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Monday, November 23, 2009


 Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Oct 10, 2009 6:42 AM PDT

This essay is dedicated to Albert Einstein, who worked tirelessly for the cause of peace after his discoveries were used for the purpose of establishing American domination through destructive power.

Any change is possible only after assuming that it is. When we consider a problem unsolvable,we give up on finding an answer before we begin. The failure to reform the United States government into one that reflects the will of the people is the result of accepting many commonly accepted misconceptions as laws of nature

There is little that is inevitable in the social, psychological and political processes that have led us to this critical nexus in space-time. Every event in history is the result of the sum of all individual decisions leading to that point.  We must thus consciously choose our collective destiny rather than superstitiously leave our fate to chance. 

To not choose to control our own future is to make a choice that abrogates our responsibility to our children. We cannot ignore this responsibility, for willful ignorance is the greatest evil. It is a betrayal of all those who have fought and died to keep the hope of freedom alive and to the generations to come for whom Soldiers For Peace throughout history have always fought. 

All things are still possible, but we must choose our path carefully because most of the choices before us lead to self-destruction. If you believe as I do that men and women are essentially good, then you can have faith that democracy can be achieved and  together we can deliver the justice that the People now cry out for. Virtue is necessary tor us to keep working to save our collective selves and the planet itself.

If you do not share this faith, then ask yourself why you struggle. Is it really possible to save ourselves if Mankind is not essentially good?  I cannot imagine the pain of struggling on with such doubt in the ultimate success of life's struggle. I have always believed that we are essentially good and that we want to believe that in ourselves. 

If we can believe that of ourselves and communicate to others that we believe that of them, a new era of harmony can begin. We can and must move forward together into a future free of unneeded conflict between us. Those with the power to control the lives  of others have always willingly exploited these divisions to keep us slaves to our hatred and prejudice, knowing that only a people divided can fail to defeat their designs of world domination.

Every religious person who has examined her faith and come to the conclusion that God exists will tell you that it is only through her personal experiences that she became convinced of the existence of God working in her life. Only when you believe that the unprovable may be real can you find the evidence in your own experience that apparent miracles happen every day.

It is not necessary to believe in God to see them, but it is necessary to believe that  apparent miracles occur if you are to recognize them. Once seen, it is up to the observer to decide for himself whether it is superstitious to believe that there is a power connecting us all that we do not completely understand or whether it is more illogical to ascribe a series of events to chance which taken together approach zero probability by all scientific models based solely on observation of past events.

Miracles occur when the astoundingly improbable becomes a common occurrence. The laws of probability can predict the future if and only if the initial assumptions are correct. If the model of reality by which you view the world can be broken down to a choice between hypotheses leading to two mutually exclusive predictions, you have a real experiment. It can sometimes be proven convincingly by the statistical methods that the results of an experiment are so improbable if one assumption is right that it is a virtual certainty that its opposite is.

This is the essence of the scientific process. Theory is one thing but theory is not accepted as natural law by scientists until it is verified  by experiment. In testing a theory of how to ending war, the null hypothesis is rejected at each step when  we see that hypothesizing each element is "impossible" turns out to be wrong.  With each piece of data suggesting that we can end war,  we move a step closer to understanding the nature of the reality that it can. 

It can be shown by Baysian analysis that the probability of a chain of events is equal to the product of multiplying the probabilities of each individual event. Thus, a string of incredible “coincidence” is convincing evidence to believers that something that we don’t fully comprehend all that is influencing the events of our lives. It is impossible to conceive of the thought experiments necessary to witness this yourself if you do not begin with the assumption that miracles defined in this way may exist.

Without the evidence of the senses most people simply explain away remarkable "coincidences" in their lives as "bound to happen." These people never notice how frequently highly improbable events may occur that are ignored. The variability in the estimates of the probabilities of rare events that might form a chain of causality is where the controversy comes in. Those who want to see miracles say they find them. It is not that they imagined they saw miracles. It may have been that they imagined they could see the miracles, which caused them to look for them. If  miracles do occur in our lives, this is the only way to find them.
It should be reason enough to reject the claim of knowledge that miracles do not exist to consider that by assuming this null hypothesis is true, we are assuming that our lives have no intrinsic meaning. We might as well assume that the Universe is flat and will end in heat death. I begin by rejecting this ultimate conclusion that our struggle is ultimately meaningless and work under the hypothesis that it is not. 

Only when we open our eyes to the possibility that we can change the outcome of our collective battle for survival through changing our own minds can we see the path to achieving peace. This tentative assumption enables us to proceed confidently, actively seeking proof of the correctness of our choices and working to convince others that it is possible to save ourselves from mutual self-annihilation through collective action. 

We must strive to teach with empathy frightened and angry reactionaries that understanding our interdependence is the key to working together for a better or even survivable future. Person by person, we change the collective consciousness that guides the choices of action we make together and individually.

I believe that the collective consciousness is about to experience an exponential shift toward recognizing and acting on the basis of the mutual self-interest of the human race. The signs are everywhere, if you regard the world with hope for the future. However, we can only change the collective consciousness and thus the nature of reality if we actively work to together toward achieving this aim.

It is time to take to the streets and demand this change.

Rick Staggenborg, MD

At peace with the world in Zion National Park, Utah


  1. The main theme of this essay is that it is important to maintain morale when fighting seemingly impossible odds. It helps to believe in the cause, as long as it is not thoughtless belief but based on careful study of history and ones own life.

    Only through experience and attention to important relationships between things that should matter to us can we see patterns in history and in our own lives that seem to point to the most important aspects of both.

    I believe that it is possible to make rough odds on the relative probability of seemingly random events. Witnessing occasional extremely rare events is not unusual, but witnessing one or more such events almost every day for extended periods of time is extremely improbable.

    I have known people who have described their lives in this way. Were they just imagining that there were small miracles occurring all of the time, were they making them happen, or did they occur because of some unknown force scientists may never be able to describe? Does it matter?

    As far as I am concerned, you have to wrestle with whether life has intrinsic meaning or whether you have to give it your own if you want to know whether you are ready to reject the idea that it has a purpose.

    Some people reject the idea that life has intrinsic meaning beyond what science can explain. In doing so, they will never know if they could have had a more satisfying life if they had kept their minds open for all possibilities.

    According to Hindu and some Buddhist belief, we pass through specific stages during our life cycles. Some will take tens of thousands of cycles to complete the journey to a permanent state of Nirvana.

    I seem to recall reading that at least some Hindus believe that a day will come when all are enlightened, apparently after a critical mass reach that stage.

    I believe that such a day will come sooner than expected, because the process is exponential. The question is, when will the process reach its asymptote, when the rate of acceleration of the process approaches infinity?

    As I said, I wouldn't be surprised to see the day come soon that we will see this tectonic shift in human consciousness. I don't think we have as much time as we would like to think for to make this happen but I fully expect that we will.

    I could be wrong, but it wouldn't matter because that would mean we still had the chance to save ourselves from self-destruction.

  2. As the species with threateningly dangerous impacts on our Mother Earth we have a responsibility to figure out a collective balance between our needs and desires and those of the other species in our thin spherical ecosphere. This should be recognized as our most important human goal. The survival of our species depends on adjusting the interdependent transfers of energy that life regeneration requires. If we end our ability to reproduce, or end our ability to sustain our needs and live with health we will end our species existence and greatly diminish the rich inter species dance of life within which we live. We do have a choice and we should chose to work together to being this balance to our real social, political and economic worlds. We have to work together if we want success. Let us do it.

  3. I agree completely, Redwood. I like your statement that we have to readjust our impact on the interdependent transfers of energy that the regeneration of life requires.

    If you have not read Thom Hartmann's The Last Days of Ancient Sunlight,I highly recommend it.It elegantly elaborates on this theme. In the end he tells the readers that while all of this is very frightening, the key to the survival of human civilization as we know it is creating a Tectonic Paradigm Shift in human consciousness. Each of us must learn to implicitly recognize our interdependence and make individual and collective efforts to consciously act in accordance with this belief.


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