“Nobody Can Be Uncheered With A Balloon.” – Pooh
Rob Lancaster reintroduced me to Pooh Bear not as a simple cartoon character, but rather as a wise philosopher during my internship and volunteering at Caux-Initiatives of Change, Switzerland. This ideology stuck with me, and I’d love to share with you this concept which is as close to Taoism as you can get.
Benjamin Hoff wrote a book called The Tao of Pooh, which uses Pooh characters, Confucius, the Buddha, and Laozi to introduce Taoism to the western culture. John T. Williams includes Pooh to illustrate the works of philosophers like Descartes, Pluto and Nietzsche. And Frederick Crews also uses the lovable character in his satirical bestseller “The Pooh Perplex”. All these authors compared the simple Pooh Philosophy to real world thinking processes, and were able to successfully convey their own ideas and beliefs through him.
“Hoff regards Pooh’s simpleminded nature, unsophisticated worldview and instinctive problem-solving methods as conveniently representative of the Taoist philosophical foundation.” – Wikipedia
Now, I’m not preaching Taoism here (God forbid I tread on the toes of the political mafia men of the cloth). I’d rather just show you how even a cartoon character has enough insight to be called an enlightened pacifist who accepts the world for what it is. A happy-go-lucky kind of guy, he enjoys the little things in life and doesn’t fret about the things that he cannot change.
However, Winnie-The-Pooh characters all represent some type of mental disorder: Christopher Robin the oblivious schizophrenic, chronically depressed Eeyore diagnosed with dysthymic disorder, OCD and ADHD Pooh, anxiety prone Piglet in need of Xanax, the dyslexic Owl, the ever-hyper ADHD Tigger (and possible steroid junkie), OCD Rabbit, and the list goes on.
But you cannot ignore the fact that the social interaction between these characters so realistically represents the real world, and from that you can highlight moments of their epiphanies. Their simple thoughts are not what they appear to be at first light, most have such a profound meaning that it usually blows right past the top of our heads.
On a side note, Mr. Robin has contacted the owner of this blog with a statement: “Contrary to many rumors, Winnie’s last name is not Sanders. A public misconception due to Pooh’s door sign saying “Sanders”, the name was put above the door by a previous resident of the burrow and Pooh just never bothered to take it down.”
All jokes aside, I follow the official Disney Pooh FB page which always has these lovely little quotes for each picture posted, and it certainly gives me that extra little push to get through each day. You can all interpret Pooh’s philosophy in your own way, but just make sure that you understand the message behind his honey pots."The Pooh Philosophy",