Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

iamthatis

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Sex and love??? I fact there is no direct connection. It requires consciousness effort of the participants for love to be apart of sex. Love can exist just fine without sex and sex does not change love. Love is an entirely different aspect of being and is related to ones internal light. Love grows between individuals when they share that light and enhance the light that is between them. Were sex is not connected to that light. If that were so I would expect C's would have helped us with a manual on how to enhance our spirituality through sex.

I would say that this reading project is exactly that.
 

Yupo

The Living Force
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I'm finishing up The Bridgerton Series now, will probably be done with those by the end of the week. I might take a break from these books for a while as I need to be learning about some other stuff. What I like about the series is the big, happy, supportive family that seems to get what is really important as far as character in others. They really have each others backs. They network. They look out for their employees. They are respected for their goodness of character.
And what is this thing about love at (barely) first sight? There are these descriptions of the way a jacket fit, or the way a curl fell on a neck, or maybe the way she carried a glove. I can completely relate to these sights. Every important relationship I've had (aside from genetic family) started with some kind of arresting recognition of something special about the person, even something tiny from across the room like the color of the jeans.
Mostly, my cup has been running over with an urge to create! Rather than floaty layers of silk netting, I'm thinking of boiled wool boleros and empire skirts in challis. As I go through my closets in preparation to move house, I should be purging, instead of getting ideas for repurposing. Well, it is fun state of mind anyway.
 

Mari

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Last weekend I finished Balogh´s "The Obedient Bride".
You can really see the difference in her writings in this one written in 1989. and i.e. Survivor Series.

This book triggered quite a few alarms in my head. Especially this obedient part.
I did have some "feminist alarm" blinking at the beginning of this project but it died off really fast and didn´t put much thought into it because I took all of those society norms as they were, as in that period in time.
Now it was back up and blinking like crazy.

This guy was IMO self-centered AH and the heroine is the family´s doormat - her mother and sister felt like narcissistic harpies who've thrown the poor girl under the bus.
It was a tough ride for Belle and I felt her insecurity, her doubts and fears.

"... Everything that happens has a purpose, I think. It is how we grow, perhaps. We cannot grow on just the pleasant things. I think I know both you and myself better for what I have suffered in the last weeks. And I cannot think that is a bad thing.”
“But does our marriage have a chance?” he asked. “Can we start again, Arabella, as I suggested yesterday? Can we become friends?”
“I think so,” she said. “I think our marriage perhaps has a better chance now than it had a month ago. At that time I thought you perfect and I was terrified of you. It is hard to love someone who is not quite human. But now I know that you are human, and I do not feel inadequate any longer. I feel free to love you and be your friend.”

"... Will you ever be able to trust me again?” “Yes,” she said. She withdrew her head from his shoulder and looked earnestly up into his face. “Trust is not blindly believing in someone. It is knowing and loving that person and expecting what one knows is best in that person. Yes, I trust you, my lord. You told me the truth when I asked. You did not lie to me. ..."


This week I changed gears again with a new author: Elisa Braden and her "Rescued from Ruin Series".
I´ve just finished "Ever Yours, Annabelle: Rescued from Ruin Prequel".
It was such a heartbreaking but beautiful story of everlasting love and devotion.
It was a clash of what seems like two different kinds of people, who express their love in different ways, but in the end I think they are the same.
I was so consumed by the story, I ached and cried for them.

I´m so eager to move on to the next book in the series.
I like Elisa´s writing style, it is emotional, insightful and colorful.
 

Yupo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Last weekend I finished Balogh´s "The Obedient Bride".
You can really see the difference in her writings in this one written in 1989. and i.e. Survivor Series.

This book triggered quite a few alarms in my head. Especially this obedient part.
I did have some "feminist alarm" blinking at the beginning of this project but it died off really fast and didn´t put much thought into it because I took all of those society norms as they were, as in that period in time.
Now it was back up and blinking like crazy.

This guy was IMO self-centered AH and the heroine is the family´s doormat - her mother and sister felt like narcissistic harpies who've thrown the poor girl under the bus.
It was a tough ride for Belle and I felt her insecurity, her doubts and fears.



This week I changed gears again with a new author: Elisa Braden and her "Rescued from Ruin Series".
I´ve just finished "Ever Yours, Annabelle: Rescued from Ruin Prequel".
It was such a heartbreaking but beautiful story of everlasting love and devotion.
It was a clash of what seems like two different kinds of people, who express their love in different ways, but in the end I think they are the same.
I was so consumed by the story, I ached and cried for them.

I´m so eager to move on to the next book in the series.
I like Elisa´s writing style, it is emotional, insightful and colorful.
I have not read this one. I've not been having a problem with being triggered by gender roles, obedience issues, etc. In my 20s, I probably would have been triggered.
 

Mari

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I've not been having a problem with being triggered by gender roles, obedience issues, etc.
What I was triggered/angry here was this programmed obedience; because I was programmed as well in that way to obey my parents/religion/..., be a good girl, turn the other cheek and that kind of stuff...

Yes, there is also obedience G was talking about; obedience to follow your teacher in order to deprogram oneself and that one is required for further self-development.

These 2 are two different things: one is a running program and the other is a conscious effort.

Actually, this is quite a topic; one can also be obedient out of fear, but also to protect its ego as a passive-aggressive way of living (like, I do as I´m told with no sense of responsibility whatsoever; corona scam moralists is the perfect example of it).
 

Yupo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
What I was triggered/angry here was this programmed obedience; because I was programmed as well in that way to obey my parents/religion/..., be a good girl, turn the other cheek and that kind of stuff...

Yes, there is also obedience G was talking about; obedience to follow your teacher in order to deprogram oneself and that one is required for further self-development.

These 2 are two different things: one is a running program and the other is a conscious effort.

Actually, this is quite a topic; one can also be obedient out of fear, but also to protect its ego as a passive-aggressive way of living (like, I do as I´m told with no sense of responsibility whatsoever; corona scam moralists is the perfect example of it).
Yes, it is quite a topic with no end of layers and nuance to it. In my case I was wearing the pants and earning the bread while being the primary parental figure for 2 marriages, which did not work well at all. I now see the value in more traditional gender roles, but even those situations can be problematic. Programs, projection and sand traps everywhere I turn. These stories help me sort through some of it without having to live through it (again).
 

Alejo

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I have just finished Irresistible, the last one on the Horsemen Trilogy by Mary Balogh, and it was quite a story. The entire series centers around friendship, and I believe I have talked about every book individually and each book contains very valuable insight, although it's truly rewarding when read/listened as a whole series, I think some of the take away messages are better seen. Irresistible was enjoyable and funnier than the last two, I truly liked two of the characters in it, Eden and Lavinia... made me chuckle a few times :) below there will be some spoiler discussion of some of the concepts that I found.

The story centers around Sophie and Nathaniel, two friends who have been beyond fond of one another for a long time. Sophie is being blackmailed by the villain of the story but she is so ashamed of the consequences that she goes to great lengths to ensure that no one finds out about this fact.

She even ends her friendship with her dearest friends, she pushes everyone away just so that she can handle it all on her own, even Nathaniel who she's always been in love with and after an intimate encounter and arrangement, realizes that there's more to it than mere attraction and care.

The story unfolds and has a happy ending, and the solution to Sophie's dilemma is to take charge of her life, but also to learn to rely on others, and I think this is where the real take away message of this book is.

I think the concept of networking, and sharing with likeminded people, with people that truly care about you is beautifully depicted in this story. Her lack of networking lead her to sacrifice the solution to her problems, she turned into an echo chamber and sought to solve it all on her own, isolated and endangering herself. While it is shown throughout the story that if she had networked about it, she would have seen the solution to her problems a lot quicker.

And it's a theme through this trilogy, honesty with the self, with your significant other and with your group of peers at large. In short, Networking, if I've ever seen it described dramatically, sharing your burden, or what you think it's a burden.

Sophie is a lovely character, strong, independent, witty and always pleasant to be around, but also someone who seemed to care so much about maintaining this image on others, that she hid away parts of her true self, her worried and scarred parts, her weak and vulnerable ones. And it's a lovely concept, in order for you to become your true self, it's not like you have to sacrifice your strength and the pleasant qualities that people enjoy, you also have to bring to their awareness the ones that you're afraid of them seeing, the ones that they may not enjoy. And this defines a true friend.

Another lovely part of the book is closer towards the end, Sophie is very traumatized due to her having married a gay man, who cheated on her with another guy, and so in order to maintain appearances, they agreed to live as companions and pretend to the world as though they were a happy couple. This created in her several deeply held beliefs about who she was. And Nathaniel tells her that, she will take a while to overcome some of her issues, but that it's ok to do so, because he will be there to remind her of, in essence, those beliefs being lies.

This was lovely, there's not one point in life where one will be completely done with working traumas I think, and it was refreshing to see it described in such a kind manner. Kind acceptance of the wounds of the other, and its certain consequences, but with an eye on the progress that both have faith in.

And both concepts are even lovelier when combined.

And this might be a kind and efficient way for us to look at ourselves, we will fall and stumble along the way, and if we don't have that one person that inspires us, reminds us, and reassures us in the path, then maybe we can be that person to ourselves, to reminds us that someone is rooting for us to carry on, not to be unconditionally and conceitedly accepted as a statue, immovable, but as a living being that needs to and can move.

The wounds are there and may be unfairly begotten, but they don't have to rule our lives even if they have, and they will still for a while, but keep on keeping on and surely your destination will be different than your current location. And when you feel lost, overwhelmed or alone, network about it with people you can trust.

I enjoyed the Bedwyn saga better, perhaps because there were more book, there was more space to develop the characters, not sure.

And now, on to Wescott! Thanks for reading.
 

Laura

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Sex and love??? I fact there is no direct connection. It requires consciousness effort of the participants for love to be apart of sex. Love can exist just fine without sex and sex does not change love. Love is an entirely different aspect of being and is related to ones internal light. Love grows between individuals when they share that light and enhance the light that is between them. Were sex is not connected to that light. If that were so I would expect C's would have helped us with a manual on how to enhance our spirituality through sex.

For me, it is astonishing to read that someone thinks that it requires conscious effort for love to be a part of sex. My perspective, thoughts, feelings, have always been that it is impossible for sex to be separated from love. Oh, indeed, it is possible to experience sex without love, but it is a degrading and demoralizing experience that one would surely not wish to repeat. It is also possible for bodily urges to overwhelm a person and cause them to imagine love is present when it is not - often resulting in great suffering.

Yes, love can exist without sex; we love different people in many ways. But there is emotional/spiritual love that is enhanced and enriched by physical love expressions and would be incomplete without such manifestations in some way.

In a sense, I think the Hermetic Maxim might apply here: "As above, so below." A high, intense, singular love must necessarily express itself here below in intense, singular physical actions.

I read a very moving statement by one character in a book I read recently (unfortunately, can say which one). After trials and troubles that get settled, the man says to the woman something like: "I love and will make love to you as long as my body has strength; and when I am old and unable, I will still be making love to you in my heart and mind." I cried when I read that because it was so true and deeply meaningful.
 

Laura

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What I was triggered/angry here was this programmed obedience; because I was programmed as well in that way to obey my parents/religion/..., be a good girl, turn the other cheek and that kind of stuff...

Oh boy! If you can ever read Balogh's "Tangled", do so. THAT will trigger the heck out of you! (Triggering can be a good thing if it makes you think and examine things deeply.) That book made me angry at the many social mores that have caused terrible suffering throughout history. I was angry at the heroine most of the way through the book, too. It forced me to really work to put myself in another person's shoes.
 

genero81

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I finished the second book in Madeline Hunter's, 'The Rothwell Brothers' series and I just purchased the third book on Kindle. So I have all four now as the fourth book arrived some time ago. (paperback) I was thinking as I was reading the second book that I wasn't really getting any intense emotional reactions. However, the last few chapters proved that to be short sighted.

I'm really glad that we have multiple authors who qualify for this reading project. Madeline Hunter has a descriptive brilliance that to me is revealing in itself. She shows a richness of thought/feeling in her characters that goes beyond what I personally experience. So I'm thinking about what the guys were talking about in 'Mind Matters' about how guys have more difficulty understanding women than the other way around. And then I think about what G said about no one being able to see beyond the level of one's own Being. So then I have to suspect that women have a greater degree of Being than men have, at least generally speaking. So, I'm certainly starting to see something about women that I didn't see before. And each author provides a window into their knowledge and Being. And greater Being is what we need. I mean, the world is utterly confused and lost and people are hopelessly divided. Trying to reason our way through the mess is pretty useless in that regard.

So, those are just some thoughts I'm having and I will continue reading.

Oh, I'm pretty sure I know who the empath is in the fourth book. ;-)
 

Laura

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I finished the second book in Madeline Hunter's, 'The Rothwell Brothers' series and I just purchased the third book on Kindle. So I have all four now as the fourth book arrived some time ago. (paperback) I was thinking as I was reading the second book that I wasn't really getting any intense emotional reactions. However, the last few chapters proved that to be short sighted.

I'm really glad that we have multiple authors who qualify for this reading project. Madeline Hunter has a descriptive brilliance that to me is revealing in itself. She shows a richness of thought/feeling in her characters that goes beyond what I personally experience. So I'm thinking about what the guys were talking about in 'Mind Matters' about how guys have more difficulty understanding women than the other way around. And then I think about what G said about no one being able to see beyond the level of one's own Being. So then I have to suspect that women have a greater degree of Being than men have, at least generally speaking. So, I'm certainly starting to see something about women that I didn't see before. And each author provides a window into their knowledge and Being. And greater Being is what we need. I mean, the world is utterly confused and lost and people are hopelessly divided. Trying to reason our way through the mess is pretty useless in that regard.

So, those are just some thoughts I'm having and I will continue reading.

Oh, I'm pretty sure I know who the empath is in the fourth book. ;-)

Phaedra Blair was another heroine who irritated me to no end because she was so immersed in her programming. In this case, however, it was programming to flaunt social mores. You could say that this book went from the extreme of Balogh's "Tangled" to the opposite. Very annoying women in both cases. And, I suppose, that is because they were very much alike even if their programming was very different.
 

Abats

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I would say that this reading project is exactly that.
This is also the idea that I have, at first I did not like to read this type of scene a little sexual and I said to myself "damn but they have only that in mind" and little by little I end up enjoying them and even waiting for them because the moment when these scenes of physical love takes on a deeper character in the characters.

Clearly, these novels explode a lot of false beliefs, preconceptions and images I had about love and the connection with sexuality. yet I'm only on my second novel, I sometimes struggle because I'm quite lonely and isolated but these novels make me want to have a similar type of relationship including with a healthy sexuality as if the body transposed an emotional energy that could only be translated on the physical level. I will also add that we are far from all these sexual delusions put forward today.

What would be interesting would be to find a novel with characters from our time because the problems would not necessarily be the same, and it would please me to see "Triumph" in the novel a modern couple in our society with its own problems.
 

Mari

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If you can ever read Balogh's "Tangled"

On Amazon is only available to buy a paperback, but I found Balogh´s "Tangled" as a Kindle format book.
It is actually a .mobi document extension, so one only has to send it to Kindle email and it will appear in the Kindle list to read.
So same as .pdf...

I´m not sure about the rules of the forum for sharing copyright books, but if that´s ok, I can upload it and share it on my Google Drive for everybody to download...
...or maybe we can add the link to our list so it´s not posted on the forum?

I´m so thrilled!
But first to finish "Rescued from Ruin" Series...
 

Redrock12

The Living Force
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I have really noticed something about my reaction to certain genres since starting this project. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm a big fan of the mystery writer Michael Connelly. On Wednesday I received his latest Lincoln Lawyer novel, The Law of Innocence, from the public library. With much anticipation of a good page turner I started to read. But after 116 pages into it I discovered that I was rapidly losing interest, and by literary standards, imo, it is a well-crafted work.
I think what is happening to me is that the fictional crime genre doesn't draw out of me the emotional depth of feeling of the characters that the romance novels do. The romance characters, imho, are more fully developed, ie more genuinely human beings, with the all-to-human traits that I can identify with, or have experienced personally, traits which I can use as a mirror to change or activate in my being.
So on to book four of the Westcott series.
Well, an interesting development has happened since I posted the above, namely the MindmattSers Interview with Mary B. When asked who her favorite authors are, she stated that one of them is Michael Connelly. As well, she mentions she reads a couple of Canadian women authors of the crime genre, which I'm going to have a look at. Like myself, she obviously enjoys the crime genre. Needless to say, I found that quite interesting. So, curiosity getting the best of me, I finished reading The Law of Innocence.
At this time, I was just completing book seven of the Westcott series Someone To Romance. Interestingly, there are some parallels between the two narratives. Both of the male protagonists are accused, but innocent of, murder. Gabriel Thorne is accused of rape as well. And both have to prove their innocence, Connelly's Mickey Haller in an LA court of law, where the odds are stacked against him, and MB's Gabriel Thorne, who had to flee to North America to avoid being hung, but had to return to England to claim his rightful inheritance, and deal with the charges against him.
Anyway, both are found innocent, of course. What's also interesting is both of the real criminals are shot and killed while trying to exact revenge on the protagonists, by gunfire. There are probably other parallels as well, but I'll leave that to someone with more expertise than I have to tease it out.
FWIW
 

primeaddict

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I have the opposite philosophy. An intimate relationship in the beginning should be very easy and free of hardships. That's why there's a honeymoon phase. Issues in the beginning of an intimate relationship are warning signs that the relationship is not right, and the relationship should be ended early.


This seems crazy to me. Something would have to be very askew in my marriage for there to be no sex. It's difficult for me to imagine a loving husband and wife not to have sex, as long as their bodies are functioning well enough.
My bad for using a poor choice of words. It would have been better to say that through hardship and overcoming obstetrical intensifies the relationship and expands the trust. With such experiences we grow in understanding of how to work together. I can see that intimacy was not the best choice.

My comment of sex is not directly connected to love was not well developed explanation. My tendency for brevity does cause confusion. We who easily love are not aware that this connection is automatic. I have observed that this is not the case with some people and upon further contemplation I realized that love moves freely along a path of light where sex does not. It does however, when we merge them together in a deep, loving and intimate relationship. I do agree that it sounds crazy it were not for my encounter with people that do not have this connection.
 
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