Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Candice

Jedi
It depends what you're doing vibrationally when you pray; how you pray, and to whom.
Thank you @iamthatis for your very thoughtful reply, there’s lots for me to think about.

In response to this query of yours I’ll try to explain where I’m at with faith and prayer.

Over this last year I started to really observe people I interact with. I observed something very interesting. Those that were self-declared atheists appeared to be disintegrating. In the sense of increasing erratic behavior. While those that are maybe “spiritual” were dealing better and those that were religious were strong and thriving. I found this very interesting because as a child I had rejected my religious upbringing and set out on a more spiritual path. So with these observations of the last year, I realized the stronger the core of the being in terms of faith, the stronger their resilience to the madness of the world. I have never given up on my belief in a higher power but I had neglected that connection.

Then recently I’d started up with doing EE. At the end there is a prayer. Before I’d felt resistance to doing the prayer due to programs about religion. Yet after I did it, I felt amazing. That connection inside to that higher source felt more tangible. I’m not looking for an outside savior. I’m fully aware that it’s my lessons, my hard work that will get me through. Unfortunately I also have some serious programs about not asking for help. This has to do with trust and not feeling worthy of help or even love. So I see prayer as strengthing that connection to that higher cosmic source. When I do so, I see I’m worthy of love, even help, if I ask sincerely. To me this is part of what faith is. That I may think I’m alone, but I’m not. There is something more out there, even inside me. That with a strong core of faith my internal landscape is much more resilient to both internal hijacking of my system by the predators mind, as well as to outside attacks.

Am I on the wrong path with this? I’m new to all of this so I’m not sure if my thinking is skewed. I’ll also admit I’ve read that transcript excerpt about faith a couple times and the true meaning still aludes me, so maybe I have the concept of faith all wrong.
 

genero81

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
That with a strong core of faith my internal landscape is much more resilient to both internal hijacking of my system by the predators mind, as well as to outside attacks.

You're on the right track, I would say. The Tao is useful here; Firm but flexible. Firm in resolution, flexible in application. Learning how best to interact with the 'Universe.' Dance is a good word. Have faith that the Universe is benign so you can trust the process. Faith comes easier to those who dance well.

Edit: Firm in resolution, not is
 
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KristinLynne

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I have also finished the MacKenzie's series a few days ago and I was drained. Since things have slowed down at work and home it took a bit for me to realize that it was all the emotional baggage I have been carrying around that had been stirred up by each character in each book. I had gotten a trilogy from Julia Quinn for free with another order which is called Splendid that I would NOT recommend at ALL but it was lighter in reading which also helped me realize just how powerful some of these books can be when approached with the aim that is here.

Each book in the MacKenzie's was full of past pain and each of them found the way to heal with time and other's help that I found beautiful, It showed me that it was okay to set boundaries for those people who didn't have our best interest at heart, who may have pretended otherwise and it was okay to fight for the really important things in life., even though I've felt it was a losing battle for most of that life. It also showed me where I went so very wrong when I gave up too easily when it came to family or settling for a romantic interest when we had nothing in common.

It was easy to shut down in the world we live in today without the proper support systems in place and I knew that is what I had done. I had felt that my empathy had been used and abuse so much that I stopped getting close or letting others get close to me which closes us off to any real opportunity that may have arisen. I can see that I had lashed out at the people I had let abuse my trust and the programs that had me in there grip so tightly that I couldn't see straight. So much wasted effort on the wrong things.

This set of books affected me very deeply and I am not entirely sure why because I didn't live through a war as the characters did but I felt their anguish with the situations they were forced to live through.
 

Candice

Jedi
You're on the right track, I would say. The Tao is useful here; Firm but flexible. Firm is resolution, flexible in application. Learning how best to interact with the 'Universe.' Dance is a good word. Have faith that the Universe is benign so you can trust the process. Faith comes easier to those who dance well.
@genero81 What you wrote is so beautiful and perfect for the place I’m at on my path. Thank you. Once I realized I have trust issues, I made a conscious decision to see what would happen if I just opened up more. I opened up to trusting the forum, to share more. I also opened up to trust the Universe or God or whatever “it” is.

Having faith is surrendering to the process, that yes the Universe is not only benign but perfect. Even all the chaos, trauma, pain and suffering is just as it should be. It’s just as right as all the beauty, creativity and all the things we perceive to be good in the world. This extends to me too as part of this creation, I too with all my flaws am perfect. It’s not easy for me to say that, I can feel my programs trying to say no, you’re this and that. I’m learning to ignore them.

I wonder is this what “enjoying the show” is about? Like you say, learning to dance with the Universe. Not trying to force expectations on how it should be, being at peace with it and finding joy in the process.
 

mimimari

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Hello everyone. I just finished the first book of The Survivor's Club: “The Proposal”. I really loved this story! I thought both of the characters were kind and nice people. They were both mature and expressed their needs to each other well. I thought Gwen was a real lady. She was understanding and patient with Hugo and they both showed a real desire to overcome limiting emotions. Hugo had a lot of depth of character and courage. He had the courage to be kind and nurture life even though he had a burden of guilt from war.

One aspect I really like about these two characters was their confidence that they loved each other. It was kind of amazing to see, both Hugo and Emma encounter moments of doubt throughout the story, but then quickly squash it down because they simply knew the other really did love them! I think the doubts were because they carried a lot of guilt and didn't think they deserved happiness. For both, when doubt came nibbling in or when their guilt tried to keep them isolated and numb, they used confidence in love to smash it down, Bam!

It was easy for me to identify with the emotions of the characters in this story. I know what guilt feels like and how stinky it can be when it is so strong. I found myself asking: How can these two be so sure of each other's love? Especially with those feelings of not liking one's self very much. This story left me kind of perplexed, but I think it was no small task for these two to have the courage and maturity to move past all that into love.
 

Jo Bugman

Padawan Learner
I have also finished the MacKenzie's series a few days ago and I was drained. Since things have slowed down at work and home it took a bit for me to realize that it was all the emotional baggage I have been carrying around that had been stirred up by each character in each book. I had gotten a trilogy from Julia Quinn for free with another order which is called Splendid that I would NOT recommend at ALL but it was lighter in reading which also helped me realize just how powerful some of these books can be when approached with the aim that is here.

Each book in the MacKenzie's was full of past pain and each of them found the way to heal with time and other's help that I found beautiful, It showed me that it was okay to set boundaries for those people who didn't have our best interest at heart, who may have pretended otherwise and it was okay to fight for the really important things in life., even though I've felt it was a losing battle for most of that life. It also showed me where I went so very wrong when I gave up too easily when it came to family or settling for a romantic interest when we had nothing in common.

It was easy to shut down in the world we live in today without the proper support systems in place and I knew that is what I had done. I had felt that my empathy had been used and abuse so much that I stopped getting close or letting others get close to me which closes us off to any real opportunity that may have arisen. I can see that I had lashed out at the people I had let abuse my trust and the programs that had me in there grip so tightly that I couldn't see straight. So much wasted effort on the wrong things.

This set of books affected me very deeply and I am not entirely sure why because I didn't live through a war as the characters did but I felt their anguish with the situations they were forced to live through.
You really put my thoughts of the last few weeks into words. It is so easy to shut down and feel like my empathy is being abused. Not giving up or shutting people out takes a lot of strength and faith, traits I am lacking lately. This was something I needed to hear, well said and thank you!
 

Jones

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Just want to thank those that are contributing their thoughts and describing their internal states as they read. I'm not always very good at doing that and reading the responses of others helps a lot.

Below is a historical description of the peerage titles that we're coming across in the books. The book that it comes from was published in 1795 so some of the language and typesetting is outdated. The letter 's' often appears like an 'f'. The word 'antiently' is an obsolete form of the word 'anciently'.

Screen Shot 2021-04-26 at 2.09.52 am.png

And they sure had some very long titles of books back then! This is the source:



Screen Shot 2021-04-26 at 2.16.00 am.png
 

iamthatis

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
@genero81 What you wrote is so beautiful and perfect for the place I’m at on my path. Thank you. Once I realized I have trust issues, I made a conscious decision to see what would happen if I just opened up more. I opened up to trusting the forum, to share more. I also opened up to trust the Universe or God or whatever “it” is.

Having faith is surrendering to the process, that yes the Universe is not only benign but perfect. Even all the chaos, trauma, pain and suffering is just as it should be. It’s just as right as all the beauty, creativity and all the things we perceive to be good in the world. This extends to me too as part of this creation, I too with all my flaws am perfect. It’s not easy for me to say that, I can feel my programs trying to say no, you’re this and that. I’m learning to ignore them.

I wonder is this what “enjoying the show” is about? Like you say, learning to dance with the Universe. Not trying to force expectations on how it should be, being at peace with it and finding joy in the process.

Yeah - without faith, it would be impossible to sit back and enjoy the show. The Predator Mind incites us to see the cosmos as forever out of control, and draws on our self-importance to make us think that we somehow have the high Knowledge level and grand ability sufficient to impose limitations on All and Everything in order to make it 'better' - when in reality, we're just doing so to try to force something to fit our own personal fantasies. As opposed to accepting reality as it is, which is an act of faith.

Speaking from personal experience, this is also what the Predator Mind incites us to do in relationships, too - to think our partner needs some kinda drastic change, and that we somehow know how they need to change, and why, and when, and where that needs to occur. So we start to impose our expectations onto them, trying to transform them into a different person, the fantasy person that our false personality desires. That's not love. It's an imposition on their free will - a giving when they are not asking. It's not just annoying and arrogant and painful, but a violation of cosmic law, and snares you in a suffocating karmic entanglement that is incredibly painful to get free of. It's only ever resulted in disharmony and negativity in my life. As has been made painfully clear to me in this reading exercise, "We are not so smart."

So this is way different than when someone is ready to change themselves, and doesn't know how, or needs support, and asks for help, truly asks. As opposed to the controlling, selfish, mental, intellectual thing, it's heart to heart resonance. Allowing all the tantrums and traumas and darkness to be there - and to transcend them through acceptance and humility, honesty and courage. You mentioned the "core of faith" a few times. I think that's a beautiful way of putting it. The Latin word cor is the root of the French word for heart, coeur, and also the root of theEnglish word courage. How to live with a heart of faith - that's what these novels have been teaching me. How to be in an unwavering commitment to the relationship, be it with Life, the cosmos, or a partner, and keep the impulse to control at bay when the storm arrives. When I think about it, without faith, there can be no commitment, no relationship - only an indulgence, an illusion, or a lie.

Thanks for this exchange, you've given me a lot to think about as well!
 

etezete

Jedi Council Member
Well, I finished my first Romantic Fiction Novel – and I do not know where to begin with my thoughts I had reading it. It was „The Quiet Gentleman“ by Georgette Heyer. Funny thing (I aleady said that on another thread, the March 2021 session i think. I wanted to start with this book, began reading it, found it rather challenging on the language side. More to this later. I could not read it smoothly, it felt like trying to put a triangle shaped stick through a square whole… or so. So I lay it aside. I changed to Mary Balogh „A Counterfeit Betrothal“, and I have to add that I love reading in the tub. Intewas that Balogh was much more easy to read. Yes there was old language („Betrothal“ for example, I didn‘t know that word. Someone else here wrote something about it and I, too, was astonished to see it linked to truth. Betrothal in German language is „Verlobung“, and the english translation I knew up to then was „Engagement“. Yeah well, there was also some research to be done but Balogh for me is easier to read. Interestingly enough I clumsily drowned it when reaching page 70 something. So I was out of romantic fiction. hm. I turned back to Heyer. And it suddenly was like the Balogh book had turned out to be a door opener. I got into the story immediately now, besides the difficulties in the language (and the impossibility to verify my thoughts about the translations, because of lack of source to look up those words). And: In Heyers book the word „Engagement“ appeared, but not as synonym to „betrothal“ but as an old word for fighting in the war. That I found interesting! There is this saying „C‘est a l‘amour comme a la guerre“, that came to my mind, an also the change in definitions of words, on several points.

Besides the language thing there was a story. I really loved it. From page 90 or so I was hoping for St. Erth and Drusilla Morville to make a match, because I liked them both so much. They both were so upright and standing to their point, at the same time patient and generous, always seeing the others freedom to do as they wish (and who am I to blame others for something) but strong in their beliefs. When I say „beliefs“… this is another thing I realized: how close old english and old german is. There are some sentences with „lief“ in the novel, and it is used like „lieb“ or „lieber“ in german. Back to the story. I realized that it stirred me, that the personnel of the book is devided in Lords and Ladies on one side and valets, grooms, staff in general on the other. These peeps are high end. We learn of propperties in the Carribean, several castles and mansions and vast land owned by the family. What an easy living when there is already money without end when you are born, right? Wrong. Those superrich have other problems and things to deal with, in this case someone is coming for the life of our title hero.

I really enjoyed the story, and it stirred me here and there because it confronted me with a lot of old stuff I already thought solved, but no, it wasnt. I now continued the dried book of Balogh, Conterfeit Betrothal, and had no diffies to get into it again. A much lighter story. I think I know what is goin to happen: double love story. I am not sure, an did omit all comments here dealing with those two books (the other is The Notorious Rake), because I wanted to discover myself what is going to happen, check my own thoughts.

Thank you, Laura for the challenge, and a challenge it was for me. The Covers and the Titles are alone challenging, but now that i started, I am really thankfull for it.
 

primeaddict

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Over this last year I started to really observe people I interact with. I observed something very interesting. Those that were self-declared atheists appeared to be disintegrating. In the sense of increasing erratic behavior. While those that are maybe “spiritual” were dealing better and those that were religious were strong and thriving. I found this very interesting because as a child I had rejected my religious upbringing and set out on a more spiritual path. So with these observations of the last year, I realized the stronger the core of the being in terms of faith, the stronger their resilience to the madness of the world. I have never given up on my belief in a higher power but I had neglected that connection.
So true! The materialist are all so whipped up into a frenzy that they are desperately searching for a scientific savior, Fauci 🤮, wearing 2 masks and stay in their prison cell just to not die. They don't even know that their not living.

Those with spiritual awareness they understand that this is all a show and try to continue living in spite of the chaos. They also avoid being noticed to avoid being abused by the hystericals.

It boils down to the people of the fear and the people of soul.
 

France

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I'm on book 6 of the Survivors club. Whilst most of the books didn't have a great impact on me, apart from certain passages. The 5th book in the series Only A Promise had a fairly profound impact on me.

I really liked this series.

Behind the accumulated pain is a heart that can still love. When the person chooses the moment to confide, the other survivors are there, present to what he or she has to say in word or in emotion.

I really liked to feel the love that was spreading in this group of survivors, in their confidentiality, in their respect, in their confidences...

They gave themselves totally without expecting anything from the other when the other needed it. They waited for the experience of the other to lead them to confide in them. They did not give advice or solutions, but rather offered a reflection, a hand on the shoulder to encourage him/her, a respect for the silence that the other needed if he/she asked for it...

They did not provoke anything to stop the other's experience of suffering because they all knew that suffering will serve to discover "unknown" aspects of oneself in order to discover that love can melt away the suffering experienced.
During the series, we feel that they accepted that it is not time that fixes everything but rather the solidarity and the love that each one had towards the other that allowed each one to accept that the traces of the past are no longer there and that the possibility to love is still there.

The women and the man that they knew how to attract to them to discover love were beings that could accept them as they were and create a safe future with a lot of humor and love.

J'ai beaucoup aimé cette série.

Derrière la souffrance accumulée se dévoile un coeur qui peut encore aimer. Quand la personne choisit le moment de se confier, les autres survivants sont là, présent à ce qu'elle a à dire en parole ou en émotion.

J'ai vraiment aimer sentir l'amour qui se propageait dans ce groupe de survivants, dans leur confidentialité, dans leur respect, dans leurs confidences...
Ils se donnaient totalement sans rien attendre de l'autre quand l'autre avait besoin. Ils atteidaient que l'expérience de l'autre l'amène à se confier. Sans donner de conseil, de solution mais plutôt offrir une réflexion, une main sur l'épaule pour l'encourager, un respect du silence que l'autre avait besoin s'il le demandait...
Ils ne provoquaient rien pour que l'expérience de souffrance de l'autre arrête car ils savaient tous que la souffrance servira à découvrir des aspects de soi "inconnus" pour découvrir que l'amour peut faire fondre les souffrances vécues.

Durant la série, on sent qu'ils acceptaient que ce n'est pas le temps qui arrange tout mais plutôt la solidarité et l'amour que chacun portait envers l'autre qui permettaient à ce que chacun accepte de ne plus se laisser abattre par les traces du passé et que la possibilité d'aimer est encore là.
Les femmes et l'homme qu'ils ont su attirer à eux pour découvrir l'amour ont été des êtres qui pouvaient les accepter tel qu'ils étaient et créer un futur en sécurité avec plein d'humour et d'amour.
 

France

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I just finished the BEDWYN Saga series by Mary Balogh.

I loved this series.

I recognized myself in many of the characters. In some of the traits of the women the Bedwyns married, but especially the Alleyne, Fredja and Morgan volumes.

With Alleyne's tome: The humor of the women of the brothel, the dreams of each one discussed with spontaneity in front of all, the mutual aid of these ladies, the sense of resourcefulness, the moral sense which is a basic value, the non-judgment of the situation and all the absubd side of the story which brings to live the moment even when the dreams seem crazy.

The plot that holds together.

Can dreams come true if we feel in them with all our senses, our heart?

With Fredja's tome, I recognized myself in the woman who shows confidence, who says it and at the same time she feels very vulnerable inside without showing it too much. She uses physical force to defend herself or another who is having problems with a man. I was raised with 4 brothers and I had to use physical force often. I also used to say "I can do that too" but I was shaking inside. The pride of not looking weak in front of them. This followed me for a long time and while reading this tome, I laughed at the scenarios so well described. It was a relief to read this novel. She was loved but didn't want to admit it. She wanted to prove a lot of things to herself by complicating her life sometimes. Me too sometime.


With Morgan's tome, I recognized myself in her character when she left everything to go and experience helping the war returnees. She loved to go on adventures, to know what people were going through, to listen to them, to bandage them up even though she didn't have the experience of a nurse.
She joined the group because her heart knew what to do to help the wounded.
She loved the moments of silence with her friend. So you don't always have to put words to say you appreciate the moment.....
She did not give preference to the pride of Bedwyn's rank but rather to live what the war brought as experiences for her. She sought to understand the situation and how people feel just before they leave for battle.... the contrast of a ball with smiles, dances and the next day is battle....
*** Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ***



Je viens de finir la série de La saga des BEDWYN de Mary Balogh.

J'ai adoré cette série.
Je me suis reconnue dans plusieurs personnages. Dans certains traits de des femmes que les BEDWYN marriaient mais surtout les tome de Alleyne, Fredja et Morgan.

Avec le tome de Alleyne: L'humour des femmes du bordels, les rêves de chacune discutés avec spontanéité devant tous, l'entraide de ces dames, le sens de débrouillardise, le sens moral qui est une valeur de base, le non-jugement de la situation et tout le côté absubde de l'histoire qui amène à vivre le moment présent même quand les rêves semblent fous.
L'intrigue qui se maintient.
Est-ce que les rêves peuvent se réaliser si on se sent dedans avec tous nos sens, notre coeur?

Avec le tome de Fredja, je me reconnaissais dans la femme qui démontre de l'assurance, qui le dit et en même temps elle se sent très vulnérable en dedans sans trop le démontrer. Elle utilise la force physique pour se défense ou défendre une autre qui a des problèmes avec un homme. Je suis élevée avec 4 frères et j'ai dû utiliser une force physique souvent. J'utilisais aussi "je suis capable moi aussi de faire cela" mais je tremblais en dedans. L'orgueil de ne pas paraître faible devant eux. Cela m'a suivi longtemps et en lisant ce tome, j'ai ris en voyant les scénarios si bien décrit. Ça m'a soulagé de lire ce roman. Elle était aimé mais ne voulait pas l'admettre. Elle voulait se prouver à elle-même pleins de chose en se compliquant la vie parfois.

Avec le tome de Morgan, je me suis reconnue dans son personnage quand elle a tout laissé pour aller vivre l'expérience d'aider les revenants de la guerre. Elle aimait vivre des aventures, connaitre le vécu des gens, les écouter, les panser même si elle n'avait pas l'expérience d'une infirmière.
Elle s'est jointe au groupe car son coeur savait quoi faire pour aider les blessés.
Elle aimait les moments de silence avec son ami. Donc pas besoin de mettre toujours des mots pour dire qu'on apprécie le moment présent.....
Elle n'a pas donné la préférence à la fierté du rang de Bedwyn mais plutôt vivre ce que la guerre amenait comme expériences pour elle. Elle cherchait à comprendre la situation et comment les gens se sentent juste avant de partir pour le combat.... le contraste d'un bal avec des sourires, des dances et le lendemain, c'est le combat....
 

Ant22

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I bumped into this article on SOTT and I thought I'd share it. It's quite relevant to our reading project and it confirms what has been discussed here about the value of reading:


In one of the most fascinating aspects of neuroscience, language affects regions of your brain involving actions you're reading about. For example, when you read "soap" and "lavender," the parts of your brain implicated in scent are activated. Those regions remain silent when you read "chair." What if I wrote "leather chair?" Your sensory cortex just fired.

Continuing from the opening paragraph, let's discuss squats in your quest for a firmer butt. Picture the biomechanics required for a squat. Your motor cortex has been activated. Athletes have long envisioned their movements-Serena Williams's serve; Conor McGregor's kicks; Usain Bolt's bursts of speed-to achieve better proficiency while actually moving. That's because their brains are practicing. That is, they're practicing through visualization techniques.

Hard glutes are one thing. Novel reading is a great way to practice being human.41 Rather than sprints and punches, how about something more primitive and necessary in a society, like empathy? As you dive deeper into Rabbit Angstrom's follies or Jason Taylor coming of age, you not only feel their pain and joy. You actually experience it.

In one respect novels go beyond simulating reality to give readers an experience unavailable off the page: the opportunity to enter fully into other people's thoughts and feelings.17

This has profound implications for how we interact with others. When encountering a 13-year-old boy misbehaving, you most likely won't think, "Well, David Mitchell wrote about such a situation, and so I should behave like this," but you might have integrated some of the lessons about young boys figuring life out and display a more nuanced understanding in how you react.

Perhaps you'll even reconsider trolling someone online regarding their political opinion, remembering that no matter how crass and inhumane a sentiment appears on screen, an actual human is sitting behind the keyboard pecking out their thoughts. I'm not arguing against engaging, but for the love of anything closely resembling humanity, argue intelligently.

Because reading does in fact make us more intelligent. Research shows that reading not only helps with fluid intelligence, but with reading comprehension and emotional intelligence as well. You make smarter decisions about yourself and those around you.

There are a few other interesting articles recommended under this one.
 

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I finished To Catch A Bride (Anne Gracie's Devil Riders book 3) in about 24 hours. At times my wife was sitting next to me and could feel me chuckling. There was jolt out of fantasyland and back to covid shutdown when the people were reacting to the plague with masks, gloves, and quarantines. I guess there's nothing new under the sun.
The storybook heroes took up armed resistance against the mad crowd that tried to leave the potential plague victim alone to die. But even in the story, we're given a hint that those carrying out the quarantine order have discretion in what to do.
 
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