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Etienne de L'Amour's novels

escape from the shadowlands    the insiders

The Shadowlands series

1. The Lost Treasure of Roth Nagor. *

2. Life on the Flipside or In Two Minds. **

3. Escape from the Shadowlands.

4. In Search of Destiny.

5. The Lucian Uprising.

6. Time and Time Again.

7. The Gift.

8. The Host and the Guests.

9. Whisperings of Love.

10. The Insiders: Exploring the higher realms of possibility. ***

* A historical prequel to the series.

** A prequel to the series.

*** A stand-alone book; you don't have to read the other books first.

You could read Escape From the Shadowlands or In Search of Destiny first.

Other

Thank You, I Understand.

Poetry

Heart to Heart by Rohan Powell: A short collection of poetry (PDF).


A little background information

In a previous millenium a catastrophe struck the lands which were originally known as the Eden Project. The linkage with the Source, vital for the continuing evolution of humanity, was largely lost, though it is always subject to ebb and flow, and the lands -- now known as the Shadowlands -- and the people have largely fallen into a state of decay and degeneration.

In the west lay the Freelands, or so they are called ....

Short descriptions

Thank You, I Understand is a factional work takes the reader on an evolutionary journey of self-rediscovery from near Neanderthal to sentient human being in a thousand and one fraught lessons.

A psychological drama, it explores the murky depths of the unregenerate psyche, trials and redemption; passionate romance; the wise voice of inner-tuition, and the heightened awareness of eventual spiritual reawakening. An awakening into a strange world pregnant with deep meaning in which we see revealed an awe-inspiring hidden design at work amidst the everyday life which we mistakenly take to be the real world.

Rocky Rhodes is one wave short of a shipwreck as the story begins, going through a period of teenage rebellion, amidst a subculture of sex, drugs and rock and roll, and later he experiences psychosis and schizophrenia. But his life begins to take on new direction when he is introduced to the way of the Sufi mystics.

Thank You, I Understand is a standalone novel, circa 80,000 words.

The Lost Treasure of Roth Nagor: Set in the Shadowlands, a degenerative realm, young David Seymour goes in search of the Lost Treasure of Roth Nagor, and finds a still greater prize. A historical prequel, book 1 in the Shadowlands series.

Life on the Flipside or In Two Minds: Bradley Foster is convicted of a crime that he did not commit and is 'sent down' for life to the degenerative realm of the Shadowlands, where he leads an impoverished and troubled life. Fortunately, he finds love and also the help of The Network, a clandestine organization run by a mystic from the mountainous realm of Narayana. A prequel, book 2 in the Shadowlands series.

Escape from the Shadowlands: Something has gone drastically wrong with Psi, the caretaker system, and the effects are even being felt in the higher planes. The experiment in the Shadowlands, formerly the Eden Project, is to be terminated, imperilling the six billion souls down there, as well as the representatives and resident field workers. Marie and her younger brother foolishly decide to make the descent, in order to help out, but their plans go awry and they become separated from one-another, and they forget their origins. Fortunately, they eventually find help in the form of the writer and spiritual Master Tenzing Jangbu Rinchen and his clandestine organization, The Network. Book 3 in the Shadowlands series.

In Search of Destiny is set in the disparate realms of the Outlands; Sher Point, the metropolis of the Freelands, and the mystical kingdom of Narayana in the East. It tells the story of Conrad Harper, who sets out one day to search for his destiny and heart's true desire; of the help offered him by a mysterious organization known simply as the Network; his journeys with the Master of the Tradition, Tenzing Jangbu Rinchen, and of his finding romance, ancient knowledge, unfettered awareness and wholeness of being. And it shows how ordinary and everyday experiences, which we tend to take for granted and often do not value, can be brought into service and woven together into a rich tapestry with an altogether higher purpose. Book 4 in the Shadowlands series.

The Lucian Uprising: Things were bad enough with the economic depression and the growing poverty. Then they were further inflamed by the rise to power of a new political party with an age-old agenda, led by the charismatic despot Lucian. This is the heart-rending story of friends caught up in those upheavals, and of help they receive from a clandestine, mystical organization simply known as The Network. Book 5 in the Shadowlands series.

Time and Time Again tells the story of difficult decisions and hard times for the common people with the rise of a violent movement of religious fanatics, the Hujardi, sweeping through the land of Gilgamar.

“The culture that was to become so famed for its profound humanity, its immense treasury of learning, its paradisal gardens and its grand architecture hung onto life for so many long years with no more secure a purchase on life than a mountain flower clinging to a crevice in a sheer rock face, or an oasis in a desert. And now a gargantuan monster rears up, threatening to rock the very foundations of our own frail societies.”

~ Tenzing Jangbu Rinchen.

Time and Time Again is a short novel, circa 50,000 words, in the genre of “mystical faction”. It is book 6 in the Shadowlands series.

The Gift tells the moving story of Emily Hart and Bradley Frogmorton as they awaken to the Gift and answer the summons of the Doyen Mugwash ... and what comes after. If you have 'the Gift', whatever you do, keep the secret to yourself. “You're beginning a whole new life -- and for your own good and for the good of your future employers, it is better that you leave your old attachments behind. The more completely you make this transition, the better. 'To serve and gladly' is our motto, and the very essence of our activity. This should be your only concern from now on. It is a great honour to be called to enter the ranks of the Ancient and Noble Order of the Mugwash, and vitally important that you understand, appreciate and above all wholeheartedly embrace this ethos; and develop and nourish the precious Gift that makes all this possible. Don't let us down.” ~ The Noble and Most Reverend Mater Mugwash. The Gift is a short novel, circa 42,000 words. It is book 7 in the Shadowlands series.

Whisperings of Love: The wise healer Mair Freida is ill and her friends must embark on a long journey to bring back a cure. The old lady at length hears the whisperings of love, calling to her. It is time to move on from the hidden mountain sanctuary of babs chu to join the Elder Abbots on the next stage in her continuing evolution in the still more distant mystical realm of Shu'la beland. But is Mair Freida strong enough to make that journey? And with a deranged killer on the loose, will he thwart the Network's plans and gain access to Shu'la beland? It is book 9 in the Shadowlands series.

The Insiders: Exploring the higher realms of possibility: John Little is intrigued by a friend's illicit involvement in the old ways, which date back to a time long before the rise of the New Faith. Sent on a journey to find the Teacher of the Age, he learns from a number of diverse Masters along the way. The Insiders is a response to The Teachers of Gurdjieff by Rafael Lefort. “In answer to your many as yet unasked questions, know-what is ten a penny and often not worth the paper it's printed on. I'm here to teach you know-how and that is an altogether different kettle of fish.” ~ The Master Malik Joujai. The Insiders is a short novel, circa 38,000 words. It is book 10 in the Shadowlands series; however it is a standalone book and you do not have to read the other works first.

The Insiders: 5-star Amazon review

“ This is a book on Sufism “from the ground up” --it describes as best as can be described what the Sufi enterprise is in very practical terms for our time, including the most important fact that Sufism is “caught” rather than “taught” and that contrary to what most academics might tell you it is certainly not “Islamic mysticism” (although it has often been clothed in that guise, for obvious reasons of “Time, Place and People”).

So forget any preconceptions and/or stereotypes such as “whirling dervishes” and pious gatherings of people taking turns to read Rumi's poetry, which have at most mere entertainment value in our times. Learning to polish old rusty bicycles until they shine as new or helping to efficiently serve tables in a small restaurant might actually be more realistic examples of the way the “transmission” takes place.

Back in 1966 --46 years ago and a whole world apart-- “The Teachers of Gurdjieff”, by Rafael Lefort (some say it was an acronym for “A Real Effort”, and others point to Idries Shah as the author) caused a veritable stir among those involved in the “Fourth Way” teaching of the Armenian mystagogue G. I. Gurdjieff.

The book, a tale of a one man's quest to find the source of Gurdjieff's teaching, was a kind of treatise on Sufism in the XXth century, and contained very valuable hints for the “seekers after Truth” of the 1960's. They all led to Idries Shah, who happened to be teaching not in a remote valley in Afghanistan, but in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, not too far from London, and who had among his students people of the most varied sorts --some of them public figures such as Doris Lessing or Robert Graves, and more often than not just common folks from all walks of life.

“The Insiders”, by Shah's student Etienne De L'Amour (obviously a pen-name) is as fascinating a read as “The Teachers of Gurdieff” was --but far more relevant for the “seekers” of 2012, when “The Work”, always changing according to the Sufi dictum of “Time, People and Place” is as accessible as it has always been --if you know where to look...

This book is a good starting place. ”

The Insiders is a standalone, 38,000 word novella. It is book 10 in the Shadowlands series. You don't need to read the other books first.

A word from the author

Life on the Flipside pretty much wrote itself. As the characters explored their world, I simply tagged along and wrote down details on their behalf, so it was just as much a journey of discovery for me.

You may find that it presents a restricted world view at times, and that is because this is how the character views the world from within themselves. And you may find it short on description. Again, this is deliberate. I don't want to tell the reader how they should picture a scene, and thrust it upon them, I really do want to provoke them to imagine this for themselves, to lose themselves for a time, and to make the story their own.

A few quotations

“I so want to progress, yet deep down, I'm scared that I'll lose my identity,” she told Rosalie. “You know, the thing that makes me uniquely ‘I’.”

“Well, I know this will be of little comfort to you right now, Jeanine but, for the most part, what we think of as ‘I’ is nothing more than a whole heap of conditioning. Of vanity, pride, envy, greed, hypocrisy, ignorance and forgetfulness. That's not who you really are, deep down. And the task is not so much to annihilate the ego as to transform it so that it becomes an aid to unearthing the real you, rather than being a hindrance. Use a fox to catch a fox. Frankly, I'd be rather scared, too, if I thought I faced annihilation as preached by so many schools, but though I've still a long way to go, I'm sufficiently far down the road to no longer be worried by such things.”

“What can I say other than that you already know in your heart whether it is the right or the wrong thing or the right or wrong time for you to embark upon the Path. And you know in your heart that it is not a matter of really losing anything of value but the chance of regaining something long buried away and of inestimable worth.”

~ Rosalie Muller in Escape from the Shadowlands.

“The shadow of scepticism is dispelled in the light of real knowledge.”

~ Tenzing Jangbu Rinchen in The Lucian Uprising.

“The final thing that I'd like to mention before we move on and before I forget, is that when I write, I don't plan it out as do many who write to patent formulae. Though I've tried, that approach just doesn't seem to work for me. Very often, indeed most often, I'm not at all sure where the words come from; or for that matter, even a good share of the subsequent copy editing. Certainly not from the conscious mind. The words just seem to appear in my mind and write themselves of their own accord.”

“The writer never seems to sleep. I've lost count of the ideas and storylines that have come to me in the middle of the night, ideas that I always think I'll remember when I wake up in the morning and, over and over again, have been singularly unable to recall. I take a pen and paper to bed, and go to bed determined to stir myself and write the ideas down, but once asleep that resolve seems to evaporate, and I wake up frustrated by my weakness and incompetence.”

“You could say, in a way, that I'm not actually a writer, though perhaps I might be called a recorder? And when I come to edit the work afterwards, it's not so much the writing which I correct as the faults in this recording. Or perhaps I'm merely an actor reciting her lines? Some have asked whether I'm a medium, but that's not a term I care to use: it has so many unfitting and bizarre metaphysical connotations. So I call myself a recorder. I just happen to be one of those holding the pen, that's all.”

~ The writer Winifred Rawlings in The Lucian Uprising.

“The culture that was to become so famed for its profound humanity, its paradisal gardens and its grand architecture hung onto life for so many long years with no more secure a purchase on life than a mountain flower clinging to a crevice in a sheer rock face, or an oasis in a desert. And now a gargantuan monster rears up, threatening to rock the very foundations of our own frail societies.”

~ Tenzing Jangbu Rinchen in Time and Time Again.

“You're beginning a whole new life ... and for your own good and for the good of your future employers, it is better that you leave your old attachments behind. The more completely you make this transition, the better. ‘To serve and gladly’ is our motto, and the very essence of our activity. This should be your only concern from now on. It is a great honour to be called to enter the ranks of the Ancient and Noble Order of the Mugwash, and vitally important that you understand, appreciate and above all wholeheartedly embrace this ethos; and develop and nourish the precious Gift that makes all this possible. Don't let us down.”

~ The Noble and Most Reverend Mater Mugwash in The Gift.

“Don't just stand there and nod. The mind observes and cogitates, the heart engages, and I would encourage you to engage with the process,” Mair Freida smiled, turning to the students.

~ Mair Freida in The Host and the Guests.

“In answer to your many as yet unasked questions, know-what is ten a penny and often not worth the paper it's printed on. I'm here to teach you know-how and that is an altogether different kettle of fish.”

~ Malik Joujai in The Insiders.

Herein lay the chronicles, indeed the sworn testament, of one Jeremiah Wildacre,” David read, “detailing a long, arduous and oft-beguiling journey through the lands of the known world and beyond, in search of the Lost Treasure of Roth Nagor.

I hesitate to use an adjective such as “fabulous” or “legendary” to describe said treasure, for such secrecy surrounds this vast hoard that it has never become such public knowledge as to to be made the subject of fable or legend, except amongst a select few. Yet still these words do conjure up something of the nature and inestimable worth of such a hoard, and of the most peculiar and adept folk involved in its hiding and subsequent protection. These people are surely mystics and magians -- and yet more besides, they represent and are custodians of an ancient and most secret tradition, more of which we shall hear about in due course, though still more of which must go unsaid and be, at most, merely hinted at to those capable of unravelling and understanding such mysteries as these.

It all began,” the narrative read, “in the summer of 1415.” ....

~ The Lost Treasure of Roth Nagor.

   
   
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