Table of Contents
Also on this website:
SPIRITUALITY: The Role of
Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness
Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature
of God and the Universe
MATTER: updated, revised & expanded edition from Lethe Press
with Afterword by Mark Jordan
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
A NOVEL ABOUT HEALING.
Books on Gay Spirituality:
Crane Gay Spirituality Series
Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The
Dimensional Structure of
Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San
Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate
Why gay people should NOT Marry
Wedding Cake Liberation
Gay Marriage in Texas
Shame on the American People
The "highest form of love"
Second March on
Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality
cause of homosexuality
origins of homophobia
about Jungian ideas in gay consciousness
What is homosexuality?
is Gay Spirituality?
What Jesus said about Gay
Common Experiences Unique to Gay
Is there a "uniquely gay
The purpose of homosexuality
The Reincarnation of Edward
The Gay Succession
Interview on the Nature of
What the Bible Says about
Mesosexual Ideal for Straight Men
of Gay Spirituality
of Gay Liberation Activity
Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality
as Artistic Medium
Easton Mountain Retreat Center
Andrew Harvey &
Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and
the "Statement of Spirituality"
"It's Always About You"
The myth of the
Joseph Campbell's description of
Avalokiteshvara at the Baths.
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
The Danda Nata
& goddess Kalika
Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva
John Boswell was Immanuel Kant
The Two Loves
Toby Johnson Believes
The Joseph Campbell Connection
Campbell & The Pre/Trans Fallacy
The Nature of Religion
What's true about
Gay is a Blessing
Drawing Long Straws
Gay Spiritual Functions
The subtle workings of the spirit in gay men's lives.
The Sinfulness of
for a study of gay nondualism
"The Evolution of Gay Identity"
"St. John of the
Dark Night of the Soul."
Let Me Tell You a Secret
Religious Articulations of the
The Collective Unconscious
Driving as Spiritual Practice
Step in Evolution
The Moulting of the Holy Ghost
is a Bodhisattva
The Hero's Journey as archetype
Immaculate Conception & Assumption
Prostitution and the Nature of Evil
Hu: "God is present here"
The Life is in the Blood
retirement and the "freelance monastery"
Seeing with Different Eyes
experience at the Servites' Castle in Riverside
Great Dance according to C.S.Lewis
The Techniques Of The World Saviors
Part 1: Brer Rabbit and the
Part 2: The
Part 3: Jesus
and the Resurrection
Part 4: A
Course in Miracles
Secret of the Clear Light
Understanding the Clear Light
Souls Get Reincarnated
In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke
Karellen was a homosexual
About Alien Abduction
are you looking for in a gay science fiction novel?
about Gay Mental Health
Ideas for gay
Kip and Toby,
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"
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
Be Done on Earth
by Howard E. Cook
Pay Me What I'm Worth by
The Way Out by Christopher
The Gay Disciple by John Henson
Art That Dares by Kittredge Cherry
Coming Out, Coming Home by Kennth
the Light by B. Alan Bourgeois
Over Coffee: A conversation For Gay
Partnership & Conservative Faith by D.a. Thompson
Dark Knowledge by
Janet Planet by Eleanor
Kairos by Paul E. Hartman
with Jesus by D.K.Maylor
Kali Rising by Rudolph
Missing Myth by Gilles Herrada
Secret of the Second Coming by Howard E. Cook
The Scar Letters: A Novel
by Richard Alther
Future is Queer by Labonte & Schimel
by Charlene Spretnak
Spirituality 101 by Joe Perez
Cut Hand: A
Nineteeth Century Love Story on the American Frontier by Mark Wildyr
by Eleanor Lerman
Rizzoli by Felice Picano
to Unlocking the Closet Door by Chelsea Griffo
The Door of the
Heart by Diana Finfrock Farrar
by David Duncan
and Demion by Mel White
Gay Men and The New Way Forward by Raymond L.
Dimensional Stucture of Consciousness by Samuel Avery
Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love by Perry Brass
Mobius Strip as Geometrical Image of
condition of complete simplicity
And all shall
All manner of
shall be well
flame are in-folded
And the fire
rose are one.
Gidding" by T.S. Eliot
to Toby Johnson main page
Perspective: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us About the Nature
and the Universe.
All human beings need to connect. It's how
we join in
the general dance. Connection is what supports consciousness and human
intelligence. People who can't form interpersonal connections are
generally considered insane (infantile autism is the epitome). And sex
is one of the major ways humans connect. How we think about making
connections influences our experiences of life and love.
Built into the dualistic vision of the world is the
that virtually everything links by heterosexual connection--opposites
attract. Electrical connections plug "male” plugs into "female"
sockets. Pipes have male and female joints and connectors. According to
this mechanical model, homosexuality doesn't work because the
"plumbing" doesn't fit.
There used to be a "homosexuality cure" called Aesthetic Realism. It
argued that it is aesthetically pleasing that male and female fit
together. By contrast, male and male and female and female don't
possess the proper connectors and so are "unaesthetic." Of course, this
ignored the fact that homosexuals find members of their own sex
attractive. To homosexuals, homosexuality is aesthetically pleasing.
Like most cures, Aesthetic Realism assumed homosexuality doesn't really
Curiously, the very image that is used to prove “opposites attract”
—the way magnets seem to pull together north pole to south pole and
south pole to north pole and repel when pushed pole to pole—actually
demonstrates just the opposite. Scientific understanding of magnetism
reveals that what’s really happening is the charged fields in the atoms
of the magnets are lining up. Magnetism is really like aligning with
like: north pointing atoms line up with other north pointing atoms and
avoid the south pointing ones.
Rather than heterosexual coitus, the sexual position demonstrated by
magnetism is more like a “daisy-chain” of men all lined up performing
the same stimulation to another that someone else is performing on them.
Still, we don't have a model to demonstrate how male and male and
female and female do fit together. We need an example of how, at the
mechanical level, like connects to like. A model of homosexuality also
needs to incorporate the "twist" that captures our reversal of the
expected pattern. It is, after all, the "twist"--the fact that you have
to discover something new about yourself, "come out," and transform how
you see the world--that dominates gay experience. Our homosexuality is
a 180º shift from what we would have expected.
The Queer Twist in Nature
The wedding band is a familiar symbol for the link between two people
in sexual, spiritual and karmic relationship. The band represents how
two people become one, closing the circle, as it were. Though they are
always separated by the body of the ring itself, the inside and the
outside of the ring come together in the unity of the closed band.
Beginning with the image of the circle or band, let's introduce a twist
with interesting properties that parallel aspects of gay consciousness.
In the topographical figure called a Mobius Strip, we can find an icon
for things connecting "homosexually." And it even does something
This figure is formed by taking a thin strip of paper (like adding
machine tape) and gluing the ends together to form a circular band, but
with a twist: left and right, inside and outside are switched. This
creates a most peculiar construction. Forming the circular band
transforms it from a rectangle to a cylinder, from two dimensions to
three. But turning it back on itself with the twist moves that simple
object into another kind of dimensionality altogether; it has a kind of
queer infinity. It even looks like the infinity symbol. The surface
area of the strip now contains both sides on the same side. The
opposite poles have become each other. A Mobius Strip is an unbounded
surface with only one side and one edge: no inside, no outside, no
This is just a model, of course, an affectation. It doesn't prove
anything. But like all mythological metaphors, it offers a way of
thinking about and giving meaning to experience. It's a metaphor for
the queer twist our gay identity gives to the world. It provides a
rich, multi-layered focus for meditation. Interestingly, this twisted
figure eight pattern is the figure your folded legs form in the
half-lotus meditation posture. When you sit in meditation, you're
sitting in a Mobius twist--with your sexual center at the place of the
We discover in the metaphor that this twist is part of reality just as
much as the male-female connections of plumbing, but--in typically gay
fashion--more subtle. Homosexual personality blends masculine and
feminine, bringing the polarities together and transcending them,
putting both sides of human consciousness on the same side. The Mobius
flip is connection by reflection, like the flip in a mirror image. Our
beloved reflects our own gender, not a complementary opposite. Gay
consciousness, like the Mobius twist, connects by reflection.
One of the most famous "twists" in the discoveries of modern science is
the DNA molecule. The double-helix of DNA replicates by untwisting and
separating its two strands, then each strand links with free available
amino acids to form an exact duplicate of itself, creating a new double
helix. While the linking between the bases along the helical strands,
adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine (A,T,C,G), is key-in-lock,
forming AT, CG, TA or GC pairs, the overall resulting strands are exact
duplicates of the original--mirror images. DNA strands are not
complementary opposites; there isn't a male strand and a female strand
or even a right strand and a left strand. The DNA molecule reproduces
by reflection, by forming a mirror image of itself. DNA replicates
According to the theory of General Economy and the principle of
Biological Exuberance, nature "twists" the logic of the male dominance
imperatives. There is no scarcity, no need for competition or
hierarchy. Instead of utility, efficiency and parsimony, evolution
favors extragavance, prodigality, and diversity. Homosexuality
contributes to the biological evolution of Earth precisely by not
contributing biologically and, thereby, expanding the margins for
possibility and diversity. It is these that enhance life's fecundity.
Procreation occurs through key-in-lock connections--connections of
opposites. Connection of likes--by reflection--generates consciousness.
As we saw earlier, in the brain, the neurons generate a mirror
reflection of what the senses apprehend outside the body. This inner
world is what we are conscious of as outside. Consciousness itself is
our looking back at our own awareness as in a mirror, seeing what's
inside as though it were outside. Our minds generate a world that's
inside us--and twisted 180º, like a mirror image. In a curiously
coincidental way, this twist is actually manifested in our bodies in
the flip in the connections between the spinal cord and the brain: the
left side of the body is controlled by the right side of the brain and
vice versa. Our bodies are mirror images of our brains. For every
person, this inversion of inside and outside, left and right generates
the "queer" dimension that is consciousness.
This consciousness is the consciousness of the Earth. Joseph Campbell
said the most potent mythological image for our day is that of
Earthrise from the surface of the moon. Human beings' going to the moon
demonstrated, practically, the conquest of science and technology and,
symbolically, the stance of consciousness able to be aware of itself.
With the landing on the moon, for the first time, Earth was able to
look back on itself from outside. This is how we now have to understand
consciousness, not just from within, but from without--by stepping
outside, turning back, and looking at ourselves with an outsider's
perspective. For Campbell, this symbolized the new myth: the "myth" of
myth, spiritual consciousness understanding the nature of myth from
over and above any particular mythological system--from outside.
All people are called to this perspective. Gay people are seasoned by
our lives to assume it naturally. For to be gay is to have achieved
such consciousness about oneself. A person can behave homosexually
without being conscious of himself as homosexual, but to be conscious
and to identify as gay is necessarily to have stepped outside and
observed oneself and, therefore, to have understood one's life in a
In the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, Jesus offered a remarkably Mobius-like
observation about the Kingdom of Heaven: "When you make the male as the
female, and the female as the male, and the up as the down and the
inner as the outer, then shall you see the Kingdom of Heaven."
Jesus was talking about twisting perceptions. This paradoxical thinking
even appears in the canonical gospels: "The first shall be last and the
last shall be first" and "To gain your life you must lose it." To see
the Kingdom of Heaven, you have to change your perceptions, you have to
look at the world a different way. Overcoming the polarities, seeing
beyond male and female, is realizing such a transformation.
Around the same time that Jesus was preaching in Israel, a Buddhist
tradition was developing in India that expresses a similar idea.
Buddhist teachers, who wanted to dramatize the importance of compassion
(seeing your self in others) as a religious experience, told the story
of Avalokiteshvara, the attractive, lovable, and androgynous young
seeker. Like Jesus, Avalokiteshvara saved the world.
This mythological character--called a Bodhisattva, one
is enlightenment--is usually shown as a handsome young man sitting bare
chested in a relaxed meditation pose with one leg cocked or hanging
casually over a wall. The story goes that he was just about to enter
nirvana and escape altogether the cycles of rebirth that Buddhism
understands as the true cause of suffering. But in that final moment he
became so filled with compassion for the suffering beings he was about
to leave behind that he volunteered to forgo nirvana for himself. In an
act of world-saving generosity, he vowed to remain in the cycles of
rebirth until all other beings had entered nirvana, and to take on
himself the karmic debts of all those suffering sentient beings. At
that instant, all sentient beings were saved and ushered into nirvana
in distant mythic sacred time, leaving Avalokiteshvara alone behind to
live out all their lifetimes and all their karma for them.
Avalokiteshvara is therefore the only Being that exists.
world by becoming the world and all sentient beings--that is, all
possible perspectives on the world. He saves the world by loving the
world unconditionally, twisting the perception that the world is
separate from him and that nirvana is somewhere other than here and
now. He saves all beings--and himself--by shattering the distinction
between nirvana and the world. The Bodhisattva lives in the "Kingdom of
Heaven" because he inhabits the infinite Now.
Even as we experience the suffering of life in the world, we are all
incarnations of the Bodhisattva. We are all that One Being. We have
only to awaken to our true nature. And we do this by joyfully
participating in the world out of unconditional compassion, by saying
yes to life because that is what we have already done in sacred time as
the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
The Three Wonders
This Buddhist myth reminds us of the links between our androgynous
gayness, our delight in incarnation, and our search for spiritual
insight. For there are Three Wonders of the Bodhisattva: The first
wonder is that he transcends sexual duality, being simultaneously male
and female. The second that he transcends the difference between time
and eternity, seeing no difference between earth and heaven. And the
third wonder is that the first two wonders are the same!
The Bodhisattva's third wonder is like the twist in the Mobius strip,
doubling back on itself and giving a whole new "dimension" of meaning
to what went before. Androgyny is nirvana.
The metaphor of the "queer twist" in nature, though just a metaphor,
captures the role
gay people have played in society of promoting
culture and consciousness: We are the artists, poets, storytellers,
designers, and creators of beauty who contribute, not at the level of
biology, but at the level of mind. In meditation, you can feel the
twisted figure eight of your legs; you can visualize the DNA in your
cells twisting and untwisting; you can realize how your life and
destiny demonstrate and manifest nature's exuberance; you can imagine
your nervous system creating your internal world and sense your body as
the mirror image of your brain; you can imagine yourself as planet
Earth and look back at yourself from outside. You can remember being
Avalokiteshvara. You can find a place for your own kind of
consciousness, with your special kind of twist, in the basic nature of
things. (This lovely image of two men forming a mobius
and infinity sign together appeared in the ADVOCATE in an ad for KY
"Intrigue" brand lubricant.)
You can even go one step further, you can perform the twist in judgment
that repudiates all those male domination imperatives. Imagine yourself
judging the world--like Jesus in Michaelangelo's fresco of the Last
Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. Observe all the sin and injustice in
the world, all "man's inhumanity to man," all the failure, cruelty, and
stupidity. And then twist the judgment and forgive it all. Will that
all beings be welcomed into Heaven and that none be cast into Hell.
Then you too are participating in saving the world.
A Three-Dimensional Mobius
The Mobius Strip captures the
imagination. It's a physical representation of paradox. Though, of
course, it's just whimsy that a one-sided object with only one edge can
actually exist, that IS techincally what a Mobius Strip is: a
two-dimensional geometrical figure that is twisted into
three-dimensional space as just such an object twice as long as itself
with only one edge and one face. That play-in-thought then suggests
some additional dimension into which the "other side" and "other edge"
have been projected. It's a dimension of consciousness, a hidden
dimension. And so the Mobius Strip is a metaphor about consciousness.
idea of a three-dimensional Mobius is the Klein Bottle; but it's
imaginary; it really can't exist (the "tube" would have to pass through
the wall of the "flask" without intersecting the surface; the opening
through the wall exists only as an imaginary space).
Landsberg has found a way to extend the metaphor
into three dimensions to suggest yet another fourth. Folding the flattened strip of
the Mobius and then opening it allows a new way of seeing the shapes
embedded within it, sexual shapes, lingam and yoni.
courtesy of Yale S.Y. Landsberg; M.S. Operations Research, New York
And, lo and behold, there's the
physical manifestation of the secret gnosis revealed by the Jesus of
the St. Thomas Gospel. Landsberg's twists and folds reveal the lesson
of seeing the Kingdom of Heaven.
Was Jesus twisting one of these strips
in his fingers when he was teaching his logion of immanent salvation,
you have to wonder.
S.Y. Landsberg is the inventor of the TrueTyme Sun/Moon/Self natural
time smartclock and smartwatch app, which is described on TrueTyme.org,
and is found on Google Play. He is also a Founding Member of The
Open Conspiracy Of SCI'RE "revival" -- which seeks to reintroduce more
natural thinking methods that address the mass-education "corp-think"
issues found on John Taylor Gatto's OpenConspiracy.org