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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Unpublished manuscripts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


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.




Mobius Strip as Geometrical Image of Gay Spirit


mobius strip flaming

by Toby Johnson

A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.
"Little Gidding" by T.S. Eliot


from Gay Perspective: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us About the Nature of God and the Universe.

Making Connections

All human beings need to connect. It's how we join in the general dance. Connection is what supports consciousness and human intelligence. People who can't form interpersonal connections are generally considered insane (infantile autism is the epitome). And sex is one of the major ways humans connect. How we think about making connections influences our experiences of life and love.

Built into the dualistic vision of the world is the notion that virtually everything links by heterosexual connection--opposites attract. Electrical connections plug "male” plugs into "female" sockets. Pipes have male and female joints and connectors. According to this mechanical model, homosexuality doesn't work because the "plumbing" doesn't fit.

There used to be a "homosexuality cure" called Aesthetic Realism. It argued that it is aesthetically pleasing that male and female fit together. By contrast, male and male and female and female don't possess the proper connectors and so are "unaesthetic." Of course, this ignored the fact that homosexuals find members of their own sex attractive. To homosexuals, homosexuality is aesthetically pleasing. Like most cures, Aesthetic Realism assumed homosexuality doesn't really exist.

Curiously, the very image that is used to prove “opposites attract” —the way magnets seem to pull together north pole to south pole and south pole to north pole and repel when pushed pole to pole—actually demonstrates just the opposite. Scientific understanding of magnetism reveals that what’s really happening is the charged fields in the atoms of the magnets are lining up. Magnetism is really like aligning with like: north pointing atoms line up with other north pointing atoms and avoid the south pointing ones.

Rather than heterosexual coitus, the sexual position demonstrated by magnetism is more like a “daisy-chain” of men all lined up performing the same stimulation to another that someone else is performing on them.

Still, we don't have a model to demonstrate how male and male and female and female do fit together. We need an example of how, at the mechanical level, like connects to like. A model of homosexuality also needs to incorporate the "twist" that captures our reversal of the expected pattern. It is, after all, the "twist"--the fact that you have to discover something new about yourself, "come out," and transform how you see the world--that dominates gay experience. Our homosexuality is a 180 shift from what we would have expected.


The Queer Twist in Nature

The wedding band is a familiar symbol for the link between two people in sexual, spiritual and karmic relationship. The band represents how two people become one, closing the circle, as it were. Though they are always separated by the body of the ring itself, the inside and the outside of the ring come together in the unity of the closed band. Beginning with the image of the circle or band, let's introduce a twist with interesting properties that parallel aspects of gay consciousness.

In the topographical figure called a Mobius Strip, we can find an icon for things connecting "homosexually." And it even does something "queer."

 mobius strip simple

This figure is formed by taking a thin strip of paper (like adding machine tape) and gluing the ends together to form a circular band, but with a twist: left and right, inside and outside are switched. This creates a most peculiar construction. Forming the circular band transforms it from a rectangle to a cylinder, from two dimensions to three. But turning it back on itself with the twist moves that simple object into another kind of dimensionality altogether; it has a kind of queer infinity. It even looks like the infinity symbol. The surface area of the strip now contains both sides on the same side. The opposite poles have become each other. A Mobius Strip is an unbounded surface with only one side and one edge: no inside, no outside, no duality.

This is just a model, of course, an affectation. It doesn't prove anything. But like all mythological metaphors, it offers a way of thinking about and giving meaning to experience. It's a metaphor for the queer twist our gay identity gives to the world. It provides a rich, multi-layered focus for meditation. Interestingly, this twisted figure eight pattern is the figure your folded legs form in the half-lotus meditation posture. When you sit in meditation, you're sitting in a Mobius twist--with your sexual center at the place of the twist.

We discover in the metaphor that this twist is part of reality just as much as the male-female connections of plumbing, but--in typically gay fashion--more subtle. Homosexual personality blends masculine and feminine, bringing the polarities together and transcending them, putting both sides of human consciousness on the same side. The Mobius flip is connection by reflection, like the flip in a mirror image. Our beloved reflects our own gender, not a complementary opposite. Gay consciousness, like the Mobius twist, connects by reflection.

One of the most famous "twists" in the discoveries of modern science is the DNA molecule. The double-helix of DNA replicates by untwisting and separating its two strands, then each strand links with free available amino acids to form an exact duplicate of itself, creating a new double helix. While the linking between the bases along the helical strands, adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine (A,T,C,G), is key-in-lock, forming AT, CG, TA or GC pairs, the overall resulting strands are exact duplicates of the original--mirror images. DNA strands are not complementary opposites; there isn't a male strand and a female strand or even a right strand and a left strand. The DNA molecule reproduces by reflection, by forming a mirror image of itself. DNA replicates "homosexually."

According to the theory of General Economy and the principle of Biological Exuberance, nature "twists" the logic of the male dominance imperatives. There is no scarcity, no need for competition or hierarchy. Instead of utility, efficiency and parsimony, evolution favors extragavance, prodigality, and diversity. Homosexuality contributes to the biological evolution of Earth precisely by not contributing biologically and, thereby, expanding the margins for possibility and diversity. It is these that enhance life's fecundity.

Procreation occurs through key-in-lock connections--connections of opposites. Connection of likes--by reflection--generates consciousness. As we saw earlier, in the brain, the neurons generate a mirror reflection of what the senses apprehend outside the body. This inner world is what we are conscious of as outside. Consciousness itself is our looking back at our own awareness as in a mirror, seeing what's inside as though it were outside. Our minds generate a world that's inside us--and twisted 180, like a mirror image. In a curiously coincidental way, this twist is actually manifested in our bodies in the flip in the connections between the spinal cord and the brain: the left side of the body is controlled by the right side of the brain and vice versa. Our bodies are mirror images of our brains. For every person, this inversion of inside and outside, left and right generates the "queer" dimension that is consciousness.

This consciousness is the consciousness of the Earth. Joseph Campbell said the most potent mythological image for our day is that of Earthrise from the surface of the moon. Human beings' going to the moon demonstrated, practically, the conquest of science and technology and, symbolically, the stance of consciousness able to be aware of itself. With the landing on the moon, for the first time, Earth was able to look back on itself from outside. This is how we now have to understand consciousness, not just from within, but from without--by stepping outside, turning back, and looking at ourselves with an outsider's perspective. For Campbell, this symbolized the new myth: the "myth" of myth, spiritual consciousness understanding the nature of myth from over and above any particular mythological system--from outside.

All people are called to this perspective. Gay people are seasoned by our lives to assume it naturally. For to be gay is to have achieved such consciousness about oneself. A person can behave homosexually without being conscious of himself as homosexual, but to be conscious and to identify as gay is necessarily to have stepped outside and observed oneself and, therefore, to have understood one's life in a larger context.

Mystical Paradox

Bodhisattva by Peter Grahame
In the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, Jesus offered a remarkably Mobius-like observation about the Kingdom of Heaven: "When you make the male as the female, and the female as the male, and the up as the down and the inner as the outer, then shall you see the Kingdom of Heaven."

Jesus was talking about twisting perceptions. This paradoxical thinking even appears in the canonical gospels: "The first shall be last and the last shall be first" and "To gain your life you must lose it." To see the Kingdom of Heaven, you have to change your perceptions, you have to look at the world a different way. Overcoming the polarities, seeing beyond male and female, is realizing such a transformation.

Around the same time that Jesus was preaching in Israel, a Buddhist tradition was developing in India that expresses a similar idea. Buddhist teachers, who wanted to dramatize the importance of compassion (seeing your self in others) as a religious experience, told the story of Avalokiteshvara, the attractive, lovable, and androgynous young seeker. Like Jesus, Avalokiteshvara saved the world.

This mythological character--called a Bodhisattva, one whose very being is enlightenment--is usually shown as a handsome young man sitting bare chested in a relaxed meditation pose with one leg cocked or hanging casually over a wall. The story goes that he was just about to enter nirvana and escape altogether the cycles of rebirth that Buddhism understands as the true cause of suffering. But in that final moment he became so filled with compassion for the suffering beings he was about to leave behind that he volunteered to forgo nirvana for himself. In an act of world-saving generosity, he vowed to remain in the cycles of rebirth until all other beings had entered nirvana, and to take on himself the karmic debts of all those suffering sentient beings. At that instant, all sentient beings were saved and ushered into nirvana in distant mythic sacred time, leaving Avalokiteshvara alone behind to live out all their lifetimes and all their karma for them.


Avalokiteshvara is therefore the only Being that exists. He saves the world by becoming the world and all sentient beings--that is, all possible perspectives on the world. He saves the world by loving the world unconditionally, twisting the perception that the world is separate from him and that nirvana is somewhere other than here and now. He saves all beings--and himself--by shattering the distinction between nirvana and the world. The Bodhisattva lives in the "Kingdom of Heaven" because he inhabits the infinite Now.

Even as we experience the suffering of life in the world, we are all incarnations of the Bodhisattva. We are all that One Being. We have only to awaken to our true nature. And we do this by joyfully participating in the world out of unconditional compassion, by saying yes to life because that is what we have already done in sacred time as the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.

The Three Wonders

The All in One by Stevee Postman
This Buddhist myth reminds us of the links between our androgynous gayness, our delight in incarnation, and our search for spiritual insight. For there are Three Wonders of the Bodhisattva: The first wonder is that he transcends sexual duality, being simultaneously male and female. The second that he transcends the difference between time and eternity, seeing no difference between earth and heaven. And the third wonder is that the first two wonders are the same!

The Bodhisattva's third wonder is like the twist in the Mobius strip, doubling back on itself and giving a whole new "dimension" of meaning to what went before. Androgyny is nirvana.

Purple mobius
The metaphor of the "queer twist" in nature, though just a metaphor, captures the role
gay people have played in society
of promoting culture and consciousness: We are the artists, poets, storytellers, designers, and creators of beauty who contribute, not at the level of biology, but at the level of mind. In meditation, you can feel the twisted figure eight of your legs; you can visualize the DNA in your cells twisting and untwisting; you can realize how your life and destiny demonstrate and manifest nature's exuberance; you can imagine your nervous system creating your internal world and sense your body as the mirror image of your brain; you can imagine yourself as planet Earth and look back at yourself from outside. You can remember being Avalokiteshvara. You can find a place for your own kind of consciousness, with your special kind of twist, in the basic nature of things.  (This lovely image of two men forming a mobius and infinity sign together appeared in the ADVOCATE in an ad for KY "Intrigue" brand lubricant.)

You can even go one step further, you can perform the twist in judgment that repudiates all those male domination imperatives. Imagine yourself judging the world--like Jesus in Michaelangelo's fresco of the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. Observe all the sin and injustice in the world, all "man's inhumanity to man," all the failure, cruelty, and stupidity. And then twist the judgment and forgive it all. Will that all beings be welcomed into Heaven and that none be cast into Hell. Then you too are participating in saving the world.



Back to Toby Johnson main page






A Three-Dimensional Mobius

The Mobius Strip captures the imagination. It's a physical representation of paradox. Though, of course, it's just whimsy that a one-sided object with only one edge can actually exist, that IS techincally what a Mobius Strip is: a two-dimensional geometrical figure that is twisted into three-dimensional space as just such an object twice as long as itself with only one edge and one face. That play-in-thought then suggests some additional dimension into which the "other side" and "other edge" have been projected. It's a dimension of consciousness, a hidden dimension. And so the Mobius Strip is a metaphor about consciousness. Klein Bottle


The traditional idea of a three-dimensional Mobius is the Klein Bottle; but it's imaginary; it really can't exist (the "tube" would have to pass through the wall of the "flask" without intersecting the surface; the opening through the wall exists only as an imaginary space).

Mathematician Yale Landsberg has found a way to extend the metaphor into three dimensions to suggest yet another fourth.  Folding the flattened strip of the Mobius and then opening it allows a new way of seeing the shapes embedded within it, sexual shapes, lingam and yoni.

mobiliskmobiyoni

Images, courtesy of Yale S.Y. Landsberg; M.S. Operations Research, New York University


And, lo and behold, there's the physical manifestation of the secret gnosis revealed by the Jesus of the St. Thomas Gospel. Landsberg's twists and folds reveal the lesson of seeing the Kingdom of Heaven.

Was Jesus twisting one of these strips in his fingers when he was teaching his logion of immanent salvation, you have to wonder.


Click here to read Yale Landsberg's article:
RevelationZ: How Saint Thomas's Mobius “God” Strips?
Yale S.Y. Landsberg is the inventor of the TrueTyme Sun/Moon/Self natural time smartclock and smartwatch app, which is described on TrueTyme.org, and is found on Google Play. He is  also a Founding Member of The Open Conspiracy Of SCI'RE "revival" -- which seeks to reintroduce more natural thinking methods that address the mass-education "corp-think" issues found on John Taylor Gatto's OpenConspiracy.org

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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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