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The Hog's Wholey Wash: A Complete Allegorical Manual on Consciousness & Cosmos, With Vindication Sublime of That Most Maligned Terrestrial Species Paperback – October 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Ashgrove Publishing (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185398146X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853981463
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,176,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A lovely satire, or whatever it is... Unique and remarkable" -- Gene Brewer, author of K-PAX

"An esoteric journey with a hog!... Your brain will find itself almost involuntarily unwinding and unravelling, stretching…" -- Green Events (UK)

"Beautiful craft, brilliantly dubious… [Its] ‘meanings’ emerge in a telling synergy with the particular reader and reading" -- Mindfield Forum

"Sheer genius and enchantment" -- The Watkins Review

About the Author

Through diverse educative ventures, Mal Mitchell has pursued different paradigms of balanced development. He has campaigned, counselled, run experimental arts-based workshops, and explored mainstream besides alternative sources in wide-ranging research. He is currently working on projects focused on challenges in Madagascar and their multiple contexts.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sophia Wellbeloved on January 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
The possibilities and probabilities of porcine aviation, long the sphere of philosophical questioning, and doubted by only the most literal of the literally minded, are here exppressed in fairy-tale form. With the intention of introducing us to 'a bit more' of our organically unfathomable selves, via a flight through the cosmos, the hog mysteriously manages to encourage us to 'try, try, try and trust how wihin you already fly'.
Much as Alice followed the rabbit, and Carlitos struggled to follow Don Juan, so the teller of this tale obeys the hog's injunction to 'follow me' and scrambles after it on an adventurous and possibly salvific flight through the cosmos. In like manner, we the readers, earnestly strive to unravel Mitchell's narrative which twists itself ike an amoebic strip, flowing seamlessly to unite sets of opposites, to answer and provoke questions, to baffle and enlighten.
Though the tale of the hog is shorter, and lighter to carry round the Gurdjieff's 'Beelzebub's Tales To His Grandson' Mitchell has that author's ability to muddle, befuddle, and charm his reader into a submissive agreement to grapple with the text, and through it with the unfathomable mysteries of 'Consciousness and Cosmos'.
Very funny and highly recommended, buy two, because you will want one to give away.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ian Burroughs on September 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
"The Hog's Wholey Wash" warrants top marks, to my mind. It somehow persuaded me (irritating me, mostly) to make an effort of a kind I would rarely trouble with in reading a fictional text. Without this effort, I'm sure I would have been disappointed by the book. To anyone who would read without working with it, wise to think of it as having minimum recommendation.
Initially intrigued through its debated relation to the work of G I Gurdjieff, I did a good deal of bemused reading of it till something unexpectedly clicked; Blake's "infinity in a grain of sand" for some reason lodged firmly in my mind, not to be shaken off. The "Wholey Wash" subsequently `stuck' and `grew' in a way it simply had not before. If I found I ended up with a pearl of great price, it ultimately seems a thing as much of my own making as that of the author/ his influences (Sufism? Vedanta? Holography?)/ his interpreters, critics /others.
But what to cast? Could we perceive `infinity in hogwash' ?!
This book certainly helped/forced me to better grasp how I can find unexpected windows on different realities - realities of my own psyche and its milieux. The reading of it did work for me (at a literary level, not unpainfully) as both eye-opener and feeling-opener. From my own experience with it, I can say it can serve as a wonderful little `Working Person's Manual' on getting to grips with our worlds, perceptions, our more untamed intimations as well as everyday senses.
Having gone through a wide range of reactions and cross-referencing with this book, I should highlight its sneaking webs of allusion to the follies of cynicism and obsession - and alternatives of living Work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lee Andriessen on December 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Awesome trip to the four corners of the mind. Weird, poignant, compulsive, with plenty that got me laughing out loud. Slyly deconstructs the hinges of reductionism in how we can take the "spiritual" & "scientific", and mistake ourselves in the process, whether looking through the Eastern or Western. Sparks off parallel takes prone to involutions & crossbreedings - though how we get with the flows of it all, overt & covert, really hangs on feedback with our own experience and focus of intent. Steep at $13. But if you're one for koans, black holes, enlightenments, fractal tidal waves and such - cool fare. Fasten your wits for a mutant Möbius belter of a ride.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Robert Colombo on June 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Plutarch argues in a dialogue in "Moralia" that animals are able to reason, including pigs. Malcolm Mitchell would agree. He has devoted a slim book of voyage and meditation to the theme of wise and stupid animal beings. It is called "The Hog's Wholey Wash" (the quote marks are part of the full title). The long title says it all: "A Complete Allegorical Manual on Consciousness & Cosmos, with Vindication Sublime of that Most Maligned Terrestrial Species or `The Hog's Wholey Wash.'"
* The book is the ideal bedside companion, being written in short, four-page sections. It is also the perfect gift for the jaded friend who has read everything. (Mind you, the tastes of the friend have to be really jaded, for the language here is "superswineishly" slipper and sly, Joycean, Gurdjieffian, neologismically inventive. There is a lot of humour here amid the "higher" wisdom. One never knows what the next sentence will bring.
* The way Virgil led Dante through a hierarchy of worlds, the "Pig-Being" leads us through all the worlds that are, instructding us along the way. Here is one pig that is garrulous, but no boar, being closer to Plutarch's philosopher than it is to the sty-variety. In fact, Malcolm Mitchell's pig is in a class by itself, the dispenser of unlikely wisdom to the animal nature that hogs the limelight.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
A unique book; entertaining, funny, puzzling, but what does it all mean? Perhaps there are no easy answers. If you're prepared to do your share of the work, this book will take you on a fascinating spiritual journey. It's compelling on the first read - but more enjoyable each time you return to it, because that's when the different layers of this multi-faceted tale really present themselves.
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