Same Thing

By: | Topic: Philosophy | Tags: , | 4 Comments »

I was recently reminded of a fantastic book I read last year, one that sat in my mental reading queue for at least a decade. The book is called The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind spending a little while thinking about big questions.

If you’re wondering whether you will like it, just read the following quote slowly and properly, you will probably feel the same way about the whole book:

That was after some of us were discussing the Great Masters of Wisdom, and someone was saying how all of them came from the East, and I was saying that some of them didn’t, but he was going on and on, just like this sentence, not paying any attention, when I decided to read a quotation of Wisdom from the West, to prove that there was more to the world than one half, and I read:

“When you wake up in the morning. Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say. Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

“It’s the same thing,” he said.

“What’s that?” the Unbeliever asked.

“Wisdom from a Western Taoist,” I said.

“It sounds like something from Winnie-the-Pooh,” he said.

“It is,” I said.

“That’s not about Taoism,” he said.

“Oh, yes it is,” I said.

“No, it’s not,” he said.

“What do you think it’s about?” I said.

“It’s about this dumpy little bear that wander; around asking silly questions, making up songs, and going through all kinds of adventures, without ever accumulating any amount of intellectual knowledge or losing his simpleminded sort of happiness. That’s what it’s about,” he said.

“Same thing,” I said.

What do you think?

4 Comments on “Same Thing”

  1. 1 david said at 11:31 am on March 2nd, 2014:


    have you read ‘the Te of Piglet’?

    I have had the phrase ‘strong like water’ in my mind for some time (only brushing Sun Tzu and the Tao Te Chin) but only recently it occured to me that water is strong in different ways through its three phases. Maybe it’s ok to be ice sometimes, and sometimes steam? But mostly liquid is best: The golden mean?

  2. 2 Christo said at 4:17 pm on March 3rd, 2014:

    No I haven’t read that one but it’s been on my list, likewise, for a long time.

  3. 3 Nick said at 8:48 pm on May 14th, 2014:

    Interesting, does the book end up taking sides for/ against Pooh or Taoism… I mean Winnie’s way of life seems totally reasonable.

  4. 4 Christo said at 12:39 am on May 15th, 2014:

    No. The book takes a quite natural balanced approach, rather in the spirit of Taoism, not taking sides and falling into the trap of saying one way is good and another way is bad.

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