Two Paths, One Journey
to Seeking Spirituality-]
Kyriacos Markides, left, and Michael H. Lewis.
More than 25 years ago, artist Michael
H. Lewis and sociologist Kyriacos Markides each began research on the
same subject — spirituality. Lewis used the Maine landscape as a
starting point for his turpentine wash paintings, suggesting a
mysterious and timeless inner reality. Markides encountered monks,
hermits, healers and spiritual elders, and wrote about their teachings
and mystical experiences. In the 1980s, Markides sought out Lewis'
paintings as cover art for the first of his six books and Lewis started
providing feedback on Markides' manuscripts.
They became fast friends, inspiring and
encouraging each other, and sharing ideas while walking the wooded paths
on the University of Maine campus. The two UMaine faculty members
continue their independent research, each seeking the transcendental
moments that are all around us. The enigmatic subject of spirituality is
made accessible through Markides' narratives and Lewis' landscapes. They
take a global, nondenominational approach to exploring inner
enlightenment. Both researchers ask us to suspend disbelief so that we
may be sensitized to the possibility of transcendent realities. The
books and paintings invite participation and encourage us to draw our