"The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff

Essay by joelgeorgiaHigh School, 10th grade April 2004

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In the novel "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff the reader learns the teachings of the Tao through a character that everyone knows, Winnie the Pooh. Although it takes years to master and understand the Tao, Benjamin Hoff makes it easy of how to live by the Tao by simply acting like Pooh.

One of the basic principles of Taoism is P'U, the Uncarved Block. The essence 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. This principle applies not only to things, but to people as well. Or Bears. Which brings us to Pooh, who is the Uncarved Block. While everyone in the Hundred Acre Woods is constantly fretting over some little thing, Pooh just keeps things simple. "We keep looking for home and not finding it, so I thought that if we looked for the Pit, we'd be sure not to find it, which would be a good thing, because then we might find something that we weren't looking for, which might be just what were looking for, really" (13).

The Tao also teaches us that we can be happy with doing nothing at all. Taoist can be very happy by just being by themselves and finding an inner peace inside themselves. Many people wonder how somebody can be happy by doing nothing, and the answer is simple. Taoists don't need to know how a nuclear weapon works or how far it is to the sun. Taoists just keep it simple by not spending their entire life searching for unanswered questions, and just find peace with being content in their lives.

So the question is should I have no worries, and live by the Tao?...