Laura said:As for the romance being what you term "classy and not pretentious", I think you are sounding a bit uncomfortable with basic stories that are easily understood by the emotional center and which obviously make you uncomfortable.
Laura said:Remember, it's not so much about the story itself, as what the story DOES TO YOU in the process of being told. It's all symbolic.
Laura said:Well, if reading is stirring stuff up, then it is doing what it should do. Only when things are stirred up can one deal with them effectively.
One hint I will give at this point is this: the books are designed to stir up the sex center; to engage some emotional suffering (Cs said suffering can modify DNA and that might be even more the case with some sexual energy fuelling the process); and then bring the two (sex center, emotional center energy) up into the heart/mind with appropriate resolution toward true love, giving, devotion, etc.
Thanks for clearing that up. If it's about what those stories personally do to us, the readers, then I understand better the purpose of reading them.
I was a bit nonplussed, because I thought: why is she wanting us to read this? She's gone off her rockers (). She wants to torture us (me). We can find the same high principles of love, devotion to another/others, giving/receiving freely, duty, honour and so on and so forth, with Austen books or other books where no sex is described (especially in such graphic details).
Neil's review of Seven nights was hilarious but sobering. I thought: "Oh-oh. Here is someone who has a grip, who is able to take a distance. Whereas I'm not. It made me wonder: "Are we supposed to review that stuff from an intellectual standpoint, with salutary distance/thinking with a hammer, getting a critical look at the characters, their interactions, their psychological profiles and emotional processes etc.? But NOT getting involved emotionally, and keeping the arousal of the sex center at a minimal level? Keeping it under control."
So I was feeling rather ashamed and berating myself for being so much affected on a sexual and emotional level.
I hesitated writing about it, for fear of ridicule, and getting blunt answers which would put me back in my place: "It's just hormones acting out (I know, some part of it IS indeed hormones acting out). Get a grip. Don't start to yearn. Don't stir the Beast. Keep it under control. This is selfish longing. Waste of energy. Expand, don't contract on yourself, view it from a higher point. The point is to love others, not to want something (emotional fulfillment) for yourself. It's STS. Think of others, people are suffering all around us, people are sick, they're dying, they're getting all crazy and disintegrating all over the place. People need help. Stop babbling about your emotions. Stop feeling stuff!"
Being aware of that, I've tried to use sarcasm and derision, my cynical side: "Yeah this is totally unrealistic, the scenes are outrageously ridiculous, implausible. It's too crude. Don't make me read that. It disturbs my peace of mind".
But the emotions and the body have a life of their own. The first sex scenes I thought gratuitous. The dialogues cheesy, some lines you'd expect from a porn movie (porn movies really make me want to throw up). But it didn't quite work. It hit me after reading yet another one of those scenes. Sure there was stirring of the sex center, arousing. But there was more to it than just hormones acting out. It was the bonding / connection between these 2 characters, the complete acceptance of who/what the other was, that stirred and moved me. Stirring started in the genital area, then it moved up to the belly and up to the throat where I felt a lump, and tears started falling.
Now, the emotions are still stuck, in the throat area. And the physical sensations are akin to what you feel when you're in love, only I'm not (I am only in love with the idea of love). I've felt drained - because I wanted it to come out, to share what I was feeling but I repressed it. And then, I was/am feeling hypersensitive, tense, moody, uptight. I was really feeling an urge to share/write about it, but something - shame, fear of ridicule - kept me from doing it: "it's not appropriate, it's a reading project, that won't do! Too personal, too raw". Telling about it, it's really exposing yourself and your own vulnerability. It's a very intimate, personal thing.
But then I thought, despite my fear of getting slammed, that I should go ahead. Because we're safe here, and I got to have a little faith in people, surely they'll understand and won't judge me or berate me from feeling things that are out of my control. Laura's post reassured me that I might be on the right track. Or in any case, on a track. And if it's the wrong track, someone will provide gentle feedback. That's OK.
Another thing that came to mind while processing all that stuff was: you can learn to give, but you also have to be able to receive, which is also a form of giving.
And another, which is a quote from Harry Potter: "Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love."
And I'm not just talking about romantic love, but about more encompassing love.
Now the question is, how to transmute those energies / emotions and take them to a higher level for the good of all, ie to help create a better reality where the creative principle flows freely?
And while writing this, I'm feeling a bit hypocritical, because those emotions, they're still on the lower emotional spectrum and still very much about oneself - wanting to get something for the self. But that's what it is.
So this is what I've been feeling and sensing on a gut level, unfiltered by intellectual rationalizations. It's purely emotional, and it's taken some effort to hold those emotions, feel them and describe them in writing. I needed to write this while the roller coaster is still there and emotions are still high, before I sober up, eventually decide NOT to hit the "post reply" button, and repress it all inside and go back to my usual mode of processing that kind of stuff: don't talk about it, it'll fade away (before coming back again), things will stabilize (for a while) and I'll feel ridiculous and admonish myself: "You're really a silly, half-hysterical woman. You've got it all under control now, everything is A-OK and you don't NEED to read and feel that stuff, you can deal with those things on your own. And if you can't, just go talk to a shrink. But now, you're just completely fine so there's no need to see a shrink. Maybe later. Really, what was THAT all about? Chuckles. Yeah, silly woman."