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
What is Enlightenment?
I think the orthodox Theravada "nirvana" of being extinguished and freed from the cycle of rebirth no longer fits human cosmology. The Buddhists thought the cycles of reincarnation had been going on for billions and billions of years. We now "know" the cosmos to be only 70 billion years old and life on earth only a few million. AND we understand the appearance of life on Earth as evolution of higher and higher forms. So "reincarnation," i.e., resonating with the karmic vibes of those who have lived before us, now looks positive. This isn't a curse, it's a promise.
I think "enlightenment" means realizing who you really are -- and that is as God. And being God is both a great inflation of self and an erasure of self. You the individual doesn't matter anymore because that's not what you are, what you are is the life force that is evolving through the improving of the karmic vibes that generate our individual perspectives.
This Ram Dass's aphorism: You're not a wave, you're water. (More about this metaphor)
The life force that drives evolution is experienced as sexual arousal; the pleasure of orgasm is the pleasure of the universe becoming God. For heterosexuals this can result in procreation of new life. In homosexuals this can result in expansion of consciousness (artistic creation) and transformation of karmic vibes.
Enlightenment is understanding what this whole process is, so you no longer have to "believe" in anything. You simply understand what's going on. All the myths and doctrines of religion are the clues to what is going on; they are to be studied, then dropped behind for the next clue to come.
The great popular myth of this--though with such negativity--is The Matrix.
We are all living in an illusion of personal existence and feeling threatened because of the possibility of death. Those waves are going to hit the shore and that will be the end of them.
When you understand you're the water, it doesn't matter what the waves are doing; they come and go. And "Now" is the only time there is because the water is eternity.
This is how enlightenment, letting go, choosing things as they are not as you want them to be, "no resistance," living in the present, not judging, just observing, and experiencing arousal and orgasm as the pleasure of being God are all the same thing: God seeing himself as us seeing ourselves as God.
C.S. Lewis beautifully describes the experience of the Central Self being the self in each and every person in his novel Perelandra. He calls this experience "The Great Dance."
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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