Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Well, Laura may have a different answer but I think it would be a shame not to finish the trilogy with 'Tempting Harriot.' I'm about half way through and it provides more interesting angles to the overall dynamic of the two previous.

I think it would be good to stick to the stories I've vetted. Remember, there are quite a few books, even by the authors I have named, that I have NOT recommended because the themes are not what I would consider wholesome for our purposes here (Tempt the Devil being one of those). There's already a huge selection. And it doesn't hurt to finish one series by one author, and then read another series by another author, and then switch back. And since they are all on kindle, it's pretty cheap.
 

JeanneT

Jedi
FOTCM Member
I was thrilled to get the "Sins and Scoundrels" series for free with my kindle unlimited membership. I have already purchased and read " Dancing with Clara", "Seven Nights" and "Indiscreet" and was looking for the next read.

I also have realized that I have not read much fiction and certainly not romance, since venturing on the quest to figure out and understand the meaning of life. I have only wanted to spend money and time in the spiritual, self help and non-fiction realm. However, this has been a great experience so far, aside from my tendency to want to bury myself in such books until I get to the end. I can be a very serious person most of the time and this reading, I might say, is loosening me up a bit.

I am noticing that some of the frustrations I may feel for a certain character is similar to some real life frustrations I may have with myself or others. One that sticks out, right now, is a guarded mechanism of not revealing my true feelings or sharing some of my hopes and fears honestly with those close to me. I tend to want to handle things on my own emotionally and certainly not bother anyone else with my issues. That has sometimes resulted in people thinking I am more aloof than I actually am. Oh, there are so many other things too in the stories that rile me up or are even comforting in some way. Another that comes to mind is my reluctance to confront others with what is on my mind especially if they may not like it. Reading and being reminded of the limitations for females in the time period presented also irritates that part of me that was taught to take the subservient role, remain proper and above all costs do not cause controversy or rock any boats. I can see that there are some archetypes that get roused in me which makes me feel alive and also thoughtful. Feeling happy about this...good stuff...thanks, Laura!
 

Mrs. Peel

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I’m halfway through listening to “Irresistible” by Mary Balogh (the only one in that series on audiobook from the library) and I notice that I’m getting really impatient with some of the heroines (especially this one) and just want to slap some sense into them! So much angst they go through that could be avoided by being honest and truthful. Same for the guys I guess.

In Sophie’s case, why doesn’t she bother to examine more closely and question or investigate further the letters that she is being blackmailed with? I’m betting without knowing the ending, that her husband never wrote them or they were forged or tampered with somehow. And where was he supposed to have had this affair described in the letters if Sophie was with him on the battlefields all the time? She even admits it wasn't like him to be much of a writer. Yet she just accepts the blackmail and keeps paying because she thinks she’s saving face for her husband and people would think less of him (and her). What a ninny!!!

But I guess there wouldn’t be any story if everyone did the logical thing all the time. I’m starting to feel like Spock. :-/
 

beetlemaniac

The Living Force
Thank you for the book recommendations, Laura and all your very insightful and interesting comments about how you relate the content of these novels to your life experiences. I don't have much experience with intimate relationships, hell, I was terrible if not emotionally blind when I was younger and so am I just a bit better than I was previously today. I remember the first major heartbreak I had with a girl that was previously dating an old schoolmate of mine, and it was pretty sad. Lots of wishful thinking about how the relationship should be and how to get her on my own terms. I just remember vividly bawling my eyes out to some Jack Johnson music after seeing her hanging out with another guy on my bed during a house party we had (I think it was my birthday, :-(). It's water under the bridge now though, I'm fairly disconnected from any emotion related to that event, and maybe I am just fairly disconnected from emotions overall?

I am a little more than halfway through "7 Nights in a Rogue's Bed" and it's been, well, a lot of different things I suppose. There was a lot more sex than I had expected! I found myself asking myself - wow, is this really forum material, when reading one of the more "kinky" scenes I guess you could call them. I feel a little self-conscious talking about the sex part first of all but I had to get that out of the way.
Watching porn was way more about juicing dopamine and destabilizing brain chemicals when compared to the experience I got from reading this book, which was more in the vein of a calmer, less head-focused and more body feeling type of thing. There's so much more nuance that is not there.

Laura mentioned that the main objective of reading the books was not so much to observe our bodily reactions but to let the reading initiate a kind of reconnection process of sorts between mind and heart, I think. I loved the descriptions of both the main characters because I could understand and identify with the various (negative and positive) traits that they had.

I noticed how Sidonie had this skill of withholding what she didn't feel comfortable with saying, which can be a double edged sword as not saying something can be as dangerous as saying what you really mean to say. With Jonas I saw lots of angst that fueled his desire for more luxury, materiality and so on but I guess both of them were characters yearning, longing for something and that was basically what created the interesting dynamics between them? I'm an amateur fiction reader, especially of romance so forgive me for sounding a little bit more than daft about these things.

I am at the part where Jonas is put on the spot by Sidonie to reveal certain things about himself and I find myself instinctively picking up the kindle rather than reading the Wave chapter for today's workshop! It's kinda interesting how that happens. I don't know whether to just follow what my body wants or my mind.

Interestingly today a lady at the laundromat stole a glance at me, I was reading the Wave at the time. I was just observing how I felt and many thoughts came up in full sentences about what to say to her, like "nothing like freshly laundered clothes in the morning, eh?" and so on. I didn't say anything and just tried to focus on my reading, I had reached an interesting part but sooner or later my focus wavered. I knew I could have plucked up the courage to say something but I didn't, oh well, I just made a passing remark about how she had a lot of clothes. Ego gets the better of me, I could have made the situation more interesting by making decent conversation. Regret filled my mind immediately after - what a bummer and STS feeding frenzy. I guess we have to remember to be vigilant about cultivating joy in our lives and avoiding situations where you generate those negative emotions, as hyperkinetic sensate is quite real as I have noticed. The thoughts that overlay the emotions tend to cloud things but what's important is the underlying emotions and being more intelligent about how to deal with them. Also not to miss opportunities that the universe provides to interact with others with joy (like I did with that lady!). Singing and dancing in the shower is about the most I do in terms of generating feelings of joy. Still learning and living... thanks for reading. :flowers:
 

Jefferson

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Well, Laura may have a different answer but I think it would be a shame not to finish the trilogy with 'Tempting Harriot.' I'm about half way through and it provides more interesting angles to the overall dynamic of the two previous.


If I understood correctly, I think the Sullivan trilogy - Courting Julia - Dancing with Clara - Tempting Harriet is part of the recommended readings, and likely just fine to finish it off.

After reading Courting Julia I'm still waiting for the paper copy of Dancing with Clara to show up soon. In the meantime I started the Horsemen trilogy (Indiscreet):
  • right away the reader can see how one character (viscount) builds false narratives in his mind - oh how I can relate!
  • also the part where the main female character tells her piano students basically to enjoy the process of learning reinforces the wisdom from our practicing mind thread and serves as an emotive/affective reminder of the key ingredient in building discipline and willpower
Although some electronic versions from the list are on the computer, I find the physical page-turning of the paper books to be quite therapeutic in itself.
 

Arwenn

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I realized, that in fact I have the opposite problem, I have always been maybe too vulnerable and honest with my feelings to my significant other(s). I've never been one for games, I always like to know where I stand and communicated how I felt so we could be on even ground as it were.
Just some of my thoughts here from a female perspective. I think opening up too soon, putting all your cards on the table at once takes away the mystery. There is something to be said for the thrill of the chase, of enjoying something all the more because you’ve worked hard for it. In the novels, there is the physical chemistry but there is also the enigma of the men, the mystery to be solved that keeps their wives so determined in persisting to get to know them better and win their trust. Trust has to be earned and being too open all at once leaves nothing to the imagination. I’m not advocating for playing games at all, more like taking your time to get to know one another rather than spilling it all out at once. OSIT

It’s a tough call, I think, because on one side men are expected to be the rock and the provider in the family, but at the right time they also need to be able to show their vulnerable side.
I’ve been thinking about the complexity of strong yet vulnerable men. In the context of these books, the denouement sees the male protagonists finally realise and admit that they love their wives. The act of realising their love for their wives, of trusting them, is the act of being vulnerable. However, the male protagonists are generally tough men, dangerous even, hardened by battle/war or life in general. They know what they are capable of, but they tame that aggression and channel it into being protective of their wives and family. They choose to be vulnerable, not all of the time, but when it’s is necessary. Most of the male protagonists are infused with this aura of danger and mystery, & I can see the attraction in that motif.

Peterson has often discussed the concept of dangerous men vs weak men:
“Maybe a man is better when he is a dangerous man who is being good, then he would be if he was just a good man who wasn’t capable of being dangerous. The best men I ever met are very dangerous men. You don’t mess with them. And you know that as soon as you meet them.” ~JBP

A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very dangerous man, who has that under voluntary control. And if you think tough men are dangerous, wait until you see what weak men are capable of.” ~JBP

Below are a couple of snippets pertaining to this topic. In the first one, Jocko Willink talks about the three things that made him realise he was good with himself and being a man- street fighting and martial arts; going into combat, facing the possibility of death & being okay with it; getting married & assuming the role of protector and provider for his family.

 

mamibio74

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Adaryn a déclaré: " ". That might be enough if we lived in a normal world. But we don't, and we're living in very special times. So the way things are now, I don't think strong attraction and basic compatibility would be enough - at least, not for me. Doesn't matter if that person is decent, has moral values and so on, if he believes the lies wrt, say, COVID or global warming, or darwinism, well, no. Those divergences of opinions would certainly lead to great clashes, misunderstandings and unnecessary suffering on both parts. I would want to impose my vision, effectively violating the other's free will and hindering his personal path - possibly preventing him from finding the right person for him. A recipe for disaster" -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It's already difficult to see his family ignorant of the real political stakes without being able to act and to note that they reject any logical questioning, then indeed, like Adaryn, I would not choose a companion who would be in ignorance. It seems to me that this could also have serious consequences in the future. I will be afraid (in case of danger) being hindered in my decisions for to help others and myself.
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Well, Laura may have a different answer but I think it would be a shame not to finish the trilogy with 'Tempting Harriot.' I'm about half way through and it provides more interesting angles to the overall dynamic of the two previous.

FWIW, I thought 'Dancing with Clara' was just brilliant and moving, but I liked 'Tempting Harriot' least of the three (it was a great story, but somehow the transformation of the characters 'sung' less to me than the others, but maybe we all find different things to relate to in these novels.)

Now, 'Then Comes Seduction' from the Huxtable Quintet, that was a tour de force of "simple karmic understandings"!! Gorgeous! Balogh is a real philosopher, but one with a golden heart!

I’ve been thinking about the complexity of strong yet vulnerable men. In the context of these books, the denouement sees the male protagonists finally realise and admit that they love their wives. The act of realising their love for their wives, of trusting them, is the act of being vulnerable. However, the male protagonists are generally tough men, dangerous even, hardened by battle/war or life in general. They know what they are capable of, but they tame that aggression and channel it into being protective of their wives and family. They choose to be vulnerable, not all of the time, but when it’s is necessary. Most of the male protagonists are infused with this aura of danger and mystery, & I can see the attraction in that motif.

Yes, I must say I'm fascinated by and almost in love with some of the male protagonists. It's not, IMO, about "discovering your feminine side" for them, rather about finding the courage to open up, and to love. And they actually keep their male characteristics, but learn how to channel them into something positive and creative, as in "love can move mountains". It's kind of an archetypical story: Before love, they use their wit, intelligence, recklessness, carelessness etc. for spiritual self-destruction, hurting everyone in their way in the process. After love and transformation, they are still witty, intelligent, reckless and careless - but they use these characteristics in LOVE for the benefit of others, for truth, justice and true honor and nobility. And in the process they manage to forgive themselves and find healing. One of the emotional roller coasters for me while reading these books was that I could follow these idealized transformations, relate to them, and forgive myself and find healing too.

These books seem to have some interesting effects on me. I feel much more in harmony with myself, less judging (either myself or others), more connected but in my own unique way, less triggered by what others think of me/insecure, less worrying and brooding, more clarity, more productive but in an unforced, relaxed way... Just more love, I guess! But there are also bouts of depression having to do with reliving aspects of my past, and maybe the vulnerability that comes with opening your heart to the world described in these books. Or maybe it's just a general depression right now and it would be even worse without these books... I'm also not really looking at the news/social media at the moment, so I can't say it helped with that; I still feel the need for a little time-out from the craziness and focus more on practical things right now.

Well, what a surprising and great experience. Who would have thought that romance novels of all things could do that!?

Also, can't resist mentioning that I just love how utterly shameless these books are in their total rejection of postmodernism. They openly idealize Regency/Victorian England, shamelessly celebrate traditional male and female "gender" roles, they put sex into its proper context of love, creation, service and positive transformation, and yet the world they convey to our souls is not at all prudish, dull and backwards, but brimming with life, meaning, passion, colors, goodness, love & wisdom.
 

SMM

The Living Force
Wow, this thread has grown fast! And is as hilarious as it is interesting to boot!

I started reading Arabella by Georgette Heyer as after sampling a few of the audiobooks, I could relate to the many sisters and fewer brothers that Arabella has, as well as other aspects of the story.

I also started reading 7 Nights by Anna Campbell, the first of the Sons of Sins series. Campbell's work is definitely easier reading literary than Heyer's, as much as I appreciate both.

A really interesting experience reading Heyer. I'm not far into the book and look forward to reading more of it.

The comments and discussions on this thread are insightful, to the point I don't even mind the spoilers. It helps me stay vigilant and observant while reading.

I'm really looking forward to diving more into these books.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
FWIW, I thought 'Dancing with Clara' was just brilliant and moving, but I liked 'Tempting Harriot' least of the three (it was a great story, but somehow the transformation of the characters 'sung' less to me than the others, but maybe we all find different things to relate to in these novels.)

Now, 'Then Comes Seduction' from the Huxtable Quintet, that was a tour de force of "simple karmic understandings"!! Gorgeous! Balogh is a real philosopher, but one with a golden heart!

You have more tour de force coming from the Huxtable Quintet! It's just staggering by the time it gets to the end.


Yes, I must say I'm fascinated by and almost in love with some of the male protagonists. It's not, IMO, about "discovering your feminine side" for them, rather about finding the courage to open up, and to love. And they actually keep their male characteristics, but learn how to channel them into something positive and creative, as in "love can move mountains". It's kind of an archetypical story: Before love, they use their wit, intelligence, recklessness, carelessness etc. for spiritual self-destruction, hurting everyone in their way in the process. After love and transformation, they are still witty, intelligent, reckless and careless - but they use these characteristics in LOVE for the benefit of others, for truth, justice and true honor and nobility. And in the process they manage to forgive themselves and find healing. One of the emotional roller coasters for me while reading these books was that I could follow these idealized transformations, relate to them, and forgive myself and find healing too.

Exactly. And the same is true on the female side. It's just amazing the amount of internal considering that is revealed by Balogh especially, but by the other authors as well. And how that inner voice, the inner parent or whatever you want to call it, can ruin a person's life. And then, there are the false personalities! Hoo boy! On full display! What's beautiful, as you say, is the transformation process, how the individuals come face to face with their false personalities and vanquish them, or how they are healed from the negative introjects by both their own efforts and by the love of another.

These books seem to have some interesting effects on me. I feel much more in harmony with myself, less judging (either myself or others), more connected but in my own unique way, less triggered by what others think of me/insecure, less worrying and brooding, more clarity, more productive but in an unforced, relaxed way... Just more love, I guess! But there are also bouts of depression having to do with reliving aspects of my past, and maybe the vulnerability that comes with opening your heart to the world described in these books. Or maybe it's just a general depression right now and it would be even worse without these books... I'm also not really looking at the news/social media at the moment, so I can't say it helped with that; I still feel the need for a little time-out from the craziness and focus more on practical things right now.

Yes, the effects, over a period of time and with enough input from the reading, are most interesting. As I said, it's like exercising the emotions. And you go up and down and begin to feel more deeply and with awareness that wasn't fully there before.

I'm able to do a bit of social media, and I try to keep track of anything significant going on, but truth is, we are at a stage when it seems that we are hurtling almost inevitably to some denouement that we cannot change, so not much to be done there at the moment.

Well, what a surprising and great experience. Who would have thought that romance novels of all things could do that!?

Also, can't resist mentioning that I just love how utterly shameless these books are in their total rejection of postmodernism. They openly idealize Regency/Victorian England, shamelessly celebrate traditional male and female "gender" roles, they put sex into its proper context of love, creation, service and positive transformation, and yet the world they convey to our souls is not at all prudish, dull and backwards, but brimming with life, meaning, passion, colors, goodness, love & wisdom.

That was one of the first things I noticed and I was surprised to realize that this was a very popular genre. It's just diametrically opposed to the politically correct view of life, love, reality, etc. But then, so are we.
 

trytofly

Jedi
I love the emotions aroused by these readings. It seems to me that I tend to suppress them usually.
I feel this is beneficial without fully understanding how. And that might just be the start.

[Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed]
Jonas pretends the lack of confidence in Sidonie, while I feel that it is ultimately only pride. (A recurring flaw in men it seems to me; it was perhaps a little of this pride that held me back at the start to begin these readings intended for a female audience.)
It annoyed me, especially since this "excuse" lasted long. (And forgiveness then? Especially in love!)
But this could serve to emphasize that this is a flaw that is difficult to recognize and suppress.

[Days of Rakes and Roses]
"The most precious of jewels" in French. And indeed, I loved this second volume which is a real gem in my eyes. :-)
The father's egocentricity is ultimately as hateful and dangerous to his daughter as Neville is. When he should be responsible for the protection of her.

I now start "What a Duke Dares" with impatience.
And "The Huxtable Quintet" and "Mackenzies & McBrides" have already been ordered.
I am curious to see the difference in writing style of these authors.

I sometimes catch myself thinking using more stylized terms and phrases since I read.
I'm already getting addicted!

Thank you again to Laura for making us read these books!
 

Abats

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Hello everyone,

I started some time ago to read the novels that Laura and the C's advised and the consequences that this seems to have on me are enormous. I'm only 50% of mackenzie's first novel and I'm oscillating between sadness, joy, depression, the desire to love and still full of roller coaster effects. My sleep is difficult in spite of 6mg of melatonin in the evening and very intense dreams are in my mind. I need to talk about this here because I feel like I'm emotionally dead and my mind is completely perverted about anything to do with desire in the physical sense.

At the beginning of the reading, it was interesting but I am unable to integrate sexual desire in my mind and heart without it being unhealthy or a "positive" function. To give you an idea of what's going on in my head, here's how I "see" this beginning of reading. Ian openly says he wants Beth when he doesn't know her at all, to me this is a purely hormonal representation of a physical desire (and I don't see any form of love in it). I even wondered what these sometimes explicitly described scenes have to do with it ? Two strangers going for the pleasure of the flesh ? All this seduction seems to be a game (and I make the short cut that if seduction is a game, then one manipulates the other to fulfill one's own desires, like a hidden intention). The example I can give is that of offering flowers to your wife, the twisted thought that comes to my mind is to say, we make this gesture not out of love but because we are waiting for the reward that our lady comes to satisfy us sexually in bed (sorry it's a big shortcut but unfortunately I have that in mind). When Ian makes love to Beth, he doesn't know her, they just met 3 or 4 times it seems to me and didn't go very far in the knowledge of the other. So this scene described in the hotel, I see Ian acting mechanically and without emotion just wanting to satisfy Beth sexually as a performance act (especially since he says he doesn't know how to love and asks Beth what it feels like to love in relation to her ex-husband Thomas).

The other more positive consequence of this reading is that it gives me a sincere desire to want to love someone, to move forward and fight the dragons that are on the road to reach the full expression of each one, that is to say, to be able to be completely oneself with the other. Curiously I also look for tenderness in touch (just someone I can hold in my arms ! and yet I tell myself that this simple thing is too much to ask for). But here we are in our world and with all the knowledge and the application of it that we have on the forum, I tell myself that hoping to meet someone open to the nature of the wave, the keto, the conspiracies etc... is literally wishful thinking. This feeling of loneliness naturally deepens even more. You can be very well surrounded and have good friends but if nobody is there so that you can share your journey with total intimacy, it's still a shame to be 7 billion on the planet and not find one person ? well I really feel like I'm sinking in the mud sadness and depression with these books. I write these words with a ball in my throat and tears forming. These books seem to send me back that I am already dead inside, that I don't have that flame in me that would like to exist and spread. It's hard to find the right words. I also struggle with my shame to post this message in the swamp, because it generates a lot of feelings of importance on my little person and complacency etc. when I really don't aspire to that. A lot of conflicts emerge and damn it's hard without really figuring out which direction to go in to transform all this and hatch a jewel instead of letting that egg rot.

When I started reading, I had several dreams that emerged. The first one I was with Laura, we were talking and she offered me a gold ring with a diamond on it. (like a wedding ring). Then she got up and left. I saw it as a positive announcement related to love but also to my own responsibility (since Laura gave me this ring and left). Two days later I dreamt that I was dying, a knight had stuck a sword disproportionate in length and width right in my spine. I bled to death and felt like I was dying, as if I was closing my eyes because there was no strength at all. Finally the next day, I began to dream that I was expecting a child, I must have been 6 or 7 months old (surely a feminine side expressing itself and in gestation maybe ? something new). In itself I have the feeling that my dreams show a real transformation with a total destruction of my being and a renewal that is coming but how can I continue to move forward ? Obviously I will continue to read these books since it is necessary to move forward and go beyond my programs. In any case, I would never have thought that reading this kind of novel would have had such an effect on me.

Thank you for reading me.
 
Last edited:

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I found Dancing with Clara somewhat gloomy. Internal Dialogue Mary Balogh writes is clear and informative of their mindset. I guess we lost seeing this in our modern era and people carried away by the instant slogans/emotionally triggering narrations.

Why Clara chose this specific bounty hunter and not others? She clearly knows the limitations of what she wants from the marriage. I found myself keep guessing the end of the story to avoid the tension. I found the ending of protagonists' intact addictions (but confessed ) more practical than the usual "Happy ever after" scenario. I too liked the initiative of his family members to correct the misunderstanding they unwittingly created.
 

genero81

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Now, 'Then Comes Seduction' from the Huxtable Quintet, that was a tour de force of "simple karmic understandings"!! Gorgeous! Balogh is a real philosopher, but one with a golden heart!

I bought 'The Madness of Lord Mackenzie' even before this last trilogy from Balogh. So I will finish up 'Tempting Harriot' and switch authors for a different flavor. After that series, I will come back to Balogh and the 'Huxtable Quintet' series. These books are like the written version of engaging series on streaming services. Once you get into them, they go quickly.
 

Adaryn

The Living Force
Hello everyone,

I started some time ago to read the novels that Laura and the C's advised and the consequences that this seems to have on me are enormous. I'm only 50% of mackenzie's first novel and I'm oscillating between sadness, joy, depression, the desire to love and still full of roller coaster effects. My sleep is difficult in spite of 6mg of melatonin in the evening and very intense dreams are in my mind. I need to talk about this here because I feel like I'm emotionally dead and my mind is completely perverted about anything to do with desire in the physical sense.

The fact that you're feeling things deeply right now (coupled with your rather intense dreams), even if some of that are negative emotions, is evidence enough that you're certainly NOT emotionally dead" and "perverted". I think it's more to do with emotional blockages and negative programming instilled in you (and in most of us) during your childhood, regarding "sex" and relationships.
I was brought up as a Catholic, where sex is frowned upon and regarded as dirty and almost unnatural. Hence, my view of physical desire has been coloured by that belief that it was something shameful and evil. That sex doesn't mix well with emotions and loving - that these 2 things are antagonistic and must be separated. The idea of separating sexual desire from love is completely schizophrenic, and may lead to pathology, or at least pathological behaviour. To thinking patterns like: "I love that person – hence wanting them sexually is dirty and shameful, "unpure". Or the reverse: "I want that person, hence I don't/can't love them". I know it's a bit more complicated than that, but that's the general idea.

At the beginning of the reading, it was interesting but I am unable to integrate sexual desire in my mind and heart without it being unhealthy or a "positive" function. To give you an idea of what's going on in my head, here's how I "see" this beginning of reading. Ian openly says he wants Beth when he doesn't know her at all, to me this is a purely hormonal representation of a physical desire (and I don't see any form of love in it).

Keep in mind that those are novels/fictions, and not necessarily realistic – though, from other members' accounts (for ie, MK Scarlett), and from reading some real life testimonies on the Internet, that kind of "love at first sight" phenomenon does exist. Of course, it's not the be all and end all. It's what you do with those feelings of attraction that counts: say the attraction is mutual. OK: but what is your intent? And what is the other person's intent? I'm not sure just "riding out into the sunset" is gonna lead to something productive for either of you.
Anyway, in the novels, the author kind of "speeds up" the process in order to get to the heart of the matter as quickly as possible: which is, as Laura said, strong physical attraction which leads to immediate intimacy between the characters, which leads to a breaking down of the barriers which prevent them from expressing their true self and true emotions. Direct, raw physical contact is a springboard, it lays the ground, so to say, for inner transformation.

I even wondered what these sometimes explicitly described scenes have to do with it ? Two strangers going for the pleasure of the flesh ? All this seduction seems to be a game (and I make the short cut that if seduction is a game, then one manipulates the other to fulfill one's own desires, like a hidden intention).

I don't see "seduction" in the novel we're talking about. The interactions between Beth and Ian are anything but a game: Ian is completely honest regarding his intentions. Even blunt. He's not hiding anything (his "autistic" condition makes him incapable of lying), except for his wounding (because of fear). He falsely believes that he's unable to love. But then, Beth happens and shatters that belief. In the end, truth prevails.

The example I can give is that of offering flowers to your wife, the twisted thought that comes to my mind is to say, we make this gesture not out of love but because we are waiting for the reward that our lady comes to satisfy us sexually in bed (sorry it's a big shortcut but unfortunately I have that in mind).

What's wrong about that, if both are perfectly honest about what they want/need, and if the wife is perfectly willing and wanting - needing – to satisfy her husband? The husband wants to be "fed", and the wife feeds him willingly. In the end, everyone is happy.

When Ian makes love to Beth, he doesn't know her, they just met 3 or 4 times it seems to me and didn't go very far in the knowledge of the other. So this scene described in the hotel, I see Ian acting mechanically and without emotion just wanting to satisfy Beth sexually as a performance act (especially since he says he doesn't know how to love and asks Beth what it feels like to love in relation to her ex-husband Thomas).

Ian has been deeply hurt, and traumatised (SPOILERS) by 1/ seeing his own father murder his mother 2/ being sent to a lunatic asylum where he was tortured. No wonder he "hides" and believes he's unable to love anyone. But his actions prove otherwise. Regarding the scene in the hotel, I don't see it as mechanical and emotionless at all. There's a very strong emotional connection between the 2 characters, and though there's still inner considering, conflict, hiding, and false beliefs, Ian comes close to completely baring his soul to Beth by offering himself up to her, at last being able to look her in the eyes - something he was never capable of before.

The other more positive consequence of this reading is that it gives me a sincere desire to want to love someone, to move forward and fight the dragons that are on the road to reach the full expression of each one, that is to say, to be able to be completely oneself with the other.

And that's exactly the point of this/those books, I think. As said, it's a process, and the sexual union is a means to that end: inner transformation, getting rid of programs, becoming able to give all to one person, and then to more and more people (those who ask).

Curiously I also look for tenderness in touch (just someone I can hold in my arms ! and yet I tell myself that this simple thing is too much to ask for). But here we are in our world and with all the knowledge and the application of it that we have on the forum, I tell myself that hoping to meet someone open to the nature of the wave, the keto, the conspiracies etc... is literally wishful thinking. This feeling of loneliness naturally deepens even more. You can be very well surrounded and have good friends but if nobody is there so that you can share your journey with total intimacy, it's still a shame to be 7 billion on the planet and not find one person ? well I really feel like I'm sinking in the mud sadness and depression with these books. I write these words with a ball in my throat and tears forming.

If the books are doing all this, then it means you're on the right track. It's not supposed to be a walk in the park :-) I sometimes alternate between anger, deep sadness, frustration, shame, feelings of loneliness, conflicting thoughts, and pure joy and peace/serenity. My advice would be: keep reading (and stick to the MacKenzie series), and you'll see how the journey will take you deeper into unexplored territories, as you uncover layers and layers of buried emotional stuff. Laura is right, you really need to read a bunch of those books in order to grasp what they are really about: unlocking your creative potential and your capacity to love/accept someone/people as they really are (including yourself) and give. Well, that's how I see it right now, after a breakthrough experienced from reading the 3rd book. There's probably more, much more to uncover.

These books seem to send me back that I am already dead inside, that I don't have that flame in me that would like to exist and spread. It's hard to find the right words. I also struggle with my shame to post this message in the swamp, because it generates a lot of feelings of importance on my little person and complacency etc. when I really don't aspire to that. A lot of conflicts emerge and damn it's hard without really figuring out which direction to go in to transform all this and hatch a jewel instead of letting that egg rot.

I've been experiencing the same, and most probably other people too. It is an emotional roller coaster alright, but it's worth it. Keep going! :hug:
 
Top Bottom