I think it's human nature to want to know the future. People wonder and worry about everything from whether or not it will rain tomorrow to what life's going to be like a hundred years from now. It's not so hard to predict something that might happen a minute from now, or an hour, or tomorrow's weather, it is much more difficult to predict what will happen next year, or next decade, or next century. Still, people have a tendency to want to know these things. There's much uncertainty in the future and by believing that one psychic or another can foresee it may help allay some of the worry people naturally feel when uncertainty is involved.
Nostradamus was a man who many believe could see into the future. According to some experts on his writings, he made a number of predictions about our current era. It is said that he predicted the coming of three anti-Christs, the first being Napoleon, the second be Hitler, and the third being an as yet undetermined individual. According to many Nostradamus scholars the third anti-Christ, when he finally shows up, will bring about an extraordinary amount of death and destruction and maybe even start in motion apocalyptic events and the end of the world. There has been much speculation as to who this third anti-Christ might be and I've seen more than a few Nostradamus scholars on television speculate that he may have meant Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden. These speculations are one of those things that make me go hmmm.
As it happens, I watched a program a couple of nights back about a lost book supposedly written by Nostradamus. After two hours of looking at childish drawings that could have depicted just about anything and being told what to think about them, we were more or less told that Nostradamus predicted that time, or the world as we know it, would come to an end in the year 2012 when the sun aligns with the galactic center, just like the Mayans had. To me, this conclusion was a stretch, even with the bias evident in the reasoning used and the evidence presented. Now, I'm no expert on Nostradamus, but I am interested in his writings and I have studied them a bit. I find the position that Nostradamus was predicting modern events a little hard to believe. Keep in mind that I have a proclivity to believe in psychic abilities and the paranormal and while I find many of his quatrains interesting and possibly more than just coincidental, I also find them sufficiently vague enough to be interpreted in a variety of ways. It seems to me that it wouldn't be a stretch that some might interpret Nostradamus' work and use the interest he generates in a way to support an agenda or point of view they might have.
As an example, we can examine the concept of the anti-Christ. Nostradamus is said to have predicted the coming of three anti-Christs, as I stated earlier. But if Napoleon and Hitler are to be considered anti-Christs, shouldn't other despots been considered anti-Christs as well? Certainly Joseph Stalin was at least as much a murderer as Adolf Hitler. Pol Pot gave Napoleon a run for the money when it came to killing. And all those mentioned may have been outdone by Mao Zedong, who some blame for the peacetime deaths of tens of millions, and he was from the east. Couldn't he have been the third anti-Christ Nostradamus spoke of? Of course if he was, that would not suit those who are in power today and want to wage a war against terror. These people want to convince as many others as possible to support their efforts and will use whatever propaganda they can in order to do so.
All this talk about anti-Christs and the end of the world leads me to ask, why are we as a society so fascinated with the apocalypse? Why do we seem to be in such a hurry to witness it? What drives an individual to hope for apocalyptic events to occur? Are so many that anxious to meet their maker? Are so many honestly wishing to see and endure all the pain and suffering that would accompany such events? Have they even thought of it in those terms? Are there so many that are so egotistical that they would wish such events upon the population just so they would be proven right? It makes one wonder about mankind's priorities. It seems to me that we as a race have already been through enough apocalypses to last hundreds or thousands of lifetimes. It seems to me that we have already fought the battle of Armageddon too many times to count and God has simply chosen not to show up, or perhaps he has shown up inside every soldier on every battlefield, as has Satan. I have heard it said that we each create Heaven or Hell right here on this plane of existence. I have heard it said that there is a little piece of divinity in each and every one of us. Perhaps it is up to the individual whether the good or evil divinity surfaces in any given situation, and this could be especially true when under great stress.
So, many people believe that the year 2012 will bring about apocalyptic events. They live in fear (or perhaps in anticipation) of these events. Why is it that more people don't take a different point of view? Why is it that more of us can't believe that by the year 2012 the world will be at peace, that the fighting will have ceased, that conflict between people will be resolved in a more civil manner, and that we will all treat each other fairly and with kindness and respect? Perhaps Nostradamus' third anti-Christ has already come and gone and we missed it. Perhaps it is now up to us to begin the era of peace that is to follow. Perhaps if we stopped believing the Earth can only support so many of us and we started helping each other we would find that we can all live in harmony in this world. Perhaps if we all started believing wondrous times await us in the future and stopped believing the apocalypse is inevitable, perhaps then we would turn a corner. There's really only one way to find out.