OK, as far as Sublime, this tome has shot to the top of my must-get list. Wisdom Publications just announced the release of The Crystal Mirror of Philosophical Systems: A Tibetan Study of Asian Religious Thought, an 18th c. text that Wisdom’s blog describes as “...arguably the widest-ranging account of religious philosophies ever written in pre-modern Tibet.” I’d be panting for this volume anyway, but what really made it #1 with a bullet was the next bit:
“Like most Tibetan texts on philosophical systems, this work covers the major schools of India, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist, but then goes on to discuss in detail the entire range of Tibetan traditions as well, with separate chapters on the Nyingma, Kadam, Kagyu, Shije, Sakya, Jonang, Geluk, and Bon schools. Not resting there, [Thuken Losang Chokyi Nyima] goes on to describe the major traditions of China–Confucian, Daoist, and the multiple varieties of Buddhist–as well as those of Mongolia, Khotan, and even Shambhala.”
I’ve never heard of a Tibetan philosophical survey that isolates the Buddhist traditions unique to Mongolia. And I suspect Brother Don will order one to see what it says about Shambhala.
Speaking of Brother Don, he claims to be a collaborator in the Pretty Cool Dep’t (though his post referencing this has been taken down for reasons known only to him), providing photos for the book accompanying a new exhibit simply entitled “Genghis Khan,” which opened on February 27 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The exhibit features artifacts little seen in the West from Mongolian museums and The Hermitage in Russia. This interesting write-up quotes Morris Rossabi, a Mongol expert at Columbia University, thus:
“ ‘Until about 20 years ago, the Mongols and Genghis Khan were treated as simply plunderers, murderers, rapists, pillagers,’ Rossabi said. ‘Then about 20 years ago, those in the Mongol field began to reevaluate and look at how the Mongols brought the world together, that the Mongols had specific policies that encouraged and fostered trade, encouraged artisanship, became patrons of the arts. We didn’t ignore the massacring and the plundering, but there’s another side to it.
“ ‘The general audience still has this image of the Mongols as savages, and you see that, in fact, there are beautiful objects, that interesting and extraordinary technology was sponsored by the Mongols and in some cases commissioned by the Mongols, so you get quite a different picture.’”
The exhibit site is here, and well worth a look. If you’re near Houston, you have time to get there. It runs through September 7, at which point it moves on to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and future sites TBD.
Now. The Genghis Khan exhibit is a necessary tool to counter the pervasive image of the Mongol such as that perpetrated in our final Well Beyond Ridiculous item. Asian Gypsy’s gonna love this one.
Seems there’s some dimwit TV show in America called “Reaper.” On Friday, according to this showbiz site, ABC will air an episode entitled, I kid you not, “Dirty Sexy Mongol.” Should you tune in, “Sam has been given a new assignment from the Devil to capture a 13th century Mongolian warrior soul who is reaping havoc all across town.” That would be wreaking havoc, geniuses. But wait! The sophistication doesn’t end there! The last sentence of the blurb delivers this crucial plot-driver: “Also, Sock continues to be tortured by his hot stepsister.”
There. That oughta drive up DODR’s hits in the search engines.