A Q & A about reading Mitch Walker's lecture on Jungian Analysis



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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Unpublished manuscripts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.




Gay Personality Dynamics from a Jungian Perspective



 

A Q & A about reading Mitch Walker's lecture on Jungian Analysis

Harry Faddis and Toby Johnson.

 

Q 1. Toby, what inspired you to choose a topic like “Gay Personality Dynamics from a Jungian Perspective”? Carl Jung was one of the early psychoanalytic theorists along with Sigmund Freud. Do his ideas have any relevance to modern gay consciousness?


A: I just read a really interesting book on the subject and it’s brought up lots of ideas for me:

 
Gay Liberation at a Psychological Crossroads: A Commentary on the Future of Homosexual Ideology by Mitch Walker, PhD

Four talks given in West Hollywood CA for the inauguration of the Institute for Contemporary Uranian Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles.


Mitch Walker was one of the early gay psychologists in the 70s. He’s one of the founders of the Radical Faeries – along with Don Kilhefner, Mark Thompson and, of course, Harry Hay and John Burnside. The idea for a specifically gay spiritual/cultural “movement” centered on the positive strengths of gayness started with Walker and Kilhefner. They approached Harry and John who were living in New Mexico at the time, working on an Indian Reservation; Harry Hay was the Founder of the Mattachine Society, the organization that started modern gay consciousness as we know it.

Hay was always interested in left-wing politics and progressive, post-Christian, post-religious spirituality. As a youth, he’d discovered the writings of Edward Carpenter who was a British philosopher of culture and sexuality in the late 1800s to early 1900s. He was a contemporary of the novelist E.M. Forster. Carpenter wrote about homosexuality—what he called “the intermediate sex”; he was especially interested in homosexuality among “primitive peoples” and the phenomenon that what we would now call gayness was seen as a vocation to be a shaman and spiritual leader. Harry Hay understood modern gayness as a call not just to be a sexual libertarian, but to be part of the evolution of human consciousness and to be outfront, leading the way.

Mark Thompson was cultural editor at The Advocate magazine which at the time was THE major gay media. He had connections AND he too was interested in the idea of gay consciousness as a spiritual phenomenon, coming out of west coast hippie and American countercultural ideologies of the 60s/70s.

These men organized a gathering at the Shri Ram Ashram, a retreat camp in the desert in Arizona in 1979. From that developed the Radical Faeries.

Arthur Evans gets credit for the precursor of this gathering which was a series of talks in 1976 in San Francisco based on his book Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture.

So all these guys were basically “Jungian,” cause Jung’s ideas about psychoanalysis and personality theory and psychotherapy were focused on myth and symbol. Jung understood the goal of psychoanalysis to be spiritual growth, not readjustment to popular neurosis.


Q 2: What is Mitch Walker’s book about? You said that was what inspired you.

A: Walker and his associates, Chris Kilbourne, Doug Sadownick, Roger Kaufman, have established a center for what they called gay-centered psychotherapy. They use a term from the Victorian Era – back to Edward Carpenter. The Center for Contemporary Uranian Psychoanalysis. Uranian came Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the first person to ever “come out.” He wrote in the mid 1800s articles acknowledging himself as a homosexual. It comes from the planet Uranus which had just been discovered less than a hundred years before – 1781. Just as Mars was said to rule men and Venus women, so Uranus was said to rule “the third sex” – and just as Uranus had only recently been discovered, so homosexuality was only now being “discovered.”

All this is VERY Jungian; it’s about symbols and myths and “spiritual”/psychological understanding of gayness.

Walker’s book is a series of four talks he gave for the startup of this Institute. The talks cover his own personal development as a psychologist and as a Jungian AND tell about the founding of the Faeries and about Walker’s efforts through the years to keep gay liberation focused on psychological, spiritual health, not just “getting rights and fitting in.”

 
Q 3: This is the essentialist/assimilationist debate, isn’t it? Are homosexuals different from heterosexuals with different values and life goals and satisfactions? What did Jung say about that?


A: Writing back in the early 20th Century, Jung didn’t really know much about homosexuality as such. He surrounded himself with strong women—several lesbian. And, of course, there is a theory that the reason Freud and Jung went different ways about personality theory is that Jung, then a young man, was afraid the older Freud was coming on to him. So there’s some personal stuff there. But in his collected writings, he questioned the idea that homosexuality was pathological because in the biblical myth the original Adam would have been “homosexual” in the sense of being both male and female. You see, the emphasis was not on sexual behavior (with the same sex) but on how maleness and femaleness exist in human personality. Jung seemed to accept the “two-spirit” idea, that gay people have both a male and a female soul.

Jungian theory says that men and women are attracted to one another because all human beings in a way have two spirits or two halves. Their conscious self is one sex; their unconscious is the opposite, so men have an unconscious that is symbolized (in dreams, especially) as a woman. And when they meet a real woman who is like their unconscious they fall in love and vice versa.

What Mitch Walker importantly contributed to Jungian thinking was that gay people aren’t attracted to the unconscious of the other, oppositely-sexed, person, but rather to what he called The Double. He was the first openly gay psychologist to publish about homosexuality in a Jungian journal, back in 1976. (Spring Journal).

His idea is that we look for an idealized reflection of ourselves in order to actualize those ideals. This is a different model for relating than complementary opposites coming together to complete one another.

The archetype of the Double can be found in early myth once you start looking for it—Walker particularly cites Gilgamesh and the early Sumerian myths as evidence that this is basic to human nature.

But Walker’s real fascination has been with the Jungian idea of The Shadow.


Q 4: The Shadow? That sounds like a 1930s radio show!

A: Well, Jung wasn’t referring to the radio show, but the famous line from the show IS exactly what Jung was talking about.

Q: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.”

A: Exactly. The Shadow is one of the most interesting ideas in Jung.

The idea is that people project onto others things in themselves they don’t like and don’t want to recognize. When they see these traits in other people, they get compulsively upset and annoyed. It’s the phenomenon that we don’t recognize the “evil that lurks in our own hearts,” so we blame other people for it.

Of course, the perfect example of this dynamic is the Republican Party: they condemn President Obama for calling for "death panels" while, in fact, the Republican governors are cutting medical funding and deciding which patients to let die without health care.

The way to hide the bad things you do is to blame other people.

You see this with the Catholic Church as well. To hide the fact that so many priests are gay—and that they had problems with sexually active priests, the Pope (who sure pings my own gaydar!) condemns honest and openly gay priests and throws them out in order to protect the secretive, closeted and conflicted ones who are the problem AND he objects to gay marriage and gay liberation in order to make himself look straight.

Same thing among politicians.


Q 5: How are these ideas useful in psychoanalysis?

Jung called the Shadow "the royal road to the unconscious" because the shadow is the one archetypal constellation that is easy to bring into consciousness. The shadow is something we experience all the time--and with self-awareness can understand it as such.

This is the shadow as the behaviors we don't like in other people, the things that get us riled up and "compulsively" activated.

Mitch Walker includes in the idea of The Shadow the consequences of "internalized homophobia": how homosexuals' inculcated negative ideas about homosexuality result in "self-loathing" and guilt, shame, fear of exposure, feelings of being "left out," distancing from the body and feelings in the body. These are ideas that psychologist Don Clark wrote about in Loving Someone Gay.

This “self-loathing” is the source of "shadow" in gay people.

The shadow shows up as gay people's disapproval of other factions of gay people. "Straight-appearing, straight-acting" gays don't like drag queens and are embarrassed and annoyed when they see effeminate men. That our community breaks up into so many "warring factions" is the result of the gay shadow.

So in therapy and self-therapy, what you want to do is recognize what bothers you about other people and forgive them, understanding you’re upset because of your own fears about who you are.

This really helps people get over that “self-loathing”—when they come to value and honor their homosexuality then they can recognize how they have changed the ideas that had plagued them when they were growing up.

Therapy is always about getting over your childhood errors in perception.

Where it also comes up, I think, is in the experience of attraction and rejection.

I have a very vivid memory of being at The Midnight Sun on Castro St one night back in the 70s: there was a guy I was attracted to who wasn't paying any attention to my trying to cruise him AND there was another guy whom I could feel sexual vibes from which I resisted and resented because I wasn't attracted to him, so I ignored his effort to cruise me. It was "instant karma"--I was getting back exactly what I was putting out. I think that was a clear moment of shadow obsession. I was hurt and angered that the "pretty man" wouldn't notice me; I judged "pretty men" as being shallow and narcissistic, while I was doing EXACTLY the same thing to the man who apparently had put me in his "pretty" category. AND I resented and judged him for being sexually aggressive and annoying because he wouldn't accept my ignoring him as a no.

I think that is a very common experience of gay men and I think it is a perfect experience of the shadow dynamics.

So in therapy or self-examination, the shadow is easy to see because we can feel it. And as we feel ourselves having strong, compulsive emotions/feelings, we can get a glimpse into our unconscious.

This is a practical way to use the idea of the shadow in therapy: it's a clue to our own unconscious material.

The assimilationism that Mitch Walker and Don Kilhefner and the Radical Faeries struggle against seems a cultural gay shadow. The younger generation of non-identified homosexuals resist and judge "gay" culture as middle-class and shallow because they project their own gay shadow out and are compulsively annoyed at openly gay people because they are afraid of being gay (i.e. afraid of that pain/shame/guilt/etc which you identify as the traumatic shadow).

I want to acknowledge a whole 'nother kind of "gay shadow" and that is the way in which homosexuals are the recipient of projections of straight culture. Straight people don't want to admit their own unruly sexual drives (especially their sexual attraction to their own children--because they see themselves in their children and are automatically reminded of, and turned-on by, their own youthful sexual vitality). And so they blame homosexuals as being child-molesters.

We are the straight culture's shadow.


Q 6: You’re saying that psychological analysis and self-analysis/ self-examination is important to the gay liberation struggle, not just personally but politically and culturally.

A: I think the current gay political activists tend to use reason, logic and appeals to justice to defend gay rights. This doesn't recognize the psychological dynamics behind homophobia. Straight men have necessarily suppressed their boyhood sexual fascination with their own bodies as they become heterosexual adults. Their attraction to themselves in the mirror has been pushed into their shadow as a necessary and automatic consequence of sexual maturing. And so they blame all the bad things that can happen because of sex on those who constellate that shadow, i.e., the homosexuals.

Jung has another idea about how the human psyche has these four functions—thinking, feeling, sensing and intuiting. This is another topic entirely and we shouldn’t focus on it here. But the goal of Jungian analysis was to bring all these functions into consciousness and to understand how the mind works.

This is by yet a fifth function, called the Transcendent Function, meaning the ability to look at yourself and the dynamics of the world as psychological phenomena and to rise above it all enough to not let it ruin you.

This outsider status—taking a “critical perspective” is something gay people are trained at in growing up and discovering their sexual differentness.

So this Jungian model for personality really applies to us and helps us understand what’s going on. AND it shows us that this is a real “spiritual” thing we’re going thru. Being a good homosexual is being a kind of saint!

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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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