Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

jhonny

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I'm on the second book of the Mackenzie's serie, and the experience of this new literaure has been amazing so far. As many others members i also was surprised with this recommended literature coming from Laura, but now it does make sense to me, I'll explain why:

After finishing the first book (The Madness Of Lord Ian) I felt somenthing "weird", sort of serotonin boost; I had been puting off a change I wanted to do in my house, and suddenly I knew what I wanted, this happened right after I finished the book. I didn't dare to share it here, because I thought this was a bit silly or simply wishfull thinking, but after reading other posts, this started to make sense.

Another thing I noticed was, the way I "see" my wife, let me explain; we have been together for 20 years, and as you know, a relationship falls in a routine after a long period beeing together. So after reading how Beth cares about Ian with real and unselfish love I started to think about the value of what she does for me in our daily life.

There are many other aspects in the book, like loyalty and brotherhood that made me think about my family and specially my children, but I dont want this to be a spoiler.

In other words this reading has been very "refreshing" in these times of (postmodern) madness

This has been my experience in this project, and I'm looking forward to reading other series.
 
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Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I just wanted to mention something I thought of today: y'all remember that the Cs said when things get really weird that we are to "relax and enjoy the show", right? Well, until I started reading these books, there was simply no way in Hades that I was able to do that.

But now, I find myself actually relaxing and able to check in on the world and see what a freaking farce it all is, and just realize that there is nothing any of us can do to change it for all those people who have chosen that mess, but we can DREAM of a different reality, and continue to send out a signal that we don't agree with the one we find ourselves in.
 

Lilou

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FOTCM Member
I just wanted to mention something I thought of today: y'all remember that the Cs said when things get really weird that we are to "relax and enjoy the show", right? Well, until I started reading these books, there was simply no way in Hades that I was able to do that.

But now, I find myself actually relaxing and able to check in on the world and see what a freaking farce it all is, and just realize that there is nothing any of us can do to change it for all those people who have chosen that mess, but we can DREAM of a different reality, and continue to send out a signal that we don't agree with the one we find ourselves in.

Exactly! I finally get it. I found myself laughing out loud reading news headlines last night, because I can see the farce and see the humorous side of it all. C's said " enjoy the show "and I can now see and do just that! 🍿

I don't know where I'd be without FOTCM and guidance from the C's, but bless you Laura for your perseverance!!!!! ❤️
 

Tauriel

Jedi Council Member
Well, until I started reading these books, there was simply no way in Hades that I was able to do that.

I just spent 2 days scurrying around, preparing my upper floor for a new paint, unloading the old book shelves, remove them, ordering new ones, oiling the wood floor.... I sped around for 12 hours and just couldn't stop.
Since the start of the scamdemic I was virtually absorbed by darkness, information overkill and a heavy feeling of depressed lethargy which didn't allow me to do anything more than necessary. I was able to function, went to work, tended to the garden and ordinary chores but nothing, absolutely nothing beyond.
For months now I am postponing things I planned to do in and around the house.
First the books helped me to get away from the information overkill; then a lot of stuff was triggered and now I'm having the first energy boost in months.
I'm reading the 8th book of the Mackenzie series and when I'll have devoured them all some Mary Balogh is waiting....
I'm so grateful for this present of reading. Yesterday and today I feel some wholeness again.
 

Lukasz

Jedi
The point I´m trying to make here is that not every person is alike due to their upbringing, genetics, lessons etc. Some are more open to express emotions and some simply are not. Some simply feel deep and don´t know how to express themselves.
And what we are seeing here is how persons lives and personalities are formed from earliest childhood and how those personalities dictate the course of one´s life. And and inspiration to us how they beat their programs trough honesty, self-sacrifice, trust and love.
That's a good point. I'm the kind of person that have some difficulty with expressing emotions. I get moved easily and feel them inside, but on the outside it may seem that I'm not moved by anything at all. So someone probably could say that I don't have a heart, just like they used to say about Luke in Heartless ;-)

It's probably due to upbringing and genetics and I would say that my whole family has problems with expressing emotions. We are always nice for each other but there is no hugging or talking that we love each other or any other external signs that we feel love for each other. I was hardly ever hugged by my parents since I was a little kid (basically only on birthdays, christmas etc. during greetings).

This doesn't mean that I don't feel they love me, quite the contrary, but there is no external way of showing these feelings. I understand and accept that all because I know that my parents had a rough experiences with their parents, so it's normal that their upbringing had an impact on upbringing of me and my sisters.

Probably thanks to M. Balogh's books, I feel like some shield around me begin to break lately. I observe that I begin to express my emotions easier. It's like I can now translate my inner language of feelings into concrete actions. For example today I encountered my younger sister crying in her bed and I immediately approached her and gave her a hug. It probably seems obvious for most of you but for me it was quite an achivement because normally I would just limit myself to sitting near her and thinkig hard what should I do, trying to say anything that would be of help. So I think that reading these books is really like exercising my emotions and I feel that I made some progress thanks to these exercises already.

I really enjoyed every book till now and I found a lot of things that I can relate to in each of them. I'm into the second book of the Four Horsemen Trilogy now. This series is not playing on my emotions so much as the Heartless and Silent Melody duo where I could relate in many things to Luke. Silent Melody was just wonderful and it's still my favourite.

I feel much better in overall lately. Of course there are times when I'm feeling sad or lonely etc. but there always comes joy soon. And I perceive this feeling of joy being deeper than before.
 

NewEngland Seeker

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I just wanted to mention something I thought of today: y'all remember that the Cs said when things get really weird that we are to "relax and enjoy the show", right? Well, until I started reading these books, there was simply no way in Hades that I was able to do that.

But now, I find myself actually relaxing and able to check in on the world and see what a freaking farce it all is, and just realize that there is nothing any of us can do to change it for all those people who have chosen that mess, but we can DREAM of a different reality, and continue to send out a signal that we don't agree with the one we find ourselves in.

Laura, thanks for starting this project since it has become a more than a way for us to clean our hidden emotional baggage. I had to check my dark thoughts of future consequence for my non-compliance to lies which was causing sleepless nights. Without the knowledge from C's and FOCM forums I still would be a bundle of stressed out nerves. I realized the only way to endure this period of tyrannical imposed chaos was to mentally build the STO loving future. The romance novels are helping me polish it with romance.

I read about 2-3 books a week. I use to play solitaire to clear my head and calm the nerves but I find reading is a better method. I just finished the 'Horsemen, Trilogy' Indiscreet, Unforgiven and Irresistible by Mary Balogh. I do enjoy her writing.

I was most impressed by the closeness and camaraderie of the 4 male main characters. That type of friendship is rare and highly prized. The way they worked together to take care of problems was a great example of cherished masculine nature.

I did not have a positive impression of the 4 romance stories. Being a healthcare professional I was taught of the many ways I could get entangled in an unequal/unhealthy relationship with patients. Each of the storylines triggered my 'don't go there' learned response. Because of the this I felt that their relationships were built upon a unequal/unhealthy foundation. They only achieved a resolution of their difficult relationships, to built a life of happiness under such flawed foundation, by an over active libido. I just could not buy the happy~ever~aftering.

I have a feeling that I maybe throwing cold water on these romance novels because the authors seem to enjoy the thrill of delicious naughtiness. Not that I would not enjoy such temptations but I only see the dark side of such romance because of my professional training. I am not sure how to get past this.
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I liked the Tempting Harriet more than other books in Courting Julia series. Probably I like the disadvantaged woman sticking to their principles and raise above the challenges to a happy ending. Another thing I liked in these novels is protagonists despite having obstacles removed to the "Happy Ever After" situation are not in a hurry to pick it. They expose themselves to unpleasant conversations that remove the misunderstandings and allow the dropping of the defenses. In the long run, that makes marriages much more fruitful rather than picking them up after the hormones are settled.

One interesting thing explored in this book is duty vs love. I thoroughly enjoyed the comedic wisdom of Aunt Sophie that made the crucial difference in the plot :lol:
"And that is all that matters, Aunt?" he asked. "Love?"

"Unfortunately no," she said after had had to repeat his question. "One cannot be quite foolish. One cannot live on love. But, if comes to a choice between love and duty and choosing love will not bring disaster, then that is what one should choose. Would marrying my little Lady Wingham bring disaster into your Life Archibald?"
Well, what is the "heart's craving", and what is a "conscience" is hard to figure out? Probably conscience in this case is not hurting anybody from their actions including themselves.
what we gave-- and too-- should be given and taken only within marriage. It is wrong when it is done for its own sake. I cannot do it again, Archie. It will always be on my conscience that I once put pleasure before morality.
I think G mentioned that morality is location, time-specific, but Conscience is the uniform across the world.

I will go slow on the next books, I am finding myself too much disassociated with the stories and feeling guilty that I am not doing anything useful. It did allow me not to bother too much what is going on out there in the real world.
 

A Jay

Ambassador
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FOTCM Member
I've so far finished the Horseman trilogy, the first book in the Huxtable quintet, and I'm about halfway through the second book "Then Comes Seduction". Boy that Mary Balogh is one heck of an engaging writer and it's clear she's given not a small amount of thought to the human condition. Really looking forward to where she goes with the rest of this series, because like luc said it's a tour de force thus far.

So far I've noticed a greater capacity for understanding and compassion for myself as well as others, a greater desire for connection with friends and family, more energy for focusing on and getting things done without as much mental drama and with less willpower needed to do it, and I've been better able to keep up with what's going on in the world without as much dread before and after.

There's also been a few realizations of how and why previous relationships failed and an emotional release which happened last night after reading TCS that I wanted to share.

The emotional release came about after thinking about Katherine's struggle with her lack of freedom in resolving a particular situation because of how people and the world work. Which is far from ideal and tied in with what Montford had told her earlier that life among the ton, while having many perks, has very little freedom. After reading I was thinking about myself as an 8 year old because of something unrelated but then I remembered my own anger and resentment at the world and people at that age for not being as I thought they should be. An attitude that I carried with me ever since and which in part shaped my personality and behavior.

The moment I realized how long I carried that childish entitlement, anger, and resentment and how it shaped me a wave of emotions rolled up through my body just reaching the top of my head while tears welled up in my eyes such that I thought I was going to burst into a sobbing mess. But after a few moments the wave receded and I was left with a sense of calm and a few shed tears.

This got me thinking about myself as a child and the problems that I had, the unhealthly coping strategies, and so forth and wondered if I could see myself as I was then but with kindness, compassion, understanding, and love. So I imagined seeing younger me as if he was a child that I happened across on the street. As I did this and remembered and saw different aspects of myself and my life there came and went much gentler waves of emotions as well as quite a number of tears.

This went on for probably 10-15 minutes and afterwards I slept quite peacefully.

Hope this makes sense because it's hard to describe and there was a lot to process. But I wanted to share it because it seems that these books are helping me resolve some emotional issues that I've been dealing with for a long time and hope that it might inspire others to keep up with the reading as uncomfortable as it may be at times as it may help them to do the same.
 

Luks

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I just wanted to mention something I thought of today: you all remember that the Cs said when things get really weird that we are to "relax and enjoy the show", right? Well, until I started reading these books, there was simply no way in Hades that I was able to do that.

But now, I find myself actually relaxing and able to check in on the world and see what a freaking farce it all is, and just realize that there is nothing any of us can do to change it for all those people who have chosen that mess, but we can DREAM of a different reality, and continue to send out a signal that we don't agree with the one we find ourselves in.

Yes, imagination, I think, is a very important thing in life, because it connects us with reality. We can grasp various ideas thanks to imagining things and being imaginative; we can create new ideas, find solutions, we can send signals to our subconscious and parts of ourselves, we can send signals to the world around us, which receive that, besides the words, we pronounce.

However, if the wave will come, there will be not only a matter of the emotional and mental state we are in in the moment of the wave, but our whole being will be overexposed, and the entire spectrum of our mental and psychical life will be launched. We can expect the new way of functioning of consciousness as the reality changes. It has its pros and cons, depending on the spiritual level.

Generally, because of the wideness and deepness of the experience of the Wave, along with the correct use of imagination and dreaming, I still think that the most relevant technique for achieving the mental and emotional, and psychic balance and well being is Eiriu-Eolas. Sorry for the little off-top, I would like to underline EE because it gave me a lot, and I think that this is still a very actual thing to do. And for those who a bit "forgot" or some first great experience weakened. Or practiced start to be automatic, then for those will be good to come back to the EE, because it also wonderfully fits with the current situation which touches every one of us and could be important in the nearest future.

If it comes to the books, I have bought the Marry in Haste (Marriage of Convenience Book 1) on Amazon. After I have read the first book, I come to a very interesting conclusion, and the most important is that these "books for women" aren't really for the women, but for everyone. Of course, language is a bit different than what the men use. But if it comes to the story itself, If I have to choose between (again) landing in the Normandy for the twenty times in my life or sniper battle in the Stalingrad. I prefer to read romances...

There is not only fight and certain physical heroism and courage, but also emotions, sexuality, history, psychology, you learn about relationships and how they come out from the various difficult situations in their life. The experience of reading is much more interesting. You got "things for males" expanded by a lot of things, doesn't even say... I don't suggest to anyone to be the new Cassanova, and I do not want to be... to not much to be focused on the charms of life... but in these books is a lot of knowledge how to seduce women, because these books show how women perceive things and how women expect to be treated. This is practically a real knowledge partner about how to love women, in the many meanings of this word.

I will little by little read this new book bought by me and after will share my thoughts.
 

Konstantin

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I just finished the 3rd book in the series Sins of Sin ( what a duke dares )

While reading the book, especially the last third of the book I remembered the C's session with Ceasar, from a few years ago, and the message that we get there that we must be true to ourselves and fear nothing. It was something like that I don't remember the exact words.

That was Penelope doing at the end of this story. She was also having faith in the process that beside it all looked very wrong, that she is doing something good.

There are a lot of places in this book and in the previous from this series where at some places I could recognize myself. Some dynamic, some characteristics that I recognize in myself. These books are a good foundation so we can see that all those emotions are normal for humans and how can we use emotions in the process of our growth. It can be done with love for the other person.

In reality, where love and care for others are very important, emotions have a big significance. We can't say that for this reality, for this world that we are living now and where psychopaths are an image that people and especially young generations should take as an example.

Yes, these books give an inner strength so we could see how this mad world is already on its way down and nothing can stop it. These books amplify emotions, hope, or faith that normal human beings can create something much better.

The explicit sexual scenes are not here just because of that. They are here to show us the transformation of 2 individuals who through their bodies and all that sex, at the end after all the inner struggle and battles learn the importance of true love.

It starts with passion, lust, and sex, and then all these emotions are amplified and transformed into real love, compassion, and devotion to each other. From a pure bodily enjoyment to something more profound.

Yes, it sounds to me like basic lessons of our 3D reality.
I am going to the next book in this series
 

genero81

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Ambassador
FOTCM Member
16 books in the Mackenzie series.

I think I will switch to the Huxtable Quintet Series after this first Mackenzie book. I'm not going to try and knock out 15 more books before getting back to Balogh. Although, I like Jennifer Ashley's story telling abilities a little better than Balogh. But Balogh gets to the stuff we need to work through better, I think. I like how Balogh shows us the inner landscape of the characters by showing what their internal dialogue is in certain situations where they're having to guess the intentions of others.

I will definitely come back to Ashley after that. There will be plenty of opportunity to get reacquainted with the characters.
 
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