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Chapter 1: To Be Ordinary Is the Most Extraordinary Thing in the World

Please speak on the difference between mediocrity and ordinariness.

Mediocrity is the general state of humanity as it is. It is a retardedness of intelligence. Nobody wants you to be intelligent, because the more intelligent you are, the more it is difficult to exploit you, to enslave you.

Every vested interest wants you to be mediocre. A mediocre person is just like a tree whose roots have been continuously cut so it cannot grow. The mediocre person never comes to know fruition, flowering, fragrance. He lives just like a vegetable. But this is the common state. And to keep the mediocre, mediocre, a strange thing has to be put in his mind: that he is extraordinary.

George Gurdjieff used to tell a story..

There was a shepherd who was a magician, and he had many sheep. To take care of them, not to let them wander into the forest and be eaten by wild animals, he managed a strategy. He hypnotized all the sheep and told them, “You are not sheep, you are lions.” Since that day, the sheep started behaving like lions.

The mediocre person will rebel against mediocrity because it is ugly to be mediocre. But the society in many ways gives him the feeling of being extraordinary. Hence, it is very difficult to find a man who does not, deep down, believe that he is special - the only begotten son of God.

He may not say so, because he knows what happens if you say that you are the only begotten son of God. Then crucifixion is certain, and resurrection.nobody knows whether it happened or not. So he keeps it inside. This helps him to remain mediocre.

If he understands he is mediocre, that very understanding will destroy his mediocrity. To understand you are mediocre is a great jump into intelligence.

The ordinary person I talk about is the natural person. Nature does not produce special people. It produces unique people, but not special. Everybody is unique in his own way.

The big pine tree and the small rosebush - who is higher? Neither the pine tree ever boasts that she is higher, nor the rosebush ever boasts that “You may be higher, but where are the roses? The real height is in the roses and the fragrance, in the flowering. Height itself is not enough to be higher.”

But the rosebush and the pine remain together without any quarrel, competition, for the simple reason that both understand they are part of the same nature.

When I say ordinariness, I am saying drop the idea of being extraordinary, which is keeping you mediocre.

To be ordinary is the most extraordinary thing in the world. Just watch yourself. It hurts very much, it is painful to accept that you are not extraordinary. Watch when you accept the idea that you are ordinary. A great burden is relieved. Suddenly you are in the open space, natural, just the way you are.

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