Table of Contents
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
THE FOURTH QUILL, a
novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil
CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into Gold: Reclaiming Our Queer Spirituality Through Story
Books on Gay Spirituality:
Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The
Dimensional Structure of
Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"
The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the "Statement of Spirituality"
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
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
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 "Gay Spirituality"?
The natural evolution of consciousness leads us to understand the human religious impulse to be not about adhering to strict purity taboos and rules and restrictions, especially about sex, OR about believing in certain mythological doctrines, but about living in such virtuous ways that the problems and suffering in the world clear up in the course of evolution itself AND that human beings come to understand the world's mythological heritage as metaphors, not dogmas, that are clues to the nature of consciousness and of our oneness with "God." World changing, world saving, world serving activism flows naturally from the realization of who we really are at the level of spirit.
The goal of gay spirituality, I think, is to find for ourselves--and to assist other gay people to see--how our homosexuality can be understood as a clue and an operative practice to experiencing that oneness with "God." The goal of the spiritual life is to experience being in heaven now. Meditation and spiritual practice serve to reveal this transcendental reality; they transform experience so that the world DOES appear and BECOMES heaven now. For gay people spiritual vision sees how the styles of gay life can be perceived as--and thereby transformed into--clues to heaven.
Gay spirituality, for instance, sees that a frivolous whimsy of gay life, like drag (from Radical Faerie-style genderfuck to stage drag and serious female impersonation, from Halloween costume to personal effeminacy) resonate with age-old myths of androgynous, bisexual gods and cross-dressing shamans.
Gay patterns of free and anonymous sex resonate with the mystical poetry of the Sufis and of, specifically, St John of the Cross whose poem "On a Dark Night" is about discovering that the man he has had anonymous "park sex" was Jesus--for all of us, mystically, we are Jesus and Avalokiteshvara and God-incarnate to one another, and should behave so!
The gay encounter with AIDS in the last decades resonates with myths of asceticism, voluntary suffering, mystical substitution and self-sacrifice for the salvation of others--by both the "victims" and the caregivers.
Talents of gay personality, like style, design and artistry and, perhaps even more important, sensitivity, compassion and drive to service, show us the virtues we can and should cultivate for our spiritual growth. Our gayness gives us a perspective on life and cultural convention; we understand the world, other people's lifestyles AND religious tradition from over and above; we should strive to be visionaries and world-transformers. Our attraction to same rather than opposite potentially makes us less distracted and obsessed with duality; we are blessed, if we want to be so, with clues to nondual vision.
Our spirituality must resonate outward from us to save the world. This is where the evolution of consciousness is taking us all as Earth/Gaia wakes up and we all see heaven now. And, I think, it's a gay thing to point the way.
This is how we, as gay people, give good service by being openly gay AND by transforming what it means to be gay so everybody understands us not as sinners but as saints. This is how we become saints. Spirituality IS self-fulfilling prophecy IS activism in service of humankind.
Toby Johnson, author Gay Spirituality: Gay Identity and the Transformation of Human Consciousness
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
SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of
Human Consciousness was published in 2000. His Lammy-nominated
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
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