“So please understand from the start, when I’m talking to you, I’m not trying to convert you. I’m not trying to do you any good.I’m just doing my own stuff. I talk this way like birds sing. It amuses me. I enjoy it because I’m interested. I’m full of wonder about this universe. Full of all sorts of thoughts about it and I like to share these with people not in order to interfere with your personal lives or make you dependent on me, heaven forbid. If I had enough people dependent on me I would have no sleep at nights at all, it would be on the phone, be hanging around as I go away. But simply that I think that with our exchange of ideas and rubbing ourselves against each other we may find something of mutual interest. And let’s not make any more ambitious claim for it than that. Because anything beyond that would be getting us into the world of power games. Trying to influence people, trying to control people and I’m not interested in that.”
There is a Sufi story: It happened in the life of Omar, a great Mohammedan Caliph. He was fighting with an enemy for thirty years. The enemy was very strong and the fight continued – a lifetime of war. In the end, it happened one day that the opportunity came. The enemy fell off his horse and Omar jumped on him with his spear. In just one second the spear would have pierced the heart of the man and everything would have been finished. But in that small gap the enemy did one thing: he spat on Omar’s face – and the spear stopped. Omar touched his face, got up and told the enemy, ‘Tomorrow we start again.’ The enemy was puzzled. He said, ‘What is the matter? I have been waiting for this for thirty years, and you have been waiting for this for thirty years.
I have been waiting, hoping that someday or other I would be on your chest with my spear and the thing would be finished. That opportunity never came to me, but it came your way. You could have finished me in a single moment. What is the matter with you?’