Also on this website:
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
LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE
A NOVEL ABOUT HEALING.
Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate
Shame on the American People
cause of homosexuality
What Jesus said about Gay
The purpose of homosexuality
of Gay Spirituality
Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality
as Artistic Medium
"It's Always About You"
Not A Wave
The myth of the
Toby Johnson Believes
The Joseph Campbell Connection,
The Nature of Religion
Gay is a Blessing
"The Evolution of Gay Identity"
"St. John of the Cross &
Dark Night of the Soul."
Avalokiteshvara at the Baths.
Prostitution and the Nature of Evil
Hu: "God is present here"
retirement and the "freelance monastery"
Seeing with Different Eyes
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
Finding YourTiger Face
Souls Get Reincarnated
and nicknamesake Toby Marotta.
The greater reality
reveals itself as strange things that make you think there’s something
you ought to know, but don’t. Sometimes this greater reality may
actually impinge into your everyday reality and give you a sign.
Such an experience can be stunning. It can cause the world
of everyday reality suddenly to appear like a stage set. Then, it
seems, someone opens a door for you, a door you’ve always known was
there but which you’ve known you weren’t supposed to open. And through
that door, to your surprise, you see the scaffolding that holds up the
sets and painted surfaces that you have been taking for granted and
have been taking for reality. To your surprise, perhaps you even see
the stagehands waiting distractedly, sipping coffee and smoking
cigarettes, waiting to change the sets, and behind them the
supernumeraries awaiting their cues to come onstage to keep alive for
you the illusion of the world. To your surprise, you see through that
door and the universe changes. And you must change your attitude toward
it. For suddenly, to your surprise, you discover that the whole thing
is going on for your entertainment.
Occasionally, perhaps after a fine dinner with a glass or
two of wine in the company of good friends, during conversation over
coffee, when the feelings at the table are very jovial and you are most
comfortable and at home, there will be a lull in the conversation, a
quieting of laughter after a particularly well appreciated joke. And
one of the guests will lean across the table and say softly to you,
“Listen, let me tell you a secret... ”
And he will tell you what you have known all along, but
never dared to believe.
He will open that door you’ve known was there. He will
tell you that, after all, you are the only one here; you are the reason
for it all. He will tell you that the rest of them are actors who have
been hired to entertain you and to play out your life before you. He
will tell you that you are different from all the others, for they are
only surfaces, projections of your own thoughts and feelings; that they
conspire to be the universe for you; and that they seldom, very seldom,
ever let you in on the secret. And he will tell you, with a
conspiratorial tone in his voice, that he is taking a liberty with you
and, for a moment, stepping out of character to tell you who you really
And then he will smile and toast you with his glass or
pour you another cup of coffee. And the conversation will suddenly
resume, and the room will ring with laughter again, and your friend
will seem as he has always seemed to you, but you will feel a chill.
And you will wonder what just happened. You will wonder if it really
happened at all. You will wonder.
The next morning, when in a more
sober and skeptical state of mind, you might doubt the significance of
such an event. You might think your friend was playing a joke on you.
But you might also realize the bald truth of it. And you might realize
that that revelation of centrality can be made to each and every
person. And that realization might, indeed, be more a source of wonder
than the previous evening’s curious intermission.
This realization of centrality is familiar in mystical
literature. It founds Gerard Manley Hopkins’ notion of inscape. It
culminates C.S. Lewis’s mystical message in his wonderful novel
Perelandra in which the protagonist discovers that, in what he call the
all events are
intricately interwoven so that each thing is at the center and for it
all else was made. This same image appears in Hindu myth as the Net of
Indra (a favorite of Joseph
by the way). And it is what the holographic model of the universe
suggests is the real character of the universe outside the perceptual
categories of the human mind.
To each of us it can be said that we are at the center of
the universe and for us it was all made. We, in turn, have created one
another and have created God as the dispenser of clues to remind us,
now and then, of who we really are. But of course, even when we are
reminded--as you were just now, dear Reader--the reminders remain
always imprecise and indefinite metaphors. Still, they have the power
to evoke wonder and they can call us to change our lives.
All my life I have been fascinated by this idea (myth) that
there is a "Great Secret" that underlies all of reality and all of
I've tried to come up with just the right way of articulating the
One way of saying it is "This is the Great Secret: that the
universe is ultimately benign."
Another is: "This is heaven now."
In ways, I think, one of the Secret's fundamental manifestations is the
question: "What do I look like to other people?" (This parallels, but
is certainly different from, the Zen koan: What is your original face?)
The world's various religions are all really about articulating and/or
manifesting the Great Secret. Click
here for the religious answers.