Question: Do we live more fully here in the occidental world and, if so, what are its special spiritual values?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, let us not divide the world into the oriental and the occidental. If we divide God's Body into two parts, then it becomes imperfect. But if we take East and West as complementary, then we see that the world becomes perfect. Now, we have to enter into the inner life to see what good qualities a Westerner has. First and foremost, a Westerner knows the value of time. Each second counts in the West. Not only each hour, but each second counts. It is a great blessing to know the actual significance of time.

The second outstanding divine quality of the West is its dynamism. Unfortunately, some people misuse this dynamism and it becomes a kind of aggressive quality. With dynamism we can move forward or backward or downward; at least movement is going on. We are all the time moving, moving, moving. And if we are conscious, we will move forward and not backward.

The West knows the value of time and the significance of dynamism, so it already has two helping hands. But it has to learn a third lesson. Every individual, no matter where he is or what his standard is, can spend ten minutes a day to feed his soul. To feed his body he takes three meals a day. If he does not eat for one day he may feel he will die the following day. But what about his inner existence? There is a divine child in each human being that we have completely forgotten. If we feel the necessity of an inner life, we must then practise the inner life and feed this divine child every day.

The inner life is not at all foreign to us. It is something natural and spontaneous. The outer life has been imposed on us, but the inner life came with us from the soul's world. It is self-evolving. The outer life will be meaningful only when the inner life comes to the fore.

The spiritual life, the inner life, is not the sole monopoly of the East. The West has every right to accept the inner life and fulfil itself. It was in the West that a great, great spiritual Master once said, "I and my Father are one." As in the East we say, tat twam asi, "That Thou Art", so also in the West you have the message of Christ. Now, if God is the Father and you are His son, then you must also possess all the divine qualities that your Father has. The only thing is that up to now you have not cared for His qualities. If you can care for them, your Father is always ready to bestow upon you His highest and most precious riches.