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Also on this website:
Toby Johnson's books:
GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness
GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe
GETTING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE: A
Fantastickal Gay Romance set in two different time frames
THE FOURTH QUILL, a novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil
TWO SPIRITS: A Story of Life with the Navajo, a collaboration with Walter L. Williams
CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into Gold: Reclaiming Our Queer Spirituality Through Story, a collaboration with Steve Berman and some 30 other writers
THE MYTH OF THE GREAT SECRET: An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell
IN SEARCH OF GOD IN THE SEXUAL UNDERWORLD: A Mystical Journey
Books on Gay Spirituality:
Toby has done five podcasts with Harry Faddis for The Quest of Life
Articles and Excerpts:
Read Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness
Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"
You're Not A Wave
Joseph Campbell Talks about Aging
What is Enlightenment?
What is reincarnation?
How many lifetimes in an ego?
Emptiness & Religious Ideas
Experiencing experiencing experiencing
Going into the Light
Meditations for a Funeral
The way to get to heaven
Buddha's father was right
What Anatman means
Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal
The Danda Nata & goddess Kalika
Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva
John Boswell was Immanuel Kant
Cutting edge realization
The Myth of the Wanderer
Change: Source of Suffering & of Bliss
What the Vows Really Mean
Manifesting from the Subtle Realms
The Three-layer Cake & the Multiverse
The est Training and Personal Intention
Effective Dreaming in Ursula LeGuin's The Lathe of Heaven
Joseph Campbell, the Hero's Journey, and the modern Gay Hero-- a five part presentation on YouTube
Be Done on Earth by Howard E. Cook
Pay Me What I'm Worth by Souldancer
The Way Out by Christopher L Nutter
The Gay Disciple by John Henson
Art That Dares by Kittredge Cherry
Coming Out, Coming Home by Kennth A. Burr
Extinguishing the Light by B. Alan Bourgeois
Over Coffee: A conversation For Gay Partnership & Conservative Faith by D.a. Thompson
Dark Knowledge by Kenneth Low
Janet Planet by Eleanor Lerman
The Kairos by Paul E. Hartman
Wrestling with Jesus by D.K.Maylor
Kali Rising by Rudolph Ballentine
The Missing Myth by Gilles Herrada
The Secret of the Second Coming by Howard E. Cook
The Scar Letters: A Novel by Richard Alther
The Future is Queer by Labonte & Schimel
Missing Mary by Charlene Spretnak
Gay Spirituality 101 by Joe Perez
Cut Hand: A Nineteeth Century Love Story on the American Frontier by Mark Wildyr
Radiomen by Eleanor Lerman
Nights at Rizzoli by Felice Picano
The Key to Unlocking the Closet Door by Chelsea Griffo
The Door of the Heart by Diana Finfrock Farrar
Occam’s Razor by David Duncan
Grace and Demion by Mel White
Gay Men and The New Way Forward by Raymond L. Rigoglioso
The Dimensional Stucture of Consciousness by Samuel Avery
The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love by Perry Brass
Love Together: Longtime Male Couples on Healthy Intimacy and Communication by Tim Clausen
War Between Materialism and Spiritual by Jean-Michel Bitar
The Serpent's Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion by Jeffrey J. Kripal
Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion by Jeffrey J. Kripal
The Invitation to Love by Darren Pierre
Brain, Consciousness, and God: A Lonerganian Integration by Daniel A Helminiak
A Walk with Four Spiritual Guides by Andrew Harvey
Can Christians Be Saved? by Stephenson & Rhodes
The Lost Secrets of the Ancient Mystery Schools by Stephenson & Rhodes
Keys to Spiritual Being: Energy Meditation and Synchronization Exercises by Adrian Ravarour
In Walt We Trust by John Marsh
Solomon's Tantric Song by Rollan McCleary
A Special Illumination by Rollan McCleary
Aelred's Sin by Lawrence Scott
Fruit Basket by Payam Ghassemlou
Internal Landscapes by John Ollom
Princes & Pumpkins by David Hatfield Sparks
Yes by Brad Boney
Blood of the Goddess by William Schindler
Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom by Jeffrey Kripal
Evolving Dharma by Jay Michaelson
Jesus in Salome's Lot by Brett W. Gillette
The Man Who Loved Birds by Fenton Johnson
The Vatican Murders by Lucien Gregoire
"Sex Camp" by Brian McNaught
Out & About with Brewer & Berg
Episode One: Searching for a New Mythology
The Soul Beneath the Skin by David Nimmons
Out on Holy Ground by Donald Boisvert
The Revotutionary Psychology of Gay-Centeredness by Mitch Walker
Out There by Perry Brass
The Crucifixion of Hyacinth by Geoff Puterbaugh
The Silence of Sodom by Mark D Jordan
It's Never About What It's About by Krandall Kraus and Paul Borja
ReCreations, edited by Catherine Lake
Gospel: A Novel by WIlton Barnhard
Keeping Faith: A Skeptic’s Journey by Fenton Johnson
Dating the Greek Gods by Brad Gooch
Telling Truths in Church by Mark D. Jordan
The Substance of God by Perry Brass
The Tomcat Chronicles by Jack Nichols
10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives by Joe Kort
Jesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same Sex Love by Will Roscoe
The Third Appearance by Walter Starcke
The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann
Surviving and Thriving After a Life-Threatening Diagnosis by Bev Hall
Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods by Ronald Long
An Interview with Ron Long
Queering Creole Spiritual Traditons by Randy Conner & Daviud Sparks
An Interview with Randy Conner
Pain, Sex and Time by Gerald Heard
Sex and the Sacred by Daniel Helminiak
Blessing Same-Sex Unions by Mark Jordan
Rising Up by Joe Perez
Soulfully Gay by Joe Perez
That Undeniable Longing by Mark Tedesco
Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman
Wisdom for the Soul by Larry Chang
MM4M a DVD by Bruce Grether
Double Cross by David Ranan
The Transcended Christian by Daniel Helminiak
Jesus in Love by Kittredge Cherry
In the Eye of the Storm by Gene Robinson
The Starry Dynamo by Sven Davisson
Life in Paradox by Fr Paul Murray
Spirituality for Our Global Community by Daniel Helminiak
Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society by Robert A. Minor
Coming Out: Irish Gay Experiences by Glen O'Brien
Queering Christ by Robert Goss
Skipping Towards Gomorrah by Dan Savage
The Flesh of the Word by Richard A Rosato
Catland by David Garrett Izzo
Tantra for Gay Men by Bruce Anderson
Yoga & the Path of the Urban Mystic by Darren Main
Simple Grace by Malcolm Boyd
Seventy Times Seven by Salvatore Sapienza
What Does "Queer" Mean Anyway? by Chris Bartlett
Critique of Patriarchal Reasoning by Arthur Evans
Gift of the Soul by Dale Colclasure & David Jensen
Legend of the Raibow Warriors by Steven McFadden
The Liar's Prayer by Gregory Flood
Lovely are the Messengers by Daniel Plasman
The Human Core of Spirituality by Daniel Helminiak
3001: The FInal Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
Religion and the Human Sciences by Daniel Helminiak
Only the Good Parts by Daniel Curzon
Four Short Reviews of Books with a Message
Life Interrupted by Michael Parise
Confessions of a Murdered Pope by Lucien Gregoire
The Stargazer's Embassy by Eleanor Lerman
Conscious Living, Conscious Aging by Ron Pevny
Footprints Through the Desert by Joshua Kauffman
True Religion by J.L. Weinberg
The Mediterranean Universe by John Newmeyer
Everything is God by Jay Michaelson
Reflection by Dennis Merritt
Everywhere Home by Fenton Johnson
Hard Lesson by James Gaston
God vs Gay? by Jay Michaelson
The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path by Jay Michaelson
Roxie & Fred by Richard Alther
Not the Son He Expected by Tim Clausen
The 9 Realities of Stardust by Bruce P. Grether
The Afterlife Revolution by Anne & Whitley Strieber
AIDS Shaman: Queer Spirit Awakening by Shokti Lovestar
Facing the Truth of Your Life by Merle Yost
The Super Natural by Whitley Strieber & Jeffrey J Kripal
Secret Body by Jeffrey J Kripal
In Hitler's House by Jonathan Lane
Walking on Glory by Edward Swift
The Paradox of Porn by Don Shewey
Is Heaven for Real? by Lucien Gregoire
Scissors, Paper, Rock by Fenton Johnson
Toby Johnson's Books on Gay Men's Spiritualities:
Things Our [Homo]sexuality
Tells Us about the
Nature of God and
Gay Perspective is available as an audiobook narrated by Matthew Whitfield. Click here
Gay Identity and
the Transformation of
Gay Spirituality is now available as an audiobook, beautifully narrated by John Sipple. Click here
Charmed Lives: Gay Spirit in Storytelling
& Steve Berman
Lammy Award Winner for Gay Science Fiction
Getting Life in Perspective
A Fantastical Romance
Getting Life in Perspective is available as an audiobook narrated by Alex Beckham.
The Fourth Quill
originally published as PLAGUE
Two Spirits: A Story of Life with the Navajo
with Walter L. Williams
Two Spirits is available as an audiobook narrated by Arthur Raymond. Click here
Finding Your Own True Myth: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell
The Myth of the Great Secret III
In Search of God in the Sexual Underworld
The Myth of the Great Secret:
An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell.
This was the second edition of this book.
Toby Johnson's titles are available in other ebook formats from Smashwords.
Learn how homosexuality can be a path to holiness, a goad to virtue and excellence and a practice of mystical vision and understanding God.
don't have to just "believe in" God, we can "understand" God.
This is "Queering Religion."
Image "The All in One" - cover at for Gay Spirituality: Gay Identity and the Transformation of Consciousness by Stevee Postman. http://stevee.com/
Read "Common Experiences Unique to Gay Men"
Read Toby's historical account of the development of some of the famous gay identifier terms
Wouldn't You Like to Be a Uranian?
Image "Bodhisattva" - cover art for Gay Perspective: Things our [homo]sexuality tells us
about the nature of God and the Universe by Peter Grahame http://www.ironic-horse.com/
To order books from amazon.com
". . . a writer with a positive vision and a wonderful attitude" --Rich Grzesiak, Philadelphia Gay News
"There is a fresh naivete in [Toby Johnson's] style that rings pleasantly in the ear, like the memory of a 'boy's book' enthusiastically devoured at age 12. Against the sour punk of so much of today's gay male fiction, Getting Life in Perspective is a treat." --Marvin Shaw, Lambda Book Report
Toby's latest book is titled Finding Your Own True Myth: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell: The Myth of the Great Secret III.
Here's a page about the book.
The link below goes to amazon.com. The book is available in print and in digital for Kindle.
Toby Johnson presents a talk on YouTube
Here's the script and images for Toby Johnson's presentationThe Hero's Journey & the Gay Hero
Beyond Marriage Equality: QUEER FANTASY AND CHRISTIAN DISINFORMATION, WHAT DOES BEING GAY TODAY MEAN? -- A VERY interesting article by Australian gay theologian/New Age thinker Rollan McCleary about gay consciousness, Christianity, Biblical theology, astrology and mythic symbolism. McCleary comments on a whole raft of issues from Marriage Equality to sodomy to gay happiness and fulfillment.
Scroll down for more
Toby was interviewed by Nils Taranger for his film A Blue Flower.
Nils has a website at Mason & the Sons of Ma.
Here's a YouTube video
Toby's spoken with Harry Faddis for the Quest of Life radio show and podcast.
Click here for links
Toby Johnson champions the "Gay Men's Spirituality Movement."
He is former editor of White Crane Journal
Read about the Varieties of Gay Spiritualities
Books on Gay Spirituality: White Crane Gay Spirituality Series
Toby Johnson is profiled on the DREAMWalker Group site
Here's a bold statement about the nature of
gay consciousness & the nature of religion:
A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality: a review of Kennth Burr's Coming Out, Coming Home with a discussion of the difference between "spirituality & religion for gay people"
and "Gay Spirituality" for gay people
Jordan Bach has posted a wonderful 10 minute video titled "When I say 'I'm Gay.'" He ties gay identity and experience into world evolution and the expansion of consciousness and love. And he places our current experience within the historical framework of gay people--like the Two Spirits of Native American traditions--who have helped shape human consciousness.
(In the novel Two Spirits: A Story of Life with the Navajo, Walter L. Williams and Toby Johnson invoke Navajo spiritual wisdom to speak of "ripples in the spirit field" which are the consequences of our lives that expand out beyond individuals into the collective world.)
Toby enjoyed the ABC-TV movie written by Dustin Lance Black based on the book by Cleve Jones When We Rise. Toby Johnson recognized several intersections of events in the movie with his own life. Here's a link to his brief reminiscences
Toby Johnson & Kip Dollar are proud to be included among the 700-some couples in the wonderful book
Bruce Grether's The Secret of the Golden Phallus
with Introduction by Joseph Kramer and Afterword/Commentary by Toby Johnson
Visit Erotic Engineering, a facebook page about Bruce Grether & Blue Tyger's training in heightening erotic consciousness
It's a doozey! see Dennis Paddie
A sensible conspiracy theory of 9/11
• the secret of the Knights Templar
• a gay Mata Hari seducing secrets from modern Araby
• a confrontation with death and a peek into the Bardo
• young gay lovers discovering the pleasures of high class life
with Washington, DC socialites—and the dangers
• reminiscences of gay life in Austin TX in the 1960s • an incredible, literary melange.
ASK THE FIRE by Dennis Paddie.
Toby Johnson contributed an Afterword and Commentary
on the mythic/mystical meaning of the Crucifixion of Jesus for
The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision A book of essays
by Kittredge Cherry And paintings by Doug Blanchard
click here for more information and links to purchase
Read a review of Merle Yost's Facing the Truth of Your Life, a wonderful book of psychological & therapeutic advice about dealing with the struggles of life, especially shame and victimhood. 5-Stars
Jeffrey Kripal's Secret Body
a remarkable explanation of religion
In Hitler's House by Jonathan Lane
a fictional memoir of Adolph Hitler's male whore
Here's a webpage presentation that Toby showed to illustrate his talk, "Gay Perspective & the New Myth" in London, Oct 2014. Toby's talk at LoveSpirit 2014 This is a good summary of Toby Johnson's basic theories of gay consciousness and of religion and myth, and an explication of why Johnson thinks of himself as "Joseph Campbell's Apostle to the Gay Communty." Among the organizers of LoveSpirit 2014 was Mark Whiting who uses the Faerie name Shokti Lovestar. He writes extensively about gay men's spiritualites. Here's a link: Gay Consciousness changing the world by Shokti LoveStar.
Toby recognized the upsidedown book on MSNBC
Read a wonderful celebration of the word "Yes" from James Joyce's Ulysses.
Scroll down for more
About Gay Spirituality
A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality: a review of Kennth Burr's Coming Out, Coming Home with a discussion of the difference between "spirituality & religion for gay people" and "Gay Spirituality" for gay people.
Queering religion cannot mean just getting queers to go back to church. Queering religion has to mean raising the perspective and discovering a new paradigm.
Common Experiences Unique to Gay Men. We're like everybody else in most ways of course, but there are some experiences non-gay people don't have that are very important to us.
Here's the prayer the openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson gave at the opening of the inaugural celebrations for Barack Obama
About gay body image and compassionate etiquette (with photo): Curious Bodies
Read What Toby Johnson Believes
What is "Gay Spirituality"?
Very succinctly, the three messages of "gay spirituality"
A proposal for a Study of Non-dualistic Thinking among gay people
The Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate
The Scriptural Basis for Same-Sex Marriage is found in the story of the Blessed Mother and St John the Beloved at the foot of the Cross.
What Joseph Campbell called only half-jokingly "the highest form of love"
The cutting edge realization is that the personal God is the person in us.
Shame on the "Conservative Christians" for voting as they have
Why gay people should NOT get married, because the model of relationship is different.
What's ironic about the Gay Marriage battle!
Toby recognizes the upsidedown book on MSNBC
What Jesus said about the cause of homosexuality What Jesus said about gay rights
What the Bible Says about Homosexuality
Homosexuality is a sin because most people don't have to worry about committing it.
The Purpose of Homosexuality in human culture and evolution of consciousness.
What is homosexuality in metaphysical terms?
Toby Johnson and Joe Perez both discuss The Two Loves: duality for its other half, unity for its self-reflection as a meatphysical explanantion of sexual love.
What causes homophobia?
The Mesosexual Ideal for Straight Men
Why Gay Spirituality?: Spirituality as Artistic Medium
Monastic or Chaste Homosexuality discusses the "vibes" we may be inheriting from the lives of all those homosexuals who lived as monks or nuns throughout history.
Is there a "uniquely gay perspective"? Read the Introduction to Toby Johnson's book Gay Perspective
An interview about The Nature of Homosexuality
Q&A about Jungian ideas in gay consciousness after reading Mitch Walker, an homage to an important gay elder
On The Sinfulness of homosexuality
Are you the reincarnationn of Edward Carpenter?
What is reincarnation about anyway?
A whimsical proposition: Gay Classics scholar John Boswell was a reincarnation of philosopher Immanuel Kant
Redeem Orlando Thoughts about the massacre in the gay nightclub, 2016.
Gay Consciousness changing the world by Shokti LoveStar. Shokti--Mark Whiting--is a Radical Faerie in London. This page has several quotes from him and links to articles about gay consciousness.
Toby's spoken with Harry Faddis for the Quest of Life radio show and podcast. Click here for links
Alexander Renault interviews Toby Johnson about gay spirtuality and sexuality
Scroll down for more articles
About the Nature of Religion
What is Enlightenment?
Kip and Toby traveled to India and Nepal in December 2006 and came back with useful and important advice for travelers
In 1996, Toby participated in an EarthWatch Expedition to study the Hindu spring festival call the Danda Nata. He had quite an experience living in a small town in India for 3 weeks. The festival included the transformation of a young man into the living goddess Kalila.
Toby's presentation How to Read a Myth: "It's Always About You"
Toby's workshop on The Myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara
Joseph Campbell's description of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara
Oprah's pal Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva
Ram Dass's story: You're Not A Wave
Toby comments on aging and ageism with the ironic quip Buddha's father was right.
Toby explains "What Anatman means" in the context of cosmic time and space.
We now live several lives within one lifetime. What does this mean about who we really are? How many lifetimes in an ego?
Emptiness & Religious Ideas from Nagarjuna to Eckhart
Historicity as Myth: an essay for Harry Faddis & Patrick Cheng's "The Ways of the Spirit: A Course in Spirituality for LGBT People" presented on WRPI radio, March 2006. This essay is a marvelous statement of what religious truth really is.
Experiencing experiencing experiencing: where the appearance of body, mind, and spirit comes from
Toby's notion of the next step in the evolution of human consciousness
What is The New Myth going to be?
The Doctrine of the Moulting of the Holy Ghost
Gaia, the Earth Goddess, is a Bodhisattva -- with a lovely poem by Thich Nhat Hanh praising the planet Earth as the source of all life
Read Meditation Practices for a Funeral
Read an excerpt about dying consciously from PLAGUE titled "Going Into the Light"
Read about Meditation Practice and about Daniel Helminiak's Meditation Without Myth
Read about The Joseph Campbell Connection, and about an adventure with Campbell at the Mann Ranch.
Photos of the Mann Ranch Staff 1973 and a poster by artist Rich Gabrielson
The Hero's Journey as the archetypal pattern of evoution of consciousness and the Gay Hero
The lesson of the Grail legends is that You're on Your Own and must follow your own path that no one has taken before you.
Jeeffrey J Kripal explains that movie and comic book Superheroes are metaphors for "powers" of conmsciousness.
The Myth of the Wanderer as a mythic reminder of mortality and the importance of finding heaven now. Includes The Hobo Code of Ethics
Change: Source of Suffering, Source of Bliss offers a positive and life-affirning acceptance of reality.
World Navel is a term of comparative religion for holy places and sacred spots. Toby Johnson "discovered" one in southwestern Wisconsin.
Easton Mountain Gay Retreat Center hosted Gay Spirit Camp 2007
Harold Cole, an early civil rights actiivist and gay man contributed this wonderful article about seeing beauty in everything for White Crane Journal.
What the Vows of Religious Life really mean and why we should want to live this way now, all of us, all the time, for the sake of our happiness and fulfillment, and the salvation of the world.
Inspired by reading Jim Marion's The Death of the Mythic God, Toby Johnson discusses the nature of consciousness and how "prayer" might work to Manifest from the Subtle Realms.
The Three-layer Cake & the Multiverse discusses the evolution of human concepts of the cosmos.
The est Training and Personal Intention tells of Toby Johnson's experience of Werner Erhard's EST Training and extracts a message about personal intention and the myth of solipsism.
Effective Dreaming in Ursula LeGuin's The Lathe of Heaven derives a mystical message about the nature of Self from a popular sci-fi novelist.
Scroll down for more articles
About Gay Men's Sexuality
Read Toby's article on gay spirit titled "The Evolution of Gay Identity"
Toby tells the story of meeting Avalokiteshvara at the Baths.
Toby explains how Being Gay is a Blessing (in an excerpt from his book Gay Spirituality)
This article appeared in the book by Judith Pastore, Confronting AIDS through Literature: Facing the Edge: AIDS as an occasion for spiritual wisdom
Recollections from Toby's life -- Buying the house from the Gadpailles & Being God on ketamine -- Two stories about Drawing Long Straws:
The modern American idea of Freedom of Religion reveals a deep secret about the nature of religion and God.
Gay Saintliness is a review of Donald Boivert's Sanctity and Male Desire. The article contains a stirring gay positive paragraph by Boisvert.
Christian de la Huerta, author of Coming
Out Spiritually: The Next Step, identifies ten spiritual functions of gay and
The so-called "Priest Pedophilia scandal" reveals truths about the nature of homosexual consciousness and errors in Christian teaching about sexuality that are missed when the focus is put on findng who to blame
A wonderful story called "I Want to Know Them All" by Toby's straight hippie friend L. Houston Wood in the early 70s that appeared in an issue of White Crane Journal about the Bodhisattva identity
Read Toby's whimsical piece about Adam and
Steve. This essay on biblical history appeared in the Fall
2004 issue of Ashe Journal 3.3
Toby's speculations about gay retirement and the "freelance monastery"
Toby comments appreciatively on Andrew Harvey's concept of Spiritual Activism and his new book THE HOPE
The Mysticism of Andrew Harvey In Son of Man, Andrew
Harvey offers a Christian mysticism of sex.
Is It Time to Gow Up? Confronting the Aging Process— This article appeared in The Advocate, March 1984. The central ideas are still relevant 30 years later. Interesting discussion of how homosexuality seems to retard aging.
Notes on Licking (July,
published in Blueboy Magazine. It's a partly tongue-in-cheek argument
for practicing good hygiene while still relishing gay sex practices.
Precocious for 1984 and still good advice today.
Scroll down for more articles
About Mystical Vision
Toby describes the quest to find The Great Secret
How the Great Secret underlies all religion and spirituality
What's true about Religion is the deep religious experience that belief and "faith" are intended to generate
Toby's account of the mystical experience in 1969 that transformed his vision of life and God
A Most Remarkable Synchronicity
in Riverside tells Toby's only partly
tongue-in-cheek story of being picked up hitchhiking by "God the
How to get to heaven
Seeing with Different Eyes: How we human beings see the world is based more on our expectations than on what's really out there (an excerpt from In Search of God in the Sexual Underworld)
Eckhart's Eye is a meditation on the evocative "koan": "The eye with which I see God is the eye with which God sees me."
Teenage Prostitution and the Nature of Evil, another excerpt from In Search of God in the Sexual Underworld, recounts of Toby's discovery of spiritual wisdom in the oddest of places, the Tenderloin district of San Francisco.
The Life is in the Blood: Toby Johnson's Biblically-based answer to when life begins.
The Commandment "Thou shalt not steal" is not a basis for private ownership of property. The Buddhist precept "No Stealing" is about compassion for others' feelings, not property rights.
Allah Hu: "God is present here" -- a secret Toby learned from the Sufi Dancing classes in San Francisco in the 1970s.
Joseph Campbell and Ken Wilber's critique of the "Pre/Trans Fallacy": Three important themes in Campbellian thought.
Scroll down for more articles
back to topThe article from The Myth of the Great Secret: An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell titled The Techniques Of The World Saviors is in four parts.
About Joseph Campbell and the New Myth
Part 1: Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby
Part 2: The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara
Part 3: Jesus and the Resurrection
Part 4: A Course in Miracles
Painting: "Christ Invests Himself Organically with the Very Majesty of His Universe"
Scroll down for more articles
About Spirituality, Science
Fiction, Myth and WIsdom
Toby's experience of learning "The Secret of the Clear Light" from Joseph Campbell and the real meaning of afterlife.
The "Mobius Strip" as a topological image for gay consciousness.
Finding Your Tiger Face: Joseph Campbell's story about the great secret of life.
The Nature of Religion according to Joseph Campbell. A very wise statement from The Hero with A Thousand Faces. (Links to The Joseph Campbell Foundation and the Campbell Gimbutas Library and Archives at Pacifica.
C.S. Lewis describing "The Great Dance" of mystical realization.
Speculations on the phenomenon of Alien Abduction
Driving a car as spiritual practice: Driving Samadhi
What are you looking for in a gay science fiction novel?
The best gay science fiction novel ever in Toby Johnson's opinion.
Some ideas for gay mythic stories
The Marian Doctrines: The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in historic context.
This quotation was on the wall in the Novicemaster Office. It begins: "Man was not born to have his hands lashed to the prayer-post" and ends: "There is no place for me in hell." It's a wonderful lesson. (I don't know who composed it.)
An essay celebrating growing up Catholic, with a twist: The Importance of Having to Church to Leave
Scroll down for more articles
The San Francisco
Public Library James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center is a national
archive for gay and lesbian history. That's where our various
collections of memorabilia should be donated. Our lives are "history."
Most of what Toby Johnson knows of gay history he learned from his work with Toby Marotta. Marotta has a website with historical gay political posters for sale and with an exhibit of gay liberation documents called Revisiting Stonewall.
In February 2017, ABC-TV ran a miniseries about gay liberation activity in San Francisco. It as mostly centered on the life of Cleve Jones. Toby Johnson's experience in S.F. in the 70s intersected with a numbers of the events shown. Read Intersections with the movie When We Rise
Along with Patrick McNamara, Duncan Teague, Craig Harwood, Dave Nimmons, as well as Mark Thompson, Christian de la Huerta, David Frechter, Michael Sigmann, Bo Young, Dan Vera, and others, Toby Johnson assisted with the calling of a "Gay Spirit Summit" in Spring 2004 at Garrison Institute. Read about the Gay Spirituality Summit and the "Statement of Spirituality" with Toby's commentary.
Interesting article from the 1981 West Coast Christopher Street Parade magazine by L.A. gay pioneer Jim Kepner, titled The Seach for Gay Spirit. Everything he wrote about in 1981 is still current 30 years later in 2011.
Allen Ginsberg discovered a line of "Gay Succession" from Walt Whitman to himself… and beyond.
You Like to Be Uranian? Toby Johnson
discusses the meaning of some of the terms used for homossexuals down
About The D.A.F.O.D.I.L. Alliance of Gay Mental Health workers in San Francisco in 1979: a great example of successful community activism.
Toby Johnson, Psych Tech lived in San Francisco and worked at Mount Zion Hospital Crisis Clinic & The Tenderloin Clinic
Toby was a student at the California Institute of Asian Studies. He may have changed the course of history without even knowing it.
Kip and Toby, Activists. Partners since 1984, Kip and Toby have been working together in the gay cause.
Proto Faerie Gathering at the Fault of the Earth Ranch, 1972 and San Francisco Gay Rap "Gay-Straight Consciousness Raising Retreat"
Being Gay at the California Institute of Asian Studies / California Institute of Integral Studies in the 1970s
In 1978, Toby Johnson was a "parade monitor," stationed just below the newly-inaugurated Rainbow Flags that have come to symbolize transformation
Toby's recollections of San Francisco Gay Pride Marches in the 1970s
Toby Johnson learned his gay politics from his friend and nicknamesake Toby Marotta. Please read about their important friendship.
Waves of Gay Liberation Activity from hunter/gatherers to modern gay lib.
Harry Hay: Father and Founder of the modern gay movement; his thought summarized by Will Roscoe
One of the earliest expressions of "Gay Spirituality" showed up as the book The Divine Androgyne According to Purusha. Earlier in his life as a gay cultural activist, under the name Christopher Larkin, Purusha had made the gay romantic movie A Very Natural Thing.
About Harry Hay, the New Myth, "Spiritual, not Religious," through the Gay Window -- a panel presentation for the 2012 Centennial of Hay's birth Conference at CLAGS
About the Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the "Statement of Spirituality" with Toby's commentary
About the study of teenage prostitution Toby Marotta and Toby Johnson worked in for URSA in 1978-1980
About Michael Talbot and the Holographic Universe
About Guy Mannheimer and the Mann Ranch Seminars
About David Weyrauch, San Francisco painter and artist
About Fr. Bernard Lynch, Toby & Kip's friend in London and gay Catholic saint
Baltzell, literary editor, good friend and wonderful man. He
introduced me to A Course in Miracles. And changed my life!
About Toby and Kip's successful long term relationship and the Wedding Cake Liberation Event in San Antonio, June 16, 2005
About Michael Steves and Patrick Kerr in the San Antonio gay community of the 1980s.
The Alamo Business Council
was a social organization of gay & lesbian professionals in San
Antonio. Toby & Kip were part of the original establishment of the
About Ralph Walker and The Loving Brotherhood. Ralph Walker was one of the Fathers of the Gay Spirituality Movement.
About Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, creator of modern gay consciousness. The firtst man to really "come out."
Tom Nash, a San Antonio lovable "character."
Bro. Martin McMurtrey, Toby's -- very influential and life-changing -- writing teacher in high school.
Kip Dollar & Toby Johnson participated with hundreds of other couples in a "group marriage ceremony" in front of the IRS Building during the Second March on Washington in 1987.
Eva Thayer, San Antonio wise woman, (Nov 21, 1914 - May 22, 2013) has a message for children of all ages about positive self-esteem. Read about Eva's Miracles. She led a wonderful life.
Kim McKell, Toby's favorite teacher at the California Institute of Asian Studies
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To see -- OR ORDER -- all of Toby Johnson's titles
To order from amazon.com
Toby's "Marvelous Gay Mystical Novels"
-- with just a touch of the Twilight Zone
the wonderful soft sci-fi Lambda Lit- and Spectrum-honored SECRET MATTER, in a new, updated, revised, and expanded edition from Lethe Press.
the wisdom of A Course in Miracles applied to AIDS in a sci fi thriller PLAGUE: A NOVEL ABOUT HEALING -- reissued in 2012 under the name THE FOURTH QUILL
with Steve Berman, CHARMED LIVES: Gay Spirit in Storytelling, more than 30 authors about the "charm" of being gay
In collaboration with Walter L. Williams, TWO SPIRITS: A Story of Life With the Navajo, a beautiful, romantic novel about Native American gender and sexual patterns set in the Old West.
Toby Johnson was Walter Williams' editor for Spirit of the Pacific, a sweet romance set in Civil War times about an escaped slave's journey to freedom and happiness in the Pacific Islands culture of Hawaii.
These titles are available in gay bookstores nationwide and by mail
from the author (signed and inscribed, if you'd like).
Toby's non-fiction titles are also described on that page:Gay Spirituality: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness ( Lethe Press, 2004),
Gay Perspective: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us About the Nature of God and the Universe (Lethe Press, 2008),
The Myth of the Great Secret: An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell (Celestial Arts, 1992)
In Search of God in the Sexual Underworld: A Mystical Journey (Morrow, 1983)
Several of Toby's O.P. or unavailable m.s.s. are available for free download.
All of Toby's books are available used from Barnes & Noble
A great influence on Toby Johnson's thought AND writing style is science fiction prophet, Sir Arthur C. Clarke. Here's a short article In Honor of Sir Arthur C. Clarke. Because Arthur C. Clarke was a gay man, there are meaningful themes in his books and writing. In 2016 a movie was made for TV of his novel Childhood's End. Toby Johnson comments on this movie AND what the novel was really about. Karellen was a homosexual
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Be Done on Earth by Howard E. Cook. Blending modern-day physics and cosmology, a little Teilhard and a little Matthew Fox, comparative religion, some Joseph Campbell, intelligent New Age thought, progressed Christianity, American political idealism, evolutionary theory, postmodernism, Pope John the Beloved calls for a new Church of the Second Coming--also referred to (iconoclastically) as the Church of Kingdom Come--COKC (try pronouncing the acronym). It’s a sex-positive religion based in an evolutionary model of human nature with an openly gay priesthood.
Pay Me What I'm Worth by Souldancer. Souldancer says he is blending good business practice with multicultural ancient wisdom. As the exercises continue, they demonstrate that giving is the way to get and that integrity and ethical living is the best success and the way to get paid by life with happiness and fulfillment. So the thing about asking for a raise is really a hook to pull you toward enightenment and wisdom.
The Way Out by Christopher Lee Nutter. Intermixing themes in current spiritual thought—the Dalai Lama, Joseph Campbell, Don Miguel Ruiz, Gary Zukav, A Course in Miracles, the Twelve Steps—Nutter offers an answer to who you really are. And in the process recounts how he came to understand this through his experience in urban gay culture. The answer, of course, isn’t new or surprising. It’s the age-old answer: we are each a perspective that “God” or “Divine Consciousness” or “the cosmos”—whatever you want to call IT—is taking on itself.
The Gay Disciple by John Henson. Gay consciousness is now part of human consciousness and naturally recapitulates Jesus’s teaching that love and compassion trump religion and law. It’s good that the Jesus story be written to include gay experience. The Life of Christ is an appropriate subset of gay literary genre.
Art That Dares by Kitt Cherry, presents erotic imagery based in Christian tradition. Cherry is the author of JESUS IN LOVE, a novelist "autobiography of Jesus" as sexually and psychologically sophisticated, a real "tour de force" in transforming traditional myth to modern consciousness. Cherry book ART THAT DARES was launched during the National Festival of Progressive Spiritual Art in Taos, NM, May 11-12.
The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness by Samuel Avery is a challenging and enlightening model of how consicousness generates the experience of the world. It was such a neat idea that I incorporated elements of it in my revised edition of SECRET MATTER.
A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality: a review of Kennth Burr's Coming Out, Coming Home with a discussion of the difference between "spirituality & religion for gay people" and "Gay Spirituality" for gay people.
Extinguishing the Light by B. Alan Bourgeois is an allegorical account, a parable, set in a modern Texas prison, of the appearance of a Christ-like figure who reaches out to his fellow offenders with a visionary message of love .
Over Coffee: A conversation For Gay Partnership & Conservative Faith by D.a. Thompson is a conversation between a Conservative Christian Pastor and a Conservative Christian layman--the author, D.a.--who advocates for the acceptance of gay partnership within religious congregations. He makes different arguments from the usual pro-gay marriage ones because he is NOT a proponent of same sex marriage, but of fairness within Christian churches in how the human (sinful) condition is treated. Interesting!
Dark Knowledge by Kenneth Low is a life of Christ written as a mystery story/puzzle asking the question why was Jesus actually executed. What crime had he committed that was so heinous, it deserved crucifxion? Whether you'd agree with the biblical exegetical approach in this book or not, it is really interesting and informative.
Janet Planet by Eleanor Lerman is a wonderfully engaging and beautifully written roman à clef-style novel based on the real life characters surrounding Carlos Castenada and The Teachings of Don Juan.
The Jesus we never knew is presented in two interesting and entertaining books that offer insight into the real message of religion: The Kairos by Paul E. Hartman and Wrestling with Jesus by D.K.Maylor.
Kali Rising by Rudolph Ballentine is a very interesting book about the "Foundational Principles of Tantra," but it is far more than a book of Hindu mythology. It's about a whole approach to life based in maintaining balance.
The Missing Myth by Gilles Herrada examines the science and current psychological/philosophical ideas about the nature and origins of homosexuality.
The Secret of the Second Coming by Howard E. Cook calls for a rediscovery of the Gnostic Christianity that underlay Jesus' teachings. The Second Coming is here and now.
The Scar Letters: A Novel by Richard Alther is a sensitive, beautifully-written and ultimately moving and heartwarming account of a modern gay man coming to terms with personal pain and human suffering. A great read. Emotionally and literarily satisfying.
The Future is Queer edited by Richard Labonte & Lawrence Schimel is an anthology of science fiction short stories with interesting, occasionally unsettling, but always insightful predictions of a "queer" future.
Missing Mary by Charlene Spretnak, subititled The Queen of Heaven and Her Re-emergence in the Modern Church, is a partly scholarly, partly personal account of modern day Catholic devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Gay Spirituality 101: An Introduction to the Theory of Homophilia by Joe Perez astutely discusses the gay spirituality movement from the evolutionary persepctive of Ken Wilber.
Cut Hand: A Nineteeth Century Love Story on the American Frontier by Mark Wildyr is a sexy adventure novel about gay men and Native Americans in the Old West.
Radiomen by Eleanor Lerman is a story about the alluring mystery of life--all tied up with aliens, interstellar broadcasts, new age religion and a lovable little dog named Digitaria.
Nights at Rizzoli by Felice Picano is a memoir by a very successful and wonderful writer in the gay genre who worked at the New York upscale bookstore of the title.
Male Sexuality by Ken Stofft describes how gender role expectations confine and restrict so many men's joy and happiness.
The Key to Unlocking the Closet Door by Chelsea Griffo is an easy-to-read book of sensible advice for LGBTQ youth for how to take the next step.
The Door of the Heart by Diana Finfrock Farrar is a didactic novel about gay rights and traditional Christian values. It very well presents a range of issues from PFLAG, same-sex marriage, anti-gay bullying to organ donation and husband-wife relationship. And it's got a good story.
Occam’s Razor by David Duncan is a science-fiction novel from the 1950s. I reread it recently and discovered it's partly the basis for the metaphysical of parallel universes that appears in my novel Secret Matter.
Grace and Demion by Mel White is a part whimsical, part serious and profound fable about angels and demons and the struggle for truth about gay consciousness.
Gay Men and The New Way Forward by Raymond L. Rigoglioso is a wonderful book about the 14 Distinct Positive Contributing Traits of gay men.
The Dimensional Stucture of Consciousness by Samuel Avery is one of the neatest ideas I have ever come across. I think this explains what "reality" is.
The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love: Your Guide to Life, Happiness and Emotional and Sexual Fulfillment in a Closed-Down World by Perry Brass is a collection of good advice and wisdom about life and love AND an all-encompassing theory of religion and myth as clues to the Deeper Self.
Love Together: Longtime Male Couples on Healthy Intimacy and Communication by Tim Clausen presents accounts of some twenty gay relationships lasting as long as 65 years. It's a wonderful demonstration of the strength of men's love and caring.
War Between Materialism and Spiritual by Jean-Michel Bitar is a partly whimsical, but earnest account of a philosophical quest to understand the meanings of "Materialism" and "Spiritualism" and where the supposed "war" comes from.
The Serpent's Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion by Jeffrey J. Kripal discusses the outsider, external observer stance on myth and religion. A wonderful, if dense, read. A delightful chapter on the homoerotics of the story of Jesus.
Esalen: American and the Religion of No Religion by Jeffrey J. Kripal is a wonderful history of Esalen Institute, the "New Age" conference center on the West Coast. But it is so much more. It's a summary of the insights into religion and mythology that have changed America in the last half-century.
The Invitation to Love by Darren Pierre is a book of wise and sweet meditations or lessons about the nature of love and how to find love. Pierre is a gay, Black man; you can feel his sincerity and sensitivity in his writings.
Mariangela Bettanini, whose full name as a disciple of Osho is Ma Atmo Prayan (The innermost journey), is an Italian singer living in Turkey. Her musical project, "The Invitation, songs inspired by Rumi," is 10 poems of Mevlana and put to music, receiving the melodies and the inspiration from him, to accompany her singing at the piano in English. "Come, whoever you are"... is Rumi's heartfelt and eternal poem which you can watch and listen to here.
Brain, Consciousness, and God: A Lonerganian Integration by Daniel A Helminiak is a challenging book, but well-worth the effort. It addresses the questions of how religious experience happens in the brain, and specifically the relation between mind and body.
A Walk with Four Spiritual Guides by Andrew Harvey offers personal and insightful glimpses of Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Ramakrishna.
Can Christians Be Saved? A Mystical Path to Oneness by Virginia T Stephenson & Buck A Rhodes PhD is a delightful blend of world religions to produce a modern, sensible mystical post-religious religion.
The Lost Secrets of the Ancient Mystery Schools by Virginia T Stephenson & Buck A Rhodes PhD is an example of the kind of mystical practices in their earlier book, Can Christians Be Saved, but applied specifically to pivotal events in the life of Jesus.
Keys to Spiritual Being: Energy Meditation and Synchronization Exercises by Adrian Ravarour gives instructions for becoming aware of subtle energy fields in the body and between individuals.
In Walt We Trust by John Marsh, is subtitled: How a Queer Social Poet Can Save America from Itself. What a great idea! Toby Johnson's review discusses the nature of internalized homophobia and projection.
Solomon's Tantric Song by Rollan McCleary derives a positive view of sex and eroticism from the Biblical book The Songs of Songs. There are several gay-positive discussions of homosexuallity.
A Special Illumination by Rollan McCleary surveys the Gay Spirituality Movement and efforts within established churches to accept gay people. Very wide-ranging book.
Aelred's Sin by Lawrence Scott is a sweet and touching novel featuring a young Benedictine novice discovering and coping with his homosexuality inthe context of Catholic monastic life.
Fruit Basket: A Gay Man's Journey by Payam Ghassemlou is a dramatization in semi-fictional form of a developmental stage model for gay men's lives.
Internal Landscapes by John Ollom documents the noted choreographer's career and sets for his ideas for using dance and movement as access to the deep and mythic unconscious. A beautiful book just to look at and hold in your hand.
Princes & Pumpkins by David Hatfield Sparks is a book of poetry that spins autobiogrpahy into myth and symbol. The author is one of the important characters in the creation of gay/queer spirit and culture. With his partner Randy P. Conner, he produced Cassell's Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol, and Spirit.
Yes by Brad Boney is a delightful novel about the fantasy of recapturing youth and the wisdom of choosing things just as they are.
Blood of the Goddess by William Schindler merges the European Vampire novel with Tantric mysticism and worship of the Goddess Kali into a novel full of ecstatic rapture and transcendetal wisdom.
Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom by Jeffrey Kripal argues that the study of mysticism is itself a mystical practice. He cites the lives of five writers--and includes himself in a series of asides within the book--to demonstrate his point. Since at least two of his subjects were homosexual, there's a very interesting strain in this book about homoeroticism and spirituality.
Sanctity & Male Desire: A Gay Reading of Saints by Donald Boisvert offers wonderful observations about the nature of gay religiousness.
Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment by Jay Michaelson is an inspiring account of this gay spiritual writer's practice of Buddhist meditation. It has one of the best discussions of queer theeory I;ve ever read.
Jesus in Salome's Lot by Brett W. Gillette is a decoding of the Christian Scriptures to discover deeper meanings behind the actual words and letters. The book certainly shows how to use the Bible like a crystal ball to stimulate intuition and inspiration.
The Man Who Loved Birds by Fenton Johnson is a beautiful and poignant novel. It's about sexual and emotional liberation, but it's also about the hardness that is in the heart of Man and anger with which those in authority sometimes treat those who don't give a whit about authority.
The Vatican Murders by Lucien Gregoire is an account of the mysterious death of Albino Luciani—Pope John Paul I—by a gay man who had a personal connection to the short-lived, but potentially revolutionary Pope.
"Sex Camp" by Brian McNaught was reviewed in White Crane Journal in 2005. This is a semi-fictionalized account of the sexual attitudes trainings McNaught is famous for teaching.
Out & About with Brewer & Berg Episode One: Searching for a New Mythology is a DVD/Streaming video "Travelogue" of spiritual sites in Europe with a uniquely gay male perspective.
The Soul Beneath the Skin by David Nimmons is a wonderful book, published in 2002, about gay men's cultures. This is a must-read for every gay man to understand the dimensions of gay consciousness.
Out on Holy Ground by Donald Boisvert is a series of meditations of gay spiritual consciousness. Particularly interesting is the discussion of male beauty.
The Revolutionary Psychology of Gay-Centeredness by Mitch Walker is a short monograph about Jungian themes in gay consciousness. The review links to numerous articles by Walker's students in Uranian Psychoanalysis and Gay-Centered Psychology.
Out There by Perry Brass, a collection of short stories--a little horror, a little supernatural, a little afterlife… neat!
The Crucifixion of Hyacinth by Geoff Puterbaugh is a study of ancient history tracing the rise of homophobia in human thought. Scholarly but readable.
The Silence of Sodom by Mark D Jordan is a classic about homosexuality and the Catholic Church. The beginning of the book is precious--What if the Holy Spirit reveals to the Vatican that they're wrong on homosexuality? Who would dare to share their revelation from God?
It's Never About What It's About by Krandall Kraus and Paul Borja is subtitled “What We Learned About Living While We Were Waiting to Die" is a wonderful book of wisdom that demonstrates the paradoxically positive consequences of AIDS in gay men's lives and collective cultures.
ReCREATIONS, edited by Catherine Lake is an anthology, mostly of Canadian writers, about queer perspectives on religion. As the title suggests, we are re-creating religion.
Gospel: A Novel by WIlton Barnhard is a WONDERFUL novel about the secret history of religion. It's about a "Lost Gospel" written by one of the Apostles which a modern Scripture scholar, wise man, and wild character believes in hidden somewhere and he is out to find it. This is one of the best books I have ever read.
Keeping Faith: A Skeptic’s Journey by Fenton Johnson is a beautifully written account of the spiritual quest and, particularly, the route through monastic life--both Trappist and Zen Buddhist.
Dating the Greek Gods by Brad Gooch is a whimsical but wise and insightful discussion of gay men's dating patterns from a Jungian, archetypal perspective.
Telling Truths in Church by Mark D. Jordan reveals the way religious language hides and confuses real morality and ethics.
The Substance of God by Perry Brass is a science fiction thriller with a religious/ mythological theme woven in, along with a little hot porn.
The Tomcat Chronicles by Jack Nichols is an entertaining memoir of one oif the pioneers of Gay Liberation and a wonderful example of finding true love (even though it was tragically lost). Jack Nichols, as a writer and magazine editor, helped create our modern ideas of what "gay" means.
10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives by Joe Kort is an excellent description of how we can live our gay lives to the full potential. Kort would be a very good personal psychotherapist; you can learn from him through the book.
Jesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same Sex Love, Will Roscoe's classic interpretation of Jesus and the revolutionary idea of the love of equals.
The Third Appearance by Walter Starcke & The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann discuss the future of evolution, both mystically and ecologically.
Surviving and Thriving After a Life-Threatening Diagnosis by Bev Hall is a book by an experienced nurse who faced a threatening diagnosis herself. She shares wise insight.
Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods by Ronald E. Long is a scholarly analysis on the meaning of homosexuality in religion down through time--with a special focus on sex role playing. And An Interview with Ron Long
An Interview with Randy Conner about his and David Sparks' books and especially Queering Creole Spiritual Traditions. And a review of the book
Pain, Sex and Time by Gerald Heard who was an important figure in the 1940s & 50s in the development of what's now called New Age.
Sex and the Sacred by Daniel Helminiak includes 15 essays on religious and psychological issues that gay men and lesbian face.
Blessing Same-Sex Unions by Mark Jordan is a scholarly, but also whimsical and entertaining, study of marriage and marriage rites. It's even more useful in understanding these issues now that Marriage Equality has been recognized by the Supreme Court.
Rising Up by Joe Perez is a book in the form of a blog. Subtitled Reflections on Gay Culture, Politics and Spirit, this book is filled with interesting and provocative insights and commentaries.
Soulfully Gay by Joe Perez is a memoir/blog/spiritual autobiography. Perez is a disciple of Ken WIlber and writes in the context of Wilber's Integral Philosophy.
That Undeniable Longing by Mark Tedesco, an entertaining and interesting account of vocation to the priesthood and the problems it creates.
Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman, a review of the entertaining, light-hearted horror novel— along with a little history of White Crane Books and Lethe Press.
Wisdom for the Soul by Larry Chang is a 800+ page compedium of wise and winderful quotes. Inspiring. And gay-inclusive.
MM4M a DVD by Bruce Grether teaches methods for transforming masturbation into a spiritual discipline and developing high erotic states.
Double Cross by David Ranan is a scathing report on the Catholic Church and a call for major reform.
The Transcended Christian by Daniel Helminiak, the popular Dignity priest and philosopher/psychologist of religion and consciousness, who offers a positive way to understand Christianity.
Jesus in Love by Kittredge Cherry -- in two volumes -- is an autobiography of Jesus Christ. A remarkable novel, with Jesus as a sexually mature and aware modern individual.
In the Eye of the Storm by Gene Robinson, Foreword by Demond Tutu is about the transformations that gay awareness is forcing on religion and the churches—and for their own best good!
The Starry Dynamo by Sven Davisson is a collection of edgy stories and essays, with one of the best explanations of Michel Foucault I've ever read.
Life in Paradox by Fr Paul Murray is a novelistic autobiography by the first openly gay Catholic priest in the diocese of Washington DC.
Spirituality for Our Global Community by Daniel Helminiak is a Lonerganian explanation of religious by one of our best thinkers and spiritual writers.
Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society by Robert A. Minor is a collection of articles from the Kansas monthly LGBT Magazine. Minor is especially interested in how homophobia confuses and degrades society.
Coming Out: Irish Gay Experiences by Glen O'Brien, a collection of moving and authentic essays and stories about life in Ireland as gay.
Queering Christ by Robert Goss is a book of Queer Theology, illuminated by personal autobiographical stories by the author, a Catholic priest who moved beyond the Church to become a queer activist.
Skipping Towards Gomorrah by Dan Savage is an hilarious sendup of conventional morality in the interests of redefining and calling for real virtue in our modern world. Great fun!
The Flesh of the Word by Richard A Rosato, a novel avbout a gay man who develops the stigmata and can cure AIDS by his touch, a beautiful story.
Catland by David Garrett Izzo is a novel written in the form of a children's book about power and evil--and housecats the size of people, a delightful parable.
Tantra for Gay Men by Bruce Anderson is a wonderful introduction to a very complicated topic in the history of religions, along with a useful workbook for actual practice in the tantric tradition.
Yoga & the Path of the Urban Mystic by Darren Main is a wonderful summary of the principles of the spiritual life, told in the context of yoga and Hinduism, but applicable way beyond these specific traditions.
Simple Grace by Malcolm Boyd, a memoir organized around the life lessons Fr. Boyd learned and taught.
Seventy Times Seven by Salvatore Sapienza is a semi-autobiographical novel of a young man entering Catholic religious life and living through the growing pains of discovering his true self.
What Does "Queer" Mean Anyway? by Chris Bartlett is a simplified, but useful, primer about the meaning of the alphabet soup of LGBTQIA+ terminology, written by a non-gay man for non-gay people.
Critique of Patriarchal Reasoning by Arthur Evans is a history of the branch of philosophy called Logic by a major gay activist in the 1970s.
Gift of the Soul by Dale Colclasure & David Jensen is a book about self-discovery, including gay meaning, written inthe form of a novel.
Legend of the Raibow Warriors by Steven McFadden is a good book about ecological and spiritual change that doesn't include gay people, but should, in its vision of a transformed Earth.
The Liar's Prayer by Gregory Flood offers a vision of spirituality beyond myth and religion.
Lovely are the Messengers by Daniel Plasman is a heart-felt religious novel about how religion can inspire hate and prejudice even when the messengers don't intend it to.
The Human Core of Spirituality by Daniel Helminiak is a brilliant application of the ideas of Bernard Lonergan, Helminiak's teacher, to the nature of spirit and of human consciousness.
Religion and the Human Sciences by Daniel Helminiak is a companion to The Human Core of Spirituality. It includes a refutation of Ken Wilber.
3001: The FInal Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke completes the Space Odyssey Triology with a peculiarly Buddhistic approach to the god-like beings who sent the Monolith in the first place.
Only the Good Parts by Daniel Curzon is interesting, educational and provocative epistolary novel about creating a gay family through artificial insemination. This review from 1998 is especially interesting because of its discussion of author self-publishing and the development of Print-on-Demand publishing.
Four Short Reviews of Books with a Message: High in the Andes: A Spiritual Adventure Novel by William Michael Kaufman; Planet of Darkness: A Spirit's Journey through time and matter to save his planet by Jerry Belvo; Where the Rainbow Ends by Jameson Currier; Every Man for Himself: A Novel of Love, Romance, and Finding Mr. Right by Orland Outland.
Life Interrupted by Michael Parise, subtittled "Taking Charge After Everything Has Changed," offers healing advice for dealing with aburpt and unexpetced change in one's life. Wirrten by a former priest and gay man who knows what he is talking about.
Confessions of a Murdered Pope by Lucien Gregoire is a collection of stories, the most important of which, the title story, is about the ideas of Pope John Paul I, as told by a fictional reincarnation of the pope who ruled only for 33 days before dying mysteriously.
The Stargazer's Embassy by Eleanor Lerman is a wonderfully eerie and evocative novel about allien abduction with several neat, and illuminating, twists in the popular notion.
Conscious Living, Conscious Aging by Ron Pevny is really supportive and helpful book in thinking about aging and considering the meaningfulness of your life. It's got good advice, intermixed with easy-to-relate-to anecdotes and personal stories.
Footprints Through the Desert by Joshua Kauffman is a account of a life-crisis of young adulthood about looking for love, finding love and then losing it when it all goes wrong. Interesting story. Good psychological anaysis.
True Religion by J.L. Weinberg is a horror novel about ghosts and witches in modern New England. But it's also about a gay man's spiritual insight into the nature of religion. Very nicely done.
The Mediterranean Universe by John Newmeyer is a book of humorous essays about cats as people.
Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism by Jay Michaelson is a wonderful mystical treatise on oneness, emptiness, and the real nature of God told through a personal blending of Buddhism wisdom and Jewish Kabbalah.
Reflection by Dennis Merritt argues that everything in our experience is a "perfect reflection" of what is going on in our inner lives. It's a brilliant concept--something we all experience but seldom acknowledge like this.
Everywhere Home by Fenton Johnson is a collection of essays about modern life, some autobiographical, all beautifully written with very wise insight.
Hard Lesson by James Gaston is fast-paced murder mystery set in a private religious college where hypocrisy breeds crime and crime leads to death. AND it's got a sexy and sweet three-way right in the middle of the investigation.
God vs Gay? by Jay Michaelson makes "The Religious Case for Equality." Michaleson explains why religion ought to be pro-gay and welcoming of LGBTQ people. Very good book and very understandable explanation of hard-to-understand ideas in the Bible.
The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path by Jay Michaelson is a touching blend of personal soul-searching, poetical text, and wisdom teaching about how to accept the pain of being human that necessaily accompanies spiritual growth.
Roxie & Fred by Richard Alther is a novel sweet love story--a real life version of Harold and Maude but with senisible people, and lots of wisdom about experiencing life fully. A joy to read.
Not the Son He Expected by Tim Clausen is a collection of interviews with gay men about their relationships with their fathers. It's very interesting, and very healing.
The 9 Realities of Stardust by Bruce P. Grether is a beautiful and inspiring statement of spiritual wisdom explained in the worldivew of modern science. It's brilliant.
The Afterlife Revolution by Anne & Whitley Strieber is a remarkable account of love and death, and love surviving death, but also an important treatise on the nature of reality and the unexpected, but well-documented phenomena that UFOS and contact with the dead are interrelated.
AIDS Shaman: Queer Spirit Awakening by Shokti Lovestar is little book of poetry and wisdom by a London-based Radical Faerie English wiseman about how to understand AIDS mystically and spiritually, not as punishment but as opportunity and warning.
Facing the Truth of Your Life by Merle Yost is a book of truly "good advice" and explanantion of human psychological dynamics. It's interesting, readable, and quite educational.
The Super Natural: Why the Unexplained is Real by Whitley Strieber & Jeffrey J Kripal is a dialogue between THE expert on alien abductions and UFOs and a brilliant professor of comparative religions.
Secret Body by Jeffrey J Kripal takes up similar ideas of those in The Super Natural. Kripal argues that "paranormal phenomena," like hauntings, apparitions, clairvoyance, UFOs, alien abductions, etc—all demonstrate the existence of a greater reality. And it is from those kinds of experiences inthe past that the religions were born. A brilliant book.
In Hitler's House by Jonathan Lane is a fiictional memoir by a young man who tells of being Adolph Hitler's male whore. An amazing story. Surprisingly entertaining despite the subject matter. Hitler comes off worse than ever.
Walking on Glory by Edward Swift is a sweet, funny, poignant character of a crazy but lovable Texas lady.
The Paradox of Porn by Don Shewey i a wonderful statement of how to understand the modern phenomenon of sex videos positively and non-judgmentally.
Is Heaven for Real? by Lucien Gregoire debunks the popular story of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima in 1917.
Scissors, Paper, Rock by Fenton Johnson is a poignant and beautiful and satisfying novel of life and death and the modernizing of America.
Toby Johnson, PhD is author of some ten books: three non-fiction books that apply the wisdom of Joseph Campbell, his teacher and "wise old man," to modern-day social and religious problems, four gay genre novels that dramatize spiritual issues at the heart of gay identity, two books on gay men's spiritualities, gay spirit, and the mystical experience of homosexuality, and an anthology which he edited with Steve Berman of gay-positive short stories.
In addition to the novels featured elsewhere in this
web site,Johnson is author of IN SEARCH
OF GOD IN THE SEXUAL UNDERWORLD and THE
MYTH OF THE GREAT SECRET (Revised edition): AN APPRECIATION OF JOSEPH
For a more extended bio, click
(More photos below.)
Toby Johnson and Kip Dollar have been partners since 1984. They have been advocates for and examples of successful longterm gay relationships. Toby and Kip were the first male couple registered as Domestic Partners in Texas (Austin, Travis County, Oct 11, '93). There's a write-up about them as a couple on the very extensive website on gay couples & relationships, Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples.
Toby Johnson spoke with Harry Faddis for the upstate NY radio show & podcast The Quest of Life.
Click here for the conversation, titled "Why Gay Spirituality?"
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Kip and Toby have been partners since 1984. They were the first male couple to register as Domestic Partners in Texas. An account of their first 14 years together appears in Merle Yost's book on long-term gay relationships: WHEN LOVE LASTS FOREVER. They are included in Elisa Rolle's remarkable collection of over 700 gay and lesbian couples in history DAYS OF LOVE.
Travel and adventure--"pilgrimage"--are traditional spiritual practices. Spirit Journeys offers Gay Vacations, Travel, Tours, Weekend Getaways and Men's Retreats. Spirit Journeys trips offer play, adventure and relaxation, as well as the potential for personal growth and the exploration of spirituality and sexuality. Spirit Journeys is now under mangement by Hunter Flournoy.
"Queer" has turned out to be a very queer word. It has a variety of meanings and inflections. And to some extent these are generationally stratified.
Queer was THE term of derision during the 1950s and 60s when the "first generation of sexually-liberated gay men and lesbians" were coming of age—these were those who came out at the end of 60s as part of the Youth Movement, anti-war movement, civil rights and sexual liberation movements. Queer was shameful and, if you dared, you shouted it back in anger. "Takes one to know one." Else you learned to push down your feelings, so you wouldn't let them see you cry.
Queer was reclaimed as a self-chosen epithet of anger during the height of the AIDS crisis when it appeared society just didn't care that homosexuasl were dying. We weren't very gay, in the cheerful sense, in those times. Our proudly calling ourselves queer "rubbed their noses" in their silence and derision of us. See what suffering you are causing!
AIDS made homosexuality visible. Even children knew about it, and, as ever, it was a little embarrassing—though also necessarily titillating. An odd connotation got attached to "gay" to mean lame, out-of-date, square, passé, dumb, "retarded," uncool. "That's so gay."
For a younger generation, queer, that angry term that didn't hold much anger anymore, was a truer term than "gay." And so a generation following AIDS picked queer as their preferential identity. Among younger homosexuals, queer was for a new generation that wouldn't be dogged by AIDS; it was old men who suffered through that. Each generation seems to take a new term. Urning, homosexual, homophile, gay, GLBT, LGBTQ, queer. Each generation has a new set of experiences; each stands on the shoulders of those before, but what they experience is that they are different, they're not like those before them. And it's true.
There'll be a next generation after queer who'll take a new term of reference. Perhaps "pride" in a generic way as both noun and adjective. "You're listening to Pride Radio." "I'm pride." "Do you think she's pride?" "Let's all go to Pride tonight." [meaning pride festival, pride week, a pride bar]. Maybe even "Let's go pride tonight." [meaning going out into the gay subculture].
Queer is an umbrella term to mean everybody who thinks of themselves in any way sexual or gender variant. As a term of political solidarity all queers need to stick together. The differences between us don't matter. In fact, the umbrella term use of queer recognizes that everybody, even the non-gay people, are fundamentally just people. We shouldn't make any differentiation between people at all. That's the essence of liberation—to have no specific identity separate from others. That, of course, is what the "Men" also means in "All men are created equal." And as soon as you have an umbrella term, somebody under the umbrella feels left out and wants to be recognized. That's how the string of terms and letters developed in LGBTQIA+.
The Queer Theology of Patrick Cheng says the "only sin" is making distinctions. We should focus on our similarities, not our differences. The differences are insignificant. All religions teach love, and the way to love is to overlook division.
That was the major tenet of the second period of the Mattachine Society (after Harry Hay). Being homosexual doesn't really matter. Gay liberation arose to say, yes it does, and that's why we have to organize and fight back against oppression.
Queer also means a branch of academic literary, philosophical and cultural criticism. Queer Theory is concerned with how historical, political, sociological and cultural factors "construct" sexual identities through time. What homosexual behavior was thought of at different times and places were all different. There's no "essential" homosexual nature. Within the academy Queer Theory has achieved many important insights in human behavior and consciousness. It's part of a general recognition in intellectual and educational circles that all of human experience is constructed of streams of personal and societal impressions and ideas. Reality itself is constructed in the mind. This is a very Buddhistic realization, but now in the French school of Structuralism and post-structuralism of Michel Foucault. As queer theory appears in pop culture, it seems to deny the reality of homosexuality (not unlike Fundamentalist Christianity which also denies there is anything inborn and constitutional as homosexuality). Gay writers and commentators have to identify themselves as essentialists or constructionists.
I think the "solution" is to see that they are both true. AND they can both be deconstructed away. You can always rise to a higher perspective from which to see that apparent excluding opposites are actually parts of the same thing. That's the use of "queer" as the umbrella term.
Queer is also one of the sectors within LGBTQIA+. Then it is not an umbrella term at all, but a signfier of either the young generation for which it is a hip term and/or an element of "misfits" and "noncompliers." While these terms have negative connotation, there is a long, honorable tradition of "gadflys," "jesters," "tricksters," "coyotes," "contrarians" who force change. Within the large spectrum of sex and gender variant people, some fit right into mainstream culture and mainstream gay culture, others feel unwelcome. They were nerds, not pretty boys, sissies, tomboys, losers They rightly identify as "queer." Most of the gay activists from the Mattachine on were "queer" in this sense. That they weren't satisfied with the status quo—and, in particular, the sexual objectification and looksism and flagrant materialism in mainstream gay culture—is why they were activists.
I suppose the reality is that "Queer" means all of these meanings. And also none. For every one of these can be deconstructed into meaninglessness. The only thing that matters is how you yourself feel about the word and what it means to you.
Queering religion cannot mean getting queers to be religious, i.e., getting us to go back to church/synagogue/ temple/mosque/etc., to believe in the popular myths and to accept the authority of religious officials.
Queering religion has to mean recognizing the multiplicity of voices and perspectives around the world, rising above one's religion of origin to look at it as but one tradition among many.
For so many of us that tradition has been Christianity, and in that regard, such a higher, outsider, perspective--what is loosely called "spirituality"--allows for a simple response to the history of Church and bible-based oppression: It's all myth anyway, take what's meaningful to you and leave the rest behind.
That's queering religion: to understand it, not to "believe" in it. That frees you from religion while showing you what it was really about in the first place, and so "enlightening" you to the nature of consciousness and the nature of "God," as a clue to who you really are as a conscious entity asking questions about the nature of your existence.
The point of the mythological traditions is to raise people's vision above just everyday and selfish concerns and to inspire compassion. The proper goal of religion isn't to be right, but to be loving and kind. If the bible says homosexuals should be stoned, it's evidence the bible's outdated and inadequate for addressing issues of contemporary life.
You don't need to explain the "texts of terror," those verses in the Bible that get quoted out of context to justify condemnation of homosexuality as inevitable because it is "God's will." You can just tear those pages out of the book.
Actually you might find it would be simpler to just save the one page with Jesus's Golden Rule on it and throw away all the rest. That's probably what Jesus himself would have done.
The message to be learned from observing the anti-gay attitudes and behavior of the Christian churches is that it's time to move on. Let's throw the baby out with the bathwater because the reason the water is fouled is that the baby has died and the body's putrefying and deserves a respectful burial.
It's not enough to queer Christianity by seeking the original meanings or discovering that Jesus would have been pro-gay if he'd had the words to speak about such issues--though, of course, that IS true. Christianity is but one voice in the conversation about spiritual meaning--and it's got a very old-timey accent.
You've got to queer religion itself. All of us, gay and straight, need a new spiritual paradigm that makes sense in the modern world and speaks with a modern, enlightened voice.
This, I think, is what "gay spirituality" is about AND what the human race is evolving toward.
The "new myth" is the story of what religion and myth have been in the history of the evolution of consciousness. We can understand these things to have been metaphors about consciousness.
This realization is: 1) a higher order myth, 2) a real queering--in the sense of despoiling--of religion and traditional notions of religious authority, and 3) ironically, the salvation of religion as a high culture art form.
If religion and myth are in competition with science to describe the external material world, religion will necessarily lose. If the new understanding of religion and myth is the scientific tool to describe the structures of deep consciousness in the interior, "spiritual" world, then religion and science work side by side to further evolution and expansion of consciousness.
For all of this is fundamentally about the Universe waking up to itself.
In a very parallel and deeply meaningful way, I think, being queer is about waking up to yourself. Nobody identifies as gay or queer without having waked up in some way, that is, having understood the clues their lives are giving them about their own interior experience of consciousness.
Being queer, being gay gives us the proverbial leg up for understanding and moving into the new myth that is the cutting edge of evolving consciousness.
It's being One with the evolving universe; being One with the Big Bang; being One with "God."
The way to queer religion is to be God.
Read Toby Johnson's article on the Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality, i.e., the two separate thrusts of gay people's innate religiousness: 1) reforming the traditional churches to accept gay/queer members AND 2) creating a whole new vision of spiritual meaning.
Toby Johnson, PhD is author of ten books: four non-fiction books that apply the wisdom of his teacher and "wise old man," Joseph Campbell to modern-day social and religious problems, four gay genre novels that dramatize spiritual issues at the heart of gay identity, and two books on gay men's spiritualities and the mystical experience of homosexuality. In addition to the novels featured elsewhere in this web site, Johnson is author of IN SEARCH OF GOD IN THE SEXUAL UNDERWORLD and THE MYTH OF THE GREAT SECRET (Revised edition): AN APPRECIATION OF JOSEPH CAMPBELL.
His most recent book is a spiritual autobiography: FINDING YOUR OWN
TRUE MYTH: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell: The Myth of the
Great Secret III/
Johnson's Lammy Award winning book GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness was published in 2000. His Lammy-nominated book GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe was published by Alyson in 2003. Both books are available now in new updated and expanded editions from Lethe Press.