Before the 1970s, there was little research or understanding of homosexuality as a lifestyle, of committed same-sex life partners, or of families with parents who were gay. Many gay people themselves were homophobic and/or realistically fearful that knowledge of their lifestyle preference would bring legal repercussions in the form of loss of job or of child custody, and that homophobia has been reflected in the written Ageless Wisdom teachings. Even now, with gay marriage legalized in a growing number of countries, openly gay persons continue to suffer legal repercussions and often lethal gay bashing.
The mounting violence against gays prompted the American Psychiatric Association to issue a statement in 1992 calling on health professionals and health organizations to end the stigmatization of homosexuals. Since 2009, though, radical U.S. Christian missionaries to Uganda have launched active campaigns to stir up hatred of homosexuals and, more recently, to support a new bill that would make homosexuality punishable by death. In South Africa, hundreds of lesbians each month are being beaten and sexually assaulted as "corrective rape" to "cure" them. So attitudes regarding homosexuality are not simply an academic matter.
While some religious groups have initiatives to proactively address stigmatization and welcome gays into their midst, the esoteric community has remained largely silent on this issue. Quotations in the Blue Books include the following:
"Homosexuality is of three kinds:
1. That which is the result of ancient evil habits. This is the major cause today and indicates…a constant insatiable physical and sexual urge.…
2. Imitative homosexuality.… based upon a too active imagination, plus a powerful physical or sex nature, and a prurient curiosity.…
3. A few rare, very rare, cases of hermaphroditism" (EH:63).
"It should be noted that, where desire is rampant and uncontrolled and no inhibition is present, such diseases as the syphilitic disorders, homosexuality, and inflammations and fevers appear." (EH:67)
"Our young people… look then elsewhere, into the lives of those who have avoided the responsibility of marriage, and find naught but discontent, frequently a secret and hidden sex life, ill-health as a result of the frustration of the natural instincts, psychological conditions of the worst kind, sometimes illegitimate children, sexual perversions, and a growing tendency towards what is called homosexuality." (EP1:275)
"Cosmically speaking, sex is a short word used to express the relation existing (during manifestation) between spirit and matter, and between life and form.… Sex is essentially an expression of duality, and of the separation of a unity into two aspects or halves. These we can call spirit and matter, male and female, positive and negative; and they are in the nature of a stage upon the evolutionary ladder towards a final unity or homo-sexuality which has no relation to that perversion which is, today and inaccurately, called 'homosexuality'" (EP1:277).
"Frequently in the case of a male mystic there will be over developed sexual expression on the physical plane, perversions of different kinds, or a pronounced homosexuality" (EP2:532).
"The teaching of wrong sexual habits, the example of widespread prostitution (I use this word in connection with men as well as women), the growth of homosexuality (not in its rare physiological forms and predispositions but from the angle of a perverted mentality and an unwholesome imagination, which today lie behind so much of its expression), the narrow-minded Christian inheritance of a ‘guilt complex’ where sex is concerned, and the heritage of diseased and over-or under-sexed physical bodies, have brought the race to its present chaotic and unintelligent handling of the important problem [of sex]" (EA:235-236).
Nowhere in these quotations is there any recognition of homosexuality as a normal lifestyle or the choice of a same-sex partner as legitimate and in keeping with a spiritual practice. To assist in a discussion of this issue, consider the following common misconceptions, which are reflected in the above quotations:
- Homosexuality reflects an excessive preoccupation with physical pleasure and sexual urges.
In actuality, there are both heterosexuals and homosexuals who center their social life around frequent casual or anonymous sex. They are in the minority.
- Homosexuality is unnatural because its sexual activity does not lead to procreation.
In actuality, much of heterosexual activity does not lead to procreation either. In our age of overpopulation, we need less procreation rather than more.
- Homosexuality represents an avoidance of marriage or of commitment to a long-term relationship.
In actuality, a high percentage of gay adults live in, or seek, long-term relationships. As marriage becomes legal in a jurisdiction, gays usually seek to have their relationships legalized.
- Homosexuality represents an avoidance of parenthood.
In actuality, many gay persons are, or seek to be, parents. If they do not already have children before coming out, current technologies support approaches such as artificial insemination of lesbians or the incubation of male sperm in a surrogate mother. In addition, gay couples are able to adopt children in an increasing number of jurisdictions.
- Homosexuality is a perversion of basic polarities, the balancing of which is a key component of the electrical nature of the universe.
In actuality, the polarities of positive and negative energy exist within every type of matter and are usually balanced within the unit. Imbalances within a cell or an organ typically lead to health problems. Psychologists describe the healthiest relationships as being between two whole (internally balanced) persons, whether of the same sex or of opposite sexes.
See the following articles for a more detailed exploration of this issue: