Winnie the Pooh is one of the most loved bears because he has a certain way about him, a way of doing things. Many children and current young adults have grown up to Winnie Pooh, just thinking of it as another kids' series. Thanks to Benjamin Hoff, he has opened the eyes of many Winnie the Pooh fans and Americans to a religion that is far complex but very simple, and that religion is Taoism.
In the book, Benjamin Hoff discusses the principles of Taoism and why it is the perfect Way using Pooh as an example for each of the principles. Winnie the Pooh symbolizes the Taoist idea of good because he is many of the Tao principles himself. In the book, Pooh shows his sense of the "Uncarved Block" of Taoism. The Uncarved Block, also known as P'u, is the idea that "things in their original simplicity contain their own natural power". Hoff describes all the flaws of the other Winnie the Pooh characters, and how Pooh is the only one that truly holds this principle. To be simple-minded is to know The Way one is meant for. Benjamin Hoff exemplifies that Pooh can't describe the essence of the Uncarved Block, because he just is it. That is the nature and meaning of the Uncarved Block. The second principle is the Cottlestone Principle, which means that "things are as they are." For example on page 39, the first verse of the riddle, Pooh says "A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly". The answer, of course, is "Cottlestone, Cottlestone, Cottlestone Pie." This is a major Taoist principle, symbolizing Inner Nature "things are as they are".
Another important principle is the Pooh Way, or Wu Wei, which means "without doing, causing, or making" as stated on page 68. This principle is based on the idea that when we work with our Inner Nature, and the nature of the things around us, we will learn to go with the flow of life, wasting little effort. Hoff is using Pooh to characterize all of these principles because he symbolizes the right way of living by the Tao. In the chapter "That Sort of Bear", Roo fell into the water and was taking away with the current, as he flowed farther along no one knew what to do. Pooh being the bear he is, looks around and finds a large pole for Roo to grab onto and climb out of the water. Reading those few lines might make it seem like Pooh was just trying to save his friend, but when related to the Tao, Pooh was just working with the nature around him and wasted little effort and time trying to think of a master plan. With this brings us to the next principle that characterizes Pooh, which is "That Sort of Bear." This principle states that everyone is special in their own way and what we must do is find that way by looking into our Inner Self. Pooh isn't the smartest bear/character, but what makes him a great friend and bear is the fact that he loves himself and loves going with the flow of life, he isn't trying to be something he is not. Pooh sees life as fun and along with that comes' the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work.
Being spontaneous summarizes Pooh and how he likes to live his life, but this cannot be said for many of the other characters. Owl is the opposite of Pooh, rather than working for the enlightenment of others he keeps his knowledge to himself. Owl is the type of character who works hard for what he receives in life, he doesn't want to let things flow. Owl is held back in life by his brain because he feels he knows all the answers and doesn't need the world to tell him differently. Eeyore complains all the time and just brings a negative vibe at times. His attitude gets in the way of wisdom and happiness and prevents himself from any goals or accomplishments in life. Rabbit is a very intellectual character as well, but he can be really clever at times. As we all know as humans, cleverness has its limitations just because cleverness can bring you bad consequences. Rabbit at times looks to society for his information rather than letting nature fill him in on the news. Rabbit also