Okay, so I'm really just thinking aloud here, so bear with me.
I'm not sure about those examples--but I didn't mean that the RS conflict can't be external (Universe or Physics). There are obviously tons of examples of this.
My question is more, what is the nature of the RS that distinguishes it from the OS, with respect to those story points? Specifically, is there a way to talk about it that makes it easier to come up with story points that don't feel too "OS"? It seems really easy, when writing, to think up encodings/illustrations that feel more OS than RS. (Or for that matter MC).
It's easy enough to see how the RS works in existing stories. In Beauty and the Beast, the RS Concern is Obtaining. Clearly, this refers to Belle's capture, imprisonment, escape, etc. -- ultimately who is in (physical) control of the relationship. But that still feels somehow different from your obelisk example.
Yes, you could certainly tell a story in which the problem in the relationship is that an obelisk is causing Marsha to try and kill John, who at the same time live in a town where everyone is really concerned about the upcoming play they're going to put on. We've already postulated many times that it's not structurally necessary for the different throughlines to have any storytelling connection (though I'm still a little skeptical of this--you still have the Crucial Element after all).
But in my favorite stories, the beauty lies in how tightly woven the storytelling of the throughlines are while simultaneously being distinct.
I am thinking more and more that @Gernot might be onto something with the idea of having the RS "look" a the events of the OS from a different perspective (or vice versa).
So in Beauty and the Beast, the capture, escape etc. of Belle looks like Obtaining from the perspective of the RS. The same thing looks like Becoming from the perspective of the OS (the Beast has to get Belle to fall in love with him or everyone will be stuck in their transformed state).
In Romeo and Juliet, feuding families is, from the OS perspective, a problem of everyone fighting. But from the RS perspective, it's a question of what roles those in the relationship are forced to play in the world.
Can you get to this point by illustrating the throughlines as separate "stories" the way Jim usually suggests and then trying to weave them together? Does @Gernot's alternative approach work?