The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff is probably one of the best philosophical works I have read in my life so far. In this book, Hoff teaches us the way and importance of Tao by using examples from Winnie the Pooh, even having the title character and his friends by his writing desk to help him narrate his points. To Hoff, Pooh is the perfect example of someone who follows the way of Tao – an un-carved block, one who sees the reality in front of him, one who appreciates life as it is. Of course, if life is miserable then one doesn’t have to be happy about it, but viewing things by the Tao of Pooh certainly can help change perspectives when circumstances need a change.
Has this book converted me to Taoist philosophy? Kinda yeah! I don’t know that I could follow it wholly (I don’t think any philosophy can be followed to the letter) but there are certain aspects that definitely could improve my life. I will absolutely be reading the Tao Te Ching soon to learn more.
I am giving this book four stars because I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, it has too many issues for me to have it be a five-star read. I felt that Hoff could have made more clear analyses when relating certain scenes from Winnie the Pooh to aspects of Tao. Often the scenes or references felt a bit random, needing analyses after the references rather than just before. And, while I thought that including Pooh himself as a character to speak with the narrator was clever and funny, I do sometimes think it strayed from the main topics at hand.
Overall, this was a delightful and informative book about Taoism, and it makes me fondly remember my childhood days reading Winnie the Pooh. I might even say that I get it now.
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