This then am I
That knows no suffering
Knows not of pleasure or ambition.
No aim exists, no path to go
But that which sets itself."
Report for Committee investigating website at http://members.tripod.com/AlynPtdLtd/nd .
Before forwarding my reports on the Nostradamus material I believe you need the output from the interviews I am now sending you. They give depth to the psychological profile the Committee is seeking and reveal that our task may be a little more complicated than we expected.
In order to give fuller meaning to this analysis I have included the subjects narrative relating to his wife, who, for the purposes of these reports, I am calling Elin.
I present the report as an integral whole as though Thomas narrated it to me in one sitting. In reality it was different for I gathered the tale over many sessions and I have taken out my questions that led to the various issues in the story. I will supply the original tapes for any Committee member who wants to verify any part.
Subjects interest in Nostradamus.
"My interest in Nostradamus came about at almost the same time that I met Elin. It was very early in February 1970. Meeting Elin makes the date easy to remember. Elin is actually very important to the story of my research into Nostradamus and I will need to explain why. In fact I will need to explain a little more about my own attitudes if any of this is to mean anything.
"I cannot forget that first meeting. My impressions formed at that time still stand out after 29 years. I was a teacher of science and physics at a school in the Adelaide Hills. It was the first day back for teachers and I was seated at the far end of the room when two young women came through the door. They were both good looking. One wore a short black and red checked dress that showed with dramatic effect the shapeliness of her form. Her eyelids were done in the fashion of the day with purple and black eye-shadow and her long black hair swept around her shoulders. The other was a much more demure looking woman, long brown hair, more conservatively dressed and equally as shapely.
"I was 26 and still single and therefore very interested in these two young women. The second of these immediately appealed as the sort of person suited to my nature. But it was the first that held my attention. She totally fascinated me, bewitched me from the start. She looked different with a style that was almost shy but totally individualistic. I soon learnt her name was Elin and the other was called Esther. I took the opportunity to invite both of them on a school camp I was organising.
"It was only a matter of days before Elin and I started seeing each other on a regular basis. I found this woman to be different to anyone else I had known. Her way of looking at things was unique and unconventional. For instance she is the only person I have ever met to be intrigued by the layout of a schoolteachers mark book. I was seeking someone who was not trapped into conventional behaviour; someone able to form their own view of the world, rather than comfortably adopting the imposed views of institutions. Elin was and is such a person.
"I had devised a test for such personality traits. I had come to the conclusion that if very early in a relationship a proposal of marriage was made a great deal could be determined from the response. A conventional person would reject such a proposal usually for all the wrong reasons and once rejected in this way it would not be offered again. This was not a well tried theory for it had only been formulated two years earlier and tried on two women, Elin and one other. In both cases it proved a reliable test. One said no, and the longer the relationship went the more it was apparent that we were not suited. Interestingly, as the relationship deteriorated, the young woman became more interested in marriage. But Elin said yes.
"My reasons for this precipitous course were not totally stupid. As a teacher I could not have a relationship with another teacher without it being adversely commented on by the community and affecting both our jobs. Our relationship had quickly developed beyond one that would go unremarked. In addition I did not rate marriage as a great institution, and it did not seem an important determinant of durability. I was quite ready to dismiss marriage all together if this relationship did not work, so I didnt feel I was much at risk. Elin was of a similar way of thought, institutional viewpoints did not hold her in their sway.
"Her father was a liberal thinker but even he was taken aback by the rapidity of the proposal. Elin was only 20 and his permission was needed. It took some two weeks to convince him that it was not an irresponsible act but one wrought out of different value systems. We had known each other four weeks and the states requirements meant waiting another three.
"On a Thursday during the last lesson Elin and I left school early. We had the Principals permission and he knew what we were planning. Elin, and I in the company of her parents, sisters and two of my acquaintances were married in a Marriage Registry Office in Adelaide at 4.00 p.m. After the ceremony I gave my three-hour, night-class lectures on physics before rejoining the others for a celebratory dinner at a small restaurant.
"The next day was a write-off in terms of teaching for both of us. For seven hours there was bedlam as students came to grips with the Principals announcement of our marriage.
"Why is this relevant to Nostradamus? It matters because it explains how I could find the time and support for such an outlandish project. It also helps explain how I was able to ignore the conventional demands for success and wealth. There are conventional answers for those who wish to lead an unconventional lifestyle; they rely on patrons, the state or a rich spouse. It emerged that I had found a near conventional answer and married right; not a rich widow or family but a rich refreshing mind that cared little for possessive values.
"Early in my investigation into Nostradamus I knew I wanted to pursue serious investigation into the structure of his text. In the longer term I wanted to conduct a much fuller research. This would mean foregoing career opportunities, high income, possessions and all those things that drive a consumer society. Nostradamus was not the sole reason for this choice but it was strongly present in 1978 when I left teaching.
"No person entering into a modern, long-term relationship can choose an abnormal lifestyle without a partner with complementary views. That may not seem to be true when you consider how many artists pursued their careers in adverse financial conditions without the endorsement of their partner. But there is a difference for people like Wagner and many other artists. They were married men whose wives were bound by convention to be subservient to their husbands. It is true Elin and I are married in a legal sense but it is not the values of this institution that bind us.
"In an earlier interview I mentioned my replacing my English teachers chosen epithets with my own. In reviewing my contribution of In nothing there is everything. In everything there is nothing I had implied it was not ascetic. In hindsight I would now say there is an element of asceticism in me. I do not hold wealth or position highly, I do not rate fame as a desirable goal. I left teaching shortly after being ranked highly for promotion to Deputy Principal. I then worked part time on short projects for three years whilst I worked on a book on the Psychological Structure of Families. I had it reviewed by my peers but at no stage did I intend to publish it. During all this time my decisions were made in consultation with Elin. Only a unique person would have chosen to be a willing part of this lifestyle and she was not only willing but actually encouraged it.
"Every person is a philosopher but some people spend more time in thought than others. Although I also delight in solving computer related problems and finding practical solutions, it is thinking about issues that gives me greatest pleasure. It is therefore reasonable to consider myself a philosopher regardless of my degree of talent.
"I am a masculine philosopher with an aggressive attack on any topic that consumes my interest. Elin is the female counterpart, coming to similar positions from a more subtle, almost passive moulding of ideas. I saw my goal in life as attaining excellence within a personal frame, being prepared to die with no other acknowledgment than that given by myself and her.
"Elin on the other hand epitomises underrated excellence, she achieves without fuss, is well content within herself and seeks no greater things than those of a contented, questful life. There is no rejection of fame or wealth in her for there is no want of it. In Elin I see a zest for life and ideas, challenges and thoughtful reading. So much I see in her that was there in our first meeting. And still she disturbs me with her thoughts, a way of thinking that makes my mind tingle with its uniqueness. After 29 years I still find myself aroused when I overhear her laughter as she talks to people on the phone. There is something special in a person that can cause such a lasting impact.
"Recently whilst I was writing about Hermes, Elin recalled something from our past. Once, a few years back, we chose the God from ancient time that most appealed to us. According to Elin I chose Hermes, the God of Wisdom whilst she chose Hera, wife and sister of Zeus, protectress of marriage who held this power via her inner strength and her ability to handle her husband, the strongest willed of the Gods. Elin particularly loved Heras seduction of Zeus to prevent him from pursuing actions Hera disliked. These selections seemed likely for both of us even though I do not remember it.
"And it is Elin that has encouraged me to write a book on Nostradamus. It is Elin that is my critic.
"I have developed several books and those who have read them fully expected me to proceed to publication. I have not and the reason is simple. I do not think anything I have written is so original that it need ever come to light. Ideas are usually right for their time and will emerge from some other author even if many others start but do not complete the task. It is over twenty years since I wrote my work on the Psychology of Family Structures. Recently more than half the concepts contained within that work were put forward by a researcher in America. My other books include a Hierarchy of Decision Making and Fallibility Theory as a Basis for Share-market Investment. The latter is a book based on the inability of investors to read the future, an activity they are attempting all the time. In it I look at the tendency for investors to rely on prophets and prohecy to make a fortune. I show why this is impossible and how a person can build a succesful investment pattern that takes advantage of the failures that come from incorrectly reading the future. I have confidence that the world has suffered no loss by my non-publication of any of these works but that I have gained immensely by writing them properly.
"I have a deep interest in each of the matters on which I have written but am less than willing for my future directions to be dictated by the demands of publication.
"So why publish a book on Nostradamus?
"My philosophy is not one that is permissive nor one that avoids effort, but it does not greatly value the guidelines inculcated by institutions. I acknowledge the constraints that the established churches, capitalism and governments impose on life and do not actively seek to oppose them. There is a need to coexist in a broadly based society and to be restrained in difference. There is also cause to acknowledge that Australian institutions make this country a more than acceptable place to live.
"However, I do not accept conventions unquestioned. For example, on my twenty-first birthday I deliberately chose to be away from friends, family and home for I did not see it as a defining watershed in my life. I spent this day in the depths of a forest clearing trees for a farmer until he sliced his ankle with the swing of his sharp axe.
"Elin is not much different in regard to institutional ritual. For example she did not attend the ceremony to get her University degree. She reasoned she had worked to get to that standard for her own satisfaction and the piece of paper was not relevant to the result held in her mind.
"Speaking for my own actions, my guidance is inward looking and is not based on the standards of others. I do not feel my standards to be any less demanding or rigorous than those dictated by the Church. I have never smoked marijuana or taken drugs, I do not smoke but I drink alcohol in moderation. In some things I appear to be a conservative even to the extent that Elin is the only woman with whom I have made love. I do not adhere to any religion but do not deny the mystic nature of the universe. I am not a sorcerer or an adherent to any sect that believes in a supernatural power influencing the fate of men.
"In addition I am not a conservative, reacting against change but I am prepared to accept a conservative value where I feel its sensibility. In reading a Christian sects rejection of evolution I absorbed one issue, the difficulty of an evolutionary path that allows for the development of organs. The concept of animals with half-complete compound eyes surviving for thousand of millions of years and having a competitive advantage does not ring true. My acceptance of this weakness in evolutionary theory has never led me to doubt that it is a better theory than that of Creationism.
"Within these presented qualities lie reasons that I put forward to explain my apparent obsession with Nostradamus.
"I am not the normal adherent of science, religious, supernatural or anti-science views; I do not owe my lifestyle to being accepted by a group holding similar views; I have no reputation to live up to and it does not weigh too heavily on me if others view me negatively. I am not deterred if labelled a crank but I do seek truer answers, not just convenient, conventional ones. This reasonably distinctive position makes me one of the few candidates likely to pursue a technical analysis of Nostradamus work.
"Elins reponse to my views on this is, as always, crucial to the process. Over the past twenty years I have mainly worked from home. This has meant we are in each others company for over twenty hours every day. This has not diminished our relationship and she still arouses in me all the responses that were there in our first meetings. One of our children once said The only conversations in which I feel left out are when my friends are talking about fights and arguments between their parents. You two have never once given me anything to talk about.
"In 1992, I became aware that my ongoing research had hit upon a strange set of relations in the text of Nostradamus Prophecies. The interpretations I found using this method led to me becoming abnormally excited and irrational. Elin and my sons and daughter were not used to such reactions. It took me two days to get my thoughts back in order. The process I had discovered remains interesting but the results using this first undisciplined approach led to wild and fantastic interpretations. I resolved to press on with the research but increase my efforts using computer analysis techniques.
"Of all the issues Elin and I had debated and confronted in our time together this incident revealed the one on which there is no common ground. My aberration revealed that if I found the solution I would publish and this would mean the way the two of us are viewed would never be the same. We might be more prosperous and even be considered famous but our way of living would alter. We would be confronted with media issues and a range of social judgements from which we had until then been able to isolate ourselves.
"There also seemed to be a deeper fear in Elin, that I was becoming a zealot unable to use sensible judgement to control my lifestyle. This fear extended to my value system; that I would change into an irrational believer in the supernatural with myself as some pre-selected personage.
"There is a twisted logic involved in the proper investigation of the power to predict. A researcher cannot make normal assumptions if what he is investigating is outside known boundaries. He has to presume the process works in order to disprove it. If he makes that one assumption then he has to follow it through consistently. Any other method is predestined to failure. If he assumes it cannot be done, or he adopts the wrong parameters the researcher shuts out any chance of disproof; he can only establish one conclusion and therefore it is an invalid test. Research does not establish proof but it has to leave open the possibility that an experiment can be either disproved or not disproved.
"This is the issue that caused concern for Elin. I had to assume that I was the decoder in order to proceed. There was no point in my assuming I was not the decoder. If Nostradamus could see the future I had to work out what he could and couldnt do. I had to assume the decoder was part of the foreseeable future. This changes the dynamics of the analysis. Most attempts to decode material place the decoder at a higher level than the encoder. The decoder learns about the encoder and through cleverness breaks into a secret he is not supposed to know.
"In the instance where it is someone who could see the future who built the code, the relationship is very different. It is the encoder who has all the cleverness and can direct his work to ensure the destined decoding. Using this argument I changed from investigating the text in French to analysing it in English. I worked out the basis on which a triple code might be embedded and I determined what I could not ignore; that Nostradamus code might use sources in the future. In all of this I assumed that Nostradamus was cleverer than I and that if he saw into the future he knew the answers while I was only guessing. I could safely presume that if he could predict then he would have prepared his text knowing the limitations of the decoder.
"I assumed these things but I did not believe them, nor was I a disbeliever. It was not and is not a question of belief but one of logical assumptions to test an illogical proposition. This is not an unreasonable thing to do for often science must test illogical propositions. A famous example of this is the odd notion that a glass marble and a lead cannon ball will fall at the same speed. Despite the seeming absurdity of this idea it is true, as established by Galileo in the seventeenth century.
"In assuming the propositions set out above it seemed as though I was saying I am Nostradamus decoder, and if this had been so then my judgement would truly have left me. These were Elins genuine concerns and I had no immediate answer for them. I could give up the research or continue on knowing that Elin feared my obsession.
"Every night Elin and I walk for at least an hour and we discuss many things including my research. Elin still holds disquiet over my research into Nostradamus but over a period of time has perceived that my value systems have not fundamentally changed by the events starting in 1992. As time has passed I have found the weight of evidence ever more compelling in that it shows inexplicable patterns of substantive merit. But still I do not accept I am the decoder. Only if I fully decode the work would I accept that accolade.
"My views are nonetheless shaped by my research and it is here once more that Elin is crucial.
"Elin is a marvellous counterbalance. Her thoughts, her willingness to read, review and criticise my work continues to arouse me. It is Elin who suggested I should write a book to convey these most difficult ideas in a more digestible format. She reads my creation and shapes it into more appealing styles. Elin tells me when I have gone too far with obscure images and with which concepts most people are likely to be unfamiliar. Elin my goddess of wisdom seducing me to put into words, ideas I would have left unsaid.
"So that relates the background to my research. You can see it is not just the work of one person but the product of two lives united in difference; a duality with contending parts working to produce harmony."