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 1

Then what happened

October 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

“There can be no doubt that in the very earliest ages of human history the magical force and wonder of the female was no less a marvel than the universe itself; and this gave to woman a prodigious power, which it has been one of the chief concerns of the masculine part of the population to break, control, and employ to its own ends.” – Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Or it’s no society

October 21st, 2017 · No Comments

“A society depends for its existence on the presence in the minds of its members of a certain system of sentiments by which the conduct of the individual is regulated in conformity with the needs of the society . . . the sentiments in question are not innate but are developed in the individual by the action of the society upon him.” – A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, The Andaman Islanders

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

It’s not on the sofa

October 20th, 2017 · No Comments

“The only true wisdom lives far from mankind, out in the great loneliness, and it can be reached only through suffering.” – Igjugarjuk (quoted by H. Ostermann, Report of the Fifth Thule Expedition)

→ No CommentsTags: Verandah

Eyes tight shut

October 19th, 2017 · No Comments

“Why should it be that whenever men have looked for something solid on which to found their lives, they have chosen not the facts in which the world abounds, but the myths of an immemorial imagination—preferring even to make life a hell for themselves and their neighbors, in the name of some violent god, to accepting gracefully the bounty the world affords?” – Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology

→ No CommentsTags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit

The answer is no

October 18th, 2017 · No Comments

“Was any man ever the happier for being unhappy about death, and did he live any longer? Is suffering made the less by tears about it? Or another’s pain removed by your abundant gloom?” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

→ No CommentsTags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Onward, Buddhist soldiers

October 17th, 2017 · No Comments

“No Buddhist has ever burnt his neighbour’s body for the sake of his (non-existent) soul, nor has there been a ‘Buddhist’, still less that blasphemous phrase, a ‘holy’ Buddhist, war. It has always taught that truth is either relative (all that we know), or absolute (which we cannot know).” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

→ No CommentsTags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

We know their names

October 16th, 2017 · No Comments

“And if there shall ever arise a nation whose people have forgotten poetry or whose poets have forgotten the people, though they send their ships round Taprobane and their armies across the hills of Hindustan, though their city be greater than Babylon of old, though they mine a league into the earth or mount to the stars on wings—what of them? They will be but a dark patch upon the world.” – James Elroy Flecker, Hassan: The Story of Hassan of Baghdad and How he Came to Make the Golden Journey to Samarkand

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit

Otherwise, go figure

October 15th, 2017 · No Comments

“What we do is what we are; when we are, we shall know what to do.” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

→ No CommentsTags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Git on it

October 14th, 2017 · No Comments

“Now is the best time for everything, because if done now it is immediately done, without like or dislike, purpose or desire. For things are what we do with them; they are not good or evil save as we make them so, and the same applies to their being useful, beautiful or just plain dull.” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

→ No CommentsTags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Holding it close

October 13th, 2017 · No Comments

“There are only three things in the world, one is to read poetry, another is to write poetry, and the best of all is to live poetry!” – Rupert Brooke

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit

The equation

October 12th, 2017 · No Comments

“Freedom is not in doing what you like, but in liking what you do.” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

→ No CommentsTags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

The thousand points of light

October 11th, 2017 · No Comments

“The hope of mankind does not lie in the action of any corporate body, be it ever so powerful, but in the influence of individual men and women who for the sake of a greater have sacrificed a lesser aim.” – Kenneth Walker, Diagnosis of Man

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Illuminated manuscript

October 10th, 2017 · No Comments

“Words exist for their meaning, of which they are but the shadow, and if they enshrine some part of the meaning, they probably obscure still more.” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

→ No CommentsTags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Rolling stones uphill

October 9th, 2017 · No Comments

“Knowledge is always an attempt. Every fact was established by an argument—by observation and interpretation—and is susceptible to being overturned by a different one. A fact, you might say, is nothing more than a frozen argument, the place where a given line of investigation has come temporarily to rest. Sometimes those arguments are scientific papers. Sometimes they are news reports, which are arguments with everything except the conclusions left out (the legwork, the notes, the triangulation of sources—the research and the reasoning). And sometimes they are essays. When it comes to essays, though, we don’t refer to those conclusions as facts. We refer to them as wisdom, or ideas. And yes, they are often openly impressionistic and provisional, colored by feeling, memory, and mood. But the essay draws its strength not from separating reason and imagination but from putting them in conversation. A good essay moves fluidly between thought and feeling. It subjects the personal to the rigors of the intellect and the discipline of external reality.” – William Deresiewicz, “In Defense of Facts”

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit

Don’t let it get away

October 8th, 2017 · No Comments

“The weather is always ‘good’ or ‘bad’. It is nothing of the kind. It is the weather. The same applies to the news, one’s neighbour’s morals and the soup.” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

→ No CommentsTags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Well, shut my mouth

October 7th, 2017 · No Comments

“All words are nets in which to ensnare the flow of life.” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

→ No CommentsTags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Two monks walk into a bar

October 6th, 2017 · No Comments

“Zen can no more be explained than a joke. You see it or you don’t.” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

→ No CommentsTags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Let me tell you about . . .

October 5th, 2017 · No Comments

“As a species, we repeatedly fail to acknowledge the equal and inherent right of all other species to exist, a right implicit in existence itself and in no way subordinate to our own. We ignore, as if instinctively, nature’s right to itself—its autonomy, if you like. No matter how we feel or act as individuals, what matters when it comes to saving nature is how we feel and act as a species. The news on that score is very grim.” – Verlyn Klinkenborg, “What’s Happening to the Bees and Butterflies?”

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit

Nanny’s not gonna give you that

October 4th, 2017 · No Comments

“The decisive distinguishing feature of Western philosophical or metaphysical spirituality is that it does not regard the truth as something to which the subject has access by right, universally, or simply by virtue of the kind of cognitive being that the human subject is. Rather, it views the truth as something to which the subject may accede only through some act of inner self-transformation: some act of attending to the self with a view to determining its present incapacity, thence to transform it into the kind of self that is spiritually qualified to accede to a truth that is by definition not open to the unqualified subject.” – Ian Hunter, “Spirituality and Philosophy in Post-Structuralist Theory”

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit

The political process

October 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

“A scheme of which every part promises delight can never be successful; and general disappointment is only warded off by the defence of some little peculiar vexation.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

→ No CommentsTags: Jane Austen · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Sing joy spring, etc.

October 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

“No tribal rite has yet been recorded which attempts to keep winter from descending; on the contrary: the rites all prepare the community to endure, together with the rest of nature, the season of the terrible cold. And in the spring, the rites do not seek to compel nature to pour forth immediately corn, beans, and squash for the lean community; on the contrary: the rites dedicate the whole people to the work of nature’s season.” – Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

→ No CommentsTags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit

Or the mob can do it

October 1st, 2017 · No Comments

“The hero of yesterday becomes the tyrant of tomorrow, unless he crucifies himself today.” – Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (emphasis in original)

→ No CommentsTags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

And difficult to overcome

September 30th, 2017 · No Comments

“In Christianity, Mohammedanism, and Judaism, the personality of the divinity is taught to be final—which makes it comparatively difficult for the members of these communions to understand how one may go beyond the limitations of their own anthrpomorphic divinity. The result has been, on the one hand, a general obfuscation of the symbols, and on the other, a god-ridden bigotry such as is unmatched elsewhere in the history of religion.” – Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

→ No CommentsTags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit

In the power of attorney

September 29th, 2017 · No Comments

“What is the difference in matrimonial affairs, between the mercenary and the prudent motive? Where does discretion end, and avarice begin?” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Jane Austen · Lit & Crit

Away all boarding parties

September 28th, 2017 · No Comments

“In the Year of Our Lord 1682

To ye aged and beloved, Mr. John Higginson:

There be now at sea a ship called Welcome, which has on board 100 or more of the heretics and malignants called Quakers, with W. Penn, who is the chief scamp, at the head of them. The General Court has accordingly given sacred orders to Master Malachi Huscott, of the brig Porpoise, to waylay the said Welcome slyly as near the Cape of Cod as may be, and make captive the said Penn and his ungodly crew, so that the Lord may be glorified and not mocked on the soil of this new country with the heathen worship of these people. Much spoil can be made of selling the whole lot to Barbadoes, where slaves fetch good prices in rum and sugar and we shall not only do the Lord great good by punishing the wicked, but we shall make great good for His Minister and people.

Yours in the bowels of Christ,
Cotton Mather”

– quoted by Dr. Karl Menninger in Love Against Hate

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · The American Constitution

Horseless carriage

September 27th, 2017 · No Comments

“Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

→ No CommentsTags: Jane Austen · Lit & Crit

Good luck with your MAGA and your NWO

September 26th, 2017 · No Comments

“Schism in the soul, schism in the body social, will not be resolved by any scheme of return to the good old days (archaism), or by programs guaranteed to render an ideal projected future (futurism), or even by the most realistic, hardheaded work to wield together again the deteriorating elements. Only birth can conquer death—the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new.” – Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

His own especially

September 25th, 2017 · No Comments

“The inflated ego of the tyrant is a curse to himself and his world—no matter how his affairs may seem to prosper. Self-terrorized, fear-haunted, alert at every hand to meet and battle back the anticipated aggressions of his environment, which are primarily the reflections of the uncontrollable impulses to acquisition within himself, the giant of self-achieved independence is the world’s messenger of disaster, even though, in his mind, he may entertain himself with humane intentions. Wherever he sets his hand there is a cry (if not from the housetops, then—more miserably—within every heart).” – Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

→ No CommentsTags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit

Hurts so good

September 24th, 2017 · No Comments

“Sentimentality is sister to brutality, and the two are never very far apart.” – Carl Gustav Jung, Symbols of Transformation (trans. R.F.C. Hull)

→ No CommentsTags: Carl Gustav Jung · Lit & Crit

Turn and face the strange changes

September 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

“Everything young grows old, all beauty fades, all heat cools, all brightness dims, and every truth becomes stale and trite. For all these things have taken on shape, and all shapes are worn thin by the working of time; they age, sicken, crumble to dust—unless they change. But change they can, for the invisible spark that generated them is potent enough for infinite generation.” – Carl Gustav Jung, Symbols of Transformation (trans. R.F.C. Hull)

→ No CommentsTags: Carl Gustav Jung · Lit & Crit