What Toby Johnson Believes

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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

SECRET MATTER: updated, revised & expanded edition from Lethe Press with Afterword by Mark Jordan

GETTING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE: A romance novel set in the 1980s and the 1890s.

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


About ordering

Books on Gay Spirituality:

White Crane Gay Spirituality Series

  Articles and Excerpts:

Read Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness

Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"

The Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate

Why gay people should NOT Marry

Wedding Cake Liberation

Gay Marriage in Texas

What's ironic

Shame on the American People

The "highest form of love"

Second March on Washington

A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality

 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

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

Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality as Artistic Medium

Easton Mountain Retreat Center

Andrew Harvey & Spiritual Activism

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

"It's Always About You"

The myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara

Joseph Campbell's description of Avalokiteshvara

Avalokiteshvara at the Baths.

You're Not A Wave

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

Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal

The Danda Nata & goddess Kalika

Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva

John Boswell was Immanuel Kant

The Two Loves

Curious Bodies

What Toby Johnson Believes

The Joseph Campbell Connection

Campbell & The Pre/Trans Fallacy

The Nature of Religion

What's true about Religion

Being Gay is a Blessing

Drawing Long Straws

Freedom of Religion

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

 "The Evolution of Gay Identity"

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

 Eckhart's Eye

Let Me Tell You a Secret

Religious Articulations of the Secret

The Collective Unconscious

Driving as Spiritual Practice


Historicity as Myth


No Stealing

Next Step in Evolution

The New Myth

The Moulting of the Holy Ghost

Gaia is a Bodhisattva

The Hero's Journey as archetype

Marian Doctrines: Immaculate Conception & Assumption

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

The mystical experience at the Servites'  Castle in Riverside

The Great Dance according to C.S.Lewis

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

The Secret of the Clear Light

Understanding the Clear Light

Mobius Strip

Finding Your Tiger Face

How Gay Souls Get Reincarnated

In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke

Karellen was a homosexual

About Alien Abduction

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

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

More about Gay Mental Health

Psych Tech Training

The Rainbow Flag

Ideas for gay mythic stories

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 Sterling Houston

About Michael Stevens

Our friend Tom Nash

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



Johnson's central ideas, profoundly influenced by Joseph Campbell's comparative religion approach, are:

1) that a transformation/maturation of religious consciousness is occurring in contemporary times because exposure to the various ideas--indeed, to the very existence--of other religions forces human beings to recognize the mythological, metaphorical, psychological--and not factual--nature of religious truths; this necessarily results in developing a critical perspective (which, among other things, has allowed the relaxation of morality and religious taboo that made homosexual liberation and gay identity possible), and

2) that gay people have an advantage in understanding this enlightened view of religious truth because we have necessarily been forced personally to develop such a critical perspective on cultural assumptions by our growing up as outsiders, "different" and "queer." So gay consciousness has a privileged view of the nature of religion. The rise of politicized gay identification, in turn, furthers this enlightened understanding of religion by undermining the authority and legitimacy of the institutions of traditional religion.


Additionally, 3) that the gay critical perspective on gender potentially liberates us from strict gender conventions and polarizations, and

4) that gay attraction to and development of emotional relationships with members of our same sex results in our seeing the world with the harmonious, non-dualistic vision that is the traditional goal of mystical religion. We don't see the world polarized in the "battle between the sexes" that, in turn, generates the dualistic belief in good and evil. Gay consciousness is "pre-Edenic," fundamentally innocent, free of "original sin."


World's Wierd Wall by Wil Biggers

Johnson says 5) the real message of religion is not about God (which is not a personal being but a metaphor for planetary consciousness) but about how human beings should live harmoniously and nonjudgmentally (not projecting "wrong" onto other people) in order to participate in and further the evolution of Earth (Gaia) into collective self-awareness and transcendent consciousness (God). The planetary consciousness is mediated through "vibes" people give off and receive; these are mythically described as "karmic resonances" and appear as psychic powers, synchronicities, and fringe phenomena (like alien abduction, crop circles, and apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary), as well as what's called "karma from past lives" and luck. (Being born gay is an example of good luck: in spite of all the problems, this "condition" certainly is what might be called having drawn a long straw in this lifetime!)


Johnson proposes 6) that the "real cause" of homosexuality is resonance with these "karmic vibes" (which results in the genetic, congenital, and psychological configurations that are variously attributed as causes of homosexuality). Gay people have a direct experience of karmic resonance in the phenomenon whimsically called "gaydar." Gaydar is the real cause of homosexuality.


7) Johnson champions the Mahayana Buddhist World-savior myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara which portrays a lovely, androgynous (gay-like) young man, usually shown barechested in a relaxed meditation pose, who saves the world by willingly taking upon himself, out of compassion and kindness, all the incarnations of all sentient beings to free those beings from suffering. All human beings are incarnations of this one single Being (a mythological version of the planetary mind Gaia).

8) The experience of homosexual attraction, the pang of longing inspired by same-sex beauty, and the ecstatic consciousness of homosexual orgasm are reverberations--and potential recollections--of human's common mystical oneness with Avalokiteshvara/Gaia.

shamans at dance

9) The role of gay identification today is, on one hand, to alert human beings to the problems of overpopulation and demonstrate that a worthy, contributing, and fulfilling life can be lived without reproducing and, on the other, to call all people to get over dualistic, polarized (male-dominant) thinking, so we can all live in peace based in awareness of common planetary identity.

10) Gay consciousness represents a new religious paradigm recognizing consciousness--life itself--as "God" and "heaven" as here and now.

rainbow line

Toby Johnson, PhD is author of eight 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, three 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.

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 from Lethe Press.

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