In Honor of Sir Arthur C. Clarke



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Also on this website:


Toby Johnson's books:

Toby's books are available as ebooks from smashwords.com, the Apple iBookstore, etc.


Finding Your Own True Myth - The Myth of the Great Secret III

FINDING YOUR OWN TRUE MYTH: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell: The Myth of the Great Secret III


Gay Spirituality

GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness


Gay Perspective


GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe


Secret Matter


SECRET MATTER, a sci-fi novel with wonderful "aliens" with an Afterword by Mark Jordan


Getting Life

GETTING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE:  A Fantastical Gay Romance set in two different time periods


The Fourth Quill

THE FOURTH QUILL, a novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil




Two Spirits
TWO SPIRITS: A Story of Life with the Navajo, a collaboration with Walter L. Williams



charmed lives
CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into Gold: GaySpirit in Storytelling, a collaboration with Steve Berman and some 30 other writers


Myth of the Great Secret


THE MYTH OF THE GREAT SECRET: An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell



In Search of God


IN SEARCH OF GOD IN THE SEXUAL UNDERWORLD: A Mystical Journey



Unpublished manuscripts


About ordering


Books on Gay Spirituality:

White Crane Gay Spirituality Series


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  Toby has done five podcasts with Harry Faddis for The Quest of Life

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  Articles and Excerpts:

Review of Samuel Avery's The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness


Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"


About Liberty Books, the Lesbian/Gay Bookstore for Austin, 1986-1996


The Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate


A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality


Why gay people should NOT Marry


The Scriptural Basis for Same Sex Marriage


Toby and Kip Get Married


Wedding Cake Liberation


Gay Marriage in Texas


What's ironic



Shame on the American People


The "highest form of love"


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Gay Consciousness


Why homosexuality is a sin


The cause of homosexuality


The origins of homophobia


Q&A about Jungian ideas in gay consciousness


What is homosexuality?


What is Gay Spirituality?


My three messages


What Jesus said about Gay Rights


Queering religion


Common Experiences Unique to Gay Men


Is there a "uniquely gay perspective"?


The purpose of homosexuality


Interview on the Nature of Homosexuality


What the Bible Says about Homosexuality


Mesosexual Ideal for Straight Men



Varieties of Gay Spirituality


Waves of Gay Liberation Activity


The Gay Succession


Wouldn’t You Like to Be Uranian?


The Reincarnation of Edward Carpenter


Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality as Artistic Medium


Easton Mountain Retreat Center


Andrew Harvey & Spiritual Activism


The Mysticism of Andrew Harvey


The upsidedown book on MSNBC


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Enlightenment


"It's Always About You"



The myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara


Joseph Campbell's description of Avalokiteshvara


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



Meditation Practice



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



World Navel



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


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Gay Spirituality


Curious Bodies


What Toby Johnson Believes


The Joseph Campbell Connection


The Mann Ranch (& Rich Gabrielson)


Campbell & The Pre/Trans Fallacy


The Two Loves


The Nature of Religion


What's true about Religion


Being Gay is a Blessing


Drawing Long Straws


Freedom of Religion


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The Gay Agenda


Gay Saintliness


Gay Spiritual Functions



The subtle workings of the spirit in gay men's lives.


The Sinfulness of Homosexuality


Proposal for a study of gay nondualism


Priestly Sexuality


Having a Church to Leave


Harold Cole on Beauty


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Marian Doctrines: Immaculate Conception & Assumption


Not lashed to the prayer-post


Monastic or Chaste Homosexuality


Is It Time to Grow Up? Confronting the Aging Process


Notes on Licking  (July, 1984)


Redeem Orlando


Gay Consciousness changing the world by Shokti LoveStar


Alexander Renault interviews Toby Johnson



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Mystical Vision


"The Evolution of Gay Identity"


"St. John of the Cross & the Dark Night of the Soul."


Avalokiteshvara at the Baths


 Eckhart's Eye


Let Me Tell You a Secret


Religious Articulations of the Secret


The Collective Unconscious


Driving as Spiritual Practice


Meditation


Historicity as Myth


Pilgrimage


No Stealing


Next Step in Evolution


The New Myth


The Moulting of the Holy Ghost


Gaia is a Bodhisattva


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The Hero's Journey


The Hero's Journey as archetype -- GSV 2016


The  Gay Hero Journey (shortened)


You're On Your Own


Superheroes


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Seeing Differently


Teenage Prostitution and the Nature of Evil


Allah Hu: "God is present here"


 
Adam and Steve


The Life is in the Blood



Gay retirement and the "freelance monastery"


Seeing with Different Eyes


Facing the Edge: AIDS as an occasion for spiritual wisdom


What are you looking for in a gay science fiction novel?


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The Vision


The mystical experience at the Servites'  Castle in Riverside


A  Most Remarkable Synchronicity in Riverside


The Great Dance according to C.S.Lewis


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The Techniques Of The World Saviors

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


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The Secret of the Clear Light


Understanding the Clear Light


Mobius Strip


Finding Your Tiger Face


How Gay Souls Get Reincarnated


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Joseph Campbell, the Hero's Journey, and the modern Gay Hero-- a five part presentation on YouTube


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About Alien Abduction


In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke


Karellen was a homosexual


The D.A.F.O.D.I.L. Alliance


Intersections with the movie When We Rise


More about Gay Mental Health


Psych Tech Training


Toby at the California Institute


The Rainbow Flag


Ideas for gay mythic stories


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People


Kip and Toby, Activists


Toby's friend and nicknamesake Toby Marotta.


Harry Hay, Founder of the gay movement


About Hay and The New Myth


About Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the first man to really "come out"


About Michael Talbot, gay mystic


About Fr. Bernard Lynch


About Richard Baltzell


About Guy Mannheimer


About David Weyrauch


About Dennis Paddie


About Ask the Fire


About Arthur Evans


About Christopher Larkin


About Mark Thompson


About Sterling Houston


About Michael Stevens


The Alamo Business Council


Our friend Tom Nash


Second March on Washington


The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the "Statement of Spirituality"


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Book Reviews



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 & David 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


Enigma by Lloyd Meeker


Scissors, Paper, Rock by Fenton Johnson




Toby Johnson's Books on Gay Men's Spiritualities:




Gay
Perspective cover
Gay Perspective

Things Our [Homo]sexuality
Tells Us about the
Nature of God and
the Universe


Gay Perspective audiobook
Gay Perspective is available as an audiobook narrated by Matthew Whitfield. Click here







Gay
Spirituality cover
Gay Spirituality

Gay Identity and 
the Transformation of
Human Consciousness



gay-spirituality-audiobook
Gay Spirituality   is now available as an audiobook, beautifully narrated by John Sipple. Click here








charmed lives
Charmed Lives: Gay Spirit in Storytelling

edited by
Toby Johnson
& Steve Berman







secret matter
Secret Matter

Lammy Award Winner for Gay Science Fiction

updated







Getting Life
Getting Life in Perspective

A Fantastical Romance





Getting
Life in Perspective audiobook
Getting Life in Perspective is available as an audiobook narrated by Alex Beckham. Click here 






The Fourth Quill

The Fourth Quill

originally published as PLAGUE




johnson-the-fourth-quill-audiobook
The Fourth Quill is available as an audiobook, narrated by Jimmie Moreland. Click here






Two
Two Spirits: A Story of Life with the Navajo

with Walter L. Williams




Two Spirits
audiobookTwo Spirits  is available as an audiobook  narrated by Arthur Raymond. Click here






Finding Your Own True Myth - The Myth of the Great Secret III
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
In Search of God  in the Sexual Underworld










The Myth of the Great Secret II

The Myth of the Great Secret: An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell.

This was the second edition of this book.




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Toby Johnson's titles are available in other ebook formats from Smashwords.



Arthur C. Clarke: Visionary

Arthur C Clarke
March 18, 2008, at the age of 90, renowned writer and futurologist Arthur C. Clarke passed away. His death made national news in America—of course. His name, arguably, has been one of the most recognizable in the world, if only as creator (with Stanley Kubrick) of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. He was a leader in consciousness evolution, an expert on space science, and author of over a hundred books.


What won’t be mentioned in most of the news stories, though, is that he was gay. Of course, that’s using the term inaccurately. He wasn’t a gay man like the post-Stonewall generation in the U.S., but he was certainly one of us.

Speaking personally, let me report that Clarke had a tremendous influence on me as a young man. I read all his books, emulated his writing style, and even to some extent adopted his post-religious “spiritual” vision of human consciousness. So in the late 1990s, when I learned my friend Kerry O’Quinn, a gay Austinite and also a science fiction writer, told me he’d met Clarke and carried on a correspondence with him, I jumped at the opportunity to be introduced by mail.  (Kerry also wrote a lovely remembrance of A.C.C.; I have included it below.)

I corresponded with Clarke for several years. I wrote about his post-religious spirituality in a couple of my books and cleared my acknowledgement of his sexual identity with him. So I have no qualms about my including him in the pantheon of homosexual seers.


An ex-patriate Englishman, Clarke lived most of his adult life as what English society might call a “confirmed bachelor” in an intentional, extended family in the Theravada Buddhist land of Sri Lanka (in fable, the mystical island of Serendip where good fortune and lucky coincidence reign). Though married for a time as a young man, Clarke offered a marvelous example of the contributing, participating life, lived free of the conventions of marriage and childrearing.

He demurred about coming out publicly as gay, he wrote, because he felt this fact would be used to discredit his ideas. He was 61 at the time of Stonewall, already past the sexual prime in which it’s meaningful to identify oneself as gay. And, indeed, in 1997, a British tabloid, The Sunday Mirror, ran a story accusing him of having moved to Sri Lanka in order to buy sex from underaged boys, something he found offensive and the accusation distressing. He thought the accusation was really aimed at Prince Charles who was scheduled to knight him—as Sir Arthur—that same year. (At the same time as Sir Elton John, by the way.)

He had a cute quip about not being gay: "At my age now,” he said, “I'm just a little bit cheerful."

He wrote that he was quite fascinated with the role homosexuals have played down through time as revolutionary thinkers. (In our correspondence, he expressed great interest in C.A. Tripp’s book about Abraham Lincoln as gay.) He kept a private collection of writing which is not to be published until 50 years after his death. I’d wager the world is going to receive the open acknowledgement of his homosexuality and of his theory about gay consciousness as revolutionary come 2058.

Science fiction is one of the ways in which the mythmaking function of human consciousness appears today. 2001, with its final psychedelic imagery and apotheosis of astronaut David Bowman into the Star Child, described human consciousness transcending individuality and merging into some sort of greater consciousness, all explained in scientific sounding terms.

In his renowned novel, Childhood’s End, as scientific prophet, Clarke described a planetary progression to a collective mind (in the novel called “the Overmind”) that is foreshadowed by “psychic powers”: telepathy, telekinesis, clairvoyance, and memory of collective, cosmic events. In that sense, one might say he hypothesized such paranormal powers, long elements of religion and mysticism, to be forerunners and hints at humankind’s future evolution. (Read Toby Johnson's essay Karellen was a homosexual)

Even in the 1950s, when Childhood’s End appeared, he called himself an “agnostic Buddhist,” so he probably didn’t believe in a personal afterlife. Still we might imagine that in his dying, Sir Arthur experienced rising into the Overmind.

In his modern/futuristic way, he has surely been a visionary and “Enlightened Being,” a scientifically-minded prophet who had foreseen, and helped bring about, the modern transformation of consciousness. He was surely an incarnation of the archetype of the homosexual seer.

Clarke was one of the great influences on Toby Johnson. His soft sci-fi novel Secret Matter is a sort of honorific to Clarke, and written in something of the same expository, easy to read, style of Clarke.

Science Fiction is one of the ways in which the mythmaking function of human consciousness appears today.



For an encyclopedic article about Sir Arthur

For an article in The Guardian about Sir Arthur's discretion about his personal life (and political reasons for such discretion) along with an explanation of his cute quip about not being gay, "At my age, now I'm just a little bit cheerful."

For a VERY interesting and illuminating article on the "mystical" aspects of Clarke's world vision at Hannah's Deep Field Space by Hannak Pok.


~ ~ ~

The accumulation of all human experience is one of the insights about spiritual / human experience Toby learned from Arthur C. Clarke. He's written about this by recounting one of Clarke's most famous short stories.

The role of humankind, Alan Watts said, is to be God’s “sense organs,” to experience all that it is possible to experience. I’ve already cited science fiction novelist Arthur C. Clarke as a spokesman of mythological wisdom. This idea too can be found in the metaphor of one of his best known stories, “The Nine Billion Names of God.”

Clarke’s story opens in the Manhattan offices of a major data processing company. Several representatives of a Himalayan monastery have come to lease a computer. They explain that it was the intuition of the founder of their community that the purpose of human life is to uncover and record the names of God. Over years of theological consideration, the monks have developed an alphabet; all possible combinations and permutations of the characters, according to certain simple principles of grammar, will spell out all of God’s names. There are, it seems, about nine billion.

The Order has been laboring scrupulously over three centuries to figure out and copy the combinations of letters and file them reverently in tomes in their great library. Recently they’ve realized that modern technology could assist their spiritual work. They have, therefore, come to arrange for the use of a computer and printer that will quickly figure and print out the required arrangement of characters. Well, the job seemed somewhat unusual, but the computer firm prided itself on the adaptability of its equipment.

The story shifts to a steep path down the side of a Himalayan mountain. The two technicians who accompanied the computer have decided that, since the machine was nearing completion of its task, they ought to leave. After all, they reasoned, the monks were expecting something to come of all this. When the machine had finished and nothing happened, the monks were likely to get angry, destroy the machine, and perhaps attack them. As they were halfway down the path, the electrical lighting in the monastery went out, signifying that the printer had completed its run and been shut down. The job was done. The last printouts were being taken to their place in the library.

One of the technicians remarked on the narrowness of their escape, but there was no answer from the other. When he looked over, he saw that his friend was silently staring into space. He, too, looked up: “(there is always a last time for everything.) Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.”

The discovery of the nine billion names can represent the accumulation of experience. Each of us, and with each life each experience, is one of the “names of God.” To contribute to the discovery and cataloguing of the nine billion names, we must open ourselves to experience, resisting nothing, refusing no experience to the One Mind, flowing easily and gently with life.

                                from The Myth of the Great Secret


Sir Arthur C. Clarke
16 Dec 1917 – 18 Mar 2008

by Kerry O'Quinn


 

19 March 2008

I arrived at my Hollywood apartment late yesterday, after a magical weekend in San Francisco with my friend Howard Roffman, who now runs practically everything at LucasFilm.

Howard arranged a tour for me (and my pals Zach, Brian, Noah and Hunter) of the new Presidio offices -- replete with spaceship and dinosaur models, light sabers, trophies and awards, magnificent matte paintings, and vintage movie posters – inside, beyond the Yoda fountain.

Within minutes after returning from this wondrous adventure my phone rang, and my lifelong friend David Houston (first editor of STARLOG) brought tears to my happy face with news that Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday morning.

I want to share a few personal memories.

* * *

Arthur C. Clarke entered my life in June 1973 (three years before the first issue of STARLOG) aboard a Cunard Atlantic cruise to rendezvous with a solar eclipse. I had been hired as Program Director and was responsible for scientific classes and lectures in rooms normally devoted to drinking and gambling on the good ship Adventurer.

I was warned that of all the celebrities on board (including scientists and astronauts) Clarke would be my biggest problem. He had become world famous as Stanley Kubrick’s collaborator on the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, the trailblazing MGM movie. Passengers on the ship were aware that Clarke had conceived the communications satellite system in a technical paper published in 1945 (before the space program made such concepts plausible) and was author of dozens of books, both science fiction and science fact.

I was told that Clarke was a genius with a colossal ego – and my personal responsibility for 14 days at sea.

I slipped quietly into his first shipboard lecture, "Life in the Year 2001." We had not met, so I stood at the back of the room (packed with eager souls listening to his crisp British accent) accessing my "biggest problem."

His manner was casual, but his words were carefully selected. He was not trying to overwhelm us with dramatic ideas or emotional descriptions – he was just talking about changes that science would bring to our planet, how people in the future would be healthier, happier, and less afraid of each other. It was simple, and it was inspiring.

By the time he finished, I was wiping tears of joyous optimism from my eyes. The man who was going to be my biggest problem had become my greatest excitement. I introduced myself, told him how profoundly he had moved me, and from that moment on he was Arthur – my friend.

During the remainder of our voyage to darkness I enjoyed watching him hold court in the ship’s theater as he introduced screenings of 2001. I chuckled at each meal, listening to Arthur’s table (which included astronauts Wally Schirra) – loud groans followed by raucous laughter as a parade of bad intellectual puns were exchanged.

On the day of totality Arthur and I watched the spectacular celestial event from the Captain’s bridge. An eclipse is a bonding experience, uniting total strangers with an event that used to terrify people in ancient times. Arthur always called me his "shipmate" – a title I accepted proudly.

Over the years, we’ve seen each other in New York City – at the STARLOG offices, at my Manhattan apartment, at the premiere of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and at the Chelsea Hotel (where, years earlier, he wrote the screenplay for 2001). We spent time together in Los Angeles when he was working with Peter Hyams on 2010: Odyssey Two, and he gave me a tour of the incredible sets. We’ve kept in touch by postal letters, by FAX, by telephone and by email.

In 2001, at a time when we had not been in touch for a few months, I emailed "I miss the nasty little bits of humor you used to send my way. Surely there must be something absurd and off-color in the news you get." Arthur replied with several wonderfully naughty jokes.

In 2004 my friend Jon and I visited Arthur on his chosen turf – Sri Lanka. When I arrived at his home, his secretary ushered me into the office, and there – sitting behind his desk, surrounded by framed photos of him with presidents and celebrities -- he greeted me wearing an ape mask.

"Good grief!" I exclaimed, "I came half-way round the world to see a great visionary mind...will you every grow up?" Eyes twinkled behind rubber: "I’m not planning on it."

As a welcome gesture, he had written a naughty limerick that started "There once was a chap named O’Quinn, Ceaselessly searching for new kinds of sin..." He knew me way too well.

Yes, Arthur was gay – although in his era that wasn’t the term. As Isaac Asimov once told me, "I think he simply found he preferred men." Arthur didn’t publicize his sexuality – that wasn’t the focus of his life – but if asked, he was open and honest.

I remember on board the ship, a total stranger approached him one day, apparently having heard a homosexual rumor, and offered Arthur a silver Lambda pin. "Are you willing to wear this?" the fellow asked. "Delighted," was Arthur’s response. He put it on and wore it the remainder of the voyage.

Recently I sent Arthur a proposal for "Space Station," a television series I created – with him as Space Sciences Advisor. He replied, "Yes, of course I am interested. Your outline’s certainly promising and has already given me several ideas." He urged me to visit and discuss in person. Sadly, we will not work together on that project.

I launched STARLOG in 1976 and wrote my "From The Bridge" column for more than 275 issues. Over the years I featured pieces on Arthur more than any other human, but, as Mr. Spock would say, "that’s only logical." Arthur was so rich with activities and accomplishments that he was perpetually newsworthy, and his wit and brilliance constantly challenged me, surprised me, and delighted me. For more than 40 years he added excitement to my life.

In a recent "Egogram" (his term for the email newsletter of his activities) Arthur wrote "...completing 90 orbits around the sun was a suitable occasion to reflect on how I would like to be remembered. I’ve had a diverse career as a writer, underwater explorer, space promoter and science populariser. Of all these, I want to be remembered most as a writer – one who entertained readers, and, hopefully, stretched their imagination as well."

He definitely stretched my imagination. Sir Arthur C. Clarke was one of a kind, a dear friend, a planetary treasure and a prime example of carbon-based bipeds.

I am so fortunate to have accepted that strange job as Program Director on an eclipse cruise. My rendezvous with Arthur was more dazzling than seeing stars and planets overhead in the middle of the day.

Kerry O'Quinn

Hollywood, CA, Earth

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Toby Johnson, PhD is author of nine books: three 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 and editor of a collection of "myths" of gay men's consciousness. 

Johnson's book GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness won a Lambda Literary Award in 2000.

His  GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our [Homo]sexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe was nominated for a Lammy in 2003. They remain in print.

FINDING YOUR OWN TRUE MYTH: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell: The Myth of the Great Secret III tells the story of Johnson's learning the real nature of religion and myth and discovering the spiritual qualities of gay male consciousness.

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