This is a special issue of White Crane Journal with a wonderful variety of articles -- several from major names in the field of gay spirituality -- wonderful artwork by John Steczynski and four extra pages.
The number of contributions I've received has warranted expanding the size of the journal. And I'm pleased to say that Dr. Ozmo Piedmont's paid ad for The Divine Androgyne School helped defray the extra cost. I hope readers will take note and look into his project.
Advertising is appropriately criticized for obfuscating truth in the interests of hype, manipulating human needs and desires in the interests of creating markets. Advertising also serves the function of presenting people with options, letting them know what is available to them. That's the kind of advertising appropriate for White Crane. (White Crane subscribers are all entitled to a 40 word announcement in the For Your Information pages each year. Actually not many readers avail themselves of that opportunity. I'd urge subscribers to think about what they'd like to share with the readership.)
This issue is about Archetypes. This Jungian word is used in several different ways: as a theoretical, anthropological term for general patterns of human behavior, as a more personal, psychological term for the organizing structure of an individual's conscious and unconscious mind and as a pragmatic, descriptive term for social roles. The names of Archetypes vary from the theoretical to the practical, the archaic to the colloquial: from King, Warrior, Magician to Boytoy, Sugar Daddy and Mr. Right.
A modern term that describes an important social role of gay men in a "free market society" is Entrepreneur. We gay men often find ways of becoming self-employed: going into private practice, working as an independent contractor or freelancer (notice the archaic roots of that word), taking transitional and transitory jobs (like waiter or sales clerk), working in gay community small business -- all in order to protect ourselves from the problems of being gay in the workplace. We often avoid settling down and becoming dependent on a regular job because we understand it can be snatched away if we're too open or too proud about our "countercultural" identity. To use some of those lovely archaic terms, we often become Wanderers, "casting our fate to the wind," depending on our personal charm, skill and karma. Our lives demonstrate one of the principal teachings of the Buddha: You're on your own. Our lives aren't going to be redeemed by our children's success. We ourselves determine the contribution our lives make to the evolution of human culture and human consciousness.
Having been involved in gay community almost all my adult life, I've come to believe that the most viable way to fund gay community is through small businesses providing services to gay people by gay people that only gay people can. Gay community businesses and institutions have to be able to earn their own way. That's how American society works. A gay bookstore, for instance, is a community center that has an income independent of donations and that doesn't burden a Board of volunteer Directors. And for such businesses and community institutions to work we all must support them with our patronage and participation in their project.
As a gay therapist in private practice, a lesbian and gay community bookseller, and now editor of this modest little 'zine and, with Kip, a gay B&B keeper, I've followed my own Wanderer's path, contributing to gay consciousness in the faith that this is on the leading edge of human evolution.I'm grateful to the readers of White Crane Journal for making possible this opportunity. I invite your continued support and participation.
White Crane Journal operates on a shoestring. It has only a small readership. I mail out about 250 copies and sell about 75 through bookstores. I'd like to see those numbers expand. If you like the journal, please patronize my business: encourage others to subscribe, advertise in these pages, buy my novels -- you'll like them (that would free money tied up in books I ended up with when my gay small business publisher went out of business). Oh, and please come visit Peregrine's Perspective. We'd like to earn the support for our contribution by offering good services. That's what the archetype of the Gay Entrepreneur is about.
I want to welcome the assistance of Bo Young. As regular readers know, Bo is a frequent contributor. With this issue he takes on the role of Poetry Editor.
What all the talk of archetypes in this issue has in common is the notion that happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction with life come from finding your place in the larger scheme of things described by these metaphorical patterns. We're all part of something bigger than ourselves. The patterns we find in our lives are the manifestations of the great thoughts of the Planet. Being gay and participating in the creation of gay consciousness is a really great "great thought."
Call for SubmissionsThe next issue of White Crane, #38, scheduled for Fall 1998, will feature articles on "God": What does this notion mean in terms of today's scientifically and psychologically sophisticated cosmology? Is "God" personal? What is meant by Meister Eckhart's saying "The eye with which I see God is the eye with which God sees me"? What does gay perspective allow us to see about "God" that others may not?
The Winter '99 feature will be on Healing; Spring '99 on Gaia; Summer '99 on Disclosure. Contributions are invited on these -- and any other -- topics of interest to a gay readership.