Quirky Books: The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff

The author frequently falling on his own sword can only say, "'The Te of Piglet' is it is written by a practicing Taoist." The value of the book represents a student of Taoism. Traditionally, students offer valuable insights as much as the masters. Hoff does not reflect the overall religion for average readers. Instead, its orientation is towards practicing Taoists.

Benjamin Hoff, born in 1946 and attended the exclusive private college Evergreen State in Oregon. A couple views collapse under logic denouncing Eeyore and Tigger. Another topic, seeming to fall in on itself is the focus on Piglet, making Piglet an extreme character; however, the book is arguing the virtue of Piglet (virtue of the small).

Te means "virtue." Another writer might want to reward all the virtues; instead, the reactive stance diminishes Eeyore and Tigger, though he mentions masters who advise against extremes. The reader can see how much the writer complains about the world, putting down other people's beliefs like Eeyore and attempts to do something great like Tigger. People defend themselves from extremes; therefore, his actions prove the worth of being small. In away, he quickly mentions how it appears everyone seems to want someone else to fix the problem, so he takes unexplainable accusatory stance in several chapters.

Another aspect to elude the average reader is the interpretation of ancient stories. Stories have many meanings. The story of the young prince meeting the young herder might be interpreted as the child herder being a master because his mind is clear and receptive to learning, as the author states. It could also point out how both are leaders and even as children their true nature as a leader is apparent meaning they share an understanding eluding others.

Insightful though provoking thought and controversy a person should understand Te is whatever virtue the person has; otherwise, someone may be confused into thinking Taoists despise rulers, rich and beautiful people. This is a misconception, though someone acting as they are not is worrisome. Inadequate or incompetent leaders cause problems for many. I would prefer a leader with enough foresight to give resources to effective leaders over a leader who is engrossed with egotism, failing to lead anyone to greatness or leeching off followers.

Taoism is an open religion, with greater similarity to philosophy, as opposed to a dictatorship telling people how they should act or behave. Therefore, there is no edict stating Taoist celebrate or despise any particular virtue. This is another book, not the only book. If someone is interested in Taoism, it has appeal. Philosophers and people whom have studied Taoism will enjoy it.

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