To have a goal, an end to be achieved, prevents self-knowledge; earnest awareness reveals the ways of the self. Without self-knowledge there can be no understanding; self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom.
Our thought is the result of the past; our thinking is based on the past, upon conditioning. Without comprehending this past there is no understanding of the Real. The comprehension of the past lies through the present. The Real is not the reward for self-knowledge. The Real is Causeless and thought that has cause cannot experience it. Without a foundation there can be no lasting structure and the right foundation for understanding is self-knowledge. So all right thinking is the outcome of self-knowledge. If I do not know myself how can I understand anything else? For without self-knowledge all knowledge is in vain. Without self-knowledge incessant activity is of ignorance; this incessant activity, inner or outer, only causes destruction and misery.
6th Public Talk 1946