The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

The Art of Tetman Callis header image 4

Entries Tagged as 'The Ancients'

Line ’em up

November 25th, 2018 · No Comments

“The sage in governing the people considers their springs of action, never tolerates their wicked desires, but seeks only for the people’s benefit. Therefore, the penalty he inflicts is not due to any hatred for the people but to his motive of loving the people. If penalty triumphs, the people are quiet; if reward over-flows, […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

And in the end

November 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“With wisdom exhausted abroad and politics disordered at home, no state can be saved from ruin.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Shock-haired bad boy

November 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“Suppose there is a boy who has a bad character. His parents are angry at him, but he never makes any change. The villagers in the neighbourhood reprove him, but he is never thereby moved. His masters teach him, but he never reforms. Thus with all the three excellent disciplines, the love of his parents, […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Philosopher kings

November 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“In the age of remote antiquity, human beings were few while birds and beasts were many. Mankind being unable to overcome birds, beasts, insects, and serpents, there appeared a sage who made nests by putting pieces of wood together to shelter people from harm. Thereat the people were so delighted that they made him ruler […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Faking the news

November 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“An unreal thing, if its existence is asserted by ten men, is still subject to doubt; if its existence is asserted by one hundred men, its reality becomes probable; and if its existence is asserted by one thousand men, it becomes undoubtable. Again, if spoken about by stammerers, it is susceptible to doubt; if spoken […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

But who shall rule the ruler

November 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“What parents desire of children is safety and prosperity in livelihood and innocence in conduct. What the ruler requires of his subjects, however, is to demand their lives in case of emergency and exhaust their energy in time of peace. Now, parents, who love their children and wish them safety and prosperity, are not listened […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Get in under the hood

November 18th, 2018 · No Comments

“In general, the principal way of government does not solely mean the justice of reward and punishment. Much less does it mean to reward men of no merit and punish innocent people. However, to reward men of merit, punish men of demerit, and make no mistake in so doing but affect such persons only, can […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Taking care of business

November 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“If in doing any kind of work people look after the harmony of the positive and negative factors; if in planting trees they follow the suitable periods of the four seasons; and if at dawn and at dusk there is no suffering from cold or heat; then revenue will be enormous. If important duties are […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

The equivalences

November 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“Punishments equivalent to crimes are never too many; punishments not equivalent to crimes are never too few.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

An ancient dilemma

November 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

“Once there was a man of Ch`u selling shields and halberds. In praising his shields he said, ‘My shields are so solid that nothing can penetrate them.’ Again, in praising his halberds, he said, ‘My halberds are so sharp that they can penetrate anything.’ In response to his words somebody asked, ‘How about using your […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Lit & Crit · The Ancients

Hence the emoluments clause

November 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“Kung-yi Hsiu, Premier of Lu, was fond of fish. Therefore, people in the whole country contentiously bought fish, which they presented to him. However, Kung-yi Tzŭ would not accept the presents. Against such a step his younger brother remonstrated with him and said: ‘You like fish, indeed. Why don’t you accept the present of fish?’ […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

The ruler can have no friends

November 1st, 2018 · No Comments

“Order and strength are due to the law; weakness and disorder, to its crookedness. If the ruler understands this principle, he must rectify reward and punishment but never assume humanity towards his inferiors. Rank and emolument are due to meritorious services; censure and punishment, to criminal offences.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

What is what

October 30th, 2018 · No Comments

“Are hardness and whiteness two distinct qualities in objective existence or are they the same thing perceived by different senses? If neither the hands nor the eyes can solve this problem, who can solve it?” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

It’s logical

October 29th, 2018 · No Comments

1. ‘The white horse is not the horse’—true. 2. ‘A white horse is not a horse’—false. 3. ‘The white horse is not a horse’—false. 4. ‘A white horse is not the horse’—true. – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao; emphases in original)

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

Easily delineated, our fears

October 28th, 2018 · No Comments

“Once upon a time there was a traveller drawing for the King of Ch`i. ‘What is the hardest thing to draw?’ asked the King. ‘Dogs and horses are the hardest.’ ‘Then what is the easiest?’ ‘Devils and demons are the easiest. Indeed, dogs and horses are what people know and see at dawn and dusk […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

Cart before the horse

October 27th, 2018 · No Comments

“Once there were men of Chêng contending for seniority in age. One man said, ‘My age is the same as Yao’s.’ Another man said, ‘I am as old as the elder brother of the Yellow Emperor.’ They brought the dispute to the court, but the judge could not make any decision. Finally he ruled that […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Drink up and listen up

October 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“Drugged wine and useful advice are what wise men and enlightened sovereigns ought to appreciate in particular.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

And other misfortunes

October 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“If the sovereign does not allow the humble to criticize the noble and the inferior to denounce the superior, but always expects the powers of high and low to balance, then ministers on equal footing will dare to conspire with each other. In so doing he will increase the number of delusive and deceitful officials.” […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

And so it is

October 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“If laws are distinct and clear, the worthy cannot over-run the unworthy, the strong cannot outrage the weak, and the many cannot violate the few.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Depends on you point of view

October 18th, 2018 · No Comments

“One who knows others is clever, but one who knows himself is enlightened. One who conquers others is powerful, but one who conquers himself is mighty.” – Lao Tzu, “The Virtue of Discrimination” (quoted in The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu, trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

Step by step

October 16th, 2018 · No Comments

“The compassionate mother, regarding her infant child, always strives to establish the child’s well-being. If she strives to establish the child’s well-being, she will endeavour to rid the child of calamities. If she endeavours to rid the child of calamities, her reflection and consideration become thorough. If her reflection and consideration are thorough, she will […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Lit & Crit · The Ancients

Maxed out

October 15th, 2018 · No Comments

“No greater crime than submitting to desire. No greater misery than not knowing sufficiency. No greater fault than avarice. Therefore, who knows sufficiency’s sufficiency is always sufficient.” – Lao Tzu, “Moderation of Desire” (quoted in The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu, trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Lit & Crit · The Ancients

Add only a dash of salt

October 14th, 2018 · No Comments

“Govern a big country as you would fry small fish: neither gut nor scale them.” – Lao Tzu, “How to Be in Office” (quoted in The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu, trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

No muzzle-loaders left

October 13th, 2018 · No Comments

“Those who do not know the right way to political order, always say, ‘Never change ancient traditions, never remove existing institutions.’ Change or no change, the sage does not mind. For he aims only at the rectification of government. Whether or not ancient traditions should be changed, whether or not existing institutions should be removed, […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

It’s nothing personal

October 12th, 2018 · No Comments

“When the cartwright finishes making carriages, he wants people to be rich and noble; when the carpenter finishes making coffins, he wants people to die early. Not that the cartwright is benevolent and the carpenter is cruel, but that unless people are noble, the carriages will not sell, and unless people die, the coffins will […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

If

October 11th, 2018 · No Comments

“If all officials indulge in studies, sons of the family are fond of debate, peddlars and shopkeepers hide money in foreign countries, and poor people suffer miseries at home, then ruin is possible. If the ruler is fond of palatial decorations, raised kiosks, and embanked pools, is immersed in pleasures of having chariots, clothes, and […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Indeed it is, and a rare thing at that

October 10th, 2018 · No Comments

“The sage is the one who scrutinizes the facts of right and wrong and investigates the conditions of order and chaos. Therefore, when governing the state he rectifies laws clearly and establishes penalties severely in order to rescue all living beings from chaos, rid All-Under-Heaven of misfortune, prohibit the strong from exploiting the weak and […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

The state of affairs

October 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“Because King Ling of Ch`u liked slender waists, the country became full of starvelings; because Duke Huan of Ch`i was by nature jealous and fond of women, Shu Tiao castrated himself in order to administer the harem; because Duke Huan liked different tastes, Yi-ya steamed the head of his son and served Duke Huan with […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Long ago and far away

October 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“When the Grand Way was pursued, a public and common spirit ruled All-under-Heaven; they chose worthy and able men; their words were sincere, and what they cultivated was harmony. Thus men did not love their parents only, nor treat as children only their sons. A competent provision was secured for the aged till their death, […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Here, there, and everywhere

April 26th, 2018 · No Comments

“You will not be able to find the boundaries of the soul even if you walk every path, so deep is its measure.” – Heraclitus (quoted by John Bussanich in “The Roots of Platonism and Vedanta”)

[Read more →]

Tags: The Ancients · Verandah