Audie Award Winner, Personal Development, 2013
Author Benjamin Hoff shows that the philosophy of Winnie-the-Pooh is amazingly consistent with the principles of Taoism and demonstrates how you can use these principles in your daily life.
Is there such thing as a Western Taoist? Benjamin Hoff says there is, and this Taoist's favorite food is honey. Through brilliant and witty dialogue with the beloved Pooh-bear and his companions, the author of this smash bestseller explains with ease and aplomb that rather than being a distant and mysterious concept, Taoism is as near and practical to us as our morning breakfast bowl. Romp through the enchanting world of Winnie-the-Pooh while soaking up invaluable lessons on simplicity and natural living.
While Eeyore frets and Piglet hesitates and Rabbit calculates and Owl pontificates, Pooh just is. And that's the clue to the secret wisdom of the Taoists.
The Tao of Pooh is an international bestseller and the first Taoist-authored book in history to appear on bestseller lists, it remained on The New York Times’ bestseller list for 49 weeks.
©1982 Benjamin Hoff (P)2012 Tantor
I got the book off a college reading list, and it has been one of my favorites. To break down Winnie the Pooh as away of life, and with such a wonderful narrator, this book was so refreshing and enjoyable.
I loved this. Interest in meditation so I decided to check this out. Narrator is amazing… It's a very quick listen. Leaves a smile on your face.
Perhaps if the author hadn't taken a no-holds-barred offensive stance against everything apart from Taoism, or if he hadn't torn the characters apart to get them to fit around the characters he needed them to be to get his point across, I might have thought his words were more worthwhile. But as far as this book is concerned, everything except Taoism is the root of all evil in the world and must be stopped with the principles and application of Taoism, and the beloved characters from Winnie the Pooh were left as casualties in the aftermath.
Learning about Taoism was interesting, and the use of Winnie the Pooh in orchestrating that was creative (hence the two stars instead of one), but the entire book was riddled with accusations about every other mode of thought being unambiguously inferior to Taoism without even the consideration to say that there are benefits to them. Near the end of the book, the author even has the gall to say that being clever or scholarly (as opposed to following the way of Tao) will bring about the end of the world and that whatever is left to the few people who survive won't be worth looking at; that is a bit of a paraphrase, but only a bit.
The book is aggressively against any sort of knowledge-gathering, any sort of self-advancing effort, and basically anything anti-Tao. This moral is expressed by manipulating the characters of Winnie the Pooh by stretching their characterizations out of shape. Poor Eeyore was changed into an aggressive, useless, self-aggrandizing monster for no reason than because he's usually a bit blue. And for being the characterizations of cleverness and scholarly knowledge-seeking, Rabbit and Owl are portrayed as hasty and useless respectively. And Pooh Bear is the Messiah and can do no wrong, even when he's being just as useless as anyone else. The original premise, that Pooh Bear epitomizes Taoist philosophy, may be correct and may be worthwhile, but the slaughter of the rest of the characters just so that they can suit the needs of an extended metaphor is a blatant misuse of them.
The last straw for me was when the author extolled the virtues of a man living over two centuries by following the path of Tao. A philosophy causing substantial enough life changes to prolong the life of someone to nearly twice was the oldest living person at present has lived? And his life is so much better than he can outrun young men? The author has no incredulity and, after that bit, I can't find it in myself to take anything he says seriously.
All in all, it was an interesting premise, but the application just didn't work for me.
First and foremost, I adored the narrator. British accent + character voices = perfection. It is a simplified explanation of Taoism interspersed worth Pooh tales. It is entertaining, though I forgot it was a book on Taoism at some point until 3/4 of the way through due to quite a bit of story telling. Enjoyable nonetheless.
sure it sounds like some mumbo jumbo type stuff.
its a deep meaning if your into that type of thing.
one part says:
we create time saving devices to save time,
but if they did we would have more time than ever...
now imagine that...
What an incredibly accessible book this is for everyone. It charms intellectuals who have studied Taoism and philosophy alike, but it can be easily shown in its witty, funny, and adorable representation of ideas through the cast of winnie the pooh that anyone can understand and relate to the topics discussed. This book made me laugh a lot just from pooh's commentary and the banter between the author and him, and gave me a warm feeling at just how simple living among others may be if given the right perspective. This was also an incredibly quotable book that brings a lot of vivid advice to be taken away from the experience. By far one of the most entertaining ways to be taught insight that ive experienced
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