Sunday, 19 May 2019

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part fifty-four

Hi, Everybody!

So, two things:

1, the bizness:
If you got a couple of extra bucks and want to do a fellow Cerebus fan a solid, frequent commentator Mike Battaglia has a go fund me here  

The Green Dante/Green Virgil cover auction is NOW at $1300 US Dollars from: Jeff Seiler! If you want in on this action, just comment on this post, or e-mail

Friend to the Blog, and the guy who doesn't like you, and his friends don't like you either (but in Klingon,): Steve Peters has another Kickstarter going. (I have a joke in one panel.)

The remastered Volume 1 is available digitally for $9.99.

The second Postcard From Hell Kickstarter is up. 
2, I ran out of pages from issue 289/290 to run in front of Dave's Genesis Question commentaries. Dave suggested I use Jewish, Christian or Muslim religious images. But then, Superman's Frenemy: David Birdsong sent in a bunch of (so far) unused Cerebus in Hell? images and now I'ma gonna run them. So:
image by Doré, Sim & Birdsong
8 February 15

Hi Troy and Mia!

Proverbs 8:22-31.  I'm not sure Mr.Ross should just be diving into the middle of Proverbs 8 -- as if it can be sensibly divorced from its earlier verses -- OR that I should be commenting on it in the same way.  So, let's do a quick run-through of the first 21 verses:

The Proverb begins "Doth not Wisdom cry? & Understanding put forth her voice?"  Problematic (in my view) is the capitalization on "wisdom" which compels a Deistic inference:  Wisdom and Understanding as goddesses (based on the feminine pronoun).   There's obviously no way, as human beings, to arrive at definitive answers to these questions, but I think the problem with defining attributes of God as Deistic Beings in Their Own Right is self-evident: you get yourself onto the slippery slope of polytheism and begin defining yourself and your beliefs away from monotheism. 

I see it as inherently prejudicial that the Proverbs are attributed to Solomon, the son of the illicit union between David and Bathsheba, he of the Many Strange Wives and Concubines.  It isn't surprising that such an individual would adopt a theological worldview that merges god and goddess worship -- many, if not most, of his wives were from goddess-worshipping societies -- but, to me, that militates against taking his theological views too seriously and certainly not at face value. 

"She standeth in the top of the high places" [the high places were the places of pagan worship in Israel] "by the way in the places of the paths.  She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors" the Proverb continues.

And then transitions into what would appear to be a direct address from this -- definitively, according to Solomon -- female entity:  "Unto you, O men, I call, and my voice to the sons of man.  O ye simple, understand wisdom: and ye fools be of an understanding heart.  Hear, for I will speak of excellent things: and the opening of my lips, right things."

There's a significant difference between the original Hebrew on the next verse and the KJV translation.  The original Hebrew has verse 7 as "For my mouth shall speak truth, and wickedness the abomination OF my lips" which the KJV converts to "For my mouth shall speak truth and wickedness [interpolated: is] an abomination TO my lips." Which is a completely understandable change -- if you're determined to make the narrating voice inherently good, godly and, in fact, God -- but requires changing the inherent meaning of what is being expressed to do so. 

This is compounded in the next verse:  "All the words of my mouth [interpolated: are] in righteousness, [interpolated: there is] nothing [Hebrew: wreathed KJV: froward] or perverse in them."

My suspicions are definitely aroused when someone comes right out and says that there is nothing perverse in what they're saying.  If that's true, why would you feel the need to say so? Which is not to say that there isn't some measure of demonstrable wisdom being enunciated in Solomon's description.  The next three verses, taken together, certainly appear to me to constitute a wise philosophy:

"They [interpolated: are] all plain to him that understandeth: and right to them that find knowledge.  Receive my instruction, and not silver: and knowledge rather than choice gold.  For wisdom [interpolated: is] better than rubies: and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it."

However, Solomon then appears to swerve away from solid wisdom-as-theological foundation and, again, into wisdom as a separate being with, as I read them, curious -- if not perverse -- attributes : "I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions."  Nothing against "witty inventions" but, personally, I would incline towards seeing them as dichotomous from wisdom. 

And then appears, to me, to swerve even further afield from wisdom:  "The fear of the YHWH [interpolated: is] to hate evil: pride and arrogance and the evil way, and the froward mouth do I hate."  It seems to me that "the fear of the YHWH to hate evil" is one of those YHWHistic assertions that you can examine from every possible angle and still not come up with anything lucid. 

But, then Solomon appears to swerve back again:  "Counsel [interpolated: is] mine, and sound wisdom: I [interpolated: am] understanding; I [interpolated: have] strength". 

I say "appears" because there are various constructions that can be attached to it.  As attributes of wisdom (itself an attribute), it would be hard to disagree that they include "Counsel, mine and sound wisdom: I, understanding; I, strength." 

On the other hand, if Solomon is describing himself , that would seem to me to be a "witty invention" in itself:  the YHWH, through Solomon, deploring pride and arrogance but then inducing Solomon to express pride and arrogance in himself.

This same dualistic "witty invention" appears to continue through the narrative: the compelled inference (as I read it) of attributes of the attribute of wisdom being mostly or entirely irrefutable, while also capable of being read as self-aggrandizement both on the YHWH's and Solomon's part: "By me, kings reign, and princes decree justice.  By me princes rule, and nobles, [interpolated: even] all the Judges of the earth. I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me."  Of course kings don't reign exclusively by wisdom, nor do princes necessarily decree justice (by wisdom or otherwise).  But that's part of what makes the assertions "proverbial".  Certainly the most successful and enduring rule of princes and nobles and judges  is founded in wisdom. 

And the assertion "I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me" seems, to me, a very wise expression, not only of the Greek concept of agape -- wisdom-based love -- but also of the gravitational nature of wisdom, a spiritual attraction analogous to that expressed by the term "love" that is reciprocal:  gravitating towards wisdom causes wisdom to gravitate towards you. 

Solomon continues in this, as I read it, dualistically fruitful (describing wisdom as an attribute) and self-aggrandizing (potentially personalizing himself AS wisdom) train of thought:

"Riches and honour [interpolated: are] with me, yea, durable riches and righteousness.  My fruit [interpolated: is] better than gold, yea than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver.  I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgement, that I may cause those that love me, to inherit substance: and I will fill their treasures."

Which brings us to Mr. Ross'  excerpt:  

The YHWH possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

It's an interesting question which, I think, only God could answer definitively.  Was the YHWH possessed of wisdom "in the beginning of his way, before his works of old"?  That would depend, I think, on what is meant by "his way" and "his works of old".  This might be just another "witty invention":  that the YHWH had been in possession of whatever in-dwelling spirit within Solomon is expressing itself in Proverbs 8 and that that spirit dates back to "the beginning of his way, before his works of old" and is using that foundational fact to attempt to establish deistic "bona fides" for the YHWH: 

I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

Again, I think only God could definitively refute or endorse the assertion, depending again on how you (or the narrator of Proverbs 8) define "set up" "everlasting", "the beginning" "ever the earth was" and "possessed".  Obviously the YHWH is attempting to establish pre-existence:  that the YHWH existed before God did and is, in fact, God.  But it is an interesting question:  when DID the YHWH begin to exist?  How far back does the YHWH go?  My own inference is that the YHWH, in his her its seminal form, was God's first creation, but that's just human inference, not definitive wisdom-based knowledge.  "Ever the earth was" is an even more intricate question:

When [interpolated: there were] no depths, I was brought forth: when [interpolated: there were] no fountains abounding with water.

Again, this is way above my pay scale.  :)   However, I think, this verse ventures into blasphemous areas in the seminal sense that it appears to express itself.  If what is being discussed is the oceans' depths on earth, earthly "fountains abounding with water", then I think it likely that the consciousness of the earth, the YHWH's soul, was pre-existent to the defining incarnation of the earth-as-constituted as described in Genesis 1.

And I think that pre-existence goes back a very LONG way:  that the YHWH which IS the earth, which inhabits the earth was, at one time, part of the starry mass that became the sun just as the starry mass that became the sun was part of the exponentially larger stellar mass that makes up our galaxy, just as the stellar mass that makes up our galaxy was part of the still exponentially larger stellar mass that makes up the Milky Way, and so on and so on and so on back to the Big Bang.  In each case -- but, in my system of belief ONLY back to the Big Bang -- there would have been a "prior YHWH" which existed previous to the physical incarnation under discussion.

But, really, it seems to me to be only that verse.  Everything comes back to the tiny confines of the earth, subsequently.  The KJV doesn't capitalize "He" but I think as long as the "he's" are capitalized, this part of Proverbs 8 can be read either as a simple reiteration of Genesis 1 as the YHWH experienced it or as a delusional false YHWH memory (only God could say for certain):

Before the mountains were settled: before the hills, was I brought forth:

While as yet He had not made the earth nor the fields [alternative translation: open places] nor the [highest/chief part] of the dust of the world

When He prepared the heavens, I was there.  When He set a [compass/circle] upon the face of the depth

When He established the clouds above: when He strengthened the fountains of the deep.

When He gave to the sea His decree, that the waters should not pass His commandment, when He appointed the foundations of the earth

It's really only at the "finish line" of Mr. Ross's extract that the narrator appears to again stumble into blasphemous or near-blasphemous areas which compel the KJV translators into theological gymnastics:

Then I was by Him, [interpolated: as] one brought up [interpolated: with him]: and was daily [interpolated: his] delight, rejoicing always before Him

You have only to read the original sense:  "Then I was by him, one brought up, and was daily delight, rejoicing always before him" and compare it to the KJV mutation: "Then I was by him, as one brought up with him, and was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him." to see the Christian "skew":  Wisdom as the Son, Wisdom as the Church, Wisdom as God's Beloved. 

Which I infer was intentional on God's part. 

A lot of the idea that I see behind the creation of the two Christs, the Synoptic Jesus and the Johannine Jesus, was to address this issue of pre-existence in the YHWH's own frames of reference.  Distilled as: "If you want to get into issues of pre-existence and complicate them with the personalizing and deification of Wisdom -- and further complicate things with 'witty inventions' like a personalized 'prudence' 'understanding' and 'strength -- and if you think that those issues are going to favour the case of the YHWH, well, there are many stages to incarnation as decreed by God."

I think that's a lot of the idea behind the first chapter of John's Gospel and what I see as its intricate but definitive "last word" (actually "first word") on pre-existence:

In beginning was the Word, and the Word was toward the God, and God was the Word.  This was in beginning toward the God.  All through him came to be, and apart from him came to be not/however one. 

THAT, it seems to me, is directed specifically at the YHWH's misapprehension of pre-existence.  The Seminal Word was prior to the Seminal YHWH.  "All THROUGH him came to be…".   The Word was the means by which all further creation was effected.  "…and APART from him came to be NOT one" which needs, I think, to be understood (in conformity with the merged Greek term "not however") in tandem with "…and APART from him came to be HOWEVER one".  "Not one" and "however one", simultaneously.  Basically what we know through physics as the "wave/particle".  There and Not There, simultaneously.

John 1 then goes on, as I read it, to describe the nature of this entity created by God's Word:

Which has come to be in him life was, and the life was the light of the men. And the light in the darkness is shining and the darkness it not overpowered. 

This, as I read it, is pre-existent to the YHWH, in the creation of the earth, the sun, our galaxy, the Milky Way and (I infer) is universally misunderstood by all YHWHs high and low.  Which is why God deems it necessary -- having allowed the YHWH thousands of years to enunciate his/her/its doctrine of pre-existence -- to incarnate someone to express this fundamental truth:

Came to be man having been sent forth beside God...

[Note: BESIDE God.  BESIDE being analogous, conceptually, to TOWARD God (the descriptor of The Word).  This is the stature that the YHWH, through Solomon, misapprehends and attempts to usurp in Proverbs 8:30.  BESIDE God is a foundational state but it's not one that belongs to the YHWH.]

…name to him, John; this came into witness in order that he might witness about the light in order that all might believe through him.  Not was that the light but in order that he might witness about the light.  Was the light the true which is enlightening every man coming into the world. In the world he was and the world through him came to be, and the world him not knew.

The Word, followed by the Light which is Beside God.  The creation of the YHWH -- the world -- is subsequent to that.

As I read it.

Mr. Ross' excerpt from Proverbs 8 concludes:

Rejoicing in the habitable part of the earth, and my delights [interpolated: were] with the sons of men.

Which I would infer is authentic memory on the part of the YHWH.  This is the YHWH's earliest memory of habitation "in the habitable part of the earth".  I would also infer that the YHWH's active, awakened consciousness didn't actually occur for a long time after the establishment of the foundations of the earth, that there was no need for an "awake" YHWH until long after, say, the age of dinosaurs -- that the YHWH only fully awakened as an entity with the creation of man. 

Not the creation of A Dam, which I infer was just the beginning of this epoch. A Dam is our epoch's first man, but not the first man to walk the earth.  However many epochs there have been prior to this one (a number known only to God) each, I infer, involved the creation of "seminal man" and subsequent erosion of his context into apocalypse, the dregs of which still existed as the events of Genesis began to enact themselves.  Genesis itself documents, I think, two microcosms of this process:  the creation of A Dam and then the eradication of all life in the flood followed by the re-starting of this epoch with the sons of Noah.

You have to go WAY back, but it seems there was a time when the YHWH could say "my delights with the sons of men". 

Proverbs 8 itself ends with:

Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed  [interpolated: are they that] keep my ways.

Hear instruction, and be wise and refuse it not.

It's not as if the YHWH is oblivious to God or to godly virtues.  That's a big part of the process of enactment (I infer) for which the YHWH was created and incarnated.  The YHWH is -- and was -- expected to infer that he/she/it was God and to attempt to behave accordingly.  As the YHWH instructs, so is the YHWH instructed: "hear instruction, and be wise and refuse it not".   

Blessed the man that heareth me: watching daily at my gates: waiting at the posts of my doors.

It's an imperfect process.  This passage itself seems to hearken back to the entirely unjust expulsion of A Dam from the Garden of Eden and the unjust rejection of Cain's offering of "the fruit of the ground" in favour of Hebel's blood sacrifice -- all of which A Dam could only watch helplessly from the entryway to the Garden.  As the YHWH put it to Cain:  "Why art thou wroth?  And why is thy countenance fallen?" 

Well,  basically, because blood sacrifice of animals is wrong.

 And Cain knew that.

And justifiably rebelled against it.

 "If thou do well, shalt thou not have the excellency?  And if thou do NOT well…" (gesturing, I infer, significantly to A Dam Expelled) … "sin croucheth at the door." Sacrifice animals like your brother or join your father outside the Garden.

Completely unjust, but all part of the enactment that the YHWH was created for: an active illustration of why Being God is a lot more difficult than it looks, a point the YHWH keeps missing:  

For whoso findeth me, findeth life, and shall [Hebrew: bring forth; KJV: obtain] favour of the YHWH.

But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul; all they that hate me love death.

I don't think anyone loves death and I don't think anyone especially hates the YHWH.  But men do, by nature, by the light they are granted by God, rebel against injustice.  Sometimes justice and the YHWH align and sometimes justice and the YHWH are diametrically opposed to each other.  That, it seems to me, is all part of the process of acquiring wisdom -- an attribute, not a being -- over the long term on the part of men and the YHWH.  Three steps forward, two steps back, usually.

Next week: God willing, Ecclesiastes 3:11!


Next Time: Man I'm still strung out from Dave's birthday bash. What a rager...-Past Matt


Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

3,000 words! Let's see if David J. can beat that.

-- D.

Anonymous said...

So now Adam is "A Dam"? Oh, yeah, and Cain is the good guy, because his brother wanted to fuck him or something. Boy, these Dave theories are so much whacky fun!!!!

Hazel Poni said...

Damian your back. I'm reposting part of an earlier comment from another post. I want to know if you or anyone else would like to do our own Mad and Cracked magazine style parody Cerebus comic? I don't mean to make fun of Dave or anyone in a bad way. I only mean to have fun.

Those magazines use to use movie scenes and add their own word baloons. Since it was parody, it was protected by fair usage laws, and wasn't copyright infringement. Kind of like, how David Birdsong uses public domain on CIH? and for the pictures Matt uses for these posts.

I sent David Birdsong and Matt Dow a test scene from Citizen Kane with Cerebus in it, and I faxed it to Dave because of his birthday and added some scriptures to it. It was easy getting the movie scene, but hard getting the picture of Cerebus just right in the picture frame, where I covered up I think Charles Foster Kane's parents. David Birdsong and the rest of you fellas, HOW do you make it look so easy?

If it's OK with Matt, my email's We could plug AMOC, CIH?, and our own stuff, and maybe they would do likewise with us. We could have our own kickstarter, gofundme, paetron, YouTube channel, auctions, and everything! Someone's sure to buy something, and we can split it each way. This would be a way to love one another.

Oh, I got it. "I think I want to start a newspaper.", said the guy in the movie. We could do a newspaper cover and pages like comic strip comic book, like how Will Eisner's The Spirit use to appear in papers. I already got an idea off some wrong things David Johnson told me in that email about Quantum Leap. Tonight I'm going to try and stick Cerebus somewhere in there, and start up some auction or something for it on a site I'll use.

If it's ok with Dave, I'll comment back here when I do. If David Johnson can offer Dave $20.00 bucks or whatever to eat raisins, I want to give Dave and whoever else contributes, their cut.

Tony Dunlop said...

This just keeps looking more and more like the weirder parts of "Aardvark Comment" from "back in the day." I like it.

Hazel Poni said...

Check out this Tony for weird. Remember Dave talking about Proverbs 8:34? "Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors." I wanted to know what Dave was talking about, when saying the King James didn't read like the Hebrew. So, I looked up the verse on Hebrew on the internet.

Lexically transliterated into Hebrew, it's read as, "esher adam sima li shaqad al-deleth yom yom simar mezuzah pethach." Remember when Dave was calling Adam A Dam, and he said YHWH was maybe looking at Adam outside the gate of Eden, when telling Cain he should listen to him? It kind of looks like God's saying, "Blessed is Adam Sim waiting at the gates."

I think Dave knows the word man in the Old Testament, in Hebrew's Adam. But, I don't know if he was thinking about that when saying what he said. When it starts looking like God's commenting in the Bible to Dave Sim, I think that's very weird. All I can say is yom yom.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Hazel P.: Thank you for your kind invitation to contribute to a Cerebus parody, but I must decline.

-- Damian

Hazel Poni said...

Thanks Damian. I think someone else over on another post, asked me or someone if or if not I or someone was saying, it's ok to make fun of David Johnson and his God, but not Dave Sim and his God. I agree and sent an email to David saying I was sorry. I'd already with the comment above, changed my earlier version of it to make it not about making a parody of David Johnson's ideas, but a parody of other things. It's not right to make fun of anyone. I'm sorry everyone.