatting can be deleted of course when you've done this. But you know that. It doesn't matter hw long the quote is - the more detailed the better as far as I'm concerned.

Sorry for the trouble and hope this is no problem for you - and that you still have the book handy! Sean Jones, France. MacPraughan (talk) 14:46, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Hi Sean! Thanks so much for providing so many details on this interesting query making it easier for me to check. First, I should emphasize that the text I wrote on Dromtön was an attempted brief summary paraphrased from what R.A. Stein said - not an exact quote.
On rereading the whole passage I note that Stein makes a rather complex comment about these incarnations of Avalokiteśvara - one that I find rather difficult to fully understand. It is clear that the present Dalai Lama is considered to be a reincarnation of the First Dalai Lama, and both are incarnations of Avalokiteśvara, as is Dromtön. Whether this makes Dromtön "part of the early lineage of the Dalai Lamas" is, on reflection, beyond my expertise to decide. I think it would be best to put this question to some recognised Tibetan authority on such matters.
The quote I was referring to is as follows:
"Tibet has often been described as a theocratic state. That is true to the extent that, in recent centuries, a central government, has been headed by the Dalai Lama: the incarnation—indirectly, it is true—of Avalokiteśvara, Tibet's patron bodhisattva, whose statue stands in the capital. There was a precedent for this: the same deity had already been incarnated in Tibet's first centralizing king, Songtsen Gampo, who at his death dissolved and melted into the same statue. It would be more accurate, however, to speak of an ecclesiastical state: first, because other hierarchs have ruled the whole or part of Tibet, some also incarnations and others not; but mainly because the Dalai Lama is not, any more than the Panchen Lama or any other incarnate lama, Avalokiteśvara's direct incarnation, repeated every time. Like all the others, he is the rebirth of the historical figure he was in his preceding life, a link in the chain that starts in history and leads back through legend to a deity in mythical times. The First Dalai Lama, Gedün-trup (1391-1474), was already the 51st incarnation; the teacher Dromtön, Atiśa's disciple (eleventh century), the 45th; whilst the 26th, one Gesar king of India, and the 27th, a hare, we are in pure legend." Stein (1972), pp. 138-139.
It may help anyone trying to decide whether the Dalai Lamas are considered to be reincarnations of Dromtön to consider the following quote:
“Who is the Dalai Lama? A man? A monk? A god? Leonard van der Kuijp surveys the prehistory of the Dalai Lama as a divinity, as the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. How and when did the Dalai Lamas come to be associated with the most important Buddhist celestial being in Tibet? Van der Kuijp provides answers to these questions in this study of the history of an idea. If the Dalai Lamas are the most famous embodiments of Avalokiteśvara in Tibet, they are by no means the first leaders to have been identified with the bodhisattva. Van der Kuijp places the origins of the tradition as early as the eleventh century, when the institution builder Dromtön was invested with the authority and status of Avalokiteśvara by his Indian guest, the Buddhist scholar Atiśa. In Atiśa’s telling, Dromtön was not only Avalokiteśvara but also a reincarnation of former Buddhist monks, laypeople, commoners, and kings. Furthermore, these reincarnations were all incarnations of that very same being, Avalokiteśvara. Van der Kuijp takes us on a tour of literary history, showing that the narrative attributed to Atiśa became a major source for both incarnation and reincarnation ideology for centuries to come.” From: “The Dalai Lamas and the Origins of Reincarnate Lamas. Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp” In: The Tibetan History Reader by Tuttle and Schaffer, 2013, p. 335.
I hope I haven't made this rather complex area of Tibetan Buddhist theology even murkier. i think we need expert help to make a final decision. I do hope it can be resolved satisfactorily.

Sincerely, John Hill (talk) 22:37, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Stein, R. A. (1972). Tibetan Civilization, p. 139. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. ISBN 0-8047-0806-1 (cloth); ISBN 0-8047-0901-7 (pbk).
  2. ^ Stein, R.A. (1972). "PASTE CHAPTER TITLE HERE". Tibetan Civilization (cloth ed.). Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-8047-0806-7. PLEASE PASTE FULL QUOTATION FROM P.139 HERE