December 14, 2009

365 Project: Day 59

In case you didn't already know, today is Nostradamus' birthday. During his life he wrote and published thousands of prophecies. Some of which have supposedly come true. Most of them having to do with death, disaster, know, all the pleasant stuff. He must have been a delightful person to talk to. I can't imagine living life "knowing" that all of these horrible things are going to happen. But, whether you believe them or not, his predictions are really interesting and thought provoking.

Nostradamus was very careful when publishing his prophecies. He was afraid of being labeled a magician, so during the day he acted as a devout Catholic and in private he studied pagan methods. His predictions are purposefully cryptic because he was trying to avoid persecution from the Spanish Inquisition. He wrote in quatrains (4 line poems). He included symbolism and metaphors, and even rearranged or left out letters in names. Although his quatrains were primarily written in French, he mixed in a little Italian, Latin, and Greek, just to throw everyone off.  Mmmm, that sounds delicious!

Nostradomus also made predictions about the end of the world. Reading them got me thinking about all this attention suddenly being paid to 2012, no thanks to John Cusack and ridiculous amounts of CGI. I haven't seen the movie, and I don't know if I believe the world is ending in 2012, or ever for that matter. Why do people assume the world has to end at all? Its been around a long time, it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

I saw a special about this on TV last month. It was about Nostradamus, the Bible, the Mayan Calendar and the different interpretations of what it all means. It was interesting, but what I thought was most interesting was the part about all the people out there who are trying to prepare for this event. Its like the whole Y2K thing all over again, and we all know how that turned out.

Right now there are people spending millions of dollars on underground condos complete with sun simulation lamps, indoor food growing systems, and all the luxuries of a five star hotel. Really? What makes them so sure that simply being underground is going to protect them from the end of the world? If the world does end, why would you want to survive? Everyone and everything you know and love will be gone. Is that a life you want? Plus, if everything turns out to be just fine, how are you going to unload what is now just a really dark and expensive piece of underground real estate? No one's going to buy that.

I can't live my life being afraid of events that were predicted by people hundreds of years ago, which may or may not even happen. Who's to say that the guy chiseling the Mayan Calendar into a huge rock didn't just get tired and give up? Its not like anyone he knew was going to be around to use that calendar in 2012. Its all up to interpretation, but you see what I mean. 

I realize I'm being very sarcastic about this and I don't mean to make fun of the people who believe in it. I'm not going to say that its impossible, nothing is impossible. But, I'm not going to waste the next, and possibly the last, 3 years of my life worrying about something I have no control over. If the world is going to end, let it end and I'll be happy to go down with the ship. All I know is on December 22, 2012 I will not be cowering in my basement waiting for the world to collapse on top of me. I'm having a party, and you are all invited. 

Happy Birthday Nostradamus! 

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