Survival of the Sickest – the mess, the cause and how to fix it.

If you’re on the path to peace, you’ll find out pretty quick that those be shark-infested waters! A guide for toe-dipping, the Curse of Darwin and who’s who in the spiritual zoo.

David Yarrow,
David Yarrow,

Twenty years’ down the road less traveled and that gorgeous, lonely path is now some of the most fought-over real estate on the planet.

This far along, and with a little bit of overview, I wanted to write about the world out here, reflect upon the hullabaloo, and offer some insight to those considering a bit of a Walkabout.

From Cusco to Ubud; Kathmandu to Ko Samui, it’s true that New Age profiteers have hung their shingles everywhere you’re thinking of heading.

They eclipse the pretty views of nature, and lure would-be questers with a buffet of spiritual experiences. A booming spiritual industry sells anything you can think of – shamanic travel, kundalini for cats, conscious fashion, chakra readings, weird medicine, yoni massage, activated pet-wear, transcendental panties and sacred gardening.

The business plan is to promise you nothing less than the life you’ve always dreamed of.

If your dream is more Martin Luther King than Martha Stewart, they’ll either ditch you, or help you ‘evolve’ to one less ‘angry’. They will reprimand you for being ‘negative’ and encourage you to aspire instead for personal radiance, orgasmic joy, funky tribal fusion outfits, ageless beauty and great sex.

Their banner – sometimes subliminally, but often just blatantly – features a heavily opiated anorexic woman in a yoga pose. She hovers pornographically, in shimmering soft focus, above what first appears to be a chakra, but turns out to be a cosmic asshole.

sexy yogi


For between US$50 and US50,000, the New Age’s shamanic businesspeople will also sell you a balm for all your suffering. If you’re worried about the suffering of others, most will just call you a moaner, or a projector, fogging up the psychic realm with low vibrations.

Only a few will gaze out across the remaining wilderness to sigh before saying… “Yes, it took me a long time to come to yoga for the right reasons.”

The New Age rests its superiority over traditional elites like bankers, lawyers, doctors and big business by pointing out their trails of victims and self-serving ambition. But contesters for the enlightenment dollar are often worse offenders.

Why? Because they will promise to help you while they exploit you, using a language of spiritual cliché, pop psychology, pseudo-science and hope that a businessman, in even the most treacherous field, would rarely dare exploit.

Does this mean we should shun the path, turn our backs on Yoga and all its glittery cousins?

No! I mean, No Way! As the madness amplifies, the scene diversifies, thousands are setting off to search for a better way and many will find ,if they have eyes to see them – guides who are fit for the coming of age that is upon us.

Weathered and bewildered by their own stumblings about, earnest yoga teachers, healers, activists and therapists in the alternative movement will admit to rites of doubt, confusion and dark nights of the soul in the dizzying storm of ‘the movement’s’ crescendo. They know all about the in-fights and rivalry, fakers, shakers and ball-breakers who eclipse more humble workers on so-called spiritual soil.

As teachers they do a heroic job, balancing on one hand the competitive silliness of their industry, while nudging students to toward compassion, non-violence, kindness, selflessness, trust and devotion with the other. If you can get that sorted, you’re halfway home.

There are some where I Iive. They stand in the eye of the storm, holding space for one heck of a shift.

But in general, yes… The Way has been snatched from the humble fingertip of the solitary dreamer where it famously alighted, and turned into a billion dollar business fraught with all the power games and scams of any surging market.

Artwork from Osho Tarot

What a shame. But not a surprise. You can’t really blame the New Agers, or even the American MBAs who exploited them in a stampede for universal franchise of spirituality.

Not really. They, like me and you, are victims of a flaw in the very fabric of the western brain. A shadowy hoax in our reality you could call the predator effect.

There’s a shark in the ocean of Western thought, placed there deliberately, and designed to keep us enslaved to frustrating lives of fear and despair, racing against each other to escape the looming shark bite called natural selection.


It’s the Jaws in your own neural waters you have to face, and evaporate, if you really want to be free.

It’s not your job, your divorce, your mortgage, illness, sadness, wonky headstand,  backed up colon or your saggy kundalini that’s the main issue, really.

Even if you get those things sorted, you’ll discover it’s your own Great White Sharky thinking – and that of the guy next to you –  that will undermine you eventually.

There are teachers who know this, and can change your life completely.

But to get the best out of them, you need to make your own peace with the problem, and I am going to start you off.

If you want to put a face it and call it the devil, then that would be the face of Charles Darwin. Poor thing.

Darwin portrait1

It was Darwin’s thought-virus that was used to validate the idea of a life driven by suffering and survival, that pit brother against brother in a fight for existence hosted by a hostile environment, ruled by a cranky god.

Darwinism is the root cause of human sadness in the West. It’s your part in it you need to make peace with.

His ideas, backed by a ruthlessly expanding colonial elite, created a Survival of the Fittest epidemic pitching the strong against the weak, justifying violence and bullying, slavery, the subjugation of women, expansion of empire and the abandonment of the Irish to famine. In the mid 1800’s Darwinism became the carefully chosen banner under which we slaughtered Indigenous, animals and environment as we supported an indifferent  elite upon whom we entrusted our own survival. His was an argument used to contest the end of slavery in the States, and adopted by Nazis and other not very nice people. The ‘fit’, Darwin ‘proved’, were supposed to get rid of lesser beings so a more perfect human could ‘evolve’.

darwin story2

It was Darwin who argued that, actually, universal intelligence seeks a blood bath. He showed that dominators and manipulators are selected for by nature itself, in an effort to create superior beings through a linear process known as ‘evolution’ which loved nothing more than gladiatorial battles of life and death.

He put the gun in the hands of ‘progress’, pointed it at animals, wildlife and ‘savages’, nerdy kids, fat girls, boys who were bad at rugby, and argued that it was our duty to nature to blow out the brains of the meek – or at least cower them into submission.

The smoke from three centuries of this gunfire has utterly choked up the Western notion of reality. It has left us all wounded, blood-stained, lonely and estranged from the gorgeous cosmos of bliss and elegance with which earlier humans had been having a divine romance for ages.

Mad with fear for our own survival, we still argue about whether qualities like compassion, mercy, collaboration and quietly pottering about in peace are inferior traits to be weeded out by government and evolution. We get blue in the face about whether animals have feelings, if morality is a ‘construct’, whether genes are selfish and if we will suffer a debt for contamination of a mechanical biosphere.


Today its still Darwin behind our sneers at the underprivileged, the lazy, the tubby, the confused and dreamy. We use his thinking when we feel superior to others if we are better looking, better paid, score higher marks, or kick bigger goals in cooler clothes

But In academic circles Darwin has already had the colour sucked out of him by Sociologists who don’t even argue anymore about whether Darwinism has any actual merit.

In a word, they agree. It doesn’t.

Darwin and his ism were the perfect brand, and the perfect trick of reason at a moment in history when the ruling materialist elite required a public to swallow the notion of empires built on the suffering, exploitation and humiliation of others.

It’s because of the Darwinian misadventure we have tolerated a culture in which the bullies are entitled to all they can get, while the rest can suck it up.

Why? Because we are fundamentally bullies ourselves.

That’s the sneaky logic by which we really live today, and from which we are desperately trying to escape… if only we could see it.

Instead we blame our anxiety on the banks, sugar, military industrialists and the International Situation – on others, generally, because we don’t yet realise it’s our own Darwinised selves we’re sick of.

Darwinism is behind our stress in this indifferent, scarcity-afflicted universe we invented. It’s behind those first squabbles over toys at pre-school, through competitive sport, scaled schooling that favors the ‘best’, status, loneliness and on and on. In a culture which ‘wars’ over peace, drugs, poverty, religion, cancer… it’s a fight over everything. Surrender? Be damned!

To see this in action you don’t have to visit the halls of government, the New York stock exchange, or peek at the machinations of Greenpeace or the Bill Gates Foundation. Nasty politics, in-fighting, rivalry, ladder-climbing and bullying are alive and well in the playground, on the road, at mothers’ groups, yoga school, in the surf, the local disco and creep in to our relationships. No?


They’re the reason many won’t hop out of the rat-race. Terrified of ‘failing’, of being left behind, devoured by their rivals, or just found ‘unfit’ in a competitive universe they can imagine being ploughed into dust at the bottom of Darwin’s ruthless pyramid – because that was the fate of millions before them.

When you attempt to break this bondage your question should be… who, or what, can I trust?

It’s the right one, because those who can’t quite give up the impulse to dominate, even if they say they are ‘at one with the divine’ are just like the sharks in Finding Nemo, who want to be vegetarian.

Disney, Finding Nemo
Disney, Finding Nemo

And because walking into a new cosmology requires a complete break from the old one – at least for a while.

This is not a matter of character, but of a cultural virus sewn deep in our bones and jellies. In general, we’re tired of the anxiety, the lack of trust and happiness, but we don’t know where it’s coming from. We want out. We want happiness. We want love and fairies, good waves, picnics… and a nice cup of tea.

It’s not only because of evil leadership we can’t have this peace – we’re all destroying it, because we don’t trust it..

But hang on a minute! Isn’t this all a bit far-fetched?

Wasn’t Darwin just a nice quiet man who killed a lot of finches?

Actually, no. Charlie gave the game away in the title of his book, which was, in full:

On the Origin of Species

 by Means of Natural Selection,

or the Preservation of Favoured Races

in the Struggle for Life”

 (thank you, Meg Maskell)

He paid a bitter debt for these philosophical efforts. In a personal tragedy that was poetic in its unfolding. Darwin confessed to his diary near the end of his own exhausting, lonely life of conflict, that…

“I cannot endure to read a single line of poetry… those parts of my brain now atrophied.


The loss of these tastes [poetry, literature, scenery and art] is a loss of happiness…


My mind seems to have become a sort of machine for grinding general laws out of a collection of facts.”

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin.

His theory, he frankly writes, came from disenchantment with God, and a failure to see any sort of design in life.

“I can see no evidence of… design of any kind

in the details [of the universe]”, he wrote.

Seriously? He couldn’t?

Was that because he was consumed with mild depression, unpopularity, sea sickness and doubt about whether he should have ever given up a life of partridge shooting afterall?

Darwin was making, actually, an unfathomably dumb statement.

Given that Leonardo Da Vinci had already exploded the boundaries of human thinking in art, engineering, biology, aviation, physics, chemistry… everything, all after looking closely at nature.

da vinci

Da Vinci’s doodles of flowers and waves revealed an innate architecture behind everything from flying machines to dripping taps a full four hundred years earlier!

How could Darwin have missed it?

I was desperate to know.

And, since there was but a 3-hour taxi ride, one squalid night in Guayaquil and a picturesque flight between me and the theme park using his name as its billion-dollar mascot, I knew exactly how to find out.

I booked a one-way flight to the Galapagos.

To sniff around in Darwin’s underwear and see what evolved from there.

28 thoughts on “Survival of the Sickest – the mess, the cause and how to fix it.

  1. Reblogged this on Eagle's View and commented:
    Hey Jade! Great piece (no pun intended!) I have thoughts to add, but want to read up on something first. In the meantime, I find some of this most relevant in Vilca..

  2. Thank you, Jade, for yet another – yes, brilliant, as “8 degrees of Latitude” said – mind-blowing essay (for lack of a better word). You may have all forgotten about me by now – I’m the “reluctant” memoir writer. Since my only grandson died in July in a tragic accident (drowning), I’ve suffered from writer’s block again, but your recent flurry of stories is re-inspiring me and I’ve started writing again. If you’re ever again (although doubtful) in the Cuenca area, please contact me; I really miss our friendship, which was just beginning when you so abruptly left. BTW – everything you said (and wrote) about Vilca… was the God Gospel truth – as my dear Austrian/Canadian/Ecuadorian friend, who insisted on moving there – against my strong advice – has now found out first-hand (she has acquired a “stalker” now) and I’m headed there today to help her get the hell away from there. Please keep the juices flowing and the stories coming….they’re sustaining me…

  3. Well Ingrid, I’m very sad to hear this news about your grandson. What a loss, and a sad, sad story.. I can’t imagine how his parents must feel….
    As for you – how is that naughty dog? And when are you going to settle down to write?
    I think your friend had every chance to avoid the Vilcabamba maw, but I suppose some souls just have to go through it…. I hope she leaves – there are better places. The valley is in the hands of very bad folk.

  4. Thank you, would be happy to discuss more… yes, Vilcabamba – the Valley kinda proves Darwin, but perhaps God, or reason, or the divine Fair Spirit will intervene and flood the place for the sake of the poor Ecuadorian souls who are victims to the invading horde

  5. Jade: I agree with your warnings against false and mercenary “shamans.” However, your use of the term “Darwinism” is actually “social Darwinism.” Social Darwinism has nothing to do with science. It is the misuse of evolutionary science in order to justify predatory behavior. Darwin’s theory of evolution is now the basis of all scientific biology. It is proven, accepted and factual. Social Darwinism is just a new name for an old evil. “Survival of the fittest” describes the beneficial characteristics that cause some varieties of living organisms to thrive…and other to pass on. It does not necessarily refer to predation. No responsible evolutionist (Darwinist) would advocate using evolutionary principles as a reason to commit evil. Nor should you spread this false notion. Thank you – Rudy Wittshirk

  6. Hi Rudy, thanks for adding to the conversation. Firstly, actually, Darwin was hotly involved in how his theory could be applied to society, and agreed that it could. If you read my blog carefully you will see that I am aware of that and discuss how Darwin was turned into an ism, which is a plague upon us, and which he was not unaware of as a consequence of his work.
    The title of his book, as a case study for race inequality, gives away his real leanings.
    His biography gives away the penalty of isolation, unhappiness and disconnection from nature that is the result of the thinking by which he came to his conclusions.
    My questions to you – are you aware that you have just wiped out the merit of the Social Sciences – I am sure there are plenty of Professors who will be sad to hear the news.
    Second – when you say proven, accepted and factual – do you mean in the same way we defended the ‘fact’ that the Earth was flat?
    Or that the atom was the base particle in a Newtonian universe?
    Third – evil???? How did that get into the picture?
    Are you sure you’re not dragging that hysterical American idea of God Vs Devil into the picture to frighten all the children?
    and third…. I don’t take kindly to being told what I should and shouldn’t write…. nor to those who twist up notions of evil and responsibility while shutting down a dialogue… it’s kinda self-righteous, and smacks of resistance to freedom of expression, which is why I wrote this article in the first place.

  7. Hey, here I am again to throw some more spice into the mix. Here’s a quote from David Icke, which serves to strengthen your argument. His ‘beliefs’ were clearly in the family, spawned two generations prior:
    “.Another Lunar Society member was Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles Darwin who the Archontic bloodlines used to further sell the belief in a soulless, mechanical and brutal universe with his assertions about the ‘survival of the fittest’ in the mid-1800s. This became known as the theory of natural selection in which the genetically most ‘advanced’ survive while the weakest die out and it has been used to justify eugenics and race purity programmes like those of the Rockefeller-funded Nazis. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was just the salesman for this manufactured belief-system which was described much earlier in 1794 by his Lunar Society grandfather Erasmus in a book called Zoonomia. Josiah Wedgwood of the Wedgwood pottery empire was another Lunar Society member and his daughter married Erasmus Darwin’s son, Robert Darwin. She gave birth to Charles Darwin, and the same bloodline produced the infamously race-purity crazy, Thomas Malthus ( Figs 523 and 524 ). It was Malthus who said that disease and terrible living conditions for the masses were essential to stop overpopulation and the dilution of the bloodlines of the perceived El-lite:
    “We are bound in justice and honour formally to disclaim the right of the poor to support. To this end, I should propose regulation to be made declaring that no child born … should ever be entitled to parish assistance … The [illegitimate] infant is, comparatively speaking, of little value to society, as others will immediately supply its place … All children beyond what would be required to keep up the population to this (desired) level, must necessarily perish, unless room be made for them by the deaths of grown persons.””

    Icke, David (2013-11-22). The Perception Deception – Part Two (Kindle Locations 1042-1044). David Icke Books Limited. Kindle Edition.

  8. Hi again. I wanted to add this last night, but lost the internet connection.
    In defence of sharks:
    I have mixed feelings re the shark analogy, brilliant though it was. Sharks have had such a bad rap since “Jaws”, though far more sharks are killed annually by humans than humans by sharks, and many species are endangered as a result. The numbers are staggering.
    or this graphic:
    Quite fascinating creatures, unjustifiably vilified and much beleaguered.

    And now to turn things on its head, are you familiar with Brecht’s “If Sharks were Men”? I studied German and know it in the original, “Wenn die Haifische Menschen Waeren”, but I just found this animation in English: –

  9. Oh…. shit! Right then.. well this makes my line looks like a little puff of fairy dust. I see. Very good. Very nasty… how deep does the dark river run…? Shame it’s David Icke – I’m not a fan of him or any man who divorces his wife on the grounds that she’s an alien.
    I’m sick if people being so mean to aliens..
    You’ve made this so much more fun for me. muchas gracias bella… I’ve been testing this thread on people from every nook, cranny, history, nd shelf… seems indeed a program of crushing out culture and connection to land (among other things) was well in place for a world-scale commission gathering force from the mid-1800’s and leading to the ‘great wars’, and a sort of soul-crushing through fear, guilt, addiction, disassociation, greed, sorrow, hatred.. whatever would best crush the tribes, according to their nature. I was talking with a Russiansih woman about the story there yesterday, and she cried when she described the way the national soul had been crushed – it was so perfectly done, it was as if it was planned that way… hmmmm.

  10. From my mate Jack in Galapagos, who is arguing with me about this on facebook… I’d like to share his line here so we can all learn from how clever he is.. even if it’s a bit bossy-ish ; )

    “Work on it. Think of evolutionary imperatives. Why for example do we love bacon? Fat, salt, sweet, smoke. A million years of marginal starvation taught our tongues what is necessary for life. Fat and sweet are concentrated calories. Salt we must have to live, and where it is in short supply, we get phrases like “worth his salt” and “below the salt”. Look them up. Salt economics. And smoke is cooked food, overall more nutrition accessible than raw. Hunting and gathering is different from processed foods, and don’t give me any New Age Raw Diet fantasies. Ideology is not biology. Next step. Hunting and gathering territory evolved a strong tribal instint. The good side of tribal cohesion is all that altruism and love spectrum and the Klien Bottle mystic leap. Which evolved after the tooth and claw stuff. Tooth and claw are still there, laid down in the same tribal hard wiring that also makes us do Auschwitz and Kosovo and Rwanda.”

  11. Actually, I am amazed I got this far without a short sharp slap from quite a few of my mates… clearly my dive crew doesn’t read this blog, or I’d have been publicly disowned for the cheap shot.
    The thing is, as an archetype, we all know what I mean, right?
    I’m talking about the symbolic form, and the chemical reaction we get from that word – shark – . And that image too.

    Top order predator looks in mirror at itself while on the medicine, and … freaks itself out completely!

    Don’t worry, I have a master plan in which our shark friends come off redeemed – or, at least, I do – for being mean to them.
    The personal insight is that after two years in Vilcabamba my dives into shark-infested waters, deep in the heady blue with hammerheads in all directions, was the safest I’d felt since living in a puddle on Venice Beach with all the wasted young vets and university graduates.
    They were the first living things of my own size, with white-ish skin, that hadn’t tried to bite me for quite a while…

    Sorry about weird grammatical splatterings… very humid here. x

  12. Well, I jumped in at the deep end, so to speak, with David Icke – always interesting to test the waters… I actually think he’s brilliant – dismissed as a nutter 25 years ago, but everything he was saying is coming to light. He’s incredibly well-researched, & being a stickler for accuracy myself, I’ve checked a lot of things he writes, things I couldn’t or didn’t want to believe – and yes, he’s onto it.
    What’s this about him divorcing his wife cos she was an alien? You were kidding, right? His ex-wife is actually his best friend and one of his biggest proponents.

  13. I’m afraid I’m not going to swallow that last comment, Jack. Auschwitz was nothing to do with ‘tooth and claw’ – it was all cleverly manipulated and controlled, very much orchestrated via the mass media (radio) and much collusion through fear; Kosovo and Rwanda were also designed and orchestrated on the old divide & rule principle. I don’t remember all the complexities of the Balkans, but in my recent 3 years in Africa, I read a lot about Rwanda, & talked at length with a Rwandan colleague who escaped. The Belgians, through political favoritism (driven by the Darwinistic principle that the taller Tutsi (minority) were superior to the Hutu, and then switching allegiances, were very much to blame for inciting hatred among two tribes who had peacefully co-existed for centuries. The blood bath that ensued was also rabidly encouraged through the mass media. It is easy to coerce large groups of people through fear and the powers that be know well how that works.
    All wars & massacres have been initiated by elites, to gain land, water, gold, oil, power etc etc, not because we all have an innate desire to kill each other.
    Do we bring gender into the mix here?

  14. I read about in the Loja paper.
    As for Ick – maybe he is ‘right’ – how does that work when,, in the end, everything is also true? – but my issue is his delivery, which I have seen before my very eyes the effects of on those brave and clever and earnest young men who find him, read him and lose their shit completely.
    I’e had to make soup and serve biscuits and flowerbuds up to quite a few of them, so traumatised by Ick that they’ve just gone to bed for a year, or handed their sanity and their virility over to the ether, adrift on shame or guilt or idontknowwhtthefucktodonowthen….
    That’s not leadership. Well, it’s not the leadership we need. Who wants all those Good Men taken out of commission by Too Much Freakin’ Information – while so many other idiot men, the ones who don’t know how to take a stand anywhere, but love getting all that goddam attention… suck up all the honey?
    Truth is not a defence in leadership.
    His style is reckless.
    It causes more of the same trauma.
    I would prefer a more sexy way of getting this message out… especially from the men.

  15. Hi Jade. I think we could go back & forth on this one for a while. That’s your experience, which sounds pretty radical, but mine has been quite different. I disagree that he’s not a leader, or is a bad leader. Well, he doesn’t claim to be a leader, he’s just telling it the way he sees it. I find him a very down-to-earth, compassionate bloke and – yes – a lot of information – but I believe what he’s doing, connecting up the dots, is strategically crucial for people to understand the scale of what’s going on. Yes it is hard to digest, let alone believe, but once people begin to see, then all that’s been happening around the world, especially recently, begons to make sense.. More & more people are waking up, not only because of his work, – some of this stuff is now in the mainstream media, and that has to be a good thing.

  16. I never told you how I found your blog. We had a mutual FB friend, let’s call her “M”…anyway, she is a vegan activist – you had left her rather a blunt comment, and I was intrigued. As a result, I found your (fantastic) blog. M is still enjoyed her meat, eggs, dairy etc. all while continuing her ‘activism’ – I don’t eat meat- and I don’t care if she does- as long as she is true to herself and the world, but it is this phoniness of compassion and activism that is out of control esp in places like Ubud. I just want to thank you for indirectly leading me to your blog! xx

  17. Hey, Good writing. I really enjoy your perspective. I would like to make one minor correction. What you are talking about is a misunderstanding of darwin and darwinism. I have trouble believing you actually read him. The role of sexual selection, the surprising benefits and mechanics of altruism…. Social Darwinism, which is what you are talking about, is really just a manifestation of confirmation bias, using science to justify previously held beliefs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s