Peter Savastano has given me permission to excerpt a bit from an email he sent me today:
You and I have a lot in common. I have studied astrology for over 25 years (Tropical, Sidereal, and Hindu). I have also studied the writings of Ken Wilber for at least 12 years, on-and-off, and I have been a student of Zen meditation since 1980 (I am 56).
Like you, I was raised Roman Catholic and I even tried my hand at monastic life back in the early 70s, first as a Trappist and then as a Little Brother of the Gospel (based on the vision of Charles de Foucauld (no, not Michel Foucault, though I adore MF). I also lived at the Catholic Worker in NYC for a brief respite between monastic orders (yes, struggling with coming out as a gay person isn’t a straight path, as I know you know, so I often had to leave the monastery in order to attempt to deal with my sexuality in a more conducive setting).
I too have tried to hang on to my Christian (Catholic) roots in whatever way I can, but often only by a thread. One of the ways I managed to do that over the years, minimal as it is, is by being involved with the Quakers, though the Quakers never seem to quite hit the g-spot of my heart in the way I long for their view to do so.
These days I am avidly reading the writings of Rudolf Steiner (Have you tried your hand at him?). His spiritual vision really speaks to me (perspectival as it as, but then again what view isn’t?). I have also been drawn from time to time to esoteric forms of Christianity. Essentially I have had to learn, as it seems you have too, to make my way in the world of Spirit trusting solely in my inner guide or the inner Christ, or Buddha, or whatever I seem to call it presently. I also have a great interest and attraction to shamanic healing and I have taken quite a few workshops on shamanic techniques.
Yes, I am a hodge-podge of spiritual searchings, longings, practices, the way of most gay men, I have come to believe and accept, since no tradition will seem to have us without some concession of our beings to their authority structures and rigid dogmas and doctrines.
I am currently making my way through KW’s “Integral Spirituality.” Gosh, I admit this is a very long winded way of introducing myself to you. Please forgive me for going on and on.
At any rate, my purpose for writing is to thank you for “Soulfully Gay” and for “Until” and “Integral Christian.” Your book was a true boon to me at a time of great suffering and inner darkness. I only recently finished it but didn’t want to let too long go by before I wrote to express my gratitude and appreciation to you…