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
No Killing, No Stealing, No Lying
The central moral teachings of Buddhism are summed up in what are called "precepts." These are considered good advice from Buddha on how to live a happy and contributing life. The five basic precepts are No Killing, No Stealing, No Lying, No Drunkenness, and No Sexual Misbehavior.
Parallel to these, the central moral teachings of Judaism and Christianity are contained in the "Ten Commandments." These are considered rules handed down by God to be obeyed under the threat of severe punishment in this life or in the next. The ten commandments are No Other Gods But One; No Misuse of the Name of God; No Work on the Sabbath; No Disobedience of Parents; No Killing, No Stealing; No Sexual Violations; No Lying Under Oath; No Wrong Sexual Desire; No Wrong Desire for Others' Property.
The notions about property, I believe, are misunderstood in modern American culture. American Christianity holds that the right to own private property is God-given. That seems to be a logical extension of God's command: Thou shalt not steal.
If you aren't allowed to steal from me then what's mine is mine, God must agree and not want you to have anything of mine.
The Buddhist precept offers a slightly different explanation for not stealing. It isn't because the property "belongs" to somebody else, but because taking something from another person will cause them suffering. There'll be less happiness in the human world. In a society in which most people lived simply and had very few belongings, loss of any of those belongings could be life-threatening.
Christianity does not really teach the right of private property. Jesus was dismissive of rich people and called for his followers to eschew wealth. If you want to be perfect, then sell all that you have and give to the poor and, come follow me, as a homeless wanderer. That's what Jesus said Christians should do.
There is an enormous amount of stealing that goes on in modern society that is just taken for granted as part of doing business. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
The moral issue involved isn't the erroneous shift of ownership, but the suffering caused. The rich shouldn't especially want to get richer, they should want a world in which everybody feels rich. That would be a happier world with less suffering. And there'd be no reason for stealing.
The Right of Private Property is not the issue behind the Buddhist precept and the Biblical commandment. The religious injunctions are against causing pain for another person.
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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