“The Tao Of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff; “The Secret Message Of Jesus” by Brian Maclaren (the latter only skimmed)

Both try to explain how life should be lived, and to that extent are self-help books. Maclaren writes from within an orthodox US Christian perspective, but reinterprets Jesus’ message as a call to a radical politics and a suspicion of organised religion. Writing too much, and too autobiographically, he nevertheless is right, focusing on the be-like-a-child teaching, something Hoff develops in his clear and fun introduction for Americans to the Tao: doing nothing, being empty, action-through-inaction (Wu Wei), being clever not wise. P.155:

Within each of us there is an Owl [scholarly show-off], a Rabbit [control-freak], an Eeyore [whiner], and a Pooh [cool exponent of the Tao]. For too long, we have chosen the way of Owl and Rabbit. Now, like Eeyore, we complain about the results. But that accomplishes nothing. If we are smart, we will choose the way of Pooh. As if from far away, it calls to us with the voice of a child’s mind. It may be hard to hear at times, but it is important just the same, because without it, we will never find our way through the Forest.

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