... meditation is the beginning of self-knowledge. Knowledge of oneself as one is, and not as one should be. The desire to be something else is a barrier to seeing yourself as you are. Meditation is awareness, without condemnation, of every thought, every feeling, and every word. The moment you condemn, you put into motion another thought process, and self-discovery ceases. After all, as I said, meditation is a process of self-discovery, and that self-discovery is without an end. Therefore, meditation is an eternal, timeless process. To understand that which is timeless, which is unknown, which is real, which cannot be put into words - to realize that, the thought process must be completely understood; and it can be understood, not in abstraction, not in isolation, but only in relationship.
There is no such thing as isolation. A man who sits in an enclosed room, or withdraws to a jungle or a mountain, is still related, he cannot escape relationship. And it is only
through relationship that I am capable of knowing myself and therefore knowing how to meditate.
Meditation, then, is the beginning of understanding; meditation is the beginning of self-knowledge. Without meditation, there is no self-knowledge; without self-knowledge, there is no meditation. So, you must begin to know what you are. You cannot go far without beginning near, without understanding your daily process of thought, feeling and action. In other words, thought must understand its own working; and when you see yourself in operation, you will observe that thought moves from the known to the known.
You cannot think about the unknown. That which you know is not real, because what you know is only in time. To be free from the net of time is the important concern, not to think about the unknown; because you cannot think about the unknown. The answers to your prayers are of the known. To receive the unknown, the mind itself must become the unknown. The mind is the result of the thought process, the result of time, and this thought process must come to an end. The mind cannot think of that which is eternal, timeless; therefore the mind must be free of time, the time process of the mind must be dissolved. Only when the mind
is completely free from yesterday, and is therefore not using the present as a means to the future, is it capable of receiving the eternal. That which is known has no relationship with the unknown. Therefore you cannot pray to the unknown, you cannot concentrate on the unknown, you cannot be devoted to the unknown.
All that has no meaning. What has meaning is to find out how the mind operates, it is to see yourself in action. Therefore, our concern in meditation is to know oneself,
not only superficially, but the whole content of the inner, hidden consciousness. Without knowing all that and being free of its conditioning, you cannot possibly go beyond the mind's limits. That is why the thought process must cease, and for this cessation there must be knowledge of oneself.
Therefore meditation is the beginning of wisdom, which is the understanding of one's own mind and heart.
This is a matter of life and death; because, if you understand what I have been saying, it will produce a revolution in your life, a devastating experience. But if it is merely verbal, a casual amusement instead of going to the cinema, then you can go on merely listening without disturbance. But if you know how to listen, you will be tremendously moved, and therefore a revolution is possible. So, Sir, please do not merely listen to the words, for words have very little meaning. But most of us are fed on words without any substance, we cannot think without words; and to think without words is "negative thinking", which is the highest form of thinking. That is not possible when words are important, when the word is the end. Take the word of God. When the word God is used you get very excited, you get psychologically thrilled, which means that the word is important, and not the thing the word represents. So, you are caught in the net of words. The man who is seeking the real does not confuse the word, the language, with that which it represents.
My Comment: We cannot think without words, yet "negative thinking" (thinking w/o words) is the highest form of thinking. This means, to me, that words are only the beginning.