Best-selling author Deepak Chopra stopped by "GMA Now" to discuss his latest book -- "Why Is God Laughing?" -- a fictional comedy that explores the healing powers of humor and optimism.
Click on the video to the left to hear Chopra on his relationship with Mike Meyers, and how their friendship led to the creation of the new movie "The Love Guru."
Please find an excerpt of "Why Is God Laughing?" below:
Grace shines like a sliver of light. It penetrates the universe, undeterred by distance or darkness. You won't see it, but it knows where it is going. At any moment someone may be touched by its mysterious power.
Even Mickey Fellows.
On this particular day Mickey was speeding through the Valley in his black Cadillac Escalade, keeping half an eye out for police. The L.A. sun glared off the freeway, but for Mickey, sitting behind his tinted windows and wraparound shades, it could have been twilight.
"Say that again," he muttered into his cell phone.
"The club owners aren't happy. They say the new material isn't funny. They want the old Mickey back." It was Alicia, his agent.
"Screw 'em. They should kiss my derriere that I even bother to show up."
Mickey Fellows had movie offers from two studios. His last divorce had made the cover of People magazine. The only reason he worked the comedy clubs at all was to keep his feel for the audience.
Alicia didn't back down. "You don't want to play it that way. "You may need those clubs some day."
"God forbid." Mickey lit up another menthol Merit.
God has the advantage of witnessing every lifetime at once, erasing all differences. If you could look down on the human race from an infinite distance, you'd see Everyman was on the freeway that day. Like the rest of us, Mickey gave little thought to his soul. He didn't want to face painful truths, so he managed to distract himself almost every waking hour.
At this moment, Mickey figured it was time for a laugh. "I've got a good one for you," he told his agent. "My grandfather's eighty years old, and he still has sex almost every day. He almost had it on Monday, he almost had it on Tuesday, he almost had it on Wednesday."
Alicia was silent.
"I think I have another call coming in," said Mickey.
"No, you don't."
"I'm not kidding this time," Mickey said. "Hold on." He pushed a button. "Hello?"
"Is this Michael Fellows?"
"Who wants to know?" Strangers were always getting his number.
"I'm calling from Cedars-Sinai Hospital."
Mickey felt a bead of sweat roll down his neck. He gripped the wheel tighter. "Yes?"
In the few seconds between an impending disaster and its crash to earth, an amazing number of thoughts can race through your mind. Mickey saw himself at his annual physical the week before. His wife's face flashed before him, as clearly as if they hadn't been divorced for five years. Cancer, AIDS, car accident. Fate's wheel was spinning, and the arrow was about to stop.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Fellows. It's your father."
"Did he fall? Someone's supposed to be watching him," Mickey said. He had hired a full-time housekeeper for his father, a placid Guatemalan lady who knew little English.
"Your father got the best care in the ER. Everything possible was done to revive him, but he couldn't be saved."
Mickey didn't hear those last words. As soon as the voice said "everything possible was done," a roar in Mickey's ears drowned out everything else.
"When did he die?"
The voice on the phone, a woman's and probably a nurse, started to explain, but the roar kept blocking it out.
"Wait a second," said Mickey, pulling off onto the shoulder of the road. He breathed deeply, and shook his head, like a swimmer knocking water out of his ears. "Could you repeat that?"
"He was brought in unconscious by EMS. It was a massive coronary. Your name was in his wallet as next of kin."
Mickey felt faintly nauseous. "Did he suffer?"
The voice tried to sound reassuring. "If it's any comfort, this kind of heart attack is usually quick, less than a minute."
A minute that felt like hours, Mickey thought. "All right, I'll be right there. Will I find him in the ER?"
The woman's voice said yes, and Mickey hung up. He pulled back out into traffic and raced to the next exit. The news had come as a shock, but he didn't cry. He didn't know how to feel, really. Larry. The old man. Mickey's mother had died young, of breast cancer. Her side of the family was prone to it. His father on the other hand was tough as nails. A joke popped uninvited into Mickey's head.
A middle-aged woman drops dead of a heart attack. When she gets to Heaven, God says, "There's been a terrible mistake. You're not due to die for another forty years."
The woman wakes up and goes home. She figures she's got such a long life ahead of her, she might as well look good. So she goes in for plastic surgery--face-lift, boob job, tummy tuck, the works. Two months later she's crossing the street and a bus hits her.
This time when she gets to Heaven, she says to God, "What's going on? I was supposed to live another forty years."
And God says, "Mabel, is that you?"
Usually Mickey found comfort in his own jokes, but this one was followed by a wave of guilt. It was no time for humor, yet that was how his mind worked. He couldn't help it.
The ER waiting room was a tense place, the air heavy with suffering. Desperate faces glanced up at anyone passing by, hoping it might be a doctor. Mickey marched up to the admitting desk. When the nurse heard his name, she said, "I'm sorry for your loss, Mr. Fellows. This way, please."
She led him through a set of swinging doors down a corridor lined with gurneys. On one of them a boy with his head swathed in bloody bandages sat upright, softly moaning. They stopped at the swinging doors at the end of the hall, and the nurse stood aside.
"Are you ready?" she asked.
"Give me a moment, will you?" said Mickey.
"Take your time. The doctor will be right inside whenever you're ready," she murmured.