— Lyrics of a Winnie the Pooh song “Cottleston Pie” Video of the Song

The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoof, begins with a hilarious misquote, “I think, therefore I am … confused.” A mind that tries too hard gets you into trouble.The world doesn’t exist to suit your judgment of right and wrong. If your map doesn’t match with the ground, your map is wrong. That’s the premises of Taoism and the philosophy of Winnie the Pooh. You need to see things as they are, and act according to the Way and the Inner Nature of objects. That, sometimes, involves very little thinking. Do you have the following symptoms?

  1. Feeling of anxiety, dread, helplessness, resentment, passive-aggressiveness, etc.
  2. Insomnia.
  3. Internal dialogue along the line of “Why can’t someone be like this, or something be like that? What’s wrong with them?”
  4. Complaining, bitching, whining, on loop.
  5. Most people around you think you’re a giant pain in the ass.

If you do have these symptoms, it’s time to try Pooh’s cure for internal turmoil: “Cottleston Pie (Inner Nature)“.

  • “A fly can’t bird but a bird can fly. Ask me a riddle and I reply: cottleston, cottelston, cottelston pie.”
    • Things are as they are. You can’t fit square pegs into round holes. Know where you do and do not belong.
    • You can’t change people. They are how they are. Wishing them to be different just causes you pain. It’s better to know people objectively, and work with what’s available.
    • Be emotionally detached. Focus on getting what you want.
  • “A fish can’t whistle, and neither can I. Ask me a riddle and I reply: cottleston, cottelston, cottelston pie.”
    • Wise people know their limitations. Once you face and understand your limitations, you work with them, instead of having them work against you. 
    • Rather than being carried along by circumstances and manipulated by people who can see your weaknesses and behavioral tendencies that you ignore, you can work with your characteristics and be in control of your life. The Way of self-reliance starts with recognizing who you are, what you’ve got to work with, and what works best for you.
    • Know your hot buttons, and have some good action plans for each case someone pushes one of your buttons. 
  • “Why does a chicken, I don’t know why. Ask me a riddle and I reply: cottleston, cottelston, cottelston pie.”
    • There are things you don’t need to know, for instance “why someone did what they did or said what they said”. What you need to do is understand inner nature and work with things as they are.

This is not about switching off the thinking machine or turning a blind eye to the problem. On contrary, it is about seeing things as they are and using thinking only on what thinking is good for.

We could learn this from Pooh.

Life is fun. Be happy and be good.