Reading Between Life’s Lines

Speaker: Lara Pollock

Good Morning. It is an honor and a pleasure to be here today to share my personal spiritual journey with you.
Over the last several months I have been fascinated with what people in our congregation have shared about
their views of God. I have spent nearly three years quietly studying a different view of God, discreetly
acquiring insights, discussing them only with my best friend. For years I‟ve dwelled in the seemingly safe
cocoon of self-study. Today, as I tentatively emerge, revealing these thoughts to you, I feel like I‟m releasing a
delicate butterfly that will flitter here and flutter there. It will land a moment, then wander off to land again
elsewhere. I have no idea where it will fly, who it will touch, what its course will be. I just feel at peace
releasing a gentle idea into this gathering of curious seekers.

Numerous times in my life, I felt deeply connected with a Compassionate Source, and I wanted to learn more.
Like several members who attend here, my husband does not wish to participate in spiritual exploration. But he
encourages me to develop my own spiritual life. Throughout the years, I have privately prayed, meditated and
written about my spiritual visions. I also read many books that helped me grow. I wish to discuss just a few of
the more significant books that have heightened my awareness. Please feel free to nod or gesture if you know
any of the books, or can identify with the concepts I am discussing. I have a list of titles and authors and some
additional information, if you are interested, please pick one up after the service.

I was about 9 years old when I read Raymond Moody‟s Life After Life, which inspired me to believe that there
is more to life than our senses perceive. I found myself attracted to the peaceful, loving presence that many
people described in their near death experiences.

When I was about 26, I read Edgar Cayce‟s There Is A River. This book described remarkable information
about the connection to a river of knowledge known as the akashic record. There Is A River helped me begin to
realize that there probably is a reincarnative cycle of life and death. It was a significant paradigm shift for me.

A year or so later, I read You Forever and The Third Eye by T. Lobsong Rampa. These books again described
an unseen reality that is more Real than this experience which we perceive through the five commonly accepted
senses. These books reiterated that physical manifestation is only temporary. You are „You Forever‟ as eternal
spirit energy.

In Jose Silva‟s book, Silva Mind Control, which I prefer to call Silva Mind Focus, I learned to focus my
intentions in my mind to achieve my goals. Our mind is an extremely powerful creative force; this affirmed that
we must dwell on what we want, not what we don’t want.

Shakti Gawain became one of my favorite authors. I especially enjoyed Living in the Light, Creative
Visualization, and The Path of Transformation. She affirmed that, though our bodies are sloppy jalopies driving
around in the muck, our true nature is pure light spirit-being. In The Path of Transformation, Shakti describes
how we are all connected in a mass consciousness. This builds on the „mirror‟ concept of our perceptions; that
what happens in the world is a reflection of our own inner conflict. For example, say I have a smudge on my
face. I look in the mirror and see the smudge. How do I remove it? Should I clean the reflection in mirror? No.
The smudge in the mirror is the effect. To eliminate the smudge, I have to go to the level of cause. I can use
reflection as a tool to identify the issue. But as I look at myself the mirror, I have to address my internal
smudge directly to eliminate the cause of the problem. The improvement then reflects at the level of effect.
Likewise, Shakti demonstrated that the external world is a reflection of our own inner conflict projected
outward. We transform the world by acknowledging, surrendering, forgiving, and releasing conflict within
ourselves. I agreed with the concept, but I wondered how and why this would be. How does the seemingly
separate external world transform when we change from within?

David Darling‟s Zen Physics helped provide a partial answer. I was fascinated with the second half of his book
which described the dualistic nature of quantum mechanics. The double slot experiment (which you can
Google to get a more detailed explanation) demonstrates a phenomenon called Wave-Particle Duality.
Individual units of light behave as either waves or particles. There is no order or accurate method to predict
which will manifest because the researchers‟ observation influences whether the unit manifests as particle or
wave. The deeper physicists delve, searching for solid, consistent matter, the more they discover that there is
more space, more energy, and virtually no matter to grasp on to. That there is no „there‟ there. The realization
is dawning, as physics and metaphysics come full circle, that indeed faith can move mountains. What we think
is real and solid and secure, is just energy in a temporary form of matter.

Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot takes the research of microcosmic quantum mechanics and applies it
to the macrocosm. He explains a theory that was developed independently by respected physicist David Bohm,
and neurophysiologist Karl Pribram. Talbot explains that their theory along with evidence from many fields of
research including mathematics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics indicate that the entire universe is a vast
hologram, created and influenced by the mind.

So I now beg the question, what is real? We have confusing information. We have a desperate desire to make
what we see real and secure, when it cannot be done. What we seem to see and perceive with our senses cannot
be captured in laboratories as matter, only space and vibrations. If permanence defines what is real, what is
permanent? This podium seems solid. I can grasp it to feel more secure, but according to quantum mechanics,
it is not solid. And it is in no way permanent; it will inevitably decay in time. We dearly desire to grasp
security within matter, but it isn‟t matter, it doesn‟t matter, it will never be permanent matter. Because it is
energy in a temporary holographic form, influenced by thought. So what is permanent? What is real?

In 2002, I took Patrick Moore‟s Melting Muscles Workshop. One of the concepts that he describes for the basis
of the technique is „Connecting with Essence.‟ Because we are all connected as One, going to this level of
Essence, we can commune, find solutions to conflict, and heal. It was another piece of the puzzle of an unseen
Reality where we are complete pure Essence that is Real and Permanent. But this puzzle piece puzzled me:
Why would we be here, in a dualistic conflicted world, if we are already complete? It would be another 6 years
before I would discover a suitable answer to this conundrum.

Patrick Moore‟s „Connecting with Essence‟ technique also helped me come to terms with an emotionally
charged issue that I had avoided for 12 years. The issue of Jesus. In my early 20‟s I had an identity crisis when
I spurned the Church of Christ, The Bible, God and Jesus. Eventually, through remarkable results from prayer,
I made peace with God as my Source, a loving, ever-present guide, always escorting me. But I had not made
peace with Jesus. I tried to, but I harbored a serious grudge against Jesus. I believed Jesus was an enlightened
person who shared his knowledge of the nature of this holographic world. That he intended to serve as an
example demonstrating our own Divine potential. But I felt that his intended message had been so manipulated,
I had no desire to speculate What Would Jesus Do. In addition, I deeply resented that the „religious right‟ had
highjacked Jesus to force their own agenda. My religious Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the near cultlike
experience in my teens, caused me to reflexively react with visceral resentment when I heard any reference
to Jesus. I projected my resentment of religious corruption onto Jesus, figuratively recrucifying an innocent

But a shift occurred when Patrick Moore described several characteristics of the nature of Essence: patience,
nonjudgment, compassion, unconditional love, equality, generosity, Presence. He went on to point out that
these happen to be the characteristics of „the man in sandals.‟ I cringed at the reference, but it triggered
something inside me. Somehow I came up with an alternative term that resonated with me: Christ
Consciousness. This was a major step for my awareness. If I translated the Essence message of Jesus to the
more encompassing Christ Consciousness, I connected deeply with the concepts which I believe we can strive
to emulate: serene patience, enlightened nonjudgment, ultimate compassion, pure unconditional love, absolute
equality, abundant generosity, Peaceful Presence.

Reading each line of each book brought a layer of wisdom to my awareness. I felt like I was living an
intriguing mystery where clues are revealed, but there isn‟t quite enough information to solve the mystery.
Some people make themselves crazy, wanting to figure it all out right away. I tend to be a „wait and see‟ kind
of person. I don‟t expect all the answers immediately. Over the years, I was fairly content with tucking away
information for later use, knowing the answers to the mystery would unfold at the right time.

However, I became restless with the mystery in 2007 because I pushed myself to the limit of my coping ability
while raising three children, maintaining my household, my marriage, my job, and undertaking the challenge of
a four year Oriental Medicine program through the Kansas College of Chinese Medicine. I started to crack at
the seams at bit. I struggled with the artificial senselessness of educational institutions. I was overwhelmed in
class. I had to remember mountains of new words that didn‟t have any association or meaning, they were just
words. Concurrently, my son Tiger was struggling in his artificial educational environment. He needs handson,
stimulating, creative connections to engage his mind. We both needed it. And we both struggled in the
stagnant cycle digesting and regurgitating pieces of information.

The next incongruity that began to gnaw at me was the whole eating-to-survive issue. In the wild, animals must
kill or die of starvation, but I have never been able to watch nature shows where animals kill other animals. It
breaks my heart, it feels so wrong, yet we say that is the way of the world. We have to eat at least 3 times a day.
We have to eat some form of formerly living material whether plant or animal. We have to kill something to
live. And we have to keep killing to keep living. That doesn‟t sit well with me. I concluded that having to eat
is a cycle of futility: a waste of time, waste of energy, a distracting necessity producing more waste.

Then there was my dissatisfaction with the whole concept of linear time constraints. I had so many things to do,
and time just clicked away till there was no more time. I also felt myself battling the boundaries of time in my
massage sessions. Picture hovering in a zone of Essence where time has no meaning, things are processing.
People are healing at some level. Then „Ding, sorry, time‟s up. Gotta go do the next thing.‟ I felt terribly
constrained. I started questioning time. I starting thinking, „You know what? I feel like I‟m trapped in this
cycle of time. It doesn‟t feel right. It‟s incongruent. I don‟t think time is real.‟ That put me in another
quandary. Since I believe in Compassionate Source, I held the common belief that The Divine Creator created
the world. That God created physical laws including time. I felt that God had reasons for this world experience,
so there must be reasons for time. I tried to take the „wait and see‟ approach and accept it at that level. I felt
someday I would understand why.

The following year in 2008, another perplexing dichotomy presented itself. The Duality of good and evil. I
had a discussion with a person at a gathering. I expressed my belief that we are inherently good and that when
we look for the good in life, we will find it. The person responded by saying, “Consider this: For every good
idea or good event, there is an event that is equally evil. There has to be. It is an equation. It‟s two sides of a
coin. Good does not exist in this world without the evil.” Hmmm. What do I do with this concept? Everything
I read, learned and intuitively felt and affirms the power of positive thinking. I believe we are already complete
and amazing powerful beings. I have repeatedly confirmed in my life that focusing on good produces more
good. Yet we perceive cruelty and evil and suffering in the world. I believe in Oneness, but we observe the
duality of good and evil in this world. How can both of these be true?

This dichotomy prompted me to evaluate and compare what I knew to be true, Oneness, with what I observed in
the world of duality. I began to scrutinize life…concluding that it is a senseless mind-game. Life is a set-up.
We are programmed to strongly desire to survive. We are programmed to care what happens to us, and care
about others, but by caring, we suffer as we lose everything in this world eventually, just because it is our nature
to care. Every day there are problems and worries to deal with, we work so hard just to maintain, and why?
What is the point? This seemed so backwards to me. Society‟s rules of conformity: backwards. Society‟s rules
of justice: backwards and corrupt. Society‟s rules of politics: extremely backwards and extremely corrupt. War:
Absolutely insane. While trying not to get wrapped up in emotional resentment, I continued to observe that
there is not one area of human interaction in the external world that has not been corrupted. Every aspect has
been manipulated and undermined in some way. The media and entertainment machine trains people to thrive
on the pain of others as people depict more and more inhumane methods of torture; we torture ourselves with
threats of impending doom of our ultimate annihilation from comet, germ warfare, supervolcano. We get such a
thrill taunting ourselves with all the dangers and threats that lurk around every corner. Feeding our fear factor,
entangling ourselves ever more tightly in a futile cycle of paranoia. It doesn‟t seem right. It doesn‟t sit right
with me. It doesn‟t fit with what I think. It‟s out of synch. It‟s absurd. So many events in the world are so
absurd, they are beyond belief. Like hearing the cheesy lines of a low-budget movie, and recognizing the
scripted sense of the set-up. I was reading between Life‟s scripted Lines refusing to suspend disbelief any
longer. Life is a set-up, and then you die. A hollow hologram indeed. That is duality. The good is very very
good. The bad seems very very bad. There has to be a better way.

Then I stumbled on a book that proposed a better way to understand the dichotomy. It explained why and how
the illusion of duality is a false quagmire that cannot be fixed per se, it can only be acknowledged as false,
surrendered, forgiven, released and dissolved. The title of the book is, The Disappearance of the Universe by
Gary Renard. (I‟m curious, has anyone heard of this book? Has anyone read this book?) When I first heard of
it, I thought it sounded like an interesting discussion of scientific theories. But it is much more than that. In
my opinion, it provides an explanation for all the incongruities I observed in the world, particularly the nature of
time, corruption, and the seeming dichotomy of both Oneness and duality. I found within The Disappearance
of the Universe a very large puzzle piece for the mystery of life.

Within the book, Gary Renard refers to a very significant self-study course that explains these concepts in detail.
It was written in the 1960‟s and published in the 1970s. It is called A Course In Miracles. (How many of you
have heard of A Course In Miracles? And how many of you have had an opportunity to read from it?) I first
heard the title in the early 1990‟s from a friend who was in a studying it. She said the ideas are very deep and
the concepts are somewhat difficult to grasp. More recently, I had heard MaryAnn Williamson discussing A
Course In Miracles. Though some of the concepts were, indeed, difficult to grasp, her discussions deeply
resonated with me. After reading several chapters of The Disappearance of the Universe, I bought a copy of A
Course In Miracles and began reading both books concurrently. As I explored, I frequently found myself
nodding and saying “Aha! Yes! That makes sense!” These resources were reconciling the seeming duality of
good and evil with our True existence as Complete Love, Compassion, and Oneness. I began to understand
why and how they both seem to be true.

I want to explain to people who are considering reading these books just a little of what to expect. These two
books are on opposite ends of the spectrum in tone and presentation. Have you ever had a complex task like,
programming a computer or reading tax code, and all you want is someone to break it down and explain it like
you are four years old? That is what The Disappearance of the Universe offers. It is fairly simplistic and
straightforward. The warning I give for this book is that the author is a layperson who never intended to write.
He was guided to do so. And he did, but not exactly brilliantly. His humor, especially in the early chapters, is
goofy at best, off-putting at worst. My recommendation is to read between the punch lines and pay close
attention to the ideas being discussed.

On the other end of the spectrum is A Course In Miracles. It is very intricately composed in iambic pentameter.
It takes time to savor the words, and the messages. It is too detailed for me to read by chapters. I have to read
it by paragraphs, or just a few lines at a time. The real caveat I want to explain for A Course In Miracles is the
male-dominant language and the religious terminology that is used. It was composed and published in the 60‟s
& 70‟s when inclusive language was not commonly considered. In addition, I believe it was intended to
somewhat parallel the Bible in form, however, the content does not parallel the Bible. The content is based on
the simple characteristics of Essence: patience, nonjudgment, compassion, unconditional love, equality,
generosity, Presence. The content, in my opinion, is what the Bible should have been. Most readers will be
coming from a Biblically-based mind-set. A Course In Miracles uses terms such as sin, Atonement and
Heaven, but in a completely different way than what is misinterpreted in the Bible. Unfortunately, those terms
can be repulsive to people with religious PTSD because it triggers reflexive emotional revulsion from the
religious references. This was, and still can be, an obstacle for me while reading between the lines and finding
the deep wisdom within them. Most of the language is acceptable, but occasionally I have to translate the terms
to help neutralize the charged language. For example: Here is a quote from lesson #232 in the workbook,
“Today, practice the end of fear. Have faith in Him Who is your Father.” This concept resonates with me much
more effectively when I translate it to: “Today practice the end of fear. Have faith in the Higher Power Who is
your Source.” This is a good exercise because with deliberate translation comes deeper meaning. Periodically
I write to the publishers of A Course In Miracles requesting an inclusive translation and I envision a day when it
is available for those who prefer this format.

I am going to try to briefly encapsulate the concept of A Course In Miracles, but it is difficult to convey
effectively. My suggestion is to try not to judge what I say if it doesn‟t make sense, instead try reading the
books concurrently for a much better explanation than I am about to offer. The primary idea conveyed in these
books is that God did not create this perceived world. Though God did create our Spirit Energy, God did not
create time or this artificial, incongruent, dualistic world. We did. With our minds. Temporarily transforming
energy into holographic matter with our thoughts. Why did we do this? Because for a tiny instant we thought
we were separated from God. This terrifying thought triggered a cascade of misperceptions that have been
repeating in a futile cycle since time began. In response to this mistaken thought, our fear factor created a
hollow universe in an attempt to hide our fearful insane thought of separation. Recall Shakti Gawain‟s assertion
that every conflict we see in the world is our own inner conflict projected outward. I now believe that the
external world of backward thinking and corruption mirrors our internal fear, guilt, and shame because we
thought we separated from our Source. We have not separated from God. In Essence, we are perfect, pure light,
innocent, and complete. Our fear factor keeps us too distracted with external conflict to realize that first of all,
the conflict is within ourselves, and secondly that it is a completely false illusion, a bad dream turned nightmare.
This is the explanation of perceived duality and true Essence existence. Duality is false. No matter how
convincing our senses seem to be. Quantum mechanics confirm matter is illusion; respected scientists
acknowledge the holographic universe whose origins are traced to the influence of the Mind; the Buddha
recognized that everything impermanent is illusion; many philosophers including Shakti Gawain explain
perceived external conflict as subconscious internal conflict projected outward. And more than any scientific
evidence, we intuitively know this world is out of synch with our true Essence nature.

Page 5 of A Course In Miracles explains: “Miracles honor you because you are lovable. They dispel illusions
about yourself and perceive the light in you. They thus atone for your errors by freeing you from your
nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity.”

In conclusion, please understand, I do not want to try to convince anyone of anything. I only want to share an
idea that has helped me find answers and peace within myself. This thought process is the most powerful,
transforming, and effective approach for me to interpret the perceived world around me. But I do not want to
try to influence or convince anyone to believe this. Every person will have a different response to these ideas.
And I say “Yes!” to each of you where you are on your journey. You may say „this isn‟t my cup of tea;‟ or you
may completely disagree; or it may have resonance for you at some level, but your aren‟t ready to explore
further at this time; or maybe these concepts will re-emerge years from now as other puzzle pieces fall into
place. Or you may feel extremely resonant with the concepts right now. The ideas in A Course In Miracles
may be exactly what you needed to find at exactly the right time. I hope some of you will find it helpful and
perhaps if you do, we can discuss those ideas together.

I have spent nearly three years quietly studying a different view of God, discreetly acquiring insights, discussing
them only with my best friend. I‟ve dwelled in the seemingly safe cocoon of self-study. Today, as I tentatively
emerge, revealing these thoughts to you, I feel like I‟m releasing a delicate butterfly that will flitter here and
flutter there. It will land a moment, then wander off to land again elsewhere. I have no idea where it will fly,
who it will touch, what its course will be. I just feel at peace releasing a gentle idea into this gathering of
curious seekers.

Lara Pollock

A Smattering of Recommended Reading:

Animalia (1982), Barbara Berger

Life After Life (1975), Raymond Moody

There Is A River (1945), Edgar Cayce

The Third Eye (1956) & You Forever (1965) Tuesday Lobsong Rampa

Silva Mind Control {Focus}, Jose Silva (1977)

Celestine Prophecy (1993) & The Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision (1996), James Redfield

Living in the Light: A Guide to Personal and Planetary Transformation (1991)

Creative Visualization (1978)

Path to Transformation: How Healing Ourselves Can Change the World (1993), Shakti Gawain

Zen Physics (1996), David Darling

Holographic Universe (1991), Michael Talbot

The Power of Now (1999) & A New Earth (2005), Eckhart Tolle

A Separate Reality (1971), Carlos Castaneda

Peace Is Every Step (1992) & Living Buddha, Living Christ (1997), Thich Nhat Hanh

Connecting with Essence / Embodying Christ Consciousness: serence patience, enlightened nonjudgment,
ultimate compassion, pure unconditional love, absolute equality, abundant generosity, peaceful Presence

The Disappearance of the Universe (2002)
Your Immortal Reality (2006), Gary Renard

A Course in Miracles (1976), Foundation for Inner Peace

The Meaning of Miracles: Principles of Miracles #33: “Miracles honor you because you are lovable. They
dispel illusions about yourself and perceive the light in you. They thus atone for your errors by freeing you
from your nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your


Lara Pollock