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ISBN:0978917006
Author: L. D. Gussin
ISBN13: 978-0978917005
Title: The Seeker Academy
Format: lrf docx lrf lrf
ePUB size: 1848 kb
FB2 size: 1421 kb
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Language: English
Category: Genre Fiction
Publisher: 4361 Press (April 5, 2007)
Pages: 312

The Seeker Academy by L. D. Gussin



Housatonic, MA: 4361 Press. Gussin’s novel The Seeker Academy is a perceptive examination of today’s New Age. truth seeking movement. Gussin describes a complex and interwoven set of threads that enables. professor in the Department of Education at the Norwegian University of Science and. Technology, where he teaches organizational counseling, coaching and leadership.

The Seeker Academy book.

Gussin’s novel The Seeker Academy is a perceptive examination of today’s New Age truth seeking movement. Gussin describes a complex and interwoven set of threads that enables his novel to do justice to the realities of such truth-seeking. The main character, Grace Hudson, takes up the journey of finding deeper meaning in life and her experience opens a window into this world. This piqued my curiosity.

Gussin takes us on a very real spiritual journey; the ups, the downs, the. all around.

Using the tools of literary fiction, The Seeker Academy explores the holistic healing (mind-body-spirit) movement, which has its roots in the beat-hippie counterculture and, earlier, in a romantic movement dating back three centuries. Author L. D. Gussin populates the story with characters struggling with how to live their lives.

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Vivan Paley was born in Chicago, Illinois. After receiving her P. from the University of Chicago in 1947, and a .

Using the tools of literary fiction, The Seeker Academy explores the holistic healing (mind-body-spirit) movement, which has its roots in the beat-hippie counterculture and, earlier, in a romantic movement dating back three centuries. Author L. D. Gussin populates the story with characters struggling with how to live their lives. At local centers and retreats, they engage in wellness and spiritual practices, some which go beyond current Western norms. While middle class, their anxiety in the face of modern culture makes them, or some of them, seekers after purity, almost like religious fundamentalists. Yet, they tend to be social liberals¿even when they find the levers of social change to be beyond their reach and so a distraction. With drama, dislocation, hope, and longing, the novel's characters are striving for connection. "With exquisite facility of language, L. D. Gussin takes us on a very real spiritual journey; the ups, the downs, the all arounds. I've been there. L. D. Gussin nails it!" ¿ Nancy Slonim Aronie (Aronie is an author, NPR commentator, and holistic retreat workshop leader who, with Robert Coles, teaches Literature for Social Reflection at Harvard.)
Reviews: 7
Wymefw
A very interesting journey of several characters in a new-age retreat. A very thought-provoking book. Reminded me of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Wishamac
Yes, the characters in L. D. Gussin's "The Seeker Academy" are "hungry for the truth" as Christopher Noel says on the book's cover. But, these characters are even hungrier for connection,as symbolized by the Gorganzola-and-fig pizza at the book's beginning.

This hunger for connection extends in every direction. Their hunger grows vertically--into the world of the spirit (upward), and it extends into a wish for greater depth within themselves(inward and downward). The hunger grows horizontally and outward into relationships with romantic and married partners, family, friends, community, and casually encountered strangers. The masterful contribution of "The Seeker Academy" is laying these hungers for connection vulnerably bare and deftly showing the multitude of ways we human beings push and pull through,and often past, our desires. I frequently found myself pausing to make a mental note as I recognized a comment in the text that pointed to a tendency in myself.

From a writing craft standpoint, one of L.D. Gussin's greatest achievements is in his credible and warm fleshing out of leading lady Grace Hudson, and telling the story through her eyes. Grace, a middle-aged drama teacher in a middle school brings impeccable observation and a tendency toward wry mimicry into her roles as matron, mother, care-taking aunt, and then among the elders of the temporary staff at the Seeker Academy.

What better guide could we have into the culture of the Seeker Academy? ("Grace wanted to dismiss this coded talk.... But she also felt Sophie to be thoughtful and sincere.") Gussin doesn't go for satire, but neither does he go for whole-hog idolatry of New Age spiritual shopping. Very gently, Gussin reveals the wounding and natural human yearning that has drawn these people into the world of the Seeker Academy. Gussin also reveals, in a balanced way, the extent that this world of spiritual mélange delivers healing for wounds, and rapture for transcendental yearning--and to the extent it does not.

An amazing feature of The Seeker Academy is its encyclopedic knowledge of holistic healing and the history of spiritual seeking communities in America (since Thoreau, the Transcendentalists, and Chautauqua) and in Europe with the Romantics. Interwoven among the book's conversations and theatrical performances is a compendium and classification of New Age Philosophy. Make no mistake, Gussin has done a great deal of homework which undergirds The Seeker Academy. In addition to the broad swath, there is even practical, detailed information on how to perform sitting meditation.

Gussin's style in its slight formality, occasional sentence inversion, elegance, and wording of chapter titles reminds me pleasantly of the early 20th century books that crammed our bookcases when I was growing up in the 1950s and devoured books from an earlier generation. ("Grace knew that her body would ache the next day, as her heart ached from the winter in hell, but she was glad for the struggle.") There's a graciousness here that serves Gussin's tale well. I love the lyrical thread of poetic imagery that weaves through the book.

Grace Hudson lives up to her name, embodying as she does the quality of grace and carrying the surname of a great American river. Grace enters the Seeker Academy as a person willing "to give life a chance." Her "role-the-dice openness" helps her navigate the turbulent waves of her Seeker Academy experience with its not-yet-digested emotions and ideas.

Although Gussin's book is a novel of ideas, the relational strand of connection most compels me. The message I take away at the end of "The Seeker Academy" is that yes,"this life is a guesthouse" and in every moment we have the choice presented to us to be the decent human beings
we essentially are.

--Janet Grace Riehl, author Sightlines: A Poet's Diary
Quellik
The review's title is the last part of a relevant question posed some years ago by renowned literary critic Harold Bloom. As far as I remember, the question was something like this: In this age in which we can access so much information, where are we to find wisdom? I think it expresses the central subject of this timely book.

Grace is a fortysomething woman with a husband and an 11 year-old kid. She passes through an emotionally exhausting experience after weeks of worrying and taking care of her niece, sick with cancer. During the long, tiresome hours in the hospital, she gets in contact with other sick kids and their families. At some point, she discovers a deep anguish about life, sickness and death, and decides to take a break. Somehow she is informed of one Seeker Academy, where she expects to find some peace and think things over, in a new light.

The academy is a big rural estate where a very diverse array of people go to find answers to their deep questions. All sorts of "philosophies" and New age rituals take place there, from simple yoga to the most diverse "spiritual workshops", of the type "Get in touch with your inner self" or holistic movements. The kind of people who attend is easy to imagine: the bald, bearded, pony-tailed guy who plays the guitar in front of a fire; the rich, snobbish sixty-somethings, and so on. Grace engages in different activities, meets many people, thinks deeply, but somehow she feels disturbed, like something is missing. True, these people are sincerely searching for peace, for answers to the complex and stressing problems of life, but the atmosphere feels fake, empty. I can't give away the ending, but I can say that finally the experience is in fact not totally useless. The isolation from her everyday life, the opportunity to learn about these things, the chance to meet new and different people, leave her renewed, willing to look at her life in a different light.

This is not so much a novel, but the story serves as a vehicle to illustrate and reflect on extremely relevant issues for today and for the future: What is to be done before the apparently inevitable degeneration and decline of traditional institutionalized religions as a shelter and source of answers? How to deal with the agitation and the pressure posed by fear of old age, sickness, and death? Is there a life beyond the insatiable search for social success, money, things, and sexual satisfaction? Serious philosophy demands study, concentration, hard intellectual work, and above all time. And in the end you'll leave more puzzled than you entered, anyway. Scientific discoveries expand knowledge and understanding, but they tend to be more disturbing than comforting. So?

These book has the great merit of not trying to offer answers. That would go against its very spirit. But it does illustrate the current emotional state of societies, like the American, torn between contradictory impulses, who bring about only anguish and a feeling of emptiness. Books about self-help and spiritual healing are side by side with books about how to get instantly rich or have better orgasms. And many people read both. Certainly there are no ready-made answers. What seems to work for one person won't work for antoher. But maybe, just maybe, we could start by recovering common sense and appreciate the immense opportunities provided by our everyday lives, work, family, friends and intellectual interests. Maybe we should live in a way that promotes our having good memories. It may be little, but it's what there is.