The gay-affirming books and
magical novels of Toby Johnson

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Toby Johnson is a gay spiritual writer, novelist and progressive thinker.

He was a student of the comparative religions scholar Joseph Campbell;
he applies Campbell's sensible, modern approach to understanding myth and religion
 to the issue of gay people's enlightenment, spiritual growth and happiness.

This page contains information about Johnson's published books.
This website contains excerpts from Johnson's books
as well as original essays about gay spiritual meaning.

The home page contains an annotated list of articles available here.

The Table of Contents page contains links to every article by short name.

While you're here, please take a look around.

You will undoubtedly be surprised by some of the ideas presented
--hopefully, very pleasantly!

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Contact Us

Table of Contents

Search Site

home  Home

Google listing of all pages on this website

Site Map

Toby Johnson's Facebook page

Toby Johnson's YouTube channel

Toby Johnson on Wikipedia

Toby Johnson Amazon Author Page

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Also on this website:

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Toby Johnson's books:

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

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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"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


Historicity as Myth


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


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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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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

Enigma by Lloyd Meeker

In Search of Lost Lives by Michael Goddart

Queer Magic by Tomas Prower

God in Your Body by Jay Michaelson

Science Whispering Spirit by Gary Preuss

Friends of Dorothy by Dee Michel

New by Whitley Strieber

Developing Supersensible Perception by Shelli Renee Joye

Sage Sapien by Johnson Chong

Tarot of the Future by Arthur Rosengarten

Brothers Across Time by Brad Boney

Impresario of Castro Street by Marc Huestis

The Pagan Heart of the West, Vol 1 by Randy P. Conner

Practical Tantra by William Schindler

The Flip by Jeffrey J. Kripal

The Galilee Episode by Ronald Goetz

A New World by Whitley Strieber

Bernhard & LightWing by Damien Rowse

Stay Woke by Justin Michael Williams

The Mountains of Paris by David Oates

Trust Truth by Trudie Barreras

Bayard and Martin by Frederick Williams

How to be an Excellent Human Being by Bill Meacham

Scissors, Paper, Rock by Fenton Johnson

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

The gay-affirming books and magical novels of Toby Johnson

Read What Toby Johnson Believes

To purchase autographed copies from the author, use the gold Paypal "Add to Cart" buttons below.

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Toby Johnson's book are available digital format from
 Amazon Kindle,
and the Apple iBookstore

Gay Perspective
Gay Spirituality
Secret Matter
The Fourth Quill
Finding God

Gay Perspective

Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe,

 $15.00 (includes postage)

Lammy-winner for

Gay Spirituality

Gay Identity and the Transformation of Human Consciousness,

(includes postage)

Science Fiction

Secret Matter

A sweet soft sci-fi romantic comedy about gay innocence,

(includes postage)

The Fourth Quill

A touching and mystical tale of AIDS and spiritual wisdom,

(includes postage)

Finding God in the Sexual Underworld

The Journey Expanded,

 $15.00 (includes postage)

Getting Life in Perspective

Finding Your Own True Myth

Two Spirits

charmed lives

etting Life in Perspective

A gay spiritual romance novel set in the 1890s,

$15.00 (includes postage)

Finding Your Own True Myth: What I Learned from Joseph Campbelll

A Spiritual autobiography,
$18.00 (includes postage)

Two Spirits: A Story of Life with the Navajo

A Western genre gay romance,  in collaboration with Walter L. Williams,

(includes postage)
Lammy-nominee  Anthologies

Charmed Lives:
Gay Spirit in Storytelling

An anthology of 37 gay positive stories with "a touch of the Twilight Zone,"

 $18.00 (includes postage)

Click on the cover for description, order info and to read an excerpt from the book

Click on title to go to the full webpage on this site

Purchase options below

  (See bottom of page for out-of-print titles and manuscripts)

For information about: 1) other ways to order, 2) buying from gay booksellers,
3) payment by check or money order or 4) for shipments outside the U.S.
see about Ordering books by mail

Toby Johnson's Books on Gay Spirituality:

Gay Spirituality
Lammy-winning GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness.

Gay Spirituality has been rereleased in September 2018 by Peregrine Ventures

Gay Perspective

Toby Johnson's 2003 Lammy-nominated book is
GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our [Homo]sexuality Tells Us
about the Nature of God and the Universe

The Spiritual-Philosophical Autobiography

Finding Your Own True MythToby Johnson's spiritual-philosophical autobiography, Finding Your Own True Myth—The Myth of the Great Secret III, is both a loving memorial to Joseph Campbell and an original extension of his work. Johnson, later a psychotherapist, religions scholar, novelist, and gay spirituality writer, offers insight into the vital role that myth—and insight into myth—play in the modern world and inspiration for anyone seeking coherence and meaning. A wealth of personal anecdotes and teaching stories are woven throughout the text to provide practical applications for these lessons and concrete examples of their power to change lives.

From Joseph Campbell, the renowned comparative religions and mythology scholar, Toby Johnson derived his central insight that there is a “new myth” arising in human consciousness. This is the understanding of the nature of myth itself, a “meta-myth,” the “myth of myth,” according to which our lives are always giving us clues to the secret of our true and deepest nature, and our salvation comes from following our own unique clues.

One of the clues that many cultures share is the tradition of the “wise old man,” the elder who serves as guide, teacher, and companion, helping others on the path to enlightenment. When Toby Johnson, a young Catholic seminarian, left the monastery on his own unconventional spiritual journey, he had the good fortune to find such a teacher in the person of Joseph Campbell. Johnson says in the introduction: Joe demonstrated how to gently leave behind the na´ve religiousness of youth and find wonder, meaning, and bliss in a new post-mythic, but re-mythologized, spiritual consciousness.

Finding Your Own True Myth: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell: The Myth of the Great Secret III   $18.00

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Finding God
Toby Johnson offers a remarkable positive and life-affirming description of sexual and homosexual consciousness as a source of transcendent vision and personal life fulfillment.

As editor/publisher of White Crane Journal (1997-2004), Johnson featured articles and stories about gay men's mystical experiences and adventures on the path to psychological and spiritual wholeness. This book follows in that tradition.

Johnson had studied for the Catholic priesthood before leaving the monastery in 1970 and moving to San Francisco to discover gay life and gay consciousness. While enrolled in a graduate program at the California Institute of Integral Studies, he met and befriended the renowned scholar of mythology Joseph Campbell and became part of the crew that put on Campbell's appearances in Northern California in the '70s. From studying the world's religions and mythological traditions, especially Buddhism and mystical Christianity, Johnson learned a deeper meaning of spirituality. He still thought of himself as a monk, but now with an understanding broader than his boyhood Catholicism.

While completing a degree as a psychotherapist, Johnson worked in a specifically gay/lesbian community mental health clinic in the downtown Tenderloin District. In that capacity he met social scientist—and nicknamesake—Toby Marotta who was doing a survey for the County of agencies in the Tenderloin. Marotta was just finishing his Harvard Ph.D. on the gay political and cultural movement in New York City. Together they worked to get their respective academic dissertations rewritten into readable style and published as popular books. Then pursuing Marotta's interest in ethnographic research into urban gay lifestyles, they worked in a federally-funded study of teenage prostitution to produce a Resource Manual for social service agencies struggling to address issues raised by the "sexual revolution" of the 1960s and ’70s.

Originally published as In Search of God in the Sexual Underworld: A Mystical Journey, this book recounted Johnson's discoveries and adventures in the hustler study, told from his perspective as a scholar of myth and religion and a seeker on a spiritual path. Now re-released as Finding God in the Sexual Underworld: The Journey Expanded, this second edition adds more details of the author's personal life and again demonstrates how to weave a tapestry of meaning out of seemingly random and sometimes harrowing events.

The Gay Novels:
wo Spirits
Secret Matter
The Fourth Quill
Getting Life in Perspective

two spirits
TWO SPIRITS is a collaboration between noted anthropologist and renowned gay scholar Walter L. Williams professor at the University of Southern California and gay novelist and spiritual writer Toby Johnson.

Set in the 1860s, it's the story of a young Virginian, fresh out of the Civil War and struggling to find love and manly comradeship without understanding what that means, who inadvertently gets himself assigned to be Government Indian Agent to the Navajos at the Bosque Redondo Reservation at Fort Sumner in the New Mexico desert, a kind of concentration camp experiment in Indian management. The young protagonist comes to appreciate the plight of the Navajo after he falls in love with the Two-Spirit/berdache/ healer. Together the two lovers manage to get the "experiment" declared a failure and so  liberate the Navajo people and get them back to their sacred homelands.

Says W Randy Haynes (Cherokee) author of the gay murder mystery with an Indian detective, Cajun Snuff:

    "Two Spirits is a spectacular tale based upon the 1860's eviction of the Navajo people from their sacred lands. The reader is transported to an earlier era where little known spiritual traditions were, until recently, unmentionable outside some Native American cultures. With an obvious love and deep respect for the Navajo, Williams and Johnson expose a clash of cultures that will stun many. Two Spirits, a treasure to read, is a rare combination of historical fiction and spiritual wisdom at its absolute finest."

Navajo/Dine scholar Wesley Thomas provides A Commentary at the end of the story discussing the current state of Navajo/Dine culture.

This is a wonderful love story with an adventuresome plot in the style of Western genre, but with a delightfully gay twist and a good and very palatable dose of sensible spirituality.

Two Spirits recounts the true history of Native American cultures -- including same-sex marriage. So-called "gay marriage" was practiced on the American continent for untold centuries before the Europeans arrived. People we'd call "gay" today were revered members of the tribe. They were the storytellers, priests, doctors, ambassadors, counselors. They were the ones who kept culture alive -- just as gay people are today (but with much less thanks and recognition from the mainstream culture).

"A treasure to read"

TWO SPIRITS: A Story of Life with the Navajo  $15.00

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

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Walter Williams and Toby Johnson (editor) also worked together on Williams' novel of Pacific Island cultures and 18th century whaling, set during the time of the Civil War.

Spirit of the Pacific is a dramatization of wisdom from Japanese Buddhism and Hawaiian shamanism

Spirit of the PacificWhaling ships in the Aleutian Islands, Confederate raiders and Union naval vessels in Maui, sloops and skiffs in the Hawaiian Islands--ships sail into the unknown and change lives. This is the story of Eddie Freeman, an African American slave from South Carolina, who escaped slavery in 1860 and got involved in the Civil War in a way that he never would have expected. Eddie learned not to be afraid of change and the unknown. Eddie was attracted to his own sex, and in 21st century nomenclature would be called gay. But in his day he was just a young man trying to find love and give affection. This is a story about the unexpected twists and turns of life, and how sometimes a person must travel one way to get to the other, become a sailor to find solid land, go to the Arctic to get to a tropical paradise. It is about giving up one’s home to find a better home. It is a story about learning to transcend the polarities of slave and free, sacred and profane, love and hate, human and animal. Most importantly, it is a story about learning to transcend the polarity of life and death to become one with nature, experience limitless love, gain absolute happiness, and achieve true spiritual freedom.

Used copies may be available through, click the title below

Spirit of the Pacific by Walter L. Williams (2013-02-04)


Secret Matter"Toby Johnson's fly blend of sweet romance, social commentary and entertaining science fiction gives new meaning to the concept of a 'genre' novel--the sort of easy-going read rarely found in gay fiction, and very welcome."
—Richard Labonte

SECRET MATTER is a science-fiction romance novel. It won a 1990 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Science Fiction. In 1999, it was one of five books nominated to be the first ever inducted into the Gay Lesbian Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

In November 2005, Secret Matter was released updated, expanded, and revised edition for 21st century readers.

The story tells of the arrival of a race of aliens. They have cameleon-like autonomic functions in their skin coloration which reveal their emotional and psychological states. Thus they are fundamentally unable to lie. For them homosexual activity is consistent with their biology and normal in their culture. Recognizing our society's objection to homosexual activity, however, they try to hide their true nature. The tension created between the two cultures confuses their mission in coming to our world.

The plot is a sweet love story about the relationship between a young gay man and one of the aliens. Through several levels the protagonist slowly uncovers the truth about the aliens' "secret life," including, finally, the fact that they aren't really alien at all, but rather come from a parallel world of Earth. The punch line is that in the creation myth of the Garden of Eden in their world their "Adam & Eve" did NOT commit original sin and their reward was both their inability to hide the truth and, incidentally, their homosexuality. The novel is about the importance of coming out and the innocence of gay experience.

Arthur C. Clarke was a great influence on Toby Johnson's thought and writing style.
Here's his piece In Honor of Sir Arthur C. Clarke

The excerpt from Secret Matter describes The Arrival of the Visitors
starburstIn June 1999, the US national gay and lesbian science fiction fan club, the Gaylactic Network, nominated SECRET MATTER for induction into its newly created Hall of Fame. This was the first year of the Spectrum Awards and the Gaylactic Network Hall of Fame. SECRET MATTER was chosen as one of the five nominees out of all the gay and lesbian sci-fi ever published up to that time.

Secret Matter $15.00

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The Fourth Quill

The Fourth Quill

originally published as PLAGUE: A Novel about Healing is the story of an AIDS educator who uncovers a misconceived plot to suppress an effective cure for HIV.  As he begins to realize the sinister nature of his discovery, he is forced to take seriously the teachings about healing and about the nature of evil presented in A Course in Miracles, which he has been talking about with members of an AIDS support group he facilitates.
While structured as a thriller, the novel is an uplifting presentation of the wisdom of ACIM and of the delightful little spiritual classic The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment and Ursula LeQuin's classic novel The Lathe of Heaven.
This novel is an example of science fiction as modern day mythology.

Originally published by Alyson Publications. Rereleased  in 2012 with significant changes, the new title, and a Foreword by the author. Now from Peregrine Ventures, 2018.  $15.00

Plague cover
The excerpt from The Fourth Quill is a dramatization of a story that Joe Campbell used to tell about the Mahayana Buddhist myth of the Bodhisattva as world savior and a paradoxical presentation of what we usually think of as suffering.
The tale is called The Fourth Quill

Read more about The Fourth Quill

The Fourth Quill is available as an audiobook, narrated by Jimmie Moreland. click here

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getting life in perspective

"There is a fresh naivete in [Toby Johnson's] style that rings pleasantly in the ear, like the memory of a 'boy's book' enthusiastically devoured at age 12. Against the sour punk of so much of today's gay male fiction, Getting Life in Perspective is a treat." 

                    —Marvin Shaw

GETTING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE is a post-modern novel about a big city literary editor who, when faced with serious illness, retires to the country to relieve stress and to write the novel he's always been intending to write. Living alone in a ramshackle old mansion in the Texas Hill Country, he begins to imagine that the characters of his novel are real. Two young gay men from the 1890s then appear to him and recount the story of their lives.
In the turn-of-the-century story, the two characters, having managed to find one another against great odds, seek refuge in a gay utopian colony in Colorado loosely modeled after Edward Carpenter's farm in Sussex, England. There they discover a gay positive, post-Christian, Whitman-inspired spirituality.
The writer is never clear whether he is seeing ghosts or simply very vividly creating his novel. But the Topper-esque ghosts playfully assist him in coming to terms with his own self-pity and fear of dying.
It's a sweet, occasionally sexy, historical romance with a contemporary spiritual/philosophical message woven in--along with just a touch of the Twilight Zone.

More about Getting Life in Perspective

Read about The Clear Light Colony from GETTING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE.

Getting Life in Perspective  $15.00

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

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charmed lives
Charmed Lives: Gay Spirit in Storytelling

edited by Toby Johnson and Steve Berman

Spinning Straw into Gold

odern society, including--and maybe especially-- gay culture recreates its own mythological traditions in "the old-fashioned way," by telling stories.

Gay storytelling engender myths, allowing the negative elements that traditional society and religion has placed on homosexual identity to be transformed and uplifted.

White Crane Books, an imprint of Lethe Press (Steve Berman, editor/publisher), announces an anthology of writings that do what good myths and storytelling are supposed to do: inspire and evoke meaning (especially out of despondency and darkness), to cheer, to place life in larger context, to hint at secret meanings--stories that inspire gay men to think positively about themselves, their lifestyles, their bodies (of any type), and, especially, their own spiritual paths.

Charmed Lives $18

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Gay Spirituality

Gay Spirituality:
Gay Identity and the Transformation of Human Consciousness

(click on title for more info & reviews)

The answer to what gay people
are here for!

ambda Literary Award winner
Spirituality/Religion 2000

Best Gay/Lesbian Non-Fiction Book of the Year by ForeWord: the magazine of independent and university presses.

   A new edition of GAY SPIRITUALITY was released
with a beautiful cover featuring art by Stevee Postman.

"...quite simply the best, sanest, most readable book on the subject I've come across..." a reader wrote in email.
"[Gay Spirituality] is the book that Walt Whitman might have written if he'd studied with Joseph Campbell. It combines an unflaggingly exuberant, life-affirming tone with impressive scholarship and interpretive flair. And, like Whitman, it convinces not by argument but by its presence. The clarity of the author's mind--as well as his evident kindness, wit, and intellectual daring--has produced what is not so much a book as a soul-replenishing companion, a guide, and a friend."
—Stephen Mo Hanan, The Gay & Lesbian Review.

The renowned writer, psychologist, and father of gay-oriented psychotherapy, Don Clark, PhD calls Gay Spirituality "stunning" and "remarkable."

Gay Spirituality  $15.00


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

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(click on title for more info & reviews)

"An illuminating, honest, provocative, and significant exploration of gay spirituality. This is must reading for all seeking the spiritual element in the gay experience."

--Malcolm Boyd (Take Off the Masks, Gay Priest, & Look Back in Joy) & Mark Thompson (Gay Spirit, Gay Soul, & Gay Body)

"Toby Johnson reveals how gay male sensibility contributes to the leading edge of culture and consciousness, and can even revolutionize religion in ways that benefit everyone. You may never view your role in the scheme of things in quite the same way.

-- Bruce P. Grether, Mindful Masturbation: Transforming Male Self-Pleasuring into a Spiritual Practice

Peregrine Ventures $15.00

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

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Gay Perspective is available in all digital formats.

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To order any of Toby Johnson's printed books, please use to send
the price of book(s) (freight within the U.S. and tax, if applicable, are included) to
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(If you want to pay by check or M.O. or to inquire about postage outside the US,
please send email to

The "Add to Cart" or "View Cart" buttons above will open a Paypal connection and calculate the amount due.  Paypal allows you to pay by credit card or electronic check to order a copy from the author. There's a field to give instructions for autographing.
Since the cost includes postage, the price from the author and from discount internet booksellers is about the same since they add postage. BUT if you're buying other books and the combined total is over $25.00 you can save money with their free shipping. If you're going to order gay genre books, please order from a gay community bookstore, like Giovanni's Room in Philadelphia.

Gay Spirituality from an independent bookstore near you

Gay Perspective from
an independent bookstore near you

Secret Matter from an independent bookstore near you

Getting Life in Perspective from an independent bookstore near you

Two Spirits from an independent bookstore near you

Charmed Lives from
an independent bookstore near you

Finding God in the Sexual Underworld from an independent bookstore near you

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Meet Toby Johnson & Kip Dollar

Now out of print
Myth of the Great Secret

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

Published in 1992 by Celestial Arts,

a revised edition of a book by the same name (with different subtitle)

Used copies are available from resellers. Click here.
A "Second Revised Edition"has been published as
Finding Your Own True Myth: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell: The Myth of the Great Secret III.   Click here.

In Search of God in the Sexual Underworld
Toby's 1983 book  In Search of God in the Sexual Underworld (published under the name Edwin Clark Johnson) is available used from resellers. Click here.

A scan of the pages of this book is available for download. Click here.

Finding God
In Search of God has been rewritten and expanded by the author in 2020, and republished with the slightly altered title Finding God in the Sexual Underworld.

A Search for Spiritual Meaning in the Face of Emptiness
Toby Johnson's first book was titled The Myth of the Great Secret: A Search for Spiritual Meaning in the Face of Emptiness. It appeared in 1981 published by William Morrow.

It contains a chapter on Werner Erhard and est that is not included in the revised edition. (That essay is available on this website. Click here.)

Used copies are still available. Click here

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Manuscripts in progress
You're welcome to preview these books.
Please send comments.

Awakening: A Novel of the Millennium

Bowman's World: the sequel to Awakening

Last Update: 08/20/2020

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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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