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
St. Peregrine Laziosi
It was for a magical
reason that I joined the Servite Order in 1967: for I discovered that Peregrine was a Servite
St. Peregrine was a 14th
Century Italian Servite friar who’d been canonized for his good works--and for his having been miraculously
healed overnight of a melanoma
lesion on his lower leg. Peregrine is the patron saint of cancer patients and, more recently, of people
with AIDS. He’s usually shown pulling
his tunic up to
expose the lesion. (Peregrine’s malady was probably actually phlebitis; as an act of
mortification and austerity Peregrine always stood, he never sat down. That’s a sure way
to get varicose veins and phlebitis.
The instant cure is no less remarkable though! What he called his
"penance" might have been a case of sciatica. He didn't sit down
because it hurt his lower back.)
I’d become attached
to the name when, as a fervent young man fresh out of high school and about
to enter novitiate with my first Order, the Marianists, the word
“peregrination” was the secret word on a local radio station for which you could
win a prize by calling in when the D.J. used it. I was proud of myself for
knowing the relatively obscure secret word, and proud of myself for
recognizing that I was starting a true spiritual peregrination.
I was told to leave that first religious order because I was too modern and too
independent a thinker--I understand now that that was a euphemism for my
burgeoning homosexuality. But still drawn to monasticism, I soon
discovered in the Servites an Order that was seriously making an effort to
modernize AND that had a St. Peregrine. On Peregrine’s feast day, May 2, 1967, a
whole series of coincidences fell together including, interestingly,
Joseph Campbell’s notion of embarking on a “hero’s journey” and the Buddhist
bodhisattva spirituality that readers of my books will recognize as ongoing
theme--and all coordinated by a
young Servite seminarian I had a crush on (Allan Pinka).
The synchronicity seemed to me a sign I should join the Servites. I
moved in with them in the St. Louis University Grad Student dorm (the
old Coronado Hotel) and lived as a Servite seminarian my last year of
college. Then transferred to Catholic Theological Union in Chicago
where the ’Vites were combining their theologate (priesthood training)
with that of the Franciscans and the Passionists.
And what a good
decision that was! I loved living in community. I loved the brotherhood of
idealistic and innocent young men. And Servite life proved a great way for
me to finally figure out my sexual orientation--within the context of being
a spiritual pilgrim.
It also got me to San Francisco
in 1968 where the Servites had a house on Stanyan St. on the edge of
the Haight-Ashbury still heady
and hippie from the Summer of Love.
Indeed, I’d been a
hippie seminarian as a Servite. I got in trouble with them for wearing my hair too
long and--again--for being too independent a thinker. While in seminary
in Southern California, I inadvertently got to be editor of the Servite
Provincial newsletter. I really was only supposed to be the printer (because the
Provincial printing press was in the basement of the seminary). But since I
had to do the typing and layout, I couldn’t resist including my own column.
Peregrine was the
monastic name I chose as a Servite--in my second venture in Catholic
religious life. The name means
“pilgrim” or “wanderer.” It seemed like the perfect religious name. The
spiritual quest is
frequently metaphorized as a pilgrimage. Joseph Campbell likened the
effort of every person to live
rich, contributing, and worthwhile life to the “hero’s journey.” Being
a hero is saying yes to life,
achieving maturation and beauty of character, learning to cope with
challenges and difficulties --
through discovery of one’s true spiritual being as invincible and
eternal and beyond ego.
For homosexually oriented
souls, being gay is the great challenge. Being gay calls for being a
wanderer, seeking an idealized
life beyond the difficulties, for we are cast out from the conventional
roles of householder and paterfamilias,
discover our own special path. The journey is to wholeness and virtue,
to fullness of experience, and
to being a source of love and joy in a world so often bereft of love
and joy these days.
Being a pilgrim or
wanderer means accepting the insecurity of life, being open to change.
It’s the opposite of being a
householder obsessed with stability and safety--and self-reliance.
Being a wanderer puts you at
the mercy of the seasons and vissicitudes of human history. It means
sometimes relying on the kindness
of strangers and being a stranger yourself and a hero, on a quest,
doing good deeds and showing kindness
along the way.
Being a wanderer means placing your faith in something bigger than
yourself and your own powers.
Being a spiritual wanderer means responding to signs--“karmic
resonances"--to reveal the
path you should be following. It may mean believing in luck,
I wrote an article
reminding the Servite Fathers that the Order was
originally founded as
mendicant at the time of the Franciscan reform of monasticism, meaning the
Servites were supposed to practice an especially rigorous form of poverty. I
wrote that I thought they ought to abandon their automobiles and hitchhike
around Los Angeles --relying on the kindness of strangers. You can see
the hippie in me in that advice! It wasn’t long after that I was out of my
second religious Order and standing by the side of California Highway 101,
hitchhiking to San Francisco: a true mendicant seeking liberation.
The funny thing was
that here I’d taken the name Peregrine who’s always shown with his staff
and begging bowl and his skirt hiked up showing his leg--just like Claudette
Colbert in "It Happened One Night," teaching Clark Gable how to hitchhike!
have taken me on many a turn since then. The next step was going to be to discover gay
activism, to meet Joseph Campbell, to find that I could write books that got
published, and in quite a surprising way to “heal” a boyfriend of cancer (by
insisting he go to a doctor urgently and, the next day, undergo emergency
surgery—on May 2nd, St. Peregrine’s Day). My pilgrim steps then led me to be a
gay psychotherapist, then gay bookseller,
novelist, and with Kip (now
through 19 years), quasi-eremitical gay
Spring 2003 White Crane
As evidenced elsewhere on this website, I have a great
fascination with the Buddhist character Avalokiteshvara.
have come upon this modern icon (by Nicholas Markell) of St. Peregrine
looking awfully much like the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.