Sixteenth-century French seer Michel de Nostredame, aka Nostradamus, has been in news after the Times of India published a blog by journalist Francois Gautier, which cited “quite a few stanzas devoted to India” in old manuscripts dating back to the 15th century, discovered in an old trunk by “French scholar and Nostradamus specialist, Bamprelle de la Rochefoucault”.
Further research by Pratik Sinha of Alt News has conclusively established that Gautier himself is clearly an expert when it comes to discovering hitherto-unknown manuscripts in old trunks belonging to “antic dealer[s]”.
But what has remained unknown so far is this.
In January 2017, a famous scholar and Nostradamus expert discovered an old trunk at an antique dealer’s shop. He bought it and took it home and found that the trunk only contained a single, but well preserved scroll. When he started to read it, he found out that it was a letter from Nostradamus to his children. Possibly the last thing the great seer ever wrote!
In an exclusive, we bring you the contents of that letter.)
Greetings, dear ones!
As I finally depart this beastly planet for a meeting with my maker, I feel the need to express something. There is a secret that I have been carrying around for the best part of my life and I feel that if I don’t reveal it now, I will be forced to take it to the grave.
I know that this revelation will make you look at me differently but all I can do is to hope for your understanding and forgiveness.
What I’m trying to say, my children, is that I’m a huge fraud. I made up everything that I have ever written. I never had any visions of the future. Everything I wrote in my books either came from ancient literature or was a hallucination caused by an Absinthe bender.
I never had any occult powers to begin with. I deliberately kept the verses in my books so vague that they could be used to describe any event or occurrence. Do you think if I could see the future I would be stuck here in the palace handing out sweet pills dipped in alcohol to bored royals? No! I’d be travelling the world, amassing a fortune so large I could buy a couple of kingdoms of my own.
You see, dearest seeds of my loins, our fellow humans are very easy to fool. Once you confirm their preconceived notions about life, you can convince them of anything. They’ll keep believing whatever untruths you fabricate as long as you also keep telling them what they want to hear.
Even if some part of their brain knows that what you say doesn’t make sense, they’ll still take your word for it. Because it’s easier to deceive yourself and continue to believe a known falsehood than listen to your conscience and confront the fact that you’re wrong about everything.
Especially when it comes to power. The best way to curry favour with the people in power is to simply confirm what they believe about themselves. Just tell them that they’re the saviour. That they’re the chosen one. That they were born to change the world around them.
Tell the people in power that they’re the real victim. That all those opposed to them aren’t acting in good faith. That their critics have some sinister motive that they mask with their criticism. Make them believe that the world revolves around them and then reap the rewards!
I don’t know much about what lies ahead, but I do know that future generations will optimistically interpret the faithful reproductions of my drug-induced fever dreams to be about them. It’s human nature, dearies. After all, who else would know more about life in the modern world than a failed French pharmacist from the 16th century who pretended to possess magical powers?
Unlike my prediction about a plague being caused by raining frogs, one thing I do believe will happen is that whenever my name will be invoked in the future, it will be to support a myth, a lie or a falsehood. Because the fact of the matter is that the truth can stand on its own but a lie needs to be continuously reinforced. A lie always needs the support of other lies for people to continue to have faith in it.
When tyrants promise the people the moon and keep failing to deliver, they need to keep perpetuating some fiction or other to keep their followers on their side. And claiming that the great, all-knowing, ancient seer himself had a vision of the tyrant doing great things gives them the divine legitimacy they so desperately seek. By the time the citizens figure out what is really going on, it’ll be too late.
Therefore, my children, as my last wish, I implore you to burn everything I’ve ever written. Let no record remain of the things that I said. Let no one ever speak of Nostradamus ever again. Please try to forgive me if you can.