Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Tao of Pooh


by Benjamin Hoff

From the back cover:
The Tao of Pooh in which it is revealed that one of the world's great Taoist masters isn't Chinese...or a venerable philosopher...but is in fact none other than the simple bear created by A.A. Milne - Winnie the Pooh! While Eeyore frets... and Piglet hesitates...and Rabbit calculates... and Owl pontificates... Pooh just is. And that's his clue to the secret wisdom of the Taoists.

I read this book in conjunction with an online book club I participate in and found it to be an enjoyable little read. I have no knowledge of Taoism, so I can't tell you if it is even remotely accurate, but I felt like there were lots of interesting thoughts presented:

"It means that we need to recognize What's There. If you face the fact that you have weak muscles, say, then you can do the right things and eventually become strong. But if you ignore What's There and try to lift someone's car out of a ditch, what sort of condition will you be after a while?" (p43)

"The surest way to become Tense, Awkward, and Confused is to develop a mind that tries too hard -- one that thinks too much." (p77)

"Do you want to be really happy? You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you've got. Do you want to be really miserable? You can begin by being discontented." (p137)

Following said thoughts were examples from the Pooh books of how Pooh represented the positive principles (and the other animals didn't).

While I didn't necessarily agree with everything that was said (I thought he was particularly hard on Rabbit), and none of the ideas are super thorough in there presentations, I thought it was worth the time. Apparently there is also a sequel: The Te of Piglet.

Recommended.

1 comment:

Steve Julian said...

I read this book a number of years ago and I enjoyed it. I remember thinking how short but full this book was. Sometimes wisdom is in the weirdest places. Who would have thought that this fat round porky stumbling bumbling little bear could be so, so, in tune. :-)