Two New Blogs Plus New Dharma Coming Soon, And Why I’m Asking You To Pay For Them

Dear Friend,

I would like to give you an overview of some key changes in my Web presence that you can expect between now and the end of the year. Within a matter of weeks I will have completed re-organizing my past writings into three categories: writings on Integral philosophy and spirituality which reflect my current views, writings directed specifically for the gay/LGBT community, and everything else. Some of my past writings in these two categories will be moved to one of these two websites: Gay Spirituality (basically launched for the first time) and Integral Blog. Everything else will remain on Joe-Perez.com. All three of these sites have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, and I will do the best I can to stay socially plugged in.

Integral Blog is live on the Web and will be taking the shape I am envisioning in the next few weeks. It is the beginning of a new chapter in my Integral writings. For the first time, I am creating a site exclusively devoted to Integral philosophy and spirituality, wisdom and folly. My writings on this site will explicitly use the AQAL Framework and other tools in the Integralist’s toolbox such as the concepts of True Self and Unique Self. I very much want to create a site that builds connections within the Integral community, provides a source of news and views, and encourages education and dialogue. For the Integral revolution in consciousness to advance, it simply must have a healthy ecosystem in the blogosphere, and there is an opening for a site to play a critical role as a hub. Did I mention that I want to write daily? It’s a fine goal to strive for. I also want to see the site expand to include multiple authors over time.

My writings on gay spirituality have evolved considerably over the years. At this time, I have a new dharma related to Gay Spirituality which I will soon begin to elaborate. Building on the AQAL Framework described in my eBook Gay Spirituality 101, I will expound for the first time an Integral Gay Enlightenment teaching. The dharma will make it clear that I am articulating an Integral Gay Spirituality, not a variation of the postmodern school of thought by the same name which is very enmeshed in affirming gayness as part of the separateness of the personal self, but an evolution of it. Furthermore, I will make it clear that by “enlightenment” I do not mean any variety of spiritual individualism with its navel gazing and deification of the present moment. My own view is strongly Evolutionary and Integral, so I will be showing how gay identity is a source of wisdom at all levels of identity from the shadow to the personal self to the Supreme Identity. In my teaching, enlightenment carries a definite sense of integration into nature, culture, and society … accordingly, the new Integral Gay Spirituality site will include diverse commentary.

Finally, after certain Integral writings of mine are re-posted on the new Integral Blog and other writings of mine for a gay audience moved to Gay Spirituality, much of what is left is worth preserving. Some of these posts are six, seven, or eight years old. My “legacy” writings are what they are; they are markers on my journey. But of course I cannot continue to write as I did eight years ago. I have been working on new stuff — which I’m calling a new dharma — for more than four years. I have previewed glimpses of the poetry and language mysticism and calendary and esoteric thoughts on occasion, but the time simply wasn’t right for me to take the next step. I have shown you fragments of a mystifying variety, but there is a comprehensive vision with new spiritual literature, art, and technology ready to emerge. For the uninitiated, I am speaking of my poetry and thought influenced by the T’ai Hsuan Ching (the ancient Chinese esoteric classic known as The Canon of Supreme Mystery), and Lingua-U, the Language of Subtle Energy, among other projects. The new stuff is going to begin to come out slowly starting on December 22 of this year, a date picked to coincide with the solstice and the beginning of the Kalendar (a new Integral calendar of Sacred Time, one of the technologies in my toolbox). The new writings will show you how my contemplation and theorizing have evolved beyond the Integral framework into a style which helps me to be more at home in the world. However imperfectly, I am envisioning technologies and linguistic tools that can help humanity to evolve over the next 1,000 years … because we owe it to future generations. The writings have exerted a personal toll and inflicted deep spiritual wounds as well as gifts. If I could have abandon these writings, I probably would have. But I am stuck with them. They need to see the light of day, and I say let those souls who are likewise drawn to them come along for the ride.

There is one other thing I want to talk about. For the first time ever, I am going to begin to put some content behind a paywall, restricting its access to paid subscribers. My intention is to allow a certain number of free articles to be read every week, and additional page views would require a subscription for access. If you are interested in seeing the new dharma emerge on any of these three new or re-launched websites, I will ask that you contribute to my work in the world. The funds are needed to support this work for sure, but I don’t feel a need to justify wanting a source of income to pay the rent or medical bills. I have come to believe that there are many readers who are interested in my work (and future readers who haven’t discovered it yet) who are willing to support its author in bringing it forth into the world. If I don’t ask, I won’t receive. When other spiritual authors and teachers routinely charge $200 per hour for a single hour of their time or ask $495 for an online course or $3,000 for a weekend retreat, am I wrong in asking $19.99 for an annual subscription per site? I hope my most committed readers will subscribe to all three sites for less than $60 per year, bless them, and find the price quite reasonable. Heck they can give more if they are inspired to do so (it’s all very much needed).

I know I can do so much, much more good in the world with a paid subscriber base than without one. Two of my books are available in libraries throughout the US and I expect eventually my new writings will become books which will become freely available, so I am not preturbed at the thought of depriving anyone of knowledge on account of their inability to pay. All the content will be available to those who wait. At most freeloaders desiring everything all at once without restriction will be inconvenienced and discouraged from tackling my new writings, and I feel that is a necessary and therefore acceptable price to pay so that my work can continue to evolve. Although I am sure to lose some Web traffic, what good is mere traffic? I honestly don’t know that it does me any good or that I am doing any good simply by attracting more eyeballs to the pixels on my Web pages. I don’t want hits or clicks; I want readers who are committed to learning about and exploring the original dharma and literature and spiritual technologies that I am bringing into the world. I want deeper transmission and dialogue and relationships and fewer uninterested lookee-loos. If you’re moved by the dharma or the mystery or the Light or the Love or all of these things, let’s move forward together.

It feels good to get this off my chest. I’ve resisted asking readers to become paid subscribers for years.

I will be in touch with you again when each of the new websites launch or re-launch over the next several weeks.

Much love and many blessings,

Joe

In Media Res

joe-cowboyAfter taking a month’s writing hiatus to focus on my book series, I am back. Perhaps this is your first time reading about my projects and so you are joining me in media res. Welcome!

My books were advanced much in August but they are still a significant way off, and I do not want to spread myself too thin. Therefore my publishing on the website and social media will need to be light out of necessity if I am to finish the books on my planned schedule. You won’t be hearing much from me in the months ahead, but I am still working out of view.

The book series is called Kalen O’Tolán and is currently slated for release in three volumes plus appendices beginning in 2015. The publisher is not yet determined, and I am considering publishing the entire series in total online at www.kalenotolan.com (though I haven’t decided).

These are the working titles of the first four books:

Kalen O’Tolán: A Canon of Supreme Mystery

The Season of Yang: Rise of the Great Oracle (Kalen O’Tolán, Vol. I)

The Season of Yin: Fall to the Fathomless Ocean (Kalen O’Tolán, Vol. II)

The Season of You: Return to the Beckoning Stars (Kalen O’Tolán, Vol. III)

Appendix I: Lingua-U, A Unification of the World’s Wisdom of Sacred Word Traditions

The books do not fit neatly into a conventional genre but are partially inspired by the poetry of the ancient Chinese classic T’ai Hsuan Ching (The Canon of Supreme Mystery). These are poetic works, but they are also philosophical and divinatory books. They are sacred literature which aspires to provide a sort of guided tour of consciousness from the Symbiotic Station through the Unitive Station, step by step, in individual and collective dimensions.

There is a definite psychology in the books as well as philosophy, one which is Idealistic but not based on any extant school of thought. It is not empirically derived from research into human subjects. It is inductively derived from the structure of phonemes as they are arranged in Lingua-U. The book does not present a map of consciousness by means of which mental phenomena are interpreted; it provides a literary canon which articulates a complex cosmology in which the features of consciousness are induced.

The fact that this feat is even possible is nothing short of miraculous, in my view. Many spirituality books and poetry books are published every year. But how many aspire to use language in such a way that every phoneme is meant to mirror a comprehensive cosmology at the level of sound symbolism? One really must look back centuries, I think, to find comparable efforts. This is not to say that my books will succeed at achieving this sort of inspiration, but I am doing my best.

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Letting Go of Mediocrity

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I’ve been taking spring cleaning quite literally when it comes to my online presence. I have been reviewing over a thousand posts that I wrote over a ten-year period of time and throwing many of them away.

Actually I’ve really just been making some posts a bit more difficult to find while making other posts much easier to find. But it feels like I’m tossing some 700 or 800 posts in the recycling bin. I am not yet removing them from the Internet, but they will be more difficult to discover.

The worst part has been realizing that some 80% of the posts that I wrote over ten years just aren’t very good, in my opinion. I held an overly positive view of the quality of my writing output and upon a fresh look so much of it appears ephemeral, dispensable, mediocre.

The degree of narcissism in a few of the posts strikes me today as almost shocking. I had a real chip on my shoulders because my writing was never as popular as I felt it ought to be, so I spent a bit too much time all but telling people that they ought to be paying attention because it was SO important.

Perhaps I’m being too hard on myself. One of the blogs I maintained, Until, was written when I had only dozens of T-cells and was suffering from multiple “mystery illnesses” which made every waking hour a living nightmare. It’s amazing I could write anything at all.

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Out of the hospital

I am now fresh out of the hospital for a staph infection (and other assorted challenges and unpleasantries … “I really got my money’s worth” said my doctor on my multi-day, multi-diagnosis ER visit and hospital stay). If I missed you at A Different Light… my heartfelt apologies. If I missed you on Until or Integral Christian or wherever… I have been out of commission and look forward to being in touch soon. If you’ve been in Seattle lately, or sent me an email, etc., ditto with love.

I will, God permitting, be making a NPR Interview for the Seattle market tomorrow. Listen to Dave Beck’s show tomorrow afternoon, KUOW 94.9 (Public Radio) on Soulfully Gay. And I’ll be seeing a few of you this Saturday at 7:30 PM at Elliott Bay Books. Looking forward to it