Tao Of Pooh And Taoism

Length: 1252 words

In The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff uses the characters from Winnie the Pooh to
explain the fundamentals of Taoism. By observing the actions of Eeyore, Piglet,
Rabbit, Owl, Tigger, and Pooh, he decides that the action of the character Pooh
best describes Taoism. The most important principle of Taoism is the Uncarved
Block. Hoff uses Pooh to best explain the Uncarved Block. The principle of the
Uncarved Block is that things in their original simplicity contain their own
natural power, power that is easily spoiled and lost when that simplicity is
changed. He uses these characters to show how things can be spoiled and lost and
also how things can just work out. Hoff uses Rabbit to show that when you always
have to be on the run doing something and being busy, usually you miss things
and you do not enjoy life. It can often screw up things to always have to figure
things out and always feel like you are important. He uses Owl to show that when
you are always looking for a reason for something then it often makes things too
complicated. Hoff uses Piglet in the sense that Piglet is always scared and
hesitating things, if Piglet would not hesitate, he would get things done in a
much more efficient

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way. He should just do, not think. Hoff explains the
character of Eeyore by showing how he is always worried about things; he frets a
lot. If he would not do that, then life would be much easier for Eeyore. And
finally, there is Pooh. Hoff shows how Pooh does not think or ponder about
things; he just does them. Things always work out for Pooh because of this. Pooh
works along with nature and he does not try to interfere. Pooh leads a simple
life. This can also be explained as the life and actions of a Taoist. Hoff’s
purpose of this book is a didactic purpose. He wrote the book to inform people
of Taoism. He wanted to teach the ways and beliefs of a Taoist. He wanted to
teach in a way that everyone could understand or relate too, that is why he used
Winnie the Pooh. Everybody understands Pooh. He thought that it would be an easy
and simple way to get the point across to not just the scholarly, but the normal
public. For example, Hoff states: “we won’t try too hard or explain too
much, because that would only Confuse things, and because it would leave the
impression that it was all only an intellectual idea that could be left on the
intellectual level and ignored.” (p. 10) He uses each chapter of the book
to teach a new principle of the Uncarved Block of Taoism. In each chapter he
tells a Winnie the Pooh story and then explains how it relates to Taoism. Hoff
writes a chapter teaching how cleverness does not always help, but it sometimes
destroys things and is the reason that things do not work out. Hoff teaches that
the Taoist believe that if you understand Inner Nature it is far more effective
than knowledge or cleverness. He uses a poem “Cottleston Pie”. The
poem explains how things just are as they are and how people try to violate
these principles with their everyday lives. He also uses a story of Tigger and
Roo. Tigger tries to be something he is not and he ends up just screwing things
up and getting stuck in a tree. Hoff also explains that working with Nature is
best in the sense that you do not screw things up with a story about Eeyore
getting stuck in the river. Everybody had been trying to think of clever ways to
get Eeyore out of the river when Pooh said that if they just dropped a big stone
into it, then it would just wash Eeyore ashore. He did it without even thinking,
because thinking would complicate things, and of course it worked. Pooh worked
with Nature and things worked out for him. As you can see, Hoff uses many
different Winnie the Pooh stories to teach the uncomplicated ways of the Taoist.

The only arguments that Hoff really presents is whether or not the Taoist way is
the best way and whether or not it really works. When you look at it from the
point of Pooh and the stories from The House at Pooh Corner you really believe
that what the Taoist believe is the best way. Obviously if you do not believe
that cleverness and knowledge are not important, then you will not agree with
anything Hoff is saying, but he makes you believe in showing you how it always
works out with Pooh. He argues whether or not cleverness and knowledge really
are important. For example, it can be explained in the story when Eeyore gets
stuck in the river. Clever ways do not work, but Pooh’s simple way works very
nicely. Hoff also argues how the Taoist believes that always being busy is not a
good thing. He uses Rabbit to explain this theory of the Taoist. Rabbit is
always in a hurry, being a Bisy Backson as they call it, and these Backsons are
always finding things to do to kill their time. Hoff explains these so called
creatures like a shadow. Shadows are always rushing along. Backsons are also
always trying to lose their shadows. They try to run from them not realizing
that they cannot. Hoff argues that by just sitting down and enjoying a nice
sunny day, like Pooh would do, you can complicate things. You do not get the
full fulfillment of your life. Hoff proposes numerous arguments about the ways
of life, whether or not the Taoist way is right, or the other way is right. I
feel that the way that Benjamin Hoff has chose to explain the principle of the
Uncarved Block is a very creative and effective way. This is a simple book and
it does not take much thinking or scholarly knowledge to read; just about
anybody can read and understand this book. I believe that he was trying to teach
the uninformed about the principles of Taoism and the Uncarved Block and I think
that he successfully accomplished that by writing this book. How he decides to
use Winnie the Pooh, stories that everybody is familiar with, is such a
magnificent way to explain the principles of Taoism. He definitely got his point
across. I do not think that he is trying to make you believe in the principles
of Taoism or the Uncarved Block, but that he is just trying to teach you or
inform you of them. I believe that he does accomplish that. Using Winnie the
Pooh is a very clever way of going about that. I loved this book. I can honestly
say that I did not really understand Taoism or where it was coming from before I
read this book. Now I do. I think that by comparing the principles of the
Uncarved Block to Winnie the Pooh characters and using them to explain it was a
brilliant idea. It really helped me understand it. I was not confused at all
throughout the book. I was a little confused in the beginning because I was
reading too much into it. Then I realized that I did not need to read into
anything at all, but I just needed to simply read the book. I am so used to
having to look into things when I read. I love how he chose such an easy way to
describe Taoism. It is such a complicated religion and he explained it so well
by just being simple. I like how he did not read to far into it and he did not
try to explain things that just simply did not need to be explained to
understand Taoism. In a sense I guess you could say that his book is also an
example of Taoism, it is simple and to the point.


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