May 18, 2024

Nostradamus

I recently answered the following question on quora.com

What are arguments that are in favor of the validity of the predictions of Nostradamus as his readings could be written off as vague, incorrectly timed, etc.?

“I could easily be wrong, but in my opinion, the ability to see future events exists, but there is a paradox preventing clear prophecy. If you can see the future it is because consciousness transcends normal boundaries of time and space – and the future already exists to see. It is just as real as the past. In my opinion a true vision of the future means that future is set in stone, it is happening as depicted. For example: Bible prophecy – if God said X Y and Z are happening, then we can’t decide we don’t want that outcome and avoid it. It’s going to happen. Same for any other real prophecy. (Many people are delusional, or just put too much faith in a dream or a hallucination, but events in a real prophetic vision are going to happen…)

This creates a paradox: because there will be people who want to prove it wrong. Therefore, the universe cannot allow us to have the prophecy, clearly understand and believe the prophetic details, and be in a position to alter history. For example if you were a president, with clear details of a prophetic vision of your imminent assassination which you believed, you might choose to cancel your trip to Dallas or not ride in that open convertible…. But the universe cannot allow clear enough prophecy to reach you to convince you to alter your actions to undo those future events. I believe this is the main reason Nostradamus prophecies are almost uselessly vague – the universe cannot have it any other way. This leads most people to think prophecy is nonsense. I completely understand. The whole concept is unscientific and the proof is not possible.

I think Nostradamus was the real deal, but I understand the skeptical view.

The famous skeptic James Randi wrote a book called The Mask of Nostradamus, which did a great job exposing ten of the most celebrated triumphs of Nostradamus prophecies as unimpressive failures. But I would never have considered those successful predictions, despite their appeal to many people. I would have chosen other, vastly more successful prophecies – which would be much harder to debunk.

Though his prophecies are extremely vague most of the time, there are a few stunning successes – especially the one in paragraph 25 of the Epistle/letter to King Henry II, describing events of WWII and the cold war and the fall of the Soviet Union after it existed for 73 years and 7 months. Encyclopedia Britannica argued for starting the official life of the USSR with the dissolving of the Russian Duma on January 18, 1918 – and ending with the coup against Gorbachev seizing power on August 18, 1991. Exactly the 73 years and 7 months Nostradamus mentioned.

But even assuming Nostradamus could see the future, most of what he wrote would be hard to relate to historical events without deep insights into those events.

500 years from now if someone came across a vague line like:

One cup brought the sun to the desert

or

The king was avenged by the red diamond

How many people would know the history, or the language, well enough to immediately say: Aha! He was suggesting that:

Ein stein helped the creation of the first atomic bomb

or

President Kennedy’s assassin was assassinated by a man named Ruby.

One great book on Nostradamus prophecies, from a neutral and scholarly perspective, is Edgar Leoni’s Nostradamus and His Prophecies.

if interested in what Nostradamus prophecies say about WWIII coming up, consider reading this book.”

 

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