Sunday, 17 June 2018

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part eight

Hi, Everybody!

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And if you're looking for Dave's Stuff, search for "Cerebus Archive.

Sunday Funday:

1 April 18

Hi Matt!

You must be running out of my Biblical commentaries along about now. So…

23 March 14

Hi Troy and Mia!

Well.  "The best laid plans of mice and men…" 

I'm going to try to get back to Appendix A, but my Torah reading this morning necessitates, first, backtracking a couple of letters to the discussion about the "heavens and the earth", conceptually -- and my own opinion that the YHWH's view of same has always been inaccurate and has only been modified in recent years as scientific evidence has become irrefutable that Total Reality doesn't consist merely of the earth, earth's atmosphere, two celestial lights (the sun and the moon) and a bunch of sparkly stars for decoration. 

The best Scriptural evidence of the on-going discussion is (what seems to me) God's interjection in The Book of Isaiah, addressing the YHWH (who otherwise dominates all 66 chapters of Isaiah in ranting about how the Hebrew people deserve what they are getting in the events leading up to the destruction of Solomon's Temple)Isaiah 14:12-21:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning?  Art thou cut down to the ground which didst weaken the nations?  For thou hast said in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the North.  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. 

That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? if you are looking for evidence of a being -- to me, YHWH -- which perceives the construct inaccurately and seeks to supplant God this encapsulates it in a nutshell.  Particularly "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God".  

As an aside:  it definitely threw me for a loop when I first read the Bible eighteen years ago that there was no Scriptural reference to the War in Heaven where Lucifer and his angels were cast out.  This passage from Isaiah, thousands of years into the history of this epoch, is the earliest and most extensive reference to Lucifer.

Which reference -- being, at best, "in passing" -- suggests the "war" is non-canonical and, I would infer, a misconstrued legend used to express the concept of the Big Bang (as is the canonical, scriptural Exodus of the Hebrew people out of Egypt):  that is, I'm not sure that "Lucifer" was "cast out" so much as "let go" at his own behest and at the behest of his rebel angels.  They wanted to get away from God and God obliged them to the extent that was possible.

[Enacted on earth in our epoch this led to the Joseph enactment:  Joseph (at the YHWH's behest) seducing Jacob and his brothers into Egypt and pagan domination and then the Moshe and Aaron enactment:  the Exodus back into monotheism with Aaron (at the YHWH's behest) corrupting monotheism with Egyptian constructs:  the tabernacle, personal adornment, sacrifices, etc.]

The "Lucifer concept", a concept which, I think, itself bears examination in light of our far more accurate  perception of Reality here in 2014:  Lucifer, the "light bearer" is a Latin name which was originally used by pagan Romans to describe the planet Venus, the "morning star".  Blasphemously seeing the "morning star" as a goddess.

 In Isaiah 14:12, it's used to translate helel "shining one" which -- according to my New Bible Dictionary --

"is applied tauntingly as a title for the king of Babylon, who in his glory and pomp had set himself among the gods. This name is appropriate, as the civilization of Babylon began in the grey dawn of history, and had strong astrological connections."

Well, yes. I would agree, in a metaphorical, enactment sense.  But in terms of the narrative it doesn't make narrative sense for the king of Babylon to be deprecated in this way at this point in the narrative in the lead-up to his absolute victory over Israel and Judah. 

By the time of Jesus and by the time of John having Revelations dictated to him late in the first century AD? Yes, because Babylon, irrefutably and irretrievably, had fallen by then.  But early in the Isaiah narrative?  It doesn't make narrative sense.

Except, in my view, as a way of asserting the actual construct:  that the king of Babylon is, essentially, an enactment of the YHWH and the YHWH's unreasoning hatred of Israel, that "back-sliding heifer".  A reflection of the YHWH seeing, inaccurately, in his/her/its self false omnipotence -- which the Book of Isaiah is filled with and which, as I say, this passage in the midst of chapter 14 only serves to, briefly, contradict.  The idea being, as I see it, for God to mark the YHWH's ultimate fate as being similar to the fate of the king of Babylon:  as powerful as you see yourself being now, as much as you see yourself having Absolute Overview of the situation -- like Nebuchadneser -- you are just as limited in your overview as he is:

Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.  They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, consider thee, this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?  That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof, that opened not the house of his prisoners?

Except for the "man" part, this is a very good description, I think, of the fate that is gradually overtaking the YHWH, given that -- at the time of Isaiah -- the YHWH seemed to have the ability to bring devastating conquest at will. 

And did so, in our epoch, by means of the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Romans.  But that isn't monotheism, that's pantheism.  The Babylonians, the Greeks and the Romans didn't worship the YHWH or God -- certainly not by those names.  God is prevailing all along, while granting the YHWH license to enact his/her/its multiplicity of delusions (I am YHWH, I am Jupiter, I am Palas Athena, I am Belial, I am Ashtaroth -- the last two are also names for the planet Venus, the "morning star") but, ultimately, by this means, the YHWH effectively just cancels his/her/its self out:

All the kings of the nations, all of them lie in glory, every one in his own house.  But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit as a carcass trodden under feet.  Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because...

And here, to me, is the point where the YHWH is indicted, specifically, of the charge of malfeasance -- and of betraying the faith that Israel has placed in the YHWH (to Israel's detriment and to God to Israel's benefit) -- by engineering the successive destructions of the Temple:

….thou hast destroyed thy land, slain thy people: the seed of evil doers shall never be renowned.  Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers, that they do not rise nor possess the land and fill the face of the world with cities. 

I realize that no one shares my perspective on this, but I think mine is the only way of resolving what would otherwise be a monstrous Scriptural inference.  As the New Bible Dictionary puts it at the end of its "Lucifer" citation:

The similarity of the description here with that of such passages as Luke 10:18 and Revelations 9:1 (cf. 12:9) has led to the application of the title to Satan.  The true claimant to this title is shown to be the Lord Jesus Christ in his ascended glory.

The mind boggles.  You have a single title with three claimants and your seriously think those three claimants are Lucifer, Satan and the Lord Jesus Christ? 

It does make sense, but only if you see God and YHWH as separate beings and the Lord Jesus Christ as God's means of "supplanting the supplanter". 

That is to say, in a larger sense, we now know for a fact that Venus isn't a star -- "morning star" or otherwise.  Venus is a planet, like the earth so if, as I theorize and as the evidence, I think supports, the YHWH is actually the earth, then that casts Lucifer and the "morning star" in an entirely different light: as analogues of the earth and therefore as analogues of the YHWH.  And this sure knowledge only comes to us after the Lord Jesus Christ has, indeed, supplanted the YHWH as "alternative God" and become the "morning star" -- the YHWH's analogue but serving God (either as Christians have it, as God's Son, or as the Muslims have it as God's prophet and messenger) instead of seeking to supplant God.  The "morning star" now symbolizes the right relational construct between God and YHWH in a way that belief in a deistic YHWH could never do.

Next Time: Back to Appendix A.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

A Moment of Gerhard!

Hi, Everybody!

Late post I know, but I've been busy.

Today: ALL GERHARD!

He checked in at momentofcerebus@gmail.com to say:
Hey Matt,

For your consideration:




Hope you're doing well. Your presence was sorely missed at SPACE.

Best,
Ger


And El Jefe` Seiler send in links to:
These:
Prints 

AND, Ger is the stretch goal for Greg Hyland's new book:
As of this posting, Greg Hyland’s Monster Atlas
is only $182.00 away from its stretch goal
of having my monsters included in the book!
So click HERE and pledge now!
I did! Be like me...

Next Time: Dave and the Genesis Question, part the next. Seven? Eight? Something... 

Friday, 15 June 2018

The 77-cent Experiment (Dave's Weekly Update #239)

Hi,  Everybody!

Comiclink!
"YEAH YEAH YEAH, GET TO THAT CRAP IN A MINUTE. WHAT'D DAVE HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE EXPERIMENT?"
Um, okay...
Heeeeeere's Dave:


Everybody got that?

You SHOULD be able to donate directly to cerebustech@gmail.com through Paypal. Should. Just because I haven't been able to, doesn't mean NOBODY can...

Okay,

STUDIO COMIX PRESS T-SHIRT PROTOTYPE

SWOON AND SNUFF SANDMAN PARODY DRAWING

SWOON SANDMAN PARODY DRAWING

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION VOL. 2 (SIGNED DAVE SIM CONTRIBUTOR COPY) #NO NUMBER, 9.4 NM

CEREBUS VOLUME 10 MINDS REMASTERED EDITION #NO NUMBER, 9.4 NM

And if you're looking for Dave's Stuff, search for "Cerebus Archive.

Next Time: Stuff. Some Cerebus related Stuff. Definitely.

High Society's Naked Cerebus?

Sean Michael Robinson:

Howdy folks! Remember me?

This is quick message to see if there are a few Photoshop-or-GIMP-familiar Cerebus/High Society enthusiasts out there who would like to earn a bit of "immortality"/help me out with a little project.

Sometime in the next few months there will be a new printing of High Society, using the previously-restored files, but with a good 20 pages newly-sourced from original artwork that's come to light since the previous printing, and printing on the lovely paper (Rolland Enviro Silk) and exacting printing process (Sheet-fed offset) we've come to know and love from the latest restored Cerebus volumes.

In addition, I'm hoping to replace the tone on a few pages of the book that have always been reproduced poorly, in particular, two issues that seem to have been reproduced from photocopies of the original artwork, even in the first printings of the issues.

So! Would you like to help out? You would literally be drawing out Cerebus' tone on these pages, leaving a naked line-art-only Cerebus in its place, for me to re-tone after the fact.





The fine work of George Peter Gatsis, who did this for two pages of the previous High Society printing. Thanks, George!

If this is the type of thing that sounds fun to you, then please do give it a go. If this seems like a nightmarish hellscape from which you may never escape, then please forget you ever saw this post :)

Thankfully, this isn't literally a thankless task. We'd thank you with a special dedication in the back of the book, in perpetuity, along with everyone who has submitted original art scans for the book.

Interested in helping out? Hit me up at cerebusarthunt at gmail dot com and I'll send you some files and instructions!



Lastly! Are you a digital comics enthusiast? Want to support Aardvark/Vanaheim's newest foray into digital comics? Then head on over to Comixology and pick up the otherwise-sold-out Cerebus in Hell? #1 at the screaming deal of 99 copper portraits of Lincoln. The digital issue was painstakingly put together by digital comics enthusiast Jay Penney. More (Cerebus V1, V2, more CIH? issues) on the way assuming the demand is there :)

Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

What About Trying That?

MARGARET LISS:
A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

We last looked at Dave Sim's thirteen Cerebus notebook last October in Terror in a Turgid Tool. The notebook covers Cerebus 112 / 113 plus a few other miscellaneous things. One of those things is a couple pages that show a draft of an editorial cartoon:

Notebook #13, page 10

Notebook #13, page 11
Both look like mock-ups of a cover for WAP!, aka Words and Pictures, a newsletter for comics professionals. But it isn't. It was used as an editorial cartoon, The Corporate Pyramid, in WAP! #6. IT was also reprinted in an issue of The Comics Journal.


A Man and His Codpiece, Color Holds and Kerning Concerns


Benjamin Hobbs:

First order of business: if you haven't heard, it's time to place your orders for NICK CALM, AGENT OF C.O.D.P.I.E.C.E. #1!  The Diamond order code is listed below!  Exciting! 


Second order of business: the cover of CANADIAN VARK.  The cover Lee Thacker submitted looks like this:
The final version will have a different Cerebus on it.  It will look something like this:
The only problem?  The cover is a parody of AMERICAN FLAGG #1, and the coloring is difficult to match due to inconsistencies found in images of the cover on the internet. I can't tell if the dark areas on the jacket and boots were all black on the original printing or if there was a color hold, rendering the areas in question dark blue and dark red, respectively. If anyone out there has a 1st print of AMERICAN FLAGG #1  and wants to take a look at it,  and then leave a comment indicating what the correct color is, that would be very helpful. Thanks!



Last week in the comments section, Kit wrote:

"Dave's use of computer lettering is brutal enough, but uuggggh at the kerning on Benjamin's balloon."

Thanks for writing in Kit!  All of us working on CIH? are striving to make the best possible comic, so feedback is always appreciated. Would you mind going into more detail on how the kerning could be improved on the LEAGUE cover? There's still plenty of time to adjust the cover, if it needs adjusting, but there's only so much information I can extrapolate from the word "uuggggh". Thanks in advance!

Next Week: An Aardvark trapped in the Infernal Realms has to impress six out seven judges with his tap dance routine in order to be the winner of The Infernal Realms Got Talent!

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Not Reading Cerebus, I'll tell you that much...

Hi, Everybody!

So Kevin didn't get his column done. Which means he's in trouble with the super-hero community.

And I gotta fill a slot.

Let's go!

First:
Comiclink!

STUDIO COMIX PRESS T-SHIRT PROTOTYPE

SWOON AND SNUFF SANDMAN PARODY DRAWING

SWOON SANDMAN PARODY DRAWING

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION VOL. 2 (SIGNED DAVE SIM CONTRIBUTOR COPY) #NO NUMBER, 9.4 NM

CEREBUS VOLUME 10 MINDS REMASTERED EDITION #NO NUMBER, 9.4 NM

And if you're looking for Dave's Stuff, search for "Cerebus Archive.

Second:
Look at this:
Cleverly stolen from Oliver Simonsen over at the Cerebus Facebook Group 
Third:
Yesterday was my birthday. I bought myself Cerebus stuff, but it hasn't arrived yet. 

Fourth:
Nuh-uh. I "momented" about "Cerebus". I'm done. Come back tomorrow and see if Ben Hobbes can "moment" about "Cerebus...

Next Time: Benjamin Hobbes—physician, scientist...searching for a way to tap into the hidden strengths that all humans have. Then an accidental overdose of gamma radiation alters his body chemistry. And now, when Benjamin Hobbes grows angry or outraged, a startling metamorphosis occurs. The creature is driven by rage and pursued by an investigative reporter. The creature is wanted for a murder he didn't commit. Benjamin Hobbes is believed to be dead. And he must let the world think that he is dead, until he can find a way to control the raging spirit that dwells within him...

Sunday, 10 June 2018

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part seven

Hi, Everybody!

Comiclink!

STUDIO COMIX PRESS T-SHIRT PROTOTYPE

SWOON AND SNUFF SANDMAN PARODY DRAWING

SWOON SANDMAN PARODY DRAWING

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION VOL. 2 (SIGNED DAVE SIM CONTRIBUTOR COPY) #NO NUMBER, 9.4 NM

CEREBUS VOLUME 10 MINDS REMASTERED EDITION #NO NUMBER, 9.4 NM

And if you're looking for Dave's Stuff, search for "Cerebus Archive.

Sunday Funday:
1 April 18

Hi Matt!

You must be running out of my Biblical commentaries along about now. So…
Courtesy of CerebusDownloads.com they got T-Shirts now
16 March 14
 Hi Troy and Mia!
 Okay, moving on to Mr. Ross' citations for Appendix A "establishing" that the Scientific Method originated with the Bible, he writes in Appendix A "Biblically, the 'foundations of the earth' indeed are 'immovable' in spite of any revolution  of the earth about the sun  or rotation of the earth about its axis because the Bible verses  making such statements always are from the perspective, or point of view, of an observer on the surface of the earth" and then cites as confirmation of this:
 1 Chronicles 16:30:  Fear before him (the YHWH) all the earth: the world also shall be stable that it be not moved Psalm 93:1:  The YHWH reigneth, he is clothed with Majesty, the YHWH is clothed with strength, he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved Psalm 96:10: Say among the heathen, The YHWH reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously Psalm104:5:  Who laid the foundations of the earth: it should not be removed for ever. Hebr.:  He (the YHWH) hath founded the earth upon her bases: it should not be removed forever
 Which seems to me, rather, to make the case that the Biblical statements are false because they're made from a false perspective.  Which is what the Scientific Method was developed to establish: the nature of Reality when divorced from false perspectives and imperfect observations: to remove variables to the extent possible to determine the irrefutable.
 The world is not "stable" in any conventional physical sense and is moving constantly -- hurtling around the sun and around itself at an astronomically unimaginable speed.  It is literally impossible for the human mind to conceive of the speed at which we are going and to apply it to our own situation.  "Stability" is an illusion in that sense.  We would not, if we were experiencing it accurately, describe revolutionary movement of tens of thousands of miles an hour as "stable".
 It is, however, predictable which is a kind of stability and seems to me to be part of God's point in the creation of the earth:  the illusion of stability within the construct of profound instability -- the eye in the centre of the storm.
 So, while I agree that the "stability" issues, as Mr. Ross asserts, from the perspective of an observer on the earth it seems to me more to the point to issue from the perspective of the earth his/her/its self, which I theorize to be the actual author of the text:  the YHWH.
 It seems to me to be an astute way for God to make His point that -- unless you have Overview (which only God, by definition, has: omniscience) all of your observations are going to be suspect even -- and in this case, especially -- where they are primary, irreducible perceptions of the reality of self: thinking that you are a fixed, immutable, un-moveable presence, like God, when you are actually a little chunk of rock hurtling through the void in a giant flattened ellipse at tens of thousands of miles per hour. 
 Which, to me, begs the question and which again, I think is God's point (or one of them), relative to 96:10: if your self-perception is so inaccurate as to believe "the world shall be established that it shall not be moved" then doesn't that also make -- extremely -- suspect your assertion that you will "judge the people righteously"?
 And, while the world is, inarguably from a scientific basis, "established" for a long period of time -- billions of years -- in cosmological terms, billions of years are the blinking of an eye, and far from Psalm 104:5's "forever".
 And "should not" doesn't really enter into it, as far as I can see.  Entropy works.  The earth -- like all the planets and solar systems and galaxies -- is a phenomenal piece of construction.  Again, the human mind wobbles on its own axis even contemplating the construction of a small-scale reality like the earth built to endure for billions of years.  But, thanks to science, we know that there is an "endgame" to the earth that takes "should" out of the equation.  Failing any variables that would bring an end to the earth prematurely, we know how long the earth is likely to endure until the sun begins to nova.
 Mr. Ross' further citations centre on "proof":
 
1 Thessalonians 5:21 all, however, be you proving, the fine be you holding down If this is, as Mr. Ross contends, evidence of Biblical origin of the Scientific Method then I think the Biblical narrative would support that in a more general scientific way.  Science demands that experiments be repeatable with the same outcome and for variations to be minimal in…and to…those outcomes.
 The Biblical narrative does support that in the sense that, as an example, Elijah's calling down of fire from heaven to devour his sacrifices (1 Kings 18) actually occurs while the Baal worshippers are not able to duplicate his feat.  But that's an Age of Prophets thing.  I really doubt that piling up a bunch of dead cows in the parking lot of your favourite church and asking God to devour them with fire in order to prove that He exists and to refute atheism would have the same successful outcome.
 So "proving" has a different meaning, theologically, today than it did during the Age of Prophets, in my view.  It is we who are "put to proof" as individuals and communities.  We are tried or -- as North Americans (as compared to, say, Muslims or Christians) in the interior of Africa -- "tried" in the "furnace of affliction", tried (as the Torah says) as silver is tried.  You get purer silver by subjecting it to increasingly higher temperatures until you burn off more and more impurities. I attempt to do this myself through prayer, fasting, observing a Sabbath, reading Scripture aloud and working 12 hours a day six days a week.  I certainly see myself as being improved exponentially by maintaining that.  I certainly hope that I'm improving, but there's no way to prove or "prove" that by the Scientific Method.  Even someone else attempting it and succeeding at it wouldn't be a "control group" which could "prove" my "findings".  The only "proof" is what God thinks of it and, for me, that won't be known until Judgement Day.  And I have no way of "proving" Judgement Day even exists.  So, all of this seems to me to be outside the realm of the Scientific Method.
 1 John 4:1 Loved, not to every spirit be you believing, but be you proving the spirits if out of the God it is, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. I think it was probably possible for John the Evangelist to do this -- to "prove the spirits" speaking to him in the world or from Scripture -- because he WAS John the Evangelist, that is, a significant figure in the Age of Prophets.  He would be designated one of God's prophets and messengers in the construct of Islam.  The rest of us have to go by the far more unreliable method of "gut instinct" and the theology we have, as individuals, constructed for ourselves out of the raw materials provided by the Age of Prophets.  No different a process from what John went through but, my best guess, with less certain results.
 In John's time it would be profitable to suggest that "many false prophets have gone forth into the world" because, in his own context, he had no reason to believe that the Age of Prophets would ever come to an end: as a devout Jew you were always waiting for the next prophet to come along and, ultimately, for the meschiach.
 It is generally accepted in Judaism that the Age of Prophets is over and they are just waiting for the Real meschiach to appear. It is generally accepted in Christianity that the Age of Prophets is over and they are just waiting for Jesus to Return. It is generally accepted in both Sunni and Shiite Islam that the Age of Prophets ended with the death of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in 632 AD.
 All three faiths have their exceptions: Jews who believe that Jesus was the meschiach or believe that Elijah has reincarnated himself elsewhere in recent times, Christians who believe that there have been prophets subsequent to Jesus, Muslims who believe in "Ahmad" etc.
 And my own opinion was the John the Evangelist was being held in abeyance by God through the period of, roughly, 38 AD to 98 AD so that Synoptic Gospels and the Synoptic construct -- centring on Simon Peter and Paul of Tarsus -- could fully hatch out.  So, John's life, I would guess, was largely composed of "proving the spirits" at work around and within him with an enormous pressure to just kowtow to Synoptic ideology and to forget the "other Jesus".  Enormous pressure that I think eventually led the Synoptic Church to exile him to Patmos where the Revelation was revealed to him.
 More on this at the Revelations citation below.
 Acts 17:11:  these however were of better race of the _____s in Thessalonica, whoreceived the world with all mental readiness, the down day examining the Scriptures if it would have these thus Paul, Unplugged.  I have no idea what this could possible mean, assuming that this is an accurate word-for-word translation from the Koine Greek.
 Revelation 2:2:  I have known the works of you and the labour and the endurance of you and that not you are able to carry bad and you put to the test the saying themselves apostles and not they are and you found them false In my own, admittedly idiosyncratic, view, Revelations is at least partly concerned with the theological adjustment -- by God or by someone delegated by Him to the task -- of the early first century Christian churches and that this is what John is documenting in Revelations.
 I envision this as being analogous to the best current scientific thinking on the Big Bang (the article I sent you last week) where there were Large Primary Stars which came into being relatively early in the "outward migration" which I flagged to you as the "seminal YHWHs".  Of which all other stars would serve as microcosmic allegories.  There would be a variety of stars and star sizes that would come into being, but never again on the scale of the "seminal YHWHs".
 The analogous construct, to me, is the "ecclesias" -- the churches in Asia -- Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Ephesus and Sardis -- which had come into being subsequent to the lives of both the Synoptic Jesus and the Johannine Jesus, the documented events of Acts and the dissemination of Matthew, Mark and Luke's Gospels -- roughly 38 AD to 98 AD.
 I don't think they were the only Christian churches but, in terms of potent theological content, I think they were the seminal YHWHs of Christianity, Christianity's Giant Stars.  And I think God did to the ecclesias, through Revelation, what He had done with the Giant Stars in the aftermath of the Big Bang:  essentially tweak and purify them.  Not to the extent that they would cause another Big Bang -- although, by definition, God being omnipotent this was within His Power to accomplish -- but so that they would continue "outward bound" and not expire too quickly because of  built in (built in because they weren't God even though they believed themselves to be Him, just as the ecclesias each believed themselves to be the Truest Christian Church most aligned with the teachings of Jesus) impurities and malformed self-limitations.
 2:2 is addressed to "the angel in Ephesus of ecclesias" and John is told what to write to that angel -- that in-dwelling spirit that had "hatched out" as one of the Giant Stars of Christianity.  All of the instructions to the seven ecclesias are very simple but direct.  It's like Houston giving Apollo "course corrections".  "You can't keep heading that way or you're going to get into trouble.  Change this and change this other thing and Godspeed Apollo!"
 So, that's what John is told to write to the angel, the in-dwelling spirit, of each of the Giant Stars.  Which he does and the model he adopts is Paul's epistles.  Another good reason for Paul's epistles to exist even though they don't, technically, make a lot of sense:  there needed to be a model for John of formal theological address across a wide theological construct, which Paul had perfected, through Luke, long before John found need for it.
 Ordinarily, the YHWH would have impeded Revelations on "anti-God autopilot": anything ordained by God needs to be refuted and contradicted and replaced with a diktat from the YHWH.  But, in this case, the churches were all based in the Synoptic Gospels, the Gospels of the YHWH's Christ because, until 98 AD, that was all there were.  John was probably the "lone nut" of Christianity in the early decades of its existence because he was a follower of the Johannine Jesus.  Everyone else -- from Simon Peter on down -- went with the guy with the most and splashiest miracles (although I think the resurrection of Lazarus trumped all of them, personally, as I think God intended for it to do). Far from impeding the progress of Christianity, the YHWH did everything he/she/it could do to facilitate it because to the YHWH this was the one true religion that would finally establish that the YHWH was God
 So, although I don't think it bespeaks the Scientific Method, per se, I think all of John's relayed word to the angels of the seven Asian churches was definitely centred in Proof, a combination, within John, of theological knowledge of Scripture and a finely-tuned spiritual antenna by which he was constantly, on a daily basis, "proving the spirits": measuring what was said to him and by whom against his own internal yardstick of what was "from God" and what was "from God's adversary".
 It is an interesting question -- that I think lies outside of anyone's area of expertise except God's -- as to how accurate John's internal yardstick was.  I think the evidence of Christianity surviving and flourishing as long as it has and as long as it indicates it will continue to do so (quite long) suggests that John's internal yardstick was very accurate and that he adhered to it even when subjected to nearly insurmountable pressure to abandon it.       
 Romans 12:2:  and not be you being fashioned with to the age this, but be you transformed to the renewing of the mind, into the to be proving you what the will of the God, the good and well pleasing and perfect. Unusually lucid for Paul and, to me, aligning well with what I've just described as John's inward nature, his internal yardstick.  It's interesting to note that "be you being fashioned with" is a single Greek term for which there is no English analogue that I could picture.  Conveying as it does the, to me, very real idea that we are "being fashioned with" -- being shaped even as we shape ourselves.  And that it matters a great deal what we are "being fashioned with TO" (as awkward a English phrase as could be imagined but, to me, the most accurate expression of what we are here FOR).  And that "the age this" is a very bad choice in that area.  If only because the fashionable and the True tend to get easily conflated until posterity takes its turn and determines what is the True Wheat and what is the fashionable chaff.
 The "good and well-pleasing", it seems to me are always in danger of being misidentified because they are usually descriptors of the fashionable as well as the True.  Only the perfect is True, however, and that judgement belongs to posterity and to God.
 Job 34:4 Let us choose to us judgement: let us know among ourselves what good. Well, I don't think you can.  You can only suspect what is good and the Job narrative is a good example of that.  He and his companions sort through all of the possibilities for Job's profound turn into profound misfortune.  They are all devout, God-fearing men, all with good internal yardsticks to separate the fashionable from the True.  What they don't know is that this is a bet between God and his adversary to Prove -- rather than "prove" -- Job.  To Prove that his faith doesn't issue from God's blessings upon him: his family and his wealth nor the good opinion of his community nor any kind of human status.  To Prove that he doesn't forsake God because Job can find no reason for his present circumstances.  Because these are all adversarial positions:  that people are only good because God rewards them materially.  If God punishes them when they haven't done anything wrong that they can identify then they will become bad.
 It's really the only actual Proof that we have -- and far outside of the Scientific Method's bailiwick which is capable merely of discerning the factual from the false or "less factual".
 Back to the Appendix A itself next week.
 Best,
 Dave   
 PS:  on the subject of the three heavens, I knew there was a Koranic reference to this which --  serendipitously -- I have just come across.  Sura 65 Divorce: 
 It is God who hath created the seven heavens and as many earths. The Divine command cometh down through them all that ye may know that God hath power over all things and that God, in His knowledge, embraceth all things. Which certainly allows for any number of interpretations.
 It could mean that there are only seven habitable planets in the entire universe: that is, planets that have a heaven (a sustainable atmosphere) and an earth (dry land in the midst of universal waters/seas).  It could also mean that there are layers to the idea of an "earth" and "heaven" from the physically incarnated to the ultimately spiritual, seven earths and seven heavens all co-existing but having differently nuanced properties in their respective realities -- from Reality to "reality".
 It also seems to me to potentially resonate with the classic notions of angelology:  cherubims, thrones, dominations or dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels and angels.  That each "heaven" is a habitation for one of those.  And that this is mirrored by Dante's "seven circles of Hell".
 It could also be both or neither.
 God alone Knows. 

Okay, good post. See you tomorrow Everybody.

Next Time: It's my birthday, so...gifts, cake. I really don't know what you guys have planned for me...