Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895—1986) was perhaps one of the most original thinkers of the twentieth century. A man of extraordinary insight, a speaker, and writer, he was also an educator who started ten schools internationally in his life-time. He has been a remarkable source of inspiration to people in a great many fields, including education, psychology, and philosophy.
Mary Zimbalist (1915—2008) was an actress, model, and the wife of Sam Zimbalist (producer of many films including the Oscar winning Ben-Hur) who began asking serious questions about the nature of life and death, and first came across Krishnamurti in 1944. When she returned to this interest fully in 1963, she became Krishnamurti’s friend and then his assistant. From that time until Krishnamurti’s death, she accompanied him through most of his travels around the world and helped organize his talks and the publication of his books. Mary became the closest person to Krishnamurti since 1925, when Krishnamurti’s brother, Nitya, died.
In the Presence of Krishnamurti: The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist is the direct result of Krishnamurti asking Mary to write about what it was like to be with him. Mary struggled to write this account for more than two decades. I was concerned that, with her frail health and slow progress, she might not complete this task for which she cared so much. To try to help her, I suggested that she and I recount our memories of Krishnamurti to each other, and record them.
We began a series of conversations in 1994 that continued for fourteen years, until 2008, shortly before she died. Mary was happy that we both talk about our memories because I had traveled a bit with Krishnamurti, and worked with him for many years, but especially because I knew many of the places to which they traveled, so I could ask detailed questions; questions that helped stir her memory and bring to life, in her own words, what it was like to be in the presence of Krishnamurti.
These discussions have produced exhaustive documentation (over 100 recordings of 1.5 hours to 2 hours each) through Mary’s reminiscences and her reading of her detailed diaries, and today I am happy to announce the launch of In the Presence of Krishnamurti: The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist.
Presented as an online subscription service, In the Presence of Krishnamurti: The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist subscribers will read transcribed and edited versions of the 100+ sessions of Mary reading her diaries and discussing them. Audio clips, where Mary speaks particularly passionately or poignantly, will be included. Eventually, the original rough draft of the manuscript that Mary had started, and that she asked me to curate, will also be included.
March 1, 2013 will be the start date for the online subscription service. Subscribers will have the flexibility to order one or multiple issues, and then to read her memoirs and listen to audio clips through a secure site (with a unique user-id and password). Money raised from subscriptions to In the Presence of Krishnamurti: The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist will fund Holistic Education, Inc.’s (a 501(c)3 organization) “Krishnamurti Education Research Project.”
If you would like to learn more about Holistic Education’s “Krishnamurti Education Research Project,” please click here: Krishnamurti Education Research Project
If you are interested in receiving a more detailed description of the In the Presence of Krishnamurti: The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist project or would like to make a one-time tax-deductible donation to our work, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott H. Forbes and the “In the Presence of Krishnamurti” team
Holistic Education, Inc.
February 13, 2013
(Mary’s ninety-eighth birthday)