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
On the evening of the full moon of August 1972, Joseph Campbell was lecturing at the Mann Ranch Seminars in northern California. I was on staff at the Mann Ranch.
That evening we'd surprised the guests by leading them on a long hike up to the top of the highest point of the coastal range above Mendocino. There on the rocky ground, covered now with blue-and-white-checked tableclothes, we'd laid out a sumptuous picnic supper spread. (What the guests hadn't known was that the peak could be reached easily by road from the other side.)
As we were preparing to eat under the deep twilight sky, Campbell pointed out what was going on in the heavens above us. At that very moment, he said, as the sun was slipping below the edge of the earth to the west, the full moon was rising over the brown brink of the horizon to the east. Joe explained that as the sun was setting, the Greeks imagined, in its last ray it shot forth an arrow that wounded the full moon. And it was for that reason that the moon would then begin to wane until reborn two weeks later when it would rise with the rising sun.
Campbell also said, under that darkening azure sky with the great lunar globe ascending with ponderous majesty, that now the most powerful image in the mythological imagination--indeed since the crucifixion of Jesus--is the vision of the earth from the surface of the moon taken by the Apollo astronauts. It signified that for the first time the Earth was able to look back on itself through the eyes it had grown in human beings. The planet had evolved self-awareness.
That Campbell could entertain both the ancient mythological image and the modern scientific accomplishment as evidences of the dynamics of consciousness impressed me. From Campbell, I learned a certain enlightenment: that achieving perspective is the highest enterprise of the spiritual life. After all, it's all metaphor. The goal is to be able to understand truth from over and above, and to not make others wrong for how they see the world differently. That was also the message I'd discovered in my homosexuality: that being gay meant being outside the narrow confines of "normalcy," over and above the opinions of people, so that one could see, with critical distance, from a higher perspective and discover that nobody was wrong--us especially.
Joseph Campbell, though himself not gay, offered a way to think about truth and religion that seems to me especially appropriate for gay people. The attitudes that follow from his matter-of-fact and compassionate way of looking at things would result in the world of acceptance and honor we as gay people long for.
If religion is one of the biggest problems the gay
faces, then we'd do well to encourage and support the transformation
Keeping alive the vision of Joseph Campbell is the work of the Joseph Campbell & Marija Gimbutas Library on the campus of Pacifica Graduate Institute near Santa Barbara. Membership in the Library supports the kind of revolution in religion that most of us seek. For info, write the Campbell & Gimbutas Library, 249 Lambert Rd, Carpinteria CA 93013. Click here for the web sites of: Joseph Campbell & Marija Gimbutas Library Joseph Campbell Foundation
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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