Kalen O’Tolán (Joe Perez) is a Teacher, Blogger, and Author of books including the acclaimed chronicle Soulfully Gay, one of the first memoirs in an emerging discourse called Integral World Spirituality. His latest work focuses on a path of individual and collective renewal called The Way of Falám. In earlier careers, Kalen was a writer, résumé writer, career coach, and technical writer for various firms including Microsoft and Oracle. He is an Honors graduate of Harvard University in The Comparative Study of Religion and Philosophy as Allied Field, and also studied at The Divinity School at The University of Chicago. In 2011, Kalen earned a Certificate in Integral Leadership from Pacific Integral/LIOS Graduate College of Saybrook University.On June 2, 2013, Kalen will begin a new blog at www.kalenotolan.com. He lives in the Seattle area.
A Retrospective Look at the Work of Joe Perez (2003 – 2013):
“Faith is the warrior’s scream: Unconsciousness, I am not your friend. I am your enemy.” – Soulfully Gay
Part 1. Soulfully Gay — Nov. 2003 – Jan. 2005. At age 33, Joe begins writing a newspaper column and weblog on the topic of “spirituality from a gay man’s perspective”, writings which provide the basis for the book which would eventually be published under the title Soulfully Gay; He develops a new teaching on Homophilia and Heterophilia as the Two Directions of Love, which places Homophilia “at the root of all existence and the heart of Christian revelation”; He is introduced to the philosophy of Ken Wilber and re-examines past beliefs in light of a more Integral worldview; He describes for the first time spiritual communications with an entity called “Q”; He describes for the first time a meeting with “the man in the hospital”, Who is called “the risen Christ”; He founds the Bridge of Light, envisioned as an annual spiritual celebration. [more...]
“Heterophilia is Humanity discovering Its Own Divinity. Homophilia is the Divine embracing Its Own Humanity.” - The Seeker (unpublished)
Part 2. The Seeker / Dark Magic — 2005 – 2006. Joe attempted to adapt Soulfully Gay into a screenplay, but faced difficulties in describing the experience of God-consciousness in a visual and dramatic art form; Joe attempted a fictional screenplay called Dark Magic, which imagined a real-life “Double,” a term introduced in Soulfully Gay. In Dark Magic, a Seattle-based wizard battles his Double, a man who lives in Sydney, Australia, and whose magic runs counter to his own, drawing the two cities into a supernatural conflict. [more...]
“Our contemporary situation is seen most clearly as a comedy of horrors: unintentional slights, impulsive obsessions, mistaken premises, unspoken judgments, unrecognized biases, and unconscious actions lock us into kaleidoscope patterns of suffering that we do not intend but would not change even if we could.” – Rising Up
Part 3. Rising Up — 2005 – 2006. Ken Wilber’s Foreword to Soulfully Gay appears as a column on BeliefNet in the category “Angels in Real Life”; Joe takes on punditry as a critic of social, political, and cultural discourse particularly on topics arising at the intersection of spirituality and the gay/LGBT community; He introduces the acronym STEAM as an aid in teaching about Integral philosophy; He advances an innovative definition of criticism and a view of activism based on methodological pluralism. Joe’s paid work includes stints as a technical writer at Microsoft and Siebel Systems (now Oracle) documenting mobile telecommunications software operating systems and application programming interfaces, work which would prove useful experience for his later work of creating protocols for encoding linguistic symbols for spiritual communication using Lingua-U. [more...]
“The involutionary insight of Christian theology can be appreciated from an Integral lense, but only by turning the scales of evolution upside down, and reimagining the universe from God’s point of view. God is not neutral in the conflict between the sophisticated elites and the marginalized poor. God is on the side of the lesser developed.” – Until
Part 4. Kronology / Whole Writing — Dec. 2006 – 2010. Joe writes on a variety of blogs including one called Until; He introduces the Whole Writing practice, a form of contemplative writing which “marks up” text with colors and symbols in an effort to enhance one’s ability to spot and work with the subtle energy patterns of language; He creates the Kronology Wheel, a mandala which is called a “Symbol of Everything”; In December 2006, He offers a sketch of the Kronology Wheel as a review of Ken Wilber’s Integral Spirituality (2007); At age 40, He receives a spiritual communication from Q which explains the significance of the consonantal root of Kronology which is K-R-N. The entity of Q gives two major prophecies: firstly, that Joe is going to write some sort of Koran/Qur’an, and secondly, that Joe’s name will become Kalen O’Tolán at the right time. [more...]
“I’ve found the Philosopher’s Stone.” – Joe Perez in Private Correspondence with GTC8 and Ken Wilber
Part 5. Lingua-U / T’ai Hsüan Ching / Unique Self — 2010 – 2013. Joe discovers the T’ai Hsüan Ching, the ancient Chinese classic called The Canon of Supreme Mystery, and excitedly says to friends, “I’ve found the Philosopher’s Stone”; He embarks upon the development of a universal language of subtle energy called Lingua-U based on the underlying phonetic features of sound symbols overlayed onto a holistic map of consciousness understood in individual and collective forms on many levels, using the ternary base of the T’ai Hsüan Ching; He suffers trials to his physical and mental health which give Him new insights into the nature of his encounter with “the man in the hospital”, and subsequently says, “I know who ‘the man in the hospital’ is”, and sends His name and picture to twelve friends, the GTC8, as a shared secret; He “comes out of the closet (again)” as bisexual/fluid in sexual orientation, writing in a blog called Awake, Alive & Aware; He acquires the GaySpirituality.com domain and creates a new Facebook Page for Gay & Bi Men’s Spirituality; His study of the Unique Self teaching of Marc Gafni enlightens the quagmire of issues pertaining to the conflation of terms such as “unique” and “separate” in spiritual discourse. [more...]
“In The Fellowship of the Ring, Galadriel tells Frodo, ‘The quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail to the ruin of all.’ My friends, We are Frodo, and We don’t even have the luxury of a knife.” – Joe Perez in Private Correspondence with GTC8
Part 6. Involution / Trinity — Dec. 22, 2012, Midnight – May 18, 2013. Joe begins publishing poems of a book in progress called Kalen O’Tolán: Vol. I, The Kalendar at the conclusion of the Haab’, the Mayan Calendar. One of these poems is featured in this final installment of the Retrospective, accompanied by a poem Joe wrote on a similar topic several years earlier. In “Involution,” the poet claims authority to describe Involution, the process of Divine Self-Manifestation, concluding: “He [Perez]’s The Last Man Standing, Oer / Western Civilization.”; Joe’s Facebook Fan Page combined with Gay & Bi Men’s Spirituality reach over 28,000 fans. [more...]
As of May 18, 2013, Joe Perez teaches under the name Kalen O’Tolán. Kalen’s future writings can be found at www.kalenotolan.com.