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Chapter 10: Beyond East and West

Confront life. Encounter life. Difficult moments will be there, but one day you will see that those difficult moments gave you strength because you encountered them. They were meant to be. Those difficult moments are hard when you are passing through them, but later on you will see they have made you more integrated. Without them you would never have been centered, grounded.

The old religions all over the world have been repressive; the new religion of the future is going to be expressive. And I teach that new religion.let expression be one of the most fundamental rules of your life. Even if you have to suffer for it, suffer. You will never be a loser. That suffering will make you more and more capable of enjoying life, of rejoicing in life.

The fourth question:

You are the best whiskey-coke I have ever had. I stumble out of your lectures every day, my head spinning. Should I give you up as a bad habit?

It is very difficult to give up bad habits. Good habits are very easy to drop.

Who has ever heard of any man or woman capable enough to give up a bad habit? And if religion has become your bad habit, or sannyas, you are blessed, you are fortunate. If I am your bad habit then you are fortunate. I would never like to become a good habit to you, no, because a good habit can be dropped very easily!

Let me tell you an anecdote.

St. Peter, concerned about the state of affairs in America, sent his most dependable and conservative disciple, St. Theresa, to look over the situation and give him a personal report. She stopped first in New York and phoned at the end of three days to say that things were even worse than they had feared.

“Let me come home,” she begged.

“No,” said St. Peter. “Finish the job. Go on to Chicago.”

She called him again from Chicago with an even more dismal tale. “It is a mess of corruption,” she reported sadly. “Sinners on all sides. I can’t take any more of it. Allow me to return to heaven.”

“Patience and fortitude,” consoled St. Peter. “They tell me Hollywood is worst of all. Have a look around out there and then you can come home.”

Two weeks went by, then four weeks went by, then six weeks went by without further word from St. Theresa. St. Peter, beside himself with anxiety, was about to turn the case over to the celestial FBI when the phone finally rang and the operator said,

“One moment, please. Hollywood calling.”

And then a sweet voice came over the wire, “Hullo, Peter darling! How divine! This is Terry.”