Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Dakota

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
The novels can be quite arousing and threaten to undo the work one has put in to overcome one's "alcoholism," and I've held the opinion for quite a while now that if you came here to experience love and elope with your soul mate you came to the wrong planet. This planet is a meat grinder and if you're clever enough to run the gauntlet and avoid getting shredded then you may get something out of it. Romantic love is not really part of the package; it doesn't exist here or is a luxury few can afford. While I think everyone should read a sampling of the novels and it's fun to dream of what may await in the next world in moderation, I found myself getting too "into" the sex scenes after being able to initially fight them off. I started looking at women differently; instead of being immediately dismissive of their sexual features, my gaze would linger. I was being put into a mate-seeking mode led by my sexual instincts, hoping I would stumble across my lady fair who saves me like they save the emotionally unavailable men who appear in the beginning of some of these stories. After a certain number of repetitions of this process I decided that "none of that is real" and my mind has kind of switched off from the whole project. While there were some stirrings within me on a couple of occasions, I've never really loved anyone and I don't expect that to change.

Nonetheless, I can't quite go back to the way I was, something has shifted in me which makes me a bit more amenable to experimentation, however I anticipate that to blow up in my face and remind me why I went "Victorian" in the first place if and when it occurs.
I really like your posts because you're, IMO, nonconformist and you just say what you think.
Through reading Mackenzie series sometimes cross my mind: This is not real, it's more a fiction.
But, how else you can get a picture what love should be? With Beth seeing in Ian something that others couldn't, Mac changed for love of his Isabella or Cameron and Hart become softened because of rare virtues of their wife's. People changes us if we let them.
I don't have a idea what true love is but each one of my relationships brought me new lesson, opportunity to change something in me. In first I resisted it but then, with time, I realized that I want to be shaped and not be the one who shapes. The person who I was and now is totally different, maybe even opposite. Experience of love help us to discover a glimpse of Love, like with everything else. You can't find anything about love if your perspective is "I've never really loved anyone and I don't expect that to change."
 

Candice

Jedi
Basically lust is more STS than passion and is more about pleasure for the self is how I'm reading it. There are examples in the novels where characters do lose awareness of their partners and where the sex is more one sided.
Ok, I get it. I’m wondering if “lust” is a more male dominated emotion, meaning it’s something that men need to “leash” more than women. Not that women don’t feel it but in the books it does seem to be more male orientated. Though I have had female friends speak of such things and I just couldn’t relate. The whole new age of online dating with apps has magnified this whole “lust” aspect for both sexes.
 

Tuulikki

Jedi Master
The perfect heart ♥️
One day a young man stood in the middle of town and declared that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart because it was perfect. There was not a spot or flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed with him, it really was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and bragged even louder about his beautiful heart.

Suddenly, an old man appeared in front of the crowd and said, "Well, your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine." The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart.

It was beating strong, but it was full of scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and replaced with others. But they didn't fit properly and there were some frayed corners...To be exact, in some places there were deep furrows where whole pieces were missing. People stared at him and thought: How can he say his heart is more beautiful?

The young man looked at the old man's heart, saw its condition and laughed: "You must be joking," he said, "comparing your heart with mine. Mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears."

"Yes," said the old man, "yours looks perfect, but I would never trade places with you. Each scar represents a person to whom I have given my love. I tear out a piece of my heart and hand it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart that fits into the empty space in my heart. But because the pieces don't fit exactly, I have some rough edges that I cherish because they remind me of the love we shared. Sometimes I have also given a piece of my heart without the other person giving me back a piece of their heart. These are the empty furrows. Giving love sometimes means taking a risk. Even though these furrows are painful, they remain open and they too remind me of the love I have for these people. I hope that one day they will return and fill the space. Do you now realize what true beauty is?"

The young man stood silently with tears streaming down his cheeks.

He walked up to the old man, reached for his perfect young and beautiful heart, and tore out a piece. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man accepted the offer, placed it in his heart. He then took a piece of his old scarred heart and filled the wound in the young man's heart with it. It was not a perfect fit as it had some frayed edges.

The young man looked at his heart, no longer perfect, but more beautiful than ever, as he felt the old man's love flow into his heart. They embraced and walked away, side by side.
Author unknown
Thank you for posting this little story Mililea. It brought tears to my eyes - in a good way.😢
 

John G

The Living Force
I started looking at women differently; instead of being immediately dismissive of their sexual features, my gaze would linger. I was being put into a mate-seeking mode led by my sexual instincts, hoping I would stumble across my lady fair who saves me like they save the emotionally unavailable men who appear in the beginning of some of these stories. After a certain number of repetitions of this process I decided that "none of that is real" and my mind has kind of switched off from the whole project. While there were some stirrings within me on a couple of occasions, I've never really loved anyone and I don't expect that to change.

Nonetheless, I can't quite go back to the way I was, something has shifted in me which makes me a bit more amenable to experimentation, however I anticipate that to blow up in my face and remind me why I went "Victorian" in the first place if and when it occurs.
That's kind of what I did for a rebound for my teens and twenties; only I would limit myself to one woman at a time and I would never talk to her (at least in person) about liking her. If anything were to lead to anything serious, it would have to be her who would have to talk to me in person about my "lingering gaze" and this never happened. These were people I talked to at work or church or bars (three were bartenders); I can only think of one I never talked to at all (in a bowling league) but I never in person talked to them about liking them. I did send love letters to about a third of them and about half didn't respond and the other half let me know they had boyfriends (one was even engaged). Finding out about boyfriends, people changing jobs, church groups disbanding, etc. would be the reasons I moved on to another woman.

It just felt nice as an introvert to always have a single one to be interested in without having to strain my introverted self even a little bit. If it wasn't for the online world showing up in my 30s, this could have gone on forever. The online world for me in my early 30s was love letter writing on steroids. I remember talking to my "lingering gaze" girl at the time (in a church group) about my first online date and she gave me some useful advice and seemed genuinely relieved to have me be interested in someone who wasn't her.
 

jess

Jedi Master
And having experienced sexual freedom or having some experience in the matter (for ie, having had a string of relationships) doesn't mean one has any idea what a truly bonding and healthy relationship is.
It is interesting Adaryn what you comment.
To what you comment here: "And having experienced sexual freedom or having some experience in the matter (e.g. having had a series of relationships) does not mean that one has any idea what a truly binding and healthy relationship is."
I feel that "sexual freedom", maybe, can also be part of one's search for oneself, and something quite complex, I think it's very difficult to talk in one direction. It is very true, to what you comment also, that the main thing of sexual activity is to link you in a more humanly enriching spectrum with your partner, united in a bond of true love and healthy.

The only thing I feel a little bit to add here, is that I feel that experiencing sexual freedom in different degrees depends on the personal quest or individual lessons of the soul. With that I don't know if I could judge someone who has been almost like a prostitute, or go through existential confusions about their own gender and then find true love at the end of the path in their lessons, I believe that at the bottom of our hearts, although some people may see it more easily than others is finding another human being to truly and deeply connect with, and what experiences leave us with whether good or bad, maybe they are a guide to what we are looking for, if we do enough work and are fortunate enough to have the true knowledge to go towards progress.
It seems to me, perhaps in the end, what is important is the depth and human quality to be discovered. The human values that unite us as a group.
The youngest of my sisters is a lesbian, and I feel that independent of her preferences, she is a human being on her path of lessons, like any other human. I mean, I feel that I couldn't judge others by their choice of lessons, something that I have personally discovered for myself, is that in the characters of the novels I have found pieces of myself, sometimes I have seen myself in the male characters sometimes it has been in the female characters. I think we can talk with a bit of confidence about our current life, but we really don't know who we might have been or our lessons in another life and they might be part of what we carry into this one, and, I wonder if judge others, can be a refusal to see a part of ourselves in the other?

I feel that romance novels remind us of the noble human values to be discovered in the journey of the characters within the society and the values in the relationship. In a current era like ours where values are twisted and sick.

I hope what I have written makes some sense, thanks to all the comments have prompted me to think about so many things, and communicate, which I am still working on.

thanks
 

Candice

Jedi
I wonder if judge others, can be a refusal to see a part of ourselves in the other?
This is a good point. That which triggers us in another is a reflection of something we don’t want to acknowledge about ourselves.

Examples could be how some readers feel the “romance” is too over the top as if such love doesn’t really exist in this world. Or how some get triggered by the sex scenes.

For me it’s when the male characters act overly possessive. I feel a distaste inside for this, almost to the point that I don’t want to complete the book. That obsessive possessive state as to which the male needs to possess the female physically, own her. So I’ve been thinking about why this disturbs me. I’ve never wanted to be owned by a male and to be in complete ownership of my own mind, body and soul. However am I triggered because I in truth do it to others? Maybe very subtlety, not overtly. This is shocking to me, I do think of my partner as mine. Not in the physical sense but in a “love” sense. It might stem from my lack of love as a child that when I did find someone as an adult who loved me, I latched on too tightly. I see that this is STS. His love is not “mine”, it’s a freely given gift but it’s not for me to “possess”. I think this has been a more energetic thing, not necessarily a verbal or physical thing.

I’m learning from mostly the female characters in the books how to express love in a more STO manner. I think this has been my favorite part of the books. I never had a good female role model in this regard. The female characters in the books are usually very adept at providing a space for their wounded/troubled male counterparts to just be, without expectations or manipulation, they just give with innate ease.
 

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Basically lust is more STS than passion and is more about pleasure for the self is how I'm reading it. There are examples in the novels where characters do lose awareness of their partners and where the sex is more one sided. However there's usually a baxk story to it and the other partner is aware and accepting of it at the time. Though lust is not the usual pattern of their sexual relationship. I hope I'm making sense
Or perhaps lust could be translated into a very strong sexual attraction to the partner which completely catches the main characters by surprise, since they haven't experienced that with anyone before? That's how I am interpreting it, and even though the protagonists might lose control their feelings do change afterwards as you said. I think Laura wrote in the beginning of this thread that a strong sexual attraction results in (the beginning of) love as the characters start working on themselves, motived by that strong sexual attraction/connection, if I remember it correctly. Also, perhaps in some cases the women in the novels feel desired even if the lovemaking is more one-sided. It could also be a part of a gift people wish to give to their partners, as lovemaking and touch is one of the five love languages (this book was recommended a couple of times in several threads).

If we consider lovemaking (within limits) as one of the love languages then we won't have to regard it as one-sided? As I wrote before I used to think in these terms. Realising that healthy lovemaking could be one of the many ways to make one's partner happy was a complete eye-opener for me.

I finished reading Byrne's The Highwayman and in this novel her being very strongly sexually attracted (I think she even used the word 'lust') to her husband appears to help both of them, even though I was having difficulty reading how he initially had sex with her. My two cents!
 

Andrian

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I think "Victorian morality" is the realization one comes to when one observes that there is a lot of sex out there and none of it is worth anything, even having a negative value in a lot of cases. Acknowledgement of this fact does not make the urges go away, and can actually make them worse, and can be likened to an alcoholic who realizes he has a problem but his entire life is structured around getting that next drink, even if it leaves him penniless. Those who have studied some neuroscience and psychology of addiction arrive at the conclusion that this aspect of the machine is useless and must be short-circuited in order to keep one's life "on track." Why allow yourself to long for something that is merely a poison? If disruption of sexual complementarity and harmonization between humans so that they can't access a higher level of creative existence was a plan of 4D STS, I'd say it's been a resounding success.

The novels can be quite arousing and threaten to undo the work one has put in to overcome one's "alcoholism," and I've held the opinion for quite a while now that if you came here to experience love and elope with your soul mate you came to the wrong planet. This planet is a meat grinder and if you're clever enough to run the gauntlet and avoid getting shredded then you may get something out of it. Romantic love is not really part of the package; it doesn't exist here or is a luxury few can afford. While I think everyone should read a sampling of the novels and it's fun to dream of what may await in the next world in moderation, I found myself getting too "into" the sex scenes after being able to initially fight them off. I started looking at women differently; instead of being immediately dismissive of their sexual features, my gaze would linger. I was being put into a mate-seeking mode led by my sexual instincts, hoping I would stumble across my lady fair who saves me like they save the emotionally unavailable men who appear in the beginning of some of these stories. After a certain number of repetitions of this process I decided that "none of that is real" and my mind has kind of switched off from the whole project. While there were some stirrings within me on a couple of occasions, I've never really loved anyone and I don't expect that to change.

Nonetheless, I can't quite go back to the way I was, something has shifted in me which makes me a bit more amenable to experimentation, however I anticipate that to blow up in my face and remind me why I went "Victorian" in the first place if and when it occurs.
I've noticed a few times asking myself why I'm reading these novels? Is it because I'm hoping to find a nice girl with whom will find myself on the same wavelength? Is it because I want to calibrare my lower emotional center? As well as different other similar questions? It didn't take me no time at all in finding an answer to those questions.

I'm reading them because they help me keep me grounded while the chaos in this reality is spreading further each passing day, they help me understand me better from a 360° perspective, they help me learning to put myself in other people's shoes which is a very difficult thing to do because of our own shortcomings and ego-centeredness, they help me hope for a better future for myself and for my loved ones, for our community, for our tribe and for everyone else as well and finally I'm reading the novels because I love them and I don't feel the need anymore to ask myself stupid questions why I'm reading them.

The sex is an important aspect that is being touched by the novels but that's just one of many other altogether important aspects that one won't want to miss if there is something important to learn from. As the C's were advising in a session, when one drives madly on a highway is risking to skip precious gems that one may find along the road if one slows a little and looks around. Just a different perspective I've wanted to share here.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I've noticed a few times asking myself why I'm reading these novels? Is it because I'm hoping to find a nice girl with whom will find myself on the same wavelength? Is it because I want to calibrare my lower emotional center? As well as different other similar questions? It didn't take me no time at all in finding an answer to those questions.

I'm reading them because they help me keep me grounded while the chaos in this reality is spreading further each passing day, they help me understand me better from a 360° perspective, they help me learning to put myself in other people's shoes which is a very difficult thing to do because of our own shortcomings and ego-centeredness, they help me hope for a better future for myself and for my loved ones, for our community, for our tribe and for everyone else as well and finally I'm reading the novels because I love them and I don't feel the need anymore to ask myself stupid questions why I'm reading them.

The sex is an important aspect that is being touched by the novels but that's just one of many other altogether important aspects that one won't want to miss if there is something important to learn from. As the C's were advising in a session, when one drives madly on a highway is risking to skip precious gems that one may find along the road if one slows a little and looks around. Just a different perspective I've wanted to share here.

Exactly. The point is not for anyone to go out and try to enact the drama/dynamic, it is to "grow being."
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
That which triggers us in another is a reflection of something we don’t want to acknowledge about ourselves.

Examples could be how some readers feel the “romance” is too over the top as if such love doesn’t really exist in this world. Or how some get triggered by the sex scenes.

Indeed.

And maybe such love has been thoroughly sidelined and squelched in our world thanks to psychopaths?


For me it’s when the male characters act overly possessive. I feel a distaste inside for this, almost to the point that I don’t want to complete the book. That obsessive possessive state as to which the male needs to possess the female physically, own her. So I’ve been thinking about why this disturbs me. I’ve never wanted to be owned by a male and to be in complete ownership of my own mind, body and soul. However am I triggered because I in truth do it to others? Maybe very subtlety, not overtly. This is shocking to me, I do think of my partner as mine. Not in the physical sense but in a “love” sense. It might stem from my lack of love as a child that when I did find someone as an adult who loved me, I latched on too tightly. I see that this is STS. His love is not “mine”, it’s a freely given gift but it’s not for me to “possess”. I think this has been a more energetic thing, not necessarily a verbal or physical thing.

I think it is probably very natural - maybe even genetic - to feel or want to have such belonging with at least one person in the world. Again, this may be something that has been discouraged along with the idea of real, authentic, deep love and caring: i.e. giving ALL to one who asks.

I’m learning from mostly the female characters in the books how to express love in a more STO manner. I think this has been my favorite part of the books. I never had a good female role model in this regard. The female characters in the books are usually very adept at providing a space for their wounded/troubled male counterparts to just be, without expectations or manipulation, they just give with innate ease.

For the most part, the characters in these books are good role models all the way around as far as I can see.
 

Neil

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
This statement, is it only “romantic” love you’re referring to? Or love in general? Have you ever truly loved another? May be a parent, sibling, friend or any other person other than a partner.
I was referring to romantic love, however it could apply to most other situations as well. I'm an only child and was never particularly close to my cousins, so sibling interaction is nonexistent. I've had close friends, but nothing I would categorize as "love," per se. Parental love I experience as a sense of duty, i.e. I should be there for someone who was there for me. I don't know if that counts. Maybe, maybe not.

There are probably more gradations of love than I really consider here; I tend to have an all or nothing view of it. What I define as genuine love is when you can peer into someone and feel that you are them and they are you; in that moment all of your thoughts and experiences are one, connected as if you are different facets of the same being, harmonized with the pulse of creation. Anything less is a dilution and not real. It's like asking if 10K gold is really gold. In my opinion it's not, but maybe I'm too regimented. By that analogy, I'm looking for at least 18 karats to truly label it love.
You sound like you're afraid of getting hurt in the process of finding love.
Correct, this is what primarily drives my behavior. I've only experienced the intellectual rapport to explore the level of relationship mentioned in the previous paragraph once, and I was really too young to know what I was dealing with. I lost that and the subject of relationships became pure torment for a number of years. I do not want to repeat that experience. So I don't see any way I can fulfill my ideal, while also having more prosaic biological drives and the desire for closeness, touch, and companionship which are also unfulfilled. Sexuality becomes something of a wayward child without some higher purpose to channel it into, and I've long debated whether I want to settle with comfort+sex, since it is more realistically attainable. It may temporarily absolve me of some of my issues, but it certainly won't last forever. I wasn't convinced one necessarily led to the other, but in the novels it often does. After these novels stirred up my sex center so much, I considered that this is just the way things are done here, and maybe what I am most opposed to is actually what is required to get the motor running. I decided that should I find myself in a situation in the future that is a little more sexual and a little less mental than I would like but am otherwise comfortable, I will roll the dice once and only once to see if the result proves my previous attitude to be incorrect. If it does, I'll probably be at sea for awhile and sound like some of the characters in the books, "I didn't know it was possible to feel such things in this life,""How did I ever live without it," etc.
Are you willing to put in the work on yourself, instead of shutting off the possibility of love for yourself and most other people? Isn't your attitude somewhat arrogant and egotistical, to determine in advance for other people that romantic love is not part of the package?
I'm not willing to put a woman up on a pedestal and build my life around her, but that's not the impression I got from the books. The main thing I got out of it is that you have to talk about everything, even if it hurts or scares the crap out of you. If you can't be totally honest with each other by about the third major date about anything that is going on and whatever skeletons you have in your closet without fear of judgment, then you really aren't meant to be with that person. A substantial number of romance plots seem to seek to demonstrate what kind of suffering occurs when this rule is broken. There is also the aspect of seeing that person as you and you as them as I described earlier, but I feel I could only really do that with a very specific type of person. It's more of an equal footing.

My attitude is simply a reflection of what I observe in the reality around me and doesn't really have any bearing on what other people do. Even on the Cassiopaea forum, which supposedly has the cream of the crop of humanity, what I get from perusing various swamp threads and stories here and there about people's relationships is that they are primairily a negative experience. Some people seem to able to go along to get along, but aren't really happy. A few do seem to be right for each other, but they are outliers and I'm not necessarily convinced it would work for me if I were in their situation. A lot of mods and admins strike me as "hopelessly single;" a category to which I probably belong as well. It is possible that with more knowledge I could make better decisions, but as someone who is trying to wisely learn from the mistakes of others instead of having to suffer through my own, none of this inspires a great deal of confidence. I am also up against such things as only 12% of the US population being able to think deeply about anything according to the Cassiopaeans, and having to find my "type" within that 12% against a backdrop of Great Reset social engineering that whittles down the probabilities to near nothing. The flip side of that coin is perhaps my rigid attitude towards such things also makes me unavailable for the person who actually "needs" me, and is a way of determining the needs of another. It seems like a stretch to me, but is indeed possible, and I remember reading a couple of romance plots to this effect. I had never thought about it that way, and it did result in twisting my surety in my rather straightforward "Victorian Morality" into a bit of a pretzel.
I'm reading them because they help me keep me grounded while the chaos in this reality is spreading further each passing day, they help me understand me better from a 360° perspective, they help me learning to put myself in other people's shoes which is a very difficult thing to do because of our own shortcomings and ego-centeredness, they help me hope for a better future for myself and for my loved ones, for our community, for our tribe and for everyone else as well and finally I'm reading the novels because I love them and I don't feel the need anymore to ask myself stupid questions why I'm reading them.
This first bit sounds a little bit like escapism, which we all need a little escapism, (I tend to do it with sci-fi things) but the romance books do not interest me for that purpose. I read books because I expect to go out and actually do something with the knowledge gained therein. This is why I became interested in esoteric books, I figured with the Wave and the closing of the Grand Cycle and the transition to 4D, some of that stuff would be useful to know one day. One can spend one's entire life within the confines of a library, and have entertained many complex and nuanced thoughts about many subjects, and have never truly experienced anything. I'm a reader, and I believe reading is an important foundation for knowledge which provides crucial support for one's life, but the actual edifice is lived experience. If the purpose of the romance books is to add to my philosophical repertoire before moving on to the next subject of study, then I've seen enough to get the overall gist and I'm done other than maybe picking up the occasional Balogh book for when I'm in a romantic mood. With each book it becomes harder and harder for me to tell myself that "I don't need anyone," or "it's better to be single because I enjoy my freedom," or "intimacy is nice but I can survive without it because it's not really important." I have to be VERY careful how I let these books affect me.
 

Candice

Jedi
I am also up against such things as only 12% of the US population being able to think deeply about anything according to the Cassiopaeans, and having to find my "type" within that 12% against a backdrop of Great Reset social engineering that whittles down the probabilities to near nothing.
Ah ok so your “lady love” is a unicorn. You have set criteria and expectations.

The thing is that usually in the books and also real life, love doesn’t follow rules or expectations. Love appears in the strangest of packages.

I was like you too. I had a strict idea or notion of who my perfect partner would be. I wouldn’t settle for less. Then I met my partner, someone completely the opposite to me, someone I’d never choose for myself. And I was completely different to someone he’d normally socialize with. We had completely different interests and came from wildly different sections of the class system. But we knew from the moment that we met we had an unexplainable connection. It was so easy to talk to each other like we’d known each other from a previous time.

So my point is that you never know who you’ll fall in love with. You have no idea what you have to offer each other. And to be open to meeting someone outside of your expectations. Also that you can meet someone and get to know if there is a connection without having a sexual relationship. I’ve come across a lot of younger ladies (gen z) on Twitter that are quite traditional in this aspect, rejecting the current pressure to be very sexual. They’re also very open minded, intelligent and interested in spiritual/esoteric concepts. Which when I was that age I never came across anyone like that. So your unicorn may be out there, who knows. I’m not saying this so you’ll go out searching or to be distracted. I just think that one can continue to work on oneself and be open to any new experiences that may appear, in full awareness obviously.
 

whitecoast

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Finished Grace Burrow's The Captive trilogy. I happen to like her writing style and it's snappiness, though the way the books trail off to a "happily ever after" 3rd person objective view in the last 3 or so paragraphs do annoy me a little. Anna Campbell does something similar, but moreso with epilogues where people have more opportunity to marinate in the emotional juices of the scene (if you pardon the gastronomic analogy) much longer. I feel they could have been a lot heavier emotionally if she had a writing style more similar to Balogh, where there is very minute attention paid to subtle changes in thought and perspective that the writing style makes you sit with. In spite of that though, thoughts and accompanying emotions are triggered just the same.

In spite of this, the heaviness of the subject matter in the trilogy was a cut above, dealing with survivors of torture and abuse, as well as sharing a glimpse into the emotional life of people who have participated in abuse, either as a reluctant person roped into it (like in Ordinary Men) or as someone who is inherently pathological. The last, The Laird, definitely had the heaviest subject matter of the three of them, and meandering down into the climax of the story was a very taxing emotional workout. Aside from that, the strongest emotional reactions I got were from Christian in The Captive and Sebastian in The Traitor surrounding a duel, and their meditations on leaving their romantic interest behind, wondering what flowers they would decorate their graves... something about Sebastian being a condemned man seemed to resonate with a sense of hopelessness I've felt at times.

This came back as well during my reading of Tremaine's True Love as well, with the female protagonist Nita visiting Addy's brood of often-sick children to practice medicine. The early courtship and dance of emotions and interest between Nita and Tremaine gave me butterflies and made me feel all fuzzy inside; ditto with the B-romance between George and Elsie. Some parts were angering, such as Nita's misleading of Tremaine and almost using him sexually/emotionally even after discovering there are deeper problems with their compatibility. I did admire the courage it took for her to finally break off the engagement though, since she stopped lying to herself about their compatibility in a critical aspect. I also was frustrated with her disregard for her own well-being when caring for others, even though I did feel some parts of the martyr program tugging at me through the pages. Ultimately she did get a dose what it felt like to be on the receiving end of this via a duel held to defend her honor.

After reading Tremaine's True Love and looking back at the thread I was a little perturbed at some of the references made here to the secondary male protagonist (George) being gay. His attraction to both men and women is remarked upon and demonstrated clearly on many occasions, and he even falls in love with and marries a woman and remarks that he has had very little emotional connection to men. It's kind of misleading to refer to bisexual people as gay or lesbian, and also not altogether respectful.

I've only experienced the intellectual rapport to explore the level of relationship mentioned in the previous paragraph once, and I was really too young to know what I was dealing with. I lost that and the subject of relationships became pure torment for a number of years. I do not want to repeat that experience.
Once bitten, twice shy. We've all been there, and I think a part of my own problem was the level of importance I ascribed to my relationship and the role it played in my own life and development. The fact that I wasn't able to learn the lessons properly from it just meant I was forever still tormented by it, and always under its thumb. Even if I swore other relationships and closeness off (and I did) I was still just as trapped as if I was still in it. It's like pendulums; if you ascribe too much negative importance to something, it's going to keep you in its orbit. In your case this may be the catastrophizing about how an imperfect union is simply, categorically, ruinous. No union is perfect. A good relationship Guru I listened to once said this way. You're not forming one relationship with one person, you are forming a series of relationships between different versions of you and your significant other as you both change over time. Are you and the other person both moving in the same direction, i.e. toward truth, love, virtue, acceptance, etc? Soul mates are not things you and some random person walking around out there are, they are things you become as you both engage in The Work (Romance is what Mouravieff called the Fifth Way).

As for reading about other people's relationship troubles, they are students in a school. Romance is probably the most demanding and taxing set of lessons to learn in 3D, and since we are all students opening any person's workbook is going to find pages of incorrect answers, edits, addendums, etc that they are trying to improve upon. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the student, or what they're doing. They're in 3D, and their lives are constructed to facilitate these lessons. It is up to you how you learn those lessons ultimately, and reading is a good way to maybe help clear some of the karma around those hangups. Even if you do try to form a relationship and a union with someone and it ends after a few years, or even a few months or weeks, that doesn't mean it wasn't a productive interaction and instructive in numerous levels. Perhaps there can be discomfort or some sadness around a relationship's dissolution, but really, that's not the end of the world, especially when you consider the upside of exploring something romantic with someone has no upward bound.

Since starting the romantic reading project, I feel a lot less stress when going on dates and meeting people, and at the same time less interested in physical gratification and more able to see where compatibility is and isn't with certain people, and more able to see (and say) what my true feelings are. Before in the back of my head I was always comparing my own feelings in the moment with a relatively impoverished repertoire of relationships and interactions I've had, and consequently had so much anxious emotional charge around it. The romance was a game-changer in that regard, seeing many interactions I've had in real life, and comparing them to other scenarios, can see things from different angles and be more objective. The constant happy endings continually reinforce faith in the fact that acting with love always leads to a better world. I'm not giving advice to keep looking or keep being celibate - I guess my main concern is that if you're making a decision one way or another, I just hope it's not based on fear (whether of loneliness, or of the messiness of human relationships).
 
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Persephone

Jedi Master
Or perhaps lust could be translated into a very strong sexual attraction to the partner which completely catches the main characters by surprise, since they haven't experienced that with anyone before? That's how I am interpreting it, and even though the protagonists might lose control their feelings do change afterwards as you said. I think Laura wrote in the beginning of this thread that a strong sexual attraction results in (the beginning of) love as the characters start working on themselves, motived by that strong sexual attraction/connection, if I remember it correctly. Also, perhaps in some cases the women in the novels feel desired even if the lovemaking is more one-sided. It could also be a part of a gift people wish to give to their partners, as lovemaking and touch is one of the five love languages (this book was recommended a couple of times in several threads).

If we consider lovemaking (within limits) as one of the love languages then we won't have to regard it as one-sided? As I wrote before I used to think in these terms. Realising that healthy lovemaking could be one of the many ways to make one's partner happy was a complete eye-opener for me.

I finished reading Byrne's The Highwayman and in this novel her being very strongly sexually attracted (I think she even used the word 'lust') to her husband appears to help both of them, even though I was having difficulty reading how he initially had sex with her. My two cents!
Generally the word "lust" has more of a carnal connotation (as lechery), in that it refers to an immoderate desire for the satisfaction of one's own physical pleasure, whereas in passion emotions and connection to the other are also part of the equation, but some authors or people may use it in both senses.
When it is just a question of satisfaction of one's own pleasure it is unlikely that the person is driven to do any work on themselves, and the other is seen just as an object, an instrument of that satisfaction.

I also think that on another level a strong attraction can be a sign/manifestation of a deep connection of two beings, perhaps karmic, who are not yet aware of it (of this deeper level), and this attraction may be an oppurtunity to descover it and begin to develop it (both by working on themselves and by, eventually, creating something new.
 

Andrian

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I was referring to romantic love, however it could apply to most other situations as well. I'm an only child and was never particularly close to my cousins, so sibling interaction is nonexistent. I've had close friends, but nothing I would categorize as "love," per se. Parental love I experience as a sense of duty, i.e. I should be there for someone who was there for me. I don't know if that counts. Maybe, maybe not.

There are probably more gradations of love than I really consider here; I tend to have an all or nothing view of it. What I define as genuine love is when you can peer into someone and feel that you are them and they are you; in that moment all of your thoughts and experiences are one, connected as if you are different facets of the same being, harmonized with the pulse of creation. Anything less is a dilution and not real. It's like asking if 10K gold is really gold. In my opinion it's not, but maybe I'm too regimented. By that analogy, I'm looking for at least 18 karats to truly label it love.

Correct, this is what primarily drives my behavior. I've only experienced the intellectual rapport to explore the level of relationship mentioned in the previous paragraph once, and I was really too young to know what I was dealing with. I lost that and the subject of relationships became pure torment for a number of years. I do not want to repeat that experience. So I don't see any way I can fulfill my ideal, while also having more prosaic biological drives and the desire for closeness, touch, and companionship which are also unfulfilled. Sexuality becomes something of a wayward child without some higher purpose to channel it into, and I've long debated whether I want to settle with comfort+sex, since it is more realistically attainable. It may temporarily absolve me of some of my issues, but it certainly won't last forever. I wasn't convinced one necessarily led to the other, but in the novels it often does. After these novels stirred up my sex center so much, I considered that this is just the way things are done here, and maybe what I am most opposed to is actually what is required to get the motor running. I decided that should I find myself in a situation in the future that is a little more sexual and a little less mental than I would like but am otherwise comfortable, I will roll the dice once and only once to see if the result proves my previous attitude to be incorrect. If it does, I'll probably be at sea for awhile and sound like some of the characters in the books, "I didn't know it was possible to feel such things in this life,""How did I ever live without it," etc.

I'm not willing to put a woman up on a pedestal and build my life around her, but that's not the impression I got from the books. The main thing I got out of it is that you have to talk about everything, even if it hurts or scares the crap out of you. If you can't be totally honest with each other by about the third major date about anything that is going on and whatever skeletons you have in your closet without fear of judgment, then you really aren't meant to be with that person. A substantial number of romance plots seem to seek to demonstrate what kind of suffering occurs when this rule is broken. There is also the aspect of seeing that person as you and you as them as I described earlier, but I feel I could only really do that with a very specific type of person. It's more of an equal footing.

My attitude is simply a reflection of what I observe in the reality around me and doesn't really have any bearing on what other people do. Even on the Cassiopaea forum, which supposedly has the cream of the crop of humanity, what I get from perusing various swamp threads and stories here and there about people's relationships is that they are primairily a negative experience. Some people seem to able to go along to get along, but aren't really happy. A few do seem to be right for each other, but they are outliers and I'm not necessarily convinced it would work for me if I were in their situation. A lot of mods and admins strike me as "hopelessly single;" a category to which I probably belong as well. It is possible that with more knowledge I could make better decisions, but as someone who is trying to wisely learn from the mistakes of others instead of having to suffer through my own, none of this inspires a great deal of confidence. I am also up against such things as only 12% of the US population being able to think deeply about anything according to the Cassiopaeans, and having to find my "type" within that 12% against a backdrop of Great Reset social engineering that whittles down the probabilities to near nothing. The flip side of that coin is perhaps my rigid attitude towards such things also makes me unavailable for the person who actually "needs" me, and is a way of determining the needs of another. It seems like a stretch to me, but is indeed possible, and I remember reading a couple of romance plots to this effect. I had never thought about it that way, and it did result in twisting my surety in my rather straightforward "Victorian Morality" into a bit of a pretzel.

This first bit sounds a little bit like escapism, which we all need a little escapism, (I tend to do it with sci-fi things) but the romance books do not interest me for that purpose. I read books because I expect to go out and actually do something with the knowledge gained therein. This is why I became interested in esoteric books, I figured with the Wave and the closing of the Grand Cycle and the transition to 4D, some of that stuff would be useful to know one day. One can spend one's entire life within the confines of a library, and have entertained many complex and nuanced thoughts about many subjects, and have never truly experienced anything. I'm a reader, and I believe reading is an important foundation for knowledge which provides crucial support for one's life, but the actual edifice is lived experience. If the purpose of the romance books is to add to my philosophical repertoire before moving on to the next subject of study, then I've seen enough to get the overall gist and I'm done other than maybe picking up the occasional Balogh book for when I'm in a romantic mood. With each book it becomes harder and harder for me to tell myself that "I don't need anyone," or "it's better to be single because I enjoy my freedom," or "intimacy is nice but I can survive without it because it's not really important." I have to be VERY careful how I let these books affect me.

I hear you Neil, me, you and many of our male and female community members are on the same boat, that is, the boat of a lonely life till someday somebody of us will be lucky in finding a life companion with whom he's on the same wavelength. I'm not reading the novels in order to escape the loneliness or the chaos that is spreading around us, I'm reading the novels because I resonate with them, I love them and they are helping me seing and understanding myself more broadly and also they are helping me to understand better the others.

If one is willing to read them with his open heart and soul he will discover for himself some very special insights onto the human condition in this reality, life lessons one has to learn in order to grow and many other important aspects that may help one to move onward if one doesn't try to control the process but just enjoy it with an open heart.

And finally, I would like to point out that as many of our members mentioned on the following thread including Laura on many occasions by reading the novels without prejudice, without anticipating anything one may be lucky enough in "growing our being" and if it will happen, it will happen naturally, it's a process. But without faith, commitment and sacrifice one won't be able to achieve much. And by sacrifice I mean, letting go those internal stumbling blocks that are holding us too self centered and blind to the point that we are unable to perceive the true importance and the benefits thay may bring by pursuing open heartily a process as the current project.

Here's an example from Laura regarding the importance of reading these novels:

Exactly. The point is not for anyone to go out and try to enact the drama/dynamic, it is to "grow being."

If one looks for a purpose to why one should follow this project than I'd say Laura nailed it pretty clearly in her comment above.
 
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