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Also on this website:


Toby Johnson's books:

Toby's books are available as ebooks from smashwords.com, the Apple iBookstore, etc.


Finding Your Own True Myth - The Myth of the Great Secret III

FINDING YOUR OWN TRUE MYTH: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell: The Myth of the Great Secret III


Gay Spirituality

GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness


Gay Perspective


GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe


Secret Matter


SECRET MATTER, a sci-fi novel with wonderful "aliens" with an Afterword by Mark Jordan


Getting Life

GETTING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE:  A Fantastical Gay Romance set in two different time periods


The Fourth Quill

THE FOURTH QUILL, a novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil




Two Spirits
TWO SPIRITS: A Story of Life with the Navajo, a collaboration with Walter L. Williams



charmed lives
CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into Gold: GaySpirit in Storytelling, a collaboration with Steve Berman and some 30 other writers


Myth of the Great Secret


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



In Search of God


IN SEARCH OF GOD IN THE SEXUAL UNDERWORLD: A Mystical Journey



Unpublished manuscripts


About ordering


Books on Gay Spirituality:

White Crane Gay Spirituality Series


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  Toby has done five podcasts with Harry Faddis for The Quest of Life

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  Articles and Excerpts:

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


A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality


Why gay people should NOT Marry


The Scriptural Basis for Same Sex Marriage


Toby and Kip Get Married


Wedding Cake Liberation


Gay Marriage in Texas


What's ironic



Shame on the American People


The "highest form of love"


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Gay Consciousness


Why homosexuality is a sin


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


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


The Gay Succession


Wouldn’t You Like to Be Uranian?


The Reincarnation of Edward Carpenter


Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality as Artistic Medium


Easton Mountain Retreat Center


Andrew Harvey & Spiritual Activism


The Mysticism of Andrew Harvey


The upsidedown book on MSNBC


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Enlightenment


"It's Always About You"



The myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara


Joseph Campbell's description of Avalokiteshvara


You're Not A Wave



Joseph Campbell Talks about Aging



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



What Anatman means



Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal



The Danda Nata & goddess Kalika



Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva



John Boswell was Immanuel Kant



Cutting edge realization



The Myth of the Wanderer



Change: Source of Suffering & of Bliss



World Navel



What the Vows Really Mean



Manifesting from the Subtle Realms



The Three-layer Cake & the Multiverse


The est Training and Personal Intention



Effective Dreaming in Ursula LeGuin's The Lathe of Heaven


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Gay Spirituality


Curious Bodies


What Toby Johnson Believes


The Joseph Campbell Connection


The Mann Ranch (& Rich Gabrielson)


Campbell & The Pre/Trans Fallacy


The Two Loves


The Nature of Religion


What's true about Religion


Being Gay is a Blessing


Drawing Long Straws


Freedom of Religion


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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


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Marian Doctrines: Immaculate Conception & Assumption


Not lashed to the prayer-post


Monastic or Chaste Homosexuality


Is It Time to Grow Up? Confronting the Aging Process


Notes on Licking  (July, 1984)


Redeem Orlando


Gay Consciousness changing the world by Shokti LoveStar


Alexander Renault interviews Toby Johnson



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Mystical Vision


"The Evolution of Gay Identity"


"St. John of the Cross & the Dark Night of the Soul."


Avalokiteshvara at the Baths


 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


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The Hero's Journey


The Hero's Journey as archetype -- GSV 2016


The  Gay Hero Journey (shortened)


You're On Your Own


Superheroes


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Seeing Differently


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


What are you looking for in a gay science fiction novel?


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The Vision


The mystical experience at the Servites'  Castle in Riverside


A  Most Remarkable Synchronicity in Riverside


The Great Dance according to C.S.Lewis


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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


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The Secret of the Clear Light


Understanding the Clear Light


Mobius Strip


Finding Your Tiger Face


How Gay Souls Get Reincarnated


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Joseph Campbell, the Hero's Journey, and the modern Gay Hero-- a five part presentation on YouTube


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About Alien Abduction


In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke


Karellen was a homosexual


The D.A.F.O.D.I.L. Alliance


Intersections with the movie When We Rise


More about Gay Mental Health


Psych Tech Training


Toby at the California Institute


The Rainbow Flag


Ideas for gay mythic stories


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People


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 Mark Thompson


About Sterling Houston


About Michael Stevens


The Alamo Business Council


Our friend Tom Nash


Second March on Washington


The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the "Statement of Spirituality"


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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


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 Revotutionary 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 Traditons 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


Soulfully Gay by Joe Perez


That Undeniable Longing by Mark Tedesco


Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman


Wisdom for the Soul by Larry Chang


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


Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society by Robert A. Minor


Coming Out: Irish Gay Experiences by Glen O'Brien


Queering Christ by Robert Goss


Skipping Towards Gomorrah by Dan Savage


The Flesh of the Word by Richard A Rosato


Catland by David Garrett Izzo


Tantra for Gay Men by Bruce Anderson


Yoga & the Path of the Urban Mystic by Darren Main


Simple Grace by Malcolm Boyd


Seventy Times Seven by Salvatore Sapienza


What Does "Queer" Mean Anyway? by Chris Bartlett


Critique of Patriarchal Reasoning by Arthur Evans


Gift of the Soul by Dale Colclasure & David Jensen


Legend of the Raibow Warriors by Steven McFadden


The Liar's Prayer by Gregory Flood


Lovely are the Messengers by Daniel Plasman


The Human Core of Spirituality by Daniel Helminiak


3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke


Religion and the Human Sciences by Daniel Helminiak


Only the Good Parts by Daniel Curzon


Four Short Reviews of Books with a Message


Life Interrupted by Michael Parise


Confessions of a Murdered Pope by Lucien Gregoire


The Stargazer's Embassy by Eleanor Lerman


Conscious Living, Conscious Aging by Ron Pevny


Footprints Through the Desert by Joshua Kauffman


True Religion by J.L. Weinberg


The Mediterranean Universe by John Newmeyer


Everything is God by Jay Michaelson


Reflection by Dennis Merritt


Everywhere Home by Fenton Johnson


Hard Lesson by James Gaston


God vs Gay? by Jay Michaelson


The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path by Jay Michaelson


Roxie & Fred by Richard Alther


Not the Son He Expected by Tim Clausen


The 9 Realities of Stardust by Bruce P. Grether


The Afterlife Revolution by Anne & Whitley Strieber


AIDS Shaman: Queer Spirit Awakening by Shokti Lovestar


Facing the Truth of Your Life by Merle Yost


The Super Natural by Whitley Strieber & Jeffrey J Kripal


Secret Body by Jeffrey J Kripal


In Hitler's House by Jonathan Lane


Walking on Glory by Edward Swift


The Paradox of Porn by Don Shewey


Is Heaven for Real? by Lucien Gregoire


Scissors, Paper, Rock by Fenton Johnson




Toby Johnson's Books on Gay Men's Spiritualities:




Gay
Perspective cover
Gay Perspective

Things Our [Homo]sexuality
Tells Us about the
Nature of God and
the Universe


Gay Perspective audiobook
Gay Perspective is available as an audiobook narrated by Matthew Whitfield. Click here







Gay
Spirituality cover
Gay Spirituality

Gay Identity and 
the Transformation of
Human Consciousness



gay-spirituality-audiobook
Gay Spirituality   is now available as an audiobook, beautifully narrated by John Sipple. Click here








charmed lives
Charmed Lives: Gay Spirit in Storytelling

edited by
Toby Johnson
& Steve Berman







secret matter
Secret Matter

Lammy Award Winner for Gay Science Fiction

updated







Getting Life
Getting Life in Perspective

A Fantastical Romance





Getting
Life in Perspective audiobook
Getting Life in Perspective is available as an audiobook narrated by Alex Beckham. Click here 






The Fourth Quill

The Fourth Quill

originally published as PLAGUE




johnson-the-fourth-quill-audiobook
The Fourth Quill is available as an audiobook, narrated by Jimmie Moreland. Click here






Two
Two Spirits: A Story of Life with the Navajo

with Walter L. Williams




Two Spirits
audiobookTwo Spirits  is available as an audiobook  narrated by Arthur Raymond. Click here






Finding Your Own True Myth - The Myth of the Great Secret III
Finding Your Own True Myth:
What I Learned from Joseph Campbell

The Myth of the Great Secret III








In
Search of God in the Sexual Underworld
In Search of God  in the Sexual Underworld










The Myth of the Great Secret II

The Myth of the Great Secret: An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell.

This was the second edition of this book.




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Toby Johnson's titles are available in other ebook formats from Smashwords.



Sufi Wisdom

Sufi Heart

Jesus said the Kingdom of God does not come by expectation; it will not be here or there, for the Kingdom is spread across the earth and people do not see it. The Kingdom of God is within you. To discover the Kingdom we must change the way we see the world and the flesh. We must change ourselves. That, of course, is precisely what is accomplished by the hero's journey. Of that accomplishment, Campbell says:

The aim is not to see, but to realize that one is, that essence; then one is free to wander as that essence in the world. Furthermore: the world too is of that essence. The essence of oneself and the essence of the world: these two are one. Hence separateness, withdrawal, is no longer necessary. Wherever the hero may wander, whatever he may do, he is ever in the presence of his own essence--for he has the perfected eye to see. (The Hero with a Thousand Faces, page 386)


The vision of the unity and goodness of the world is born in our own private and collective intention to transform the way we see things, to honor one another's struggle for self-actualization, interpreting it as an adjunct of our own. It calls us to affirm the choice of life-style of everyone, seeing, in each, God's decision to experience the world, even when that style seems as alien to ours as homosexuality or prostitution.

"For the world and time are the dance of the Lord in emptiness," wrote Thomas Merton: 

The silence of the spheres is the music of a wedding feast. The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity, and despair. But it does not matter very much, because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there. Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds, ands join in the general dance. (New Seeds of Contemplation, page 297)


For several years, I had regularly attended the Monday night meetings of San Francisco's Sufi Community. Worshipping with the Sufis was always uplifting and fun, mainly because the major practice of the worship was dance.

Sufism is the mystical tradition of Islam. Sufi Masters have developed a variety of practices to induce mystical states of consciousness. Jalaluddin Rumi, a thirteenth-century Persian Sufi and founder of the Mevlana Order, developed ritual dance. Because his dances consisted mostly of turning in place or spinning around a central point or pillar, Rumi's mendicant (in Persian, darvish) disciples came to be known in the West as "whirling dervishes."

Hazrat Inayat KhanIslam is a Western monotheistic religion. But because of geography it has always been more exposed than European Christianity to a plurality of religious beliefs. It is not surprising that Sufism responded earlier to the birth of the modern age by developing pluralistic world religion otfshoots. In the mid-nineteenth century in India, Sufi philosopher Hazrat Inayat Khan developed such a synthesis of religious ideas. Inayat Kahn's Sufism was brought to America as The Sufi Order of the West by his son, Pir Vilayat Kahn, and by an American disciple, Sam Lewis.

Obsessed with the mystical quest, Lewis, a San Francisco bohemian, had traveled to Japan to practice Zen and to India to study Sufism. In the early 1960s he returned to the United States an apostle with little idea of how to proceed. One day, while he was meditating in his little apartment on Clementina Street in San Francisco's South of Market district, he received an intuition to go to the Haight-Ashbury.
Sufi Sam
In those days the Haight was full of hippies playing in the streets, wandering around in LSD-induced trances. Some of them reported that as Sam Lewis walked down the street, he appeared surrounded by brilliant light. The hippies would follow him, like a Pied Piper, to Golden Gate Park, where he taught Sufi chants and later the dance practices that came to him in his meditations. The dances were simple rhythmic repetitive circle dances, like those taught kindergarten children.

Soon Lewis developed a regular following. He moved to a house on Precita Avenue in the Bernal Heights district to make room for a community of students. Though he died in 1971, after only three years of teaching, his Sufi community grew strong and continued to hold meetings to perform the dances in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Marin County.

Sufism of the West has spread all over the United States. When the hippies left San Francisco as that phase of the counterculture ended, those who'd been affected by Sam Lewis took the dances, under the rubric "Dances of Universal Peace," with them back to their hometowns or country communes. (After my own departure from San Francisco to the Smoky Mountains, I found a thriving community of Sufis outside Asheville, North Carolina, still performing the dances.)

sufi heartThe symbol of the Sufis is a winged heart. Sufism, its Masters say, is not a way of the head but of the heart. The way to fly to God is to open the heart, to be human and to love and offer life in service to God and to others. The primary mystical teaching of Sufism is contained in the Sufi interpretation of the Islamic credo La Ilaha El Allah Hu. What most Moslems interpret as a declaration of monotheism, "There is no God but Allah," the Sufis understand as a revelation of ultimate unity: "There is no reality but God." To remind themselves of the implications of this, Sufis sometimes greet one another Ya Azim: "How wonderfully God manifests to me through you."

At that time, the present head of the San Francisco community was Wali Ali Meyer, a Jewish Mississippian who had followed Lewis to the park one day. Wali Ali usually conducted the Monday night classes. He was no spaced-out guru and didn't look like a flower. He was a big man with a bushy beard and hair pulled back into a ponytail. He told jokes and made light of himself. Sometimes he was cross and grouchy.

One night Wali Ali was leading us in a dance based on the phrase Ya Azim. The chant went: Ya azim, hu, hu, Allah hu, Allah hu, Allah hu, Allah hu, hu, hu, hu, hu, Assalaam aleikhum wa aleikhum assalaam. Allah, of course, means God. Hu is an intensive; it means God himself, God present here. Assalaam aleikhum means "the peace of God be with you." This was a "greeting dance": everyone in the three concentric circles paired with a partner and after each repetition of the chant moved on to a new partner for the next cycle.

Each cycle began with a bow to the partner on the words "Ya Azim." From then on, one was turning most of the time. For what the dervishes and also the Shakers had discovered, and which we'd all known as children and have perhaps rediscovered in the discos, is that spinning around can make one ecstatic. As I was doing that dance, going faster and faster as Wali Ali encouraged the drummer to speed up the rhythm, I realized the meaning of the words I was singing: "God himself, God himself. "

Sufi Sam LewisI moved to the next partner, I bowed, "Ya Azim." I saw I was bowing to God. And I realized that not only was the partner God for me, but I was God for my partner. For a moment the world changed. For a moment I saw all things as One--unseparated. The subject-object distinction that is so much a part of my everyday perception disappeared. As I moved on to several more partners I saw that it didn't make any difference whether they were men or women, beautiful or ugly, appealing or repulsive, the dance went on and on.

I remained in that state of vision for the rest of the evening and after I left the hall, I realized that vision extended to everyone, not just fellow dervishes. That dance was a microcosm of the Great Dance that is God's creation of the universe. The electrons spin in dance around their nuclei, the planets about their suns. The galaxies spin with one another. And they're all chanting: "Allah hu, Allah hu, Peace be with you!"


from In Search of God in the Sexual Underworld: A Mystical Journey (Morrow, 1983)

This excerpt from In Search of God continues on the webpage titled Seeing With Different Eyes.

sufi dancing


Watch videos of the Dances of Universal Peace






Neil Douglas-Klotz
Neil Douglas-Klotz is a scholar of Near-Eastern Religion and language, who's best known for his translation of the words of Jesus back into Aramaic in order to discover the real richness of Jesus's teachings, much of which was lost in the translation into New Testament Greek.

In an interesting--and marvelous--coincidence for Toby Johnson, Neil Douglas-Klotz, who nows lives in Scotland, was, during the 1970s, one of the musicians who stood in the center of the circle with Wali Ali at Monday Night Sufi Dancing in San Francisco. Douglas-Klotz was present during the experience described
above. back to narrative

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Toby Johnson, PhD is author of nine 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, four 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 and editor of a collection of "myths" of gay men's consciousness. 

Johnson's book GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness won a Lambda Literary Award in 2000.

His  GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our [Homo]sexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe was nominated for a Lammy in 2003. They remain in print.

FINDING YOUR OWN TRUE MYTH: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell: The Myth of the Great Secret III tells the story of Johnson's learning the real nature of religion and myth and discovering the spiritual qualities of gay male consciousness.

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