Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

The cultural phenomenon of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne (1926) crosses generations and time. Winnie the Pooh still speaks to me as an adult within the adult world. It speaks to the child within and her curiosity and wonder at life. The characters are each archetypes of human desires and fears.

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

Pooh: a certified glutton who enjoys life and ‘hunny’ with its simplest pleasures to the fullest.

Piglet: a timid and skittish little pink lump who is afraid of joining the real world.

Tigger: a boundlessly energetic and enthusiastic type who tends to unintentionally annoy and overpower others.

Rabbit: a total stresshead who never ceases to fret and whirls around in a hurricane of worry.

Eyeore: a melancholic recluse who has all but given up on life, yet still manages to keep things together with the help of others.

Owla blustering intellectual who tends to think he knows what he’s talking about, but often gets it wrong.

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

We recognise these traits to varying degrees within ourselves, which could explain why Pooh is so timeless.

 

Insights into Pooh’s World: Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh

A wonderful continuation to popular cult of Winnie the Pooh is the book by Benjamin Hoff called The Tao of Pooh. Published in 1982 it combines eastern Tao/Zen philosophy with cleverly reimagined narratives from the legendary A.A. Milne stories.

The result is something overwhelmingly magical and special. A book brimming with timeless wisdom, childlike energy, the same wonder as the original series and simple advice that never goes out of fashion, much as the original book will never go out of fashion.

So here’s some of Benjamin Hoff’s advice as seen through the lens of Winnie the Pooh. If you ever get a chance to read this book, you really must…

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

“The honey doesn’t taste so good once it is being eaten; the goal doesn’t mean so much once it is reached; the reward is no so rewarding once it has been given. If we add up all the rewards in our lives, we won’t have very much. But if we add up the spaces *between* the rewards, we’ll come up with quite a bit. And if we add up the rewards *and* the spaces, then we’ll have everything – every minute of the time that we spent.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

“The masters of life know the way, for they listen to the voice within them, the voice of wisdom and simplicity, the voice that reasons beyond cleverness and knows beyond knowledge.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

“You complain that your tree is not valuable as lumber. But you could make use of the shade it provides, rest under its sheltering branches, and stroll beneath it, admiring its character and appearance. Since it would not be endangered by an axe, what could threaten its existence? It is useless to you only because you want to make it into something else and do not use it in its proper way.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

“A clever mind is not a heart. Knowledge doesn’t really care, wisdom does.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

“Wisdom, Happiness, and Courage are not waiting somewhere out beyond sight at the end of a straight line; they’re part of a continuous cycle that begins right here. They’re not only the ending, but the beginning as well.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

“We don’t need to shift our responsibilities onto the shoulders of some deified Spiritual Superman, or sit around and wait for Fate to come knocking at the door. We simply need to believe in the power that’s within us, and use it. When we do that, and stop imitating others and competing against them, things begin to work for us.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

“You’d be surprised how many people violate this simple principle every day of their lives and try to fit square pegs into round holes, ignoring the clear reality that Things Are As They Are.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

“The main problem with this great obsession for saving time is very simple: you can’t save time. You can only spend it. But you can spend it wisely or foolishly.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

“Things just happen in the right way, at the right time. At least when you let them, when you work with circumstances instead of saying, ‘This isn’t supposed to be happening this way,’ and trying harder to make it happen some other way.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

“Do you really want to be happy? You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you’ve got.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

“Lots of people talk to animals…Not very many listen though…that’s the problem.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

“Like silence after noise, or cool, clear water on a hot, stuffy day, Emptiness cleans out the messy mind and charges up the batteries of spiritual energy. Many people are afraid of Emptiness, however, because it reminds them of Loneliness.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

“The wise are who they are. They work with what they’ve got and do what they can do.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

“Cleverness, after all, has its limitations. Its mechanical judgments and clever remarks tend to prove inaccurate with passing time, because it doesn’t look very deeply into things to begin with.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

“Gathering, analyzing, sorting, and storing information—these functions and more the mind can perform so automatically, skillfully, and effortlessly that it makes the most sophisticated computer look like a plastic toy by comparison. But it can do infinitely more. To use the mind as it’s all too commonly used, on the kinds of things that it’s usually used on, is about as inefficient and inappropriate as using a magic sword to open up a can of beans. The power of a clear mind is beyond description. But it can be attained by anyone who can appreciate and utilize the value of Nothing.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

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