Manifesting from the Subtle Realms


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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

PLAGUE: A NOVEL ABOUT HEALING.

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


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"

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


The Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate

Why gay people should NOT Marry

The Scriptural Basis for Same Sex Marriage

Wedding Cake Liberation

Gay Marriage in Texas

What's ironic

Shame on the American People

The "highest form of love"

Second March on Washington

Why people need homosexuality to be a sin


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

Is there a "uniquely gay perspective"?

The purpose of homosexuality

The Reincarnation of Edward Carpenter

The Gay Succession

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

Monastic or Chaste Homosexuality

Is it Time to Grow Up? Confronting the Aging Process

Notes on Licking  (July, 1984)


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.

Joseph Campbell Talks about Aging

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

Buddha's father was right

Cutting edge realization

What Anatman means

The Myth of the Wanderer

Change: Source of Suffering & of Bliss

The World Navel

Manifesting from the Subtle Realms



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

Having a Church to Leave

Harold Cole on Beauty


 "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

Meditation

Historicity as Myth

Pilgrimage

No Stealing

The upsidedown book on MSNBC


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

Not lashed to the prayer-post


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


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 at the California Institute


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

About Kimberley McKell


 
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

Sanctity & Male Desire by Donald Boisvert

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 Revolutionary 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 Traditions 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

That Undeniable Longing by Mark Tedesco

Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman

Wisdom for the Soul by Larry Chang

Soulfully Gay by Joe Perez

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

Scissors, Paper, Rock by Fenton Johnson



We are God expressing divine creativity


the-death-of-the-mythic-god
I’ve been reading Jim Marion’s The Death of the Mythic God. I have been moved and occasionally “inspired” by his presentation of a modern, post-mythic mystical interpretation of the meaning of God and religion. Central to his discussion is the notion that we individualized human beings are all incarnations of “God” and that what “God” means is the universal consciousness that underlies all experience and gives rise to the world of appearances. Marion offers an evolutionary, staged theory of human development—both of the species (i.e. the planet/Gaia) and of the individual—using the models of Ken Wilber, based in the traditional esoteric wisdom of the five levels of energy vibration; Arthur Koestler, coining the word holon to refer to the “Janus-faced” hierarchy in which all things are made of wholes which, in turn, are parts of other wholes at the next level up; and Christopher Cowan and Don Beck, using a color-coding system to elucidate the subtle distinctions between levels of consciousness.

To link to this book at amazon.com, click on the title: The Death of the Mythic God: The Rise of Evolutionary Spirituality

Those traditional esoteric vibrational levels are: physical, etheric, astral, subtle, and causal; beyond these is the nondual Source itself which is mythologized as God. All of us are vibrating on these levels, including that of Source, but are seldom aware of it. Spiritual development consists, in part, of bringing these vibrations (and concomitant “powers” and abilities) into consciousness so that we participate in the whole universe-creating process knowingly and intentionally, instead of unconsciously and as “victims of circumstance.” Just holding this model in mind, perhaps in meditation, as Marion’s writing evokes, brings a sense of joy and wholeness. (The book is a spiritual experience in itself.)

In describing the subtle level of creativity, Marion, who is a Roman Catholic who now complements the spirituality of his upbringing with the insights of Religious Science and Science of Mind, explains the technique of manifesting what one needs. Here’s the explanation of the self-fulfilling prophecy at the level of karma I referred to earlier in questioning how the vow of poverty transforms itself into abundance and freedom from want.

In praying for something [like rain], what we are actually doing is declaring to God (the sole power underlying the laws of the universe) that we lack whatever it is we want. We are saying, in effect, I lack rain. God hears and accepts that affirmation of lack by us, the cocreators of the universe, and makes the lack come true. No rain comes. No healings come. No money comes. We have created lack versus abundance.

Instead . . . we must visualize what we want and “see” it coming into our lives. No doubts. Feel the rain, feel the healing, feel the green dollar bills in our hands and overflowing our pockets. Then, as Jesus taught us, we thank God ahead of time for making what we want come to pass, for, as Jesus said, God already knows our needs. God was merely waiting for us to take our own power as cocreators and create out abundance using the proper method of manifestational prayer. (p. 133)

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This is the familiar account of how Science of Mind and affirmation practice explains the cocreating process and touts the possibility of manifesting what one needs.
rich-man-poor-man
I also happened to come across a TV docu-tisement selling a training in wealth development by Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki. His book is subtitled: “Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!” The idea is that wealth is at least as dependant on psychological set and expectation as on money-making techniques. Kiyosaki offers a lesson about thinking-rich that is a secularized version of the Science of Mind practice of manifestation from the subtle realms. The first principle is to think of yourself as rich instead of as poor, that is, to expect and believe in abundance instead scarcity, to act as if you’re as rich as you want to be.

This is a notion I encountered back in California in the 70s in Werner Erhard’s life-changing est.  From those days, I remember watching fellow est-graduates get themselves in debt and running their entrepreneurial enterprises into the ground by trying to act as if they were successful when, in fact, they’d just miscalculated demand for their services and blown their budget. I learned to be skeptical of that kind of na´ve prosperity thinking.

You wonder why the “God” Marion is describing above is so simple-minded that He (or It) can’t distinguish between lack and need. When I pray for rain, God—or my own deepest unconscious—ought to be able to understand that I am affirming my need for water and sustenance, not my lack.

To be fair, est also taught the even subtler lesson behind prosperity thinking which is to choose things as they are. Then you’re participating in “God’s” act of creating, because the way things are is obviously exactly the way God’s creating them. And since you’re “God” in your own universe, what’s happening to you is exactly what God wants. “Be happy,” said Werner as a consequence of that realization.

The central teaching of est was the ancient Hermetic principle, expressed with cutesy modern klang association: What you resist persists, what you become conscious of disappears. The secret to prosperity thinking is to stop resisting (in Marion’s example, the lack of rain) and choose things as they are, then they’ll change automatically, i.e. they’ll “disappear” in order to be replaced with something else. What that something else will be is influenced, on the subtle level, by your intentions in choosing to stop resisting.

The secret power of not resisting is like the driving instruction to “steer in the direction of the skid.” Turning the wheels in the direction the car is moving allows them to gain traction so you can then steer out of the skid. And you’ll go in the direction you’re looking. Learning to ride a bicycle exemplifies this principle. The fledgling bicyclist who looks intensely and fearfully toward an object he’s afraid of hitting and then down at the handle bars trying to figure out with great effort how to turn them will invariably and seemingly uncontrollably careen right into the dreaded—and resisted—object. The expert bicyclist keeps her eyes on the road and effortlessly sails by all the objects alongside her path. You go (and unconsciously, automatically steer) in the direction you’re looking. That’s the secret of intentionality and creative visualization. That’s how you establish self-fulfilling prophecies, the details of which you don’t even have to know. “Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t even know they were going to be,” said visionary mythologist (my teacher and “wise old man”) Joseph Campbell.

Kiyosaki and Science of Mind are right that psychological set and expectation are the way to establish self-fulfilling prophecies. But spending money as if you were the rich man you want to be can be just an exercise in resistance. What I describe earlier as religious poverty can be an exercise in relinquishing resistance. It refocuses the whole issue away from want and need and desire toward the goal of doing loving service for others without caring about things like money and wealth.

Marion goes on to write:

The entire universe already exists within us. When we manifest, we are simply God expressing divine creativity. We manifest for the same reason that God manifests, namely, for the sheer pleasure and enjoyment and creativity of it, not because we “need” anything. (p. 134)

That is, moving up a level to “causal consciousness,” we see that we are not separate individualized beings, competing with one another for resources and riches. We are universal consciousness manifesting love for life and consciousness itself, “God” bootstrapping Himself into being—as the universe—out of love. And that God exists immediately in the consciousness of each of us.

The Self-Aware Universe
In the wonderful and mind-boggling book The Self-Aware Universe, subtitled: "How Consciousness creates the material world," physicist Amit Goswami presents these same ideas in the context of contemporary quantum theory. He argues that the only way to resolve the various paradoxes of this new and experimentally-convincing, if “counter-intuitive” model of the universe is to understand that consciousness is not an epiphenomenon of the material universe, but that the material universe is a creation of consciousness. He calls this model “monistic idealism.”

Goswami points out the problem with individuals thinking they can control the future by their intentions and quantum choices: everybody else is making choices too. The reason the world is in chaos is because all these choices are self-serving and conflicting. Drivers coming from different directions can’t all make the traffic lights green for themselves; one direction has to accept the red light.

alan watts
To explain this creative dynamic Beat-Zen philosopher Alan Watts offered the paradoxical expression “multiple solipsism”: we’re all creators of our own experience but we’re all operating within the context of each other’s creativity. We have to cooperate. And we can cooperate by seeing beyond the individuality of each solipsistic self.

The realization that comes with moving into what Jim Marion calls causal consciousness is that we’re all in this together, we have to cooperate with one another in how we create the universe so that it’s full of pleasure, enjoyment, and creativity for everybody, because we’re all really the same One Being. That is to say, we must align our intentions. That’s what it means to say “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Notice that familiar phrase has two different meanings. The one we usually hear is love your neighbor as much as yourself. That’s exoteric Christianity.
Janus
The esoteric meaning—and the much richer one—is to love your neighbor because he or she is yourself. Your neighbor is just you manifesting from a different perspective with a different history. We’re all the same Being. There is only One consciousness which is the whole universe and it exists, as a Janus-faced holon, in each and all of us sentient beings.



To link to this book at amazon.com, click on the title: Janus: A summing up




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Jim Marion identifies the Source level—God—as non-dual. Non-duality is, at least as I understand it, at the very heart of gay spirituality and, indeed, gay consciousness itself. Because we challenge male and female archetypes and stereotypes, being able to be both dominant and submissive, insertor and insertee in sex, and blur gender role identities, being both (and neither) husband and housekeeper, desirer and desired, handsome and pretty at the same time, we live in world of experience in which the dualities are overcome and discounted as unimportant. Transcending the polarization of male and female, we also, at least potentially, can transcend the polarization of good and evil, human and divine, self and other, God and self.
mobius bodies

In part also because being aware of being gay necessarily entails introspection and self-awareness, gay consciousness naturally pushes us toward discovering our individualized consciousness as a manifestation of Source-consciousness. And we’re apt to appreciate the paradoxicality in finding mystical oneness with God through the realization and practice of a sexuality that religion has traditionally held to be the most heinous of all sins.

Non-dual also is the distinction between self and other. We’re all incarnations of the same One Consciousness. Thus we can—and even should—align with one another to intend the prosperity of all. We’re not (as so many dualist, straight men seem to perceive) in competition with one another.

This harmony of self and other (all men and all women are potentially lovers and comrades of one another) and self and God is the message of the gay spirituality movement. This “good news” would save the world.

So money and prosperity flows as all of us involved align together to intend it to flow. That’s no surprise. That’s exactly what we’d expect: it’s as obvious as it is esoteric. Money comes to you because the people around you want to give you money in reward for what you are creating. If you’re a plumber, it’s your ending the leak or repiping the old house that your customers want to give you money for doing. Your plumbing is your participation in “God’s” creating and maintaining the universe.

We’re all One Being. As you’re reading these words displayed on your computer screen, you are creating this movement, you are creating this article, you are creating this experience. This is your own work in the world. This is how you save the world. This is how gay men align with one another to share the wisdom of our always individual, but always united, spiritual quests.

Money, it turns out, from the spiritual perspective, is love.

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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