The Accidental Immigrant is the capstone work of world-renown author Professor Kyriacos C. Markides, based on his over fifty-year-quest for an authentic understanding of the true nature of Reality. As a teenager he arrived at the docs of New York in 1960 with the purported aim of earning a business degree and returning to his native Cyprus. Thanks to a string of uncanny coincidences he soon realized that the real meaning and purpose of his Atlantic crossing was not the acquisition of practical skills but the development of his social awareness and spiritual consciousness. This is the story, among other things, of his valiant struggles to assimilate within American society and culture, of his peace activism to help heal the wounds of ethnic strife in his native Island, and of his relentless quest for spiritual fulfillment within the challenging confines of the secular and agnostic world of modern academia. As a sociologist and a field researcher he shares with us his encounters with a variety of remarkable people that include colorful Christian shamans and healers possessors of paranormal gifts as well as charismatic monks and ascetics who exposed him to the magnificent spiritual wisdom of Eastern mystical Christianity. It is, among other things, these kinds of experiences that step by step led him to realize that there is a deeper Truth over and beyond our physical and sensate universe that is the foundation and wellspring of everything that happens in our lives within the three-dimensional world. And it is this awareness that could eventually lead towards the integration of the best of science with the best of religion for the long-term survival of the human race.
Kyriacos C. Markides is professor emeritus of sociology and the recipient of the 2002 Best Professor Award in Arts and Sciences and the 2006 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award at the University of Maine.
Chapter 1. Coming of Age in Colonial Cyprus
Chapter 2. Accidental Immigrant
Chapter 3. Family in Maine, Tragedy in Cyprus
Chapter 4. Witness to Extraordinary Phenomena
Chapter 5. Meetings with Remarkable People
Chapter 6. The New Millennium
Chapter 7. A Summing Up
Praise for Markides’s Other Works
About the Author
Kyriacos Markides is a magnetic storyteller, whether documenting his observations of a clairvoyant healer, his conversations with a gifted spiritual elder on Mt. Athos, or his heartbreaking roadside return to his Aunt’s home in Kyrenia, long ago taken over in the Turkish invasion. Markides’ memoirs weave together his fascinating life events with his intellectual history and soulful quest for spiritual anchoring. Along the way, we are treated to on-the-spot commentary about life in America and some of the most dramatic episodes in modern Cyprus history.
In his latest book, Kyriacos Markides takes us on an oft foreboding, but always exhilarating rollercoaster that brings together seemingly disparate threads—from turbulent colonial Cyprus to steel mining towns and educational centers of America through times of political upheaval and intellectual unrest. These adventures illumined his unique understanding of the creative tension between history and tragedy, the transcendent and mystical. The Accidental Immigrant chronicles the meandering, albeit intriguing journey that finally led Markides in his quest to the tranquil top of The Mountain of Silence.