So I said, “Do you think being a foreigner for two hundred years gives you certain privileges? I am a new foreigner, you are an old foreigner; there should not be any antagonism – we are both foreigners. In fact, you are invaders, and we are not invaders. You have forced the people to give their land to you; we have purchased the land, we have paid the price.”
He said, “Once in a while, we have also paid a price.”
I said, “I know. You purchased the whole city of New York for thirty silver pieces – you call it a price? Is this business? You force those poor people to vacate the land just for thirty silver pieces. It is the same price that was given by the Jews to Judas for Jesus Christ. I think they paid too much – just for a single man, thirty silver pieces. You must have killed thousands of people to vacate the land that is now New York, and those who were ready to leave – the chief particularly – you paid thirty pieces. You call it a price?”
He said, “I am sorry, it is not a price.”
But to be a stranger is a crime. If man is a stranger to other men, then with whom are you going to be friends, with whom are you going to be brotherly, with whom are you going to show your love?
The people of Orphalese told Almustafa again and again, “You are a stranger, you should not be here, you don’t belong to us. Rather than talking to us you talk to the trees; rather than being with us you go to the mountain top. You are not only from some other land, you are a totally different kind of human being. Most of the time you are silent; most of the questions you don’t answer. And whenever you answer, your answer does not fit with the tradition, with the orthodoxy, with the way we have lived forever.”
But he has not taken any offense. No mystic has ever felt offended whatever you have done – even if you have killed and poisoned him. He was not angry at you.
Is it not your breath that has erected and hardened the structure of your bones?
And the breath is a stranger, it comes from the outside, from faraway lands. You may not even know from where it is coming, but “Is it not breath that hardens your bones, that gives circulation to your blood, that takes out all the poison, all the carbon dioxide which, if accumulated, will kill you? Is it not the breath that gives you oxygen and life?” But the breath is a stranger. A Gautam Buddha comes into the world like a breath, like a spring.
And is it not a dream which none of you remembers having dreamt, that builded your city and fashioned all there is in it?