Table of Contents
Also on this website:
Toby Johnson's books:
GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness
GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe
THE FOURTH QUILL, a
novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil
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
Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"
The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the "Statement of Spirituality"
You're Not A Wave
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
The way to get to heaven
Buddha's father was right
Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal
The Danda Nata & goddess Kalika
Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva
John Boswell was Immanuel Kant
The Two Loves
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
The aphorism of the 14th Century Rhineland mystic Meister Eckhart, "The eye with which I see God is the eye with which God sees me" is a focus I hold in mind frequently in meditation. Like the Zen thought-puzzles, this phrase opens out with so many elusive meanings -- and then into states of awareness beyond meaning (like bliss). Certainly one such meaning is in the pun in English (though this does not work in German, so not part of Eckhart's original meaning) "eye" for "I." Hence: "The I with which I see God is the I with which God sees me." My experience of my own subjectivity is my experience of the general consciousness of the universe which is "God." Indeed, my act of realizing that my consciousness participates in "God's" consciousness is God seeing me. God sees me in my self-awareness because who is seeing me is "God."
Meditation is a practice of holding in mind a thought that can't exactly be thought, so that you're forced to rise to a higher perspective, a higher level of consciousness. Eckhart's words are wonderfully elusive. They move and awaken the mind and call it past themselves in to that void or openness beyond ego.
The world that I experience is me. It is also, to one who has the eye to see, the Face of God. Deeper than the personal being that in the course of my day I think of as me -- the focus around which all activity is happening, I am a tiny spark of consciousness that with all the other sparks of consciousness make up the Body and Mind of "God." It is through the filter of my own "personal" being that I see "God" as personal and it is through the human projection of personality onto "God" that "God" evolves a personhood. We are responsible for the kind of person we make God out to be!
What I think of as I is an eye with which I experience the multitudinous diversity of consciousness from the point of view called "me." We are all the eyes of consciousness, the sensory organs of "God," seeing the world -- which is the variety of manifestations in three dimensions of multidimensional consciousness. We are consciousness experiencing consciousness experiencing consciousness.
My act of meditation is a choice to pass beyond the little self of ego (that's going to die in a matter of years anyway) and to remember -- and thereby experience and become -- the "spark" of consciousness that is what I really am (and that will one day wake up from my individual life to become all life). Then I can say "Yes" to life , say "It's great just the way it is" -- in spite of suffering and disappointment and death -- and wish happiness for all beings, judging no one, wishing harm on no one. And that, I think, is the purpose of meditation -- and, indeed, of all religious activity.
Toby Johnson, PhD is author of 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 CAMPBELL.
Johnson's Lammy Award winning book
SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of
Human Consciousness was published in 2000. His Lammy-nominated
PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature
of God and the Universe was published by Alyson in 2003. Both books are
available now from Lethe
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