The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff


From Mom/Jayne

An exploration of Taoist philosophy through the lens of Winnie-the-Pooh:

The How of Pooh? (p. 1)

  • "The Vinegar Tasters"
    • Confucianism: the world is imperfect and needs to be ordered by humans
    • Buddhism: the world is suffereing and should be rejected
    • Taoism: the world is harmonious to be embraced and enjoyed
    • ...not stated, but Christianity: I was made for something other than this world

The Tao of Who? (p. 9)

  • The uncarved block:
    • things as they naturally are
    • be open to experiences but unburdened by them
    • don't let analysis prevent experience

Spelling Tuesday (p. 23)

  • Value experience over knowledge
  • Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is meaningless

Cottleston Pie (p. 37)

  • Accept things as they are
  • Everything has a natural purpose
  • The first thing you need to do is recognize your "own inner nature" (sounds a bit like "authenticity")

The Pooh Way (p. 67)

  • Wu Wei: “doing without meddlesome, combative, or egotistical effort”
  • Story of the honey pot gift: work with the natural order of things

Bisy Backson (p. 91)

  • Bisy Backson = Type A: always need to be productive
  • Enjoy the present rather than always thinking about the future

That Sort of Bear (p. 115)

  • Everything has its own unique value and nothing has greater inherent value than anything else (a bit relativistic)

Nowhere and Nothing (p. 141)

  • cease to impose your will on the world
  • allow the empty mind to work