Tao Of Pooh Essay Research Paper The

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Tao Of Pooh Essay, Research Paper The Wu Way, the Pooh Wei Winnie the Pooh has a certain way about him, a way of doing things which has made him the world’s most beloved bear. And Pooh’s Way, as Benjamin Hoff brilliantly demonstrates, seems strangely close to the ancient Chinese principles of Taoism. The ‘Tao of Pooh’ explains Taoism by Winnie the Pooh and explaines Winnie the Pooh by Taoism. It makes you understand what A.A. Milne probably meant when he said he didn’t write the Pooh-books for children in the first place. In chapter one, the How of Pooh, Hoff touches upon The Vinegar Tasters, a proverb about three men who represent the Three Teachings of China, and that the vinegar they are sampling represents the essence of life. The first of the tasters Kung

Fu-Tse (Confucius) believed that the present was out of step with the past, and that the government of man on earth was out of step with the Way of Heaven. He emphasized reverence for the Ancestors, as well as for the ancient rituals and ceremonies in which the emperor, as the son of Heaven, acted as intermediary between limitless heaven and limited earth. To Buddha, the second figure, the world was seen as a setter of traps, a generator of illusions, a revolving wheel of pain for all creatures. To Lao-tse, the third figure, the harmony that naturally existed between heaven and earth from the very beginning could be found by anyone at anytime, but not by following the rules of confucianists. Taoism is not a religion, nor a philosophy – it is a Way of life, it is a river.

Traditionally, Taoism has been attributed to three sources, the oldest being the legendary ‘Yellow Emperor’, but the most famous is Lao Tse’s Tao Teh Ching. According to tradition, Lao Tse was an older contemporary of Kung Fu Tse (Confucius). The third source is Chuang Tse’s (untitled) work. But the original source of Taoism is said to be the ancient I Ching, The Book Of Changes. Hoff shows us in chapter two, The Tao of Who, that Pooh is the perfect representation of the Taoist principle of the uncarved block. Through semantic changes, perfectly in keeping with the Tao, we find that Pooh, or P’u, is actually a tree in the thicket, or a wood not cut, or finally, an Uncarved Block. And this, of course, is what pure being is. The essence of the principle of the Uncarved

Block is that things in their original simplicity contain their own natural power, power that is easily spoiled and lost when that simplicity is changed. Winnie-the-Pooh is the Uncarved Block: he is able to accomplish what he does because he is simpleminded. As any old Taoist walking out of the woods can tell you, simpleminded does not necessarily mean stupid. It’s rather significant that the Taoist ideal is that of the still, calm, reflecting “mirror-mind” of the Uncarved Block, and it’s rather significant that Pooh, rather than the thinkers Rabbit, Owl, or Eeyore, is the true hero of Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. If it were Cleverness that counted most, Rabbit would be the hero of the chapter In which Tigger is unbounced, but that’s not the way things

work. On the contrary Rabbit is the one that really loses his way, and Pooh is the one that finds his way home by listening to his calling pots of honey. From the state of the Uncarved Block comes the ability to enjoy the simple and the quiet, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously, like the wishing of a Very Happy Thursday and the wondering in a Thoughtful spot. Wisdom lies in the way of Pooh, who shirks the busy-ness of Rabbit, the intellectual hubris of Owl, and the doom-saying of Eeyore. Pooh simply is, and enjoys being who he is. Pooh is a Master, who knows the Way. Learn from him. Learn to be with him. Chapter six brings us The Cottleston Pie Principle, that everything has its own place and function. When you know and respect