The Two Loves

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Toby Johnson's books:

Toby's books are available as ebooks from, the Apple iBookstore, etc.

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Unpublished manuscripts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.

The Two Loves are:

 love by complement
love by reflection

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The Two Loves is a theme that runs through gay spiritual thinking.
Below are several different but parallel and relatively consistent expositions of this idea.

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Joseph "Joe" Perez

Joe PerezGay spirituality writer Joseph "Joe" Perez writes extensively and eloquently about these two facets of reality in what he titles a Theory of Homophilia.

In the Integral Life website, Perez is described as "an ambassador of the Integral vision [espoused by Ken Wilber] to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. Perez advances the idea that sexual and gender diversity is best understood as a tetra-arising object of evolution. He suggests that "gayness" or "homophilia" is a deep structure inherent in human nature (corresponding to self-immanence or Agape in Ken Wilber's theory of holonic tenets), and this structure takes on a variety of diverse forms. Accordingly, Perez views the contemporary worldwide gay rights movement as an important event in the emergence of greater and deeper human consciousness."

Joe Perez argues that there are four major patterns, archetypal and universal: masculine, feminine, other-directed, and same-directed. Love is a manifestation of the soul’s desire to be reunited with God both as love for others (heterophilia) and love for the self or similar (homophilia).

N.B. Joe Perez technically posits a "distinction between what is human and what is divine" that I run rough shod over in my poetical-orcular declarations below in the summary of God as One with the Universe—tj

In Gay S
perez gay spirituality 101pirituality 101, Perez writes:

The inescapable conclusion is that Love must flow in two directions: from God to Creation and then returning from Creation to God (or from Spirit to the soul, and back again from soul to Spirit). These directions are often described philosophically as Agape and Eros respectively. There are many ways to describe these two direcftions, but one is mor primordial than the others: "There are two archetypal ways of loving—yin and yang… inner-directed or same-directed
ways…[and] outer-directed or other-directed ways.

Another way of talking about outer-directed love is other-directed love and inner-directed love is same-directed love. And because the Greek prefix homo- means same and hetero- means other, we see that Heterophilia is the yang direction of Love and Homophilia is its yin direction. Homophilia, also known as "gayness," is ontologically at the Root of All Things as an expression of Agape, describing how God loves creation; it is also expressed as the force of involution which complements evolution.

Read Toby Johnson's brief, 5-star review of Perez's Gay Spirituality 101

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Toby Johnson

Toby Johnson (writer of this webpage) suggested a similar notion in the book The Myth of the Great Secret (Morrow, 1982).

The universe can be seen as dual; it can be seen as unitary. God is the lover seeking his complementary opposite in the world, and the lover beholding the goodness in his/her own reflection. God is the solitary pleasuring self, the adventurer playing joyfully in the world, and the mother giving birth. All of the styles of sexuality can be divinized.

It's an indication of consistency of gay spiritual thinking that Perez and Johnson express similar ideas. And it's an evolution in gay spirituality that Perez introduces this idea to followers of Ken Wilber and expresses it in Wilber's Integral terminology, much as Johnson presented this idea to fans of Joseph Campbell and expressed it in Campbellian mythic themes. (
Read Toby Johnson's article on the Integral Theory "Pre/Trans Fallacy")

Here's an excerpt from The Myth of the Great Secret: A Search for Spiritual Meaning in the Face of Emptiness
(Johnson's first edition of this book.)

Myth_of_the_Great_Secret_1st_covSexual arousal, whether experienced with the participation of another person or enjoyed alone in the presence only of oneself and one’s fantasies, alters consciousness. The state of arousal itself manifests God’s pleasuring himself in the creative act whereby the universe came to be—full of beauty and full of embodiment for each of us. The desires of the flesh, the myths warn, can lead us away from God, but they can also be divinized by understanding them as promptings of life seeking its own vibrant enjoyment. And as Saint Paul—of all people—recognized, attraction metaphorizes the relation between God and the world, between spirit and matter.

Attraction, sexual and nonsexual, between a woman and a man witnesses to the interplay of opposites which generates the world. Chinese philosophy calls these primal forces the yin and the yang, dark and light, receptive and creative, passive and active, feminine and masculine. Female and male are special cases of these polarities. The attraction between male and female manifests the duality that stirs creation.

In the same way, attraction, nonsexual and sexual, between two men or between two women witnesses to the ultimate unity of the world beyond duality. Monistic philosophies have seen that beneath the apparent swirl of polarities, ever growing, ever changing, clashing in conflict and cooperating in love, lies a deeper stratum in which all is at rest in a self-mirroring perception that all is one and that the opposites are illusory. The attraction between same-sex individuals manifests the identity that precedes the duality.

Especially in dealing with the tradition-violating styles of sexual behavior that modern society seems to be moving toward and that the churches have long condemned, we must seek to understand the signs that guide our wandering. The condemnations may provide signs for some, but not for others. The signs can never be taken only at face value. Choosing one’s own sexual style—deciding not to get married or to pursue a variety of partners or to come out as gay—breaks with tradition. In such a life the position of the tradition may assist growth, because it forces deep personal retrenchment and self-evaluation in which the individual grows ever more conscious. The dilemma posed by the old morality that must be overthrown can drive the mind beyond the superficial rules into a state in which one sees that one must take responsibility for one’s own experience and so let go of morality as an outside force and integrate it into one’s own personal code of behavior. Violating taboos, the Tantrics of both Buddhism and Hinduism have discovered, can be spiritually compelling and enriching.

Of course, it is not necessary that taboos be violated, but it probably is necessary that the sometimes confusing and disturbing, yet always alluring and compelling, sexual feelings be placed in a context which divinizes them. The universe can be seen as dual; it can be seen as unitary. God is the lover seeking his complementary opposite in the world, and the lover beholding the goodness in his/her own reflection. God is the solitary pleasuring self, the adventurer playing joyfully in the world, and the mother giving birth. All of the styles of sexuality can be divinized.

The Second edition (1992) added this material—which then includes a kind of theory of sex:2 edition

Modern psychology, especially body-work-oriented psychotherapy, has discovered that sexuality has other functions in human beings besides reproduction.

Paradoxically, engaging in sex outside the reproductive context has been called indulging our animal nature. It is precisely the opposite. Animal nature is to copulate instinctively only to produce progeny. As Jacob Bronowski observed, what is natural for human beings is certainly not behavior that is found also in animals, but what is different and unique to humans. Human beings, of course, feel the instinct to produce progeny, but that is only part of our sexual experience. (Our over-populated world proves we needn’t fear that condoning non-procreative sex will threaten racial survival.) Precisely the way we differ from animals that have rigid sexual cycles and less involving and less orgasmic intercourse is that human sexual contact involves consciousness and volition.

According to Reichian and neo-Reichian body-work therapists, the whole body is involved in psychological processes; consciousness and intelligence are not merely in the brain. They have discovered that traumas, fears, negative conditioning, and the like result in tightness and restrictions in the body that distort both psychological and purely physical processes. These can result not only in neurosis and mental illness, but also in psychosomatic disorders, cardiovascular disease and perhaps even cancer.

Reichian therapy consists of practicing better and more complete releases of tension through crying, screaming, vomiting, and coming to orgasm. Learning to allow spasmodic release and emotional catharsis helps prevent deformation of the nervous system. The surge of energy during orgasm can break open the blocks and keep the system clear of restrictions to the vital flow. The role of orgasm in the human being then is more than just ejaculation or reception of genetic material. The aim of “total orgasm” is not simply to get a narcissistic satisfaction, as suggested by many critics of the California-based fascination during the seventies with bigger and better orgasms, but to activate an important self-regulating mechanism in the mind-body system.

Orgasm is protrayed mythologically—kundalini in Tantrism, for instance—as a conscious experience of cosmic energy. Orgasm is certainly an experience of neurological dynamics. It has no content. Like a dream it is forgotten almost as soon as it is over.

Perhaps the function of sex and orgasm in human beings has been not only to clear the individual nervous system but—and consequently—to affect the way the nervous system itself has evolved. Human beings are sexually motivated differently from almost every other species on our planet. Because women’s sexual interest is not restricted by an estrus cycle, human beings are sexually and psychologically available and motivated all the time. We engage in sexual foreplay beyond instinctual seduction rituals. We experience orgasm more completely, it appears, than other animals.

Indeed, our females have orgasms, something not particularly needed for the continuation of the species (as, sadly, generations of women suffering religion-induced frigidity can attest). And, at least among land animals, we alone have developed sophisticated language and complex brain functions. Perhaps our sexuality is in some ways responsible for, or at least intrinsic to, our evolution of intelligence and conscious thought.

In discussing the role of the spiritual aspects of consciousness, I’ve been suggesting that perhaps the ability to experience wonder, to feel curiosity, to develop myth, and to ask questions forced open the neural pathways that directed the path of survival up toward consciousness and humanity. Similarly, sexuality can be understood as the experience in the flesh of what in the mind is wonder and curiosity. Sexual attraction is the desire to know another’s body, to feel the flesh, to experience the rhythms of the other’s movement. It is the drive to enter into relationship with the other, to try to see from the other’s perspective, and so to add complexity to one’s own experience of life. And within the act of lovemaking itself, sex is the experience of joy in being embodied and of the body being caught up by a deeply primal, transpersonal force.

It is not surprising that one consequence of such an experience of wonder should be genetic transfer and reproduction of life through time and through evolutionary advance. Sex as experience of the life force perhaps precedes sex as a tool for reproduction. Our sexuality, far from being a distraction from God, can be understood as the instrument by which God created us and continues to manifest Godself to us.

Particularly in the sense that all of us are manifestations of the One Self, our experience of loving another person is our participation in the divine love for creation. And our experience of being loved is our perception of God’s love for us. Indeed God has no way to demonstrate love for creatures except through the creatures’ love for one another. This love for creation is not some curious will that creatures overcome their corporality. The flesh is the mode of creation. God’s love for us and our love for God is experienced in our flesh.

We are blinded to the holiness of the flesh by fear and desire, by the tendency of the senses to get stuck, to delude us into believing we are just egos, by our failure to see the whole, to see life in context, by our failure “to see the forest for the trees.” Of course the importance of sex can be exaggerated and desire can get out of hand. But we will not develop vision by fleeing the flesh, by condemning our sexuality, by making other people wrong for enjoying sex, by refusing to love God’s manifestation in the flesh. A positive attitude toward sex can help bring us into touch with the resurrected body we carry, so unconsciously, along with us all our lives.

Isn’t this positive attitude, this affirmation of incarnated human life, what is meant by the saviors’ embrace of the human condition—even of sin and suffering? “God so loved the world…” links:

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Harry Hay & Will Roscoe

arry Hay, titular Founder of the modern Gay Rights Movement and creator in spirit of the Radical Faeries and inevitable influence on all gay thinking, described these two loves (a litlte more cynically than I or Joe Perez) as subject-object and subject-SUBJECT.

Radically Gay cover
Wikipedia provides a succinct description (based on writing in Radically Gay: Gay Liberation in the Words of its Founder, edited by Will Roscoe (1996):

Subject-SUBJECT consciousness, a concept proposed by Harry Hay believed by Hay to be gay people's unique perspective on the world.

Hay saw heterosexual society existing in a subject-object dynamic; where men, who had the culturally acceptable power, saw only themselves as subject and therefore higher than women, who were treated as objects and property. Hay extrapolated this interpersonal-sexual dynamic (male-power:female-subordinate) into a broader social context, believing that the subject-object relationship was the driving force behind most all of societies ills. Objectification served as a barrier, emotionally separating an individual (subject) from another individual by dehumanizing them, making them object.

When Hay looked at same-sex relationships, however, he saw a different dynamic at work. He believed that homosexual relationships were based on mutual respect and empathy for the other: a longing for a companion who was as equally valuable as the self. Hay termed this interpersonal-sexual dynamic subject-SUBJECT (which Hay capitalized for emphasis in all of his writings). He believed that this subject-SUBJECT way of viewing the world was gay people's most valuable contribution to the greater society. By empathizing with all people, relating to each other as equal-to-equal, society would change drastically and social injustices would be eradicated.

Visit Will Roscoe's website


Roscoe understands the radical newness of the teaching of love of others as love of God given by Jesus Christ as love of equals. In his book Jesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same-Sex Love, Roscoe presents the real meaning of Jesus's commandment of love.

The Trouble with Harry Hay

For more about Harry Hay (and Will Roscoe), see
from White Crane Books

The Trouble With Harry Hay
Founder of the Modern Gay Movement
By Stuart Timmons
Foreword by Will Roscoe, PhD

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Edward Carpenter

Edward Carpenter (29 August 1844 – 28 June 1929), proto-gay writer, philosopher, scholar and model of life even today, wrote of love that can be understood to include these "two loves." He defined love as the aim of non-differentiation:

love's coming of age

In Love's Coming of Age, a book written about sexuality in general (i.e., primarily heterosexuality), he notes that in the long run people tend to settle down into one deep permanent union, but along the way they ought to be experiencing a variety of interpersonal relationships and sexual adventures. And he warns that the ideal of exclusive attachment can lapse into a mere stagnant double selfishness. That is, like today's sexual liberationists, he calls for love and devotion between individuals without the quality of their love being defined by exclusiveness based in jealousy, a petty sense of private property in the other person, social opinions, and legal enactments. These, he says, suffocate wedded love in egoism, lust, and, meanness. Most importantly, Carpenter writes positively of sex--"with a sense almost of religious consecration"--speaking of it as a good thing in human consciousness, not a sign or cause of human frailty and sinfulness.

Sex is the allegory of Love in the physical world. It is from this fact that it derives its immense power. The aim of Love is non-differentiation --absolute union of being; but absolute union can only be found at the centre of existence. Therefore whoever has truly found another has found not only that other, and with that other himself, but has found also a third--who dwells at the centre and holds the plastic material of the universe in the palm of his hand, and is a creator of sensible forms.

Notice that in the paragraph, just cited, though intended to be understood as about male-female bonding in marriage, the pronouns are impersonal enough to include homosexual bonding. And the aim he proposes for Love, "non-differentiation," is clearly something much more homosexual than heterosexual. Men in love with women hardly think of themselves as Edward & Georgebecoming non-differentiated from femaleness. Males in love with females do not think of themselves as becoming womanly, certainly not the same way that homosexual lovers think of themselves becoming one another. So it is kind of homosexual connection, generalized to the point of seeming to include male-female connections, that Carpenter offers as the immense power of Love (capitalized, perhaps, to accord it that "religious consecration").

(Photo of Edward Carpenter and life partner George Merrill, early 20th Century).

Unlike most of his contemporaries, including the relatively gay-positive ones like Richard von Krafft-Ebing whose book was titled Psychopathia sexualis, Carpenter included homosexuality as part of a discussion of general sexuality and not as a pathology. Indeed, Carpenter predicted that homosexuality would be accepted as normal in human life. Though, of course, there's still much contention about this, his prediction has effectively become true.

It is in his ideas about homosexuality, as exemplified in The Intermediate Sex (the introductory section of which appeared in the 1906 edition of Love's Coming of Age), that Edward Carpenter offers ideas that resonate with modern consciousness.

-- He praised the blending of gender traits in what he calls "intermediate types" or "urnings," as was the popular self-chosen term of his day. (Urning is derived from "Uranian" which in turn comes from the recently discovered planet Uranus (1781) which was held to control homosexuals the same way Mars and Venus were held to control and/or symbolize males and females. "Uranus," by the way,  "heaven," so Uranians are "inhabitants of heaven.")

-- Carpenter placed the coming of age and consciousness of such Uranians as a part of the general transformation of consciousness that is modernity (symbolized by the astronomical discoveries of the modern era that, of course, included the planet Uranus).

-- Carpenter wrote that homosexuality bestows beneficial traits, among these are religious and spiritual sensitivities and good interpersonal interactions. He notes that homosexuals are good counselors and go-betweens  for men and women.

The text above is excerpted from Toby Johnson's article:
Am I (or You) the Reincarnation of Edward Carpenter?

Read more about Edward Carpenter

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Michael Sigmann

  There's a parallel idea--at least in how sexual energies and gender differences balance out one another--in Michael Sigmann's theories of homosexuality in evolution. Sigmann explains his concepts in workshops and seminars through The Gateway, based in San Francisco.

Michael Sigmann
ichael Sigmann, gay spiritual teacher and workshop facilitator at The Gateway/Men's Inner Journey, offers a theory he calls The Neutral Force. Using the imagery of electrical and magnetic charge,  he argues that homosexuality represents a Third Sex.

On the Internet, Sigmann writes: "Spiritual teachings today address life in terms of masculine feminine, yin yang, male female etc. Yet physics tells us that life is not based on a two-gender system. It's based on a three-gender system [positive, negative and neutral]. [Sigmann] presents the three genders of human sexuality, and the vital role homosexuality plays in the evolution of the human species…

"…the emergence of homosexuality in the world today represents the emergence of the neutral force in society. The emergence of the neutral force represents the emergence of the third gender of energy, proven by physics to aid in the procreation of the human species by grounding the sexual energy within our society."

Here's a link to a YouTube video in which H.R. Bremner, Facilitation Coordinator for The Gateway, shares his understanding of Michael Sigmann's teaching of "The Neutral Force".

Sigmann's book (in process) is titled
Why Gay Sex Matters: A gay man's guide to self-discovery. Here's a video of him explaining his idea.

The Neutral ForceSigmann explains: "The three symbols… represent the three magnetic charges, presented here as the three positions of human sexuality - feminine position- receptive - or bottom, aka the 'in', the neutral position, versatile, aka the 'ground', and the masculine position - responsive - top aka the 'out'. Barring any physical or psychological limitations, gay men are sexually versatile beings. Our existence is the embodiment of the neutral force within the collective. The image below is part of the branding for the book - Why Gay Sex Matters: A gay man's guide to self-discovery."

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Lotus reflecting itself

Sigmann's The Gateway uses an image of a lotus reflecting itself.

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There's an echo of Toby Johnson's notion that "God" relates to himself as reflection in gay consciousness.

The Two Loves are:
love by complement

love by reflection

The universe manifests two basic truths.
These are experienced by us human beings in two different experiences of love.

Heterosexual love manifests the dynamic interaction of opposite poles of duality.
Homosexual love manifests the underlying unity.

Being straight encourages people to see the world dualistically.
Being gay encourages one to see the world non-dualistically, because the duality need not matter.

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"God" knows Himself as the Universe which was created by "God's" realization of His own existence
(…and manifested in physical reality as The Big Bang).

The Universe IS consciousness growing into greater and greater consciousness of itself.
"God" is the name human beings use for that greater consciousness.

"God" and the Universe are distinct from one another.
And "God" relates to His creation as a lover to his Beloved.

"God" loves the Universe as Himself.
"God" relates to the universe as an observer to a mirror.
And He loves what he sees.

These two loves constitute our love for "God" and "God's" love for us.
As we love others as ourselves, so "God" loves us as Himself.

Heterosexual love, then, manifests human beings' love for "God" as an Other.
And homosexual love manifests "God's" love of us as Himself.

In the orcular conclusion of the book Process and Reality, renowned Process philosopher
Alfred North Whitehead offers a series of antitheses in which
"there is a shift of meaning which converts the opposition into a contrast."
The series includes and is exemplified by the declaration:
"It is as true to say that God creates the World as that the World creates God."

Similarly, by shifting their meaning in relation to one another,
the "two loves" are converted from an opposition into a contrast.

rainbow line

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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