TAO OF POOH By Ben Hoff ISBM 0 14 00.6747 7 CI&C Ltd 1982, Penguin 1985
Summarized by Ben Cheung 2/1994
Ch 1 : The How of Pooh
Sour - Confucianism - System of Protocols; Cook book recipie for everything
Bitter - Buddha - Earth life = bitter, proportional to attachments & desires -> suffering. Avoid "Dust of the earth"
Smile - Taoism - Fractal laws of nature. Disbalancing. Natural balance laws -> Discord. Let things be. everything has own nature already in it. "Join the Dust of the Earth"
Tao : 1) Philosophy 2) Monastic 3) Folk Religious -Harmonizing w/ Life Circumstances. Understand change, Perceive (-) and (+).
Ch 2 : The Tao of Who?
+++P'U = Simple, Plain. Uncarved Block. In original Simplicity -> Natural Power. still , Calm , Reflecting "Mirror Mind"
+++Clever rabbit : Knowledge for sake of being clever
+++Owl : Knowledge for sake of appearing wise
+++Eeyore : Knowledge for Sake of complaining
+++P'U = Discard arrogance, complexity & discover simple , childlike & secret : of uncarved block -> Life is fun.
Ability to enjoy simple & quiet. Natural & Plain. Do things spontaneously & Make it work.
Ch 3 : Spelling Tuesday
+++Owl : Academician, Studies knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Keeps to himself. Writing esoterica vs enlightenment of others.
+++Tao : Focus on Today. Knowledge vs Experience
+++Prob : Wants to blame mind of the uncarved block "Ignorance" For probs caused by itself.
Ch 4 : Cottlestone Pie
+++Cleverness is limited. Mechanical Judgements. Miss root cause.
###I. "A fly can't bird, but a Bird can fly , " Ppl try to fit square peg in round hole.
+++e.g. Twisted gnarled tree - To cut useless. To shade useful - used in its proper way
+++People have their own place & function. When you know & respect your own inner nature. You know where you belong.
+++One man's song is another's noise, ... food ... poison.
+++E.g. Tortoise 2000yrs old in palace, C-t offered job "Turtle prefer : Roll in mud alive or dead in palace ?" Mud- me too. and left.
###II. "A Fish can't sing, I can't either"
+++Keep changing & Improving. The wise know their limitation the foolish do not.
+++e.g. "I am weak" - 1. I am weak so I will be strong slowly w/ exercise. "I am weak but don't know it so I life a car? = prob!"
+++e.g. Tigger "I can do anything! Climb a tree? of course -> stuck. "Swim? Of course. Bring a rope why didn't I think of that?
+++e.g. one disease long life; No disease short life.
- A weakness can do you a big favor, if you acknowledge it.
- One face weakness can work w/ them vs against them. In many cases limitation can be your strength.
###III. Why do chickens do what they do? I dunno "
+++"We don't need to know everything. Don't have to ask unnecessary question & come up w/ meaningless answers."
+++Need to recognize inner nature & Work w/ things as they are. When we don't we get into trouble.
+++Ask me a riddle I say "Inner Nature" "Things are as they are"
+++Inner nature can't be fooled.
LO self-understand -> LO self-respect -> HI Influence by others.
SO (1) Recognize WHO you are.
(2) WHAT you have to work with
(3) WHICH / what works best for you.
+++(1),(2),(3) = Self-reliance.
+++Things we don't like of self (1) Rid (2) Change to another thing. Point unpleasant tendancy in another direction. (3) Use beneficially.
+++No such thing as ability too useless , crooked, small. Just depends what you do w/ it. Bad can be raw material for the good.
+++Don't un"bounce" unnecessarily. i.e. get rid of a "bad" trait before looking for value in it.
+++Try to change (-) to (+). Suppress (-) sometimes returns. sometimes returns to help.
+++The Wise are who they are. They work w/ what they've got & do what they can do.
Ch 5 : The Pooh Way
+++Wu Wei : "Wo/ doing" Not going against the nature of things.
+++"No hurry now I know where I'm going , We'll get there some day" (e.g. of stream->river)
+++(e.g. of Tao fall down H20fall & live) "how live?!" "I go up/down w/ H2O. I don't struggle vs H2O superior power."
So : Work w/ Inner nature w/ natural laws -> Wei Wei -> Work w/ natural order -> Work on minimal effort. -> Divert from law -> interfere & try too hard.
+++Wei Wu Wei : Do wo/ Doing -> Tzu Jan -> Self so -> TTC-Ch37 : Tao doesn't force or interfere w/ things lets them work in their own way -> Produce results naturally.
+++Things happen by themselves spontaneously.
+++e.g. stick under bridge. Eeyore in river, Drop rock to make ripple, Hit Eeyore.
+++Wu Wei : Put round peg in round hole, no stress no struggle.
Cleverness deivse crafty way to put pegs fit where they don't belong.
Knowledge tries to figure out why round pegs fit round holes, but not square holes.
Wu Wei doesn't try, or think , it just does. when it does , doesn't seem to do anything, but things get done.
+++When you try too hard doesn't work. Pick up x w/ tense arm, do x w/ tense mind. "I think therefore, I am confused "
+++Things just turn out right @ right time. When you let them, work w/ circumstances vs trying hard to make it happen some other way. In tune w/ way things work, then they work the way they need to.
+++ Wu Wei :
Flows like a river: sensitive to circumstances, listen to intuition
Reflects like a mirror:
responds like an echo :
e.g. honey eaten, eeyore gift, piglet popped balloon
+++T'ai Chi Ch'uan = Tao martial art : wear out opponent by sending en back,deflect. To weaken his power, balance, position. Never is force vs force, but overcome w/ yielding.
e.g. striking @ cork in H2O, harder hit it more it yields more it bounces back. Overcome force by neutralizing it vs adding to the conflict.
Ch 6 : Bisy Backson
+++Pounded in from the outside vs built up from the inside. Confuse exercise w/ work.
+++Bisy Backson always going somewhere , somewhere he hasn't been. Anywhere but where he is. A mysterious reward? spend our lives working like lunatics to catch up w/ it.
+++Pooh "I'm enjoying the day. Listening. They say it's a beautiful day."
+++Feel @ home @ peace w/ land. Too hard on self, too hard on others, too hard on nature/world.
+++Backson : Progress = fighting & overcoming vs
growing and developing, changing inside.
Backson : constant struggle to change everything and everyone but himself. Interfere w/ things he has no business interfering w/.
e.g. worship time saving, McD's vs Teahouse. too busy working to pay for machines to save you time so you don't have to work so hard. Can't save time only spend it - wisely or foolishly. Backson has
no time, too busy wasting it by trying to save it. By trying to save every bit of it, he ends up wasting the whole thing.
+++Youthful Immortal : secret of life / long life of youthful appearance , outlook & energy.
Li Chung Yun 256 , herbs, Tao light exercise. Sit like a turtle, Walk like a pidgeon ,sleep like a dog. "Inner Quiet" is key
+++Each time a goal is reached it becomes "Not So Much Fun", and we're off reaching for the next one. etc.
+++Goals count, because they cause us to go through the process that makes us wise, happy etc. If the process is wrong it makes us miserable. Toal must be right for us, beneficial goal = beneficial process. Thus Tao = the way
+++Moment before we eat the honey = anticipation/awareness. When we become happy and realize it. Enjoy the process.
+++When we take time to enjoy our surroundings and appreciate being alive we find that we have no time to be a Backson.
Ch 7 : That Sort of Bear
+++No matter how useful we may be , sometimes it takes us a while to recognize our own value.
+++Stonecutter -> businessman -> official -> sun -> cloud -> wind -> rock -> stonecutter. "How good to be x, I wish I could be x "
+++To take control and accomplish something of lasting value, eventually need to learn to believe. Don't need to lean on deified superman, or wait for fate, simply need to believe in the power that's within us and use it. When we do that and stop imitating others, and competing against them things begin to work for us.
e.g. Buckminster Fuller, T.A. Edison
+++The play-it-safe pessimists don't accomplish because they don't look clearly & objectively @ situations. Don't recognize / believe in own abilities. Won't stretch abilities to overcome even small risks.
+++E.g. roo in stream. Eeyore low expect-so halfhearted attempt;panicky piglet hysterics; Owl instructing not doing; concerned kanga "you ok?"; captain rabbit give commands; positive pooh : look @ situation, see what can do ; try something.
+++Once see situation, what can do about it; need to utilize everything we find along the way to accomplish whatever is required. Usually things we need already there, all we need to do it make use of them.
+++Tz'u : caring/compassion. From caring comes courage & wisdom. Continuum : cold-Knowledge -> neutral-cleverness -> caring-wisdom.
+++e.g. shoe sale, lots of people buy things they don't really need. Many try to buy happiness and importance, but can be happy & important wo/ being materialistic.
+++When it comes to enjoying life and making use of who we are, all of us can; but some don't. We can stop our clinging to hollow life-substitutes and set ourselves free, when we make the first move, the process wil begin.
+++Tiddely pom principle = Snowball effect. a little ball of snow gets so big you can't stop it . (-) or (+) : can promote cynicism, encourage hope, build hardened criminals or courageous heroes, stupid vandals or brilliant creators. Key is to make it work for you and others. e.g. use respect to build respect.
+++wanna be Happy = begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you've got. wanna be Miserable = being discontented.
Lao tse-"A sequoya starts w/ a seed, 1000mi journey w/1 step"
Wisdom,Happy,Courage not out of sight, part of a cycle begins now. Not only the end, but the beginning also. More it snows, more it goes.
+Chuang-tse : 1 courageous spirit can inspire 1000's to victory. If 1 concerned w/ ordinary gain can do such a feat, imagine the result of 1 who cares for greater things.
Ch 8 : Nowhere and Nothing
+++What do you like to do best? Nothing.
Where are you going? Nowhere
+What are you going to do? Oh nothing an you go and do it. Just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear and not bothering.
+++The Great Secret - The key to unlock wisdom,happy,truth. = Nothing. To Taoist Nothing is something. & Something the thing that many consider important is really nothing.
++T'ai Hsu "Great Nothing"
+++C-t : To have no thought (MT mind) & put forth no effort is the first step to understanding Tao. To go nowhere and do nothing is the first step to find peace in Tao. To start from no point and follow no road is the first step to reaching Tao.
+++e.g. eeyore lost tail : 1.rab-too busy doing clever things 2. scholarly owl-didn't recognize it,blustering,over planning 3. know-it-all eeyore- didn't realize it was missing.
+++MT Mind can find things because it can see what's in front of it. Listens to the Bird singing.
Overstuffed-Knowledge & Cleverness mind wonders what kind of bird is singing. More stuffed up less it perceives. Concerned w/ wrong sorts of things. Confused by knowledge,clever,abstract go chasing after things that don't matter, don't exist vs seeing , appreciating and making use of what's in front of us.
+++Afraid of MTyness = loneliness ; but when overactivity then lonely
+++A too full schedule , wish it to be MT. (e.g. overscheduled confucionist emperor hirohito visit MT hall = happy)
+++TTC : ch 48- To attain knowledge add things every day, to attain wisdom remove things everyday.
+++Power of a clear mind is beyond description. Trace an idea to its root -> it came from nothing!. The greater the idea/stroke of genius/revolutionary approach more directly it came from nowhere. E.g. from lucid sleep. Everything so filled with nothing that the idea suddenly appeared in it. We can be awake to use nothing!
+++Child: helpless, but aware. enjoy what is around them.
Adolescence : Helpless but trying to appear independent
Adults : self-sufficient, able to help others.
Wisdom:The independent,clear-minded,all-seeing child. Return to the beginning; become a child again. enlightened filled w/ light and happyiness, like children. Sometimes even look & talk like children. The wise are children who know. Minds have been emptied of countless minute somethings of small learning and filled with the wisdom of the great nothing. the way of the universe.
Ch 9 : The Now of Pooh
+++A brain can do all kinds of things, but the things that it can do are not the most important things.
+++We think too much & care too little. Change our approach, learn to value wisdom & contentment. Can't afford to look so desperately for something in the wrong way and wrong place.
+++Master of life, knows the way they listen to voice within. Voice of wisdom & simplicity reasons beyond cleverness and knows beyond knowledge.
Ch 10 : Backword
+++To know the Way, +We go the Way; +We do the Way +The way we do +The things we do.
+It's all there in front of you, +But if you try too hard to see it, +You'll only become Confused.
+I am me, +And you are you, +As you can see; +But when you do +The things that you can do, +You wil find the Way, +And the Way will follow you.