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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)


Question: Why is it that almost all human beings, apart from their talents and capacities, are mediocre? I know I am mediocre. I do not seem to be able to break through this mediocrity.

Are you aware that you are mediocre? Answer it for yourself. Mediocre means neither high nor low, just hovering in between. The great painters, the great musicians, the great architects, have extraordinary capacities and talents but in their daily life they are like you and me, like everybody else. If you are aware that you are mediocre, what does it mean? You may have great talent as a writer, a painter, sculptor, musician, teacher, but that is all outward dress, outward show hiding inward poverty. Being poor inwardly we are always striving to be something nobler. Trying to fill that insufficiency with the latest gossip of politics, with the latest rituals, the latest meditations, the latest this and that, is all an act of mediocrity. This sense of mediocrity shows itself in outward respectability. And there is the other revolt against mediocrity, the hippies, the long haired, the unshaved, the latest fallouts; it is the same movement. Or you join a community, because inwardly there is nothing in you; by joining you become important, and there is action. When you are aware of this mediocrity, this utter sense of insufficiency, this sense of deep frustrating loneliness, you see it is covered over by all kinds of activities. If you are aware of that, then what is this loneliness, this insufficiency? How do you measure this insufficiency? - for this measurement is limitless; you go on measuring, measuring, measuring; it is unending. Now, can that comparative observation end? If so, is there insufficiency?

This mediocrity, that all of us seem to have, can be broken through when there is no sense of comparison, of measurement. That gives you an immense freedom. Where there is complete psychological freedom there is no sense of mediocrity. You are out of that class altogether - a totally different state of mind exists.