Perilous Bliss Book Extras
The Three Hells of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy
If you’ve stuck with Kyr through the first two hells he’s been through, you are very brave! I thank you and hope that Kyr’s journey on the hard path thus far has been helpful and inspiring to you. (If you have not read the first two books of this trilogy, I suggest that you do so before reading Perilous Bliss (Book Three), as it is one continuous story and will have far more meaning for you. Visit the Books Page for more info and links to on-line bookstores.)
In Dark Innocence (Book One), Kyr ends the generations-long reign of horror by the evil sorcerer-king called the Soul-Drinker, and is rescued from the only life he has known—a life of suffering and inflicting suffering as a Slave of that malevolent sorcerer. Discovering strange but wonderful aspects of this new life—kindness, friendship, and love—reveals to him his own crimes, and his own pain and suffering. This sends him into the first of the three hells foretold by the Star-Seer: a hell of anguish and remorse, guilt and anger. With the aid of many people—Rajani and Tenaiya at the Safe Houses; Svahar at the Great Tree; and Naran and the Kailithana Jolanya at the Sanctuary; as well as the divine forgiveness of the Goddess Zhovanya—he begins to recover and become a kind, courageous, and loving person.
In Fierce Blessings (Book Two), Kyr undergoes the second hell: a return to the kind of torment he knew as a Slave, at the hands of his worst enemy, Gauday. Kyr must fight to keep from succumbing to all-too-familiar depravity, and to protect his soul against Gauday’s insidious cruelty and malign sorcery. Yet his only weapons are the compassion and forgiveness he learned at the Sanctuary. With his inner guide Dekani’s help and Zhovanya’s fierce blessings, he manages to survive with his mind and soul intact, though still tainted by the remnants of the Soul-Drinker’s evil sorcery.
Now, in Perilous Bliss (Book Three), an unthinkable betrayal destroys Kyr’s faith in his friends, himself, and even his beloved Goddess. Utterly devastated, he flees into this third and final hell alone to confront the truth of his life beyond all lies and illusions. In the face of this harrowing ordeal, will he give in to despair, and abandon the hard path of healing and forgiveness? Or will he find the courage and willingness to fulfill the Star-Seer’s Prophecy after all?
Perilous Bliss deals with vengeance, forgiveness, and love . . . despair, hope, and enlightenment . . . intense emotions and equanimity . . . and above all, sublime mysteries. It is dedicated to those who—even if coming from difficult origins—follow the hard path of reflection, healing, and forgiveness toward the fulfillment of the soul’s potential for love and illumination.
I hope you enjoy the dark revelations, soul-deep healing, and astonishing transformations of the conclusion of The Star-Seer’s Prophecy.
Questions for Contemplation and Discussion
If you have been affected by this book—indeed, by the entire trilogy—and would like to gain further insight for yourself, or discuss the impact and meaning of Kyr’ story with others, here are some suggestions and questions to enhance your own healing and to facilitate deeper connection with others.
FOR BOOK-CLUB DISCUSSION GROUPS:
If you are in a book club, or want to start one based on The Star-Seer’s Prophecy, you may find the following questions a good conversation-starter:
- How did you experience the book(s)? Were you immediately drawn into the story, or did it take a while? Did you find Kyr’s story intriguing, sad, gripping, disturbing, inspiring, touching, or…?
- Were the characters believable, fully developed as complex human beings, or one-dimensional? What are their motivations? Do any of them learn, grow, or change? If so, how?
- Did any character(s) or event(s) remind you of your own life? Why?
- What are the major themes of the trilogy? Are they relevant in your life? Did the author effectively develop these themes?
- Was there redemption for any of the characters? If so, who? Is this important to you in reading a book?
- Is the plot engaging? Is it a fast page-turner or does the plot unfold slowly with a focus on character? Were you surprised by how the story evolved, by complications, twists and turns?
- Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life?
- Which passages strike you as insightful, inspiring, or profound?
- Is the ending of the trilogy satisfying? Why or why not?
- Has Kyr’s story helped you heal, or learn something new about yourself or life? How?
NOTE: You can also use the questions listed below under “For Individuals Doing Inner Healing Work.”
FOR INDIVIDUALS DOING INNER HEALING WORK:
If we choose to explore our lives beyond the conditions with which we were raised, there comes a time when those beliefs and artifices are stripped away. Then we face the void as Kyr does, feeling abandoned, betrayed, and lost: not knowing who we are, what to believe, or where we belong. At that point, we have the option of retreating to the seemingly safe shell of the confining personality that others told us, or assumed that, we are—or of choosing for ourselves who we will be. Like Kyr, we may find this an arduous and painful process, but ultimately a freeing and fulfilling one.
Part of this process is to stop denying or suppressing our own feelings of rage and betrayal, depression and self-hatred. Once we have faced and felt these intense emotions (preferably with the support of trained and experienced therapists), we can begin to stop identifying with being the victim of abuse or betrayal. This in itself brings us into a new level of freedom and awareness, of self-acceptance and empowerment.
As Kyr shows, there is a further step we can take: to let go of the past entirely and live in the present moment, responding appropriately in each situation, no longer from reactivity to past trauma. We can forgive those who have harmed us and, undefined by the past, we can be the kind of person we choose to be. We can discover our true essence as beings of light and love, and live with joy, enthusiasm, and creativity.
- Have you ever realized that the person you were taught to be is not who you really are? How did that affect you? Did you feel abandoned, lost, betrayed, or something else? What did you do to get beyond that?
- Have you been able to let go of identifying with being a victim? Whether you have or not, how does that affect your life?
- Have you found a way to let go of the past, forgive your abusers for the sake of your own freedom, and live more in the present? If so, how has that changed your life? If not, what might enable you to do so?
FOR THERAPISTS WHO WISH TO USE THE STAR-SEER’S PROPHECY AS BIBLIOTHERAPY:
Using The Star-Seer’s Prophecy trilogy as bibliotherapy provides your clients a safe distance and an engaging imaginative context for recognizing and addressing their own traumas.
Sometimes, reading a book is a safer, more accessible way for someone who has experienced psychologically scarring abuse to vicariously enter into a different version of their own experience and come out the other side. Literature is particularly powerful when it takes universal themes and particularizes them into a specific, detailed world that, is different from the reader’s , but that, on a deeper level, speaks to the universality of human experience. This allows the reader to relate to the characters’ traumas without defensiveness.
Healing for her readers was certainly a prime motivation of retired psychotherapist Rahima Warren when she wrote the story of Kyr—a “dark innocent” raised to know only abuse, cruelty, and depravity—who unwittingly embarks on a healing journey to discover his true nature. Throughout the trilogy, he learns to love and trust, forgive his tormentors—and, just as importantly, himself—and ultimately emerges whole, empowered, fulfilled, and a leader towards a better way of living and being.
(2) a tangible roadmap of the healing journey and its internal stages; and
(3) the opportunity for transformative openings in the client. “Remember when Kyr couldn’t believe anyone really wanted to help him?” you might ask, in a moment when your client was fighting off kindness, support, or love. Your clients’ identification with Kyr’s journey can bring them to the realization that even people who have been subjected to the most horrendous experiences can find a good life on the other side.
To explore doing bibliotherapy centered on The Star-Seer’s Prophecy, as well as to inquire about bulk-discounts purchases, please go to: www.rosepress.com/bibliotherapy.
FOR SOCIETAL-HEALING GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS SEEKING A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE PSYCHOLOGY UNDERLYING SOCIAL/POLITICAL FORCES:
The tendency to look at difficult societal situations as having only external and socio-political influences has been strong in our society. And yet there are always inner forces and conflicts within human beings that underlie socio-economic and political events. A deep study of the inner life of those in power, and/or of our own inner lives, may help us see political events and public figures with greater understanding of the hidden psychological forces at play. Certainly, bringing the “outside” “inside,” as The Star-Seer’s Prophecy does in all three volumes, may enhance the perspective from which you view life events—and perhaps enable you to be a participant, even a leader, in opening up healing possibilities from this new perspective.
Whether you are an individual or part of a group seeking to understand what really brings about positive change in a culture, reading and discussing The Star-Seer’s Prophecy in this light will, at the very least, open your heart and mind to deeper levels of understanding and connection, and allow forgiveness and compassion in your own heart the chance to open doors for you and the world in which you live.
Many of the characters in this book played out onto others abuse that they themselves had been subjected to: Kyr; Gauday and his minions Larag and Viro; Naran; and Craith, for example. [I took out Dauthaz and Jolanya because their stories are not described much in the trilogy.] Yet not all of them took the identical path towards continuing this abuse. What, for you, are the differences in character and direction taken between these characters in the trilogy? What made them some of them continue in the direction they had been subjected to? And what made some of them change direction? And for those who chose to change direction, what was their effect on their community?
Byron Katie, Loving What Is. Byron Katie provides a challenging way to look beyond our assumptions, and free ourselves from our past.
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, and Stillness Speaks. Eckhart Tolle offers experiences and guidance to living in the present—in the stillness and peace that is our essence.
https://gratefulness.org/ Founded by Brother David Steindl-Rast. Grateful living is a way of life which asks us to notice all that is already present and abundant – from the tiniest things of beauty to the grandest of our blessings – and in so doing, to take nothing for granted. We can learn to focus our attention on, and acknowledge, that life is a gift. Even in the most challenging times, living gratefully makes us aware of, and available to, the opportunities that are always available; opportunities to learn and grow, and to extend ourselves with care and compassion to others. Small, grateful acts every day can uplift us, make a difference for others, and help change the world.
http://learningtoforgive.com. Based on the work of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project. This ground-breaking approach offers insights into the healing powers and medical benefits of forgiveness. Dr. Fred Luskin offers a powerful method in which the emphasis is of letting go of hurt, helplessness and anger while increasing confidence, hope and happiness. Through these powerful techniques individuals can learn how to release unwanted hurts and grudges and open themselves to happiness, peace and love.
http://self-compassion.org. Based on the pioneering work of Dr. Kristin Neff, who says: “Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?