Gay Love Is God’s Love

God-sistine-chapelBy Joe Perez

Don’t tell me you don’t believe in God and therefore you don’t need to care about spirituality. Spirituality, as Paul Tillich tells us, is about our ultimate concerns. And everyone has ultimate concerns. Joseph Campbell once said words to the effect that half the world thinks their religious metaphors are literal truths and totally real and the other half things their religious metaphors are literal falsehoods and therefore totally false.

In fact, Campbell’s postmodern view from the mountaintop which allows him to dismiss the errors of the religious and secular alike is its own kind of illusion:  a pretense that the capacity for tolerance and peace and understanding and the sort of high-level abstract thinking about mythology exists is totally real and universal, whereas in fact it exists only as an artifact of complex developmental systems in which the worldviews of the traditional religionists and atheists each play important and valuable roles in themselves, and not merely as false versions to Campbell’s higher consciousness to be deconstructed or condescendingly embraced merely as means to an end.

Premodern, modern, and postmodern views of God each have ways of understanding the value and dignity of Spirit and Gay Love as playing an important role in the Divine, however it is conceived — as a Tradition-based belief system, as a scientifically-based understanding of the general systems of evolution within Nature, or as a postmodern embrace of virtually irreducible diversity and plurality.

There are ways of embracing the essential truth behind the notion that Gay Love is God’s Love whatever your worldview and in a way that respects the integrity of that worldview as offering a genuine platform for enlightened or awakened consciousness. Maybe you will say Gay is a face of God, or maybe you will prefer to say that Homophilic self-immanence is a fundamental drive of all evolving things, or maybe you will say the same essential truth in a different formulation. Whatever the exact phrasing, Gay Love is God’s Love must be the gay liberation movement’s next great mantra.

Photo: Wikimedia

Going Into The Light

Photo Credit: Birrell Walsh

Photo Credit: Birrell Walsh

By Joe Perez

On the days before his death in 1991, Andre felt a distinct sense of foreboding and familiarity. The San Francisco man, a sound and light technician and rock musician, dismissed the feelings as nothing more than gloom and doom prophecy.

Andre and his lover Robert had been arguing and fighting bitterly. The drugs they had both been taking weren’t smoothing their communications. A longing struck Andre for real change in his life but he wondered if it was too now late.

Back in his apartment and alone, something weird started happening. Everything started getting dark. Not only dark, but also ominous and foreboding. Andre turned on all the lights, but his vision remained dim.

He was going out of his mind, he said. He felt a pain in his lower right gut and his head was humming. He heard loud voices around him, yelling at him, and he began to recite the Lord’s Prayer.

Then, unexpectedly, three old friends dropped by in a car and took him on a trip to Guerneville. A rainstorm hit; Andre says he can still remember the sound of raindrops on the windshield. As the radio played songs, he intuitively seemed to know the next one that would play.

Andre noticed that his friends were not who they appeared to be. They were actually three beings with beautiful shiny eyes, and everyone talked without using their mouths. When they spoke, a heavenly scent came forth. They told Andre that he had died three days ago.

“What was the cause?” he asked.

“A ruptured appendix,” they replied. Then Andre remembered the pain in his side, and he thought that it felt great to be dead. The beings asked Andre if he knew where they were headed.

“Heaven?” he asked.

“Good, because that’s where we’re going,” they said. “Where is heaven?”

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Do You Believe In Psychics?

psychic-readingBy Joe Perez

When it comes to all things psychic, I am both believer and skeptic.But You Knew That Already: What a Psychic Can Teach You About Life (Rodale, 2005), a new memoir by openly gay 27-year-old clairvoyant Dougall Fraser, gives me many reasons for celebration as well as a few reservations.

Mystics have experienced the fundamental unity of all things. In the higher realms of existence, all distinctions between separate beings gradually disappear as we come to realize that unity. The awakening to interior spiritual awareness often coincides with paranormal intuitions about reality.

Researchers such as psychologist Susan Cook-Greuter of HarvardUniversity have studied the ways that people develop their sense of self, and they have identified a highly advanced interior state in which authentic psychic phenomena frequently occurs.

Cook-Greuter calls this mode of being the “unitive stage of ego development.” At this stage, peak spiritual experiences have become a habitual way of being and experiencing, and individuals have a high ability to concentrate on the goings on of their inner life.

At this advanced stage of growth, psychic intuitions frequently manifest as a general sense of oneness with another person. For example, you may be in the presence of somebody feeling a strong emotion. You may then experience a profound unity between yourself and the other. You don’t just feel empathy; in a sense, you actually are the other person.

Like many people who have attained a high stage of consciousness, Fraser frequently has genuine experiences of being one with others. He is also blessed with special gifts of being able to “read the energy” of others and gain startling insight into their past, present, and future.

Fraser didn’t navigate the territory of the numinous unity of existence by following the traditions of any particular religion. Instead, his psychic awakening happened spontaneously when he was a teenager at summer camp.

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Do 7 Bible Quotes Really Support Homosexuality? Don’t Believe It

bible-quotes-gayBy Joe Perez

Whoever headlined this video “7 Bible Quotes In Support Of Same Sex Relationships, By Arielle Scarcella And Matthew Vines” ought to be just a little bit ashamed. Maybe it was the editors at HuffPo, not Arielle or Matthew (I don’t know). Not a single one of the supposed quotes is actually what it is purported to be, and if the gay movement is ever going to change minds and convince religionists then throwing out sensational but misleading content up online is not the smartest thing to do.

Don’t believe me? Check out the video and judge for yourself. Plainly there are no verses which say “Gay marriage? A-Okay!”, just notions that if you buy into them all give you a few reasons to take the Bible’s anti-gay passages with more of a grain of salt. For instance, you have probably heard that the Bible’s story of Sodom and Gomorrah probably wasn’t really about condemning gay sex. That’s true. But the notion that the story actually supports gay rights or same-sex marriage is bizarre.

The title “7 Bible-based Reasons Why Same Sex Relationships Aren’t the Sin Described by Contemporary Christians” would have been a better choice. Some people really benefit from this sort of discussion, though I have to admit that I haven’t been personally all that  interested in this topic in over 20 years. Even in my spiritual autobiography Soulfully Gay I do not discuss the topic of what the Bible says about homosexuality in more than a sentence or two. And I am  (a self-identified Integral) Christian.

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Serenity: The Outlaw’s Spirituality

Serenity_One_SheetOn the planet Haven, a desperate Shepherd Book (actor Ron Glass) delivers a sermon that includes this line: “It doesn’t matter what you believe, just so you believe.”

This is the world created by Joss Whedon in the new science-fiction western Serenity. Whedon created the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayerand Angel and is directing the upcoming movie Wonder Woman. Although Serenity is based on a short-lived TV series called FireFly, it’s not necessary to have been a fan of the original show to enjoy the movie.

Serenity is perhaps the most provocative and entertaining science fiction movie since The Matrix and it nearly rivals Star Wars in its spiritual and mythic sophistication. In The Matrix, life presents us with the option of taking the blue pill or the red pill. We must choose between conventional reality and a deeper, darker, unsettling truth that offers traumatic discoveries, precious little hope, and no guarantee of a happy ending.

In Star Wars, life presents us with the option of joining a fascist Empire that controls reality and manipulates the dark side of the Force to maintain its own hegemony—or join a rebel Alliance that despite its spiritual inclination toward the Force must fight its way through battle after battle like Wild West outlaws on the run.

Serenity offers a message for all trailblazers of new spiritual territory in times when the price of being a pioneer is enough to make you an outlaw.

Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) heads a small crew on a Millennium Falcon-like ship called Serenity. The name is symbolized in a new language that blends old English with Chinese. The newest member of their crew, a 17-year-old girl named River Tam (Summer Glau) is a schizophrenic psychic formerly in the custody of the Alliance, and they’ll stop at nothing to execute her.

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