Table of Contents
Also on this website:
TWO SPIRITS: A Story of Life with the
Navajo, a collaboration with Walter L. Williams
SPIRITUALITY: The Role of
Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness
Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature
of God and the Universe
MATTER: updated, revised & expanded edtion from Lethe Press
with Afterword by Mark Jordan
LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE
A NOVEL ABOUT HEALING.
CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into
Gold: Reclaiming Our Queer Spirituality Through Story
Books on Gay Spirituality:
Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The
Dimensional Structure of
Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San
Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate
A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality
Why gay people should NOT Marry
Wedding Cake Liberation
Gay Marriage in Texas
Shame on the American People
The "highest form of love"
cause of homosexuality
The origins of homophobia
Q&A about Jungian ideas in gay consciousness
What is homosexuality?
is Gay Spirituality?
My three messages
What Jesus said about Gay
The purpose of homosexuality
Interview on the Nature of
What the Bible Says about
Mesosexual Ideal for Straight Men
of Gay Spirituality
of Gay Liberation Activity
Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality
as Artistic Medium
Easton Mountain Retreat Center
Andrew Harvey &
"It's Always About You"
The myth of the
Joseph Campbell's description of
Not A Wave
What is Enlightenment?
What is reincarnation?
Emptiness & Religious Ideas
Experiencing experiencing experiencing
Going into the Light
Meditations for a Funeral
The way to get to heaven
Advice to Travelers to India
Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva
John Boswell was Immanuel Kant
Toby Johnson Believes
The Joseph Campbell Connection
Campbell & The Pre/Trans Fallacy
The Nature of Religion
Gay is a Blessing
Gay Spiritual Functions
The subtle workings of the spirit in gay men's lives.
The Sinfulness of
for a study of gay nondualism
Marian Doctrines: Immaculate Conception & Assumption
"The Evolution of Gay Identity"
"St. John of the
Dark Night of the Soul."
Avalokiteshvara at the Baths.
Let Me Tell You a Secret
Religious Articulations of the
The Collective Unconscious
Driving as Spiritual Practice
Step in Evolution
The New Myth
Prostitution and the Nature of Evil
Hu: "God is present here"
The Life is in the Blood
retirement and the "freelance monastery"
Seeing with Different Eyes
are you looking for in a gay science fiction novel?
experience at the Servites' Castle in Riverside
Great Dance according to C.S.Lewis
The Techniques Of The World Saviors
Part 1: Brer Rabbit and the
Part 2: The
Part 3: Jesus
and the Resurrection
Part 4: A
Course in Miracles
Secret of the Clear Light
Understanding the Clear Light
Souls Get Reincarnated
About Alien Abduction
In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke
Karellen was a homosexual
about Gay Mental Health
Ideas for gay mythic stories
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"
Michael Talbot, gay mystic
About Guy Mannheimer
About Dennis Paddie
About Arthur Evans
About Christopher Larkin
About Sterling Houston
About Michael Stevens
Our friend Tom Nash
Second March on
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 Bougeois
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
Being gay is a blessing,
a higher incarnation, a better way to be. These are notions many of us,
especially men involved in the gay spirituality movement, may believe
deeply, but seldom say out loud. Perhaps because we are especially
sensitive to the problems that follow when one group claims superiority
over another, we do not claim superiority over normal heterosexuals.
But at certain moments--perhaps in meditation or prayer, perhaps in
sexual arousal, perhaps at a gay bar or a political fundraiser or
social event--we realize just how wonderful our lives are and how
blessed we are to be gay.
This discovery is an important part of spiritual maturation. As we
understand how blessed we are, we begin to put out those good vibes. We
can forgive the world. We can accept things as they are with all the
pain and loss that goes with being human. And when we do that we change
Gay orientation is participation in one of the great
thoughts of the planet. We resonate with the lives of all the
homosexuals who have lived before us. And we transform their lives by
the way we live ours. We affect all the people around us. The world is
a different place since gay liberation. No matter how hard anti-gay
forces try to prevent it, gay identity has appeared and is changing the
world. That is why, as individual gay people, we have a moral
responsibility to participate positively in this worldwide change we
When you discover that your being gay is the longest
straw you ever drew in your life, then you can put out all good
intentions. You can love your life--even while you suffer.
The specifics of our lives may be horrific, like AIDS. But
that is the point. To love what is unlovable is to transform it. This
is how we participate in the evolution of consciousness.
Being a higher incarnation isn't better. The long straw
of gay identity implies sensitivity and vulnerability to other people,
and, even, responsibility and expectation of heroic virtue. Being a
higher incarnation, in the metaphor of Mahayana Buddhism, may mean
being a bodhisattva.
Transformation Of Religion
Religion teaches acceptance and
resignation to Divine Will, but all too often it also teaches
resistance to the way things are, i.e., to the so-called human
condition. Roman Catholicism teaches that the urges of the flesh and
the things that give pleasure to the body are sinful and punishable by
being burned alive everlastingly. Buddhism teaches that love of life
and enjoyment of the senses causes continuing rebirth into life after
life of suffering. Protestantism teaches that human beings are all
miserable sinners only worthy in God's eyes because we are cloaked in
the grace of Jesus's sacrificial death. These are not declarations of
the wisdom of choosing things the way they are and participating in the
beauty and growth of the world.
Religion inadvertently ends up being about unhappiness not happiness,
figuring out who is to blame, not understanding and feeling compassion
for other people's struggle. That is not the wisdom to glean from the
mythological vision that has come down to us. And it is not a wisdom to
With the transformation of our understanding of religion we can see
that the sex-negative, body-negative, life-denying, punitive notions in
religion need to be let go of to fall into the past--like the
persecution of witches or approval of slavery.
Like the rose that would bend to the pruning knife, mainstream
American Christianity should welcome the challenge gay people pose.
Here is its chance to transform its attitude and beliefs about the
mythologies of the past and to reorient itself back to the teachings of
Jesus about love and compassion. It's time to give up Jesus as medieval
God and to embrace Jesus--and Avalokiteshvara--as symbols of how humans
can relate to one another, all as loving neighbors, all as different
manifestations of the same Self of Earth.
The message of the myths is that we can make up our own religion.
Indeed, we have to. We may do that, of course, by joining a Church or
by becoming a student of a Master and accepting everything we're told.
But we do it, not because it is the One True Church or because the
Master is right. We do it because we choose to follow this path because
we like how it makes us feel. We may also do it by studying various
religions and selecting the metaphors that seem life-affirming and
meaningful to us. We make up our own religion in order to feel good
about our life.
God doesn't care what religion we are. God just keeps shining. We're
the ones who have to choose how we think about God--or whether we even
This essay is excerpted from GAY
It continues with the next excerpt titled Freedom
Christian de la
Huerta, author of Coming Out Spiritually: The Next Step,
identifies ten spiritual functions
of gay and lesbian people.
Toby Johnson, PhD is
eight books: three non-fiction books that apply the wisdom of his
teacher and "wise old man," Joseph Campbell to modern-day social and
religious problems, three gay genre novels that dramatize spiritual
issues at the heart of gay identity, and two books on gay men's
spiritualities and the mystical experience of homosexuality. In
addition to the novels featured
elsewhere in this web site, Johnson is author of IN SEARCH OF GOD IN
THE SEXUAL UNDERWORLD and THE MYTH OF
THE GREAT SECRET (Revised edition): AN APPRECIATION OF JOSEPH
Johnson's Lammy Award winning book GAY
SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of
Human Consciousness was published in 2000.
His Lammy-nominated book GAY
PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature
of God and the Universe was published by Alyson in 2003.