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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2008
While I loved the first book, 'The Tao of Pooh', I found this follow-up (or more accurately, companion piece) hugely lacking in comparison.

When Hoff is content to focus on Taoism and its concepts/lessons/writings etc it's fine, and manages to capture the sense of the earlier work - both enjoyable to read and informative. However, this type of material only occupies around half of the book, and when the author then decides to go on a series of fairly unrelated rants, such as against the amount of radiation emitted by televisons and computers, or a truly bizarre diatribe aimed towards 'teachers who aren't very positive' (truly the scourge of western civilisation, and central to any explication of Taoism to boot) one is left the feeling that, when he doesn't stick to what is clearly his field, Naom Chomsky he ain't.

Readers who crave a continuation of the banter between Hoff and the characters of the original Pooh books may well find something of substance here, and given the obvious charms of 'The Tao of Pooh' it's tempting to delve in once more for this one. But for those looking (as I was) for more detail on the matters described in the first book, another purely Taoist-orientated title would probably be a better choice.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
If Pooh is the embodiment of the Tao, the Piglet is the embodiment of the Te, the Chinese word and principle for Virtue. Benjamin Hoff, in his first book `The Tao of Pooh' talks about the religio-philosophical tradition of Taoism, and in this follow-up book, he explores in more detail with Piglet, who felt neglected in the first volume, but felt it only natural considering he's a Very Small Animal (and life is not always easy for a Very Small Animal), the concept of virtue, or the Te.
The Te is not so easily contained in the word virtue, however. `It is instead a quality of special character, spiritual strength, or hidden potential unique to the individual--something that comes from the Inner Nature of things. And something, we might add, that the individual who possess it may be quite unaware of--as is the case with Piglet through most of the Pooh stories.'
Of course, virtue un-enacted is a Very Small Virtue, indeed, so it become the responsibility of those with a Te to bring it forward in transformation. A Very Small Virtue, like a Very Small Animal, can be a good thing if the dreaded Heffalump comes by -- it might not get squashed; it might be ignored. But this is not the way of the Te.
The Te such as Piglet's can overcome distraction such as the Tigger Tendency -- the tendency to bounce off in different directions simply because they feel good. It can also help overcome the increasing drive toward acquisition (a Very Small Animal doesn't need Very Many Things; a society with cares for Virtue must not have an overpowering care for Things).
The modern person tends to overlook the small virtues in favour of Progress, in pursuit of reaching a potential, which `is seen as an increase of tools'. Of course, with more tools we can do more stuff! And with more stuff, we can make yet more tools!
The trend is not only material, but academic and philosophical, too. `Western philosophy, having little connection with everyday living, is (to this observer, at least) comparatively egocentric and impractical, with much Arguing and Theorising, and much bounding back and forth across the intellectual landscape--a pleasant, part-time diversion formulated by and aimed at the likes of Owl, Rabbit, and sometimes Eeyore, but not particularly supportive of the likes of Piglet and Pooh.'
Of course, one has an image to maintain, too. This is the point of existence of some Owls, who must be able to spell TUESDAY to gain respect, even if they postulate that any 'variant' of the spelling is sufficient. (Some lessons are repeated from The Tao of Pooh, because they are Very Important Lessons, and some people won't read both books, being of Very Little Time).
The Te is subtle and compassionate. It is not vocal, it is not loud. Lao-tse wrote, 'The skilled worker leaves no tracks' -- the worker is so at one with nature that no disturbance is made. Certainly making a broad show of Virtue is to cause a disturbance.
And yet, it is vital that virtue be prominent in action and life. What is a Very Small Animal to do?
After much more searching and being, Piglet arrives at the stage where he can finally be positive, to ward off the Eeyore effects, and thus attract positive with positive, attract virtue with virtue, in a low-key and subtle form. And finally, Piglet, a Very Small Animal of seemingly no consequence, attains recognition: `Piglet, Esq. My Dear Sir: The Board of Regents of Sandhurst University wish me to inform you of their desire to grant you an honorary degree of Brave Animal (B.A.). We should be most pleased if you could be present at the awards ceremony, which shall be held on...'
Piglets in the world, unite! Take a lesson, perhaps from one of the most Piglet-y figures of our century, Mohandas Gandhi -- a frail and shy man, frightened by crowds and a Very Small Animal in many ways. But with a great and irresistably subtle Te, virtue, that defeated the greatest empire on earth (a Very Big Animal indeed) without an army, and without backing down.
Every ending is a beginning. Now Piglet's tale is over. Now you must begin.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2009
I came to read the Te of Piglet after coming to the end of the Tao of Pooh feeling hungry for more information about taoist living.

However, in the years between the two books, Mr Hoff seems to have turned into an exceedingly grumpy old man. He launches attack after attack on polluters, educators and so called 'Eeyore Amazons' (that's feminists to you and me). I have to agree with other reviewers that the book would have been better had it concentrated on Taoism rather than making unsubstantiated claims that have quickly become dated. The Tao of Pooh feels like it was written yesterday, but this is full of pre-Clinton vitriol about 80s and 90s America.

I could go into all the inconsistencies in this book, but the bit that annoyed me most was Hoff's criticism of 'lack of femininity' in feminism. I'm a woman, and I want to keep my surname when I marry; what's wrong with that; it's just a personal choice women make to keep part of their identity. He sees feminism as making women more aggressive and assertive, but from this side of the fence I think women are often encouraged to be docile and accepting by society when they would be more vocal if left to their own devices.

Strange dislike of 'Tiggers'(young people)is also involved; they like video games and have shorter attention spans. True it may be, but I think it reflects a generational difference rather than something necessarily 'bad'. He then compounds the problem by saying he'd like us to have a Japanese/Chinese school system but then wants more weight to be placed on creativity than cultivation of hard knowledge, which doesn't stack up because they've placed huge amounts of energy into grade-getting, maths and science.

I DO like the occasionally witty repartee between Hoff and the Hundred-acre Wood characters, but there is not sufficient attention given to Piglet for the title to be justifiable. I suspect Eeyores out there would love this book, but I really didn't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2012
As impressed as I am with Benjamin Hoff's books, The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet, I believe a third book should be written. Namely and precisly about Eeyore. The REAL Eeyore. Whose wit, wisdom and kindness is anything but 'unkind'. He can even call the book 'The Eeyore Effect', like his chapter in the Te of Piglet! I know of no other animal on this earth as decent, kind, intelligent, and long suffering than the humble Donkey. If Mr. Hoff would read "The Wisdom of Donkeys" by Andy Merrifield, or even perhaps visit The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon, UK, then I believe he will have no trouble with his conscience about retracting everything he attributes to Eeyore's personality in his book, the Te of Piglet. Instead of "The Eeyore Effect" chapter and all its falsehoods, I say he could write about Eeyore under the heading "The Upright Heart", for this a truer description of a Donkey's demeanor. Mr. Hoff's passage about 'kindness' was never lost in a Donkey's heart. Meet one, Mr. Hoff, spend time and effort to really get to know a soul much older than our own on this earthly plane, and you will write a third book. Here is a poem I wrote that may start you on your journey of Donkey discovery!

I'm All Ears For Thee

I'm a new Donkey born!
To gentle community
At the Sanctuary I'll mature
With character, wisdom and sobriety.
But ancestral shadows weigh heavy
As the cross on my back
Writes a history of those
Who've known what I'll never lack.
I'll never lack love.
I'll never lack sleep.
I'll never lack food.
Kindness shared or given to me.
But I'll always be mindful
Of those who have less
Donkeys hungry and ill treated
Born with a thorn of death in their breast.
So for those who are gone
And the ones still here
Like Balthazar, Modestine, Benjamin
Gribouille, and Eeyore
All bear the truth of the Donkey
In human lore.
But it's my young heart
As my sad orbs will reveal
That you are my voice
You must remember and never lose hope
I'll be listening you see
As I'm all ears for thee

Regards,

Jenny L. Bates, author "Opening Doors: An equilog of poetry about Donkeys"
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2000
The Te of Piglet did not add much to my understanding of Taoism. Most of it had already been covered in The Tao of Pooh. Where Pooh was clear and simple, Piglet felt muddled and disorientating.
The author spent much of the book explaining his current misgivings about the world today. Whilst the quaint tales of Pooh and his friends provided a counter balance, it was not enough, and I found myself switching off on numerous occassions.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think it was that bad. However, unlike Pooh, I would'nt be tempted to read this book again.
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If Pooh is the embodiment of the Tao, the Piglet is the embodiment of the Te, the Chinese word and principle for Virtue. Benjamin Hoff, in his first book `The Tao of Pooh' talks about the religio-philosophical tradition of Taoism, and in this follow-up book, he explores in more detail with Piglet, who felt neglected in the first volume, but felt it only natural considering he's a Very Small Animal (and life is not always easy for a Very Small Animal), the concept of virtue, or the Te.
The Te is not so easily contained in the word virtue, however. `It is instead a quality of special character, spiritual strength, or hidden potential unique to the individual--something that comes from the Inner Nature of things. And something, we might add, that the individual who possess it may be quite unaware of--as is the case with Piglet through most of the Pooh stories.'
Of course, virtue un-enacted is a Very Small Virtue, indeed, so it become the responsibility of those with a Te to bring it forward in transformation. A Very Small Virtue, like a Very Small Animal, can be a good thing if the dreaded Heffalump comes by -- it might not get squashed; it might be ignored. But this is not the way of the Te.
The Te such as Piglet's can overcome distraction such as the Tigger Tendency -- the tendency to bounce off in different directions simply because they feel good. It can also help overcome the increasing drive toward acquisition (a Very Small Animal doesn't need Very Many Things; a society with cares for Virtue must not have an overpowering care for Things).
The modern person tends to overlook the small virtues in favour of Progress, in pursuit of reaching a potential, which `is seen as an increase of tools'. Of course, with more tools we can do more stuff! And with more stuff, we can make yet more tools!
The trend is not only material, but academic and philosophical, too. `Western philosophy, having little connection with everyday living, is (to this observer, at least) comparatively egocentric and impractical, with much Arguing and Theorising, and much bounding back and forth across the intellectual landscape--a pleasant, part-time diversion formulated by and aimed at the likes of Owl, Rabbit, and sometimes Eeyore, but not particularly supportive of the likes of Piglet and Pooh.'
Of course, one has an image to maintain, too. This is the point of existence of some Owls, who must be able to spell TUESDAY to gain respect, even if they postulate that any 'variant' of the spelling is sufficient. (Some lessons are repeated from The Tao of Pooh, because they are Very Important Lessons, and some people won't read both books, being of Very Little Time).
The Te is subtle and compassionate. It is not vocal, it is not loud. Lao-tse wrote, 'The skilled worker leaves no tracks' -- the worker is so at one with nature that no disturbance is made. Certainly making a broad show of Virtue is to cause a disturbance.
And yet, it is vital that virtue be prominent in action and life. What is a Very Small Animal to do?
After much more searching and being, Piglet arrives at the stage where he can finally be positive, to ward off the Eeyore effects, and thus attract positive with positive, attract virtue with virtue, in a low-key and subtle form. And finally, Piglet, a Very Small Animal of seemingly no consequence, attains recognition: `Piglet, Esq. My Dear Sir: The Board of Regents of Sandhurst University wish me to inform you of their desire to grant you an honorary degree of Brave Animal (B.A.). We should be most pleased if you could be present at the awards ceremony, which shall be held on...'
Piglets in the world, unite! Take a lesson, perhaps from one of the most Piglet-y figures of our century, Mohandas Gandhi -- a frail and shy man, frightened by crowds and a Very Small Animal in many ways. But with a great and irresistably subtle Te, virtue, that defeated the greatest empire on earth (a Very Big Animal indeed) without an army, and without backing down.
Every ending is a beginning. Now Piglet's tale is over. Now you must begin.
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on 18 June 2007
The Te of Piglet is wonderful book. A cross between a philosophical, religious and self help book, it's a light hearted approach to the ancient Chinese ways of Te. it includes plenty of original drawings by E.H Shepard and is not baffling or confusing in the slightest, preferring instead to use extracts of text from the 'winnie the pooh' books to explain its principles of a pure mind and a brave heart, as so well demonstrated by little piglet. I'd really recommend this book and it's accompaniment 'The Tao of Pooh' whether you love the books, are interested in Taoist philosophy or simply want to be inspired, it teaches us so much about our struggles of daily life and how we can all take a leaf out of Piglets' book in how to deal with them best.
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on 17 February 2014
The original book was a nice blend of Taoism, story-telling and charm. It's positive. In this book, however, Hoff seems to blend Taoism with doom-and-gloom spleen about how bad life is. It's not so positive. But it's still not bad, just not very Taoist. (Alan Watts wrote better books about the Tao).
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on 13 October 2011
The Tao of Pooh (The wisdom of Pooh)This is a must have for those interested in Taoism presented in a novel but enchanting manner. You don't have to be a Pooh fan to enjoy.The Tao of Pooh (The wisdom of Pooh)
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on 4 March 2014
Nothing wrong with the contents of the book ( it remains a delightful book) but I wanted a forever book therefor ordered a hardcover and was surprised and disappointed to receive a paperback edition
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