Interview with Spiritual Author Jerry Pollock

Jerry Pollock is the author of seventy-five scientific publications. His background includes both a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Pharmacy from the University of Toronto, a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and Postdoctoral training in Microbiology at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Pollock is currently Professor Emeritus in the Oral Biology and Pathology Department in the School of Dental Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook on Long Island. Jerry’s first writer of the arts book, Divinely Inspired: Spiritual Awakening of a Soul, was a spiritual memoir originally published in 2003. The second edition of Divinely Inspired will be reissued in Paperback on Jan. 1, 2009. His ‘not so fictional’ novel, Messiah Interviews: Belonging to God, due out also on Jan. 1, 2009, is Jerry’s way of giving back to the Creator. Jerry is married to Marcia, his bashert or destined one. They reside in Florida.


For more about Jerry and his work, please visit http://www.shechinahthirdtemple.org/

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Jerry! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

First, I wanted to thank you for this interview. I’m grateful for the chance to share myself and my books.

I was born in Canada in 1941. I became an American citizen in 1990. I grew up in a dysfunctional family, beginning with an unwanted pregnancy and a miraculous survival of an abortion attempt. I have been a neurotic all my life, but have moved toward normalcy through Primal Therapy and Womb Regression. I would say that after 25 years of working with either a therapist or on my own, I am ninety-nine percent better or normal. Through spirituality, I have kicked out Bipolar Disorder (acquired at age 50), which is no longer welcome in my body and my brain.

I completed my Bachelor and Masters of Science in Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. I then went on to do a Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and then spent four years a s a Postdoctoral fellow in the Microbiology Department in the New York University School of Medicine. In 1973, I joined the faculty in the Oral Biology and Pathology Department at Stony Brook University, carrying out scientific research, teaching and administrative duties. I became Professor in 1981 and am currently Professor Emeritus, having retired in July 2006. The Bipolar Disorder or manic depression began in 1991, and in 1995, I was forced to take a five-year long-term disability leave because of an acute refractive clinical depression when my research funding collapsed. It was during this period that I had unusual spiritual experiences, beginning in December of 1998 both in New York and in Florida. I had also had an experience (no Bipolar Disorder then) in my Long Island summer cottage in 1982 while I was being divorced from my first wife. I won’t spoil the fun of your readers, but these unusual spiritual experiences are described in my two Titles, Messiah Interviews and Divinely Inspired, due out on Jan.1, 2009 as Paperbacks.

I returned to the University in 2000, but I was no longer the same person. I began reading the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, parts of the Qur’an, Evolution and the Origin of Life, Creation, Anthropology, and numerous books on faith, religion and the soul. Divinely Inspired was actually published in 2003 and is being reissued in 2009. Inch by inch, I’ve been climbing the spiritual ladder.

You might say that I have been writing for 40 years. In my scientific career, I published 75 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Divinely Inspired in 2003 was my first writer of the arts attempt. I like to think I’ve improved with the writing of the Messiah Interviews. Divinely Inspired is a spiritual memoir and Messiah Interviews is a spiritual fiction.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

The Messiah Interviews is a spiritual fiction and brings a message of hope for the future, and not Armageddon. Ever since the Creation of Adam and Eve, man has grappled with knowing whether life exists after death. Because humans achieve the possible, while God accomplishes the impossible, only the Creator knows our fate and destiny at the End of Days. The Messiah Interviews tells the story of the book’s main character, Yoseph, an imperfect human being living an even more imperfect life on Earth, who finds himself transported to the Third Temple in Heaven for the sole purpose of being interviewed to be the Messiah. Joseph is a scientist. He is also a believer struggling to fulfill his spiritual mission.

As readers embark on a journey of knowledge and understanding, they’ll join Yoseph in an exploration of the implications of biblical history on our modern world. Through a series of unexplainable events, readers will get to decide if an additional personal spiritual effort is worth making in their lives, in order to possibly gain entrance to an uncertain futuristic Garden of Eden, the Messianic Age. In a process of the dreamlike interviews with biblical personalities―the angel Gabriel, Methuselah, Chanoch, Seth, King David, Moses, Jacob, Abraham and the prophet Isaiah―Yoseph is forced to bear his soul and his own hidden demons. The interviewers serve as advisors to God, Who is the keeper of the scorecard on the moral choices and decisions we make in our lives. It is God Who decides Yoseph’s fate and ultimately the lot of all of us.

As human beings, we are all flawed. That’s how the Creator made us. During the course of reading the book, readers will be empowered, like Yoseph, to exercise their free will to improve their moral character, in order to meet the requirements set out in the Messiah Interviews for admission into a future blissful life at the End of Days. The book is God-centered and discusses, briefly or at length, various topics, including The Ten Commandments, Creation, Evolution, Good and Evil, Primal Therapy, Bipolar Disorder, Resurrection, Aging, Twelve Tribes of Israel, the Lost Tribes, Monotheistic Religions, the future Third Temple on earth, the Messiah, and the Messianic Age. The book is full of biblical and modern wisdom written in layman’s terms, and is for anyone willing to begin or continue their journey down the spiritual road. It is also meant for the humanist, agnostic or atheist who has chosen a different road. God gives us a lifetime to return to Him.

I wrote the Messiah Interviews because I felt a need to offer the information in the book to anyone who would be willing to read it. Some of what I talk about is present in sources that the average person would not seek out. Much of it is not and comes from my own creativity relying upon ten years on the spiritual road. I wrote Messiah Interviews also because I wanted to give back to God for intervening in my life with His Divine Providence. It is written in the Torah (the first 5 Books of the Hebrew Bible) that God tells Moses, “I shall show kindness and mercy to whomever I please, even to a sinner who does not deserve it.” I am that sinner, as you’ll read about my moral struggles in following the Ten Commandments in both of my Titles, Divinely Inspired and Messiah Interviews. God has shown me miracles and I love Him with all my heart, soul and might.

God leads individuals in the direction they wish to go and both the Messiah Interviews and Divinely Inspired offer one path to spirituality and enlightenment. I don’t claim it to be the sole path. Nor is it my intention to preach. Rather I try to empower the reader to sit right alongside Yoseph, as he answers his biblical interviewers. I’m hoping that as Yoseph is answering, so is the reader pondering what he or she would have said to the interviewers. What few people realize is that we are accountable to God for our moral decisions. Adam and Eve were, as they had to leave the Garden of Eden because of disobeying God. The old adage that you can run but you can’t hide rang true even back then at the beginning of Creation. By the way I am a scientist who believes that God is the master scientist responsible for both Creation and Evolution.

God is omniscient, all knowing, and He sees into our hearts and into the most subtle of thoughts in our brains. I just smiled because I just thought of Santa Claus knowing when children are good or bad like the Christmas song gleefully expresses. We’ll Santa may not actually know but God does. Moreover for the most part, it’s the adults that God is concerned with. If their lives pass them by without they improving their moral character, the Messiah Interviews suggests that they will not be admitted into the Messianic Age at the End of Days. We all have been given the wonderful gift of free will. It is ironic that this free will which I believe is God-given doesn’t even ensure that we shall believe in God, the One Who gave it to us. The Messianic Age will be a time of longevity, a time of healing, a time of plenty, and a time when the inclination to do evil will be subdued or altogether eliminated. It will be the second coming of the Garden of Eden.

I think you are getting the idea that I am a little wordy. It’s the professor in me. My apologies. Please read on.

What kind of research was involved in writing “Messiah Interviews”?

About ten years of spiritual research. My spiritual experiences actually began in 1982 but it was after a series of experiences at the end of 1998 and the beginning of 1999 on both Long island, New York and South Florida that I began my spiritual journey, I have been crawling up the spiritual ladder for the past ten years as I complete my twenty-five years of Primal Therapy to become non-neurotic and normal. It’s my belief that feelings are the guide to inner peace and that resolving struggle, tension, and your defenses combined with walking in God’s place leads to tranquility and inner peace. You can’t buy inner peace. Your soul is worth all the riches in the world. In the Indian Sanskrit, it’s “sat sung”, which means a meeting of truth, in order to find “chit,” your soul consciousness, and then be able to live in “anand,” in bliss.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

My son-in-law Magnus Andersson is the creative genius when it comes to Graphic Design and art design in general. I encourage you to visit his website at www.innervisiondesign.net if you need help with all aspects of your books. To answer your question, Magnus came up with the unique book covers and I filled in the details.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

I don’t recall ever having anything that was smooth sailing except marrying my wife Marcia. No complaints. Marcia is everything to me. You can become a published author quite easily today and that’s enough for some authors. The publishing industry is changing and there are various venues to display your book. Going to the next step, marketing the book is a nightmare. You have to stay the course or as Shakespeare says you will end up in shallows and in miseries from an unsuccessfully marketed book. Email me at jerrypollock@bellsouth.net if you need advice for whatever mine is worth.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

I never signed a contract. Our nonprofit organization, the Shechinah Third Temple, Inc is the publisher. Shechinah means Divine Providence.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

Good agents are as rare as hen’s teeth. And if you find one, who is interested in your work, you may have to rob your piggy bank to make any money on your book. I qualify my statement because there are success stories out there. However, most writers are drowning in their own words. They are not bestselling authors. A good agent is probably very helpful. He or she will help you get your book published and into the chain bookstores. Without an agent, you can do everything else I believe by yourself or with the help of a publicist. I’m working with PrbytheBook in Austin, Texas and they are great. If you have ever traveled to a foreign country, you can see the country by either renting a car or taking a land tour. Or you can take a cruise, which I’ve never done by the way, and see a glimpse of the country. You may get into the chain bookstores but what happens when your book gets yanked off the shelf to make way for the next new book? You’ve had your glimpse but you’ve lost control of your book when you go to an agent who gets you a publisher. Take my words with a grain of salt. It’s my humble opinion. Each to his own. The self directional route is more expensive but you can have your books out there for years.

Do you plan subsequent books?

I’m so busy with the marketing of this book like answering your questions that I don’t have the time to write. I’m like the writer-actor-producer-director that Robin Williams on an HBO show once described as blowing smoke out his exterior. Pardon my language. Yes I would like to complete the trilogy. Divinely Inspired is the prequel to Messiah Interviews but the third book would have to be written while I’m in the Messianic Age. I hope God sees me morally fit to enter at the End of Days or the End Times.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

Either. I find the writing part the easiest of all. I don’t know if its because of my science background where I wrote scientific articles and research grants. I always told my kids. Do something you like and do something that comes easy to you. Writing comes easy to me.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

Now you’re talking. What a wonderful thought. I’d hire the best people. I would know exactly what to do. I sometimes think of winning the lottery.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

This is the crux and even if you have a publisher, for the most part you are still going to have to promote. I am all over the deck with my marketing right now. I’m doing or will be doing blog tours for both titles. I am doing separate Internet interviews, getting book reviews, I intend to write articles, I’m mailing out flyers to independent bookstores and libraries, starting to do radio shows and hopefully TV, preparing a video for both titles. I have eBooks for both titles in all formats, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com, will have an audio book for the Messiah Interviews by the end of January, I hope; have my own website at www.shechinahthirdtemple.org or www.thirdtempleinfo.com and hope to be linking to other websites particularly in the future when I get some time to link to social networking sites, I’m learning to blog, and intending to give talks to churches, temples, homeowners associations, and bookstores.

Wow, thanks for asking. I see that I need another me. It’s not about the money. I work for the Creator now. It’s about message. But I sure would like to sell some books to recoup some of my lavish costs. So please take pity on me and buy the books. And if you can’t buy the books because you can’t afford them in today’s economy, give me a call or send me an email at jerrypollock@bellsouth.net and we shall work out something. Also check out my blog for links to my Inside Scoop Radio Interview.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

Job said in the bible, “Days speak and a multitude of years speak wisdom.” It takes years to gain wisdom. King Solomon said “Do not be wise in your eyes,” meaning that you need to be humble and not arrogant and a smarty pants jerk. One more piece of advice from Solomon. “The wise man seeks counsel.” There are two kinds of counsel. Human counsel and God’s counsel. Reach heavenward. I wish you the ‘joie de vivre,’ the joy of life.

Thank you for coming, Jerry! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

See above for website, www.thirdtempleinfo.com to repeat. All the links are there for eBooks or the paperbacks. On the blog, you’ll see the AuthorsBookShop and AuthorsDen links where you can purchase signed books. Or you can contact me. To all, please take care.

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