So, then, what do we mean by understanding? Understanding means giving right significance, right valuation, to all things. To be ignorant is to give wrong values; the very nature of stupidity is the lack of comprehension of right values. So, understanding comes into being when there are right values, when right values are established. And how is one to establish right values - the right value of property, the right value of relationship, the right value of ideas? For the right values to come into being, you must understand the thinker, must you not? If I don't understand the thinker, which is myself, what I choose has no meaning, that is, if I don't know myself, then my action, my thought, have no foundation whatsoever. So, self-knowledge is the beginning of meditation - not the knowledge that you pick up from my books, from authorities, from gurus, but the knowledge that comes into being through self-inquiry, which is self-awareness. Meditation is the beginning of self-knowledge, and without self-knowledge there is no meditation. Because, if I don't understand the ways of my thoughts, of my feelings, if I don't understand my motives, my desires, my demands, my pursuit of patterns of action, which are ideas - I do not know myself, there is no foundation for thinking; and the thinker who merely asks, prays, or excludes, without understanding himself, must inevitably end in confusion, in illusion.