22 Jan LAYERS OF EVIL IN REST OF THE WORLD
“While this book is a work of fiction, rather than the fictional character in this novel, Eddie Egen, laying in an upside-down police cruiser after the attempt to kill him failed as he drove back to El Paso, as detailed in Chapter 14, it was me.”
This paragraph – the introductory paragraph on the home page of my website – is how my late-life and brand-new career as an author/novelist began.
That paragraph also described an incident that happened while I lived and practiced law in El Paso, Texas, and was described in the Afterword and Acknowledgement by the Author of a novel manuscript that I’d been working on for years that was first titled, “Layers of Evil,” which then became El Paso, a Novel!
That paragraph was used by my website designer to start my new Author Website and refers to my very first blog entitled My Journey. See: https://louisbodnar.com/my-own-journey/
I was saved by the Grace of the Lord.
That was the beginning of my journey. I ended a very destructive personal relationship, wound down my law practice in El Paso and relocated to Dallas, where I continued to practice law for a time, and later retired from a north Dallas, Texas law firm and returned home to Oklahoma to be with family.
A quick summary of the evolution of the manuscript of El Paso, a Novel, might be in order!
I was now in Tulsa, retired from practicing law and in education, teaching at a local high school. And I continued to write…
But it was only after the Good Lord placed the best-hearted woman on this planet, my wife Joan, into my life, did “Layers of Evil” ultimately turn into the manuscript of El Paso, a Novel!
This manuscript was a “monster” containing 155,000 + words, some 850 pages in two parts, as was first submitted to my publisher! While that “mess” showed much promise, the acquisition editor said, it was initially rejected – as being outside the publisher’s publication limit of 100,000 words per book!
The Good Lord intervened again, this time in the form of His Guidance to my editor! If I could cut the “monster” manuscript into two stand-alone novels, he said, my publisher would consider publishing both!
So, I got to work, and over three months, me – writing, my Joan – editing,two stand-alone novels emerged: El Paso Sunrise, a Novel, was published worldwide on September 24, 2019, and the Continuation Novel, El Paso Sunset, will be published and launched worldwide on April 13, 2021! For full detail on both of these two books see: https://louisbodnar.com/coming-soon/
While these books are works of fiction, they are also an autobiographical account of my deeply personal emotional journey, where I not only learned much about the therapeutic cycle, Freudian psychology and intimate relationships, but also learned a great deal about myself.
Most important, however, I learned about Faith, Grace and Love and learned for an absolute certainty that the only things of value that really matter in this world are: my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, my wife Joan and our marriage, my family and our friends.
I was helped in this journey, and during my entire life since birth, by the Lord’s “designated Angels” – my own spiritual theory that our Lord Works His Mysterious Ways on this planet through His designated Angels, just as satan, the devil, works his evil through designated demons!
Many of those designated Angels are detailed in this novel as being in the main character’s, Steven Vandorol’s past, his early life and, later, in his own emerging self-awareness. In that regard, I wish to acknowledge another of the Lord’s designated angels, my Christian Counselor, who for privacy reasons in this novel, I simply call Doc Bill. I have Doc Bill to thank for teaching me about the Good Lord’s Grace, which is humanity’s unmerited gift from Our Lord.
As I state in the beginning of these novels, these books are dedicated: “To My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and to the forever and always love of my life, Joan Bodnar.”
It is to my wife, lover, partner, best friend, love of my life and the Good Lord’s designated angel, Joan Carol, without whose help, support, encouragement and very practical suggestions, these books would have not been finished. She is truly my partner dolphin swimming in the wake ahead of an R.O.W., rest-of-world, symbolic tramp-steamer bearing down behind them that hung in fictitious Steven Vandorol’s bedroom in his Golden Hill Terrace residence in El Paso.
Thank you, my Joan! I love you with all my heart, mind, body and soul, forever and always and am your Louis until death do us part, but then join as one in Paradise.
Ultimately, this book is dedicated to our Lord, the Father, and Jesus Christ, His only begotten son, that are in both or our hearts, minds and souls and will join in Heaven hereafter when we are called by our Lord.
All three of the sayings at the beginning of these novels are very important to me in that I have actually lived all three. They have been crucial in my personal transformation and inner changes in my heart, mind, soul and psyche, and I now govern my life and intimate relationships accordingly.
My most favorite saying is the first in these books: “The ultimate of human freedoms is the freedom of choice.”
I adopted that one as my own personal truth because life on this planet, for the individual, is full of choices both good and bad… We humans with our God given brains must always choose very carefully and are always responsible for the
consequences of those choices.
The second saying, “The farther backward you may look…the farther forward you are likely to see,” was instrumental in my journey of transformation and self-awareness, in that it helped me look all the way to my birth to recognize all those R.O.W., rest-of-world influences, conditioning and enslaving pressures from others in my life, intentionally or unintentionally inflicted by parents, siblings, relatives, friends or enemies, good or evil.
While there is much good in our world and the good Lord provides both this Grace and His “designated Angels” to help us humans, lucifer, a fallen angel himself, is always ready to dispense his evil through his “designated demons” to hurt, enslave and defeat us humans as well. Casual Christians know nothing of spiritual warfare, for that warfare for man’s soul, has been fought since Eve first offered Adam the apple in Paradise.
Then, with the awareness of my past and in the pause period in between the past and the future, I reflected on all of it, processed it all and, with God’s Grace, was able to clearly “the farther forward you are likely to see.”
This second saying also helped me to understand the Therapeutic Cycle, whereby we humans, with the freedom of choice and the Good Lord’s unmerited gift of Grace, can rise from one level of behavior, jump over a fence by holding our own bootstraps, as I am always saying, to a higher level of human behavior and achieving a positive and lasting change and transformation.
The Therapeutic Cycle mentioned on occasion in these novels has a very special meaning to me in my own transformational journey. This is a well-known model that is useful in psychotherapeutic counseling. It envisions the recognition of some neurotic behavior that is harmful or self- destructive, requires one by self- analysis to first become aware that such behavior is harmful or self-destructive, then understand why one engages in such behavior and then make a rational decision or choice to change that behavior. Then comes the hardest part: the constant and continued practice of that choice, to not backslide, but to then reach a higher level of freedom from that behavior to a lasting transformation. The distance between the old and new behavior is our own “personal growth.” The Therapeutic Cycle is not unlike the Twelve Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous, for example.
My Christian Counselor was also most instrumental in helping me understand a loving, intimate relationship by explaining the four phases of such relationships in the context of the therapeutic cycle.
The initial phase or the brand-new beginning of a relationship between a man and woman is the falling in love phase, that initial feeling of ecstasy. At that point the relationship can take either of two paths. On one path, either the man or woman blames the other for the failure to recapture the ecstasy which then leads to evil and the destruction of the relationship. That is the dark “blaming” or selfishness stage for failing to recapture the ecstasy. On the other path, either the man or the woman give to the other, both recognizing that the relationship requires the efforts of both to last. This is the “giving” to the other or selflessness stage leading to a good and deeper love, the forever and always love that is unconditional for “true love means ‘giving’ everything and not expecting anything in return.” I’ve also lived that particular saying.
Before my accident in the desert, I was governed not by choice, but by those “layers of evil” enslaving me since birth, acquired first from my parents, then from my older brother and ultimately from all my associations, friendships and ending with all my several destructive relationships. I finally became not what others wanted me to be, but that God created individual that I really was!
Only through Grace was I saved by the Good Lord’s whispers to me, in the desert smelling gasoline, as a lay strapped in a seat of an upside-down car, that spurred me into action, and, by my own choice, turned off the engine, before the car could have exploded in a massive fireball!
After awareness comes understanding in the therapeutic cycle.
The understanding of my own personal evil came one evening in Durango, Colorado, visiting ones who I thought were friends, but were not. I was with a woman with whom I was in yet another destructive relationship, that I attributed in these novels to a fictitious Glee Robinson and first describe in Chapter 18 of El Paso Sunrise. It was a moment in my life where I clearly understood Sigmund Freud’s very old and now probably dated Oedipal and Electra complexes in my own life. While these theories may have been relegated to the dust-bins of modern psychology, I have lived them as well!
This then has been my journey!
Modern versions of these two Freudian theories are still popular in modern culture by classic examples: Alfred Hitchcock’s old blockbuster movie “Psycho,” recent television series “Bates Motel,” and the “Menendez Murders” currently shown on the series “Law and Order: True Crimes, all being most graphic examples, and my favorite movie of all time: Pulp Fiction!
As Steven tells his best friend Eddie Egen in Chapter 25 of El Paso Sunrise, “The bottom line for us males is that as children we have intimate feelings toward our mothers and are subconsciously jealous of our father, who is our main competitor for our mothers’ affection. So, if that relationship is normal and lasting, we males eventually transfer that desire (and feeling) and find a woman of our own and, as in the fairy tales, live happily ever after… But what happens in the real R.O.W., rest-of-world, most relationships and marriages all end because of the sexual, infidelity, divorce, conflicts, us males just thinking with our…” (Not with our brains!)
The Freudian Oedipal and Electra complexes hold that the sexual is the basis of all neurosis, afflictions, addictions, or personal evil in this world. The enslaving evil forces a human being into escapes of all types, escapes from the lack of perfect
intimacy, which for humanity as a whole, leads to its ultimate destruction. But it also reveals that there is salvation for the individual. The individual can find peace, serenity, happiness and joy through love and intimacy and can join with another for the survival of that particular intimate human relationship. More on the “how-to” of intimacy in all relationships in next month’s blog essay!
All this led me to the third saying, my very own:
“With God’s Grace freely given, the completion of the intimacy work in progress between a man and a woman completely depends on each, by their own God-given choice, coming to know and understand themselves fully. And this only actually happens the moment that the woman forgives her own father, lets him go and lets her son go to another woman of his own… and the man forgives his own mother, lets her go and lets his daughter go to another man of her own.”
Final words for January, 2021:
I’ve left public school education behind! As I’ve left the year 2020 behind, I wanted to thank all my family, friends and all my readers that made El Paso Sunrise, a Novel, a regional Best Seller and, hopefully, worldwide success, and say that I’ve changed again, hopefully for the better yet, and look forward, with great anticipation, to the worldwide launch, release and publication of El Paso Sunset on April 13, 2021, in El Paso, Texas!
All that’s pretty deep, but still the books taken together are a very timely psychological and political thriller, and, as one reviewer said, “a totally entertaining roller-coaster ride of thrilling suspense and fast paced action.” Please read both! I think you’ll come to love Steven Vandorol and Vanessa Carson as much as I do!