Soulfully Gay: How Harvard, Sex, Drugs, and Integral Philosophy Drove Me Crazy and Brought Me Back to God

Joe Perez, Author . Shambhala/Integral $16.95 (328p) ISBN 978-1-59030-418-1

Crystal meth, the Catholic church, leather bars, Jesus, a psychiatric ward, falling T-cell counts, terrifying visions—these are just some of the topics in this collection of blogs, personal journals and newspaper columns from 2003 and 2004. Perez, now 37, came out during his senior year at Harvard, lost his brother to AIDS a year later and tested HIV-positive at age 24. Raised Catholic, he suffered addiction and psychosis as he tried to reconcile his gayness and his hunger for religious experience. Then he discovered the books of Ken Wilber, a leader in the Integral Movement, and for the first time thought he had found a way to reconcile his warring drives; much of the book explains the philosophy of Wilber (who pens the foreword) and that of his follower Jim Marion. Bloglike, Perez's account leaps from memoir to book review to exposition to interview. Perhaps his most successful entries are his psychedelic descriptions of madness: his breakdown in his late 20s, his mystical experiences in the hospital, his nightmares as psychosis returned. This is an arresting record of a soul in progress, but readers who come for the story may leave during the lectures. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/26/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
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