Customer Review

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The virtue of the small, 22 Dec 2005
This review is from: The Te of Piglet (The wisdom of Pooh) (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.9 out of 5 stars (14 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: London, SW1

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,338