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Nostradamus and 2012

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Nostradamus lost book illustration

An illustration from "The Lost Book of Nostradamus." Does it predict 2012?

Nostradamus

STRAINED INTERPRETATIONS

Back to the Nostradamus documentary for a moment. As usual, the Nostradamus experts quoted a selection of his quatrains - those that feature famine, pestilence, war, etc. - and strained to tie them to 2012. Not successfully, in my opinion. The world has always been plagued with famine, pestilence, war, and the rest of it, and I saw no quatrain that even remotely indicated that what Nostradamus was talking about was the year 2012.

Aside from the quatrains, the documentary focused mainly on the so-called "Lost Book of Nostradamus," which was discovered in a modern library in Rome in 1994. Dating to 1629, the manuscript, filled the bright watercolor drawings, is titled Nostradamus Vatinicia Code and has on the inside the name Michel de Notredame as the author. First of all, although this "lost book" is thought by some to be the work of Nostradamus, there is no definitive proof or scholarly consensus that he was actually the author; some experts have serious doubts. So to make this book the platform for this documentary put it on very shaky ground.

And then the lengths to which the talking heads on the show reached and strained to connect the drawings to 2012 was positively ludicrous. For example, the drawing of a sword, held pointing up and around which is looped a banner or scroll (see illustration above) - this was interpreted as the sun's alignment with the galactic center in 2012. Really? The other drawings were likewise twisted and mangled to fit the interpretations needed for the argument. We all know that we can take such enigmatic drawings - and quatrains - and interpret them to fit virtually any scenario that we want.

WHY ALL THE FUSS?

Why were some people obsessed with 2012 (apart from its marketing aspects)? Why are they continually obsessed with apocalypse and the end of the world? Why is it always seen as right around the corner?

I think the answer is that we both fear and want great change. As wonderful as the world can be, it is, as noted earlier, continually plagued by war, economic difficulties, famine, and climate shifts. This stuff is not new. They are continuing problems that ebb and flow on the planet. While we fear that it's going to get worse (and it certainly can get worse), at the same time we have the hope that it's going to get better. We fear the catastrophes of an apocalypse, yet we hope for that spiritual awakening that will save us from our own human nature.

I'm no Nostradamus, but back in 2011 I made this safe prediction about 2012: The world will continue on pretty much as it has in the past. There would be dire problems and there would be great joys. Perhaps some problems would get a bit worse than they are right now, but there would be no earth-shattering catastrophe. If there was to be a spiritual awakening, it wouldn't be on a planetary or mass scale through some unspecified miracle, as some hope, it would be as individuals. (But that has nothing to do with 2012.) Today, all that hoopla around December, 2012 is all but forgotten -- but it's actually worth remembering the next time such predictions are made... and they will be.

Prophecies or not, the best we can ever shoot for is that as individuals we do our best to make our own small fragments of the Earth better places. This has always been the case and ever shall be.

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