Sunday, 3 June 2018

"T.L.:D.R." The Genesis Question Part six

Hi, Everybody!

Sunday Funday:
1 April 18

Hi Matt!

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

9 March 14

Dear Troy and Mia:

Picking up where we left off in Chapter Three:

"the universe we can see, detect and measure was made from that which we cannot see, detect or measure."

Which I think is a safe bet but extremely problematic from a "scientific proof" vantage point.  Which I think was God's point -- that He was acquiescing to the urge of His seminal creations -- the creations who existed prior to the Big Bang -- who just wanted to Get Away From Him.  A not altogether unfamiliar impulse here on planet earth.  One which I consider a complete impossibility.  You can't escape God.  But, with the benefit of God's "undeserved kindness" towards His creations, elaborate measures known only to Him were able to create the Big Bang and, thus, hurl us outward and (metaphorically) downward into physical incarnation where we are unable to perceive God even though He is everywhere around us and within us. 

It allows us to repent of our urge to Get Away From Him while also, through free will, staying completely removed from Him for our entire lives if we -- as many of us do -- decide that that's a good idea.  The essential nature of the "Why are we here?  What is this life all about?" people. 

Well, for you? I would answer (based on my own faith):  Because of your free will choice, it seems to me -- and I'm speaking from the experience of having started on your side of the fence for the first 40 years of my life -- you're here for no particular reason and your life is really not about anything.  When you die you will realize from Whom you chose to remove yourself, realize that you are forever divorced from Him and that you will continue as an aimless spirit trapped here in a black hole in the infinite reaches of the void.

But, returning to Mr. Ross' point, you aren't going to be able to come up with a scientific proof of creation for, I would guess, the reason that God doesn't want you to.  Because it would violate His commitment to His creations who wanted to Get Away From Him to allow them to Get Away From Him.  Only faith, freely chosen, can unlock the doors that so many of us have chosen to lock against God.  It would be nice to think that some irrefutable scientific proof is or can be forthcoming but I think the autonomy of those who haven't and will not repent of deciding to come way out here needs to be preeminent and we -- the repentant -- have to be accepting of that Reality.  We chose to come out here as well but it only makes sense that the "way back" should be arduous and uncertain since that was, presumably, a quid pro quo of ours:  we wanted a clean break from God that it would be all but impossible for us of which to repent.  A very bad idea on our parts, but, then, what else IS rebellion against God?

"'Erets has six different meanings: the soil; the territory or land possessed by an individual, family, tribe, or nation; a city state; the territories of all peoples and nations; the underworld; or all the land and water, as well as the foundations that support them (what we now know as the planet Earth)."

Which I think supports my own theory that YHWH has very specific perceptions of self that fall along these lines.  That the YHWH inhabits all rock and soil, that each nation has its own YHWH (although I don't think that extends to individuals, tribes, and families in the YHWH's frame of reference).  My theory that The Flood was actually quite localized and was only perceived to be "worldwide" by the regional YHWH -- the YHWH of Genesis 2 and 3 -- with extremely limited "scope".

"the territories of all peoples and nations".  Hmm. I'd have to mull that one over a while before even giving it a shadow of a benefit of a doubt since it seems to clash head-on with goyim -- the Hebrew term for all non-Judaic nations -- and appears to violate it.  My Jewish side -- which is extremely Orthodox -- can't picture the concept: something that would include the goyim AND Jews in an undifferentiated way?  And this is a Scriptural concept and not something cobbled together by well-meaning Christians?  Feh.  I'm thinking, No.   

"the underworld", yes.  Our ultimate destination as physically incarnated beings.  We are all "going under" when we die.  This is missing from Christianity and Islam but seems irrefutable given that Saul -- with the woman with the familiar spirit -- summoned Samuel from the underworld in 1 Samuel 28. If a great prophet like Samuel is "gone under" then I think it's safe to say that it's a general condition of even the best-lived life.

Also, I shouldn't say that it's missing from Christianity: it's more that it's been edited out of Christianity.  The original Koine Greek has many quoted references from Jesus about "going under". 

"or all the land and water, as well as the foundations that support them."  Mmm, again, I don't think you would see inclusion of land AND water from ancient Rabbis.  Deformed Rabbis -- excuse me, Reformed Rabbis -- and New Testament writers, yes, but then I think that's a tactic on the YHWH's part to "ret-con" undifferentiated hybridization of various kinds onto biblical texts. Water is God's chosen medium and the earth is YHWH.  I'm very much intransigent on the subject, I'm afraid.

"Shamayim, a plural form (hence, 'heavens'), has three meanings: the part of the earth's atmosphere where rain clouds form, that is, the troposphere; the abode of the stars and galaxies; and the spirit realm from which God rules. New Testament writers and both ancient and modern rabbis sometimes use the ordinals 'first', 'second' and 'third' to identify which of these 'heavens' they meant."

Well, yes, I think this is generally true, although I think the "heaven" of Genesis 1 is singular and means specifically earth's atmosphere in toto. A largely gaseous, less substantial form of "waters" than the waters of the seas.  "The abode of the stars and galaxies", well, yes, but I think that's more a mistaken inference on the part of human beings -- and whomever injected the celestial bodies into Genesis 1 (I still think it was A Dam, under the influence of the toxic fruit) -- rather than any meaning conveyed to us by God Who obviously knew that it would be nonsensical to convey the vast reaches of the solar system -- let alone galaxies -- in a frame of reference that could even remotely be described as an "abode".  The moon is  a tiny chunk of rock as is the earth.  The sun is quantum levels of times their size and 93 million miles away. It seems to me that God left that concept aside in Genesis.  When speaking to the earth, you have to talk about the earth because the earth isn't much interested in anything else.  Least of all something 93 million miles away.

The Koran makes frequent mention of "all in the heavens and the earth is God's" which seems to me a valid assertion, a corrective of the misapprehension that can be a compelled inference of The Torah and the Old Koran -- excuse me, The Gospels: that the YHWH is an alternative God or God-in-waiting or a displaced God or a hard-done-by God.  As I say, I think God gave that alternative perception much more "undeserved kindness" than it ever merited.  God created the YHWH, period, as far as I'm concerned. 

"The spirit realm from which God rules".  No, I think this is a natural mistaken assumption when you fail to differentiate between God and YHWH.  It seems to me, in studying monotheistic scripture, that it's only the YHWH who asserts "rule from heaven" (although most Christians and many monotheists seem to believe in some form of it: the Big Bearded Guy On His Throne On A Cloud Behind the Pearly Gates Guarded By St. Peter -- which, to me, is as ridiculous as it sounds), which I think can be attributed to the YHWH's severely limited grasp of Reality.  The YHWH is able to perceive the YHWH'S own existence within the earth and the reality of the atmosphere which surrounds the YHWH and, consequently, up until very recently, the YHWH perceived that dichotomous construct as the sum total of Reality and, consequently, pictured a very traditional "rule" over the whole works.  The YHWH's ability to oversee the earth -- itself -- from earth's atmosphere as well as from inside the earth is more, it seems to me, a front row seat from which to -- gradually, VERY gradually (the YHWH is a definitely a "special needs" pupil) -- come to understand Reality better.

It's worth pointing out that when the Koran refers to creation, it says that God fashioned the earth and "the seven heavens".  Prophet Muhammad's "Night Journey" -- sura 17 -- documents his assent through those heavens (but only in the non-canonical biography of the Prophet).  My inference is that the Night Journey did take place and was basically a guided tour of the YHWH's odd construct, developed by the YHWH over the centuries (which also appears extensively in Revelations: chapter one having many of the "odd construct" features):

and having turned upon I saw seven lampstands golden and in midst of the lampstands ______ like son of man having been clothed reaching the foot and having been girded about toward the breasts girdle golden; the ____ (however head of him) and the hairs white as wool white, as snow, and the eyes of him as flame of fire, and the feet of him like to fine copper, as in furnace of having been fired, and the voice of him as of waters many, and having in the right hand of him stars seven, and out of the mouth of him, long sword two-mouthed sharp going out, and the countenance of him as the sun is shining in the power of it. 

That is, we are all "going under" when we die and we take up residence with the YHWH who -- thinking him/her/its self God -- then decides where we all go.  We either stay in the earth or we get promoted to one of the seven "heavens" in earth's atmosphere. 

The figure described above is, I think, actually the Synoptic Jesus, but as seen by the YHWH (and therefore as he appeared to John, to whom Revelations was revealed).  The YHWH's view of the YHWHistic messiah which is, I feel myself safe in saying, quite extraordinary even for the YHWH.  But I think God intended the Messiah and "the messiah" in exactly that way:  much of what "the messiah" had to say would have struck the YHWH forcibly: like a "long sword two-mouthed, sharp going out" of the mouth of him.  Cutting on behalf of the YHWH but also cutting the YHWH just as frequently,  the beginning of God "entering in upon His work" and correcting the YHWH's misapprehensions.

The figure, it seems to me, is actually the Synoptic Jesus' spirit which, I suspect, has no more idea of why it appears the way it does or how it ended up where it ended up than we do or will.  In the same way that Moshe's (Moses) spirit appears in the heaven assigned to it and to which it was assigned and who also has no idea how he got there but, very obediently, instructed Muhammad on his Night Journey to keep going back and asking "God" to lower the number of prayer times per day until they got it down to five (reflective of Abraham's negotiation with the YHWH about the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah).   It's just part of the YHWH's construct of "the heavens" and (I would guess) a big part of the YHWH's millennia-long therapy on the road to accurate perception of Reality.  Where we all get put -- all of us regular folk and Moshe and Aaron and Jesus and Muhammad -- tells God how YHWH is doing, how accurate or inaccurate his/her/its perceptions are, are getting or will get.

Mr. Ross then goes on to Hashamayim we ha'erets (the heavens and the earth) having the specific meaning of

the totality of the physical universe: all of the matter and energy and whatever else it contains.  All of the stars, galaxies, planets, dust, gas, fundamental particles, background radiation, black holes, physical space-time dimensions, and voids of the universe -- however mysterious to the ancient writer -- would be included in this term. 

Well, with all due respect, I think that requires a Deistic Overview to state definitively. 

My own view would be that that's definitely a corner you are going to get backed into if you think God and YHWH are the same being.

It seems to me, basically -- expressed by Mr. Ross -- to be the YHWHist position as it became/becomes/is becoming irrefutable (even to the otherwise impervious-to-reason YHWH) that Total Universal Reality is not limited to a) the interior of the earth, b) earth's atmosphere, c) two celestial lights (one greater, one lesser) and d) a bunch of sparkly stars for decoration.  It seems to me a YHWHistic cover story:  "I knew about all those.  That's what I meant when I said 'the heavens and the earth'."

It seems to me a core element of the YHWH's therapy.  God, I think, is perfectly happy to let the YHWH ret-con anything onto the YHWH's "odd construct" if it will, in the fulness of time, lead to accurate perception of Reality on the part of the YHWH. 

Another good example of that to me, is the "son of God" concept.  Which, in my opinion, stated factually by God, is covered in Genesis 6:1-2:

And it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them: that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair, and they took them wives of all which they chose.

It gets interrupted by the YHWH in the next verse and then God makes His simple assertions again, in and around the YHWH about the flood that He is going to bring about. 

But, sticking with the first two verses, it seems to me to explain the basic problem:  the distinction between "sons of God" -- that is men who perceived themselves that way and saw (and see) God as their First Loyalty, the patriarchs descended from A Dam in this epoch -- and men who are just men and who have daughters who are just daughters (the then-still-proliferating residue of previous epochs) .  The daughters are "fair" -- they look good -- so you marry them.  So, you know (not to put too fine a point on it) you get what you deserve.  Pretty soon:

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

That is, this is what happens when you mix up your loyalty to God and your inheritance as a "son of God", a descendant of A Dam, with daughters of men -- men who are not "sons of God".  Pretty soon, all you're thinking about is adultery and fornication. 

"Sons of God" gets misconstrued, as I see it, as a concept and, over the course of thousands of years, gets made into the messianic expectation in the YHWH construct:  One day "the Son of God" will come and redeem us.  It gets applied to David (who seems to me a very weird choice, but definitely the YHWH's major heartthrob to the extent that the YHWH is willing to overlook David's murder of Uriah the Hittite).  So, it seems to me that God works within the YHWH's construct again. 

There's no point (as I see, perhaps wrongly, God's vantage point) in God belabouring obvious Reality -- the sons of God looked upon the daughters of men, liked what they saw, married them and were corrupted -- if the YHWH isn't "buying" and the YHWH, pretty apparently, isn't "buying".

So God enacts the Synoptic Jesus and the Johannine Jesus so as to conform to the YHWH's odd construct of the term "sons of God" mangled into the messianic expectation: completely dismissing the idea behind "sons of God" and becoming fixated on "The Son of God".  So basically, God is put in an untenable position (untenable for anyone besides God, that is):  "I see how you see things, YHWH, and it isn't accurate but, for the sake of argument, let's create a Messiah -- in fact, let's create two of them: My Messiah, the Johannine Jesus and your messiah, the synoptic Jesus -- and see what happens." 

The experiment, obviously, is on-going.  How IS Christianity doing today?  How IS Christianity going to be doing ten years from now, a hundred years from now, a thousand years from now?  God alone knows.  The rest of us can only guess.

It seems analogous to me to having a fixed idea that "the heavens and the earth" actually means The Entire Universe and everything in it.  I'm pretty sure it's the YHWHistic position, I just don't think it's accurate or reflective of the intention of the term as originally constituted -- any more than Jesus reflects the original, Reality-based, idea of a "son of God". 

A CRUCIAL SHIFT

Mr. Ross' point here seems to be about the shifting of viewpoint between Genesis 1:1 ("In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth") and Genesis 1:2 ("And the earth was without form and void and darkness upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters"), which I can see.  In narrative terms, having introduced two objects of creation -- the heaven and the earth -- the next part of the narrative skips the first introduced object and addresses the second which, in narrative terms, calls attention to itself. 

For me?  This resonates with Core Scripture -- the leap-frogging of the first in favour of the second.  Preferring YHWH over God, the younger over the elder.  Jacob usurping Esau's birthright.

This, it seems to me, is a big part of God's point. 

As in John 1:15:  "John is witnessing about him and he has cried out saying 'This was the ____ having said, "The behind me coming in front of me has come to be, because first of me he was"'"  God and God's creation.  The heaven more represents God than does the earth but, "The behind me coming in front of me has come to be", so by all means let's talk about the earth, the YHWH, before we talk about the heaven. It's far from Reality -- God is infinitely more important than the earth, but the earth has its own misapprehended narrative to address so, for thousands of years, that's what God has done and continues to do. 

Most Christians prefer Jesus to God, seeing Jesus AS God.  And belief in Jesus AS God as a requirement of finding favour in the sight of God.  "The behind me coming in front of me has come to be."  There's a quality of Deistic amusement that I see there.  It's an interesting jest to God.  Blasphemous and heretical, but, well, let's see what we (you, the earth, humanity and sons of God and I, God) can do with it. Let's play some chess. A Biblical running gag:  not only has my creation, the earth, which I created long after I created everything else somehow gotten itself out ahead of Me, but it thinks it IS Me and demands to be treated that way. 

The same steps scientists use to analyze and interpret natural phenomena appeared on that first page of the Bible.  At the time, I was unaware, as many people still are, that the step-by-step process we now know as the scientific method owes its formulation to men and women well versed in Scriptures. 

I think this is an incautious statement and evasive of rather than elaborating upon his assertion of the change of viewpoint between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.  You could as easily say, "the camera was invented by men and women well versed in Scriptures".  Pretty much everything that came into being before the mid-twentieth century in the West "owes its formulation to men and women well versed in Scriptures" because prior to the mid-twentieth century, everyone in the West was well versed in Scriptures.  That was what separated the God-fearing from the heathen (hard to bear in mind in Our Heathen Age).  It was a societal given.  Mr. Ross then directs us to Appendix A "Biblical Origins of the Scientific Method").

Okay, having read it, I now have a bunch more Biblical citations to go through one by one. 

Three of David's Psalms -- all from the YHWH-oriented end of the Psalms (83 and higher); Paul's commentaries; John's epistle;  Acts and Revelation.  Mr. Ross maintains that these, taken together, will irrefutably prove that the scientific method originated in Scripture. 

I have my doubts (and I feel as if I'm getting "footnoted to death") but I'll address what I think the Biblical citations are saying and then address Appendix A and then, hopefully, in two weeks time (God willing) get back to where we left off in Chapter Three.

Best,

Dave


Next Time: More Sunday Funday!

8 comments:

Dave Kopperman said...

"My Jewish side"

Huh?

Anonymous said...

"My own view would be that that's definitely a corner you are going to get backed into if you think God and YHWH are the same being."

Which is pretty much everybody on earth except Dave Sim. Once again, Dave has discovered something NOBODY else knows!

Just as Dave consoles himself with the belief that Cerebus will one day be recognized as an artistic masterpiece which, in part, provides proof of the unified field theory, he also consoles himself with the belief that one day, his "Biblical Commentaries" will be recognized as an essential contribution to mankind. It's really very sad to watch a talented artist transform into a babbling lunatic.

Tony Dunlop said...

I'm beginning to think he's *never* going to get around to addressing Gabriel vs. Collins.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Dave is a "bubbling lunatic." I think he's completely sane. Do I understand his commentaries? A bit maybe not much but it's interesting reading. I don't like the idea of most people ending up in a black hole or crushed into the sun while two out of how ever many go free back to God.

I think it's interesting that Dave has no friends (if I understand correctly) and no emotional attachments; even if you were one of the two wouldn't you be upset that everyone else you know is going to suffer eternally? But from my perspective, it seems like since submitting to God Dave's life has improved aside from the wrist injury.

Anyway, while I may not agree with his belief system, he does note it's his approach and isn't trying to proseltyze. My understanding is he won't go beyond advising people who would ask, that they should pray to God and submitting to God's will.

It seems the most people who interact with Dave say he is polite, honest, someone who does what he says and has been a champion of creator's rights...and donates to his local foodbank.

Sounds quite sane to me.

cheers,

A Fake Name

Anonymous said...

To elaborate a bit more, I think it's easier to have the belief system Dave has when one has no emotional attachments. Now, I freely admit I could be wrong about that, despite checking this site I'm not up to date on all things Dave Sim or know him or "know" him the way Jeff Seiler does or Sandeep, etc.

It seems to me that Dave's belief system is unsurprisingly a harsh one in terms of judgment, though I think he does qualify it by saying it is his belief, not that he's necessarily correct. I believe in God and I hope it's not a big mashed up ball of souls stuck in a black hole or crushed in the sun, I don't think it is, I don't believe it is.

But just because Dave has his own interpretation of the Torah (?), New Testament and Koran doesn't make him crazy. I understand why people could think that though I disagree with that assessment.

Thanks for posting these commentaries and the ones on St. John's Revelation.

cheers

A Fake Name

David Birdsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony again said...

David, that's a great idea - I did just that (well, I use DuckDuckGo) and found this very nice collection of posts - at first glance, they are all from a secular, scholarly point of view but give a decent glimpse of the G-D (El) - YHWH phenomenon.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

AFN: It's not that Dave has his own interpretation that demonstrates his crazy, it's the leaps of illogic and provable falsehoods that he confuses for thinking. And I'm not sure by what metrics his life has improved since submitting to god; he's lost his audience, his critical reputation, his income, and his ability to draw. He's a charity case, living off the gifts of a couple of hundred aging fans. As he himself once said, odds are he'll die in poverty, the work itself largely if not completely forgotten. Sad, in a small way.

He really believes this stuff, huh? Now that's comedy!

-- Damian