The Tao of Pooh

Alright Ladies and Gentlemen,

Here is my first book review and I’ll need to say that reviewing music is a lot easier than books because if I pick up a book to read, I’m going to finish it no matter how painful it may be.  With books there is so much to remember and to account for, but here goes nothing………………..

Lately, I have been reading pretty dense and thick, thinking books. Although those are enjoyable, they can make one a much slower reader because it can be just a lot to wade through. I have a fond interest in reading about history and world religions. I basically have a minor in school in religion and my professor I had for one class, assigned this book I’m reviewing today: The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff.

You look at this book and giggle at the udder ridiculousness of the how short it is, the pictures of Winnie the Pooh characters all over the book and just the whole cartoon aspect of it as you try to comprehend Winnie the Pooh=Taoism?

Well I thought the same thing as well when I first saw this assignment in front of me. I opened the book and just breezed through the introduction/first chapter. I just kept going and soon I realized I was almost a 1/3 of the way through the book and I had to set it down and go “
Whoa, this guy is onto something here.”

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a Taoism or eastern religion expert, but this guy was dead on in describing Taoism in the most simplest terms and above all that, using Winnie the Pooh characters in the process. Simply amazing!

Hoff covers at least 3 or 4 major Daoist principles in the book using Winnie the Pooh characters and their personalities in everyday situations

Cottleston Pie talks about how Clevernees is limiting and nearsighted and how it is better to “go with the flow, know your limitations, but respect things as they are and don’t be in such a rush to influence or change them.  He refers to this as your Inner Nature and if you listen to yourself and simply appreciate what is around you and inside of you, you’ll have a much easier time with life.

Cottleston Pie like the over major prinicples discussed are very much connected with one another and sort of overlap into each other.

The most important principle I got from this book was “Bisy Backson”

A Bisy Backson is a person who very much active but is always on the run and never enjoys themselves. They run around, never have time to relax and  make the people around them on edge due to their uneasiness in their need to be doing something. They are usually obsessed with doing something beyond reason.  Common examples of the obsessive need for perfection or compulsion are; exercise, work, academics, etc.

Here is an excerpt from the book to help describe this:

” There was a man who disliked seeing his footprints and his shadow. He decided to escape from them and began to run. But as he ran along, more footprints appeared, while his shadow easily kept up with him. Thinking he was too slow, he ran faster and faster without stopping and finally collasped from the exhaustion and died. “

– pg. 92 from Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff

I think Bisy Backson is such an important principle because we are all guilty of this at some point in time and definitely see these people in life each and everyday. This was a prinicple I saw in myself and because I was brought to attention of it through reading all this, I changed my mindset and ways of how I go about my life.

I loved this book and I hope I have enticed at least a few of you to go out and try it out. It is a nice read and easy going. It will make you think, but it won’t tax or wear on you like a text book or anything and you’ll be done before you know it. (since it is only 160 pages.) It will teach you some important life skills while also giving you a nice introduction into Taoism. If for no other reason, just check out this book to see how Hoff magically weaves Winnie the Pooh into religion and makes sense of all of it. Overall rating: A

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