Having a Church So You Can Leave It



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Also on this website:


Toby Johnson's books:

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


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

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


Gay Spirituality

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


Gay Perspective


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


Secret Matter


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


Getting Life

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


The Fourth Quill

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




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



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


Myth of the Great Secret


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



In Search of God


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



Unpublished manuscripts


About ordering


Books on Gay Spirituality:

White Crane Gay Spirituality Series


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

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  Articles and Excerpts:

Review of Samuel Avery's The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness


Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"


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


The Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate


A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality


Why gay people should NOT Marry


The Scriptural Basis for Same Sex Marriage


Toby and Kip Get Married


Wedding Cake Liberation


Gay Marriage in Texas


What's ironic



Shame on the American People


The "highest form of love"


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Gay Consciousness


Why homosexuality is a sin


The cause of homosexuality


The origins of homophobia


Q&A about Jungian ideas in gay consciousness


What is homosexuality?


What is Gay Spirituality?


My three messages


What Jesus said about Gay Rights


Queering religion


Common Experiences Unique to Gay Men


Is there a "uniquely gay perspective"?


The purpose of homosexuality


Interview on the Nature of Homosexuality


What the Bible Says about Homosexuality


Mesosexual Ideal for Straight Men



Varieties of Gay Spirituality


Waves of Gay Liberation Activity


The Gay Succession


Wouldn’t You Like to Be Uranian?


The Reincarnation of Edward Carpenter


Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality as Artistic Medium


Easton Mountain Retreat Center


Andrew Harvey & Spiritual Activism


The Mysticism of Andrew Harvey


The upsidedown book on MSNBC


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Enlightenment


"It's Always About You"



The myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara


Joseph Campbell's description of Avalokiteshvara


You're Not A Wave



Joseph Campbell Talks about Aging



What is Enlightenment?



What is reincarnation?



How many lifetimes in an ego?



Emptiness & Religious Ideas



Experiencing experiencing experiencing



Going into the Light



Meditations for a Funeral



Meditation Practice



The way to get to heaven



Buddha's father was right



What Anatman means



Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal



The Danda Nata & goddess Kalika



Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva



John Boswell was Immanuel Kant



Cutting edge realization



The Myth of the Wanderer



Change: Source of Suffering & of Bliss



World Navel



What the Vows Really Mean



Manifesting from the Subtle Realms



The Three-layer Cake & the Multiverse


The est Training and Personal Intention



Effective Dreaming in Ursula LeGuin's The Lathe of Heaven


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Gay Spirituality


Curious Bodies


What Toby Johnson Believes


The Joseph Campbell Connection


The Mann Ranch (& Rich Gabrielson)


Campbell & The Pre/Trans Fallacy


The Two Loves


The Nature of Religion


What's true about Religion


Being Gay is a Blessing


Drawing Long Straws


Freedom of Religion


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The Gay Agenda


Gay Saintliness


Gay Spiritual Functions



The subtle workings of the spirit in gay men's lives.


The Sinfulness of Homosexuality


Proposal for a study of gay nondualism


Priestly Sexuality


Having a Church to Leave


Harold Cole on Beauty


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Marian Doctrines: Immaculate Conception & Assumption


Not lashed to the prayer-post


Monastic or Chaste Homosexuality


Is It Time to Grow Up? Confronting the Aging Process


Notes on Licking  (July, 1984)


Redeem Orlando


Gay Consciousness changing the world by Shokti LoveStar


Alexander Renault interviews Toby Johnson



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Mystical Vision


"The Evolution of Gay Identity"


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


Avalokiteshvara at the Baths


 Eckhart's Eye


Let Me Tell You a Secret


Religious Articulations of the Secret


The Collective Unconscious


Driving as Spiritual Practice


Meditation


Historicity as Myth


Pilgrimage


No Stealing


Next Step in Evolution


The New Myth


The Moulting of the Holy Ghost


Gaia is a Bodhisattva


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The Hero's Journey


The Hero's Journey as archetype -- GSV 2016


The  Gay Hero Journey (shortened)


You're On Your Own


Superheroes


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Seeing Differently


Teenage Prostitution and the Nature of Evil


Allah Hu: "God is present here"


 
Adam and Steve


The Life is in the Blood



Gay retirement and the "freelance monastery"


Seeing with Different Eyes


Facing the Edge: AIDS as an occasion for spiritual wisdom


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


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The Vision


The mystical experience at the Servites'  Castle in Riverside


A  Most Remarkable Synchronicity in Riverside


The Great Dance according to C.S.Lewis


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The Techniques Of The World Saviors

Part 1: Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby


Part 2: The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara


Part 3: Jesus and the Resurrection


Part 4: A Course in Miracles


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The Secret of the Clear Light


Understanding the Clear Light


Mobius Strip


Finding Your Tiger Face


How Gay Souls Get Reincarnated


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


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About Alien Abduction


In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke


Karellen was a homosexual


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


Intersections with the movie When We Rise


More about Gay Mental Health


Psych Tech Training


Toby at the California Institute


The Rainbow Flag


Ideas for gay mythic stories


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People


Kip and Toby, Activists


Toby's friend and nicknamesake Toby Marotta.


Harry Hay, Founder of the gay movement


About Hay and The New Myth


About Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the first man to really "come out"


About Michael Talbot, gay mystic


About Fr. Bernard Lynch


About Richard Baltzell


About Guy Mannheimer


About David Weyrauch


About Dennis Paddie


About Ask the Fire


About Arthur Evans


About Christopher Larkin


About Mark Thompson


About Sterling Houston


About Michael Stevens


The Alamo Business Council


Our friend Tom Nash


Second March on Washington


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


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Book Reviews



Be Done on Earth by Howard E. Cook


Pay Me What I'm Worth by Souldancer


The Way Out by Christopher L  Nutter


The Gay Disciple by John Henson


Art That Dares by Kittredge Cherry


Coming Out, Coming Home by Kennth A. Burr


Extinguishing the Light by B. Alan Bourgeois


Over Coffee: A conversation For Gay Partnership & Conservative Faith by D.a. Thompson


Dark Knowledge by Kenneth Low


Janet Planet by Eleanor Lerman


The Kairos by Paul E. Hartman


Wrestling with Jesus by D.K.Maylor


Kali Rising by Rudolph Ballentine


The Missing Myth by Gilles Herrada


The Secret of the Second Coming by Howard E. Cook


The Scar Letters: A Novel by Richard Alther


The Future is Queer by Labonte & Schimel


Missing Mary by Charlene Spretnak


Gay Spirituality 101 by Joe Perez


Cut Hand: A Nineteeth Century Love Story on the American Frontier by Mark Wildyr


Radiomen by Eleanor Lerman


Nights at Rizzoli by Felice Picano


The Key to Unlocking the Closet Door by Chelsea Griffo


The Door of the Heart by Diana Finfrock Farrar


Occam’s Razor by David Duncan


Grace and Demion by Mel White


Gay Men and The New Way Forward by Raymond L. Rigoglioso


The Dimensional Stucture of Consciousness by Samuel Avery


The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love by Perry Brass


Love Together: Longtime Male Couples on Healthy Intimacy and Communication by Tim Clausen


War Between Materialism and Spiritual by Jean-Michel Bitar


The Serpent's Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion by Jeffrey J. Kripal


Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion by Jeffrey J. Kripal


The Invitation to Love by Darren Pierre


Brain, Consciousness, and God: A Lonerganian Integration by Daniel A Helminiak


A Walk with Four Spiritual Guides by Andrew Harvey


Can Christians Be Saved? by Stephenson & Rhodes


The Lost Secrets of the Ancient Mystery Schools by Stephenson & Rhodes


Keys to Spiritual Being: Energy Meditation and Synchronization Exercises by Adrian Ravarour


In Walt We Trust by John Marsh


Solomon's Tantric Song by Rollan McCleary


A Special Illumination by Rollan McCleary


Aelred's Sin by Lawrence Scott


Fruit Basket by Payam Ghassemlou


Internal Landscapes by John Ollom


Princes & Pumpkins by David Hatfield Sparks


Yes by Brad Boney


Blood of the Goddess by William Schindler


Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom by Jeffrey Kripal


Evolving Dharma by Jay Michaelson


Jesus in Salome's Lot by Brett W. Gillette


The Man Who Loved Birds by Fenton Johnson


The Vatican Murders by Lucien Gregoire


"Sex Camp" by Brian McNaught


Out & About with Brewer & Berg
Episode One: Searching for a New Mythology



The Soul Beneath the Skin by David Nimmons


Out on Holy Ground by Donald Boisvert


The Revotutionary Psychology of Gay-Centeredness by Mitch Walker


Out There by Perry Brass


The Crucifixion of Hyacinth by Geoff Puterbaugh


The Silence of Sodom by Mark D Jordan


It's Never About What It's About by Krandall Kraus and Paul Borja


ReCreations, edited by Catherine Lake


Gospel: A Novel by WIlton Barnhard


Keeping Faith: A Skeptic’s Journey by Fenton Johnson


Dating the Greek Gods
by Brad Gooch


Telling Truths in Church by Mark D. Jordan


The Substance of God by Perry Brass


The Tomcat Chronicles by Jack Nichols


10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives by Joe Kort


Jesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same Sex Love by Will Roscoe


The Third Appearance by Walter Starcke


The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann


Surviving and Thriving After a Life-Threatening Diagnosis by Bev Hall


Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods by Ronald Long

An Interview with Ron Long


Queering Creole Spiritual Traditons by Randy Conner & David Sparks

An Interview with Randy Conner


Pain, Sex and Time by Gerald Heard


Sex and the Sacred by Daniel Helminiak


Blessing Same-Sex Unions by Mark Jordan


Rising Up by Joe Perez


Soulfully Gay by Joe Perez


That Undeniable Longing by Mark Tedesco


Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman


Wisdom for the Soul by Larry Chang


MM4M a DVD by Bruce Grether


Double Cross by David Ranan


The Transcended Christian by Daniel Helminiak


Jesus in Love by Kittredge Cherry


In the Eye of the Storm by Gene Robinson


The Starry Dynamo by Sven Davisson


Life in Paradox by Fr Paul Murray


Spirituality for Our Global Community by Daniel Helminiak


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


Coming Out: Irish Gay Experiences by Glen O'Brien


Queering Christ by Robert Goss


Skipping Towards Gomorrah by Dan Savage


The Flesh of the Word by Richard A Rosato


Catland by David Garrett Izzo


Tantra for Gay Men by Bruce Anderson


Yoga & the Path of the Urban Mystic by Darren Main


Simple Grace by Malcolm Boyd


Seventy Times Seven by Salvatore Sapienza


What Does "Queer" Mean Anyway? by Chris Bartlett


Critique of Patriarchal Reasoning by Arthur Evans


Gift of the Soul by Dale Colclasure & David Jensen


Legend of the Raibow Warriors by Steven McFadden


The Liar's Prayer by Gregory Flood


Lovely are the Messengers by Daniel Plasman


The Human Core of Spirituality by Daniel Helminiak


3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke


Religion and the Human Sciences by Daniel Helminiak


Only the Good Parts by Daniel Curzon


Four Short Reviews of Books with a Message


Life Interrupted by Michael Parise


Confessions of a Murdered Pope by Lucien Gregoire


The Stargazer's Embassy by Eleanor Lerman


Conscious Living, Conscious Aging by Ron Pevny


Footprints Through the Desert by Joshua Kauffman


True Religion by J.L. Weinberg


The Mediterranean Universe by John Newmeyer


Everything is God by Jay Michaelson


Reflection by Dennis Merritt


Everywhere Home by Fenton Johnson


Hard Lesson by James Gaston


God vs Gay? by Jay Michaelson


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


Roxie & Fred by Richard Alther


Not the Son He Expected by Tim Clausen


The 9 Realities of Stardust by Bruce P. Grether


The Afterlife Revolution by Anne & Whitley Strieber


AIDS Shaman: Queer Spirit Awakening by Shokti Lovestar


Facing the Truth of Your Life by Merle Yost


The Super Natural by Whitley Strieber & Jeffrey J Kripal


Secret Body by Jeffrey J Kripal


In Hitler's House by Jonathan Lane


Walking on Glory by Edward Swift


The Paradox of Porn by Don Shewey


Is Heaven for Real? by Lucien Gregoire


Enigma by Lloyd Meeker


Scissors, Paper, Rock by Fenton Johnson




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




Gay
Perspective cover
Gay Perspective

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


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







Gay
Spirituality cover
Gay Spirituality

Gay Identity and 
the Transformation of
Human Consciousness



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








charmed lives
Charmed Lives: Gay Spirit in Storytelling

edited by
Toby Johnson
& Steve Berman







secret matter
Secret Matter

Lammy Award Winner for Gay Science Fiction

updated







Getting Life
Getting Life in Perspective

A Fantastical Romance





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






The Fourth Quill

The Fourth Quill

originally published as PLAGUE




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






Two
Two Spirits: A Story of Life with the Navajo

with Walter L. Williams




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






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

The Myth of the Great Secret III








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










The Myth of the Great Secret II

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

This was the second edition of this book.




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



The Importance of Having a Church So You Can Leave It




St Peter's, Prince of the ApostlesTraditionally religion inculcated moral values, described the deep structure of the cosmos, hinted at the depths and layers of consciousness, and introduced human beings to symbolic and metaphorical thinking as an enrichment of life and a source of meaning. Religion—the set of stories that were passed down through culture in art, ritual, and cultural festival—“revealed” that life was bigger than it seems, that there is more to existence than just eating, copulating, and working (so you can manage the first two enterprises), that consciousness transcends the short and sometimes brutal life span of the individual. Religion provided clues by which individuals, as well as whole societies, made sense of their life experience and found emotional sustenance and motivation to persevere in spite of hardship and misfortune. Religion gave people identity.

I was fortunate personally to have been assigned Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces for an English class in symbolism in literature while I was in college as a Catholic seminarian with a religious order called the Servites. Campbell’s survey of recurrent themes in world religions inspired insight into the nature of religion itself, beyond the specifics and dogmas of any and all particular tradition. From Campbell I learned the subtle distinction in definition of the word “myth”—not as falsehood but as metaphor for elusive truths about the nature of consciousness itself. Several years later, by then an openly gay “hippie” living in San Francisco, studying comparative religion in grad school, I applied for a work-scholarship for a seminar Campbell was giving. From that job, I was invited to join the crew that would regularly staff Campbell’s appearances in Northern California throughout the 1970s. Joseph Campbell, then, became what the Jungians would call the “wise old man” of my personal spiritual journey. What luck!

From Campbell—and from the zeitgeist of those heady (and occasionally deliciously stoned) days at what we thought was the beginning of the Age of Aquarius and the transformation of planetary consciousness—I learned a major turning point in the evolution of Western thought was being reached as human beings became conscious of the nature of religion as metaphor for the dynamics of consciousness rather than literal history of the activity of a literal “God.” And I experienced my gayness as an integral part of that transformation. It was not coincidence that San Francisco was both the gay mecca and the center of the “New Age.”

The transformation in understanding homosexuality as a dynamic of consciousness and a psychological orientation paralleled the transformation in understanding the nature of religious thought. And the moral injunctions to lead an honest, virtuous and contributing life, inculcated by my devout Catholic upbringing—along with the countercultural campaign against the Vietnamese War and the drive for social justice championed by the Civil Rights Movement of the previous decade—transferred kit ’n caboodle to the Gay Liberation Movement. Doubtless, it was my Catholic upbringing that made me an idealistic gay activist.

Marynook Novitiate
The first year of religious life is novitiate, a year of monastic training outside the formal educational system. It is focused on spiritual development and initiation into the styles and lore of religious life. For that year—my first year out of high school, my first year as an adult—I lived on a farm in the Mississippi River bluffs of Wisconsin, a life wonderfully monastic, prayerful, and peaceful. (I was actually in two different religious orders over a seven year period. There is, of course, a story about the transfer from one to the other, but for this essay—and from a perspective forty years later—it hardly makes any difference.)

We rose early to spend a couple of hours at prayer before breakfast and housework chores each day. During the morning we attended classes in theology, prayer, and asceticism (the practice of religious discipline). After lunch we played soccer or softball for an hour or two and then worked around the property, picking apples in the orchard, bringing in bales of hay from the fields, clearing brush, doing laundry, preparing dinner. The late afternoon was taken up with spiritual reading and prayer. The recitation of the rosary was followed by dinner. Most of our meals were eaten in silence while one of the novices read to us. Over breakfast we were usually read the life of some saintly character; over lunch, news and social commentary; over dinner, a religious but often entertaining novel. To celebrate special occasions the rule of silence was dispensed and we were allowed to talk.

And at any rate, every evening after dinner we’d always have an hour or two of recreation when we could do as we wanted and talk as we pleased. (Usually every week or two we’d get an all-day recreation to go on an outing, climb a mountain, swim in the Mississippi, or ice-skate on the lake near town.) After recreation the evening generally consisted of meditation, study period, night prayers, and bed. Except during the recreation periods, we were supposed to maintain silence and at night we were bound under a strict “Grand Silence,” which was not to be broken for any but the most extreme emergency.

Our nights were quiet. The presence of God hung over the house, bearing us into solitary sleep and away into our dreams. I especially liked the nights. I remember lying in bed watching the clouds blowing over the river-worn bluffs across the valley from the novitiate. I cherished the solitude of that time. During the day we had very little time alone. Despite the silence, we were together, the thirty-some novices and about six faculty, almost all the time. We grew very close to one another that year.

I learned two very important lessons that have reverberated through my life from my experience of religious life: one abstract, one very personal. The “abstract” was that life—and consciousness—is so much bigger than we think: Catholicism conveyed a whole series of legends and stories and myths about the meaning of life in the cosmic context. The “personal” was that love and friendship—albeit non-physicalized and sublimated—trumped everything else; what mattered was interpersonal relationship, not wealth or fame or ego glorification. The virtue called “fraternal charity” was presented by the Masters of Students as a primary value of religious life. Paradoxically, I think I learned to love other men deeply precisely because I first learned to love chastely, nonsexually, and non-possessively. When a little later I learned sexuality, it was in the context of loving relationship not just ego-gratification and pleasure seeking. That has proved of immense benefit to me as an adult gay man. It allowed the ego-gratification and pleasure seeking to be included and valorized as part of loving relationship, but not to substitute for a full experience of true “fraternal charity” with a devoted partner.


Now what I would learn from Campbell—and again ironically/paradoxically—from the renowned Catholic mystic Meister Eckhart is that the goal of religion and myth is to wake up and see beyond the mythological terms to the transcendent reality that founds them. As one comparative religion scholar I read (Wilfred Cantwell Smith) phrased it: “The end of religion [in the sense of goal] is the end of religion [in the sense of completion and transcendence].” The point of exposure to all these various symbols and metaphors and myths is to raise consciousness so you can see through them.

So I am very grateful for the depth and breadth of my religious upbringing because it taught me how to leave the Church.


In the last hundred years or so, there has been a total transformation of human nature. We live different from everybody who has ever lived before us. We travel distances in a day, our ancestors couldn’t have managed in a lifetime. We know about cultures on the far side of the planet. We understand the physical laws of universe as none before us (there’ll continue to be deeper and deeper understandings of the physical laws; the quest isn’t over, but there is certainty now about scientific fact that far surpasses mythological explanations). We have unprecedented historical perspective. We are psychologically sophisticated. We can see evolutionary and ecological dynamics.

There is a “ne
seeing beyond the veilw myth” arising among us as we transcend the literal belief in the myths of old. That was an essential theme in Campbell’s thought. And it’s a “higher order” myth, that is, an awareness of the mythopoetic function itself. The clue to greater reality is that in the past human beings conceived religious stories to inspire wonder and love of life. It’s no longer the mythological God that inspires us to strive to live better and more compassionate (and ecologically sound) lives, but the realization we’re all so much bigger—psychologically and spiritually—than we imagine and the clue to that is the mythopoetic function of consciousness. The “new God” is consciousness revealing itself to itself as us.

It has certainly been my own experience—and I think it is true for many others—that religious upbringing communicated the values and planted the seed for awakening to a higher understanding. And I think my homosexuality has paralleled and facilitated that awakening. In the same way that the comparative religions perspective pushed me and my peers to a higher perspective on the nature of religion—by breaking out of the boundaries of orthodoxy—so homosexuality has pushed us to a higher perspective on the meaning of life, love and sexuality. Homosexuality itself is a “religious phenomenon.”
Chartres
It is not surprising that “gay” men have entered the Church down through the centuries, and it is not surprising that their homosexuality inspired them through their love for their fellow religious with sentiments of erotic love and joy for life, and impelled them to understand their faith more deeply and esoterically in order to make sense of these otherwise inexplicable feelings.

What’s ironic, of course, is that we’ve needed that religious upbringing in order to know the questions and appreciate the layers of meaning, so that we could see through it. We needed the Church to teach us the values that would then cause us to leave the Church.

What’s the final irony, I suppose, is that one of the traditional roles of homosexuals has been to preserve the past and honor the traditions. It’s usually the gay man in the family, for instance, who is interested in genealogy, who saves antiques, the family heirlooms and old photo albums, and remembers the traditions. Similarly, it is has been the gay men who’ve gone into the Church who’ve sought to revive the old liturgical traditions and reinstate the glories of old—but with a sort of new (“post-postmodern”?) perspective on it all.

labyrinth

We need the Church so we can leave it. But then we need homosexuals to enter the Church to save it, so it can be there for future generations to learn the lessons and leave the institution behind as the new myth replaces it.

Religious upbringing inculcates values and mystical intuitions that serve to show adults the greater Being that is the substance of a new understanding of the nature of myth. We can be grateful to the Church for giving us the impetus to see beyond it. We need the Church so we can leave it.



See also: Monastic--or chaste--Homosexuality



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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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