Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Ant22

The Living Force
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I still have no answer to how we're supposed to deal with those energies of longing/yearning. But who knows what certain realizations and resolutions of internal conflicts through reading those stories and reflecting upon them might bring for us (I mean, those of us who are struggling with it) both personally and on a more global level?
I like the way Adaryn uses the term longing. There's something there that you can't help but want and it's much greater than just the sex.
I noticed that these books resonate with a longing that many people might feel these days (maybe often without knowing it). I certainly did feel a longing for a purer kind of relationship during my time at university and afterward. I do not remember something like old fashion courtship when dating. Everyone was always so cynical and self-aware about building a relationship. What ground does that lie for a sexual relationship, a situation where you are so intimate and vulnerable? I certainly did things in my life I wasn’t proud of, “consuming” sexuality rather than seeing the potential for connection it implies. That often left me empty and if not disgusted at least feeling troubled about my own behavior. And I know that from other female friends as well. There was a longing for those old patterns as played out in the books.
How did the book make me feel? A deep sense of longing for those very things-friendship, love & family, trust.


I've read the first two books of Anne Gracie's Devil Riders series and I too can relate to that 'longing'. But I do wonder if it actually is longing for what we've never truly had - or if those stories in some way reflect romantic and sexual interactions, as well as general relationships with others, that we used to have before the Fall, before we changed our alignment from STO to STS. Maybe a part of us remembers that state and longs for it?

Also, if sexual energy is the creative one then no wonder so much effort has been put into corrupting its expression in this realm. For staters, it prevents us from accessing our creative potential while we are here past the point of propagation of the species and self-gratification.

But I wonder if there's more to it. The C's said that one of the tasks of those who transition to 4D STO will be creating new worlds where life can be experienced. I even wonder if mastering that energy (or at least "debugging" it to the greatest extent individually possible) is one of the lessons we're supposed to learn in this realm in order to be prepared to move on. Otherwise, it would be like getting a job as a bricklayer while our only qualification for the job is having two hands ;-)
 

Ant22

The Living Force
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Well, as I've been reading, I've noticed something that feels rather like being recharged. I had so little life-force left... but now, all of a sudden, I feel like I can spend some time looking at what is going on in the world (I never stopped, but darn, it was freaking painful) and manage my social media, post a bit to the forum here, think about things, etc. I also appear to have begun to get my mojo for writing back. That's a very good thing because I still have several projects I want to complete.

I'm not pushing myself, but I do feel much better. Yes, most of the stories are roller coaster rides of emotions, but for some reason, exercising my emotional center seems to be helping it a LOT.
First of all, I'm glad you recharged your batteries and you're feeling better now, it sounds like you've been through a lot recently :hug:

What you said above reminds me of the session in which the C's said that souled individuals recharge their energy through the sexual centre. Since those books aim to stir those emotions up, maybe apart from being a light and entertaining reading that's one of the reasons reading them helped?

It's a far shot because the C's referred to recharging during sleep but I thought I'd mention it in case there's something to it.

Q: (A) Now, I was reading in the transcripts that sleep is necessary for human beings because it was a period of rest and recharging. You also said that the SOUL rests while the body is sleeping. So, the question is: what source of energy is tapped to recharge both the body and the soul?

A: The question needs to be separated. What happens to a souled individual is different from an organic portal unit.

Q: (L) I guess that means that the life force energy that is embodied in Organic Portals is something like the soul pool that is theorized to exist for flora and fauna. This would, of course, explain the striking and inexplicable similarity of psychopaths, that is so well defined that they only differ from one another in the way that different species of trees are different in the overall class of Tree-ness. So, if they don't have souls, where does the energy come from that recharges Organic Portals?

A: The pool you have described.

Q: Does the recharging of the souled being come from a similar pool, only maybe the "human" pool?

A: No - it recharges from the so-called sexual center which is a higher center of creative energy. During sleep, the emotional center, not being blocked by the lower intellectual center and the moving center, transduces the energy from the sexual center. It is also the time during which the higher emotional and intellectual centers can rest from the "drain" of the lower centers' interaction with those pesky organic portals so much loved by the lower centers. This respite alone is sufficient to make a difference. But, more than that, the energy of the sexual center is also more available to the other higher centers.
 
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Laura

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First of all, I'm glad you recharged your batteries and you're feeling better now, it sounds like you've been through a lot recently :hug:

What you said above reminds me of the session in which the C's said that souled individuals recharge their energy through the sexual centre. Since those books aim to stir those emotions up, maybe apart from being a light and entertaining reading that's one of the reasons reading them helped?

It's a far shot because the C's referred to recharging during sleep but I thought I'd mention it in case there's something to it.

I think you may be onto something. After all, I have several times carried some of the stories into dream time.

My big report for today is that I have finished Mary Balogh's "Huxtable Quintet" series and it sure is one heck of a set of books. The themes are assumptions, rushing to judgment of others, masks and removing them, that sort of thing. And it really takes the whole series... it sure does deliver! The first book starts with a scene in a graveyard, a man mourning his young brother, and ends with the same man in the graveyard... no more will I say!!!

The titles are, in order:

"First Comes Marriage"

"Then Comes Seduction"

"At Last Comes Love"

"Seducing an Angel"

"A Secret Affair"

I don't think I can recommend this series too highly. It is excellent and there are quite a few philosophical bits woven in; things about fate/destiny and free will; time as an illusion, all sorts of nifty things. Mary Balogh should get some kind of major award for writing her books.
 
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Palinurus

The Living Force
Mary Balogh should get some kind of major award for writing her books.

On her about page she tells us:
A Masked Deception was published in 1985 and I won the Romantic Times Award for best new Regency writer that year. Since then there have been numerous Regencies, historicals, and novellas, and more awards too.

So, minor awards aplenty, apparently.

Apart of her life story she shares some nice family photos too.
 

Cordillera

Padawan Learner
Well, if reading is stirring stuff up, then it is doing what it should do. Only when things are stirred up can one deal with them effectively.

One hint I will give at this point is this: the books are designed to stir up the sex center; to engage some emotional suffering (Cs said suffering can modify DNA and that might be even more the case with some sexual energy fuelling the process); and then bring the two (sex center, emotional center energy) up into the heart/mind with appropriate resolution toward true love, giving, devotion, etc.

Once I saw this pattern, I realized that a substantial number of repetitions of this process, all within the body/mind could quite easily bring about some kind of reset of emotional energy at a higher level.

And it seems to me that those who are most uncomfortable with the process may indeed need it the most. Especially since, as already mentioned, we are in a period of "hyperkinetic sensate" where it seems that even ordinary emotions are amplified.

You could even say that this kind of reading - selected books only - is something like neurofeedback only for the emotions; it can quite possibly transmute lower emotions to higher ones.

No sé si estoy en el camino correcto, pero entendí que Laura dijo que estos libros estaban diseñados para agitar el centro sexual, para que su energía pueda alimentar al centro emocional superior y al centro intelectual superior. Para que el centro emocional superior se active adecuadamente (o de acuerdo a nuestros propósitos) es importante que la lectura evoque amor verdadero, dar a otro, devoción, etc.

Esta explicación me hizo pensar que sería importante buscar el mejor mecanismo para que la energía circule a los centros superiores. Entonces recordé que en el Qigong (Chikung) y en la Medicina Tradicional China se enseña que el cuerpo tiene canales o meridianos por los que circula la energía. Así también, se enseña que tenemos 3 centros energéticos: el centro inferior (en las vísceras), el centro medio (en el plexo) y el centro superior (en la zona donde se están las glándulas pineal y pituitaria). Estos centros energéticos se unen a través de Vasos o canales extraordinarios, que son el Vaso Gobernante, Vaso Concepción y el Vaso Impulsor.

La energía circula por el cuerpo de manera natural, pero mediante la respiración y el movimiento de ciertas partes del cuerpo, podemos mejorar la circulación de la energía. Entonces la respiración se puede clasificar en Respiración abdominal normal (o Budista) y Respiración abdominal inversa (o Taoísta).

La Respiración Budista tiene como objetivo llevar energía a los órganos principales, relajar el cuerpo y la mente. La técnica consiste en que cuando inhalamos se debe sacar el abdomen, bajar el diafragma y bajar el perineo. Cuando exhalamos, el proceso es al revés: se entra el abdomen, se relaja el diafragma y se sube el perineo.

La Respiración Taoísta, se utiliza en las artes marciales para dirigir la energía a voluntad, al lugar del cuerpo que se necesite o incluso fuera del cuerpo. Se puede dirigir la energía hacia las extremidades, o hacia un órgano, o hacia la piel, o hacia la médula ósea, o hacia algún centro energético, etc. La técnica consiste en que al inhalar se debe entrar el abdomen, subir el perineo y mantener el diafragma relajado. Cuando se exhala, se debe sacar el abdomen, bajar el perineo y bajar el diafragma, poniendo la mente en el lugar donde queremos llevar la energía.

El maestro Jwin Ming Yang, explica la importancia del uso del perineo:

The keys to regulating the breathing and transporting Qi (energy) are in two places: the Huiyin cavity located between the genitals and anus, and the palate of the mouth. The Huiyin cavity is the connecting point of the four Yin Qi vessels and is the controlling and releasing gate for the four Yin Qi reservoirs. When the Huiyin is pushed out, the Qi in the Yin vessels is released and when the Huiyin is lifted upward, the Qi in the Yin vessels is contained and condensed. For example, when you laugh out loud, your exhalation is longer than your inhalation, and when you exhale, the Huiyin is pushed out naturally, the entire body’s Yang is manifested and the Guardian Qi is strengthened; consequently, the body gets warmer and begins to sweat. Conversely, when you are sad and depressed, the inhalation is longer than the exhalation and when you inhale, the Huiyin is lifted upward naturally, the Marrow Qi is increased and the Guardian Qi is condensed inward, hence the body feels cooler. From these you can see that when you practice Qigong, coordinating the breathing with the Huiyin’s lifting and pushing is one pf the key knacks to governing the entire body’s Qi status.

In the past, it was common that a master would keep these two secret keys of regulating to himself. These secrets would not be revealed to the student until he/she proved trustworthy. They were not passed down to those disciples who were not loyal and moral.

One of the secret keys is learning how to control the Huiyin (perineum). This place is the controlling gate of the body’s Yin and Yang. Huiyin means “meet Yin” in Chinese and is the meeting place of the four Yin vessels: Conception (Ren Mai), Thrusting (Chong Mai), Yin Heel (Yinqiao Mai), and Yin Linking Vessels (Yinwei Mai). When this gate is pushed out, the Qi in these four Yin vessels is released, and when this gate is held up, the Qi in the four Yin vessels is kept in and preserved. Because of this, this gate can control the body’s Yin-Yang status. In my personal experience, this place acts as a pump or a piston to a Qi chamber that controls the storage and release of Qi.
Creo que los C’s que han dicho que durante el sueño el alma se recarga de energía creativa desde el centro sexual superior y de ahí se transmite al centro emocional superior y al centro intelectual superior. Lo que no entiendo bien es si esto tiene que ver con las erecciones nocturnas o los sueños húmedos, porque eso significaría que el centro motor y el centro emocional inferior también recibirían energía del centro sexual superior. Entonces, cuando estamos despiertos ¿la excitación erótica produce agitación del centro sexual superior, o produce agitación de los centros inferiores, o de ambos?

Estoy haciendo estas preguntas porque al leer las novelas románticas-eróticas, podría ser importante ayudar la circulación de la energía sexual hacia el centro emocional superior y al centro intelectual superior a través de la técnica correcta.

Si consideramos que el chakra sexual se ubica cerca del plexo solar, sería importante mover el diafragma mientras leemos. Y si el chakra emocional superior está cerca del corazón, sería importante poner la mente en esa zona, para llevar la energía allí. Y si el chakra intelectual superior se encuentra en la zona de las glándulas, sería importante también poner atención a ese lugar.

Si el chakra basal guarda energía del chakra sexual superior, entonces sería útil mover el perineo mientras respiramos.

De acuerdo a lo que expliqué antes sobre la diferencia entre la Respiración Busdita y la Respiración Taoísta, he estado practicando ambas respiraciones mientras leo una novela romántica. Si bien con la Respiración Taoísta se puede dirigir la energía al lugar donde uno desee, todavía no encuentro mucha diferencia entre ambas respiraciones y mis reacciones emocionales al leer las novelas. Salvo que, al realizar la Respiración Taoísta, al inhalar, contraigo el perineo y eso hace que se estimulen mis órganos sexuales y, al exhalar, siento palpitaciones más fuertes en el corazón y mayor circulación sanguínea en el cerebro. Esta Respiración Taoísta me ha servido en el pasado para mejorar mi presión arterial y disminuir mi déficit atencional por disautonomía.

En cuanto he hecho estos experimentos, he notado que mi ánimo ha mejorado, mi energía aumentó, puedo conectarme mejor emocionalmente con mi familia. El libro que elegí para empezar fue Somethings Reckless de Jess Michaels, uno de los pocos que encontré a mano en español de una autora que se recomendó en este hilo. No soy un buen lector, así que he ido lento. Espero poder seguir con otro pronto.

Espero no haberme alejado mucho de la línea de este hilo, pero consideré necesario aportar esta información por si es de ayuda para mejorar la circulación de la energía hacia los centros superiores.

I don't know if I'm on the right track, but I understood that Laura said that these books were designed to stir up the sexual center, so that their energy can feed the higher emotional center and the higher intellectual center. For the higher emotional center to be activated properly (or according to our purposes) it is important that the reading evokes true love, giving to another, devotion, etc.

This explanation made me think that it would be important to find the best mechanism for the energy to circulate to the higher centers. Then I remembered that in Qigong (Chikung) and in Traditional Chinese Medicine it is taught that the body has channels or meridians through which energy circulates. Also, it is taught that we have 3 energy centers: the lower center (in the viscera), the middle center (in the plexus) and the upper center (in the area where the pineal and pituitary glands are). These energy centers unite through extraordinary vessels or channels, which are the Governing Vessel, the Conception Vessel, and the Driving Vessel.

Energy circulates through the body naturally, but by breathing and moving certain parts of the body, we can improve the circulation of energy. So the breath can be classified into Normal Abdominal Breathing (or Buddhist) and Reverse Abdominal Breathing (or Taoist).

The Buddhist Breathing aims to bring energy to the main organs, relax the body and mind. The technique consists in that when we inhale the abdomen must be removed, the diaphragm lowered and the perineum lowered. When we exhale, the process is the other way around: the abdomen is entered, the diaphragm is relaxed and the perineum is raised.

Taoist Breathing is used in martial arts to direct energy at will, to the place of the body that is needed or even outside the body. The energy can be directed towards the extremities, or towards an organ, or towards the skin, or towards the bone marrow, or towards some energy center, etc. The technique consists of inhaling the abdomen, raising the perineum and keeping the diaphragm relaxed. When exhaling, the abdomen must be pulled out, the perineum lowered and the diaphragm lowered, putting the mind in the place where we want to bring the energy.

Master Jwin Ming Yang explains the importance of using the perineum:

The keys to regulating the breathing and transporting Qi (energy) are in two places: the Huiyin cavity located between the genitals and anus, and the palate of the mouth. The Huiyin cavity is the connecting point of the four Yin Qi vessels and is the controlling and releasing gate for the four Yin Qi reservoirs. When the Huiyin is pushed out, the Qi in the Yin vessels is released and when the Huiyin is lifted upward, the Qi in the Yin vessels is contained and condensed. For example, when you laugh out loud, your exhalation is longer than your inhalation, and when you exhale, the Huiyin is pushed out naturally, the entire body’s Yang is manifested and the Guardian Qi is strengthened; consequently, the body gets warmer and begins to sweat. Conversely, when you are sad and depressed, the inhalation is longer than the exhalation and when you inhale, the Huiyin is lifted upward naturally, the Marrow Qi is increased and the Guardian Qi is condensed inward, hence the body feels cooler. From these you can see that when you practice Qigong, coordinating the breathing with the Huiyin’s lifting and pushing is one pf the key knacks to governing the entire body’s Qi status.

In the past, it was common that a master would keep these two secret keys of regulating to himself. These secrets would not be revealed to the student until he/she proved trustworthy. They were not passed down to those disciples who were not loyal and moral.

One of the secret keys is learning how to control the Huiyin (perineum). This place is the controlling gate of the body’s Yin and Yang. Huiyin means “meet Yin” in Chinese and is the meeting place of the four Yin vessels: Conception (Ren Mai), Thrusting (Chong Mai), Yin Heel (Yinqiao Mai), and Yin Linking Vessels (Yinwei Mai). When this gate is pushed out, the Qi in these four Yin vessels is released, and when this gate is held up, the Qi in the four Yin vessels is kept in and preserved. Because of this, this gate can control the body’s Yin-Yang status. In my personal experience, this place acts as a pump or a piston to a Qi chamber that controls the storage and release of Qi.

I think the C’s who have said that during sleep the soul is recharged with creative energy from the higher sexual center and from there it is transmitted to the higher emotional center and the higher intellectual center. What I don't quite understand is whether this has to do with nighttime erections or wet dreams, because that would mean that the motor center and the lower emotional center would also receive energy from the higher sexual center. So when we are awake, does erotic excitement produce agitation of the higher sexual center, or does it produce agitation of the lower centers, or both?

I am asking these questions because when reading the romance-erotic novels, it might be important to help the circulation of sexual energy to the higher emotional center and the higher intellectual center through the correct technique.

If we consider that the sexual chakra is located near the solar plexus, it would be important to move the diaphragm while we read. And if the higher emotional chakra is close to the heart, it would be important to put the mind in that area, to bring the energy there. And if the higher intellectual chakra is in the area of the glands, it would be important to pay attention to that place as well.

If the basal chakra stores energy from the upper sex chakra, then it would be helpful to move the perineum while breathing.

According to what I explained earlier about the difference between the Busdite Breath and the Taoist Breath, I have been practicing both breaths while reading a romance novel. Although with the Taoist Breath one can direct the energy to the place where one wishes, I still do not find much difference between the two breaths and my emotional reactions when reading the novels. Except that, when I do the Taoist Breathing, when I inhale, I contract my perineum and that causes my sexual organs to be stimulated and, when I exhale, I feel stronger palpitations in the heart and greater blood circulation in the brain. This Taoist Breath has helped me in the past to improve my blood pressure and decrease my attention deficit due to dysautonomia.

As soon as I have done these experiments, I have noticed that my mood has improved, my energy increased, I can connect better emotionally with my family. The book I chose to start with was Somethings Reckless by Jess Michaels, one of the few that I found handy in Spanish from an author who was recommended in this thread. I'm not a good reader so I've been slow. I hope I can continue with another one soon.

I hope I have not strayed too far from the line of this thread, but I considered it necessary to provide this information in case it would help to improve the circulation of energy towards higher centers.
 

Arwenn

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Just wanted to share some of my random musings...

What has struck me is the movement not so much in terms of changing physical scenery, but the change in the emotional landscape of our characters, more so our male protagonists. For some it’s like they journey to the emotional underworld (usually war or previous traumatic event), but instead of coming back up, they remain stuck there in this emotional void of darkness, anger, despair. It takes the love of the women (usually very stoic in their determination to reach their men emotionally), through initial physical attraction to bring them up from the emotional underworld back to the light of day.

So this then got me thinking about the hero’s journey. On a purely superficial level, these novels can supply story-telling entertainment. But I think it’s transformative when we connect with the story at a much deeper level. These stories can be reflective of the mythical hero’s journey -in this case, it’s an inner journey, especially for the male protagonists. A journey into the emotional underworld.

Joseph Campbell’s works shed much light on this archetypal and enduring narrative structure:

Where Did the Hero’s Journey Come From?
In his seminal 1949 book The Hero With a Thousand Faces, mythologist Joseph Campbell lifted the veil on what he called the “monomyth.” After an illustrious career studying mythology across different cultures and time periods, Campbell discovered something fascinating. Without fail, the vast majority of myths followed the same basic story patterns. They had the same overarching structure, contained the same types of characters, and had the same universal themes.

Why On Earth Is It So Powerful?
Story structures on their own aren’t particularly powerful or useful. For instance, just stringing together a series of plot points in the right order has little inherent value.

Where storytelling becomes incredibly powerful, though, is when it connects to us on a deeper, more fundamental level. Luckily, the Hero’s Journey has built-in mechanisms for creating those types of connections. There’s something about it that appeals to the deep-seeded psychological patterns and tendencies that all (or at least most) humans have.In essence, it taps into our innate human desire to become better versions of ourselves. It gives us a sense that real, meaningful transformation is possible. It shows us that we can become stronger, overcome our inner and outer obstacles, and win the day.
~
The Hero’s Journey resonates with so many people because it reminds us of our higher potential. In the words of Campbell himself, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.
-https://www.musestorytelling.com/blog/heros-journey

”We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. And where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.” ~ Joseph Campbell


Campbell delineated a number of stages in the hero’s journey:
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So our protagonists embark on a Call to Adventure signified by a need to marry (usually for convenience, societal pressures, honour etc). They cross the Threshold (sometimes literally by carrying the bride into her new home) at their wedding night or start of the marriage. This is the beginning of their adventure, where they both face many challenges (primarily an emotional tug of war in their newfound intimacy) and temptations (their physical chemistry). This is where we get a glimpse of their inner emotional landscape, their previous wounds and how that colours how they perceive reality.

The peak of the novel is the Abyss- usually where the male protagonist realises he’s been a cad (some of them are honestly so frustratingly slow in realising this, I myself want to box their ears!), he’s really in love with his wife and he may have actually really blown it this time; or some other traumatic event of almost losing her occurs to bring this realisation home. The female protagonist is usually a bit more clued into her emotions, realising she loves him and sees him for the beautiful man he is, despite his wounds & scars.

In realising this and forging together as a loving couple, a Transformation occurs (for both of them). They heal through each other, and Atone for the hurts they caused each other and in some cases, other people they (usually the male) had harboured resentments/anger/bitterness etc against. As a couple, they Return to society and bring light and life to their estates, homes and families (usually by creating a new life).
 

Ryan

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I've finished reading the three main books of the Sons of Sin series and I think it should be probably be renamed the Strong, Heroic Women and the Numbskulls that Court Them series. 😄

My favourite male character from the series is Cam Rothermere, the Duke of Sedgemoor, although Sir Richard Harmsworth is a close second. It was REALLY difficult for me to overlook how badly Cam treated Penelope on an emotional level throughout the third book and how flippin' dumb he was, but I think the saving grace was that, having read Gary Oldman's book 5 Love Languages a few months ago, it seems that the author was portraying a situation where the two protagonists 'spoke different love languages' and managed to learn to speak in each other's love language at the critical moment, thus giving each the emotional fulfillment they craved.

Regarding Harry and Sophie, personally I found their romance a welcome counterpoint to Cam and Penelope's dynamic and felt it added quite noticeably to the emotional tension at the book's climax.

I have to give Sir Richard huge props too for overcoming his "gentleman" programming and helping Genevieve when she most desperately needed it. I'm going to disagree with Ark and agree with Laura on that one - it was a truly STO moment, I think. ❤

Anna Campbell's style is enjoyable to read and her depth of psychological knowledge is quite refreshing. The dialogues are witty and engaging and the sex scenes are steamy without being overly gratuitous and are also somewhat educational. Clearly, Anna is trying to pass on some knowledge to both her male and female readers here.

Looking forward to starting some of the other mentioned series by other authors soon!
 
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Laura

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<snip>
As soon as I have done these experiments, I have noticed that my mood has improved, my energy increased, I can connect better emotionally with my family. The book I chose to start with was Somethings Reckless by Jess Michaels, one of the few that I found handy in Spanish from an author who was recommended in this thread. I'm not a good reader so I've been slow. I hope I can continue with another one soon.

I hope I have not strayed too far from the line of this thread, but I considered it necessary to provide this information in case it would help to improve the circulation of energy towards higher centers.

I don't think it is necessary to try to experiment with what the body is doing; the most important thing is to just let the selected books do their emotional work.

And it really would be better, I think, to stick to the books suggested/selected. I can't vouch for what I haven't read.
 

Ryan

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In realising this and forging together as a loving couple, a Transformation occurs (for both of them). They heal through each other, and Atone for the hurts they caused each other and in some cases, other people they (usually the male) had harboured resentments/anger/bitterness etc against. As a couple, they Return to society and bring light and life to their estates, homes and families (usually by creating a new life).
@Arwenn, you've mapped this out so beautifully that I'm struggling to think of something I can add. Brava! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
 

genero81

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My first five books were written longhand and typed into an ancient typewriter. The First Snowdrop was the first book to be written into a computer–an all-in-one dinosaur of a machine that had me in transports of delight. I could actually go back and correct typing errors! I could make wholesale changes without having to rewrite the whole thing. Best of all–and I still have not quite recovered from the novelty of this–when I was finished, I could press a key (no mouse in those days!) and the printer would do the typing for me while I put my feet up and relaxed–or washed another load of dishes, or marked another set of essays…

What a bright light she is! I thought it a nice coincidence she mentioned 'The First Snowdrop' in her bio write up as that was my first Balogh book, though not on the recommended list.
 

Luks

The Living Force
Okay, I have finished: Anna Campbell's Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed.

Very interesting experience. I have absolutely new opinion about the "literature for the women".

The character of Jonas was quite positive. I love his Italian insertions like "tesoro" or "bella", I picked up from him these words and repeat from time to time in mind, thinking about the women. I like these words.

The best "scene" in the book. "Adventure" in the library - is my best.

The most laughable scene was after they (you know who) killed (you know who) and the moment when they come with the fantastic "solution", that one of the character in the book should take some substance (I didn't remember name - strange name) and go to sleep and pretend it was all accident.

In the end, I was a bit moved from the epilogue. I kept my fingers crossed for good resolution of the end situation in between main characters, and finally, it was like that.

Well, as I see I have less to write than I had when to write in the previous post about how I started "Seven Nights..." and was at the beginning of the story. But these are the honest and first and "fast thoughts" that what comes to my mind for now, just after I have read this book. And for now, I do not need to expand anything too much, only recommend everyone interested in this literature to read "Seven Nights...". It seems that all the blood flowed from my head to my... heart.
 

Ryan

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@Arwenn, you've mapped this out so beautifully that I'm struggling to think of something I can add. Brava! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
From Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces (Campbell uses the term "parent" to describe the oppositional forces, but in the context we are discussing, "society" is probably a better term to use):
The Hero as Lover

The hegemony wrested from the enemy, the freedom won from the malice of the monster, the life energy released from the toils of the tyrant Holdfast—is symbolized as a woman. She is the maiden of the innumerable dragon slayings, the bride abducted from the jealous father, the virgin rescued from the unholy lover. She is the "other portion" of the hero himself—for "each is both": if his stature is that of world monarch she is the world, and if he is a warrior she is fame. She is the image of his destiny which he is to release from the prison of enveloping circumstance. [..]

The motif of the difficult task as prerequisite to the bridal bed has spun the hero-deeds of all time and all the world. In stories of this pattern [society] is in the role of Holdfast; the hero's artful solution of the task amounts to a slaying of the dragon. The tests imposed are difficult beyond measure. They seem to represent an absolute refusal, on the part of the [society] ogre, to permit life to go its way; nevertheless, when a fit candidate appears, no task in the world is beyond his skill. Unpredicted helpers, miracles of time and space, further his project; destiny itself (the maiden) lends a hand and betrays a weak spot in the [societal] system. Barriers, fetters, chasms, fronts of every kind dissolve before the authoritative presence of the hero. The eye of the ordained victor immediately perceives the chink in every fortress of circumstance, and his blow can cleave it wide. [..]

To a man not led astray from himself by sentiments stemming from the surfaces of what he sees, but courageously responding to the dynamics of his own nature [..] — difficulties melt and the unpredictable highway opens as he goes.
 

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I had a small emotional breakthrough last night after reading Elisa Braden's Ever Yours, Annabelle. I can't really say to what part of the story it was related, but perhaps it centred on having false notions and assumptions. The pain I felt was rather intense, coming from a distant past, but it didn't last long, because I knew what caused it (it had manifested itself over these past few months on a conscious level, but without any feelings attached to it), so this time I could integrate it completely (at least that's what I think).

My sleep has become deeper over time, so I can't really remember most of my dreams nowadays, but last night I had a dream that I was in my mother's house again and everything was so much lighter and sunnier. Although I was very busy with all kinds of things in my dream I had this newly found energy and I could see myself acting in a much more energetic manner despite the chaos.

I am going to finish Anne Gracie's "Marriage of Convenience" series first and then I will start reading Mary Balogh's "Huxtable Quintet" series.

My big report for today is that I have finished Mary Balogh's "Huxtable Quintet" series and it sure is one heck of a set of books. The themes are assumptions, rushing to judgment of others, masks and removing them, that sort of thing. And it really takes the whole series... it sure does deliver!

:love:
 

Martina

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I'm still reading what I have at hand, I can't decide what to buy but I will stick to recommended ones. But it's relevant who's the author, every book has an impact, not just relaxing and rejuvinating one (I don't sleep enough for years) but makes me find in every relationship between characters something useful. I find resemblance, see my mistakes, some good things that happened. I mostly see how I enstranged I have become from whatever I was supposed to be. I noticed I behave more like a guy than girl ( I only have guys at work).
When I read Amazing Sophie by Georgette Hayer (no sex:wow::lol:) which is a great book still:lol: I noticed I'm like that Charles and my relationship is 🤢 out of convenience ( I got pregnant, son needs dad, but this is not the story from book) and in my story there was no profound transformation of charachters like in books. I would honestly say that I gave everything that I had. Anyways...
I read Laura Kinsale Flowers from the Storm & Prince of Midnight. I loved her books, they would be good for mini series. Very tense ones. The stormy one was kind of noxious because what guy had to went through to change and to later change his loved one. I loved the second one a lot because is very adventurous and it has a real hero with a horse and everything:-D. It is really stupid that we live in such an age that we have to stop and ponder - yes I love it when guys behave like guys and girls like girls. Guys should be heros 🥰 . I don't know how to explain it but I always did and I always will have a strong sense of loving something or somebody.
 

ryu

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I am almost finished reading the Mackenzie series. (I read the fourth before the third ). The ending is sweet, it is nothing grand and glorious, but it highlights the true treasures in life: laughter, joy, love, health, children, a loving family... And good whiskey. (They're scottish after all).
It feels all the more touching because we met the characters at the beginning of the series and we see how far they've come, how they battled their fears and inner demons to get there.

I am also reading the chapter 23 of the wave for our Reading workshops and I drew some paralels with the stories of these characters. You see, from the materialistic pov, these unions were either detrimental or scandalous for the Mackenzie family. Most married below their station, so it brought them nothing in terms of wealth and useful ties to increase their power. I thought "how terrible this society was", they couldn't see that they did everything to emprison themselves in hell. But then I looked at our present and saw that we haven't gone that far 🤷. I think, one of the messages of these Books are, "carve your own path, follow your Heart, don't give In to fear or to hate, break society's rules if necessary, be true to yourself ."


It's an usual trope in romantic stories that a good-hearted woman marries a noble. I thought it was just to make us ladies swoon, but there might be a symbol in there. The man represent the masculine, the king, the left side of the brain, the ruler of the material World, the one who discover, who builds, who acts. The Feminine, the Queen, brings Spirituality, it brings emotional balance, faith, connexion with the Creator, it is the source, the maiden of the well. It doesn't has to do. It just has to be.

When the King and Queen marry, for those who don't see, it's an unbalanced marriage. But for those who do, they see that it is a happy union, because the two parts bring something to the table, of both the seen and unseen World. Seeing the other for who he/she really is, helping that person to become his/her true self is a gift that is earned through hard work.

Never thought those books would make me think so much! It made me laugh, cry and remembered I had a Heart. (Or is it my heart center I felt).
 
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