Taoism Assignment

1548 words - 7 pages

The Tao of Pooh Simplistic, natural, passive, practical, and whole - these are all words to describe an ancient Chinese religion called Taoism. Taoism is so simple and natural that it is complex. That probably doesn’t make sense; however, in Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh, the complexity of Taoism is explained in the simplest terms. Hoff uses the character of Winnie the Pooh to explain the philosophy and major principles of Taoism. In the following paragraphs, the challenge to explain the concepts of Taoism will be attempted by using specific examples from this book. The simplicity of Winnie the Pooh is widely known. Perhaps this is ...view middle of the document...

” This means that a Taoist takes life as it comes. A Taoist works with whatever is given to him and he learns from it. By leaving everything to its natural order, one becomes happy. According to Lao-tse, “The more man interferes with the natural balance produced and governed by the universal laws, the further away the harmony retreats into the distance. When abstract and arbitrary rules were imposed from the outside, struggle was inevitable. Only then did life become sour.” Hoff’s chapter entitled, “Spelling Tuesday,” discusses why Owl, who is the Brain and the Academician is not the right example to use when describing Taoism. “The wise are not learned; the learned are not wise.” From the Taoist point of view, scholarly intellect may be useful for evaluating and examining certain pieces of information, while things of deep matter and true importance are beyond its limited perimeter. My mother had an experience with this and I will use it to explain this principle. One day in my mother’s seventh grade History class, her teacher decided to spring a pop quiz on his students. My mother’s pulse began to increase and the fret created tension in her muscles. When she received her quiz, the teacher announced that it would also be a timed quiz. My mother glanced over her paper and saw that she had two minutes to answer 50 multiple choice questions. She skipped the directions and scrambled immediately to question #1. When her teacher said, “time is up,” she had only reached the eleventh question. Her teacher collected all the quizzes and asked who had received an “A” on the quiz. One student raised her hand. This girl was not one of the smartest in the class and she received icy glares along with shocked looks in her direction. The teacher asked why no one else received an “A.” The majority of the responses were “a shortage of time.” The teacher looked disappointed. He asked, “Did anyone read the directions?” Again, the same girl raised her hand. The teacher asked her to report the directions she had read to her classmates. She announced, “Whoever reads these directions does not have to answer any of the questions and gets an automatic “A.” The directions were so simple that the class overlooked them, thus causing them to fail the quiz. Sometimes we look so deep into things that we create havoc for ourselves. If we only took the time to “stop and smell the roses,” life would be much easier. “No matter how useful we may be, sometimes it takes us a while...


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