Monday, September 22, 2008

The Te of Piglet

Ten years after his 1982 work ''The Tao of Pooh'', Benjamin Hoff was pressed to write a follow up of his Western inquiry into Taoism. He did this by writing his The Te of Piglet, published in 1992. It is still in print, with a paperback edition issued by Penguin USA in 1993.

Hoff explicitly states that this second book is not a sequel to his first book, but rather a companion. The book is based around two topics, the concept of '''', the Chinese word meaning 'power' or 'virtue' and , of the ''Winnie the Pooh'' books.

In his first book, he brought out the essential tenets and perspectives of Taoism, in terms accessible to . In his second book, he elucidates the Taoist concept of 'Virtue — of the small'; though, he also uses it as an opportunity to elaborate on his introduction to Taoism. It is written with many embedded stories from the A. A. Milne Winnie the Pooh books, both for entertainment and because they serve as tools for explaining Taoism.

In ''The Te of Piglet'', Piglet is shown to possess great power — a common interpretation of the word Te, which more commonly means Virtue — not only because he is small, but also because he has a great heart or, to use a Taoist term, . The book goes through the other characters — Tigger, , , Eeyore, and — to show the various aspects of that Taoism says gets in the way of living in harmony with the Tao.

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