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
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
What is homosexuality?
What Jesus said about Gay
The purpose of homosexuality
What the Bible Says about
Mesosexual Ideal for Straight Men
of Gay Spirituality
Waves of Gay Liberation Activity
Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality
as Artistic Medium
Easton Mountain Retreat Center
"It's Always About You"
The myth of the
Joseph Campbell's description of
Not A Wave
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
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
"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
Next Step in Evolution
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
and nicknamesake Toby Marotta.
Michael Talbot, gay mystic
About Guy Mannheimer
About Dennis Paddie
About Sterling Houston
About Michael Stevens
Our friend Tom Nash
Second March on
What is Going To Be The Next Step in Evolution?
The next step(s) in the evolution
of the human race is going to happen at the level of consciousness.
This is the concept proposed by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. in his
mystical vision of the evolution of life on Earth from one-celled
microorganisms to human beings and beyond in the book Le Phénomène Humain -- The Phenomenon of Man. Teilhard's vision proposed a
kind of collective consciousness in the future in which all individual
human beings would actively and directly perceive themselves as parts of
a planetary mind. Teilhard called this "The Omega Point" and identified
it as what we might call the metaphorand for the Mystical Body of
Christ and its status as something coming in the future as the
metaphorand of human evolution.
(The idea of "metaphorand" comes from Julian Jaynes who used it in the wonderful book of the early 1970s The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
as the word for the actual item in reality that the metaphors of
myth and religion refers to, since they can't be spoken of or conceived
of directly. To wit, metaphorize is to metaphorand as multiply is to
multiplicand: i.e., the thing meaphorized is to the thing multiplied).
I propose this next step
will show up as a common experience of irrepressible compassion. When
we see somebody else struggling with their experience, we will
automatically identify with them and feel the struggle as our own.
We will literally "feel" the sufferings and joys of others.
We do this now by effort and intention. A major function of religion is
to inculcate the motivation for being compassionate. And the central
rule of all ethics and morals is expressed in the Golden Rule: Do unto
others as you would have them do to you.
This IS what "love" means as a commandment and a virtue of religion.
Television is making us conscious of the experience of others in a way
no medium of the past ever could. Actually seeing others' plight makes
us feel the plight.
We currently tend to defend ourselves against this kind of experience
of compassion. It's derided as being a "bleeding heart." (Curiously,
religious "conservatives" dismiss the so-called "bleeding heart
liberals" even though a major icon of Christian religion is the Sacred
Heart--bleeding heart--of Jesus, saving the world through compassion
for sinners and forgiveness of sins.)
Interestingly, sexual identity is one of the major bulwarks against
compassion. Men show themselves "manly" by repressing these kinds of
sensitive feelings. And women, while feeling these feelings deeply,
show themselves subservient to men by repressing them out of
That is, the duality that being male and female creates in human
consciousness creates a barrier to being truly compassionate and kind.
Indeed, this duality then shows up as the polarity of "good and evil"
and the justification for not being compassionate of others is the
judgment that they are "wrong" -- or that it's their own fault they are
So the next step in evolution includes getting over the apparent
duality of the world into "good and evil" and "male and female."
The rise of gay consciousness and self-awareness of sexual orientation
is an evolutionary step in moving human consciousness beyond the
Another element of the next step in the evolution of
consciousness (perhaps paralleling the self-awareness of
differing sexual orientations in different individuals) is the
self-awareness of consciousness itself.
This awareness of consciousness manifests as the realization and
understanding that consciousness is the metaphorand of "God." What the
myths and stories of religion are really about is the nature of
consciousness. The myths are true insofar as they describe states and
levels of human awareness. They are true insofar as they are about mind
and inner states.
A general principle in analyzing mythology (which I learned from Joseph
Campbell) is that the future represents depth of consciousness. When I
say to someone I am deeply
infatuated with: "I will love you forever," what I am saying really
isn't about future time but about intensity in the present. When we say
Jesus will come again, we really mean that our expectation of a better
world comes intensely and deeply out of our being.
So the next step(s) in evolution is: 1) irrepressible automatic
compassion for others and 2) waking up to the real meaning of religion
and myth as clues to the nature of consciousness.
And on an individual, sexual level, this is appearing as a realization
that sexual arousal and pleasure has deep value for its own sake (not
just for reproduction) because it makes us conscious of the dynamics of
consciousness. And valuing sexual pleasure as a good in its own right
moves sexuality out of biology and into mind and therefore beyond the
duality of heterosexuality.
I believe these three elements of evolution--feeling compassion,
understanding myth, and transcending heterosexual roles--are all
different appearances of the same thing: the self-awareness of the
cosmos. And this is what is metaphorized as God's love of creation.