A multidimensional spacetimeconsciousness


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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.

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


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"

About Liberty Books, the Lesbian/Gay Bookstore for Austin, 1986-1996


The Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate

Why gay people should NOT Marry

The Scriptural Basis for Same Sex Marriage

Wedding Cake Liberation

Gay Marriage in Texas

What's ironic

Shame on the American People

The "highest form of love"

Second March on Washington

Why people need homosexuality to be a sin


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

Monastic or Chaste Homosexuality

Is it Time to Grow Up? Confronting the Aging Process

Notes on Licking  (July, 1984)


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.

Joseph Campbell Talks about Aging

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

Cutting edge realization

What Anatman means

The Myth of the Wanderer

Change: Source of Suffering & of Bliss

The World Navel

What the Vows Really Mean

Manifesting from the Subtle Realms



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

Having a Church to Leave

Harold Cole on Beauty


 "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

The upsidedown book on MSNBC


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

Not lashed to the prayer-post


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


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 at the California Institute


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

About Kimberley McKell


 
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

Sanctity & Male Desire by Donald Boisvert

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 Revolutionary 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 Traditions 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

That Undeniable Longing by Mark Tedesco

Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman

Wisdom for the Soul by Larry Chang

Soulfully Gay by Joe Perez

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

Scissors, Paper, Rock by Fenton Johnson




The Three-Layer Cake and the Multiverse


Joseph Campbell used to joke that the medieval worldview can be likened to a three-layer cake. Ironically, this is the worldview that most of our religions in the West still adhere to despite it’s being outdated by centuries of discovery and observation.

The layer cake consisted of the “Divinity” layer on top, where God lived in Heaven with his angels and favored human souls in happiness and light; the Earth in the middle, where we live and struggle to find meaning and truth before we die; and, of course, Hell on the bottom—“Devil’s food”—where the disobedient angels and damned souls were consigned in suffering. Only the middle layer was accessible to human observation. The other layers were understood only through faith and belief in authority.

For most of human history, the cake was pretty small. It was bound by the land around the Mediterranean Sea. Some explorers had discovered lands beyond this small disk, but what mattered was what was happening right there in Europe, Asia Minor and Northern Africa. And that’s where the authorities were: popes, kings, caliphs and sultans.

From the Age of Exploration in the 15th Century onward, that worldview has been challenged by discoveries that the authorities had no knowledge of. The lands beyond the Mediterranean disk weren’t mentioned in the Bible or the Koran, but they existed. Experience proved it. That threatened authority.

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For if “God” and the elements of religion and myth exist in the mind, then their validity is the effect they have on the consciousness and behavior of those minds.



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The whole three-layer cake model of the world has now been superceded by the complex multiverse that modern science and theoretical cosmology has developed out of further observation, experimentation and experience. The world we live in now is understood to be a speck on the edge of a run-of-the-mill galaxy located in cosmic space among some 200 billion other galaxies all erupting out in a Big Bang that started some 14 billion years ago. The visible universe is a tiny stratum in the continuum of electromagnetic vibrations; if the full spectrum of vibratory frequencies were laid out along the U.S. West Coast from Alaska to Mexico, the visible spectrum would cover the city of San Francisco. The furthest galaxies we can see—and we CAN see them (amazing!)—are 14 billion light years away. If there are any further away we can’t see them because there hasn’t been enough time for the light to get here. This is no three-layer cake. And popes, kings, caliphs and sultans can’t tell us a thing about it based on their authority.

Observation has revealed a universe totally different from what most people “believe in.” Maybe that is not as surprising as it sounds. After all, the universe as we know it today was only discovered within the lifetimes of many of the people reading these words. It’s still just sinking in.

This causes a tremendous conflict in people’s experience. None of us can actually comprehend that huge cosmos. I’ve been calling it a multiverse, for theoretical physics tells us that not only is it the universe of galaxies stretching out into space, it also comprises a vast variety of possible and parallel universes that exist in various states of possibility. Maybe our Big Bang is just one of billions of Big Bangs in infinitely vast space that have gone on forever with no beginning. Mind-boggling.

What is also mind-boggling—and fascinating—is how modern humans can apparently hold both universes in mind. This is perhaps a symptom of some sort of epistemological schizophrenia or maybe it represents the burgeoning of a new kind of consciousness altogether.

Campbell commented that he was perplexed at the time of the first Apollo moon mission when the astronauts read from the book of Genesis as they orbited over the lunar surface. Didn’t anybody get the contradictions? The two accounts of reality just don’t jibe. Or maybe there was a certain “frission” that everybody appreciated without exactly understanding how or why?

I propose that what this means is that modern humans are inadvertently realizing that “God” and the elements of religion and myth exist in the mind and not in the kind of space that astronauts fly through and into which the multiverse is expanding. There is no conflict between science and religion; they are about different subjects. It really is possible to “believe” in Adam and the Eve in the Garden AND to know that life has evolved on Earth over millennia much the way Charles Darwin hypothesized. While some conservative religious people don’t yet get it, most of us are developing an epistemological sophistication that transcends the contradictions by envisioning a more complex universe that includes mind as well as spacetime, i.e., a multidimensional spacetimeconsciousness.

Something else has developed too. It’s not just which version of history (or psychology) is correct, it’s what kind authority exists to define what’s correct or not. And the criteria for judging beliefs have changed, too. And this is what is really threatening to traditional religion and promises to force it to the higher epistemological sophistication. This idea is very threatening to Church and authority. This is really what the trial of Galileo was about—not what he saw through the telescope but whether a single man’s observation trumped institutionalized authority.

For if “God” and the elements of religion and myth exist in the mind, then their validity is the effect they have on the consciousness and behavior of those minds. The truth of religion doesn’t come from authoritative revelation and it can’t be proved—or disproved—by historical factualities. The truth of religion has to be judged by the behavior of the believers and the criteria for truth is the lives of religious people.

I think the reality is that each of us is on our own to conceive of God and the gods as we choose and the truth of what we believe is how our concepts affect our lives so that we are more cooperative and happier and make other people happier.

Walt Whitman addressed just this attitude in Leaves of Grass: “argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men.”

This is a truly “religious” attitude toward life. And, though conservative Bible-believers/ Creationists probably wouldn’t actually accede to this, this is how Jesus said one could judge religious beliefs: “By their fruits, you shall know them.” The truth of Christianity lies in the generosity, loving kindness and compassion for others that Christians exhibit. And curiously in their relations with homosexuals they don’t seem to behave according to the instructions of Jesus—“Do unto others as you would have them do to you”—and their behavior toward us is a major indictment of the value of believing their particular set of beliefs.

So here’s the message of the three-layer cake and the multiverse: God doesn’t have much to do with it; what matters is how people treat each other. You can believe anything, so long as you are kind and generous and don’t make other people wrong. “Take off your hat to no man,” but be loving to all.

What a revolution in authority this represents. And, I think, it is one of the gay population’s boon to humankind—boon and warning: the way you treat us is the way “God” is going to treat you. Authority has moved from the popes, kings, caliphs and sultans to the individual human heart. This is the essence of modern democracy. And gay consciousness and gay liberation are natural outcomes of democracy: the truth of the heart.

This isn’t how our political foes characterize us, and, unfortunately, I think, it’s not how many of our own people understand their sexuality. A major job of the “gay spirituality movement” needs to be changing how homosexuality is viewed and valued, so that we are seen not as a regressive force, as a progressive one—in consciousness and spirit, a manifestation in consciousness of the infinite variety and diversity of the spacetimeconsciousness multiverse.


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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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