The Next Step in Evolution


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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.

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

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


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

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


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

Meditation

Historicity as Myth

Pilgrimage

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


What is Going To Be The Next Step in Evolution?


The next step(s) in the evolution of the human race is going to happen at the level of consciousness. This is the concept proposed by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. in his mystical vision of the evolution of life on Earth from one-celled microorganisms to human beings and beyond in the book Le Phénomène Humain -- The Phenomenon of Man. Teilhard's vision proposed a kind of collective consciousness in the future in which all individual human beings would actively and directly perceive themselves as parts of a planetary mind. Teilhard called this "The Omega Point" and identified it as what we might call the metaphorand for the Mystical Body of Christ and its status as something coming in the future as the metaphorand of human evolution.

(The idea of "metaphorand" comes from Julian Jaynes who used it in the wonderful book of the early 1970s The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind as the word for the actual item in reality that the metaphors of myth and religion refers to, since they can't be spoken of or conceived of directly. To wit, metaphorize is to metaphorand as multiply is to multiplicand: i.e., the thing meaphorized is to the thing multiplied).

I propose this next step will show up as a common experience of irrepressible compassion. When we see somebody else struggling with their experience, we will automatically identify with them and feel the struggle as our own.

We will literally "feel" the sufferings and joys of others.

We do this now by effort and intention. A major function of religion is to inculcate the motivation for being compassionate. And the central rule of all ethics and morals is expressed in the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

This IS what "love" means as a commandment and a virtue of religion.

Television is making us conscious of the experience of others in a way no medium of the past ever could. Actually seeing others' plight makes us feel the plight.

We currently tend to defend ourselves against this kind of experience of compassion. It's derided as being a "bleeding heart." (Curiously, religious "conservatives" dismiss the so-called "bleeding heart liberals" even though a major icon of Christian religion is the Sacred Heart--bleeding heart--of Jesus, saving the world through compassion for sinners and forgiveness of sins.)

Interestingly, sexual identity is one of the major bulwarks against compassion. Men show themselves "manly" by repressing these kinds of sensitive feelings. And women, while feeling these feelings deeply, show themselves subservient to men by repressing them out of embarrassment.

That is, the duality that being male and female creates in human consciousness creates a barrier to being truly compassionate and kind. Indeed, this duality then shows up as the polarity of "good and evil" and the justification for not being compassionate of others is the judgment that they are "wrong" -- or that it's their own fault they are suffering.

So the next step in evolution includes getting over the apparent duality of the world into "good and evil" and "male and female."

The rise of gay consciousness and self-awareness of sexual orientation is an evolutionary step in moving human consciousness beyond the dualities.

Another element of the next step in the evolution of consciousness  (perhaps paralleling the self-awareness of differing sexual orientations in different individuals) is the self-awareness of consciousness itself.

This awareness of consciousness manifests as the realization and understanding that consciousness is the metaphorand of "God." What the myths and stories of religion are really about is the nature of consciousness. The myths are true insofar as they describe states and levels of human awareness. They are true insofar as they are about mind and inner states.

A general principle in analyzing mythology (which I learned from Joseph Campbell) is that the future represents depth of consciousness. When I say to someone I am deeply infatuated with: "I will love you forever," what I am saying really isn't about future time but about intensity in the present. When we say Jesus will come again, we really mean that our expectation of a better world comes intensely and deeply out of our being.

So the next step(s) in evolution is: 1) irrepressible automatic compassion for others and 2) waking up to the real meaning of religion and myth as clues to the nature of consciousness.

And on an individual, sexual level, this is appearing as a realization that sexual arousal and pleasure has deep value for its own sake (not just for reproduction) because it makes us conscious of the dynamics of consciousness. And valuing sexual pleasure as a good in its own right moves sexuality out of biology and into mind and therefore beyond the duality of heterosexuality.

I believe these three elements of evolution--feeling compassion, understanding myth, and transcending heterosexual roles--are all different appearances of the same thing: the self-awareness of the cosmos. And this is what is metaphorized as God's love of creation.



I learned a lot of what I think & believe about the deeper nature of the universe from Arthur C. Clarke. I've written a couple of articles about him.

Arthur C Clarke, Gay Prophet

Karellen was a Homosexual

 


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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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