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
The Two Loves are:
love by reflection
~ ~ ~
The Two Loves is a theme that runs through gay spiritual
Below are several different but parallel and relatively consistent
expositions of this idea.
spirituality writer Joseph "Joe" Perez writes extensively and
these two facets of reality in what he titles a Theory of Homophilia.
In the Integral
Life website, Perez is described as "an ambassador of the Integral
[espoused by Ken Wilber] to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender
community. Perez advances the idea that sexual and gender diversity is
best understood as a tetra-arising object of evolution. He suggests
that "gayness" or "homophilia" is a deep structure inherent in human
nature (corresponding to self-immanence or Agape in Ken Wilber's theory
of holonic tenets), and this structure takes on a variety of diverse
forms. Accordingly, Perez views the contemporary worldwide gay rights
movement as an important event in the emergence of greater and deeper
Perez argues that there are
four major patterns, archetypal and universal: masculine, feminine,
other-directed, and same-directed. Love is a manifestation of the
soul’s desire to be reunited with God both as love for others
(heterophilia) and love for the self or similar (homophilia).
N.B. Joe Perez technically posits a "distinction between
what is human and what is divine" that I run rough shod over in my
poetical/orcular declarations below in the summary of God as One with
In Gay Spirituality 101, Perez writes:
The inescapable conclusion is that Love must flow in two directions:
from God to Creation and then returning fromCreation to God (or from
Spirit to the soul, and back again from soul to Spirit). These
directions are often described philosophically as Agape and Eros
respectively. There are many ways to describe these two direcftions,
but one is mor primordial than the others: "There are two archetypal
ways of loving—yin and yang… inner-directed or same-directed ways…[and] outer-directed or
Another way of talking about outer-directed love is other-directed love and
inner-directed love is same-directed
love. And because the Greek prefix homo-
means same and hetero-
means other, we see that Heterophilia is the yang direction of Love and
Homophilia is its yin direction. Homophilia, also known as "gayness,"
is ontologically at the Root of All Things as an expression of Agape,
describing how God loves creation; it is also expressed as the force of
involution which complements evolution.
about Joseph "Joe" Perez.
Toby Johnson's brief, 5-star review of Perez's Gay Spirituality 101
~ ~ ~ ~
Toby Johnson (writer of
this webpage) suggested a similar notion in the book The Myth of the Great Secret
|The universe can be seen as dual; it
can be seen as unitary. God is the lover seeking his complementary
opposite in the world, and the lover beholding the goodness in his/her
own reflection. God is the solitary pleasuring self, the adventurer
playing joyfully in the world, and the mother giving birth. All of the
styles of sexuality can be divinized.
It's an indication of consistency of gay spiritual thinking that Perez
and Johnson express similar ideas. And it's an evolution in gay
spirituality that Perez introduces this idea to followers of Ken Wilber
and expresses it in Wilber's Integral terminology, much as Johnson
presented this idea to fans of Joseph Campbell and expressed it in
Campbellian mythic themes. (Read Toby Johnson's article on the Integral Theory
Here's an excerpt from The Myth of the Great Secret: A Search for
Spiritual Meaning in the Face of Emptiness (Johnson's first
edition of this book.)
arousal, whether experienced with the participation of another person
or enjoyed alone in the presence only of oneself and one’s fantasies,
alters consciousness. The state of arousal itself manifests God’s
pleasuring himself in the creative act whereby the universe came to
be—full of beauty and full of embodiment for each of us. The desires of
the flesh, the myths warn, can lead us away from God, but they can also
be divinized by understanding them as promptings of life seeking its
own vibrant enjoyment. And as Saint Paul—of all people—recognized,
attraction metaphorizes the relation between God and the world, between
spirit and matter.
Attraction, sexual and
nonsexual, between a woman and a man witnesses to the interplay of
opposites which generates the world. Chinese philosophy calls these
primal forces the yin and the yang, dark and light, receptive and
creative, passive and active, feminine and masculine. Female and male
are special cases of these polarities. The attraction between male and
female manifests the duality that stirs creation.
In the same way, attraction,
nonsexual and sexual, between two men or between two women witnesses to
the ultimate unity of the world beyond duality. Monistic philosophies
have seen that beneath the apparent swirl of polarities, ever growing,
ever changing, clashing in conflict and cooperating in love, lies a
deeper stratum in which all is at rest in a self-mirroring perception
that all is one and that the opposites are illusory. The attraction
between same-sex individuals manifests the identity that precedes the
in dealing with
the tradition-violating styles of sexual behavior that modern society
seems to be moving toward and that the churches have long condemned, we
must seek to understand the signs that guide our wandering. The
condemnations may provide signs for some, but not for others. The signs
can never be taken only at face value. Choosing one’s own sexual
style—deciding not to get married or to pursue a variety of partners or
to come out as gay—breaks with tradition. In such a life the position
of the tradition may assist growth, because it forces deep personal
retrenchment and self-evaluation in which the individual grows ever
more conscious. The dilemma posed by the old morality that must be
overthrown can drive the mind beyond the superficial rules into a state
in which one sees that one must take responsibility for one’s own
experience and so let go of morality as an outside force and integrate
it into one’s own personal code of behavior. Violating taboos, the
Tantrics of both Buddhism and Hinduism have discovered, can be
spiritually compelling and enriching.
Of course, it is not
necessary that taboos be violated, but it probably is necessary that
the sometimes confusing and disturbing, yet always alluring and
compelling, sexual feelings be placed in a context which divinizes
them. The universe can be seen as dual; it can be seen as unitary. God
is the lover seeking his complementary opposite in the world, and the
lover beholding the goodness in his/her own reflection. God is the
solitary pleasuring self, the adventurer playing joyfully in the world,
and the mother giving birth. All of the styles of sexuality can be
The Second edition (1992) added this material—which then
includes a kind of theory of sex:
body-work-oriented psychotherapy, has discovered that sexuality has
other functions in human beings besides reproduction.
engaging in sex outside the reproductive context has been called
indulging our animal nature. It is precisely the opposite. Animal
nature is to copulate instinctively only to produce progeny. As Jacob
Bronowski observed, what is natural for human beings is certainly not
behavior that is found also in animals, but what is different and
unique to humans. Human beings, of course, feel the instinct to produce
progeny, but that is only part of our sexual experience. (Our
over-populated world proves we needn’t fear that condoning
non-procreative sex will threaten racial survival.) Precisely the way
we differ from animals that have rigid sexual cycles and less involving
and less orgasmic intercourse is that human sexual contact involves
consciousness and volition.
According to Reichian and
neo-Reichian body-work therapists, the whole body is involved in
psychological processes; consciousness and intelligence are not merely
in the brain. They have discovered that traumas, fears, negative
conditioning, and the like result in tightness and restrictions in the
body that distort both psychological and purely physical processes.
These can result not only in neurosis and mental illness, but also in
psychosomatic disorders, cardiovascular disease and perhaps even cancer.
practicing better and more complete releases of tension through crying,
screaming, vomiting, and coming to orgasm. Learning to allow spasmodic
release and emotional catharsis helps prevent deformation of the
nervous system. The surge of energy during orgasm can break open the
blocks and keep the system clear of restrictions to the vital flow. The
role of orgasm in the human being then is more than just ejaculation or
reception of genetic material. The aim of “total orgasm” is not simply
to get a narcissistic satisfaction, as suggested by many critics of the
California-based fascination during the seventies with bigger and
better orgasms, but to activate an important self-regulating mechanism
in the mind-body system.
mythologically—kundalini in Tantrism, for instance—as a conscious
experience of cosmic energy. Orgasm is certainly an experience of
neurological dynamics. It has no content. Like a dream it is forgotten
almost as soon as it is over.
Perhaps the function of sex
and orgasm in human beings has been not only to clear the individual
nervous system but—and consequently—to affect the way the nervous
system itself has evolved. Human beings are sexually motivated
differently from almost every other species on our planet. Because
women’s sexual interest is not restricted by an estrus cycle, human
beings are sexually and psychologically available and motivated all the
time. We engage in sexual foreplay beyond instinctual seduction
rituals. We experience orgasm more completely, it appears, than other
Indeed, our females have
orgasms, something not particularly needed for the continuation of the
species (as, sadly, generations of women suffering religion-induced
frigidity can attest). And, at least among land animals, we alone have
developed sophisticated language and complex brain functions. Perhaps
our sexuality is in some ways responsible for, or at least intrinsic
to, our evolution of intelligence and conscious thought.
In discussing the role of the
spiritual aspects of consciousness, I’ve been suggesting that perhaps
the ability to experience wonder, to feel curiosity, to develop myth,
and to ask questions forced open the neural pathways that directed the
path of survival up toward consciousness and humanity. Similarly,
sexuality can be understood as the experience in the flesh of what in
the mind is wonder and curiosity. Sexual attraction is the desire to
know another’s body, to feel the flesh, to experience the rhythms of
the other’s movement. It is the drive to enter into relationship with
the other, to try to see from the other’s perspective, and so to add
complexity to one’s own experience of life. And within the act of
lovemaking itself, sex is the experience of joy in being embodied and
of the body being caught up by a deeply primal, transpersonal force.
is not surprising that one consequence of such an experience of wonder
should be genetic transfer and reproduction of life through time and
through evolutionary advance. Sex as experience of the life force
perhaps precedes sex as a tool for reproduction. Our sexuality, far
from being a distraction from God, can be understood as the instrument
by which God created us and continues to manifest Godself to us.
in the sense
that all of us are manifestations of the One Self, our experience of
loving another person is our participation in the divine love for
creation. And our experience of being loved is our perception of God’s
love for us. Indeed God has no way to demonstrate love for creatures
except through the creatures’ love for one another. This love for
creation is not some curious will that creatures overcome their
corporality. The flesh is the mode of creation. God’s love for us and
our love for God is experienced in our flesh.
We are blinded to the
holiness of the flesh by fear and desire, by the tendency of the senses
to get stuck, to delude us into believing we are just egos, by our
failure to see the whole, to see life in context, by our failure “to
see the forest for the trees.” Of course the importance of sex can be
exaggerated and desire can get out of hand. But we will not develop
vision by fleeing the flesh, by condemning our sexuality, by making
other people wrong for enjoying sex, by refusing to love God’s
manifestation in the flesh. A positive attitude toward sex can help
bring us into touch with the resurrected body we carry, so
unconsciously, along with us all our lives.
Isn’t this positive attitude,
this affirmation of incarnated human life, what is meant by the
saviors’ embrace of the human condition—even of sin and suffering? “God
so loved the world…”
~ ~ ~ ~
Harry Hay & Will Roscoe
Hay, titular Founder of the modern Gay Rights Movement and creator in
spirit of the Radical Faeries and inevitable influence on all gay
thinking, described these two loves (a litlte more cynically than I or
Joe Perez) as subject-object and subject-SUBJECT.
Wikipedia provides a succinct description (based on writing in Radically Gay: Gay Liberation in the Words
of its Founder, edited by Will Roscoe (1996):
Subject-SUBJECT consciousness, a
concept proposed by Harry Hay believed by Hay to be gay people's unique
perspective on the world.
Hay saw heterosexual society existing in a subject-object dynamic;
where men, who had the culturally acceptable power, saw only themselves
as subject and therefore higher than women, who were treated as objects
and property. Hay extrapolated this interpersonal-sexual dynamic
(male-power:female-subordinate) into a broader social context,
believing that the subject-object relationship was the driving force
behind most all of societies ills. Objectification served as a barrier,
emotionally separating an individual (subject) from another individual
by dehumanizing them, making them object.
When Hay looked at same-sex relationships, however, he saw a different
dynamic at work. He believed that homosexual relationships were based
on mutual respect and empathy for the other: a longing for a companion
who was as equally valuable as the self. Hay termed this
interpersonal-sexual dynamic subject-SUBJECT (which Hay capitalized for
emphasis in all of his writings). He believed that this subject-SUBJECT
way of viewing the world was gay people's most valuable contribution to
the greater society. By empathizing with all people, relating to each
other as equal-to-equal, society would change drastically and social
injustices would be eradicated.
~ ~ ~ ~
Edward Carpenter (29
August 1844 – 28 June 1929), proto-gay writer, philosopher, scholar and
life even today, wrote of love that can be understood to include these
"two loves." He defined love as the aim of non-differentiation:
In Love's Coming of Age, a book
written about sexuality in general (i.e., primarily heterosexuality),
that in the long run people tend to settle down into one deep permanent
but along the way they ought to be experiencing a variety of
relationships and sexual adventures. And he warns that the ideal of
attachment can lapse into a mere stagnant double selfishness. That is,
today's sexual liberationists, he calls for love and devotion
individuals without the quality of their love being defined by
based in jealousy, a petty sense of private property in the other
social opinions, and legal enactments. These, he says, suffocate wedded
egoism, lust, and, meanness. Most importantly, Carpenter writes
sex--"with a sense almost of religious
consecration"--speaking of it as a good
thing in human consciousness, not a sign or cause of human frailty and
Sex is the allegory of Love in the
It is from this fact that it derives its immense power. The aim of Love
non-differentiation --absolute union of being; but absolute union
can only be
found at the centre of existence. Therefore whoever has truly found
found not only that other, and with that other himself, but has found
third--who dwells at the centre and holds the plastic material of
in the palm of his hand, and is a creator of sensible forms.
Notice that in
cited, though intended to be understood as about male-female bonding in
marriage, the pronouns are impersonal enough to include homosexual
the aim he proposes for Love, "non-differentiation," is
clearly something much
more homosexual than heterosexual. Men in love with women hardly think
themselves as becoming non-differentiated from
femaleness. Males in
females do not think of themselves as becoming womanly, certainly not
way that homosexual lovers think of themselves becoming one another. So
kind of homosexual connection, generalized to the point of seeming to
male-female connections, that Carpenter offers as the immense power of
(capitalized, perhaps, to accord it that "religious
of Edward Carpenter and life partner George Merrill, early 20th
including the relatively gay-positive ones like Richard von
book was titled Psychopathia sexualis, Carpenter included homosexuality as
discussion of general sexuality and
not as a pathology. Indeed, Carpenter predicted that homosexuality
accepted as normal in human life. Though, of course, there's
contention about this, his prediction has effectively become true.
is in his
homosexuality, as exemplified in The Intermediate Sex (the introductory section of which
appeared in the
1906 edition of Love's Coming of Age),
that Edward Carpenter offers ideas that resonate with modern
blending of gender
traits in what he calls "intermediate types" or "urnings," as was the
self-chosen term of his day. (Urning is derived from "Uranian" which in
comes from the recently discovered planet Uranus (1781) which was held
control homosexuals the same way Mars and Venus were held to control
symbolize males and females. "Uranus," by the way,
"heaven," so Uranians are "inhabitants of heaven.")
the coming of
age and consciousness of such Uranians as a part of the general
of consciousness that is modernity (symbolized by the astronomical
of the modern era that, of course, included the planet Uranus).
homosexuality bestows beneficial traits, among these are religious and
spiritual sensitivities and good interpersonal interactions. He notes
homosexuals are good counselors and go-betweens for
men and women.
more about Edward Carpenter
~ ~ ~ ~
a parallel idea--at least in how sexual energies and gender differences
balance out one another--in Michael Sigmann's theories of homosexuality
in evolution. Sigmann explains his concepts in workshops and seminars
Gateway, based in San Francisco.
Michael Sigmann, gay spiritual teacher and workshop
facilitator at The Gateway/Men's Inner Journey, offers a theory he
calls The Neutral Force. Using the imagery of electrical and magnetic
charge, he argues that homosexuality represents a Third Sex.
On the Internet, Sigmann writes: "Spiritual teachings today address
life in terms of masculine feminine, yin yang, male female etc. Yet
physics tells us that life is not based on a two-gender system. It's
based on a three-gender system [positive, negative and neutral].
[Sigmann] presents the three genders of human sexuality, and the vital
role homosexuality plays in the evolution of the human species…
"…the emergence of homosexuality in the world today represents the
emergence of the neutral force in society. The emergence of the neutral
force represents the emergence of the third gender of energy, proven by
physics to aid in the procreation of the human species by grounding the
sexual energy within our society."
link to a YouTube video
in which H.R. Bremner, Facilitation Coordinator for The Gateway, shares
his understanding of Michael Sigmann's teaching of "The
Sigmann's book (in process) is titled Why Gay Sex Matters: A gay man's guide to self-discovery. Here's
a video of him explaining his idea.
explains: "The three symbols… represent the three magnetic charges,
presented here as the three positions of human sexuality - feminine
position- receptive - or bottom, aka the 'in', the neutral position,
versatile, aka the 'ground', and the masculine position - responsive -
top aka the 'out'. Barring any physical or psychological limitations,
gay men are sexually versatile beings. Our existence is the embodiment
of the neutral force within the collective. The image below is part of
the branding for the book - Why Gay Sex Matters: A gay man's guide to self-discovery."
~ ~ ~ ~
Sigmann's The Gateway
uses an image of a lotus reflecting itself.
~ ~ ~
There's an echo of Toby Johnson's notion that "God" relates to himself
as reflection in gay consciousness.
The Two Loves are:
love by reflection
universe manifests two basic truths.
These are experienced by us
human beings in two different experiences of love.
Heterosexual love manifests the dynamic
interaction of opposite poles of duality.
Homosexual love manifests
the underlying unity.
Being straight encourages people to see the
Being gay encourages one
to see the world non-dualistically, because the duality need not matter.
~ ~ ~ ~
"God" knows Himself as the
Universe which was created by "God's" realization of His own existence
(…and manifested in
physical reality as The Big Bang).
The Universe IS consciousness growing
into greater and greater consciousness of itself.
"God" is the name human
beings use for that greater consciousness.
"God" and the Universe are distinct
from one another.
And "God" relates to His
creation as a lover to his Beloved.
"God" loves the Universe as
"God" relates to the
universe as an observer to a mirror.
And He loves what he sees.
These two loves constitute
our love for "God" and "God's" love for us.
As we love others as
ourselves, so "God" loves us as Himself.
Heterosexual love, then,
manifests human beings' love for "God" as an Other.
And homosexual love
manifests "God's" love of us as Himself.
In the orcular conclusion of the book Process
renowned Process philosopher
Alfred North Whitehead
offers a series
of antitheses in which
"there is a shift of
meaning which converts the
opposition into a contrast."
The series includes and is
"It is as true to say that
God creates the World as
that the World creates God."
Similarly, by shifting
their meaning in relation to one another,
the "two loves" are
converted from an opposition into a contrast.