Table of Contents
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
THE FOURTH QUILL, a
novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil
CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into Gold: Reclaiming Our Queer Spirituality Through Story
Books on Gay Spirituality:
Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The
Dimensional Structure of
Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"
The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the "Statement of Spirituality"
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
The way to get to heaven
Buddha's father was right
Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal
The Danda Nata & goddess Kalika
Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva
John Boswell was Immanuel Kant
The Two Loves
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
Very succinctly, here's what I think the message of gay spirituality is:
1) Being gay/queer imbues us with a talent for seeing life and human culture, as an outsider, from over and above. AND the transformation that is occurring in the evolution of consciousness of Planet Earth includes understanding religion as myth and symbol about the nature of consciousness AND this understanding is achieved (and caused) by observing religion from over and above; hence, being gay potentially gives us a "higher consciousness" of the nature of religion and "God" on the "cutting edge of evolution." This higher perception of what religion is really about is what my "wise old man" Joseph Campbell hypothesized as "the new myth."
2) Because gay people--at least archetypally--are not attracted across the gender polarity of human biology, we are less concerned with polarization and, potentially, can experience the world nondually. I.e., in our homosexuality we can find clues and training in thinking "both/and" in contrast to "either/or" and so are less concerned with things like "right and wrong," "good and evil," "licit and illicit," "clean and dirty," (even "here and there" and "now and then"), "samsara and nirvana," "time and eternity," "heaven and earth," "us and them," "male and female." This is a kind of "enlightenment."
3) The myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara--the world savior in Mahayana Buddhism--provides a wonderful clue to the spiritual nature of gay consciousness that is self-aware of being myth and so consistent with the outsider stance on religion and which reveals the real message of the "new myth." Avalokiteshvara--this cute, lovable, androgynous boy whom everybody who knows him loves and who sits out in the garden barechested in a relaxed half-lotus posture, wearing women's jewelry--has "saved the world" by taking on everybody's incarnation for them so they could go on into nirvana; so ALL of us are incarnations of the bodhisattva so there isn't even a dualism of "I" and "other." There are three wonders of the Bodhisattva: 1) ze is both male and female demonstrating the best qualities of each sex and gender; 2) to the Bodhisattva there is no distinction between time and eternity, samsara and nirvana: this, our present life, IS heaven; and--here's the kicker--the Third Wonder is that the first two wonders are the same. Seeing beyond gender roles is seeing heaven now.
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
SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of
Human Consciousness was published in 2000. His Lammy-nominated
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
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