The Tao of Pooh
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Before you rush to diagnose yourself with depression, make sure you’re not just surrounded by assholes. Because many people are afraid of emptiness, however, because it reminds them of loneliness. Everything has to be filled in, it seems—appointment books, hillsides, vacant lots—but when all the spaces are filled, the loneliness really begins. Then the groups are joined, the classes are signed up for, the gift-to-yourself items are bought. When the loneliness starts creeping in the door, the television set is turned on to make it go away. But it doesn’t go away. So some of us do instead, and after discarding the emptiness of the big congested mess, we discover the fullness of nothing.
Forty years ago, The Tao of Pooh was published by Dutton. Although it nearly died in hardcover due to the new owner's 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.” That’s what happens when you go to sleep on the edge of the writing table,” I said. “You fall off.”It would be easy to dismiss this book by its cover as a ‘child’s read’ and leave it on the shelf. That would be a shame, for this charming book portrays the principles of Taoism through the story of Winnie the Pooh - and the other characters - in such a way that it makes the reader stop… and think about life. Pooh lives in the ‘now’ without concern for things past or future; life just ‘Is’. Benjamin Hoff shows, through the adventures of Pooh and his companions, that a happier, more contented life is not such a distant or unachievable concept; it is just a question of changing the way we look at things. "While Eeyore frets 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. We will let a selection from the writings of Chuang-tse illustrate: Hui-tse said to Chuang-tse, "I have a large tree which no carpenter can cut into lumber. Its branches and trunk are crooked and tough, covered with bumps and depressions. No builder would turn his head to look at it. Your teachings are the same - useless, without value. Therefore, no one pays attention to them."
An empty sort of mind is valuable for finding pearls and tails and things because it can see what’s in front of it. An overstuffed mind is unable to. While the clear mind listens to a bird singing, the stuffed-full-of-knowledge-and-cleverness mind wonders what kind of bird is singing. The more stuffed up it is, the less it can hear through its own ears and see through its own eyes. Knowledge and cleverness tend to concern themselves with the wrong sorts of things, and a mind confused by knowledge, cleverness, and abstract ideas tends to go chasing off after things that don’t matter, or that don’t even exist, instead of seeing, appreciating, and making use of what is right in front of it. 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.” An Empty sort of mind is valuable for finding pearls and tails and things because it can see what’s in front of it. An Overstuffed mind is unable to. While the Clear mind listens to a bird singing, the Stuffed-Full-of-Knowledge-and-Cleverness mind wonders what kind of bird is singing. The more Stuffed Up it is, the less it can hear through its own ears and see through its own eyes. Knowledge and Cleverness tend to concern themselves with the wrong sort of things, and a mind confused by Knowledge, Cleverness, and Abstract Ideas tends to go chasing off after things that don’t matter, or that don’t even exist, instead of seeing, appreciating, and making use of what is right in front of it.”The Tao of Pooh is an absolute must-read for anyone seeking to live a richer and happier life, but we’ll give you a short sum-up of the life lessons it teaches. Most importantly, the book teaches that meditation and self-reflection can help you become your most true self, which paves the way for peace, happiness and fulfillment.