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Toby Johnson's books:

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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


Unpublished manuscripts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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"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


Historicity as Myth


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


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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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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:

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

Spirituality cover
Gay Spirituality

Gay Identity and 
the Transformation of
Human Consciousness

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


Getting Life
Getting Life in Perspective

A Fantastical Romance

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

The Fourth Quill is available as an audiobook, narrated by Jimmie Moreland. Click here

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

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.

This article is extracted from a longer piece called "A Bifurcation in Gay Spirituality," which reviews the book Coming Out, Coming Home: Making Room for Gay Spirituality in Therapy by Kenneth A. Burr

The reason for believing in certain mythological/ archetypal stories is that they affect how you understand your life and reason for being. The project of spirituality is to transform your experience of life by taking responsibility for what you expect and bring about through intention. The goal of the spiritual life is to experience “oneness with God,” that is, to experience being in heaven now.

Gay people, in particular, suffer confusion about what intentions to hold for their lives because of their religious upbringing and beliefs. There’s a truly “hero’s journey” we have to go through, obstacles to overcome and interior monster we have to battle to cope with gay identity. The fact that the Churches deliberately choose to vilify homosexuality—in contradiction to evidence and the Church personnel’s own example—and interpret ancient texts to justify anti-gay prejudice damages their gay members self-image and life expectations. It spoils their spirituality; the guides along the hero path pone is supposed to be able to trust are lying. This undermines the Churches’ spiritual authority. If they are as wrong about homosexuality as they are, why would anybody think they are right about anything else? Getting over such religious beliefs is an important step in psychological maturity. And, of course, the education in what the Bible really says and doesn’t say that Burr recommends as part of therapy is important to help religious people transcend those damaging beliefs. But there’s more to it.

What I think “gay spirituality” is is not just getting over guilt and learning to “come home” to the Church and be as normal as possible, but discovering how to understand the specific traits and qualities that go with being “abnormal” as spiritual powers and vocations that give meaning and direction to one’s life.

seeing beyond the veilThe goal of gay spirituality, I think, is to find for ourselves—and to assist other gay people to see—how our homosexuality can be understood as a clue and an operative practice to experience “being in heaven.” Meditation and spiritual practice serve to reveal this transcendental reality; they transform experience so that the world DOES appear and BECOMES heaven now. For gay people spiritual vision sees how the styles of gay life can be perceived as—and thereby transformed into—clues to heaven.

Gay spirituality shouldn’t downplay homosexuality, it should sacralize it and find spiritual meaning in the patterns of gay life.

Gay consciousness has to be sex-positive. If one isn’t strongly sexually motivated, one just doesn’t come out and be gay. So gay people have a drive—and psychological need—to explain sex and sexuality to themselves and to enhance the experience by intentional practice. Hence, gay men’s culture facilitated the modernized interpretation of Taoist and Tantric sexual meditation practices that are taught in the Body Electric Trainings. Gay-positive, sex-positive people will naturally want to discover more layers to sex; we certainly see that in the way men broaden their sexual repertory as they age. The “Bear “ phenomenon demonstrates that. It is truly spiritual to include mystical transformation of sex in that broadened repertory.

Gay patterns of free and anonymous sex resonate with the mystical poetry of the Sufis and of, specifically, St John of the Cross whose poem "On a Dark Night" is about discovering that the man he has had anonymous “park sex” was Jesus. For all of us, according to mystical wisdom, are Jesus and Avalokiteshvara and God-incarnate to one another, and should behave so!

Gaydar can be an experience of recognizing divinity incarnated all around us, an experience of seeing God in other’s faces. Enjoying porn can provide an opportunity to see God-incarnate pleasuring him/herself and others in the physical world of human sexplay. A porn video is no less arousing, but is transformed mystically, by remembering the porn stars are generously sharing their sexual joys with you and showing gratitude by recognizing divinity in their beauty and attractiveness.

The styles of gay men’s sex acts automatically transform ideas about anality and patterns developed in toilet training; this can relieve a whole source of neurosis, while also, of course, requiring education in new, intentional habits of hygiene. Gay and lesbian sexual experience is so different from straight people’s because there is no thought—either as expectation or as fear—of pregnancy. Sex is about something entirely different for gay people. You have to have changed your mind about what sex is for in order to function as gay. Gay sex allows us to be both “male”/active and “female”/passive alternately, sequentially, even simultaneously— transcending, in the physical act of coitus, the distinction between the sexes; comprising, like “God,” both sides of human experience.

The One in All - Stevee PostmanBelieving sex is good and that God can be found in sexual ecstasy creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. Thinking “Here comes God” as you reach ejaculatory inevitably and “May all beings be happy, may all being be free” as you are coming moves the orgasm beyond just a biological strategy for spreading DNA or a glandular process for relieving pressure into a practice of the presence of God and an experience of higher consciousness. This is so-called “sex magick” and it’s a great contribution of the Radical Faeries, neo-pagans and new-age homosexuals to collective gay culture.

With sex and incarnation in impermanent flesh comes death. It’s been the reality of sickness and death that has helped awaken the gay community’s spiritual side, just as, in the story of Prince Gautama, seeing sickness and death was the motivation to flee his life of luxury and normalcy with wife and family to seek Enlightenment and become Buddha.

The gay encounter with AIDS in the last decades resonates with myths of asceticism, voluntary suffering, mystical substitution and self-sacrifice for the salvation of others—by both the "victims" and the caregivers.

Living without children, living without dealing with the differences between men and women, living with the ever-present question of who else is gay around us (gaydar) and wondering who else sees it in us and whether that makes them friends or foes and whether they’re attractive/ attracted to us or not (cruising), having to—or getting to—come out to new people all the time—these are experiences that make our lives different from those of most other people.
Living without children means living without a vested interest in the future, living in the now where spiritual wisdom says eternity is found. Living without reproducing—and still being a contributing, participating member of human society and being happy and fulfilled—witnesses to an overcrowded world that you don’t have to reproduce to be a full human being.

Living differently from other people results in thoughts and feelings of difference. Because there are so many negative messages in society—or simply the absence of messages—about homosexuals and homosexuality, most of us grow up confused and conflicted about our sexuality. This results in what, in gay-oriented psychotherapy, is called “internalized homophobia,” the tendency for gay people themselves to hold negative ideas and judgments of what gayness is and of people who are gay, including, at a deep and subconscious level, oneself.

In the way that spiritual practice then is supposed to help people live happier, fuller lives, gay spirituality necessarily addresses patterns of internalized homophobia. So patterns, like thinking people are judging/laughing at you behind your back (called, psychiatrically, “delusions of reference”) or being especially sensitive to rejection (and such self-defeating coping mechanisms as rejecting others first before they reject you), feeling unwanted and unattractive (replicating throughout life feelings of hurt from such events as being last chosen in childhood sports team selection), sabotaging sexual and romantic opportunities by acting neurotically or sabotaging your life with alcohol and the wrong drugs—all these patterns need to be recontextualized and understood. This is spiritual practice as psychotherapeutic. Self-loathing is transformed into self-effacing humility and virtue. Loneliness and bad fortune can become solidarity with the oppressed of the Earth. Acceptance of your fate can be meritful resignation to divine will and embrace of vocation.

With spiritual insight, we can see that we resonate with the “karmic patterns” of a long heritage of homosexuals and sexual deviants before us. We resonate with the vibes of two-spirits shamans through the ages of ages of prehuman hunter-gatherer culture; of ganga-smoking yogis and herb-, mushroom- and cactus-eating ecstatics; of taboo-violating Tantrikas and heretics, world-renouncing ascetics and incarnation-embracing bodhisattvas; of wandering monks, warlocks, hermits and pilgrims; of witches, wizards and magicians, Mattachines, mimes and messengers, scouts and wanderers; of bon vivants, counterculturalists and vagabonds; of surrogate parents for nieces and nephews throughout tribal millennia who improved the children’s minds by enriching family life with extra adults; of artists and poets and culture guides through the ages of evolution of civilization. All these human vocations resonate in our lives still. And we can mythically understand our lives in the context of the karmic resonances generated by them—by all the homosexual men and women who’ve come before us. We are an integral part of the evolution of consciousness and we can understand this as spiritual vocation.

Talents of gay personality, like style, design and artistry and, perhaps even more important, sensitivity, compassion and drive to service, show us the virtues we can and should cultivate for our spiritual growth. Our gayness gives us a perspective on life and cultural convention; we understand the world, other people’s lifestyles AND religious tradition from over and above; we should strive to be visionaries and world-transformers. Our attraction to same rather than opposite potentially makes us less distracted and obsessed with duality; we are blessed, if we want to be so, with clues to nondual vision, the goal of most of the world’s mystical traditions.

Gay spirituality sees that a frivolous whimsy of gay life, like drag (from Radical Faerie-style genderfuck to stage drag and serious female impersonation, from Halloween costume to personal effeminacy) resonate with age-old myths of androgynous, bisexual gods and cross-dressing shamans.

With spiritual sight, we see our lovers as reflections of ourselves just as God sees the universe as a perfect reflection of Godself—perfect reflections, not competing, complementary but ever-clashing, opposites. This is a very different way to experience the world from the way most straight people do. And the fact that some straight people ARE resonating with our gay perspective is evidence of the positive influence we are having in the transformation of human consciousness. This is a very different way to experience the world than the traditional religions advocate: there’s no battle between good and evil, no absolute distinction between God and man, nature and God, nature and man, man and woman. This is a new kind of religion.
Floating man
Of course, to get to this stage of creating your own gay religion, you have to have gone through the “hero’s journey” of coming out. There is a necessary maturation process-—learning the skills of self-introspection and self-awareness—that goes with realizing you’re gay. Coming out is a conversion experience. The effort shouldn’t be squandered by then just going back into a closet of normalcy. That’s OK, of course, for people who want to do it; we’re all free to be gay in whatever way we want (that’s the point of this freedom!). But these skills of introspection and awareness can potentially move you higher in consciousness to that experience of being in heaven now.

Gay spirituality means to see beyond church, religion and myth in an enlightened vision that arises from your homosexuality so that you understand the clue your sexuality is to who you really are and why you’re here. This enlightened vision isn’t necessarily anti-religious; in fact, it can rejoice in liturgy, music and art as the high culture forms of religious tradition, but it does, necessarily, understand the nature of religious doctrine and moral authority in a new, transcendent way.

There is an age-old notion in “gay” subculture that being gay reveals to you a whole ’nother reality that straight people just never see. There is a “secret society,” from the shamans on the savannas to the Knights Templar and Mattachine troubadours to modern gay-identified men and women,  who share a “secret,” a “unique perspective” on reality. This is partly just hype, of course, homosexuals DO live in the real world with Avalokiteshvara with a thousand handsother people. But there is also a level of self-fulfilling prophecy to the idea. This is the esoteric aspect of gay spirituality. And the esoteric secret in all spiritual traditions ultimately is that you are one with your God, that Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Avalokiteshvara, etc. are really symbols of your innermost self, that “Thou Art That” (“Tat Tvam Asi”/”Brahman-Atman”), that there is no God because it is all God. Because we “believe” in the secret, we are indeed revealed it and our lives are better, more productive and contributing and richer for it.

Read about the "gay contribution to human culture" in the discovery of Pleasure as a Spiritual Path in Toby Johnson's Commentary on The Secret of the Golden Phallus by Bruce Grether.

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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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