Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Yupo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I'm moving through some of the books now, over halfway through the Bridgerton series of novels at the moment. At first I was not getting a lot out of them beyond enjoyment of the stories. I like to make clothes, so I'm particularly interested in period fashion detail in these stories. Last week I started breaking down and crying with some passages. I'm not sure why so moved, but I was. I welcomed the catharsis, anyway. It has been a tough year for me with loss of 3 close family members, and too busy to cry. I think the book and family relationships described within helped it all come out.
This is comment is politically incorrect:
I'm particularly interested in these stories abut how people lived with servants, lady's maids, domestic help, etc.
I know in my life, there seem to be just too many hats to wear in terms of getting everything done.
It crossed my mind that a return to access to some serious domestic help for time challenged people would be welcome, and perhaps solve some issues of mass unemployment. I can easily see myself fitting in to either role. Better yet would be a role working as a modiste, milliner, cordwainer or glover, as I seem to have abilities in these areas.
 
How to translate the world of thoughts, emotions or feelings into written words? In my case, it is difficult to articulate thoughts and I make a great effort every time I organize a text to be read by others.

I am very grateful to all those who posted in the thread, since they managed to translate this abstract world of experiences into beautiful weavings of words, into beautiful texts. Thank you for opening your hearts to this experience we are living together.

Well, I am reading from the beginning of the project, and I want to update the information. As time goes by I glimpse new internal movements.

Laura said that "part of the work here is not just getting into the head of a character that you can identify with, we need much more BEING." She mentioned that Gurdjieff talked about the disparity between knowing and being or personality vs essence....

BEING. How great this word feels!

Heidegger here:
"Being" We limit ourselves for now to that grammatical form which constitutes the transition in the formation of the real noun, i.e. the infinitive (to walk, to sing, to hope, to be, etc).
What does the infinitive mean? The label is the abbreviated form of the full expression: MODUS INFINITIVUS, the mode of unlimitedness...

... "Basically "BEING" means PRESENCE for the Greeks...

This time of reading is giving me the opportunity to do a life review, as if I were in 5D contemplation, so to speak. My consciousness frequently visits the past, and I review stories. I am amazed at that ability of consciousness to travel back in time to timely events, where one needs to observe to understand. It is something like a journey of accessing emotional knots to be understood and thus letting go of the past. We cannot change the past, at least physically, but somehow the energy of that event is transformed by the understanding we have of it.

Clearly there is a change on a spiritual level. Perhaps that is what letting go of the past is all about, in the light of understanding. By understanding, we free ourselves and we free others. If we don't, it is like being tied and entangled in twisted ropes, full of knots.

This exercise of being in so many different shoes is an excellent way to know true empathy and get out of this emotional entanglement. Forgiveness develops with empathy. Reading is teaching me what empathy is, what love is and how we can help others, these books are working as mirrors for us, showing us how we can become.

Laura said :
"And here, many of you have the opportunity to develop your SELF. It is quite simple as an exercise, but in fact, it takes time and application. You must flood your sensory apparatus again and again and again, taking in many different points of view, stirring the cauldron until it boils. If you are lucky, you will accomplish something".

From a publication by Chu, p.117:

Laura said:

"It may be helpful for some to reread chapter 12 of Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous" on this subject, especially the second half of that chapter. However, the whole chapter is revealing ; there is much to think about".
"There are," he said, "two lines along which man's development proceeds,
of being develop simultaneously, parallel to, and helping one another. But if the line ofknowledge gets too far ahead of the line of being, or if the line of being gets ahead of
the line of knowledge, man's development goes wrong
, and sooner or later it mustcome to a standstill.
"People understand what 'knowledge' means. And they understand the possibility of
different levels of knowledge. They understand that knowledge may be lesser or
greater, that is to say, of one quality or of another quality. But they do not understand
this in relation to 'being.' 'Being,' for them, means simply 'existence' to which is
opposed just 'non-existence.' They do not understand that being or existence may be of
very different levels and categories.

[...]

And they do not understand that knowledge depends on being.
Not only do they not understand this latter but they
definitely do not wish to understand it. And especially in Western culture it is
considered that a man may possess great knowledge, for example he may be an able
scientist, make discoveries, advance science, and at the same time he may be, and has
the right to be, a petty, egoistic, caviling, mean, envious, vain, naive, and absent
minded man. It seems to be considered here that a professor must always forget his
umbrella everywhere.


"And yet it is his being. And people think that his knowledge does not depend on
his being. People of Western culture put great value on the level of a man's knowledge
but they do not value the level of a man's being and are not ashamed of the low level
of their own being. They do not even understand what it means. And they do not
understand that a man's knowledge depends on the level of his being.

"If knowledge gets far ahead of being, it becomes theoretical and abstract and
inapplicable to life, or actually harmful, because instead of serving life and helping
people the better to struggle with the difficulties they meet, it begins to complicate
man's life, brings new difficulties into it, new troubles and calamities which were not
there before.


"The reason for this is that knowledge which is not in accordance with being cannot
be large enough for, or sufficiently suited to, man's real needs. It will always be a
knowledge of one thing together with ignorance of another thing; a knowledge of the
detail without a knowledge of the whole
; a knowledge of the form without a
knowledge of the essence.

"Such preponderance of knowledge over being is observed in present-day culture.
The idea of the value and importance of the level of being is completely forgotten.
And it is forgotten that the level of knowledge is determined by the level of being.
Actually at a given level of being the possibilities of knowledge are limited and finite.
Within the limits of a given being the quality of knowledge cannot be changed, and
the accumulation of information of one and the same nature, within already
known limits, alone is possible. A change in the nature of knowledge is possible only
with a change in the nature of being.


"Taken in itself, a man's being has many different sides. The most characteristic
feature of a modem man is the absence of unity in him and, further, the absence in him
of even traces of those properties which he most likes to ascribe to himself, that is,
'lucid consciousness,' 'free will,' a 'permanent ego or I,' and the 'ability to do.' It may
surprise you if I say that the chief feature of a modem man's being which explains
everything else that is lacking in him is sleep.

"A modern man lives in sleep, in sleep he is born and in sleep he dies. About sleep,
its significance and its role in life, we will speak later. But at present just think of one
thing, what knowledge can a sleeping man have? And if you think about it and at the
same time remember that sleep is the chief feature of our being, it will at once become
clear to you that if a man really wants knowledge, he must first of all think about how
to wake, that is, about how to change his being.

"Exteriorly man's being has many different sides: activity or passivity;
truthfulness or a tendency to lie; sincerity or insincerity; courage, cowardice; self
control, profligacy; irritability, egoism, readiness for self-sacrifice, pride, vanity,
conceit, industry, laziness, morality, depravity; all these and much more besides make
up the being of man.

"But all this is entirely mechanical in man. If he lies it means that he cannot help
lying. If he tells the truth it means that he cannot help telling the truth, and so it is
with everything. Everything happens, a man can do nothing either in himself or
outside himself.

"But of course there are limits and bounds. Generally speaking, the being of a
modem man is of very inferior quality. But it can be of such bad quality that no
change is possible. This must always be remembered. People whose being can still be
changed are very lucky. But there are people who are definitely diseased, broken
machines with whom nothing can be done. And such people are in the majority.
If
you think of this you will understand why only few can receive real knowledge. Their
being prevents it.

"Generally speaking, the balance between knowledge and being is even more
important than a separate development of either one or the other. And a separate
development of knowledge or of being is not desirable in any way. Although it is
precisely this one-sided development that often seems particularly attractive to
people.

"If knowledge outweighs being a man knows but has no power to do. It is useless
knowledge. On the other hand if being outweighs knowledge a man has the power to
do, but does not know, that is, he can do something but does not know what to do.

The being he has acquired becomes aimless and efforts made to attain it prove to be
useless.

[...]

"In order to understand this and, in general, the nature of knowledge and the nature
of being, as well as their interrelation, it is necessary to understand the relation of
knowledge and being to 'understanding.'

"Knowledge is one thing, understanding is another thing.

"People often confuse these concepts and do not clearly grasp what is the difference
between them.

"Knowledge by itself does not give understanding. Nor is understanding increased
by an increase of knowledge alone. Understanding depends upon the relation of
knowledge to being. Understanding is the resultant of knowledge and being. And
knowledge and being must not diverge too far, otherwise understanding will prove to
be far removed from either. At the same time the relation of knowledge to being does
not change with a mere growth of knowledge. It changes only when being grows
simultaneously with knowledge. In other words, understanding grows only with the
growth of being.


"In ordinary thinking, people do not distinguish understanding from knowledge.
They think that greater understanding depends on greater knowledge. Therefore they
accumulate knowledge, or that which they call knowledge, but they do not know how
to accumulate understanding and do not bother about it.

"And yet a person accustomed to self-observation knows for certain that at different
periods of his life he has understood one and the same idea, one and the same thought,
in totally different ways. It often seems strange to him that he could have understood
so wrongly that which, in his opinion, he now understands rightly. And he realizes, at
the same time, that his knowledge has not changed, and that he knew as much about the given
subject before as he knows now. What, then, has changed? His being has changed.
And once being has changed understanding must change also.

From "In Search of the Miraculous" ch.12:
But what good is it to him if he doesn't remember either? - said one of us.

The essence remembers," said G, "the personality has forgotten. And this was necessary because otherwise the personality would have perverted everything and attributed everything to itself.

So, Knowledge and Self need to grow in Equilibrium. If the Self is underdeveloped, it cannot receive greater knowledge, because in fact, if that were to happen, the receiver of such knowledge will twist everything to fit his worldview. It is a mathematical relationship. It is a very delicate balance, and when that balance does not exist, the third element, which is Understanding, cannot occur. The relationship of both in balance generates understanding and this is an attribute of the soul. It is like an intuitive vision, seeing the interior of things, their substance. Understanding stagnates if either of these two aspects diverge. For the moment, this is what I understand.

Ennio said.
# 1,724:
4. The hero recognizes that a weak man cannot be a virtuous man.
A hero tames his inner beast, the dark force, the capacity for malevolence that lives within his heart. He does not deny it. Instead, he acknowledges it and uses it to develop his courage and strength. Think of Luke Skywalker tempted by the Dark Side; The Temptation of Christ in the wilderness. A hero is good because he chooses not to be evil. A hero who has integrated his darker nature and mastered it, becomes a formidable man.

And I found this very relevant on sott's page:
"Like cancer cells ravaging the body, disassociated autonomous complexes are like "dissident minds" that can become excessively bloated with psychic energy, and then metastasize within the psyche, consuming, devouring and cannibalizing the healthy aspects of the psyche. By extracting and drawing all the healthy parts of the psyche into itself, an autonomous complex can potentially deform and destroy the psyche of the person (or nation) thus afflicted, infecting non-locally and spreading by psychic contagion its malaise with the surrounding field in the process.

An autonomous complex cannot bear to be seen, however, in much the same way that a vampire detests the light. A demon or autonomous complex will shape-shift and do everything in its power to resist being illuminated, because once seen, its autonomy and omnipotence are withdrawn.

Anchored, connected and related to consciousness, the demon or autonomous complex can no longer vaporize back into the unconscious, i.e. it is no longer able to possess us from behind and below our consciousness in order to force us to act unconsciously by externalizing and doing its will"

The readings are being a signpost to direct our attention, breaking through our internal barriers. It helps us connect with wounds from the past that we don't remember, but the emotions that accompany them are still at work beneath the surface, so to speak. Through this project, I am getting to see in front of me, parts that escaped being seen.

A few days ago I experienced my worst day with this project, as far as negative emotions are concerned. I don't know how to explain it, but it could be compared to a visit to hell. Seeing and feeling that darkness is the most unpleasant thing to experience. Knowing that evil potential that dwells within me made me break down a bit physically, but I recovered. As Candice said, I saw some of its "tentacles" but not the core from which they emanated. It is not the same to detect programs, buffers or traumas, these are the masks or could be compared to the wizard of Oz style curtains, where the predator hides. I detected it, but I did not see it "full body". He resists being fully observed, he does not want to lose control. Then it happened again another day but with less intensity. I think the shock of bringing him out into the light of consciousness took some of the strength out of him, but I have to be careful, because something wounded can be dangerous. He is going to defend himself more strongly fearing for his existence. I don't plan to run away, I plan to confront it, because if I don't, I would be blocking the path of essence.

On the other hand, I experience a lot of nostalgia. I don't know to what, it's just there, therefore, dive into it to experience it. I don't resist. Another feeling that accompanies me is similar to being four or five years old again, that is, the feeling of being in that early childhood feeling. It's a warm, peaceful feeling.

From what I can appreciate, there is something like a "roller coaster of emotions" and as Chu says, it's like a fractal. We don't circle back to the same place, but it has an incremental movement, and there is always some new aspect revealing itself to our awareness. And every movement we make, is exponential growth.

Laura said:
"...stirring the pot until it boils...". If you're lucky, you will achieve something....
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
One thing about the stories that irritates me to no end, is the whole social scene of balls and parties and wanting to be "in" with the movers and shakers, so to say. Or at least that people are ruled by such petty, ridiculous motivations.

Yes, I realize it is more or less a metaphor for our own society's rules and how people have to "keep up with the Joneses" no matter what social environment they are in, and I guess that is really what irritates me: that people are so concerned about things that matter so little.

What struck me about the books I read so far (Balogh in particular) is that they do such a great job at making palpable the subtle difference between STOish individuals/advanced souls, who always sincerely consider others despite being flawed themselves and getting it wrong, and those "flat" people whose motivations and doings are so obviously low-level (obvious to the reader, that is). With the social scene and balls, the latter are out to get an advantage, cruelly crush others if they think they gain something from it, boot-lick those above them etc., while the heroes and heroines just happen to be part of that social world and play along because it would be harmful not to do so for others. They might even enjoy social life, but never would they sacrifice their deepest values just for the sake of getting close to the "movers and shakers". It was just something that I noticed - through the inner dialogues we can be part of in the books and what's going on in the story around it, the contrast between different people when it comes to "soul-depth" becomes quite apparent, even if outward behavior might be similar and it would be impossible to tell from the outside, at least not easy.
 

ryu

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I've finished book 2 of the gentlemen series from Anne Burrowes. I cried like a baby during the second one, I really identified with both Daniel and Kirsten. A thing that Daniel realised struck m

I've finished book 2 of the gentlemen series from Anne Burrowes. I cried like a baby during the second one, I really identified with both Daniel and Kirsten. A thing that Daniel realised struck me:




Hate is easy and is the path of least resistance when things gets tough. Before I was just aware that it was bad, but lately I've started to see the poison that it is for the Soul. When you hate, you surrender your Self to the darkness. You let something else in charge, you stop existing in a sense. You give up your responsibility. It's the contrary of Being. To Be, you have to make the effort to understand, to see, to listen, to put yourself in someone else shoes.

I've been been hateful at times, especially when I see how all the stupidity, the selfishness, the ignorance, the greed that is destroying my country, putting at risk my loved ones. It just left me empty. It's not the person I want to be, and I see myself a bit more clearly now, including the downright evil parts of me.

It pains me though, to see so many people around the world who are living like this, hating those who are different from them, raising their children to resent, to hate, to fear, to hurt. It feels hopeless at times.

Daniel really impressed me, because he didn't give in into hate, he looked for answers in himself and with the help of others he found a solution that got him free. When I read characters like him, I see I have a long way to go to be as a good human being that they are. But the cool thing is that it's not impossible.
 
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primeaddict

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
This is comment is politically incorrect:
I'm particularly interested in these stories abut how people lived with servants, lady's maids, domestic help, etc.
I know in my life, there seem to be just too many hats to wear in terms of getting everything done.
It crossed my mind that a return to access to some serious domestic help for time challenged people would be welcome, and perhaps solve some issues of mass unemployment. I can easily see myself fitting in to either role. Better yet would be a role working as a modiste, milliner, cordwainer or glover, as I seem to have abilities in these areas.
This has been a struggle of mine as well. I avoided the menial tasks since my arrogance was too important to be bothered by such meaningless jobs. I too have thought that I could achieve greater things if I had staff.

I now find that the mundane is were the treasures of inner awareness exist. Especially, the more disgusting jobs really reveal my sense of self importance. What is the most difficult aspect of life's mundane work is that I am skating on the edge of total chaos.
 

primeaddict

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Oh the irritating, manipulative, ton! Those gossipy gums of careless character assassins. Every story has to deal with the potential of ruination as they struggle against their fears and resistance against the inevitable best choice. In my life I have a sister and sister-in-law, who are best friends, that boil up to the surface like witches bobbing in green bubbling cauldron.
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Candice

Jedi
I have just completed the 5th book in the Ravenels series by Lisa Kleypas, named “Devil’s Daughter”. I loved this story, which invoked lots of feelings and memories.

The core message for me from this specific story is that of trust. There is a beautiful revelation that the main character shares with his beloved right at the end. I’m not going to post it word for word as I don’t want to spoil it.

My take home message is how truly entwined trust is with love. Only with authentic trust can there be authentic love and vice versa. That this is not as simple as it sounds because to me trust is like an onion, multi-layered. Or a better metaphor in relation to love is that it’s like a tightly furled flower bud which unfurls in the presence of true love. That “true” or authentic love relies on the ability of one to allow another to completely be. No criticism, no judgement, no grudges or expectations. Allowing the complete free will of the other to be. This allows trust to unfurl like a bud.

This whole exercise is incredibly difficult in our STS run world. With narcissists, bullies and petty tyrants running wild. It’s so important to have healthy boundries. To know when it’s ok to unfurl our trust or when to keep ourselves safe. Most of us have experienced childhood trauma by some form of petty tyrant or another. Which caused us to create programs to survive the situation. Unfortunately those programs go unchecked past their useful date. Then as adults we’re dealing with boundary or trust issues.

This all got me thinking how authentic trust feels very similar to authentic gratitude. There is the most beautiful expansive warm feeling inside. For me gratitude is easier to tap into, while I’m still working on trust. I’m working on this with my partner, who I’m lucky to say has always been incredibly patient with me and has always allowed me to just be. However I’m loathe to admit that I haven’t always been the same with him. It’s something I’m actively working on.

Just being vulnerable to write this here is trust. I now understand that exercise groups do where you fall back and have to trust you’ll be caught. That part of all this is that trust is not getting triggered by feedback. As trust allows one to accept feedback as much needed truth.

Thank you for creating such a space to allow others to share, to learn to trust. It
truly is very special.
 

iamthatis

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Thank you @iamthatis for your very thoughtful reply, there’s lots for me to think about.

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.

Hey, so I've been in a pretty deep contemplation about faith over that past few days. Thanks again for your questions and openness, it's really been helping me attempt to make clear to myself exactly what faith is.

There is another transcript excerpt about faith that I found to be incredible to this end. The whole transcript is mind-boggling, but here are two gold snippets. Note that with adequate faith, you cannot be on the wrong path. And these snippets may also help elucidate what was meant in the previously-quoted transcript about the faith of Jesus. As we can see below, faith appears to be a necessary precondition for growing in Knowledge and Being.

Q: (L) Does knowledge have a substance or an existence apart from its possession or its acceptance?

A: Knowledge has all substance. It goes to the core of all existence.

Q: (L) So acquiring knowledge includes adding substance to one's being?

A: Indeed. It includes adding everything to one's being that is desirable. And also, when you keep invoking the light, as you do, truly understand that the light is knowledge. That is the knowledge which is at the core of all existence. And being at the core of all existence it provides protection from every form of negativity in existence. Light is everything and everything is knowledge and knowledge is everything. You are doing extremely well in acquiring of knowledge. Now all you need is the faith and realization that acquiring of knowledge is all you need.

Q: (L) I just want to be sure that the source that I am acquiring the knowledge from is not a deceptive source.

A: If you simply have faith, no knowledge that you could possibly acquire could possibly be false because there is no such thing. Anyone or anything that tries to give you false knowledge, false information, will fail. The very material substance that the knowledge takes on, since it is at the root of all existence, will protect you from absorption of false information which is not knowledge. There is no need to fear the absorption of false information when you are simply openly seeking to acquire knowledge. And knowledge forms the protection -- all the protection you could ever need.

Q: (L) There are an awful lot of people who are being open and trusting and having faith who are getting zapped and knocked on their rears.

A: No. That is simply your perception. What you are failing to perceive is that these people are not really gathering knowledge. These people are stuck at some point in their pathway to progress and they are undergoing a hidden manifestation of what is referred to in your terms as obsession. Obsession is not knowledge, obsession is stagnation. So, when one becomes obsessed, one actually closes off the absorption and the growth and the progress of soul development which comes with the gaining of true knowledge. For when one becomes obsessed one deteriorates the protection therefore one is open to problems, to tragedies, to all sorts of difficulties. Therefore one experiences same.

Q: (L) During a previous reading we asked several questions about Jesus of Nazareth known as the Christ. The question was asked: "Was Jesus special, that is, Christed, in some way?" The answer came back was: "Quick exalted; wars; civil entrancement. Zindar council." I would like to know the meaning of these references.

A: Quick exalted refers to a sudden boost of awareness level as related to your previous questions about knowledge. Sometimes that acquisition can occur in a surge and sometimes this is referred to as illumination. Jesus acquired his knowledge by having complete faith in his ability to acquire the knowledge from a higher source. This faith caused an equal balancing interaction with higher sources, which allowed him to gain supreme knowledge simply by having that faith. Remember that the resources for the acquisition of knowledge in the space/time ere of Christ were much more limited than they are now. There were few options open for acquiring true knowledge except total and complete faith. And this one was instilled with the awareness that total and complete faith would cause dramatic and spectacular acquisition of knowledge; also would cause dramatic and spectacular progression of the soul being. Therefore, the faith was felt, the knowledge was received.

Q: (L) What was the source of the knowledge?

A: The source was the sixth level of density which is where we reside and we also were involved in that as well.

Q: (L) What does the term "Civil entrancement" mean?

A: Civil entrancement is a complete balancing of one's useful energies to a level where there is no experiencing of over balancing on the positive or negative side which is preferable for meditation in a mass form.

Q: (L) What is the Zendar Council?

A: Zendar Council is a sixth level density council which spans both physical and ethereal realms and which oversees dramatic development points at various civilizational sector s in lower density levels.

Q: (L) I would like you to expound a bit on the life of Christ in terms of chronology of events. Could you tell us about his understanding about himself, his interaction with higher sources, his state of being Christed, and what was the true work he came her to do and how did he accomplish it?

A: His awareness of who and what he was gradually came as he grew. He was taught by us through his faith as described previously. And you should have faith as well because you would find things would come to you as "knowings" more often than even now. Jesus awareness of his mission and his actions pertaining to it were part of the natural progression of his growth and development. The information about his "miracles" has been largely corrupted by writings which have been passed down after the actual event period. Most of these writings are by entities who wish to confuse and corrupt all humanity for previously stated purposes. The idea was that if one perceived Jesus as performing physical miracles, then your entire understanding of what the life experience here on earth and on this plane is, and the meaning for it all, is also corrupted and the knowledge is blocked which is the goal of those who have done this. Jesus' purpose and plan was to teach knowledge to all who sought but did not have the strength to express as great a level of faith as he had to acquire the knowledge as he did from higher sources. If they were open and willing to learn they could be taught by hearing. He had only very limited success in imparting faith to others because faith comes solely from within and that is one of the most difficult things for beings on your plane to acquire.

So faith seems to be a cosmic substance of a kind that operates on, or in, the depths of our belief centre. I recall some psychological research in The Wave where test subjects who guessed correctly at flipping coins (in The Wave) did so because they believed they could. They had faith. Beliefs can be understood as a sort of frequency attractor. So no matter the information we gather to the contrary, if we subconsciously believe that we will fail in what we attempt, that we will never awaken, that we are undeserving of awakening, or that we are biological machines, hopeless victims of circumstance, that we will never find love, that we are unworthy of love, then this is the signal we send to the universe - and we get all the unfortunate cosmic replies in the form of hard lessons.

To live in faith with oneself is to clear our 'internal water' of those muddy limiting beliefs so that when the 'white ray of creation' touches our surface, it refracts into a rainbow of seven colours in our lives. To live in faith with one's partner is to uphold a sacred commitment in the face of intense stresses and baser drives of gratification is to make the choice to anchor love in a world gone mad. To live in faith of a divine creative actor of transcendant value, or God, is to become capable of seeding Eden with our every word and gesture. So faith operates on this deep level, and has the most beautiful, benevolent ramifications.
 

Anthony

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I have just completed the 5th book in the Ravenels series by Lisa Kleypas, named “Devil’s Daughter”. I loved this story, which invoked lots of feelings and memories.

The core message for me from this specific story is that of trust. There is a beautiful revelation that the main character shares with his beloved right at the end. I’m not going to post it word for word as I don’t want to spoil it.

My take home message is how truly entwined trust is with love. Only with authentic trust can there be authentic love and vice versa. That this is not as simple as it sounds because to me trust is like an onion, multi-layered. Or a better metaphor in relation to love is that it’s like a tightly furled flower bud which unfurls in the presence of true love. That “true” or authentic love relies on the ability of one to allow another to completely be. No criticism, no judgement, no grudges or expectations. Allowing the complete free will of the other to be. This allows trust to unfurl like a bud.

This whole exercise is incredibly difficult in our STS run world. With narcissists, bullies and petty tyrants running wild. It’s so important to have healthy boundries. To know when it’s ok to unfurl our trust or when to keep ourselves safe. Most of us have experienced childhood trauma by some form of petty tyrant or another. Which caused us to create programs to survive the situation. Unfortunately those programs go unchecked past their useful date. Then as adults we’re dealing with boundary or trust issues.

This all got me thinking how authentic trust feels very similar to authentic gratitude. There is the most beautiful expansive warm feeling inside. For me gratitude is easier to tap into, while I’m still working on trust. I’m working on this with my partner, who I’m lucky to say has always been incredibly patient with me and has always allowed me to just be. However I’m loathe to admit that I haven’t always been the same with him. It’s something I’m actively working on.

Just being vulnerable to write this here is trust. I now understand that exercise groups do where you fall back and have to trust you’ll be caught. That part of all this is that trust is not getting triggered by feedback. As trust allows one to accept feedback as much needed truth.

Thank you for creating such a space to allow others to share, to learn to trust. It
truly is very special.

Most of the novels I've read so far deal with the issue of trust, characters coming to terms with the fact that while trust is indeed scary and that it can lead to pain, but that in spite of that it is worth being brave enough to trust someone since it can also lead to some of best things that life can offer such as a genuine communication, relationship, friendship, intimacy and love. Cynicism as a consequence of being hurt in the past is not a very sophisticated and thought out approach when you think about it, as it blocks learning and invites unnecessary suffering and resentment. I'm also dealing with issues in this area, so this reading project has been quite revelatory.
 

etezete

Jedi Council Member
I just listened to the interview with Mary Balogh on Sott. Such a wonderful woman! As I said after finishing my first romantic novel, Heyers The Quiet Gentleman, I had „interread“ Mary Baloghs „A Counterfeit Betrothal“ and so I picked that one up after finishing Heyer. I had said it is a much lighter story – and it is not at all! Although I thought to know what course it will take – and it did someway… It came to me as a much deeper story than I thought after 70 something pages (before I drowned it). Baloghs ability to BE the character for the time writing it is so fascinating. It struck me several times and triggered so much brainfood… The mixture of what the character thinks is true and what is really true intertwined with what happens in the story is so eyeopening! I am not finished yet with the counterfeit betrothal, next will be „The Notorious Rake“, also by Balogh. I was referred by an online friend from swizzerland to Julia Quinn. So I will read some Quinn after that. Or not.. . Maybe more Balogh.. yea, think it will be more Balogh. Love her so much!
 

mkrnhr

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
While finishing the second book of the Westcott Series (Someone to hold) this morning, it occured to me that even when we don't identify with the characters or the plot in a story, and with the full awareness that it is all fictional, it happens sometimes that some characters become alive in the mind, and evoke not only sympathy but fondness and tenderness as well. It is as if at some level, those fictional characters are more real than some blood and flesh people out there.
 

primeaddict

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I am not sure if I am dealing with an emotional block or just a personal annoyance, but I am now cynical toward the sex scenes. I started out with slight interest then to indifference then eye rolling awareness of the repeating boiler plate scenes, and now I am painfully annoyed. When I read them, I cannot help but play it out in my head as if a sports announcer is doing a play-by-play with the inevitable crescendo ‘he scores.’ Lately, I have just jumped over the scenes because the negative reaction takes away from the loving relationship development. I just no longer see these scenes as a loving encounters. I suspect that the writers watch porn videos for research and use such crass matrix because it sells.

Am I missing something here or is this just part of the program development?
 
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