DVD Review: Nostradamus: 2012
Written By: Jeff Behnke
During the 15th Century when astrology was one of the fundamental studies within medieval universities, Nostradamus made a decision to profit from his astrological skill through numerous books of dire predictions. One of those predictions in particular has found its way back to us in the recently discovered Lost Book of Nostradamus—which, like Nostradamus’s predictions themselves, may or may not be fake—concerning the end of the world. This book and its predictions create the cornerstone of the History Channel’s recent documentary entitled Nostradamus: 2012.
Even if you do not believe in the authenticity of the Lost Book of Nostradamus, various authors and researchers of both Nostradamus and the year 2012 are interviewed here providing a number of different avenues you can explore if you are in the least bit interested in any of the subject matter. Given the fact that I personally love hearing what researchers in either astrology or the future destruction (and/or evolution) of mankind have grown to believe, I found the interviews themselves to be quite interesting, even if I didn’t care to see the world—or interpret Nostradamus’s vague statements and drawings—in the same way.
The objections one can make to the documentary itself are quite straight-forward and easy to come up with by the bundle while watching it. Seeing an interpretation applied to one of the Lost Book’s pages is more telling on how the mind works, for example, than it is on how miniscule precedence leads up to scientific fact. But precedent setting scientific fact isn’t necessarily something that this documentary is about at all—it is about the return to the past as man goes on his ever refreshing wheel-like quest for meaning. For that reason, Gregg Braden is interviewed in a few places, and it is he who really holds the key point to the whole video, as he speaks of the feelings people have who are unsatisfied with the ability science in general has to give life that required meaning.
After various interviews, scenes of destruction, and foreboding voice-overs, the documentary then draws to a close and the viewer is confronted with the final warning from Nostradamus: man must make the “right” decisions and evolve, or die. Regardless of the potential fakery of the book in question or its predictions, one is forced to ask, hasn’t man already made those decisions and evolved out of astrological superstition of the past by becoming more scientific, curing us of people like Nostradamus? In such a case, what sense could one make of a 15th Century astrologer’s statement concerning the future evolution of 21st Century man? Be more like me? Throw out your scientific charts and turn back to astrology? I think this is the point that Braden was trying to address, as I didn’t get the impression that he believed in Nostradamus’s predictions themselves at all, but did seem to believe that man has simply lost his way, and the wheel of time is ready to reset itself back to a period in which man was surrounded with meaning--real, imagined, or some alchemical combination of the two.
Carrying this thought to a close, one of the fundamental objectives of astrology written about through the ages is to provide a path for souls to obtain perfect balance in their many lives and, by following its plans, live several lifetimes representing God, or the gods--the platonic ideal of “everything.” This objective has often been misconstrued, however, by those unwilling to accept the vagueness of the interpretations in general. Instead of seeing a ‘striving for inner balance’ one can see fortune tellers such as Nostradamus taking advantage of a populace through superstition. You can ‘break’ the influence of the stars by choice quite easily for instance simply by reading your horoscope and doing something completely different, so they don’t seem to be able to predict anything. But the objective of astrology itself is not so much to predict but to guide based on a complimentary interpretation of the planets moving across the night sky which is its point of reference—the predictive capabilities of it all should come in a distant second. Many theories have been put forth concerning the cosmic influence of the stars upon your body, but regardless, whether or not you live a life as defined by your stars and interpreted by an astrologer is a very personal choice--it is this choice that the documentary will lead you to consider. How does one apply this message? If the wheel of time is any indication, the system has already applied it for us. So which shall it be? I guess we have no other choice but to wait, and see.