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Darwin, the Origin of Species, Queen Charlotte Islands, and mystic natural wonder

excerpted from IN AND OF: memoirs of a mystic journey, by Jack Haas



Looking back now I see how my patterned routine of exodus and return began on my first extended trip up the coast, riding in a rusty old pickup truck with a most beautiful and severe young blond woman named Sandy, who was a true, incarnate, spirit of the land- as some people are, who get in touch with the earth and assimilate it into their very beings.

At that time Sandy was in her early twenties and was already an incredibly capable naturalist who had guided both kayaks and rafts throughout a great portion of the coastal waters and rivers running through British Columbia. She was the one, chosen by the cosmos at that time, to blend her spirit into mine, thus becoming my anima, and, as in the way of myth made manifest, she would lead me in the flesh to the Avalon of North America- the misty and mystic Queen Charlotte Islands- where I would, for the first time in my life, experience a genuine understanding of what the word ‘wild’ really meant. I say this with absolute sincerity, for I had been to a few of the untouched places on earth earlier in life, but never before had I seen the staggering display of Tolkienesque landforms, forests, and people as such exist in the Charlottes. It is a land unlike any other land. A world set apart from the world. A unique, thriving, ecologically astounding archipelago often referred to as the Galapagos of the north.

                I have read The Origin of Species, and I can assure you that had Darwin voyaged to the bountiful forests of the Queen Charlotte Islands instead of the desert landscapes of the Galapagos, he would have forgotten instantly his ad hoc hypothesis based on the spurious mental constructs of survival and mutation, for he would have at once fallen to his knees in awe-struck bewilderment and been forced to accept what every scientist spends their whole life attempting to disprove- their own inexorable stupefaction.

Had The Beagle sailed north to the Charlottes instead of southward, students of biology everywhere today would be trained in the poetics of mystery and the art of appreciation, rather than the mechanistic obscurations of statistical analysis, laboratory research, vivisection, and the laughable, fascist confines of the scientific method.               

Had Darwin studied the outlandish Puffin, or the irrepressible Pigeon Guillemot, rather than the common Finch, his eyes may have been opened to the incomprehensible living spirit animating all things, instead of arriving at his inert conclusion based on the precise mathematical attrition of obsolete budgie colons.

                Darwin’s essentially morbid outlook, formed on the barren rocks of the Galapagos, necessarily produced a theory whose main operating factor is death, whereas, had he set his eyes upon the thriving plenitude of nature’s finest, he would have instead propounded a vision based on Life, and life’s inherently vital mechanisms. For a philosophy based on ‘life’ belongs innately to a living universe- one which is still expanding, even after eighteen billion years! After all, the Big Bang implies a sexual super nova, not a chaste black hole; it implies a life more abundant, not a cosmos based on scarcity and struggle.

                Had Darwin not been a biologist, he would certainly have been a mortician.

                When I first arrived on the blessed isles, I walked about in a sort of disbelieving stupor that such a magnitude of life actually exists on earth. I have heard tales of visitors to the islands walking into the forests and bursting into tears, because they, like I, could not believe in the beauty and majesty that the earth has brought forth, and which has been eliminated almost everywhere but for a few isolated areas on Vancouver Island and along the coast of British Columbia and Alaska.

                To walk into one of these ancient forests is to be transported to another planet. It is to walk through a time warp, and enter Eden before the Fall. To stroll about on thick beds of moss, with ten-foot diameter trees running up to the sky in gothic piety, or to paddle in a kayak or canoe along the deserted shores while watching for sea-lions, Orcas, humpback whales, water foul, raptors, rainbows, and deer dancing on the shore, is to tear at your hair because you finally realize you are on the planet of the apes and you now know what the simians have done to your home.


excerpted from:


author Jack Haas, west coast British Columbia wilderness, ocean forest island



IN AND OF: memoirs of a mystic journey

by Jack Haas



















Mystical books, visionary art, and fine art photography by Jack Haas




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