Monday, July 12, 2010

(Book #25) Benjamin Hoff - The Tao of Pooh

As far as quick reads go, you can't get much quicker than Benjamin Hoff's 'The Tao of Pooh', unless you consider Lao-tsu's 'Tao Te Ching'. Having never read this, the idea of comparing Taoism to Pooh seemed whimsical and simple enough for me, but I only just now got to reading it. It works well as an introduction of this simple Eastern worldview through the lens of a Western children's story. Hoff succeeds in introducing the reader to the basic principles of the Tao as embodied by Winnie the Pooh, while also making stark comparisons with the other characters' and their respective traits and faults. Amongst the dialogue with the familiar animals, several Chinese folk tales and traditional stories are weaved appropriately with the pastiche. The idea behind all of this is that living in a care and trouble-free manner is not only a comfort, but is a complete Way of experiencing life. While I cannot agree with all of the Taoist principals that have been broken down in this book, it was still a refreshing read that left me a little contemplative of my own temperament and of unnecessary stuff in life.

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