Motivation and Reward
When a crime gets committed, the police start with looking for a motive that could lead to possible suspects. Human behavior is motivation driven. If you find out who benefits from a crime it might help you to find out why it was committed and by whom.
Why did Nostradamus write prophecy? What was his motivation? Who did benefit from his work? And since predictions refer to future events: Who 'are' benefiting and who 'will be' benefiting from it?
These questions should be seen in the light of motivation, drive and intention of the writer: Nostradamus. Since he lived in the 16th century we only know what we could learn from his biography. One of the things that are known however is that Nostradamus sold his books and some financial benefit was obtained. Financial motivation should therefore not be excluded. Whenever something is for sale, it might as well be enhanced and manipulated in order to sell better.
The main benefit or impact of a prediction will be felt just before or direct after a predicted event takes place. In the case of Nostradamus, most of his prophecies seem to relate to events that take place far after his death. A time that does not affect him.
Nostradamus did not leave any doubt about what he was doing. He was predicting the future.
His prophecies are vague and cryptic and the concealing includes all dating he used. His quatrains are so abstract that no one ever managed to convincingly point out an event before it took place. Even worse, the quatrains are so cleverly written, that including after an event takes place it is still questionable whether it was really the event predicted. The way Nostradamus wrote leaves mayor room for all kind of wild interpretations. It leads to one of the more dubious aspects of his work.
The quatrains are written so creatively, vague, and inconsistent cryptically that creative minds can always twist them to fit any selected event, or if you are different inclined, critics can always find arguments to deny any possible link between world events and his work.
Of course there is the doubt whether Nostradamus really communicated with an occult source at all, and instead invented his predictions himself, which would have been very clever. Even more so, if you take into account that up to now millions of people all over the world believe in his predictions and keep looking for proof that they are real and will all come true.
Returning to the motivation issue: From the biography of Nostradamus we learn that Nostradamus was a religious doctor that fought against the bubonic plaque and very successful lessened the impact of the decease in his region. Although during his lifetime the bubonic plague wiped out over a quarter of Europe, he personally contributed in saving 3 cities by applying a regimen of hygiene. His motivation as a doctor seemed to have been genuinely to help people.
Nostradamus reportedly had his predictions only after he started to explore the occult art. Why did he do that? Why would a respected, medical doctor start mingling with the occult, creating prophetic writings and risking his reputation and perhaps his life? The reasons for this we don't know but we might do some guesses. It might have had something to do with the story of his earlier life which hinged on finding a rather simple solution (hygiene) to a mighty problem (the bubonic plaque).
We could speculate that Nostradamus might have had the feeling that the role the church played in and after the tragedy of the plaque was not adequate. Why did he, Nostradamus, come up with a solution and not the church? Why did the church not know what to do to save all these people? God as a divine power could have easily given a message to the church on how the disaster could have been avoided. It might have occurred to Nostradamus that God must have turned away his face from humanity. He could have thought that the church had been out of contact or fallen from grace in the eyes of god.
God as a divine power could have given a message to the church and the disaster could have been easily avoided.
During his lifetime the church was very strong and intimidating, the inquisition was showing intolerance. Any sign of other religion or occult practices was severely punished. A person of complexity like Nostradamus might have thought of a connection between the two. The church is no longer in contact with God but others are, so the inquisition tries to 'close' these 'windows' and to stop these direct contacts with god. It might have been one of the motivations that has lead Nostradamus in thinking that he himself might find God.
If the church was out of contact and was prohibiting certain activities, maybe these are exactly the activities you need to perform to get in contact with God.
Maybe it motivated him to explore the occult art himself. However what he found seems to be something else than what he might have been looking for.