Issue #13

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Issue 13 – January 1970 to April 1970

Introduction to Issue 13

If you will remember from the introduction to Issue 11, the discussion for that issue and Issue 12 occurred ten years after the discussion of Issue 10. Mary couldn’t find her diary for 1969 for that length of time. Instead, the discussion that produced this issue occurred right after the discussion that produced Issue 10. Consequently, the tone of the conversation in this issue is much more like those of the earlier issues.

Mary was still trying to explicate a fuller picture of Krishnaji’s character, and his relationship to the outside world continue to emerge in this issue. Things like his peculiar handwriting in his letters to Mary, and his normal morning routine at this time are discussed. We also see Krishnaji’s inability to repeat himself (making it impossible to edit his work with him). Also, even though he had spoken to thousands of people at a time for most of his life, Krishnaji’s peculiar shyness is discussed. We also see Krishnaji’s extraordinary disassociation with himself.

The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #13

Scott: So I think we’re starting on January first, 1970.

Malibu House

Malibu House

Mary: Well, 1970 began with Krishnaji in India, and I was in Malibu. He’d been in India since the autumn. In January, the first thing that happened to me was that I went down to La Jolla because there was a possibility that Krishnaji would speak in San Diego. I went down to find a place for the three of us to live and to talk to the people at San Diego State University. There I met a man who was the head of religious studies, a Dr. Ray Jordan. I also met, from the philosophy department, Dr. Allan Anderson, who, as we all know, is the person who eventually did the video recorded dialogues with Krishnaji. I also met a woman called Martha Longnecker who had a house down there, and she very kindly offered it if Krishnaji came down. It was a little house, a very nice house. She is a potter, and had a nice comfortable small house, which she turned over for Krishnaji—she moved out, and Krishnaji and I lived there.

On the twenty-sixth of January, Krishnaji left Bombay and flew to Rome, and after two days he flew on to Brockwood, where he stayed until the second of February, when he flew to Los Angeles. I met him at the airport, and we drove up to Malibu. He’d been up by then for twenty-four hours, but instead of being wilted, he was full of vim and talk. It was lovely.

In those days he was writing to me, and he brought with him…he wrote small amounts every day, but he didn’t mail the letter every day, only when he had about two pages…letters numbers 25 and 26; one he wrote while at Brockwood, and one he wrote on the plane.

S: [laughs] How nice!

M: They were always wonderful, especially the ones he wrote on the plane. He would describe what he saw out the window and things like that. And his handwriting, it was more like his early writing, because it’s become more pinched together somehow.

S: Um.

M: He would write right to the edge of the page. And if [S chuckles], let’s say, the last word on the line was ‘that,’ it would be t-h on one line, and then a-t on the next line. [Both chuckle.] He wrote right till you fell off the edge of the page. In other words, he didn’t write…what is the word we use in computers?

S: Right justification?

M: Yes, yes.

S: Right, it was right justified! [Chuckles.]

M: It was right justified with a pen. [Both chuckle.] Anyway, now he rested for a couple of days. I caught him up on all the news of what was happening with the Ojai people.

On the fifth of February, we got a letter report from our lawyer in those days, who was essentially Saul Rosenthal. David Leipziger was a fellow lawyer,youngish fellow—both of them were young in that office. David did a lot of handling the case day to day. Saul was slightly more overall. Anyway, we got a letter from David, who had just met with the attorney general, Laurence Tapper, the deputy attorney general, and Rajagopal, and Rajagopal’s lawyer. In those days, his lawyer was a man called Jim Loebl who lived in Ojai. And as a matter of fact, Erna had gone to talk to Jim Loebl when we first started to think of dealing legally with Rajagopal, but he stopped her—she’d known him personally, socially, sort of—in mid-sentence and said, “I represent Mr. Rajagopal.” [Chuckles.] And that ended that meeting.

Eventually, Rajagopal changed and got a big law firm in Los Angeles. Anyway, Leipziger had a meeting, and so he reported all that. We read it through, and then Krishnaji had me telephone Rajagopal to say that he had arrived in Malibu and that he would telephone himself in a few days when he was rested. So, that was the opening contact with Rajagopal. When that was done, we went off to see a movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

S: Oh, yes!

M: …which Krishnaji was very pleased with.

S: Mm.

M: That was just right for him. [Chuckles.] Two days later, we went to another movie, Topaz.

S: Ah, yes.

M: On the ninth, we drove up to Ojai and had tea with Erna, Theo, and Ruth Tettemer; and then drove back.

On February tenth, Krishnaji began to dictate to me. It was the opening of a book to be done in 1970, and you’re going to ask me which book it turned out to be.

S: Mm, hm.

M: And I’m not quite sure. [Both laugh.] I’ll have to go further in my notes before I’m sure which one it turned out to be.

A couple of days later he dictated one to me on suicide, which was a topic generated by me. And it’s in one of the books, it’s one of the books that the Digbys did, the big, big fat book.

S: The big fat book is The Awakening of Intelligence.[1]

Malibu House - Mary's Bedroom

Malibu House – Mary’s Bedroom


M: I think it’s The Awakening. I’ll have to look it up; it may be another one. I really interviewed him in that, on suicide.

S: Mm, hm.

M: But it was really interesting, whether there was ever a justification for committing suicide. The question was…but it’s in the book, so it’s no use going on about it. There’s one chapter in whatever book it was.

S: Mm, hm.

How would this interviewing typically come about? Would Krishnaji have said to you, “Come, I want to dictate some things. Let’s start a new book.”

M: Yes. Or, he just wanted to dictate. It was, I think, to be a new book, but it hadn’t…he didn’t think that far ahead.

S: That’s what I’m trying to get at. He didn’t think that far ahead, he really just wanted to dictate some things.

M: Yes, he wanted to dictate. On a regular basis.

S: On a regular basis.

M: Probably for a book.

S: Alright. But he said to you that he wanted to do dictations on a regular basis.

M: Oh, yes, he did.

S: Right.

Malibu House

Malibu House

M: And he dictated…well, my diary, for instance, says he dictated in the morning, and so forth.

S: Right. Also, since this is going to be for the record, you don’t have shorthand.

M: No, I don’t have shorthand.

S: So you had to write this all down furiously in your own personal…

M: …in my own longhand, which is…has…

S: Yes, has some your own short-hand shortcuts.

M: Yes. And he didn’t dictate that fast, so it was not difficult. I’ve got the old notebooks, but I don’t want to put them in the archives because they look so messy. [S laughs.]

S: This will be a good thing for historians to think about!

M: Tom[2] has already sort of dismissed that point of view.

S: (jokingly) Completely…completely useless point of view! Absolutely!

M: And, generally what I used to do was take it down and then Krishnaji would go and have his bath, and I would go and look at what I had written in the notebook, and then if there was something that needed clarification, I would ask him. But he didn’t like to repeat…he was very apt to change.

S: I know.

M: You know he [S sighs] would rewrite or re…something.

S: I know. In the few things that he dictated to me for the Centre and for the video—every time he would dictate something and I would bring it back to him and I would read it, he would change it all.

M: That’s right.

S: Eventually he said, “Look, I’m going to change it as many times as you bring it back to me, so you just decide [both laugh] whether you like what you have!” Because I was just automatically bringing it back to see if he liked it but he…

M: He couldn’t repeat!

Hear Mary speak.

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S: Yes. Alright now, let’s set the scene here, because you said afterwards he would take a bath, so…

M: Well, this was after his dictation in the morning.

S: Right, so set the scene. He would have his breakfast in his bed.

M: Oh, yes.

S: Right.

M: And then came the dictation.

S: And then came the dictation, but he was still sitting in bed?

M: Yes.

S: And, he would dictate for an hour?

M: Ah, I suppose so. I don’t remember accurately, never timed it. But, he’d dictate till he was finished with it.

S: In those days did he have the same routine that he had later on? That when he woke up, he would have something hot to drink like nettle tea or…?

M: Yes, yes. And then he would do his exercises.

S: Right.

M: And then breakfast.

S: And then get back into bed for breakfast?

M: Yeah. As far as I can remember that was always the routine. Unless we were traveling or something.

S: Mm, hm.

M: So, usually, for this particular February we are in now, the day was spent at home with this in the morning, and then lunch, and then he’d take a nap and after that we’d take a beach walk.

S: Mm, hm.

M: Unless there was someone for lunch, and even then he’d take a nap. He would unwind from all the traveling and it was lovely, it was nice.

Let’s see. On February twelfth, the Lilliefelts, Ruth Tettemer, and Sidney Roth came for lunch. Sidney was a man from Chicago, a business man, and he had given money to KWINC, and because he had, it was felt by the lawyers that someone who was a donor had the right to say, “What have you done with the money that was given in donations?” And so, Sidney became involved in the case.

S: That’s right, I remember that.

M: His lawyer would advise with our lawyers.

S: Mm, hm.

M: Anyway, we all went into town after lunch to see Rosenthal and Leipziger, and talk over where we stood in all this.

S: But Sidney Roth disappeared from the scene.

Malibu House - Krishnaji's bedroom

Malibu House – Krishnaji’s bedroom

M: He disappeared eventually, yes, meaning by that he went back to Chicago. But he’d appear from time to time, but he didn’t take any further active part.

One day, we went up Corral Canyon, which is about a couple of miles up the beach, and it goes back into the mountains. And if you go all the way on the road, you get up, well, it’s on a ridge that runs along on top of the mountains behind Malibu. And for me that was a special day because Krishnaji suddenly said, “Oh! This is the real old California mountains and scenery.” And it pleased me because that thing that he loved about California, he saw it in Malibu for the first time. It wasn’t just a house on a hill looking over the ocean.

S: Yes, yes.

M: It was a part of California that he cherished.

S: Yes.

M: Then, he spoke one day to Rajagopal. He called up, as he said he would.

S: Mm, hm.

M: And Krishnaji invited him to come and to discuss what Rajagopal envisaged as a peaceful settlement, which of course Rajagopal was always saying, “When you come to California again, we’ll get together and talk and make a peaceful settlement.”

And so, Krishnaji would say, “Come and let’s discuss it.” And that called Rajagopal’s bluff, because he immediately said he couldn’t discuss it, his lawyer wouldn’t allow it. So, this was the sort of come-on that he was doing forever. When you’d say, “Alright, what about it?”, the door slammed in your face.

On February twenty-first, Alain came down from San Francisco, and brought two friends for lunch. Later that day, we had twenty-eight people for a discussion, mostly rounded up by Alain[3].

The next day, there was the second discussion with the same group. And according to my notes, it was videotaped. What’s become of that? Have you ever come across it?

S: This is probably one of those old tapes that no one can play or copy.

M: No?

S: Mm, hm. Okay, I’ll check.

M: One of the ones that we can’t play?

S: Yes.

M: I thought Jean-François[4] found someone.

S: He found someone that could do it, but I think that it’s gotten disrupted with his leaving and all of that.

M: Not that there’s something extraordinary on it; I just was curious that it was videoed that far back.

S: Yes. It would be nice to have it.

M: So, then, ABC, the American Broadcasting Corporation, wanted to interview Krishnaji for a news thing. So, we went into the ABC studio and a man called Robert Abernathy interviewed him. It was a fifteen-minute thing for a news program.

S: Mm, hm.

M: Abernathy used to do commentaries on the news every day in those days.

S: Mm, hm.

M: Again, it wasn’t something brilliant. Abernathy had done some homework, but it was rather routine.

So, we come now to March. On the first of March, he gave his first Santa Monica talk. He gave four in all. The auditorium in Santa Monica is not very attractive, but 3,000 people came. Some had to be turned away. The auditorium is fairly good-sized, and it was full to overflowing. But I remember after the fourth one, during the drive home Krishnaji said, “I felt it was like singing to the deaf.”

S: Mm, hm.

M: They weren’t a very good crowd. Then he started giving interviews to people. Some of the people, I don’t remember now who they were, but they were mostly people who’d been in the discussion group; other people had written in. So they came to the house. Then one day he started speaking to me about the events of his life, and he went in, very much, to the sort of …I forget whether he called it this, but a “protective providence” that looked over him. I mean there’s many references to his having felt it all his life.

S: Protected, yes.

Inside Malibu House

Inside Malibu House

M: Protected. And he talked a lot about that to me. Nothing that is new, I mean, for me to tell you now, that hasn’t been said.

S: Mm, hm.

M: But that was a very strong conviction on his part.

S: Well, more than a conviction in a sense, a feeling.

M: A feeling, yes.

S: He felt that protection.

M: He felt that protection. It was a fact to him. Let’s put it that way.

S: Mm, hm.

M: Oh…it was on February seventeenth that we did the piece on suicide. I just came across a note on that.

S: Okay.

M: On March tenth, Krishnaji gave three interviews to people who had written and requested them. And Erna telephoned and reported [chuckling], with satisfaction that we’d grossed $13,600 in Santa Monica [S chuckles] and netted between $9,000 and $10,500.

S: Let me ask you just a little bit about the interviews, Mary.

M: Yes.

S: You say Krishnaji had three interviews. Now, would he determine how long he would spend with each one? So that he would say “Have one come at 3 o’clock, one at 4 and one at 5”? Or would he just have them come together and they would wait?

M: Well, either of the above. They were spaced apart, but how long he talked to them was one of the mysteries of my life that I could never [both laugh] understand. Because, at times he would talk quite a long time, and at other times, especially here in Brockwood, when he was seeing a lot of people, troubled people would solemnly enter the room, close the door, and within fifteen minutes they would come out looking transformed. [S laughs.] And I thought it was impossible that he could even listen to what they would come to tell him in that time, much less solve their problem. But that’s how it appeared to me outside the door.

S: Right, right. But the Malibu situation. Where would the people wait?

M: Um…

S: Where would he see them? And where would they wait?

M: That’s an interesting question. Now wait a minute. They’d have to wait in the only living room there was, and he would have seen them, I guess, in his bedroom. There’s no other place because there was only the one. The dining room was open to the living room; it wasn’t closed off, so he couldn’t have had it there.

S: Mm, hm. Was there a study or anything like that?

M: No. There were just two bedrooms, two baths, a living room and then a dining room, but there’s no door between the living room and dining room. So I guess, although I haven’t a direct memory.

S: Okay.

M: But his bedroom was a good-sized room; it had a sort of couch and chairs and things.

S: Mm, hm.

M: It wasn’t just a bedroom.

S: Yes; there was a sitting part to it, too.

Inside Malibu House

Inside Malibu House

M: Yes, yes. So…hm. Again, more interviews are noted. And again, beach walks, and again, we discussed Krishnaji’s remembrance of childhood, which wasn’t very great. And we talked about Masters,[5] etc. And he remembered something that happened that was of a spiritual significance. And he knows that it happened, but he can’t remember any details of it, just sort of a vague fact that something happened.

S: So now is this in connection with Masters?

M: Um, well, it was after talking about Masters, so it may have been…uh…

S: So Krishnaji remembers that something happened and that it was important and it had spiritual significance, but he can’t remember what it is.

M: Yes. Now it might have been the pepper tree event[6], but I don’t…I’m not sure.

S: Mm, hm.

M: My notes, alas, are incomplete. Because otherwise, he said he didn’t remember that.

S: Yes. Can you recollect what it was he was saying about the Masters?

M: Well, he had that way of talking, explaining the theory, and never saying whether it was so or not.

S: Mm, hm.

M: And he would tell you in detail about how the whole hierarchy worked; he did this at various times.

S: Yes, I know. [Laughing.]

M: Most notably the time driving from Rishi Valley back to Madras, and Dr. Parchure was sitting in the front seat, and Krishnaji was talking to me in the back seat and giving the whole picture of everything from the Lord of the World, down. Parchure remembers that.

S: Hm.

M: So you have to…we’re in unknown territory when we go into that.

S: [laughing] I know. [M chuckles.]

M: On March twelfth, we went to Ojai, but Krishnaji drove the whole way and we went to Lake Casitas and took a picnic lunch with us and had a lovely day sitting by the lake, on the ground, and on a hill looking over the lake. And then we went to the Lilliefelts where Krishnaji rested; he took a slight nap. And then we had tea and then there was a discussion for Ojai people; a lot of the old timers appeared.

S: Mm, hm. And that discussion took place in the Lilliefelts’?

M: The Lilliefelts’ living room.

S: Mm, hm.

M: And everyone that knew him, except the KWINC people, were there.

S: Where would Krishnaji have sat in Erna’s room?

M: He would sit near the piano, if you can remember.

S: I can.

M: And then people would fill the rest of the room, and even out in the front hall where they had lawn chairs.

S: Right.

M: We came home in time for supper. The Dunnes came over and we all went to the movies together.

Amanda and Phil, Miranda Dunne, my friends, for the benefit of future tape listeners, they lived next door to me in Malibu. There was a sort of a canyon, so called, a kind of a little valley between the two places.

S: Mm, hm.

M: And it runs out to the beach and into the sea. And they’re, well, like family to me.

S: Yes. What did the three girls feel about Krishnaji? Or how did they get along with him?

M: They loved Krishnaji. They were delighted in his presence. He was wonderful with them, as always.

S: Of course.

M: And, they were devoted to him. Alas, they were not very impressed by what he said, but I, of course, am the world’s most zero missionary. [S laughs.] I never attempt to persuade or anything. So, although they think he was a very wise man speaking absolute truth and a wonderful human being, and loved to be with him, I can’t really tell you more than that. I’ve given them the books for Christmas, just so they have them. But I don’t push it at all.

S: Of course, of course.

M: But they loved him. And the parents also, particularly Amanda. Phil, of course, has a different take; he’s intellectual about everything. But, anyway, as a person they liked him enormously. He was rather shy with them in a funny way, the parents. He knew they were my closest friends, and it made him sort of not want to intrude, as it were.

S: Mm, hm.

M: In a way, I wished he hadn’t felt that way. But he was always a little bit shy.

S: I don’t know [laughing] if this is the point to bring it in, but I can remember so many times Krishnaji kind of humorously chiding you that they were your only friends!

M: Yes, yes.

S: He would kind of … [Chuckles.]

M: Yes, he chided me for being too…

S: …a hermit or something.

M: …remote or too hermit-like or something. [S still laughing.] Also, when we would get into descriptions of what was wrong with people, and I used to tease him and say, “The reason that you are always so critical of married couples, and say that they nag,”—he always used the word nag—“is that people only come to tell you their troubles. They never come to tell you how rapturously happy they are.”

And he would say, “Well, who do you know that are happily married?” and I would say,  “The Dunnes!” [S laughs.] And I wasn’t very good with further examples.

S: [laughing] Well, there aren’t a lot.

Hear Mary speak.

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M: So, anyway, they came and over [S chuckles], and we all went to see a movie called Anne of a Thousand Days in Beverly Hills. That night Alain arrived late.

We’re making a snail’s pace through history here.

S: Great.

M: If you say so.

On March fourteenth and fifteenth, there was a third and fourth group discussion this year, also videotaped.

Then Alain went back to San Francisco.

On the seventeenth, Krishnaji resumed dictating a book chapter, and he gave another interview.

S: Mary, can I just ask, when we’re clipping through these interviews here, if anyone is, I don’t want to say, famous, because I don’t care if it’s an actor or something; but if it’s anyone that it looks like they would have been influenced by Krishnaji’s work, then…

M: Yes, of course. Well, you see, now I see a name, F. Fraser; I don’t if it’s a man or a woman. And so names like that I don’t…

S: Right, no, but I’m just keen also that we trace, when we can, the influence that Krishnaji had on things.

M: Yes. Well, there are names here, but most of them I can’t even remember.

S: Yes, it doesn’t make any difference.

Malibu House

Malibu House

M: Again, Krishnaji’s dictating in the mornings, and giving interviews during the day, and then a beach walk.

Then on the nineteenth, we drove to Ojai via Santa Paula and stopped at that little park at the top of the valley that looks out over Ojai where Lost Horizons filmed that view that was used. We had a picnic lunch there. And then we came down to the Lilliefelts’, and he held his second Ojai discussion with the group that had been there before.

The next day, Krishnaji had a toothache. We went to a dentist in town, and the dentist said the tooth had to come out because it was just worn down. There was hardly any tooth left. On the way home we went to Lindberg’s, the health food store. He took quite a pleasure in going to the health food store. He would walk around and look at everything. We went there quite often.

S: Mm, hm.

M: People who recognized him would walk around and look at him! [S laughs.]

That evening we saw on television the first of the NET films made in 1966. They were the first ever done in the Oak Grove when he talked, those black and white…

S: I remember them. But they weren’t shown until then? That was the first showing four years later?

M: That was the first showing, and that was the first one of the series.

S: Ah ha.

M: The next day was a Saturday and his toothache continued, but he gave interviews, and held the fifth group discussion. It says here, “Good discussion.” But that’s all it says.


Editor’s Note:  The Krishnamurti Foundations have put online a great deal of material they have of Krishnaji’s public talks and discussions. When Mary feels that an event is especially good, as she does about the talk just mentioned, from now on a link to that event will be given to the readers of her memoirs whenever possible.

On Sunday, he held the sixth Malibu discussion with the same group, and again interviews in the afternoon. On the beach walk we ran into Jennifer Selznick[7]. I mentioned her before. They had a house on the beach.

On March twenty-third, Krishnaji gave two interviews, one to a nice boy, Bill Burmeister, who has since disappeared. He was a seventeen-year-old boy, and he used to come to Saanen in later years. But who knows where he is now.

At 4 p.m., Krishnaji had his tooth pulled out, which was loose and infected. The tooth came out easily, but Krishnaji fainted twice in the car on the way home. The tooth has probably been making him feel under par for months, according to the dentist.

He felt better the next day. Bill Angelos and his wife, and Charlotte Zuteman came for lunch. Then some people I knew who had lunch the day before with Rajagopal at the Vigevenos, they came by and told about the meeting. The Vigevenos and Rajagopal had said that Krishnaji refused to see him. A black lie. [Both chuckle.] So, later I telephoned Rajagopal and asked him with or without the Vigevenos to come here to see Krishnaji. He said he would think about it and let me know. Rajagopal always claimed he wanted to see Krishnaji, but alone and on his territory, which Krishnaji wouldn’t do. We all believed Rajagopal taped everything, all conversations, without telling you.

S: Mm, hm.

M: On the afternoon of March twenty-fifth, Krishnaji held a young people’s discussion. Young people brought by Sidney Field and Laura Huxley and four sent by Dr. Weininger. I forgot whether his name has come into this.

S: I don’t think so.

M: Well, Weininger, you would remember, because two of his children came to Brockwood as students. Ruben…

S: Ah, yes, and Rachel?

M: Rachel. They were Weiningers. He was a psychoanalyst/psychiatrist, lived in Santa Barbara, had known Krishnaji for a long time, and was responsible for Krishnaji’s only trip to Washington before he spoke there in 1985. He’d taken him to see a meeting of psychiatrists, and I think Krishnaji was taken through a mental hospital, which I think was called St. Elizabeth’s in Washington. But any contact that Krishnaji had with psychiatrists in those days was through Weininger.

S: Mm, hm.

M: Laura Huxley was working with Weininger, doing some sort of psychotherapy. They left, and Krishnaji and I walked around the garden. When we didn’t have time to go to the beach, we’d walk around the garden, and he saw for the first time the great-horned owl that had come to stay.

S: Mm, hm.

M: That was lovely. It nested in a big eucalyptus tree out by the garage, and you could see it sitting up there with…

S: [chuckling] …with his horns, yes.

M: Wonderful.

On the twenty-sixth, we again went to Ojai via the inland way and had a picnic in the little park, Dennison Park. Again, at the Lilliefelts’, there was the third discussion with the Ojai people, and then Krishnaji had an osteopathic treatment from Dr. Edna Lay, who was a very good osteopath. And we drove back to Malibu.

The next day, the Lilliefelts, Ruth Tettemer, Sidney Roth, and Donald Hoppen all came at 11 a.m. and we held the annual KFA board meeting.

S: Was Donald Hoppen a trustee?

M: No, he wasn’t. But he somehow was there. Alain was supposed to come down for the weekend, and…

S: Because Alain was still a trustee?

M: Yes, he was a trustee. So, I sent Narayan to pick him up at the airport, and he arrived in time for lunch with everyone else. The meeting lasted till 4 p.m., when Krishnaji gave interviews. He was tired that night. That was the first trustee meeting after the formation of the Foundation.

My diary says for the twenty-eighth, Saturday, that we had an interesting discussion at breakfast. When Alain was there, Krishnaji would come to the table so we could all have breakfast together, and we’d often talk quite a long time. It was recorded onto an audio cassette, Krishnaji, Alain, and me. In the afternoon, there was a seventh group discussion at 4 o’clock, and that was videotaped.

That same day, a letter came to Krishnaji from Rajagopal saying that he couldn’t leave Ojai to meet Krishnamurti.

On the twenty-ninth, Krishnaji held the eighth group discussion, which was videotaped.  Afterward, on the remaining tape, Krishnaji restated something he said at the board meeting about the future of Brockwood and of the foundations. He also discussed Rajagopal’s reply with the trustees. I wonder where all these ancient things are.

The next day, ‘Alain has decided to stay in California, and in the afternoon, Krishnaji gave an interview to two rabbis, Rabbi Rabin and Rabbi Lymen.’ I remember them, sort of.

On the thirty-first, Krishnaji, Alain, Miranda, and I lunched at the Bel Air Hotel. That’s a rather nice hotel in Los Angeles, in a canyon; very pretty hotel, lunched in a sort of garden-ish place. And then we went to Hollywood to see a movie called Airport. After that we drove Alain to the airport and he went back to Oakland and Berkeley, and he said that he planned to go to Europe in May, gather his things, trade in his VW for a new one, bring all this over. Said a warm goodbye, and Krishnaji and I came back to supper.

Then nothing much happens until the third of April. ‘At breakfast, we decided to go to La Jolla the next day, instead of today. I said, it was too nice here, and we didn’t want to leave.’

S: [laughs] How nice.

M: Yes. So, we had a long, lovely beach walk in the afternoon. Krishnaji had written a letter to Rajagopal, which we posted, and he rang at suppertime and said he wanted to see Krishnaji before he left. Krishnaji said he would ring before leaving. It was a brief conversation.

The next day, ‘I packed for Krishnaji and myself, and we left at 12:30 p.m. on a hot, calm day for La Jolla. Stopped and had a picnic lunch in the car, near San Juan Capistrano, and arrived at 3:45 p.m. at Martha Longnecker’s in La Jolla. She has lent her house to Krishnaji for the week of his talks at San Diego State. She and the Lilliefelts were staying nearby. We unpacked and went for a walk along the cliffs above the ocean. I made supper.’

On the fifth, ‘we went to the hall in the morning with Mrs. Longnecker to see it, and Erna and Theo were there. And then we came back to La Jolla, and I quickly marketed and had lunch cooked for Krishnaji by 12:30 p.m. I drove him to Montezuma Hall at San Diego State campus, where he gave the first of his talks at 3 o’clock. We came back, and walked in the neighborhood. Krishnaji spoke to me about the two months he spent alone in a cabin at Sequoia…’ I’m sure he’s told you about that.

S: Mm, hm. Absolutely.

M: Yes. And his shyness in avoiding people. He was always more or less shy, but particularly in the early days, and ‘he would go to the store in Sequoia, when he figured out there’d be the least people around. He had to buy his own supplies because he did his own cooking. He was shy even of the ranger who cautioned him to be careful on his long walks. He says even today he’s too shy to have ever walked alone when we were here on Sunday.’ In other words, he wouldn’t have walked in La Jolla alone; he’d have been too shy. He’s alright when it was in a wild place like Sequoia, but around people he is very shy.

S: So, you didn’t walk in La Jolla?

M: Well, I was with him. He didn’t do that alone.

S: Right. Now, you have to explain that. Is that because if he is alone, more people will come up to him?

M: Well, La Jolla was a town, I mean, a town in California means houses with gardens and sidewalks.

S: Yes. So he wouldn’t have walked alone?

M: No, out of shyness.

S: But, you have to explain that. Why is it alright with you, and not alone?

M: Why? [Laughs.] I suppose because people wouldn’t have spoken to him, or, I don’t know. All kinds of things he could do if someone was there, that he wouldn’t have done alone, apparently.

S: I’m no doubt just putting my own interpretation on it; but one of the reasons that I have always liked traveling alone is because people do come up and talk to a person alone; whereas, if there’s even just two people, they won’t; they leave you alone.

M: Well, that’s it then. Yes, he…first of all, he would always attract attention because of his looks. And people who knew who he was would probably want to speak to him.

S: Yes.

M: And he was shy. I’d forgotten that he said that.

The next day was the sixth, and he gave his second San Diego talk at 7 p.m. They were college students that came to that. It was well attended, as I recall, but nothing much came of it.

On April seventh, ‘in the morning, Krishnaji had the Lilliefelts and Roth come to discuss legal matters. And then Roth consulted by telephone Mr. Wyatt (his lawyer in Chicago). The attorney general’s man, Mr. Tapper, was aroused by the situation set forth by Leipziger and Rosenthal and a meeting of the results of the January twenty-first meeting with Rajagopal and Loebl. We had lunch alone, and Krishnaji rested all afternoon. ‘At 7 p.m. he gave his third and a great talk,’ it says here, ‘at San Diego State. We had supper afterward.’

‘It was another beautiful day’ on the eighth, ‘and at 11 a.m., he held a big public discussion at San Diego State. On the way back, we stopped to see a Mr. and Mrs. Mark Sellon who live on the top of a hill above La Jolla. He is ninety-five years old and knew Krishnaji in Adyar, years ago.’[8]>

S: How nice.

M: ‘He gave early books to the Foundation. We came back for lunch. And then, with Theo Lilliefelt, we went to Coronado’—oh, Coronado—I remember this, this is nice— ‘and visited a heavy cruiser, the Saint Paul, which Krishnaji found very interesting.’

S: Oh, what’s this?

M: There’s a naval base at Coronado, and Krishnaji had wanted to visit a naval ship. The only one we could get him permission to visit was a heavy cruiser, but he walked around and looked at everything, the way he looks at cars.

S: Yes.

M: It was a little bit like the time in Australia, and the American aircraft carrier; Krishnaji was fascinated by that. I wanted to get him a battleship, but there wasn’t one handy!

S: Yes. [Laughs.]

M: On the ninth, ‘there’s a long telephone and talk with Sidney Roth and his lawyer, Mr. Wyatt, who gave advice. Krishnaji and I lunched quietly, and at 7 p.m., he gave his fourth and final talk at San Diego State. There was a huge crowd,’ it says. Then, it says here: ‘Krishnaji’s comment on seeing the photo of himself in a 1929 Star Bulletin.’ We got that from Mark Sellon the day before. ‘He said, “He must’ve been a very gentle person.”’

‘We were up the next morning at 6 o’clock. Had breakfast, loaded the car, and had left La Jolla by 7:30. Martha Longnecker came to help and receive her house back. Krishnaji drove the first eighty miles, and we were home in Malibu at 9:50 a.m. The garden and the house was bright with flowers. The Blackburns came at 11 a.m. to see Krishnaji. He wants to do tape duplication for Krishnamurti Foundation.

S: I wonder if it’s worth saying something about a seeming disassociation that Krishnaji had with his physical self. I have heard it many times, and it was absolutely genuine. A lot of people could think it was contrived. By contrived, I mean things like Margaret Thatcher’s third person “we feel,” etcetera.

M: There was nothing contrived about Krishnamurti.

S: I know, and it’s important to say that. But, it is also perhaps important to just uncover this phenomenon a bit, because in a way I find it completely consistent with what Krishnaji says about the ego, about not identifying, about the past, etcetera. But all of us live so much the antithesis of that—we look back at a picture of ourselves when were four years old, and we say, “Oh, that’s me.” Krishnaji would look at a picture of himself as a young boy, and he would see a young boy, and like he would look at any picture of a person, he could tell certain things about that person. Now, Krishnaji seemed to have this disassociation, well, I don’t know if it’s an exaggeration, but almost about what he was yesterday or five minute ago.

M: And it’s also in the talks. He never liked to say “I”; he’d say “the speaker.”

S: Or, K.

M: Or, K, yes. It was part of his…it was his…it was so natural to him. It, um…

S: To me, this is actually an indication of something quite enormous, that he genuinely didn’t remember things about himself because in a way, I don’t know, perhaps there was no one (no ego, no identity) there to record the events at the time. I can remember, I think when he was reading the first volume of Mary Lutyens’ biography of him, he wanted to find out what happened to that boy. It was like he was reading about something with which he did not identify in any way. That’s an extraordinary thing.

M: And yet he didn’t identify with anything else. I mean, people might easily say, “Well, he identified with a master or the Maitreya or the World Teacher or something,” but it wasn’t what we call identification. It was, as you said, there was no self to identify.

S: It is quite a phenomenon.

M: Yes, it is. It is. Last night, I was looking through that little book, The Young Krishna, that Mary’s just done, and reread the part where Nitya talks about when the little child was talking to him.

S: During “the process.”

M: Yes, “the process.” Nitya writes how the little boy would prattle on to his mother and saying that he had some biscuits in his pocket. You remember that part? And quite a lot of them, he told his mother, and then he confessed that he’d been stealing them from her cookie jar, although he didn’t call it a cookie jar, but wherever she kept them, and so he thought he ought to tell her because he thought she maybe suspected it. And Nitya makes the comment that he must’ve been a very nice child. In a funny way, that character was still there.

S: That’s the other part which is remarkable. That character, which one seems to see in early photographs, or one hears about in the early stories, so much of that character never left.

M: Yes. There was…there was…

S: And yet there was not continuity of a “person.”

M: When you say he had a childlike quality, this was that in a man in his eighties or something, and it was not in any way odd or incongruous. There was that wonder that a child has, and if he was interested in a motorcar or something, he was like a child looking at toys, with that kind of…

S: Simple absorption, and it’s uncomplicated.

M: Yes. [Pause.]

S: [Sighs] All of this, Mary, all that Krishnaji asked us to do, being able to convey to other people what he was like, it’s absolutely impossible.

M: It is impossible.

S: It’s just impossible.

M: How can you say a man of eighty-something is, in a way, a child? He sounds as though he’s senile or something…

S: I can remember going for a walk with Krishnaji, and he said something about the “old people,” then caught himself, realizing that he was old, in that he had lived many years. He started to laugh and then said, “No, no, the really old people,” because he wasn’t.

M: He wasn’t.

S: He just was never old. [Pause.]

M: And the heartbreaking thing is that toward the very end, when he knew how bad the cancer was, that it was fatal, he said, “What did I do wrong?” as though it was…

S: A punishment.

M: …a punishment, or that he hadn’t been responsible enough to keep the body healthy, which was his job to do, that he had failed in that. And that just broke my heart. [Long pause.] It’s…I don’t know…I don’t think…I don’t think we can convey this. We can try, and use words, but unless someone intuitively picks it up, or someone perhaps saw some evidence of this in him and would recognize what we’re trying to say. Otherwise, people will think we’re just devoted devotees…

S: Yes. It also doesn’t make any sense…

M: …there’s nothing remotely sentimental about Krishnamurti at any moment. He was absolutely repelled by it, and it just wouldn’t have…it wouldn’t have been possible. And nothing about him should ever be interpreted as sentimental.

S: Yes. Well, that’s why it’s important, why I want to stop on something like this, because this is such an unusual thing where he could look back at himself as completely divorced from it.

M: Yes.

S: And he always seemed to do that. At least all the time I had contact with him, he always seemed to do that.

And something that seems related: When I saw Krishnaji look at photographs of himself, or the first video of himself that I shot, it both was and it wasn’t himself he was looking at. There was no…

M: He also had a fairly—I’d say it was an aversion, though he didn’t do it all the time—I often had photographs of him on the desk or somewhere, and he would turn them face down. [S laughs.] He wouldn’t make a point of it; he’d just, as he walked past, he’d turn it over and go on doing whatever he was doing. [S chuckles more.] Or, if a book had a photograph of him on the dust jacket, he’d turn it, so it didn’t show in some way. And he seldom, as you know, listened to any recordings.

S: I never knew him to listen to any.

M: I remember being aware of it in Rome the first time when Alain was playing for Vanda and me one of the talks, and he’d come into the room and stood there looking questioning. He just stood there and listened a couple of minutes, looking rather critical, and then he’d disappear.

S: Well, this is out of sequence, but that first videotape that we made, and Krishnaji wanted to see it, he came down that evening to the Saanen tent, and there it was, and he looked at the picture for, I don’t know, seconds, if that, and then he wanted to look at the wiring, he wanted to look at the back of the machine. He wanted to look at everything other than the picture. He saw that it was a picture of him, and that was enough, you know. But he wanted to look at everything else.

M: He wanted to see how it worked.

S: Exactly.

M: That’s why he came, probably.

S: He didn’t want to see the picture. Yes, he wanted to see the machinery. Anyway, let’s move on.

Hear Mary speak.

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M: On the eleventh of April, ‘we watched Apollo 13 take off for the moon.’ That was something he was interested in. ‘After lunch, Krishnaji, Filomena, and I went to Santa Monica and saw the movie True Grit [S chuckles] with John Wayne.’ [M chuckles, too.] That he also liked.

S: So, Filomena would come with you to the movies sometimes?

M: Not often, but sometimes.

The next day I ‘telephoned Alain, who is flying into London and returning in June. The Lilliefelts and Alan Kishbaugh came at 4 p.m. about publishing.’

S: Ah ha, this is the first appearance of Alan Kishbaugh.

M: Yes. He was in those discussions. I’d forgotten that.

S: In your house?

M: Yes. That’s where I first met him. I forget how he came to be there. We’ll have to ask him. But, he was really the only person in those discussions who seemed a likely person to be helpful with things.

S: Yes. And he was working for a publisher in those days.

M: He was working for a publisher. It was, um, oh dear, what was it? The ones who published Mary’s book initially in America. A very good publisher. I can’t remember names, anymore. Anyway, he was their representative on the west coast, and dealt with authors and such.

We’re about to go to England. So, ‘in the afternoon on the thirteenth, there was a 3 p.m.  meeting with Krishnaji, the Lilliefelts, Ruth Tettemer, Sidney Roth, and Saul Rosenthal.

Krishnaji and I had supper as usual and then news came of the electrical trouble on the Apollo 13 moon mission, forcing cancellation and return to Earth.’

The next day, ‘young people came to discuss with Krishnaji in the afternoon. A letter came from Rajagopal and the Vigevenos, and a telephone call from Mima Porter came while we were out.’

On the fifteenth, ‘I telephoned and spoke to Sidney Roth and his lawyer, Mr. Wyatt. And spoke to Mrs. Porter. The osteopath came to the house and gave both Krishnaji and me treatment.’ That was nice.

We watched the fourth NET film that was shot in 1966 on the seventeenth. I wrote to Mima Porter.

S: I’m sure Rajagopal kept all these letters too, so…

M: Oh, don’t think he didn’t. Then the next day, ‘Rajagopal telephoned Krishnaji and said “Don’t desert me.”’ Imagine that. Hm-hm. ‘It was a brief conversation. We had lunch. It was a clear, lovely day, and the flowers and birds fill the garden. Amanda came over at 1:30 p.m. We said goodbye to Filomena and drove to the airport. Krishnaji and I took the 3 p.m. TWA nonstop flight to London. Smooth flight, but virtually no sleep.’

You don’t want me to read these day by day!

S: Yes, I do. Yes, I do.

M: Alright.

So, this is the nineteenth. It says, ‘Krishnaji and I arrived in London at 10:30 a.m. The Digbys came to greet Krishnaji, and Dorothy was there to bring us back to Brockwood in the Land Rover. Dorothy said this was the first spring-like day. We arrived at Brockwood, where the daffodils are out but the trees are still bare. The house looked lovely. Everyone gave a warm greeting, and we were just in time for lunch. Both were groggy and tired. Telephoned Mary Links at Blackdown. Alain was there, having flown from San Francisco last Monday. Slept all afternoon.’

On the twentieth, the morning, ‘I felt sick, but better later. Very tired. Krishnaji felt the same. Mary Cadogan came by in the morning and for lunch. I brought her up-to-date with the news. Slept in afternoon. I did a little unpacking. Krishnaji and I went for a walk with the two dogs, Badger and Whisper.’

The next day, we’re still getting unpacked. ‘The Mercedes was reactivated, and in the afternoon we drove to Winchester on errands. Krishnaji talked to me about change that is necessary and quiet within and without.’ He was always talking about being quiet within. As you know, a little-paid-attention-to factor in his teaching, the real necessity to be quiet, which, of course, is the emptiness.

S: Yes, an inner quiet.

M: An inner quiet.

S: Mm, hm. Yes.

M: He talked often, often about that.

Heh-heh. The next day, it says, ‘A quiet day, and I was quiet, too.’ [S chuckles.] Unfortunately, I wasn’t as quiet as I should’ve been.

On the twenty-third, Krishnaji and I left the car at Alton and ‘we took the train into London. Alain met us, and then both Alain and Krishnaji went to a homeopathic doctor, Dr. McGowan, the one that’s best in England, according to Alain. He gave Krishnaji a general checkup, and then we went to L’Aperitif, where Mary Links and Alain lunched with us. Alain is to go to Rome on Saturday and later to California. Krishnaji and I went to Flora’s and Hatchard’s for nature books, and then to Dr. Peter Campion.’ Krishnaji’s dentist in those days was Dr. Peter Campion, not Mr. Thompson. ‘He X-rayed him for an abscess, results tomorrow. Then, we went back to Huntsman, where Krishnaji fitted an overcoat and ordered a blue suit, and I ordered a pair of slacks. We caught the 5:45 p.m. train back.’

S: We must stop there ’cause we’re running out of tape. Okay.

M: That was the twenty-third of April, and I’ll put this here to mark it.

S: Okay.

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[1] Published in 1973, this 538 page book is the most eclectic collection of Krishnaji’s material in print: talks, discussions, and interviews. Back up to text.

[2] Tom Heggestad spearheaded the creation of the archives for the Krishnamurti Foundation of America. Back up to text.

[3] Alain had continued to help organize events as part of what he was doing for Krishnaji even though he no longer was Krishnaji’s assistant. Back up to text.

[4] Jean-François Dubuis started working for the video department of Brockwood as a young student at the school, and he continued to work for the department during the summers after he went to university, and again after he graduated. His efforts were indispensable to recording the videos of Krishnaji, and to translating them into so many different languages. Back up to text.

[5] This refers to Masters in the Theosophical esoteric cosmology. Back up to text.

[6] The first time “the process” occurred to Krishnaji, in 1922. For a description of the event see Mary Lutyens’ first volume of Krishnaji’s biography, Krishnamurti: The years of Awakening. Back up to text.

[7] The actress Jennifer Jones who had married David O. Selsnick. Back up to text.

[8] This probably refers to sometime between 1909 to 1912. Back up to text.