Friday, February 18, 2011

Oh Pooh! - Part 2

I’ve often been told that I can be over analytical. I’d have to agree. Chewing something to pieces isn’t always good, no. But then, not having any kind of discriminative eye is also not good. Either way, there’s always something to find below the surface.

When it comes to Winnie-the-Pooh, it seems there’s a great deal underneath all that stuffing.

I’ve already mentioned The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. Who knew that such a “simple” tale would harbor an ancient philosophy of life? Trust me, it’s a marvelous and eye-opening read. One has to wonder if A.A. Milne did it intentionally. I’m not suggesting he did... but it often seems like it! Plus, it retains the charm and cuteness of Pooh, with him talking with the author.

Well, someone else delved a little further into the Silly Old Bear... and, as it turns out, John Tyerman Williams says the clandestine underlying power of Pooh also extends to Western philosophy as well. Pooh and the Philosophers demonstrates how elements of Pooh and friends’ sayings, behavior, personality and stroylines can bring to light the likes of Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Hobbes, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche and a plethora of others. It’s been a great many years since I’ve read it. I do remember enjoying it as well as being impressed with the arguments. In general, at least, one really can find examples of the basic principles of classic schools of thought from across time.

As fun as it is to make the parallels, there does come a time when less is more. Williams brought out Pooh and the Millennium. Please don’t take that statement about it too harshly. The truth is it’s a lot fun and does have merit. Finding the likes of subjects like Astrology, Tarot and the Arthurian Legend within the world of Winnie-the-Pooh takes great creative insight. And again, as I recall, I enjoyed it. I mostly remember the stunning way in which the secrets of the Qabalah manifested in the pages of Pooh. Granted, it’s not as if my knowledge of the Qabalah amounted to a hill of beans prior to reading this book. So naturally the deck had been stacked in favor of the parallel. Nevertheless, I recall it as downright freaky. However, it’s almost as if the joke went too far. I’m sorry to say that for me it stretched the boundaries of the original mystical relevance that begin with The Tao of Pooh. Of course, it could all be meant as a joke. But then, that’s not what I’d been looking for in the concept.

Upon looking it up on the internet, I discovered that many more "Pooh and..." books have come out as well.

I'm just one of those who likes to poke around and see what can be gleaned, infered or connected.  And it’s amazing what can arise from poking deeper into subjects as cute and poignant as Pooh.

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