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Book: Tao of Pooh

May 4, 2010

I keep forgetting to write about this little book. Which probably says something about how memorable it was…

Actually I liked it quite a bit, but I went into it soured a little because of the grumpy Te of Piglet I read a few weeks ago. This book is the one you should read, if you are interested in Taoism and how Pooh is an excellent spokesperson for the philosophy.

Actually, after reading this I realized that Taoism is an excellent philosophy to hold in your mind when dealing with chronic illness. So much of our culture is based on working really hard, pushing yourself as hard and fast as you can, doing more more more and nothing ever being good enough. All this is supposed to add up to success. Whether it does or not for some people, the fact is that this sort of go-go-go mindset does not work when you or someone you love has a chronic illness. Instead, Taoism suggests that the way to happiness is paved with… not doing too much at all. Instead of pushing those huge boulders out of your way, be like the water in the stream, and easily find your way around these obstacles. Don’t work too hard. Don’t push where things are not moving. Instead, gently work your way through or around, and take time to rest and observe, and lots of time for being in the moment and play. Take the troubles or difficult people and make it work for you, rather than fighting against it.

Or, something like that.

This is a good thing to keep in mind when your adventures must become smaller, even temporarily. Enjoying the small things, making things less complicated, and keeping things as simple as possible — all these are Taoist principles and also keys for making life more enjoyable, when life has taken a turn that you did not expect.

This book was much more cheerful, only veering into grumpy territory when talking about Puritans (which I sort of agreed with) and also some criticism lodged at the Bisy Backsons, those folks who insist on being busy every minute of the day. I sometimes fall into this category, so felt slightly affronted (“But… I have to do all this stuff!”), but soon realized that the point was that you can do all the stuff, but clear the clutter from the rest of your life, or from your mind. Focus on one thing at a time. Do the simplest thing.

A happy, nice little intro to Taoism.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2010 12:16 pm

    I find Eastern philosophy very interesting, even though I would be a *terrible* Daoist – I can’t stop still for five minutes, apparently. On the other hand, taking the easiest path has inherent appeal.

    I do like your new blog 🙂

  2. May 6, 2010 11:12 am

    Have you read the Tao Te Ching? It is a beautiful book. I recommend the Ursula LeGuin translation 🙂

  3. May 6, 2010 11:26 am

    I have read parts of it… I will take a look for the LeGuin translation.

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