New title: Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Alana

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I found the stubbornness of Alexandra's character somewhat maddening.

Yeah, I felt the same way. But thinking about it at the time, it did make sense, psychologically. And I am not sure that it was stubbornness in the end. Trying to reply without spoiling it for others, I hope:

after years of being pushed down and back from her immediate environment, the minute she was given an inch of freedom, she took a mile and ended up in the opposite end (also unhealthy and unrealistic) before she finally allowed herself to see that there was a middle way, and it was the one offering her the best opportunity for happiness and fulfillment as a woman and a human being. Edmund himself had to come out of his pre-made box also, and be brave enough to allow himself first to feel and then to show his own vulnerability so that she could see that it didn't have to be about the loss of freedom, but the gaining of something way more valuable and essential. OSIT.
 

Seamus

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Yeah, I felt the same way. But thinking about it at the time, it did make sense, psychologically. And I am not sure that it was stubbornness in the end. Trying to reply without spoiling it for others, I hope:

after years of being pushed down and back from her immediate environment, the minute she was given an inch of freedom, she took a mile and ended up in the opposite end (also unhealthy and unrealistic) before she finally allowed herself to see that there was a middle way, and it was the one offering her the best opportunity for happiness and fulfillment as a woman and a human being. Edmund himself had to come out of his pre-made box also, and be brave enough to allow himself first to feel and then to show his own vulnerability so that she could see that it didn't have to be about the loss of freedom, but the gaining of something way more valuable and essential. OSIT.
I like your explanation Alana and FWIW I agree with you. What you wrote reminds me of a passage, I think its from Women Who Run With The Wolves, where she mentions that wolves who are starved for the whole winter can go on a killing spree in the spring when food is finally plentiful, not even eating their kills, but just running wild because they've been deprived for so long. So maybe something like that I guess.
 

primeaddict

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FOTCM Member
I also realized recently, while discussing the current situation on our planet, that this reading exercise is a big part of learning to RIDE the Wave instead of being sucked under and drowned.
Lately, I have been sensing that the C's advise of Sitting Back and Enjoy the Show and as you have said that we have to learn to RIDE the Wave has more nuance to it. Do to the fact that the Global Crazy Energy and the Planned Chaotic Destruction has powerful triggering affect on the psyche that even the my past emotional cows are no longer ignorable slips of character. I have been acutely aware that keeping my thoughts and feeling positive and joyful are essential to Enjoying the Show.

These stories have helped me to tighten up my internal perceptions of my external behavior of how am I being open, honest, social gentleman, supportive and helpful. I know that without this forum and specifically without this reading assignment I would be more condescending towards those aligning with the Chaos and more fearful of my future suffering.

There was a happy song in the 70's that I could not remember the title. I had searched a few times in the top 100's but could not find it but found it while listing to a talk show on Monday. It strikes a chord for me. It is now my Enjoy the Show theme song.
 

Voyageur

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Of all the reading (and have not gone through the list by any means), much original focus was on Balogh for the way she presents her stories with their deeper phycological nuances. She is great. Gracie next has been wonderful, and she can spark much humour weaved throughout some tough ugly situational stories that can break ones heart and then heal it.

More lately, jumped into Elisa Braden's books; Scotland the theme with dangerous plots and love to conquer. Unlike Balogh and Gracie, these contained a more racy sexual nature - sometimes occupying chapters it seemed. This has been the same for Anna Campbell's stores, yet the plot intrigues and discovery of each individuals nature to say what needs saying while overcoming deep traumas and loss, flowed in their development. The last series by Campbell was on the three bastard friends (Duke of Sedgemoor series) and the wives they would meet and their stories.

Read the Christmas books along the way, and oh boy!

The idea of love lost, has been particularly present in my mind lately, but also the idea of an emerging solid being under the wounds caused by lifetimes of hurt and ignorance and mistakes, and victories and joy and love.

I think once you dig deeper than the story itself, and some of the superficial ideals that are present, what you find is rather interesting, I am still working through some of it but, it's not entirely pleasant but it also isn't evil. It's like these simple stories can work as a mirror and if you're honest, you'll see that you have been manipulative, jealous, vengeful, lying, proud and so on, but also loving and trusting and gentle and sweet and honest and brave. And the question seems to be what's left once you remove all these layers? I hope I am making sense with this.

Interesting this came up, it has been of mind lately in odd remembering ways. For instance, in this thread on remembering who you went to schools with - for some here it is a long time ago, had come across old class photos before the tread of class mates was posted, and nearly each person was remembered through so many years apart. Some were like in the books here, the boy and girl neighbours who played as children together, scraping knees and climbing trees, and in some cases later even dating, eventually going their separate ways and living different lives. In retrospect, it is amazing, even in youth, the feelings of hurt, comfort, trust, laughter, vulnerabilities, chemistry and social pressures one moves through that they then take into their next life chapter. The next chapter contains all of these factors that enhance or get in the way, and you are right, what happens when you remove these layers.

So yes, what you ended with in bold makes sense.

I'm going to keep moving through the different authors...
 

jess

Jedi
I have finished my third book in the Survivor's Club series, "Only beloved" by Mary Balogh.
I can't say it was heavy, just very intense compared to the other two novels I finished in this same series. Now, I can understand the expression "Romantic Reading Rollercoaster", LOL.

When I started the novel I felt a lot of empathy for Dora, her story at the beginning, in an unexpected way, caused me an intense flow of "butterfly flights" in the Root Chakra area, and very intense feelings of love- memories, it was quite strange, the only thing I could think is that at my age maybe I could be experiencing some hormonal change.
Then, as I continued with the story and the difficulties of both characters met in destiny, I felt that it caused me pain to read that both characters were always looking for a way to understand each other and solidify their love, I felt a little jealous, I could not believe it, what an amazing capacity and good luck of that girl, I thought!
Something very present for me in this story was the body and the couple's connection, as something extremely complex.
The body as something that connects, that talks to you, that is alive, and that looks for a way to heal - to survive or when something is atrophied it simply stops and dies.
 

hiker

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I finished the Huxtable Quintet. What can you say, except that Mary Balogh is masterful.

It seemed, that the books got better as the series progressed. Personally the last book (The Secret Affair) made the strongest impression on me, I was very moved when Hannah and Constantine were not what they initially appeared to be, but turned out to be true philanthropists who cared deeply for the elderly, poor and disabled people. This really touched me, especially as Constantine had been kind of a "bad guy" throughout the series. The rift between Constantine and Elliot, which was there from the first book, and which was now resolved and forgiven in "The Secret Affair", was such an emotional payoff, that I was in tears. :cry:

Yes, Balogh is in a class by herself.
What is so darned amazing is the fact that Balogh takes us inside the heads of her characters and so often what we find inside their heads is what has been inside our own heads. At the same time, we witness the external events and learn to see how twisted thinking can distort reality. Then, we see what it is like to gradually shed the distortion and learn to face reality as it is. It's like practicing within some kind of feedback system.

And no, you can't just "enjoy" Balogh... you enter that world and experience it through numerous eyes/minds/hearts and I think it develops and grows empathy along with objectivity.

Thankfully, Balogh wrote a lot.

Completely agree!

After finishing The Huxtable Quintet, I also read Anne Gracie's "The Devil Riders" series which was really good too. In a way, if reading Balogh is akin to doing the "Work", then reading Gracie is like taking a "holiday". :-)

Still, I think there is something missing in Campbell's books or maybe her stories don't resonate with me because I don't identify with the characters. I have to say that I'm waiting for quickly go back to Balogh or discover another author.

Yep, while Campbell's books are good, she lacks certain "finesse" which Mary Balogh has in spades.

I hear you! Just finished Balogh's Web series, and boy... I had read 10 or so Baloghs before, but these, I found SO much better! Deeper, the stories all related, the struggles depicted with such complexity, pain and beauty... They brought a lot of emotions up and almost forgotten memories, etc. I caught myself feeling "raw" a few times, for lack of a better word. And relating events or patterns from the past in ways that I hadn't done before.

So far Anne Gracie was my favorite, but I think I've changed my mind with these. They are different, and I still LOVE Gracie, but there is a depth to the characters in Balogh that I imagine is hard to match. I'm and early sleeper usually, but be careful, these will probably keep you up late! They are quite a roller-coaster.

Next stop Balogh's Web series! :-)
 

Laura

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There was a happy song in the 70's that I could not remember the title. I had searched a few times in the top 100's but could not find it but found it while listing to a talk show on Monday. It strikes a chord for me. It is now my Enjoy the Show theme song.

I LOVE that song! I have a version of it by Kerry Christiansen, the yodeling guy, that is just sublime!
 

Mari

Jedi Council Member
Ok... I just wanted a sneak-peak in the beginning of the J.Quinn´s Rokesbys Series and - yeah, big mistake...
My weekly task for reading other book than romance novel fell in the water. Shamefully I admit, I skipped my mandatory reading for this week - I couldn´t stop reading the Rokesbys!!!

The series was just what I´ve needed!

I felt so down the last 2 weeks, I cannot pinpoint why, maybe overload in psychological books in combination with Balogh, plus constant joggling between my work and homeschooling (which is not easy, btw) - I was so low on energy and I was feeling down.
So, when I started the first lines of the first book I just couldn't put it down.

This series is such a lift up!

Second "problem" is also that books end with a push to go on to the next book immediately.

I think that the value of the series is to see a difference how a person can develop and mature when growing up in healthy family in contrast to i.e. Balog´s narcissistic families.
I obviously needed to read something normal, something funny, and this series brought me just that - normal people caught in abnormal life situations.
And it was really funny!
Maybe I didn´t see some hidden pathology, but that is how I felt about it....

If you liked Marriage of Convenience Series by A. Gracie - you´ll probably like this one as well.


1st book - Because of Miss Bridgerton - was so bright and I had a few chuckles and the story was really easy going and light read.
The connection of the families, the free life of the children running wild, so warm and respectful relationships.


2nd book - The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband - I felt sorry for both of the main heroes. After so long correspondence they had, how it all got so wrong.
Cecilia´s intentions were in fact pure, just not well performed. I cannot imagine what I would do, probably also lie to find out what happened to my loved ones.
I wondered how will Edward react to Cecile lying to him; it could go either way....
I liked Edward character and I liked Aunt Margaret and her direct and plain way he talked to Edward.
It was also really heartbreaking, especially by the end when Edward was reading the letter from Cecilia´s brother Thomas.... :-(


3rd book - The Other Miss Bridgerton - Well, I had a really nice laugh here.... :-D
Andrew and Poppy were my favorite book and characters.
I just loved them both; their interaction and personalities!
It was such a nice adventure and a page turner and I just kept on reading to see what will happen.


4th book - First Comes Scandal - Omg! I was laughing to my tears in the part with a cat in the coach!!!
It was so silly situation, but something in me opened and I laughed and laughed to my tears.
And I needed that so much!


So yeah! I have had such a great time with this series and it lifted my spirits and now I can go on.

I hope that the Bridgerton Series will be as interesting as this one....
 

Mariama

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Lastly, and to further illustrate the wisdom in the works, as I work my way through Slightly Tempted, a phrase really caught my attention today, the protagonists are having a conversation about forgiveness, and it seems like such a simple concept, but articulated as such it left a very positive impression on me. One of them says to the other (paraphrasing) that forgiveness is really for the one who forgives, it's not for the person being forgiven, not always at least. Living without that forgiveness it's like being in a place where hate constantly leaks poison into your heart, and if you have the opportunity, you should attempt to do so, because you're ultimately hurting yourself.

And that was a brilliant idea I must say, sometimes we really purposefully avoid forgiving someone else, we invest our own personal energy into maintaining these slights alive, or the wounds caused by others on us alive, and there are several complex reasons for it, maybe we identify as a victim and have drawn a personality out of it, or benefits, or maybe we're scared of what the world would be if we didn't behave in a certain manner. But ultimately, we're limiting our own being, and hurting ourselves.
Very well put. I have found that when I forgive the people who hurt me I come to the conclusion that even though they hurt me I also made mistakes, and that I am not always blameless in all of this. When I am feeling resentful it sometimes helps me if I just allow the feeling to come up, and sit with it for a short while and then ask myself why I am still feeling resentful? And then some simple karmic understanding makes itself known which allows me to connect the dots. Especially these past few months, thanks to these romance novels and this thread, I can see that I made the same sort of mistakes in my life or in past lives. Learning to forgive (which is not the same as brushing aside the hurt IMO) makes things lighter, creates understanding and diminishes our black and white thinking. Like Laura I sometimes apologise to the people I hurt in my mind, whenever new insights pop up.

Ultimately, we have to stop wallowing or beating ourselves up and get on with life with newly acquired understanding and that's a beautiful thing!
 

primeaddict

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Lately, I have been sensing that the C's advise of Sitting Back and Enjoy the Show and as you have said that we have to learn to RIDE the Wave has more nuance to it. Do to the fact that the Global Crazy Energy and the Planned Chaotic Destruction has powerful triggering affect on the psyche that even the my past emotional cows are no longer ignorable slips of character. I have been acutely aware that keeping my thoughts and feeling positive and joyful are essential to Enjoying the Show.

These stories have helped me to tighten up my internal perceptions of my external behavior of how am I being open, honest, social gentleman, supportive and helpful. I know that without this forum and specifically without this reading assignment I would be more condescending towards those aligning with the Chaos and more fearful of my future suffering.

There was a happy song in the 70's that I could not remember the title. I had searched a few times in the top 100's but could not find it but found it while listing to a talk show on Monday. It strikes a chord for me. It is now my Enjoy the Show theme song.
And for those with Happy Feet.
How to dance while Enjoying the Show.
 

nicklebleu

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I also realized recently, while discussing the current situation on our planet, that this reading exercise is a big part of learning to RIDE the Wave instead of being sucked under and drowned.

That’s an interesting thought, because in reading these novels I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster. And not only reading the novels. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve had those strange emotional upwellings in weird, seemingly unrelated, situations, and in the past it used to really, really bug me, mostly because I just couldn’t understand what this was all about.

Now I’ve come to the conclusion that it just is what it is - maybe some preverbal trauma, maybe something even further back. And it has become more intense as time has gone by. I now try to not fight it, and just accept it. It may not be very important to understand it, because it may not make a bid difference whether or not these feelings pop up. I’ve shifted more to acknowledge these feelings and move on.

Now reading the novels, it’s interesting the emotions that come up. One one side is loss, hurt, grief, pain caused to others and by others, sorrow, despair and loneliness, but on the other side there is also hope, love, forgiveness, non-judgement, joy, valour, steadfastness, exhilaration and the feeling of wide-openness. I’ve had some old and forgotten memories pop up of things I did - bad things to others, with the associated shame and guilt, bad things done by others to me, with the associated hurt and feelings of worthlessness, but also again of good things, where the world was a bright, friendly and happy place.

So I think that Laura is right - these novels are like training wheels, where we can go through a lot of pain and grief that is not ours directly, but that we all know from our life well enough, it’s as if we can try all these emotions on for size. And as I’ve said above, these stories again trigger memories of similar situations we’ve been in. And our task is to learn to ride it, not to fight it or to make it go away, but also not to take it too seriously; to embrace the fact that this is who we are, without letting the too bad and the too good take over our life.

And so it looks like this will only intensify - so I’ve put myself on a slow, but steady diet of those romance novels (interspersed by other more serious books), to train myself for when the wave really peaks.
 

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I finished The Perfect Kiss (Anne Gracie's Merridew Sisters) a couple weeks ago.
Dom's first Christmas hit me. The disappointments of not celebrating big holidays and events like Christmas, how abnormal and cruel that is, and the wife arranging for a wonderful Christmas. I'm lucky that my wife has always made sure Christmas, birthdays, and other events are celebrated for the kids, and I see how I've dropped the ball not making a big deal out of them.

I liked the funny scene when Grace was leaving Dom and the castle, only for Dom to end up in the carriage with her. Don't you understand, I'm leaving you. Yes, you're leaving me, that's why I'm going with you.

Then I resumed the Jess Michaels' 1797 Club, finishing The Undercover Duke. What I took away from that was the idea of maintaining cordial relations with a damaged mother, though I'm skeptical of the programming of making nice with toxic family. Now I'm almost done with The Duke of Hearts, and I cried when Matthew described Angelica's death. So much pain from immature young adults in a relationship. It reminded me when I was young and thought I was in love, the things she and I should've never said, and the grief of loss. I know I'm not the only one who suffered needlessly and held on to an illusion of love that was not really real, but the result of 2 immature people.
 

Laura

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In thinking about all the revelations many of you have had (and I have had so many myself), I am reminded of the following rather heated exchange with the Cs 1998 Jul 25, especially the last part. All the letters in CAPS indicate that I was actually shouting at the Cs.

Q: (L) Now, I have been having an exchange with Carla McCarty
who was the Ra channel. She says that we are not supposed
to DO anything, we are just supposed to BE, and what we
are supposed to BE is to just let love flow through us,
love the aliens and everybody and just sort of relax in
the tulips and, if they take us over, then we should LOVE
that, too. Somehow, I don't find this...
A: All there is is lessons!!
Q: (L) Is the lesson to learn how to give up the ghost with
panache? What's the point?
A: Your experiences never end, only transform. No
bodycentrics need apply.
Q: (L) Well, you once said something about the transition to
4th density creating a 'level playing field.' Then, the
people will wake up and there will be a battle between the
humans and aliens...
A: Yes.
Q: (L) And if it is a more level playing field, then the
situation would not quite be the same as the
Conquistadores against the Aztecs and the Native Americans
against the Europeans and...
A: Wrong, all in that drama were at 3rd density. The
rabbits, rats, dogs, etc. are not on a level playing field
with you!
Q: (L) Do the aliens know about the upcoming comets and all
that sort of thing?
A: Yes.
Q: (L) And they have the idea that what they are doing, this
race they are creating, is going to survive this
cataclysmic activity?
A: Of course.
Q: (L) Is that 'of course' as in they ARE going to survive,
or that they BELIEVE they are going to survive?
A: Both.
Q: (L) Okay, you once told us that this was like a 'cosmic
battle.' That the cycle was going to create balance and
so on. I am trying to understand this. If that is the
case, it seems that there is more to it than the
Conquistadores against the Aztecs and the Europeans
against the Native Americans; that at some point the story
changes - the oppressed fight back - I am trying to get
the allegory into a more understandable framework. Do you
see what I mean?
A: No.
Q: (L) Well, that is because I am confused. What I am trying
to ask without asking it directly is: what chance do we
have of doing anything?
A: You are still not seeing the "bigger picture."
Q: (L) What is the bigger picture?
A: Your souls, your consciousness.
Q: (L) So, in other words, we chose to come in at this
particular point in time to experience this mass take over
of our planet and the conquest and destruction of the
human race, just so we could have this experience, check-
out and reincarnate?
A: No.
Q: (L) Well, that is what it sounds like! You say that the
only thing that really matters is our souls, our
consciousness, so if we tend to our souls and our bodies
check out, then obviously the answer is to a) reincarnate,
or b) move to the next density and reincarnate. What
other option is there?
A: How long did you expect to "live?"
Q: (L) Well, under the normal circumstance, 70 or 80 years,
optimistically.
A: And is that long?
Q: (L) No, it is not. By cosmic standards it is a whiff of
vapor. What are you getting at here?
A: Think about it. ? Have you had any contemporaries who
transited to 5th density?
Q: (L) Yes.
A: How come? How can this be possible?
Q: (L) Because they died. The body died.
A: Why?
Q: (L) Because that is what bodies do.
A: But is it "fair?"
Q: (L) Is it fair?! I guess if that is what they choose.
A: And...
Q: (L) I don't know where you are going with this!
A: You seem to be under the impression that only "good
experiences are acceptable.
Q: (L) No, I am not under the impression that only good
experiences are acceptable, but I AM in a little bit of a
quandary here because, here we are talking to you guys who
are supposed to be 'us' in the future. Here we are in
this period of time on this planet, where things are in a
very strange state. There is some kind of huge transition
going on, and I am just wondering what is the whole point.
Why are we talking to you? What's the point?

A: It is the lesson. Do you not understand still? The
lesson, the lessons, that is all there is. They are all
immeasurably valuable.

Q: (L) Okay, we are having these lessons. You have told us
what is going on. We see it going on around us. I am
convinced that what you have said is so from a LOT of
other circumstantial evidence as well as the research of
others who have come to the same conclusion and, DAMN IT,
IT'S UGLY! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?! IT'S UGLY!
A: That is your perspective.
Q: (L) Well, as Chloe said on the phone the other day, what
are we supposed to awaken to? Are we supposed to just
awaken to the fact that we can SEE all this stuff going
on?

A: Yes.
Q: (L) And just waking up and seeing it is the whole thing?
Okay, once we wake up and SEE it, why can't we just check
out at that point? If you know what the script is, you
don't have to watch the movie!

A: But then you miss out on the experience.
Q: (L) So, we are all here to experience being munched and
crunched...
A: No.
Q: (L) Imprisoned, controlled, being treated like rats in a
cage in a laboratory...
A: Ecstasy, remember?
Q: (L) Ecstasy?! WELL SWELL! We can just ALL be BURNED AT
THE STAKE! I understand that is QUITE an ECSTATIC
experience! I'm sure William Wallace felt perfectly
ecstatic when they castrated him and removed his bowels
and burned them in a brazier in front of his face!
A: Not so long ago, your face smashed upon the pavement...
Q: (L) Was that an ecstatic experience?
A: Yes.
Q: (L) So, when you say 'ecstatic' you could just be talking
about jumping out a window and croaking?! You gotta
understand here! The perspective here on 3rd density!
You don't have faces to smash on pavements!
A: Neither will/do you/us.
Q: (A) You say knowledge protects. It protects against WHAT?
A: Many things. One example: post transformational trauma
and confusion.

Q: (L) So, knowledge is going to protect us against post
transformational trauma and confusion. You are saying
that this transition to 4th density is going to be
traumatic and confusing. Do you mean transformation from
3rd to 4th density, or 3rd to 5th density, i.e. death?
A: Both.
Q: (L) So, if one does not have the shock and trauma and the
confusion and so forth, one is then able to function
better?

A: Yes.
Q: (L) Well, if a person transitions directly from 3rd to 4th
density without cycling through 5th density via dying,
that implies that persons can transition directly from
3rd to 4th density without dying. Is that correct?
A: Yes.
Q: (L) How does that feel? How is that experience...
A: Alice through the looking glass.
Q: (A) Okay, they say that knowledge is supposed to protect
from trauma and confusion. On the other hand, all is
lessons, so trauma is a lesson. Why are we supposed to
work to avoid a lesson?

A: You are correct, it is a lesson, but if you have
foreknowledge, you are learning that lesson early, and in
a different way.

Q: (L) So, if you learn the lesson in a different way, does
that mitigate the need or the way or the process of the
way of learning at the time of transition?

A: Yes. Smoother.
Q: (L) I do have to say that thinking about it all, not being
able to do anything about it, not being able to talk to
people about it because they don't believe, is certainly
more painful than being hit by the shock of it...
A: No.
Q: (L) Well, you are suggesting that I CAN tell others such
things?
A: You can convey, but suggest it be done in a subtle
fashion.
Q: (L) Well, how subtle can it be? I mean, 'hello folks, you
know the words munch, crunch, yum yum???'
A: It is not all that way, and you know it! Most are not
eaten, just manipulated. Knowledge protects in the most
amazing ways. Mathematics are "taught' in your realm in
such a way that only a select few will learn. And
mathematics is the language of all creation. For example,
advanced math studies, such as algebra, provide the keys
to unlocking the doors between the matter and antimatter
universes. Suggest those present who still need to, learn
algebra.
Q: (L) Okay, you suggest that those present learn algebra...
A: Who need to.
Q: (L) Are you saying that we can unlock doors between matter
and anti-matter universes? Is that what you are getting
at here?
A: Maybe...
Q: (L) I certainly don't want to hang out on this planet
after it is taken over by aliens and everybody is getting
munched!
A: Munched? Please!!

Now, what seems important to me is this: we've also been told that "karmic and simple understandings" are the things we most need to learn to graduate from 3rd Density to 4th Density. Then, above, the Cs say: "if you have foreknowledge, you are learning that lesson early, and in a different way" and that this leads to a "smoother" transition.

I think that this is a big part of this particular project and why it may help us to RIDE the Wave rather than getting sucked under. Getting all of the "karmic and simple understandings" under our belt may help a LOT; it may even help us to be "done" with such lessons. It is certainly Work in a very specific sense, and I think that a steady, continuous exposure will likely bring us face to face with many lessons we need to learn. There is no one book that has the whole thing in it; it may take hundreds to exhaust the almost endless permutations of karmic/simple understandings.

Like everyone else, I am alternating my reading between difficult texts (part of my research) and the novels. But I swear, sometimes reading the novels is actually more difficult because they often expose me to painful truths about reality, humans, past, present, future lives and more. And what is so amazing is how the "happy endings" always snap me back into a better frame of mind after the catharsis of pain and suffering. And the Cs did say that suffering changes DNA. Maybe that is another important aspect? Tuning of antennae?
 
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