Byron's Reviews > Le Tao de Pooh

Le Tao de Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
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Aug 23, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: philosophy
Read in August, 2007

Nice. Short. Accessible.

p20. Uncarved Block = simplicity and naturalness
"When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun."

p24. The Learned
"The wise are not learned; the learned are not wise." - Lao Tse

"A well-frog cannot imagine the ocean; nor can a summer insect conceive of ice. How then can a scholar understand the Tao? He is restricted by his own learning." - Chuang Tse

p29. The Learned (cont.)
A scholar named Wang
Laughed at my poems.
The accents are worng.
He said,
Too many beats;
The meter is poor,
The wording impulsive.

I laugh at his poems,
As he laughs at mine.
They read like
The words of a blind man
Describing the sun.
- Han-shan

p68. Wu Wei
'Literally "without doing, causing, or making"

Practically, without meddlesome, combative, or egotistical effort. '

Picture how a stream flows over the land, not in a straight line but conforming to nature.

p87. Tai Chi
Tai Chi basic principle is not to oppose force with force but to overcome by yielding. Wear the opponent out by sending his energy back at him or deflecting it away.

p96. Bisy Backson
Someone who is always on the run. Finds ways to be busy yet doesn't really accomplish anything. Think Rabbit.

p107. Teahouse vs Fast Food.
The eastern social institution is the Teahouse where family and friends can come in a spend time the mantra is:
"You're important. Relax and enjoy yourself."
The western equivalent is currently Fastfood where the mantra is:
"You don't count; hurry up."

Everything is bent on hurrying up and going from one place to another.

p107. Timesaving
"Practically speaking, if timesaving devices really saved time, there would be more time available to us now than ever before in history. But, strangely enough, we seem to have lesst me than even a few years ago."

p134-137. Tiddely Pom
The more it snows (Tiddely pom),
The more it goes (Tiddely pom),
The more it goes (Tiddely pom)
On snowing.

Basically the snowball effect. This is a good line:
"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."

Or as Lao-tse puts it:
"A tree as big around as you can reach start with a small seed; a thousand-mile journey starts with one step."
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