Books and Movies Reviews

The Tao of Pooh

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff 1/29/01
Benjamin Hoff uses the simple characters of Christopher Robin’s toys to express the stereotypes which he places on people. The people who are too clever for their own good, people who think they can do everything instead of knowing their limitations, people who don’t know what they are useful for, people who have too much brain, and people with just the right amount of brain, such as Pooh.”While Eeyore frets … and Piglet hesitates… and Rabbit calculates… and Owl pontificates…Pooh just is” (Hoff, cover).Hoff manages to keep each point he has to make quite concise. His lessons are excerpts from Pooh’s stories and Eastern stories intermingled. One page he could be talking about Eeyore being bounced by Tigger, and the next talking about Emperor Hirohito taking pleasure from a meeting at which the other party never turned up to. Hoff, an american, explains each lesson in modern English, a great advantage when trying to understand something that was written many years ag!
o, and more than likely not in English.
Pooh is, for Hoff, the very embodiment of the Tao. Hoff endeavors to explain Taoism through Winnie-the-Pooh and Winnie-the-Pooh through Taoism. Taoism forms its meaning from the teachings of harmony and emptiness and being of Lao-tzu. The intangible Tao, the spirit of being,fashions the universe constantly out of chaos, in which nothing remains everlasting save the Tao.This makes Pooh a perfect example. In summation,Hoff writes that wisdom lies in the way of Pooh, who shirks the haste of Rabbit, the intellectual smugness of Owl, and the doom-saying of Eeyore. Pooh simply is, and enjoys being who he is. “When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun”(Hoff,p.20).
By learning from Pooh and learning …

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