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Benjamin Hoff¿s ¿The Tao of Pooh¿ was a fun, light hearted intro
Benjamin Hoff’s ‘The Tao of Pooh’ was a fun, light hearted introduction to Taoism aimed at young adults. Raymond Smullyan’s ‘The Tao is Silent’ is also fun and light hearted, but geared to an older crowd of individuals who have spent time pondering how to live their lives. ‘The Tao is Silent’ consist of many short (usually) essays on a variety of topics written from the perspective of Taoism. These topics are quite varied and include (among other interesting subjects) the Tao itself, goodness in mankind, morality, free will, astrology and dogs. As with Hoff’s book, the writing style is casual and frequently flippant, with side remarks and opinions sprinkled throughout. This style may sound obnoxious in a book aimed more for the adult crowd than was Hoff’s, but it works. Indeed, I felt as though I was having a casual conversation over a cup of coffee with someone who thought seriously about these matters but now took them in a light hearted way. Contrary to the opening lines in Chapter 56 of the ‘Tao Te Ching’ (“He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know”…John Wu’s translation) Smullyan knows of what he speaks, and he speaks it well. The book ends with a wonderful annotated bibliography on Taoism and Chinese philosophy, which leads to my only complaint; although Smullyan is the author of many books, this appears to be his only book on Taoism.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 12, 2008
This book has great stories and very thoughtful insights on the nature of the Tao. I wouldn't recommend it as an introduction to Taoism, but maybe as a second or third look since it assumes some knowledge of the basics behind Taoism. Very entertaining and enlightening.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.