Issue #28

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Issue 28—July 15, 1973 to October 22, 1973


The recorded discussions with Mary which provide the material for these memoirs began on June eleventh, 1994. The discussion for this issue occurred on August fourth, 1996; so it has taken us over two years to get this far in her diaries. By this date, I am at Oxford, and only able to visit Mary at Brockwood to continue our discussions on the occasional week-end during the months she is in England. As we continue, I remember Mary saying often that she feels we’re never going to get out of the ’70s; and indeed, it is another thirty one discussions and almost nine years before we get to the 1980s.

So, it may be right to bring up at this point a sense that I have from these discussions: There are extraordinary, relentless, unremitting demands made on Krishnaji; and Mary, in trying to take care of him and facilitate all that he does, is just as persevering and sedulous as he.

In this issue, Krishnaji goes through all the events of Saanen (the public talks and discussions, the private interviews, the small group meetings, the requests for healing, the demands of organizations, etcetera) only to get to Brockwood and start it all again, then on to Italy…and so it goes.

Living this persistence, gracefully meeting this unending challenge was part of Mary’s experience of being in the presence of Krishnaji; and she always conveyed the impression that she felt she was living a benediction.

So, the reader of these memoirs, I imagine, experiences something dogged and unrelenting; and as the editor, I am sorry about that as it places demands on the reader’s own perseverance. But these are Mary’s memoirs, and it is not my place to change the nature of what she recalled and recorded.

Despite the demands on Krishnaji, and the often unpleasant and unfortunate behavior of some around him, I am also struck (as I was in life) by Krishnaji’s ability to be outside of all that and to generate his teachings.

 The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue 28

Scott: We’re beginning on July fifteenth, 1973.

Mary: Yes, well, we’re in Gstaad, and it was a grey day and cool, and Krishnaji was giving his first talk in Saanen. In the morning, I drove Vanda down as far as the bakery and she wished to walk the rest of the way. Then I went back and picked up Krishnaji at 10:15 a.m., and driving slowly, we arrived exactly on the dot’ [S chuckles] ‘of when he was due, which was 10:30 a.m. The tent was almost full, and there seemed to be a lot of new faces. Krishnaji did his usual thing of sitting and looking at everyone very slowly, which makes some people nervous, I discovered, that he might not know what he’s going to say!’ [M chuckles with S.] ‘They’re soon disabused, and on that day, he asked, “Can knowledge bring about a psychological change?” My impression was that he put a lot into the first talk, to really get people going, and perhaps bewilder the newcomers. In the middle of it all, it began to rain, but after the talk Krishnaji, as usual, walked rapidly up the road. And people kept trying to offer him umbrellas, but he kept going’ [humor in voice]. Um, ‘I caught up with him as quickly as I could in the car, and we went up to Tannegg.’

And Elena and Felix Greene came for lunch that day.

S: Mm, hm. Can I interrupt here for a minute…?

M: Yes.

S: …just to say (and this really is just a silly historical detail here), but I remember in that year and in ’72, that the arrangement in the tent was different than in subsequent years. I think it changed to its final format in ’75 or ’76. But before that, the seats had been arranged in tiers rising the length of the tent, so that Krishnaji sat at one end…

M: Yes.

S: …and the seats tiered up, from some possibly third of the length of the tent.

M: Yes, yes.

S: But after 1976, there was no more tiering. Krishnaji sat on the side of the tent.

M: Yes, after that, it was the side of the tent, and everybody was sitting on ground level. The tiering was a holdover from the geodesic dome one, the Buckminster Fuller one, which we had for some years until it wore out, and they couldn’t replace it. So then we got the one that was the shape that you remember…

S: Yes, yes.

M: …which was sort of rectangular, really. Rectangular, but domed, like a portable airplane hangar.

Anyway, ‘the Greenes came for lunch and there was a lot of talk about India and Nehru and the Dalai Lama and the difference in China today.’ Felix Greene, you remember, had been to China…

S: I remember well.

M: …had written lots of very enthusiastic things about China. ‘He said that there is the only government today where it was said “Do it yourself,” and change is participated in by the people. Mao saw danger in the hardening of bureaucracy and invited people to make change.” I suppose that really brought about the uh…Red…

S: The Cultural Revolution.

M: The Cultural Revolution, and the Red whatever they were called.

S: The Red Guards, yes.

M: There were really awful goings-on. Krishnaji listened to all this, and spoke of the thousands of Indians together building a dam against the next monsoon. And they did it because they would have perished otherwise. That was the impetus behind it.

S: Was Krishnaji saying that they only cooperated because their lives depended on it?

M: Yes, that’s right. And he said, ‘“If I were one of them, a Chinese, etcetera. I would ask ‘Why? What is the meaning of all this? Why should I build a dam or anything else?’ The government has taken away the meaning of life. Give me meaning. I am a savage about all this,” he said. He spoke intensely, and sweeping his hand across the table, vehemently. The Greenes left and he went to lie down and Vanda said that she thought that Krishnaji was over-tired and nervous and needs to stop talking for a while. “Why must he go to India?” she said. She pounces at me rather exhaustively,’ [chuckle in voice] ‘and I agree, but it’s up to him. Yesterday she raised it at lunch to Krishnaji, and he said, “I want to go,” which ended it for the moment. There is a degree of constant telling what should be done that goes around. It’s meant well, but it’s like being hammered at. “Why don’t you ask some interesting people from Geneva to lunch?”’ [S laughs heartily, and M chuckles some too; aside:] What interesting people?

S: [laughing, joking voice:] Advertise in the paper.

M: [still laughing] ‘“Why don’t you tell the Indians to make a film showing India, the Taj Mahal, the Elephanta Statue? Put this in a Krishnaji movie, not just him.”’ [Laughs.] ‘“That is boring,” she said.’ [M laughs.] I’d forgotten all this.

S: So, these were things Vanda said should be done?

M: Yes, unfortunately.

S: Ah, ha.

M: ‘But then it turns out that Krishnaji does his own hammering.’ This is to me: ‘“You don’t walk enough. You stay up all the time doing letters.” In the evening, we got caught up in watching a French version of Electra on TV.’

Now, that is the last entry I have in this big notebook, so we have to switch to the small one, which, as you know, is less informative.

Well, the next day, the sixteenth of July, was ‘a quiet day, and I did letters and errands and Krishnaji stayed in bed until walk time.’

On the seventeenth, ‘Krishnaji gave his second talk. It was on the subject of time, and it was a wonderful one. On seeing the action of thought. I was exhausted at the end. He put enormous energy into it, and there was just ourselves at lunch.’ That’s Krishnaji, Vanda, and me. ‘We discussed the school that Barabino’—that was that Italian who came into the picture in Italy’s Krishnamurti world—he ‘wanted to start a school, and so we talked about that.’ That’s about all that day.

The next day was the eighteenth, and ‘Vanda left for Florence.’

S: What did Krishnaji think about the school?

M: Well, he sort of went along with it. It turned out badly in the end.

S: Yes.

M: Barabino, the whole Barabino thing turned out poorly. He absconded with the mailing list and started his own organization, which was rather, um…well, never mind describing it, but it had nothing to do with Krishnaji. ‘So, Vanda went to Florence on the eighteenth, and Felix Greene came and saw Krishnaji. Also Pascaline Mallet came, whom Krishnaji had not seen in years, and I met her for the first time that day. She came to lunch with Marcelle Bondoneau, and now Pascaline at that point was the head of the French Committee. Then, Gisela Elmenhorst came in the afternoon, and talked about German teachers.’

On the nineteenth was ‘the third Saanen talk, another great one, in my view. The Bennetts, Mavis and Reg, came for lunch. A letter came at last from Erna. It was incomplete so we telephoned her.’ This was about the case. ‘Christensen (Rajagopal’s lawyer) had sent a draft of a settlement. There had been notes of a meeting on the eighteenth of June with Rosenthal/Cohen/Christensen, and we were fairly okay for substance, but Christensen came back with an agreement that was entirely different from what was expected.’ Those things just never came to anything at that point.

‘Krishnaji invited Montague and Dorothy to use the downstairs flat when they pleased. They moved in the next day for a short time in that downstairs apartment. And Krishnaji saw various people, including Felix Greene again. He felt tired and stayed in bed for lunch. I spent the day typing comments on the Christensen settlement draft, and got Krishnaji’s approval to what I’d written. He concurred with what I had said and also what Erna had said. He got up in the afternoon for a walk, and the Simmonses came along.’

Next day was ‘a quiet day. Krishnaji on that day said, “One day I will see Rajagopal and tell him what he has done. It will be good for him.”

The twenty-second was ‘the fourth talk on what is the meaning of life? The Simmonses and Anneke Korndorffer came for lunch and Krishnaji put his hands on Anneke to help her with her ailments. He gave an interview to the Mexican representative of the Fundación and the Biascoecheas. He saw Mr. Mirabet and Mr. Salvador Morales-Franco, Mrs. Colvera. Mrs. Arane came to tea.’ These were all people in the Fundación  in those days.

On the twenty-third, ‘there was an hour’s discussion with some students of Grenoble, and then that day, a letter came from Dr. Pollock.’ He was also on the board of the Happy Valley School, and so he offered something that I say is an insult both to Krishnaji and the rest of us. He offered, I think, one hill, and we wanted the whole place.

S: Of course.

M: And, you know, it should’ve been Krishnaji’s anyway…

S: Exactly.

M: And when he said maybe one hill, it was insulting.

Krishnaji gave ‘his fifth talk on July twenty-fourth, and again it was a superb one. “What is the action that is not of will, ideals, etcetera? Non-action is the expression of the non-me. Wisdom is the daughter of truth, and intelligence is the daughter of wisdom.”’ It was a wonderful statement.

Then various people came; it’s not interesting.

‘Krishnaji and I went for a nice quiet lunch at the Park Hotel. We walked in the rain as usual.’

On the twenty-fifth, ‘Krishnaji dictated a reply to Dr. Pollock about the Happy Valley land, and to Erna about Rajagopal. A Mr. Alfredo Calles, interested in starting a school in Mexico, came to see me at 11 a.m. Barabino came at noon, and we talked about the Italian school plan, and the necessity of a legal Italian committee. He stayed to lunch with Krishnaji. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji gave interviews. It was raining, but we walked up nevertheless the Turbach road.’

‘Krishnaji began taking that day, Prednisolon, five milligrams, instead of Actad, as prescribed by Dr. Wolf. It’s a hay fever thing.’

July twenty-sixth. ‘It was very cold and with fresh snow on the mountains. Krishnaji gave his sixth Saanen talk on sorrow, love, and death. It ended without any questions. Anneke came for a treatment. Rosalind is in Paris. Anneke wants to see her to give us Arya Vihara. Biascoecheas came to lunch. They met with Mr. Calles and have high hopes’ [chuckles] ‘for a school. Krishnaji rested before people came for tea. Dreadful drilling noise from downstairs.’ [Chuckles.] This is very spotty stuff. Do you want all of it?

S: Absolutely all of it!

M: The next day, was the twenty-seventh, and ‘it was still cold and grey. Fearful drilling continues. Complained to the owners, Madame Matti and the Palace.’ The Palace was the agent for renting the chalet. ‘Jane Hammond and Sybil Dobinson came for lunch. Then at 3:30, all the foreign committee members, over fifty of them, came for the annual meeting with Krishnaji.’

‘Later we walked and Dorothy, who had been sick but got up today, was at the meeting.’

On the twenty-eighth, Krishnaji saw Anneke in the morning, and told her that it was not the moment for her to see Rosalind regarding her documentation center.

Krishnaji was tired, so he slept the rest of the morning. We lunched quietly alone. At 4 p.m., the Biascoecheas, Mr. Morales-Franco and the lady president of the Mexican delegation and Mr. Calles came to see Krishnaji. Calles discusses school project in Guernica. At 6:30 p.m., Swami Venkatesananda came to call, and, with some woman,’ I don’t know who she was. ‘And then,’ it says here that ‘Mary Links sent Krishnaji letters that Jamnadas[1] wrote about the King John bet by him and Nitya in 1919.’ Do you remember that story?

S: Yes. And Annie Besant was upset by this…

M: Yes, and the car they bought with the money they won, Annie Besant made them give it back. And this was a letter about that [laughter in voice]. Poor Jamnadas; and Nitya was also crushed.

S: [laughs heartily] I wonder where this letter is.

M: Who knows? I think it was a copy…I don’t think it was the real one.

S: Sent to Krishnaji?

M: Yes. She sent Krishnaji the letter from Jamnadas about the King John bet he and Nitya made in 1919! [Chuckles.]

S: Okay.

M: Well, the next day was the twenty-ninth. It says here, ‘I dreamt vividly of Nitya. He had been allowed to come back once, and I held onto him lest he vanish for Krishnaji to see him.’ I don’t remember that I had such a dream. ‘Krishnaji had been struck by Jamnadas’s letter as well.’

S: Hm.

M: How strange. Krishnaji gave his seventh and last of these Saanen talks on meditation, on looking without thought, without any reaction.’ Then a lot of people came for lunch.

The next day, Anneke and Felix Greene both came to see Krishnaji.’ I think that was for treatment, because Felix was sick then, too; he had cancer, I think.

We lunched quietly alone, and I did errands. Krishnaji gave interviews to Madame Baud, your friend, Mr. Russu, and Mr. Sendra. Then, we walked. Then something about trouble with some students at Brockwood. We don’t have to memorialize that for history.

On July thirty-first, ‘Krishnaji again saw Felix Greene and Anneke, and then Anneke and I discussed Happy Valley and Rosalind and Rajagopal. A Mrs. Saharaf came to see me about an Ojai school. Krishnaji saw her briefly at the end. He and I lunched at the Park Hotel.’

‘A letter came from Erna about the settlement meeting on July twentieth in Judge Heaton’s chambers between Christensen, Rosenthal, Cohen, and also Erna. And the meeting on July twenty-fifth with Sol Rosenthal, Cohen, and Reynolds (Cohen’s junior lawyer). Also there was a letter from Erna about Tapper,’ that’s the attorney general man, ‘and an inquiry from Sol about the proposed Krishnamurti school in Ojai for his son.’ It didn’t come to pass. I’ve forgotten why; but he was interested, and we were [chuckles] glad he was.

The next day was the first of August and ‘the first of the Saanen public discussions, questions mostly on the observer and observed. Frances McCann just arrived from Holland, came to lunch. Krishnaji spoke with her afterwards. Afterward, I made a twenty-eight minute,’ and it says here, ‘a 280 Swiss franc telephone call’ [both laugh] ‘to Erna in Ojai about her letters and the settlement points. Also about omitting mention of the copyright agreement in Krishnaji’s report in the Bulletin. Then I did errands.’

On August second ‘was the second public discussion. It was hard work. Afterwards, Krishnaji saw Felix Greene and Anneke. Madame Duchet and Marcelle came to lunch. Elmenhorst was invited but was sick. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji gave an interview for a Lausanne newspaper, Vingt-Quatre Heures, it’s called, the newspaper with a reporter called Francine Brunschwig.’

On the third ‘was the third Saanen discussion on loneliness and relationship, and ambition and wanting to change what is. Afterward, Krishnaji again saw Felix Greene. Mrs. Pamela Travers, and Dorothy and Montague came for lunch. Afterward, he saw Ruth Swartz.’ That was a woman who used to come to the talks. ‘We walked in steady rain.’

The next day was the fourth discussion, ‘a profoundly moving one. Edgar Graf and Doris Pratt came for lunch, after which we had the annual Saanen Gathering Committee meeting. We had received enough donations, about 50,000 Swiss francs, to cover next year.’

S: Would Krishnaji have been in that meeting?

M: Oh, yes, he would have been.

Now, the next day the fifth ‘was the fifth discussion, and it was a hot day. Walking along the road after the meeting, Krishnaji met a young German couple, Renata and Rudiger Wolff, and he asked them up to Tannegg. They want to come to Brockwood.’ They were quite nice. ‘There was lunch and there was a meeting with Barabino and his group in Zweisimmen. Krishnaji was uncomfortable with so many people. We walked in spite of the heat. I did some photos.’ And then it says in different writing: ‘Mr. and Mrs. Sloss to tea.’

S: It’s interesting to note that Krishnaji enjoyed his walks whether the weather was nice or not.

M: He would have gone out even if it had snowed.

S: Yes, because it was exercise and it was good for the body.

M: Yes, “It’s good for you,” he’d say. [Both chuckle.]

‘The sixth Saanen discussion was the next day, and it was on death. “If you really know life, you will understand death,” he said, “and love. They are one; not separate.” It had a profound effect. Very hot day. Took a few more photos. Bill Burmeister’—he was a nice young man, who used to come to the talks—‘and the Wolffs, Renata and Rudiger, came for lunch. They brought me kefir milk.’ I was making kefir from then on for ages. They brought little, like, little cauliflower pieces and you kept them in water and then when you wanted them to work, you put them in milk, and they made kefir. It was rather good, a little culture thing. [Chuckles.] Don Hopper came to see me at 3 p.m., and at 4 p.m., Krishnaji saw Madame Baud and her husband. She was that woman who had a Swiss school, called Shangri-La, and she wanted it to be a Krishnamurti school.

S: Where was it?

M: I don’t know…somewhere in the French part of Switzerland.

S: I did hear of that school.

M: On the seventh, ‘Krishnaji he gave his seventh talk and that was the end of them for the year. Afterward he talked privately to Barabino about the Italian school, and then he saw Felix Greene. Elena is leaving Brockwood.’ She was working at Brockwood in those days. ‘We lunched alone. Brian Jenkins came by to talk to me about whether he should go to the Barabino school. Krishnaji walked down to have his hair cut by Mr. Nicola, the coiffeur, and I picked him up afterwards in the car. Krishnaji talked with Dorothy about Brockwood and made considerable demands on Dorothy. Talked on the telephone to Madame Duperex. Mr. Moser called and said that Krishnaji’s new car had arrived.’

So, the next day, ‘there were no more talks or discussions, it was a lovely day, and accompanied by Montague and Dorothy, we drove to Thun. In the little park by the lake we picnicked, after which we drove to Merligen, then back to Thun to Moser’s when it was time to take delivery of Krishnaji’s new Mercedes 450SLC that we ordered two years ago. He drove it back to Tannegg with Moser. The Simmonses and I came back in my car, and then Moser drove back to Thun, taking my car for winter storage. Krishnaji is pleased in every way with the new car and the way it drives. The look on his face delights me,’ it says here. [Chuckles.]

The next day, August ninth, ‘Krishnaji saw Felix Greene in the morning, and Felix called Brockwood a “disaster.” He was critical of everything. The Simmonses and Doris Pratt came to lunch. In the afternoon, Krishnaji and I drove to beyond Château D’Oex in the new Mercedes to put mileage on it. We came back and walked as usual. Krishnaji told Dorothy about Greene and thought she should talk to him. She and Montague talked to Felix and Elena all evening.’ That was the big split with Felix Greene. He was so snide about Brockwood.

‘The tenth was a hot and clear, beautiful day, and Krishnaji, the Simmonses, and I drove to Thun in the new Mercedes. We discussed last night’s meeting with the Greenes, and the car had its first service at 336 miles. While the car was being serviced, we took a cab to Merligen, lunched at Beatus, and took the lake steamer to Interlaken and then back to Thun by 5:30 p.m. We walked back to Moser’s garage, where the new car had had its service, and then we drove back to Tannegg. The Eiger, the Jungfrau, and the Mönch were clear all day.’

On the next day, ‘of the car, Krishnaji said, “It’s like a crouching tiger.”’ [S chuckles, and then M does, too.] ‘I did errands in the morning, and then we washed the crouching tiger.’

S: [laughing] This is the Green Beauty?

M: Yes. ‘Ortolani and his friend came for lunch. Dorothy, Montague had supper upstairs, and then Dorothy and I went to the opening of the Menuhin concerts.’

August twelfth ‘was a warm, lovely day. The Simmonses left in the Land Rover for Brockwood, taking one of our bags. We lunched alone. I worked at the desk, and later we took our usual walk. Krishnaji is feeling remote—“off.”’

The next day ‘was a hot day. I went to the village for final errands, bank, etcetera. We had lunch alone, finished packing and loaded the car. We took our last Swiss mountain walk of the summer, the usual way to the river. The car was all ready to go before bedtime.’

Now, we jump to the other book.

This is Tuesday, the fourteenth of August, 1973. ‘Krishnaji and I left Tannegg at 4 a.m. in the new Mercedes, 450SLC. There was a golden moon lighting the valley, and then an orange ball of sun took its place as we drove along the Lausanne autoroute. Krishnaji drove that part. He said, “Now, I know I can drive this car.” We stopped to rest in a wooded area for a while, and Krishnaji said, “I could have wandered off in the forest. The body is off. I’ve never felt it quite like this.” There was a delay at the border because we couldn’t find the chassis number on the car for the Swiss customs.’ It had to be checked out of Switzerland. ‘We finally did’—it was on the windshield—‘and we bought croissants in the same village in the Jura and ate our picnic breakfast at the little side road where we have done the last several years.’ Krishnaji would always remember where it was. He said, “We’re coming to it now.” This man who had no memory.

S: Yes, yes, I know.

M: So, we had our picnic. ‘Then we went through Lons-le-Saunier to Chalons and joined the autoroute to Paris. I had slept less than two hours, so when Krishnaji wished to drive, I dozed. There was a heat wave all over Europe and the air conditioning in the new car meant a comfortable drive. We had a picnic lunch, but didn’t care for the parking spots as we neared Paris, so wound up, as last year, eating our lunch in the Bois de Boulogne, near to where we used to walk. There were prettier places, but Krishnaji wanted a familiar one. We sat a long time under a tree. Paris is very hot, ninety degrees. We reached the Plaza Athénée by 5 p.m. A long, cool bath, delicious supper of fruit and soup made, the waiter said, of puréed rice and carrots. By 8 p.m., I had fallen asleep.’

Wednesday, the fifteenth of August, in Paris. ‘It was a holiday in France, and I woke up after almost eleven hours of sleep to a delicious sense of nothing to do. Krishnaji slept well too, and we floated through the morning in complete relaxation. The weather was hot but not uncomfortable, and that added to the floating feeling. We lunched in the garden under umbrellas in the hotel, luxuriously and quietly. There were very few guests here. At 4 p.m., we walked to the Champs Elysées, where a Burt Lancaster Western was playing.’ [S laughs.] ‘The usual nonsense, but Krishnaji observed the southwest desert mountains and his head pains stopped. “I didn’t know what was happening. I just watched.” We walked back to the Plaza. Each did some breathing exercises. Had supper, and went early to sleep. This is the day that the U.S. bombing stopped in Cambodia.’

The next day was the sixteenth of August. ‘Krishnaji, about his head pains, and that faraway feeling, said, “These people usually remain in one place surrounded by their disciples. The Buddha walked eighty miles, but that wasn’t very far. This body was made sensitive and it rebels at being pushed around in strange places.”’

‘I said, “Shouldn’t it stay in one place?”’

‘Krishnaji said, “If you mean Brockwood, no. It may come to that, but not now.”’

‘It was another hot day. Krishnaji stayed in while I went to the bank and to Lobbs, now moved to Hermès, for shoe polish for Krishnaji. Then to Courrèges to get some jerseys. When I got to the hotel, Krishnaji said he wanted to go to Givenchy, so I could get some trousers that I could have copied in London, but they had none. We went to Phillip’s for a razor. We lunched again in the Plaza’s garden, and at 4 p.m., left in the Mercedes to drive slowly to Le Havre, Krishnaji doing about half the driving. It lessened the pain in his head. He kept the car’s temperature low by slow driving, and varying the speed. Inside the car, we were cool with the air conditioner. We reached Le Havre at 7:30 p.m. It was cool there. We dined at Le Monaco, and I checked a new Chanel suit through customs before boarding the Normandy Ferry, the Dragon, on which we had a smooth crossing.’

The next day, ‘we debarked from South Hampton at 7 a.m., and drove to Brockwood. The Simmonses had not yet arrived. Annette and Richard Cooke and Jim Fowler have been the caretakers all summer. It was a cool and misty morning. We unpacked quietly most of the day. Krishnaji cleaned the Mercedes engine and worried at it standing outside because Dorothy’s Cortina is stored in the Mercedes garage. “It will rust. We must cover it!”’ [S chuckles at M’s playful mimicking of K’s worried tone of voice.] ‘But Dorothy and Montague and Doris arrived in the Land Rover at 8 a.m. The Cortina was moved and the Mercedes was saved from the night’s dew.’ [Laughter.] ‘Krishnaji’s head was hurting him; his face looked drawn.’

Now, we must go back to the little diary.

The eighteenth of August ‘was a day of unpacking and sorting out and putting things in order in all of Krishnaji’s cupboards. His head continues bad. He, Dorothy, and I walked in the p.m. Krishnaji has decided to increase the walk: go to the grove, across the two big fields, along the footpath, behind and around the half-timbered house to the lane, and back along the lane.’

The nineteenth ‘was another warm day, and I went on with cupboard straightening and we together washed the Mercedes and the floor of the garage all in the p.m. Dorothy brought Whisper the dog back from Wales, where she had been while we were all away.’

On the twentieth, ‘Krishnaji came with me to Petersfield to inquire about floor mats for the car. After lunch, Krishnaji, Dorothy, Whisper, and I went on the new walk. Krishnaji’s head was bad, except when doing something or watching TV. “I wonder how long it will last?”’

On the next day, ‘we went over the draft of the settlement done by Stanley Cohen.’ That’s all it says.

On the twenty-second, ‘Mavis and Reg Bennett arrived to stay through the gathering. I put them in the West Wing guestroom.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji and I went for a drive. The tent went up for the gathering. Ian Hammond and Robert Wiffen came in the afternoon to inspect the work on the Cloisters and the dining room addition. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I met with them and talked about an assembly hall. On a short walk later, I told Krishnaji that the Alzina money…’ Do you remember the Alzina account? This was an account in Switzerland for Krishnaji. ‘I told him that the Alzina account money to pay for the Mercedes was still there, as I had paid the balance due. Krishnaji said to give it for the Assembly Hall.’ He gave £3,500 sterling for the Assembly Hall.’

He and I discussed his headaches, as if the tremendous energy of the talks, when it subsides, the body protests, fatigue comes later when he is on a more superficial level.’ He thought that’s why he had the headaches.

S: Okay, can we just mention it a little bit fuller here? So he is saying that the tremendous energy that goes through his body during the talks…

M: Yes.

S: …and when the talks are over…

M: Yes.

S: …the body kind of protests at having all this gone through it…

M: Yes.

S: …and the protest takes a form of headaches.

M: Yes. And he would never have a headache while he was talking.

S: Right.

M: All his physical symptoms were his—they’re odd.

S: Yes, yes.

M: Krishnaji gave interviews the next day, and we took a short walk and picked blackberries.

On the twenty-sixth, ‘in the afternoon, Krishnaji and Carlos washed the car. Then, Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I cleaned bracken and dead branches in the grove. After supper, I drove Bill Angelos, who has spent the day at Brockwood, to Petersfield.’

The next day, ‘I did housekeeping, and we pruned trees in the grove until a rainstorm drove us in.’

On August twenty-eighth, ‘Saral and David Bohm came to lunch and discussed plans for a scientist discussion meeting next year. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I worked hard at the tree pruning in the grove.’

The next day, ‘Dorothy drove Krishnaji and me to Petersfield and we took the train to London. We lunched at Fortnum. Krishnaji went to the dentist and had a tooth extracted. We went to Huntsman, Asprey, and Mr. Hewitt the tailor at Rowe’s for slacks for me. Then back to the dentist for altered denture. Then to Waterloo train and back to Brockwood.’

On the thirtieth of August,  ‘Krishnaji’s mouth was sore. I prepared rooms for guests, and there was maximum preparation in the house and the tent for the coming talks. Dorothy was not too well, but she was on her feet and came for a short walk. Krishnaji in the night fell briefly sick; sweating, feeling faint, followed by trembling. It lasted only briefly.’

On the thirty-first of August. ‘A letter from Erna saying that Mrs. Blau had seen the Happy Valley land with the Pollocks and later saw Rosalind. The feeling of the Blaus, Lilliefelts, Ruth, and now Krishnaji, is that we should drop any idea of the Happy Valley land for our school. Rosalind and Beatrice Wood are building houses there.’

‘People were arriving for the gathering. Amanda Pallandt is spending a weekend with us in the West Wing. Marcelle Bondoneau arrived with Pascaline Mallet. Madame Samuel also came. Marcelle is in the West Wing dining room. Krishnaji gave a brief interview to a Barry Groves from Canada. Heal’s furniture finally arrived for the Cloisters sitting room which was set up. The young German couple Renata and Rudiger Wolff arrived.

On the first of September, ‘Krishnaji gave his first Brockwood talk of the year. Afterward, I gave him lunch upstairs and then he went back to the tent where lunch was being served. The weather was fine; we had about 920 people at meals.’

The next day ‘was the second Brockwood talk. Amanda Pallandt left after the talk.’

On September fourth, ‘Krishnaji held a discussion in the tent, after which he had lunch upstairs, and then went back to the tent.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji and I took the Wolffs for a drive to Exton through the lanes in the morning, and there was a walk in the p.m.’

On Thursday the sixth of September, ‘Krishnaji held the second public discussion.’

The next day, ‘the Wolffs left. I went to Petersfield to post sixty-eight Gstaad tapes to Erna and references for Alain Naudé to UC Berkeley Extension, where he is being considered as a music and piano teacher.’

The eighth was the third talk, and on the ninth was the fourth talk. ‘There were easily 1,500 people at the last talk. It was a warm, beautiful day, and Krishnaji feels that there’s too much of a holiday atmosphere at these talks, and not enough seriousness. Next year, it should be more austere. The pool will be empty, and there will be no entertainment. The camp is disliked around the community as they disturb pheasants and pick mushrooms. The guests began to leave.’

On the tenth, ‘the Bennetts left. Almost all the campers and Cloisters guests have left. The house is becoming quiet. One can feel it happening. There was a good letter from Ruth and Albion Patterson about teachers for the Ojai center. I had deskwork and much laundry. Krishnaji spoke to Calles, who was booming with criticisms and later Krishnaji gave an interview to Ted Cartee, a serious young American who has been through much Zen.’

On the eleventh, ‘Marcelle Bondoneau left, so did a few remaining guests. At noon, Krishnaji, Dorothy, Montague, Doris, and I took a picnic lunch and ate it by the mill in Alresford. It was a lovely day. There was an exquisite garden by the mill. Then we went to Winchester to the see the movie Day of the Jackal. Krishnaji enjoyed it.’

On September thirteenth, ‘We went to London by train. Doris lent us her Mini as Krishnaji does not want the new Mercedes to sit in the Petersfield station parking lot.’

S: Quite right.

M: ‘Mary Links met us at Fortnum’s for an early lunch. She is working on the second draft of the biography. I brought in the dummy of photographs of Krishnaji, some of them bad, of the Indian book put together by Pupul and Sunanda of Krishnaji’s Rishi Valley talks to students and teachers. I also brought the text, which Mary had asked me to read. Should it be printed in the West, too? Questionable. On the train, I read to Krishnaji parts of the book that Mary questions. Krishnaji was impatient at Pupul’s and Sunanda’s editing and dictated revisions to me. He said the book can’t be published as it is. We discussed it at lunch, and Krishnaji decided that I should go through it and consult him on parts I think need editing, or elucidating. He will correct them, and when we get it done, it will go to Mary for her editing. This will irritate India, who wants to rush it out as-is, but Krishnaji said he will deal with that. How do I do this before Krishnaji goes to India? The book is 200 pages. I don’t know but I will get on it.’

‘At the end of lunch, Mary spoke of the beauty of Krishnaji’s letters, their originality, and asked him if he would keep a notebook in which he would write a word, a line, anything each day. Krishnaji told her of the curious thing that happened before the first Brockwood talk two weeks ago, August thirty-first. He woke in the night feeling as if a ball of light were being placed in his head. He stayed awake observing it for about an hour. Krishnaji said he would write each day.’

Mary dropped Krishnaji at the dentist, and I walked to a fitting at Rowe’s, stopping to buy Krishnaji avocado oil at Jackson’s and some blueberries from the U.S., and then a notebook for the writing. I met him at Mr. Thompson’s (the dentist), and he went to Huntsman for his fitting, then to Sulka, where they are making those shirts with Indian silk that Krishnaji brought on his last trip. Then we went to Asprey’s for our watches, and bought two Lamay pencils for the writing. Krishnaji wanted one with thick lead and one with fine lead, and was pleased with what we found. Putting down our shopping bag was a self-conscious act; it isn’t a bomb, said Krishnaji to the clerk. London and other cities have been harassed by the IRA with bombs, usually left in shopping bags. We went on down Bond Street to Maxwell’s new shop. Huntsman has bought Maxwell’s, and Krishnaji ordered a trial pair of shoes, which went so well and so quickly he had time to have a haircut at Truefitt across the street. And so to Waterloo and back to Brockwood by 6:30.’

On the fourteenth, ‘Krishnaji wrote a whole page in his new notebook with his new pencil. A description of the grove and the feeling of silence and something holy there.[2]Frances McCann, who has been staying in the Cloisters, was invited to stay in the West Wing guestroom, where the Reg Bennetts were. Krishnaji is putting hands on Frances to try to help her; she is hearing voices. I talk to her and sometimes can persuade her that it is subjective, but then she lapses back into delusions; otherwise, she is quiet and pleasantly herself. Krishnaji has forbidden her to do any yoga or pranayama and will not hear of her delusions. I felt she would feel more secure and cared for here in the West Wing rather than in the Cloisters, which is almost empty now.’

‘Krishnaji wanted to drive before lunch, so we took the Mercedes to West Meon, East Meon, and around through Privett. Another marvelously lovely day; warm, but not too hot; delicious air.’

‘Barabino telephoned from Rome about confirmation of the date October twenty-eighth for Krishnaji’s talk there, and wanted to know if we were still coming in spite of the recent cholera outbreak in Italy? Krishnaji hopes it will be over by then. What we are wondering is whether to go first to Venice with the Linkses. Salviamo Venezia, as Krishnaji said, when he saw that on an Italian stamp in June.’ That means, “Let’s save Venice”; Venice was crumbling at that point. ‘He thinks it would be fun to go, and Mary and Joe are eager. I must check on cholera shots requirements with various embassies. At 4 p.m., a Polish professor’ whose name I can’t pronounce, ‘a professor of Oriental philosophy and psychology came with his father and two people to see Krishnaji. He was a very emotional man who asked no questions, but kept repeating, “We are one, we are one” over and over. Krishnaji found it tiring. We walked around the grove later, waiting for a fitter to come to measure the Mercedes for brush mats.’ [Both chuckle.]

On September sixteenth, ‘I left at 10:45 a.m. after many admonitions on careful driving from Krishnaji and drove sixty-nine miles’ to have lunch with a friend.

S: Which one?

M: The Meyers—Fleur and Tom and their guest the Brazilian ambassador and his wife and son.’ You don’t want to hear about all that, but I came back. [Laughter.]

S: Thankfully.

M: Yes, I got back at 6:15 p.m. Krishnaji had seen the Bohms about the proposed scientist discussion meeting next year. A letter came from David Hall. Krishnaji also had done his now daily notebook writing, descriptions of leaving Gstaad in the silent dark. And criticisms of a visitor.

And now we’re back to the little diary.

S: Oh, dear.

M: I know.

So, the seventeenth of September, what happened? Oh, nothing. Krishnaji saw Carlos and Claire.

And the next day, Krishnaji gave an interview to Mr. Calles in the afternoon. There was a cold windstorm in the night.

On the nineteenth, ‘Krishnaji wrote and I worked at the desk. In the afternoon, Krishnaji held a staff meeting. Later, he, Dorothy, and I walked and cleared fallen branches in the grove.’

On the twenty-first, ‘Krishnaji wrote all morning and held a staff meeting in the afternoon. Then, he, Dorothy, and I walked. The weather is getting cold.’

On the twenty-second, ‘Many of the students have arrived. I went to Petersfield to pick up Mrs. Prima Srinivasan from Madras, who lunched at Brockwood, talked to Krishnaji, and later I drove her back to the station. We walked as usual.’

The next day, ‘All the students have arrived.’ You notice that the school began at the end of September.

S: Yes. I remember it well.

M: ‘There were forty-eight students in all who arrived. Krishnaji wrote and I typed, almost all day. Frances McCann is much better with Krishnaji’s treatment and may go to India to continue. She is quieter and very helpful here. I tried unsuccessfully to telephone Vanda. On a walk, Dorothy suddenly had an odd feeling in her head. It happened again later. Krishnaji put his hands on her before retiring. She is overworked.’

On the twenty-fourth, ‘the school term began. Krishnaji spoke to the school in the afternoon, and we telephoned Vanda about the dates.’ He was going to go to speak in Italy.

S: Mm, hm.

M: On the twenty-fifth, ‘I worked all day on typing Krishnaji’s notebook. He does two-and-a-half pages a day. In the afternoon, he gave an interview to Jean-Loup Lopez. Dorothy saw her doctor because her blood pressure is up a bit. Krishnaji gave her treatments and Wobenzym.’

S: Wobenzym?

M: Yes, that’s a remedy he was taking.

On the twenty-sixth, ‘Dorothy drove Krishnaji and me to the train station. There was heavy traffic in London. We went to Huntsman, then lunched with Mary L. at Fortnum’s. I gave her the first ten pages of Krishnaji’s new writing. There was a lot of discussion about the biography. Krishnaji and I worked on the Indian educational book on the train, and I am to concentrate on it. I am also to photocopy Krishnaji’s daily writing and type them later so that Mary can have it more quickly. Krishnaji then went to see Mrs. Bindley while I had a fitting at Rowe’s. I had difficulty getting a taxi, but eventually fetched Krishnaji at Mrs. Bindley’s, and then went with Krishnaji to the dentist. We were lucky and caught the 5:45 p.m. train back from Waterloo. Dorothy and Doris were at the station in Petersfield to meet us.’

‘New turf had been laid around the Cloisters.’

On the twenty-eighth, ‘it was cold and showery. After lunch, I drove to East Dean to tea with Christopher and Phil. They have added another room on the top of their cottage. The garden is looking lovely. I was back at Brockwood by 6:30 p.m.’

‘Amanda Pallandt arrived for the weekend. She and a friend are going to start planting shrubs, etcetera around the Cloisters.’

On September twenty-ninth, ‘Krishnaji wrote in the morning, and in the afternoon held a discussion for guests invited for the weekend, as well as students and staff. We held it in the West Wing hall using folding chairs and the stairs to sit on.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji held another discussion in afternoon.’

October first ‘was a most lovely day. Krishnaji began to write, but felt like a drive. So we wandered in the car through the lanes south of Brockwood. The sunlight coming through the leaves, and lovely places we haven’t seen. Then back to deskwork and a walk.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji wrote, and then held a school meeting in the afternoon. One of the staff members spoke idiotically: “History is all lies, etcetera,” he said. Later, I had a talk with him.’

On October fourth, ‘at 3:30 p.m., Krishnaji spoke to the school in the West Wing hall again, during which I took some photos. Afterwards, Krishnaji spoke to some staff members who were troubled. Frances McCann and I went to the Alresford Group Surgery for cholera shots for Italy.’

On the fifth, ‘Dorothy drove us to the Petersfield station, where we caught a train to London. On the train, we worked on the correction of the Indian educational book. Krishnaji went to Huntsman and I to Rowe’s, where we had fittings. Mary L. met Krishnaji at Huntsman, and they met me at Fortnum’s for lunch. I picked up my watch and Krishnaji’s Naviquartz clock at Asprey’s. Then Krishnaji and I went to John Bell and Croydon, and then to Mr. Thompson. Krishnaji had a tooth with an abscess, which was drained. We caught the 4:50 p.m. train back to Petersfield. A nice man gave us a seat. We worked some more on the book on the train.’

October sixth, ‘Krishnaji wrote in the morning. His tooth is better. He held a discussion at 3:30 p.m. Afterward, we went for a walk, and on our return, we learned that serious fighting has broken out at the Suez Canal where Egyptians have crossed into Israel. Israel held the East Bank. Also, Syria attacked from the Golan Heights. Today is Yom Kippur.’

S: Who did Krishnaji hold a discussion with?

M: The school, I presume, unless it says otherwise.

For the seventh, I have, ‘The Israel/Egypt/Syria fighting continues. Krishnaji wrote in the morning and held another discussion with the school at 3:30 p.m. He said, “To say, ‘I do not know,’ and really mean it, is to be out of thought.”’

‘Krishnaji and everyone at Brockwood planted a cedar of Lebanon, given by Joan Wright and her husband, on the front lawn…’—that’s the one down next to the big cedar—‘and also an English oak near the driveway, supplied by me.’

S: Which one is it?

M: There’s a little oak between the handkerchief tree and the other big tree.

S: Ah, ha. Oh, yes.

M: On October eighth, ‘Fighting between Israel and Egypt and Syria continues. Krishnaji wrote in the morning. I went in the afternoon to Winchester to have his notebook’—that’s the journal—‘photocopied and then post the package of photocopies and letters. Krishnaji, with Carlos’s help, washed and waxed the Mercedes. Then, we walked.’ See, we didn’t have a photocopy machine in those days.

S: I know, I remember. We had a Roneo machine. I remember it well. [M chuckles.]

M: The next day, I drove Krishnaji’s Mercedes to London, got Krishnaji’s Italian visa, and then took the car to the Fisher Shipping Company, for shipping to Los Angeles. I walked to the Royal Academy and saw the Chinese exhibition.’ That was wonderful; it was all those horses—do you remember? That were discovered somewhere…

S: Oh yes, in Xi’an.

M: They were marvelous!

S: Yes, yes.

M: ‘I bought a sweater present for Vanda and then to Waterloo and the train to Petersfield. Doris had left her car there for me. Krishnaji had spoken to the school.’

October tenth, ‘Fighting continues around Israel. Krishnaji wrote in the morning. Mary Cadogan came to lunch, after which she discussed miscellaneous things with Krishnaji, Dorothy, and me. Krishnaji, Dorothy, Whisper, and I went for the usual walk. Vice President Agnew resigns, pleading no contest to tax evasion so that other charges are dropped.’ Outside world comes in occasionally. [S chuckles.]

On the eleventh, ‘Dorothy drove Krishnaji and me to the Petersfield train station for a train to London. We had lunch at Fortnum’s. Then, to Mr. Thompson for Krishnaji’s teeth. Afterward, Krishnaji had a Huntsman fitting on his rust-colored tweed suit and light gray one. We bought a cardigan for Vanda and some detective stories at Hatchard’s, and caught the 4:50 p.m. from Waterloo. Dorothy met us at Petersfield.’

On the twelfth, ‘Frances and I went to Alresford Surgery, then to Winchester to have the vaccine signature certified. Mary L. and Amanda Pallandt came to lunch and to spend the night. Mary talked to Krishnaji in the afternoon about the biography. Later, Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked. It was a cold day. Fighting continues in Israel.’

The next day, ‘Mary and Amanda left. I packed. Krishnaji spoke to the school in afternoon, and then we walked.’

The fourteenth is packing, and packing. ‘Krishnaji spoke very briefly to Carol Algood in the afternoon. He, Dorothy, Whisper, and I walked in the late afternoon along the usual path.’

On the fifteenth, ‘We left Brockwood at 10:45 a.m. The whole school came out to say farewell. Dorothy and Doris in the Land Rover drove Krishnaji, Frances McCann, and me to the airport. We had a picnic lunch in the car at Runnymede, then on to the airport, where Krishnaji, Frances, and I took a BEA flight to Rome. Vanda and Barabino met us. Somehow, Vanda, Krishnaji, Barabino, I, and eight bags all got into Vanda’s Lancia and to Via Barnaba Oriani.’ That’s the street where Vanda had an apartment. ‘Filomena had left flowers and grapes from her garden. I spoke to her on the telephone. In the morning there had been a letter at Brockwood from Erna about the responsibility of the Zalk house and thirty-eight acres for a KFA school. Christensen’—that’s Rajagopal’s lawyer—‘is avoiding Stanley Cohen’—that’s our lawyer—‘on the telephone and hence on any settlement.’

The next day, ‘Filomena came looking very well and we talked about things about her. Vanda asked her to stay for lunch, after which we talked some more. We did some errands together, and in Piazza Euclide we met her grandson Lelo, who works in a porcelain store, and then she went home.’

‘Krishnaji spent the day in bed resting and reading. We listened to the news of the war in Israel. Much fighting continues.’

On the seventeenth, ‘I went with Vanda to Via Veneto. Giorgio and Margarita Signorini and Frances came to lunch. Frances’s delusions are bad again. The Signorinis are keeping her with them. Krishnaji talked to her, and said she must not go to India, and she agreed. We all discussed with her about going to a psychiatrist. I tried to telephone Phyllis Lutyens to ask for advice on psychiatric care in New York, but the telephone didn’t answer. Frances would prefer San Francisco. Krishnaji and I went for a late walk in Villa Glori. He spoke of returning to Malibu after the New York talks in April, and spending the month of May in total rest.’

On the eighteenth, ‘I went with Filomena and bought socks for Krishnaji to take to India. When I came back, I went over this morning’s writing by Krishnaji. In it, a Sanskrit prayer, which he said he mostly made up.’ [S laughs] ‘Barabino and the Signorinis came for lunch. Krishnaji and I walked in Villa Glori after his nap. War in Israel continues heavy.’

October nineteenth. ‘Frances came to see Krishnaji, then she, Vanda, and I took a bus to the Corso and went to Veruska pant store, where I bought three pairs. To Hausmann with Krishnaji’s Patek and fetched mine, then to the Daily American to put in an ad about Krishnaji’s upcoming talk. I bought him some books and notebook paper, and came back by bus. Vanda and I, Cragnolini, and Topazia for lunch. Krishnaji said Italy must have a committee, not just Barabino. They didn’t want that. Shrill resistance. They don’t listen. Krishnaji had to battle to get them to understand. Later, we went for a walk as usual.’

The next day,   ‘I spent the morning with Filomena but came back in time for lunch. Signore Varvesi’ it looks like, ‘and wife were there. He does television news special services. She teaches. Also, there was an ecologist, Vittorio somebody, Barabino and Silvia Gianatta, a friend of Barabino who was at Saanen to help him. She lives in Torino and studies psychology. There was a discussion between Krishnaji and Varvesi later. The latter pro-Jesus. It was a tiring effort for Krishnaji. We walked together later.’

October twenty-first. [Laughs.] ‘At 8:30 a.m., Ms. Goody came and gave me a massage.’ Wonderful masseuse. She gave us wonderful Swedish massage. ‘Krishnaji, Vanda, and I lunched at Villa Medici with Comte de Roland and his Japanese wife. Also, there was a Madame Cassadό, also Japanese, the widow of the cellist Cassadό.’ Cassadό used to play in the Menuhin concerts and I’ve heard him play quite a number of times in Saanen. He had died. ‘They discussed Krishnaji’s possibly being in Japan in November 1974. Madame Cassadό goes there tomorrow and will write to me about it. We came back and rested. Krishnaji went for a walk by himself.’

On the twenty-second, ‘Israel and Egypt accept a ceasefire. Syria, Jordan refuse. Fighting continues, but less. Barabino and friend Mr. Rivella came for lunch. He owns Lima products and has lent Bisla Villa for a school. Krishnaji and I talked privately with Barabino, saying there must be a committee to do the Bulletin, etcetera, in Italy, and also to run any school. Also the school is not to use Krishnaji’s name. Barabino not to claim he is a Krishnamurti Foundation in his announcement, as he now does. After lunch, I went by taxi to see Filomena. She doesn’t want to go to Malibu for a visit. She may come instead to Brockwood in the spring. I got back in time to go for a walk with Krishnaji. Electricity cut out in the evening, so we couldn’t hear the news.’

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[1] Jamnadas Dwarkadas a friend of Nitya’s and then Krishnaji’s from 1919. Back to text.

[2] The first entry in Krishnamurti’s Journal (1982). Back to text.