Toby Johnson



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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Unpublished manuscripts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


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.


Toby Johnson, gay spiritual writer


a short version appears at the bottom of the page

Johnson, PhD, Edwin Clark (Toby), Catholic monk turned activist, psychotherapist and spiritual writer, was born in 1945 in San Antonio TX. He attended Catholic parochial school at St. Peter's, Prince of the Apostles in Alamo Heights, and then high school at Central Catholic High School (CCHS), the college prep school associated with St. Mary's University, both run by the Brothers of Mary (Marianist). A writing teacher at Central Catholic, Bro. Martin McMurtrey, S.M., changed the lives of many students, including novelist Whitley Strieber, spiritual writer Toby Johnson, college president Larry Goodwin, and Henry Cisneros, beloved former mayor of San Antonio, by teaching them to think and write clearly and coherently.

The most prominent and successful writer among Bro. McMurtrey's first--star--class of expository writing students was Whitley Strieber, the prolific novelist and autobiographer who has helped bring attention to the mysterious experience of alien abduction and other inexplicable phenomena in human consciousness. Toby Johnson and Whitley Strieber were boyhood buddies, carpool mates, and fellow fans of the esoteric, the mystical, and the fantastic. Bro. McMurtrey's lessons about the nature of metaphor and allusion, and Strieber's fascination with the mysterious prepared Johnson for his understanding the nature of religion according to Joseph Campbell a few years later.

Johnson entered religious life after high school, first as a Marianist and then as a Servite. With the ’Vites, he was in the first class of students at the then newly-formed Catholic Theological Union, (a consortium connected with thetoby & Tom Sheerin 1967 University of Chicago Divinity School, made up of the Theologates of three religious orders, the Passionists, the Franciscans, and the Servites). Johnson was fortunate to study under the influential Scripture scholars Barnabas Ahern, C.P. and John Dominic Crossan, both of whom--in very different ways--changed how the modern world understands the nature of sacred writings.

Here he is (on right) with his friend Tom Sheerin
dressed as seminarians with Roman collars,
for an anti-war demonstration.
Notice the "halo" over Tom's head!


After a year in Chicago, Johnson worked in a Hospital Chaplaincy summer training at Metropolitan State Psychiatric Hospital in southern Los Angeles; that summer, in the "hothouse" of the mental hospital, he experienced the psychological breakthrough known in gay lingo as "coming out." Coincidentally (?!?) that was the summer of 1969; Johnson's personal "coming out" was within weeks of the national "coming out" of the gay world at Stonewall.


After that life-changing summer, he did not return to C.T.U., but remained in Southern California at the Servite novitiate in Riverside. Another life-changing psycho-spiritual event happened to him at the Servite Priory there (also known as Benedict Castle); the story of that enlightening "mystical experience" is told elsewhere in this website. (Johnson was honored to have befriended Roy Neuner, Allan Pinka (Oct 6, 1947 - Jan 4, 1989), Charlie Ruffner and Tom Sheerin during those years--all now deceased.)


After leaving seminary in 1970, Toby Johnson moved to San Francisco and lived in the Bay Area throughout the 1970s. While a student at the California Institute of Asian Studies (later renamed the California Insttitute of Integral Studies, C.I.I.S.) from which he received a master's in Comparative Religion and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology, Johnson was on staff at the Mann Ranch Seminars, a Jungian-oriented summer retreat program. There he befriended religion scholar Joseph Campbell and came to regard himself "an apostle of Campbell's vision to the gay community."

Johnson is pleased to identify his roots as Northern Californian, San Franciscan gay hippie. He actually lived on the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets in the early 70s (admittedly a few years after the "Summer of Love" by which time the neighborhod had gone into decline). The photos of the familiar Haight-Ashbury sign at that intersection frequently show a Queen Anne Victorian turret on the apartment building in the background. That was Toby Johnson's apartment.

Toby in 1979First as a peer-counselor and then licensed professional, Johnson worked as a gay-oriented psychotherapist in San Francisco in the mid-70s. As a member of the D.A.F.O.D.I.L. Alliance ("Dykes And Faggots Organized to Defeat Institutionalized Liberalism") and spokesperson for the Gay Mental Health Task Force of San Francisco's Health Department, he was instrumental in the adoption of a Gay Client's Bill of Rights, guaranteeing access to gay or gay-sensitive health care providers--a notion that, subsequently, had major effects in AIDS-related services.

Toby's boyfriend Bill organized a surprise birthday party
in August 1979. This photo was taken at that party



In the late-70s, he teamed with Harvard-trained sociologist Toby Marotta in producing Marotta's books,
The
Politics of Homosexuality and Sons of Harvard: Gay Men in the Class of '67, and in working in a federally-funded ethnographic study of gay teenage prostutition.

 

Toby-&-Kip-87-by-Jack-Hymen

In 1981, Johnson returned to his hometown where he practiced as an openly gay therapist and served as co-chair of the San Antonio Gay Alliance. He met his lifetime partner, Kip Dollar, while Kip was working at Bexar County National Bank. They count the start of their thirty-plus year relationship as March 16, 1984. Toby and Kip organized Gay Pride celebrations, worked with fledgling AIDS Foundations, and helped found gay business societies in both San Antonio and Austin. From 1988 to 1994, Johnson and Dollar ran Liberty Books, the lesbian and gay community bookstore in Austin. They were the first male couple registered as Domestic Partners in Travis County, TX in 1993.


Peregrine's Perspective B&BIn 1997, Johnson and Dollar moved to the Rocky Mountains to start a gay Bed & Breakfast called The House at Peregrine's Perspective. They lived in a wonderful three story log cabin lodge in the Denver Foothills town of Conifer, CO on the highway to Fairplay and South Park. The current highway is built along the railroad right-of-way leaving Denver for California, a route that was important to the unfolding of the plot of Johnson's historical novel Getting Life in Perspective, written in 1994. The fictional "utopian colony" in the 1880s in the novel was situated almost exactly where Kip and Toby found a house for their experiment in running a country B&B. It was a marvelous adventure, but very cold and very remote. Kip needed to be closer to his ailing parents in San Antonio.


Casa Peregrino


And so in 2000, the couple moved their B&B operation back to the Hill Country between Austin and San Antonio, to the town of Wimberley, where they called the B&B Casa Peregrino. After another three years, Johnson and Dollar sold this house (after doing major structural repair on the property) and moved to San Antonio in 2003. Johnson was completing a seven year term as editor of White Crane Journal of Gay Men's Spirituality. He passed the editorship to Bo Young and Dan Vera and shifted his own work to assisting Steve Berman's little one-man publishing venture Lethe Press bring out White Crane Books. Since that first project to preserve Gay Spirituality titles which had gone out of print (like Mark Thompson's Gay Spirit: Myth & Meaning and Johnson's own Gay Spirituality), Johnson has become Production Manager for Lethe and for the now-independent White Crane Books. He jokes that his karma must be resonating with the vibes of all those monks down through time who spent their days
in the Scriptorium copying manuscripts to preserve them for posterity, only now instead of quill and ink, the manscripts are produced with Adobe Creative Suites and Photoshop.


Kip and Toby in 2007
Kip and Toby lived six years in hometown San Antonio until after Kip's father's passing and his mother's developing a new life for herself. In 2009, they moved back to Austin. They both worked with Lethe Press, Toby as freelance editor and book designer and Kip as bookkeeper for some ten years.

Here they are at the Lammy's Awards in 2007.

 

Toby & Kip's weddingThe couple retired from Lethe Press in 2013/2014 as Toby was reaching age 70. Toby's continued doing a little literary editing and book layout and "self-publishing" for friends and previous Lethe authors. In 2018, they were legally married. There is a nice story about how they went from being denied marriage licenses in 1991 to being regsitered as Domestic Partners in 1993 to being issued a marriage license in 2018—and all by the same County Clerk, Dana DeBeauvior—an enthusiastic supporter of marriage equality all along. The marriage was performed by the Presiding Judge of the Travis Couonty Commissioners Court, Judge Sarah Eckhardt, and the official witness was Jim Fouratt, one of the founders of the gay liberation movement in 1969.

Toby as Gandhi


Toby looks like actor Ben Kingsley and so, by extension, Mahatma Gandhi. In 1996, Toby participated in an Earthwatch expedition to a small town in India. In this picture, he's wearing an Indian dhoti, the garment Gandhi often wore as an expression of solidarity with the traditional native peoples of India.


Johnson is author of three autobiographical accounts of spiritual development: The Myth of the Great Secret: A Search for Meaning in the Face of Emptiness about his discovering a modern understanding of religion; In Search of God in the Sexual Underworld about his experiences--and interpretation of events as a religion scholar--in the study of teenage prostitution; and The Myth of the Great Secret (revised edition): An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell which added substantial anecdotal material about his mentor. In 2017, Johnson updated his spiritual autobiography in the book Finding Your Own True Myth: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell: The Myth of the Great Secret III.

 

Toby Johnson is author of four gay novels: Plague: A Novel About Healing (reissued as The Fourth Quill, 2012), Secret Matter, and Getting Life in Perspective. Secret Matter, a sci-fi, romantic comedy about truth-telling and gay identity featuring a retelling of the Genesis myth with a gay-positive outcome, won a Lambda Literary Award in 1990 and in 1999 was a nominee to the Gay Lesbian Science-Fiction Hall of Fame, the first year of the award. He collaborated with historian, anthropologist Walter L. Williams on the novel Two Spirits: A Story of Life With the Navajo. And co-edited, with Steve Berman, publisher of Lethe Press, an anthology of gay-positive stories, Charmed Lives: Gay Spirit in Storytelling.

 

He is also author of Gay Spirituality: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness and Gay Perspective: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe. From 1996 to 2003, he was Editor and Publisher of White Crane: A Quarterly Journal of Gay Men's Spirituality. Finding Your Own True Myth: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell (2017) tells Johnson's personal story of learnig the real nature of religion and discovering the spiritual qualities of gay consciousness.

 

Johnson's central idea is that as outsiders with non-gender-polarized perspective homosexuals play an integral role in the evolution of consciousness--especially regarding the understanding of religion as myth and metaphor--and that for many homosexuals gay identity is a transformative ecological, spiritual, and even mystical vocation.

 

Bibliography:

 

The Myth of the Great Secret: A Search for Meaning in the Face of Emptiness (Morrow, 1982)

In Search of God in the Sexual Underworld (Morrow, 1983)

The Myth of the Great Secret: An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell (second edition, Celestial Arts, 1992)

Plague: A Novel About Healing (Alyson, 1987) reissued as The Fourth Quill (Lethe Press, 2012)

Secret Matter (Lavender Press, 1990), reissued by Lethe Press in a revised and expanded version, 2004

Getting Life in Perspective (Lavender Press, 1991), reissued by Lethe Press, 2008

Gay Spirituality (Alyson, 2001), reissued by Lethe Press/White Crane Books, 2004

Gay Perspective (Alyson 2003), reissued by Lethe Press, 2008

Two Spirits: A Story of Life with the Navajo, with Walter L. Williams (Lethe Press, 2006)

Charmed Lives: Gay Spirit in Storytelling, with Steve Berman (White Crane Books, 2006)

Finding Your Own True Myth: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell: The Myth of the Great Secret III (Peregrine Ventures, 2017)


 

With Toby Marotta (as editorial assistant):

The Politics of Homosexuality (Houghton Mifflin, 1981)

Sons of Harvard: Gay Men in the Class of '67 (Morrow, 1982)




Short bio

Toby Johnson, PhD, Lambda Literary Award-winning author of some ten books, including Secret Matter, Gay Spirituality: Gay Identity and the Transformation of Human Consciousness and Gay Perspective: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us About the Nature of God and the Universe, is past editor of White Crane Journal of gay wisdom and culture.

Former Roman Catholic monk and comparative religions scholar turned gay activist, psychotherapist, community organizer, bookseller, ’zine editor and publisher, spiritual writer and novelist, Johnson was a student and friend of Joseph Campbell, the renowned mythologist best known for his life-affirming aphorism “Follow Your Bliss.”

Toby Johnson and Kip Dollar, partners since 1984, ran Liberty Books, the lesbian and gay community bookstore in Austin, for seven years and have operated country Bed & Breakfasts in Colorado and the Texas Hill Country. Johnson and Dollar have been working as freelance editor/book designer and bookkeeper respectively with the up-and-coming gay small press, Lethe Press. They're in the process of slowly retiring from this role.



Download a Chronology of Toby Johnson's Life





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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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