The Te of Piglet Hardcover – Mar 5 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Like Hoff's bestselling The Tao of Pooh , this more topical and sobering sequel uses characters from A. A. Milne's children's classics to illustrate the Taoist philosophy of living in harmony with nature. Piglet shows the Way, turning his smallness into an asset and embodying Te (pronounced deh ), the Chinese word for virtue. Illustrated with drawings from the original Pooh books and quoting liberally from them, this forceful New Age sermon condemns the rape of the environment, unsafe, unnecessary nuclear power plants, the bloated military budget, computers in the classroom, giant corporations, jingoist support for the Persian Gulf war and a succession of "self-centered, ignoramus Conservative" presidents. Hoff's tired attacks on the "Negative News Media" and on "Eeyore Amazons" who "call themselves feminists but . . . don't like femininity" weaken his presentation, but on the whole, his Taoist manifesto distills ageless personal and political wisdom, relaying an ecological message we ignore at our peril.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Ten years later, a sequel to the runaway bestseller The Tao of Pooh. If you like marshmallow laced with arsenic, it was worth the wait. In the original, as you may recall, Hoff had an Idea: that Winnie-the-Pooh could be used to explain Taoism, the ancient Chinese way of balance. Now, as luck would have it, Pooh's buddy Piglet turns out to be the perfect embodiment of Te, the Taoist term for virtue, which is attained through sensitivity, modesty, and smallness. Piglet, you see, is a ``Very Small Animal'' (for all his talk about smallness, Hoff, like A.A. Milne, who must be groaning in his grave, likes capital letters Very Much), and the diminutive porker's adventures are the perfect means to preach, Very Lightly, about being positive and ecological and upright. The trick is to ``observe, deduce, apply''; once done, the millennial ``Day of Piglet'' will arrive and human beings will once again achieve ``the state of paradise that existed before the Great Separation occurred.'' Watch out, though: All is not summer in the 100-Acre Wood. Beneath the goofy grin one finds bared teeth, as Hoff snaps away peevishly at Confucianism (``authoritarian, No- Nonsense attitude toward life''), Christianity, feminism (``behind their antimasculine words, it's Overmasculinity as Usual''), Republicans, critics, computers--whatever raises his Taoist hackles. All in a Good Cause, of course. No doubt, The Ching of Eeyore comes next. Then what? Well, by then the Day of Piglet will have come, and the whole world will be a Trillion-Acre Wood...so empty your pockets while you can, and watch Piglet bring home the bacon. (Illustrated with 51 line drawings from the original Pooh books. However did they dare?) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Eastern philosophies. I had that humanities class and all, but it never really sunk in while I
was sitting in the lecture hall behind some giggling freshman. These amazingly simple
books have taught me the secrets of life and happiness. Well, not really, but they do
teach you the way to get through life without life getting to you. Better than the Stress
Ball and less expensive than a trip to a swanky health spa, it has been helpful to me. Hoff
explains Taoism through beloved characters from the Winnie-the-Pooh stories by A.A.
Milne. Yes, that's right, Pooh. I know it sounds weird, but it really works. These books
are very charming, funny, and witty. I now understand Taoist philosophy (I think), Pooh,
and Piglet better. I'm sure some Eastern philosophers are annoyed (or rolling over in their
graves) at these books, but, hey, it's the only way Americans are every gonna understand
it at all!
The whole book is hypocritical...the author spends all his time complaining about how in the wrong people who complain all the time are...
Don't bother with this one.
This volume focuses on the various Piglet stories, showing us how smallness can be a virtue (Te). It recounts Piglet's myriad adventures: the Heffalump, Owl's house episode, and encounters with Tigger and Eeyore to teach us about philosophical truths: things can look different that what they are, one needs to find their place and live in harmony with nature, etc. Actually, in almost an imperceptible way the author gets us to think about fundamental issues that are at the core of our relationship with the modern world. For example, how the West borrowed early scientific knowledge from the East but did not borrow the philosophical basis behind that knowledge. Since I pursue a science career, this particular issue triggers an important bell for me. One can almost sense an anti-science substratum in the book, yet as a scientist I cannot help agree with the author in many cases. Science today is like a vehicle running amok without a driver. Is this really good for us? Why aren't we even asking ourselves these questions? At least Benjamin Hoff does, and he deserves an open ear.
Of course, not all the ideas are developed into an indisputable treatise. This book is classified as "humor" after all. This is perhaps appropriate since the Taoist attitude to life also depends on humor to some extent. Pooh and Piglet, the humorous characters who do not take themselves seriously are in a way the perfect vehicle to illustrate ancient Taoist principles. This is a highly recommended book!
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!Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Great book, enjoyed Tao of Pooh more but by the end of the book grew to really appreciate what the author was saying.Published 8 months ago by pdmackenzie
I really enjoyed The Tao of Pooh, and was looking forward to this follow-up. But it was one of the few books I've read lately that, by the end, I considered a waste of time. Read morePublished 19 months ago by KDub
Once again Hoff uses Winnie the Pooh characters as a vehicle to explain Taoism, but in the Te of Piglet, Hoff carries the discussion a step further and links his thoughts with some... Read morePublished on Sept. 22 2013 by Tiny Thought Guy
I thoughrouly enjoyed and learned from the Toa of Pooh. The Te of Piglet seemed like little more than Mr Hoff's attempt to rub the success of the first book in the face of his... Read morePublished on July 14 2004 by Katsurina
While some of the history regarding Confucianism and Taoism was moderately interesting the book quickly decended into the author's own political agendas. Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by J. Sharley
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