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Name: Hannah Geismar
[ book tip by Hannah Geismar ] The Tao of Pooh is one of those books that makes you wonder about many things, and one of them might be the question: if everybody read this book and started applying its philosophy to their daily life, would it make the world a better place or would it create complete chaos?
The Tao of Pooh is a guide to Basic Taoism, a particular way of appreciating, learning from and working with whatever happens in everyday life. The principles are quite straightforward, but according to Hoffman, the Taoist writings that we know in the West, have been translated by scholars who have largely misunderstood Taoism and managed to turn it into something intellectual and complex when it's supposed to be quite the opposite.
Hoffman finds Western philosophy egocentric and impractical, hung up on arguing and theorizing, and with little connection with everyday living: 'Western philosophy has become the domain of pipe-smoking, tweed-suited college professors and hypercerebral students who, for all their intelligence, often seem to have a hard time washing their clothes or repairing the lawn mower.' He points out that in the East generally, and in China especially, philosophy has always been considered of no value unless it can be, and is, applied in one's daily life. Taoism is not about thinking but about being, and this is where Pooh comes into the picture.
Hoffman's point is that if you want to learn about Taoism, you don't have to pick up any heavy books, all you need to do is read Winnie the Pooh because Pooh incarnates the key principles of Taoism: natural simplicity, effortless action, spontaneity and compassion. Taoism is happy, gentle, childlike and serene - like flowing water - and so is Pooh. He is able to accomplish what he does because he is simple-minded, not in spite of it, and the fact that he simply is, allows him to be a lot happier than the likes of Eyeore, Owl and Rabbit. Pooh is true to his own True Nature, and that's the foundation of his happiness.
The Tao of Pooh is the kind of book that gets better every time you read it, so get your own copy. The companion book, The Te of Piglet, is worth reading as well.
[ book info ] Hoffman, Benjamin: THE TAO OF POOH.
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