Issue #29

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Issue 29—October 23, 1973 to March 30, 1974


For much of the time covered in this issue, Krishnaji is in India and Mary is in California, so we can’t turn to Mary’s memoirs for this history.

What we do see is the tantalizing prospect of a settlement in the KWINC case which seems possible, but just doesn’t materialize. But one positive development in the case is that Krishnaji’s 1961 manuscript of what will become known as Krishnamurti’s Notebook is finally returned to him.

This is also the period in which the dialogues with Dr. Alan Anderson are videotaped at an extraordinary pace.

Finally, the plans for some kind of education center in Ojai seem to pick up some momentum.


The Memoirs of Mary Zimabalist: Issue 29

Scott: So, we’re beginning on October twenty-third, 1973. You ended our last discussion by saying that Krishnaji had an interview with Silvio Ceccato on that day.

Mary: Yes, and it was videotaped.

S: Oh, really?

M: My diary reads, ‘A partially videotaped discussion between Krishnaji and Silvio Ceccato, director of the Center for Cybernetics at the University of Milan. About thirty people were present. It was also taped on the Nagra by Yves Zlotnicka. There was confusion and non-listening by Ceccato. It took terrific effort on Krishnaji’s part to talk to him because Ceccato didn’t listen. He was superficial and interested mostly in repeating his own views over and over. After this, it was a stand-up lunch for everyone. That was about it. I went off and did some errands and I got back in time for the walk. A Miss Basile who wanted to question Krishnaji came along and chatted.’ [M laughs.]

The next day, the twenty-fourth, ‘the truce between Israel and the Arabs seems to be holding. Worked on the education book in the morning. Krishnaji wrote in his notebook. The Indian ambassador Mrs. Pandt came to lunch, also a Ms. Rosa Talamonti, who gave me useful lore on Japan.’ That was when we were thinking of maybe having Krishnaji speak in Japan. ‘It was a cold day. Krishnaji and I walked in Villa Glori. I asked him about meditation at night. He said that it’s less at Brockwood because so many people are in the house.’

S: Hm.

M: The twenty-fifth. ‘Very cold in the Rome apartment.’ You know the Romans and maybe other Italians put on the heat on a certain date…

S: That’s the way it was all over Europe, in France and English boarding schools.

M: Yes, and you could get chilblains, but no, it doesn’t go on till the right date. [S chuckles.] And also the Rome apartments feel twice as cold because of the dampness in Rome; the walls get cold and damp. ‘Another cyberneticist called Grazia Marchiano came to lunch, and various people came to talk to Krishnaji. Krishnaji had supper after 8 p.m. because of all this. He spoke briefly to Yves Zlotnicka about a message Yves had passed along from Guido Franco, who is still after Krishnaji to do the film which he wants to put on French television.’ This went on all summer, this fuss with Guido Franco.

S: It went on for years, in fact.

M: Yes! [Chuckle in voice.] Every summer!

S: Yes.

M: ‘It seems that Franco’s film shows Sai Baba and U.G. Krishnamurti, but has little of Krishnaji, so he wants to film some more. And Krishnaji gave a firm “No”’—he didn’t want to be mixed up with all those things. ‘During the day, unbeknownst to us, Russia started to move troops to Israeli-Arab sectors. The U.S. alerted forces and the UN voted to send observers from smaller nations. The crisis was averted.’

The next day, the twenty-sixth, ‘we learned more of last night’s Arab/Israeli crisis. Now all is quiet. Worked all morning on the educational book. Krishnaji rested in bed all day. Went with Vanda to see Frances McCann, who was in a clinic, and having tests there.’

Next day I did errands.

S: Tell us what the errands were.

M: ‘I went to Piazza di Spagna for books for Krishnaji, and miscellaneous things like that. Krishnaji and I lunched alone. Krishnaji slept all morning and all afternoon, but we walked later.’

On the twenty-eighth, ‘Krishnaji gave a talk at 11 a.m. at the Teatro Eliseo on Via Nazionale. There were about 900 people, 600 of whom used translation devices. Vanda had asked people for lunch afterwards. Krishnaji put a great deal into this talk, his one public talk here. In the afternoon, I finished going through the education book. Later Krishnaji and I walked in Villa Glori.’

The twenty-ninth of October. ‘At Krishnaji’s suggestion, Filomena and I went shopping for more undershirts from Schostal.’ [M chuckles.] ‘I also got more books for Krishnaji. We had lunch with Pontecorvo, the film director, and Fausta Leoni, a journalist who had had that Philippine cure by,’ you know…

S: Oh, yes, the surgery without cutting.

M: Yes.

‘Krishnaji asked Pontecorvo why he was making a movie about Jesus. He suggested that it would be much more interesting to show why the mind falls into superstition.’ [Both M and S laugh.] ‘Later, Krishnaji and I walked in Villa Glori, and he again cautioned me not to do unnecessary things and not to take chances, to not go on unnecessary travels, to drive with care, also to train my body as I would a dog.’

On the thirtieth, ‘Krishnaji held his first discussion at Vanda’s. It was on the difference between recognition and seeing. In the latter, there is only seeing, no center, no self. Filomena was there and stayed to lunch. Krishnaji and I walked in Villa Glori. Krishnaji didn’t like the last chapter of the education book and wouldn’t correct it, so my work on it is finished, and he will take it to India. Krishnaji made me buy flannel slacks that we saw in a shop window in Piazze Euclide.’

S: For yourself?

M: For me, yes.

S: Now, did this book turn out to be the book On Education?

M: I guess so. Yes.

October thirty-first, ‘Krishnaji held a second discussion at Vanda’s. Also a good one. At lunch were Barabino, and a niece of Vanda and her husband. Krishnaji and I went for our usual walk. A small moon was in the sky.’

November first. ‘Filomena came with Mario, her son, in a new car to take me to the airport. Krishnaji was very dear at saying goodbye. He leaves tonight on Alitalia for Bombay. He waved to me from the hall windows. I took the 1:30 p.m. TWA flight to New York.’

Now we jump…

[Tape cuts out.]

S: I’ll just say that we’re going to skip through things, so the tape will keep stopping and starting, so that you can just read the things relevant to Krishnaji while he was away.

M: That’s good.

Well, on the first of November, ‘I flew to New York, and telephoned Erna when I got there. She told me that there’s a meeting for the following day of Mr. Cohen, Christensen’—that’s Rajagopal’s lawyer—‘and the judge about a settlement. The Lilliefelts feel that Rajagopal is moving toward agreement. Krishnaji must have been taking off for India as I was landing in New York.’

The fourth of November, I’m at Vineyard Haven, and I simply noted that on that day, Krishnaji should have flown from Bombay to RishiValley.

On November fifth, ‘I spoke to Erna and she feels that progress was made Friday toward a settlement in the meeting between Cohen, Christensen, and the judge. If Christensen can get Rajagopal to agree we could have a settlement.’

On November thirteenth, I flew to Los Angeles and went directly to the hospital to see Amanda; she was in the hospital. ‘Called Erna; Balasundaram telephoned today from RishiValley about a cable received by Krishnamurti from Rajagopal. It said, “I can forgive.” Cohen counseled us to make no reply. The telephone communication is interrupted, but I telephoned Sunanda to relay a message, and called Krishnaji of my arrival with the lawyer’s advice.’ To let him know I was in Malibu.

S: Yes, and so you called Sunanda to have her tell Krishnaji what the lawyer’s advice was and that you’d arrived.

M: Correct.

The eighteenth of November, ‘Krishnaji went from RishiValley to Bangalore. And on the next day, Krishnaji goes from Bangalore to Delhi. I met Alan Kishbaugh, and we went to Ojai, and Theo took us to look at two places as possibilities for a school. One near the Ojai Valley Inn and then…’

S: Oh, yes, a beautiful place.

M: Yes…and also ‘the Bower place that was on the same street as the Lilliefelts. There was a trustee’s meeting, then lunch. Mr. Jennings of Harper and Row came in the afternoon. I drove Kishbaugh back, and I came home to find the first letter from Krishnaji, written from RishiValley on November fifth through the twelfth.’

On the twenty-third, I got letter number two from Krishnaji, written from November thirteenth to the sixteenth, when he was in RishiValley.

On the twenty-ninth of November, I received letter number three from Krishnaji, sent from Delhi.

December first, ‘We received a draft of a settlement agreement from Mr. Cohen.’

The next day, ‘the Lilliefelts and I went over the settlement draft again and talked at length. We want to see Cohen about it. I wrote to Krishnaji, telling him what had happened.’

This is December sixth. ‘A cable from Balasundaram: All activities at Rajghat have been canceled. Krishnaji will go to Madras tomorrow. He will be at Jayalakshmi’s house through December.’

S: Why was it canceled?

M: I don’t remember. ‘There was a 2 p.m. meeting at Stanley Cohen’s office with him, Erna, Theo, Ruth Tettemer, Albion Patterson, and me. We went over the draft of the settlement agreement, finishing at 5 p.m. When I got home, I found letter number four from Krishnaji waiting. It had been written from November twenty-fourth through December first, and sent from Delhi.’

On December seventh, it says, ‘today Krishnaji should’ve gone from Delhi to Madras, staying at Jayalakshmi’s.’

On the ninth of December, ‘Sidney Field came to listen to the January twenty-fourth, 1972 taped discussion between Krishnaji, Alain Naudé, and me about what happens after death, a discussion that grew out of Sidney’s questions to Krishnaji after his brother John had died.’

December thirteenth, ‘Letter number five from Krishnaji arrived, written from December second through the fifth, from Delhi. In it he said that the Rajghat visit was canceled because not only were the airlines on strike, but there was uncertainty with the trains, and he had a cold. He told the Indian trustees that he cannot speak in so many places.’

‘Ruth and Albion came to see me, and we discussed a KFA school and the Anderson videos. Erna received the amended draft settlement agreement from Cohen, and it is satisfactory.’ Well, then there’s a bit of medical stuff about my leg.

On the sixteenth of December, ‘letter number six came from Krishnaji, written in Delhi and Madras between December sixth and tenth.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Amanda and Phil came over early and we did the Audubon Christmas count.’ Do you know about the Christmas count? Every year around Christmas, all the Audubon people go out and see how many different kinds of birds are in their neighborhood and it’s a fun, momentous day or event in the life of bird watchers.

S: Ah.

M: So, we did it on the sixteenth, and we found a barn owl in the eucalyptus trees by the garage.

S: Ah, yes. He gets many mentions.

M: Yes. On the seventeenth, ‘Erna sent the settlement draft to Krishnaji, and I sent a letter about it from here, from me. And I also sent a settlement draft to Mary Cadogan for KF Trust to accept.’ Then there’s things about all through this, I’m having trouble with my hill falling down, but I won’t go on about that.

S: Why don’t you just say for the record, that the hill is what your house was perched on, [laughter in voice] and when the hill fell, the house fell?

M: Yes, it was rather important. [Laughing.] It was on my mind a bit. It says here for the eighteenth, ‘Evelyne Blau telephoned to say that the Pollocks visited Brockwood and enthused. Spoke of renting the Zalk house to KFA for school use.’

On the nineteenth, ‘Letter number seven arrived from Krishnaji in Madras.’ Doesn’t say anything about what it said.

December twenty-seventh, ‘Alain Naudé, who had spent Christmas with me, flew back to San Francisco, and I came home from dropping him at the airport to find letter number eight of December thirteenth to the twentieth from Krishnaji, written in Madras. Erna telephoned about receiving a cable from him and Balasundaram concerning the text of the agreement clarification. Also, Cohen says that Christensen has not seen Rajagopal and therefore wants tomorrow’s meeting with the judge postponed.’

We now come to 1974, and on New Year’s Day, I didn’t do much. [Chuckles.] So, there’s nothing of interest to report.

S: I think you should just say again what you told me before.

M: No, I won’t.

S: You’re not? Okay.

M: No. Some things are private.

S: Alright. I accept that. [Chuckles.]

M: So, we jump to the third of January, 1974. ‘Mary Cadogan telephoned from London. The English Foundation trustees agree to the settlement with minor suggestions. The KFT office has heat and light for only three days a week. Brockwood is alright because of its being a school.’ Whatever that means.

S: Ah, yes. These are the famous strikes, where they were cutting off electricity and things in that winter. I think it was called the ‘winter of discontent.’

M: Oh my. Were you around then?

S: No, I came in ’74, but not until the end of August.

M: Yes, you started with the Brockwood Public Talks. Well, Brockwood apparently gets electricity because it’s a school. ‘Erna received a letter from Balasundaram with Indian lawyers’ text of what is necessary for Rajagopal to give a quit claim to Vasanta Vihar. They have given power of attorney to me to sign for KF India.’ See, I was a trustee of KF India in those days.

S: I remember.

M: On the fourth of January, ‘a letter from Krishnaji, written in Madras, after he had received the settlement draft. Then, I received a cable from Anneke authorizing me to sign the settlement on behalf of the Stichting. There was a big mud slide in Topanga and snow in Newhall.’ That’s over the hill [chuckles].

On the tenth, ‘letter number ten came from Krishnaji, written in Madras, RishiValley, and Bangalore, giving his travel plans. He goes to Rome on the thirty-first, to Brockwood on February second, and then on the fifth, he had arranged a ticket from London to here. He has sent letter to Cadogan to arrange for his U.S. visa. I had to supply letters inviting him,’ so that was done.

On January sixteenth, ‘there was a meeting between Stanley Cohen and Christensen in the judge’s chamber in Ventura. Cohen rejected “picayune demands” by Rajagopal. Cohen wants to see us at the Lilliefelt’s on Saturday to go over that. I cabled Krishnaji in Bombay, telling him what had taken place. Nothing decisive.’

On the nineteenth, ‘I met Erna and Albion Patterson at Stanley Cohen’s office in Oxnard at 9:30 a.m. We were there till noon going over Christensen’s demands for changes in the settlement draft. Some are minor, etcetera, others we rejected.’

On the twenty-second, ‘Erna telephoned. The meeting scheduled for February first with Judge Heaton, Tapper, Christensen, Rosenthal, Cohen, and us is postponed because of Tapper, to the sixth, just as Krishnaji is due to arrive. I rang Cohen to try to change it. Letter number eleven from Krishnaji in Bangalore arrived, saying that the acreage and guest house there pleases him. A cable from Joe Links said that the Mercedes Green Beauty will be shipped next week.’ [Chuckles.]

January twenty-third reads, ‘I did an inventory of Krishnaji’s clothing here and sent it to Brockwood to help him decide what to bring from Brockwood. Erna telephoned that Christensen is not going to Ojai today to make the KWINC asset list and to receive Krishnaji’s manuscript because Rajagopal says he’s sick. Another stall.’ He stalled and stalled and stalled.

S: That really comes through in this account you’ve given, when one hears the full picture like this, with all the details.

M: Yes. Everything was constantly postponed, always at Rajagopal’s maneuvering.

S: It was really a kind of a war of attrition, wasn’t it?

M: Yes, it was.

S: He was just hoping to frustrate people and wear them out and eventually have compromises made just to get it settled and…

M: And then, he would renege or be sick, or something…

S: Yes, mm, hm.

M: The twenty-ninth of January. ‘Erna telephoned Cohen. His assistant, Mr. Reynolds, had gone to Rajagopal’s house and was given by Christensen, who was there for the purpose, 363 pages of what is supposed to be the manuscript Krishnaji wrote in and around 1961, and that Rajagopal had Vanda bring him; the one that Rajagopal refused to give Naudé and me back in 1966. Erna saw the manuscript, but Cohen has custody of it until we, in turn, turned over the “Blackburn tapes” made in ’68 in Gstaad.’ Now, I’ll explain about these tapes again. Albert Blackburn lived in Ojai and was a Krishnamurti admirer for years and years. When Krishnaji in 1968 broke off from KWINC, it was announced at the Saanen talks. Krishnaji had people from Ojai, who were close to all this, come up to the Chalet Tannegg, and he explained why he had to disassociate himself from Krishnamurti Writings. On his own initiative, Al Blackburn brought a tape recorder to that meeting and taped it. It wasn’t Krishnaji’s idea, and I wasn’t present, so I didn’t witness this, but anyway, he did. And Rajagopal was wild about this thing. The recording didn’t say anything that wasn’t already known, but Rajagopal just didn’t like it to be taped and for people to hear it. So, one of the backwards and forwards in this settlement agreement was that he finally agreed to swap the manuscript of what was to become Krishnamurti’s Notebook

S: Yes.

M: …in order to get the tape, and as it says here: ‘Cohen keeps the custody of it until the settlement was made. He couldn’t give it to us, and eventually, it will come out in all this that we agreed to destroy all copies of it that we knew of…

S: Mm, hm.

M: And we acted in good faith. But, as it turned out much later, Blackburn kept a copy for himself.

S: Good.

M: …so we now have the thing.

S: Oh, do we have the thing?

M: Mm, hm.

S: Great.

M: Gaby Blackburn, Al’s wife, I think, gave it to KFA.

S: Great.

M: But, we acted in good faith.

S: Yes.

M: On the thirtieth, on the California calendar, ‘Krishnaji left Bombay early in the morning, which was the thirty-first on the Bombay calendar.’ My diary says that he should have arrived in Rome at 10:30 p.m., California time.

On the thirty-first, I say, ‘Krishnaji should be in Rome. I finished typing his notebook chapters.’

S: Which are not the Notebook. It’s the journal, which Mary L. asked him to start writing.

M: Right. And he had left them with me to type while I was in Ojai. ‘It totals thirty-five chapters, up to October twenty-eighth,’ which is when he left.

On February second, ‘Krishnaji flies from Rome to Brockwood. I came home from doing some errands to find two letters from Krishnaji written in Bombay.’

Now to the big diary. Tuesday, the fifth of February, 1974. ‘The day began with a telephone call as I stepped out of the shower from Dorothy at Brockwood. She had a worried voice because Krishnaji had been refused a visa by the U.S. consulate in London. It was a poor connection, and I couldn’t quite understand why, but it seemed to be something to do with my letter of responsibility for him being on official KFA paper. Would I ring the legal people? I did and got someone other than the head of the department. I explained etcetera, and was told suddenly that the visa was being granted at that very moment. I telephoned Dorothy the news. Ingrid [1] had gone to the consulate. The Indian embassy should have vouched for Krishnaji, but people at Brockwood didn’t know the present high commissioner. Krishnaji had tried to reach Mr. Pandt, the former high commissioner in London and who is now in Rome, but he was in Canada on a trip. Dorothy called back in a half an hour and said Ingrid had the visa. Great relief. I did housecleaning, etcetera.’

‘At 12:15 p.m., I drove to Ventura, and met Erna at the courthouse. We went over points of the latest draft drawn up by Stanley Cohen, which only reached me, Rosenthal, and the deputy attorney general, Laurence Tapper, yesterday. At 2 p.m., we saw Rosenthal; Cohen and Tapper arrived. Tapper had telephoned Erna out of the blue this morning; his son, whom he wants to go to Brockwood, has turned up among the Jesus freaks, but is now getting interested in Krishnaji. Erna brought some books, and some tickets to the Santa Monica talk for him. But all this has given us an opportunity for her to talk to Tapper. Annie Vigeveno came to the courthouse and sat on the far side, away from Erna and me. Then, Judge Richard Heaton took Rosenthal, Cohen, Tapper, and Rajagopal’s lawyer, Christensen, into his chambers, where they remained for three hours.’

‘Sol came out first and told Erna and me that he thought a settlement is going to occur. The judge insists that, if this went to court, it would be a long four-month case. Tapper was very helpful; he called Rajagopal “a crook” [chuckles], said Sol, and Tapper is only willing to consider a settlement because the length and expense of the case might outweigh the monies Rajagopal has taken by “self-serving.” Tapper is going to insist on yearly audits of K & R Foundation. Cohen came out with a draft of a statement announcing the settlement, which would be given to the press and published in the Bulletin.’ Rajagopal was very fussy about what we said about it, so that he wouldn’t look as though he were in the wrong.

S: Right.

M: So, there were always fusses about how we announce things. So, ‘Cohen came out with a draft of a statement announcing the settlement, which would be given to the press and published in the Bulletin. Erna and I edited it, removing references to “working together in friendship and cooperation.” We kept it direct, plain, and factual. Christensen and Vigeveno left. Sol, Cohen, Tapper, Erna, and I talked for a while. Tapper as relater (that’s some legal term) is rarely in such a position and made it clear to Christensen that he was such with us because we’re trying to right the wrongs that Rajagopal has committed. He will insist on things like the audit, which Rajagopal would never accept from us. There is talk of making Rajagopal personally pay for the $40,000 vault built for K & R (in other words, with K & R money) in his own house.’

‘By 6 p.m., everyone was too tired to go into things further and wanted it finalized with another meeting, which will occur on the twentieth and again on the twenty-second. Sol is leaving the Kaplan firm and becoming a partner in another Los Angeles firm, to open a special entertainment branch in CenturyCity, which he will be the boss of. But, he will continue on our case as long as we want him.’ He was the Los Angeles lawyer we went to; that Mitchell Booth sent us to…

S: Yes.

M: …and Sol was a very nice, youngish man who was in charge of our case. But, it was thought that because all this was going on in VenturaCounty, that we should have a VenturaCounty lawyer, and that was Stanley Cohen. So, Cohen carried everything, but Sol was always in the background, knowing what was happening.

‘I drove home with care, feeling that extra length of responsibility to Krishnaji in handling these matters and as his arrival is tomorrow.’

The sixth of February. ‘The wind stopped. Krishnaji left Brockwood and then Heathrow at 1 p.m. London time on TWA, a twelve-hour flight to Los Angeles. I finished putting the house in order, fetched fresh fruit and vegetables at the Brentwood Market, had the car washed, and went to the airport. A thankful, smiling feeling as the white aircraft wheeled up. I saw Krishnaji’s head as he was second out and down the steps to the customs entrance. There was quite a wait, and then he stepped out, carrying his Vuitton bag, elegant, tired but wonderful. “Travel is hell,”’ [chuckle in voice] ‘he said.’

‘We came home, talked, unpacked, and talked some more. He had supper in bed on a tray and I on a chair in his room. He wanted to hear Walter Cronkite’ [chuckles]. ‘We telephoned the Lilliefelts. It was a clear, brilliant night, a full moon, the wind blessedly gone. Krishnaji was too mixed up in time to sleep well. “Things have been going on, exploding in my head. Something is going on.” He told me of the plans for the Bangalore headquarters for KFI, and the school plans there. Mary Links has finished the biography. She says it is good. Krishnaji is too tired to sleep, but he is here and wants to rest here for the month of May. Very happy.’

The seventh of February. ‘Krishnaji spent the day in bed resting. Still disoriented in time. He has difficulty sleeping, but it was a lovely, quiet day.’

The next day, ‘we drove to Beverly Hills, had lunch in a crêperie, the Magic Pan, which Krishnaji liked, but their fare of spinach crêpes, etcetera, was not a proper lunch for him, and he felt slightly sick later on. We went to Phil’s barber, Sid Steinberg in the Beverly Wilshire, and had a satisfactory haircut. During this, I had his passport photocopied to send to Mitchell Booth, with whom I have discussed finding a way for Krishnaji to have some status as a resident in this country, avoiding visa difficulties. Krishnaji went to Dr. Christensen’—that’s the dentist—‘at 2 p.m., and had two fillings replaced, and a temporary root canal filling put in by Hamish Thompson removed. Slight decay. It will be fixed next week. Krishnaji likes my Earth shoes’ [chuckles], ‘so we went and got him a pair and came home. The trip tired him. Too much wear and tear from people and moving about. We had supper, and he went early to bed.’

On the ninth, ‘Krishnaji slept better and spent all the day in bed sleeping on and off. He taught me new pranayama and a back exercise and gave me Aryuvedic medicine prescribed for me by Dr. Parchure; a purpley-black powder to be taken with ghee’ [chuckles, and S chuckles softly too], ‘also some oils and herbs to rub on my sore leg, etcetera. I am to put eight drops of milk in Krishnaji’s nose each morning and oil at night.’ [Laughs.] He always came back with these…these things…

S: I know, funny cures [laughter]. Was this for hay fever probably?

M: Probably, I don’t know.

February tenth. ‘Another quiet, lovely day, warm, beautiful, and restful. Krishnaji slept and read out of a string of new detective novels waiting for him, including a new Nero Woolf, which he is saving.’ [Chuckles.]

The next day, ‘Krishnaji rested. I did housekeeping, and took the car after lunch to have the exhaust pipe repaired. Sidney Field fetched me back to Malibu. He and Krishnaji went for a walk.’

On the twelfth, ‘Krishnaji rested till 4 p.m. We drove the Dunne’s Volkswagen to the Jaguar place, and left it there for them to fetch tomorrow, and we picked up the Jaguar. Then we went to the dentist, Dr. Christensen, where Krishnaji’s root canal…’

S: You’re still driving a Jaguar at this time?

M: Yes.

S: Oh, shame on you. [Both chuckle.]

M: ‘…where Krishnaji’s root canal was treated for a slight infection. Root packed temporarily until we return from San Diego.’

February thirteenth. ‘I forgot it was my birthday until Alain Naudé telephoned with wishes. Krishnaji spoke to him. I invited him down during Krishnaji’s Santa Monica talks. Krishnaji dictated letters, but remained in bed all day except in the afternoon when, in his blue jeans and Earth shoes, he did twenty laps around the garden.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Then we walked over to the Dunne’s. Walking in their driveway, the red-tailed hawk was high and utterly motionless over the canyon. Three quick wing flaps and they mathematically stay in one spot. The clear, clean ocean air came across the canyon. The lovely afternoon light and small blue sight of Krishnaji briskly walking on the lawn was the sum of happiness to me.’

The next day. ‘Another lovely day. We drove to Dieter’s Import Cars in Oxnard, and signed all the papers for the Green Beauty, which is due in San Pedro from England next week. Dieter will fetch it for us, and we arranged it all with him. Dieter asked Krishnaji about a special license plate, one you can pay extra for, with the money going to ecology and the plates being permanent, what to put on it? Krishnaji said “KMN” for Krishnamurti, Mary, and Nitya.

S: Do you want to say any more about that?

M: He used to, when Nitya was alive and they were in London or in Paris even, they were very elegant and had things made with their initials on it.

S: I know, I know…

M: And…

S: …both of their initials.

M: Yes, it was always both their initials. So it would be…uh…

S: I have some of those things.

M: Yes, you do. The K would be, no the J…

S: The J is the middle.

M: …middle, and K on one side and N on the other.

S: Exactly.

M: So, he must have, I suppose, remembered that. I don’t know, but he said “KMN.” So that’s what it had.

‘We went to the Ranch House and bought bread and a casserole of nut-loaf and took it to the Lilliefelt’s for lunch and a trustee meeting with Erna, Theo, Ruth, and Albion. Krishnaji reported on Indian activities, Brockwood, and the Assembly Hall building going ahead. Then we talked about the Anderson dialogues that were coming up, then the educational center plans, and then the case. Krishnaji asked if Barbara Lama can handle being the principal of the proposed school.’ Barbara Lama was Albion’s stepdaughter, I think, and she was a teacher. She worked at HappyValley, but she didn’t get on with Rosalind, and the thought was that she should be the principal. And then Krishnaji asked, “How will you judge a student? Will it be because of your prejudices, likes, dislikes? Will you be aware of these; of choosing with your own ego? It is a sin to turn down a child who comes to you, who may be the right one. It is a tremendous responsibility. If you feel that responsibility deeply, you will act rightly.” It was 6 p.m. when we left. All gas stations were closed on the way back. We will need a full tank to get to La Jolla Saturday. Krishnaji said the body was tired from all this. He must get to bed early. Last night he slept almost nine hours.’

February fifteenth. ‘I was able to fill the gas tank. Then I sent the papers to clear the Mercedes Green Beauty. Krishnaji rested. I did house and garden things. Later, Krishnaji packed, but mostly slept. “I don’t know what is the matter with me,” he said, “I’m sleeping so much.” He is relaxed and needs it.’

On the sixteenth. ‘It was a less sunny day, therefore more comfortable for Krishnaji to motor. We had planned to leave at noon, but watering the garden, laundry, and putting the house in condition to leave…’ I didn’t have Elfrieda, the maid, at that point. She’d gone off to Germany because her father died, so I was the housekeeper. ‘…and Krishnaji wanting to nap after the morning packing made it better to leave at 3 p.m. Miranda and David Nelson, who were spending the weekend at the Dunne’s, came over and efficiently put all our luggage in the car, helped me do the dishes, and disappeared. So, Krishnaji and I left relaxed at 3 p.m. and drove at fifty-five miles sedately [S chuckles] ‘to not use up more gas than necessary. We drove 141 miles to La Jolla, arriving exactly at 6 at Martha Longenecker’s house. Sidney Roth was there. Martha checked me out on how the house works. Tibbet, her cat, welcomed us. Then, Martha and Sidney left. Krishnaji and I had supper and went early to bed.’

Sunday, the seventeenth. ‘It was a quiet morning getting settled. By careful driving, we came here on only one of Jaguar’s gas tanks.’ I didn’t know it had two.

S: It has a reserve.

M: If it holds twelve gallons, we drove 160 miles on it. So, I drove to the market using one more [humor in voice] mile and laid in a supply of food. ‘Came back and made lunch. Krishnaji rested all day until we took a walk around La Jolla at 5 p.m. We had supper entrées by the television. A program came on, Religion in America, showing Baba Ram Dass (Richard Alpert and Timothy Leary’s old partner in LSD at Harvard University) at the Baba Ram Dass ashram; scenes of pompous, beaded turban types doing what was billed as kundalini yoga’ [laughs]. ‘“God bless, America,” said Krishnaji, “They embrace anything.” Later we watched a little of Upstairs/Downstairs, and was hoping Sara the scullery maid would disrupt the dinner for King Edward the seventh’ [laughs]. ‘Bedtime intervened.’ [Chuckles.]

The next day, I was up at 6 a.m. I did breakfast, laundry, and prepared lunch while Krishnaji did his exercises, etcetera, and we were ready to leave at 9 a.m. Martha and Sidney guided us to San DiegoUniversity and where the TV department is. We met Paul Steen, who was in charge, Paul Hartman, the director, and Professor Alan Anderson, with whom Krishnaji did the first of the ten days of dialogues, generally on what is the place of knowledge and the transformation of man. There were three color cameras. A girl, Doris Bently, who had written asking to see Krishnaji and saying she had permission from Anderson to sit in on the discussions was there. Anderson doesn’t know her.’ [Laughs.] ‘Steen said no one could get in, but my dim view of being excluded amended that decision for me. The girl sat in a viewing room.’ I suppose Steen didn’t want me there.

‘Krishnaji spoke of fragmentation causing division of man and nations, etcetera, sorrow, conflict, and violence. Revolution isn’t revolution, he said, because it is gradual. This was all in the first hour. Then, there was a half-hour break and they resumed for a second hour. They went on, on freedom and knowledge. At one point, Krishnaji said, “Religion is a gathering together of all energy to be attentive” and “Freedom means complete austerity and total negation of the observer.” We came back at 1 p.m., and lunch was ready fairly soon. Krishnaji slept in the afternoon and at around 5 p.m. we went for a mild walk, then supper on trays by the television. Early to bed.’

February nineteenth, ‘At 7:30 a.m. it was still dark. I queued up in the Jaguar behind over a dozen cars to get gas. It took a half hour, but I got a full tank.’

S: Oh, we should just say that this is the oil embargo days…

M: Yes, yes.

S: …so it wasn’t easy to get petrol.

M: No, it was very, very hard. You had to be very careful. ‘I got a full tank and was back as Krishnaji was starting breakfast, which I’d left ready for him. Here, we eat breakfast at the table, as he says he will get woolly’ [chuckles] ‘and be late if he stays in bed. “Art is to place what is in order,” he said suddenly’ [chuckles]. ‘We were about to leave when the dishwasher overflowed, so I threw towels on the floor to mop it up. Martha and Sidney had car trouble on the way to the university, but a patrol car got them there. Krishnaji told me Anderson is not challenging enough and said, “I will have to do it myself.” But he had a word with Anderson and today’s dialogue numbers 3 and 4 were more intense and went well. I am bothered by the gold background color, so I watched it all on a monitor, where I couldn’t take notes but was absorbed by the dialogue and the way it was coming over in this medium. These may turn out to be unique and effective, our most important record so far. The color of the background is too green a yellow; they called it gold. It’s not a becoming background to Krishnaji’s skin. We came back to a quiet lunch and a small walk in the rain. We carried some shopping, each holding a handle of the shopping bag.’

On the twentieth, ‘Krishnaji slept less well and efforts to try other background colors delayed the start of the recording for an hour, which tired and upset him, but once launched into the dialogue, he didn’t want to stop after one hour, and they did full two hours. It went very well.’


Editor’s note: We only have a link to the first dialogue, but will amend this as soon as we can.


‘In the end it was decided to stay in the gold background rather than experiment. They discussed freedom and responsibility, what is order and freedom. On the way in, in the car, Krishnaji said to me, “Energy is not thought. Remember to remind me.”’

S: Hmm, hmm. I had no idea that they were doing two of these tapes a day.

M: Oh, yes.

S: That’s interesting.

M: Yes. ‘He went into what is disorder…’ and then it goes on again about all the things he said. ‘We came back after 1 p.m. but soon had lunch, and Krishnaji slept all afternoon. A very short little walk. I spoke to Erna; she hadn’t heard whether the lawyers met today as they were supposed to.’

On February twenty-first. ‘Krishnaji is more rested and as I have accepted the gold background, they were able to start dialogues immediately on arrival, and 7 and 8 were done. Pleasure and fears, desire—what is it, control, pleasure.’ And then again it goes on about all the things. ‘So we were back earlier and stopped for eggs and a few things at Safeway. Krishnaji wanted an omelet. He has been off eggs for some months. He slept in the afternoon; we walked up the hill, saw a shepherd puppy. Erna telephoned. Cohen and Christensen met for three hours yesterday. Cohen walked out twice, but was persuaded to return and continue. Two major sticking points: the archives—where they should be kept. Christensen says they should remain at K & R; Cohen says they are an asset of KWINC and should go to KFA. Possible compromise might be in the attorney general’s custody. And Rajagopal wants the rights to republish all material published by KWINC and its predecessor entities (i.e., the Star Publishing, etcetera) up to 1968. Erna says that would give him early rather Theosophical-sounding works in the Star Bulletin. She, Theo, Ruth, and Albion went over a total list of KWINC publications, and thought a possible compromise might be post-1933 materials with the exception of the ’47–’48 Indian talks, which are recorded from Madahvachari’s notes of recollection. She is sending a résumé of all this to us to consider before she has a meeting with Cohen on Tuesday. The judge, the attorney general, and lawyer meeting is postponed from tomorrow to March eighth. Cohen says Christensen accepts more difficult things like a yearly audit of K & R because they are insisted upon by Tapper, the deputy attorney general. Erna has the so-called Scaravelli manuscript that Krishnaji has sought for so long.’ That’s The Notebook.

S: Mm, hm.

M: ‘She read lines from it to me, and I repeated it to Krishnaji. He won’t speak directly on the telephone as it rattles him. Erna says she will transcribe it herself.’ So, it was Erna who transcribed it. I thought I did. [Chuckles.] And yet it’s right that she did it, because it would’ve taken me a long time. Hmm. Good. Glad to know.

February twenty-second. Dialogues 9 and 10 at San DiegoState on beauty, passion, understanding of suffering.’ And then again, I review all the things that were said. ‘We came back to lunch, and telephoned the shipper. The Mercedes Green Beauty ship docked today. It should clear customs Monday or Tuesday. We got Erna’s letter about the lawyer’s sticking points, that is, where to keep the archives, and Rajagopal’s demand to republish anything pre-’68. We walked in the village later, bought a book on sharks by Peter Benchley for Krishnaji and a new Helen MacInnes for me.’

The next day was ‘a day of rest with a late breakfast. I walked to the health food store, inquired about oil at the Shell station and wound up being able to fill the Jaguar with gas, too. After lunch, we walked to a movie, Chariot of the Gods. Krishnaji felt tired before dinner, said “We mustn’t go to Japan, it’s too much, I’m 79.” We agreed again not to motor any more to Saanen; the long drives are now too much for him.’

Sunday, the twenty-fourth. ‘It was a hot day, with Santa Ana winds [2] in Malibu. Spoke to Amanda, who said that gas was very tight there. Krishnaji stayed in all day. I marketed in the late afternoon. We watched an appalling Guru Maharaj Ji film. “People are crazy,” said Krishnaji.’

The next day, ‘On way to San DiegoState, Krishnaji said, “I think I will take charge of the discussion.” Both dialogues 11 and 12 went very well. It began with religion. Krishnaji was very tired after all this. He slept and we walked a few blocks, and for the first time he said his head hurt as we came back in the car. He has definitely decided not to go to Japan in the autumn.’

On February twenty-sixth, ‘Krishnaji spoke in the car of immortality as a subject. Then Krishnaji held dialogues 13 and 14 on consciousness, living, love, death, immortality, and reincarnation. Alan Kishbaugh came to the taping, and then lunched with us. Krishnaji slept and then he and I went for a short walk. Bought some presents for Martha Longenecker. Telephoned the shipper; the Mercedes cleared customs. Then spoke to Erna about her meeting with Cohen. Rajagopal in return for the letters he has of Krishnaji’s wants Krishnaji to revoke his statement that Rajagopal is not to represent him. Cohen and Erna think we should forget the letters.’

Now, there’s a jump, so we have to turn to the little book and see what February twenty-seventh says.

S: What does it jump to?

M: April twelfth.

S: Oh, lord.

M: February twenty-seventh. ‘Krishnaji wants to finish the dialogues tomorrow. We will decide after tomorrow’s taping. He did  video tapes15 and 16 today on education, death, religion, experience, authority, obedience, teaching. After lunch, I went hunting for gas and a car wash. Kishbaugh came for a walk with Krishnaji and me along the cove. Elfriede telephoned. She returned from Germany last night.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji did dialogues 17 and 18 mostly on meditation and decided not to do anymore. So we went back to the house, had lunch, loaded the car, said goodbye to Martha Longenecker, and left at 2:45 p.m. to drive all the way back to Malibu, part of the way in a light rain. We arrived at 6 p.m. Elfriede had the house clean and neat. It was good to be home. Both Krishnaji and I are tired, but especially Krishnaji. The dialogues are more tiring than talks.’

March the first. ‘I went early to get gas. Elfriede has a cold so I sent her to rest. Asit Chandmal, nephew of Pupul, a new KFI member, came by the house on arrival from India, with a Mr. Cook,’ it looks like, ‘from Burroughs Corporation. Krishnaji saw him. The rest of the day was quiet.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji and I fasted, taking only fruit juice all day. I worked at the desk and Krishnaji stayed in bed. There was heavy rain in the night. The newly fixed roof leaked right over my bed.’

March third. ‘Asit Chandmal and Mr. Cook came to lunch. The rain stopped after two inches.’

The next day, ‘Dieter fetches Mercedes from the shippers and takes it to his garage in Oxnard for a checkup. There is no damage.’

The fifth of March ‘was a beautiful day. Krishnaji and I drove to Oxnard and saw the Green Beauty. We asked Dieter to get some special personalized license plates for it—KMN. We then went on to Ojai and met at the KFA office with Asit Chandmal, and an Indian friend, Shree Bedaker. We took them, the Lilliefelts, Ruth, and Albion to the Hooker’s Ranch House Restaurant for lunch in the garden. Afterward, we walked up on the land adjacent to the Oak Grove. It was beautiful, but too close to Meiners Oaks and the proposed highway for a school, in Krishnaji’s view.’

S: Hm.

M: ‘Went to see the McCaskey forty acres on McNell Road. Krishnaji likes that. After the Indians left, we had a long talk about where the educational center should be and Krishnaji pushed strongly for buying the McCaskey piece. They are asking…’ looks like $700,000. ‘It was decided to go into it. We drove home.’

On the sixth, ‘Krishnaji dictated letters, which I dictated onto tape and later took the tapes to the secretarial service for typing. I am swamped by mail.’

The seventh of March. ‘After lunch, we went to town. Krishnaji had his root canal, which was begun by Thompson in October, filled by Dr. Christensen. Then he had a hair cut, then we came home.’

March eighth. ‘At 11 a.m. Ruth, Albion, the Lilliefelts, and Kishbaugh came with about ten possible teachers who might be involved in the school, and Krishnaji discussed what it would be about. Two doctor Siddoos, sisters, who are starting a similar school in Vancouver, Canada, were also there, and Asit Chandmal. The latter and Kishbaugh stayed to lunch.’

First Page of Krishnaji's notebook

First Page of Krishnaji’s notebook (Image copyright, Krishnamurti Foundation Trust)

‘Erna and Theo brought Krishnaji his manuscript written in 1961, brought by Vanda to Rajagopal and held by him refusing to give it back to Krishnaji except in exchange for the Blackburn tape. It was given to our lawyer Cohen. Krishnaji asked me to read it. It is in pencil in Krishnaji’s hand, a daily journal of process within him, pains, pressing, and strange action of whatever it is. Immensely beautiful and moving.

The next day, ‘At 11 a.m., there was a similar meeting on the school. The two Siddoos and Asit Chandmal stayed to lunch. I read more of the manuscript in the afternoon.’

On March tenth, ‘there was a third meeting, and more people came. Kishbaugh lunched with us, and Krishnaji let him see the manuscript. Then all three of us went to see a movie, The Poseidon Adventure. Krishnaji said he had a sudden feeling that he would live another ten to fifteen years. “The body must last,” he said, “and I must outlive him.”’ [3]

The next day, ‘Erna heard from Cohen. Rajagopal asks for Krishnaji’s personal reasons for control of the republication of pre-1933 books, so she gave a substantive draft of a letter on the telephone.’

‘Krishnaji rewrote the letter about the pre-1933 material republication, and we had it ready by 11 a.m., when other trustees came for a KFA trustee meeting. We went over Christensen’s draft of the settlement. We all had a quick lunch, and then Erna and Theo drove Krishnaji and me to Cohen’s office in Oxnard. We went over the settlement draft with him. It is the first time Krishnaji had met Cohen, and he liked his spirit of getting things done.’ [Chuckles.] ‘The next meeting is in Judge Heaton’s chambers tomorrow. Then Erna and Theo drove us to Dieter’s car place, where the Green Beauty was ready and shining! We drove it home at last to Malibu, Krishnaji at the wheel half the way. We showed it to the Dunnes. “We accomplished a lot today,” he said.’

The thirteenth of March. ‘I began dictating Krishnaji’s 1961 manuscript into cassettes to be transcribed by the local secretarial service.’

‘There was a meeting of Cohen and Sol Rosenthal, Christensen, and Judge Heaton in Ventura, but we didn’t hear the results. Krishnaji and I listened to a TV broadcast of the Bill Moyer’s interview of Marcuse.’ Who’s Marcuse?

S: That’s a philosopher, Marcuse.

M: Oh, yes. ‘At the end, Krishnaji said, “I know what I will talk about on Saturday.”’ [M chuckles.]

March fourteenth. ‘Krishnaji and I drove the Green Beauty to the auto club to be registered and get the license plates. We also took some film to have some prints made, and shopped for car soap and went to Lindberg’s.’ Lindberg’s is the health food store. Krishnaji liked to go there. ‘Erna spoke to Cohen regarding Rajagopal’s balking at the pre-1933 publication control by Krishnaji, and Cohen is holding firm. The archives are to be housed in the K & R office, not Rajagopal’s vault. We get a lean on the $40,000 vault value if Rajagopal sells his house, or on his death. Cohen is putting the agreement into legal form as soon as possible.’

On the sixteenth of March. ‘Krishnaji gave the first talk at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. An unserious audience.’

On the seventeenth, ‘Krishnaji gave the second at Santa Monica. The audience was larger, quieter, more attentive. We returned to Malibu and had lunch alone. Then at 4 p.m. came the Lilliefelts, Kishbaugh, Ruth, Albion, Evelyne and Louis Blau, and Mr. and Mrs. MacQuiddy. The latter brought a Mrs. Styles, but she and Mrs. MacQuiddy sat outside while the rest of us discussed the forty-acre piece in Ojai for an educational center. Krishnaji is determined to buy it, so we proceed to see how we can. The Lilliefelts decided against the Yosemite trip in May that Alain Naudé had investigated for us.’

On the eighteenth, ‘we washed the Green Beauty.’

The next day, ‘I called some people I knew to suggest an architect, which we would need if we are to build a school. They suggested a man called John Rex, so I made an appointment with him for Thursday. Krishnaji gave an interview to Alfredo Calles. I felt a sense of something present in the evening while we were talking about the school. Krishnaji felt it for a while, and then when it was gone, he said that feeling means something—they—it is right to do what we are doing.’

S: Mm.

M: On the twentieth of March, ‘at 6 a.m., I did an hour of reading Krishnaji’s 1961 manuscript onto a cassette. A lovely way to start the day. I went to town alone…’

S: You were reading Krishnaji’s manuscript on …

M: …onto cassette tape. I was dictating it onto a tape.

S: This is the Krishnamurti’s Notebook.

M: Yes.

S: But I thought Erna had transcribed it.

M: Well, you missed when I said that it was decided that I would read it, and the secretarial service…

S: Oh, okay, alright.

M: ‘I went into town for errands, and was back at 1 p.m., as Krishnaji came up the driveway to meet me. He could tell, he said, “I knew you were coming.”’

S: And so he would walk up the driveway to meet you?

M: Yes. I’d been gone all morning, but he sensed it. ‘In the afternoon, Krishnaji gave an interview to an Italian girl…something Jemma, her companion Barry Gordon, and Ava Berner. Then to Joe Liggette’…all those people. ‘We walked around the garden as usual.’

On the twenty-first, ‘I worked on manuscript dictation and other desk things. As it was such a lovely day, Krishnaji and I drove the Green Beauty up to CabrilloPark and back. At 2 p.m., John Rex came and we discussed an Ojai education center most usefully. He knows the region, people there, etcetera and made a satisfactory impression on Krishnaji. In the evening, we played records: Krishnaji’s Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.’

The next day for me started with typing. ‘Frances McCann came to lunch, after which I drove her back to Santa Monica and did errands. Again, as I came back, Krishnaji was walking up the driveway to meet me.’ [Chuckling.]

On the twenty-third, ‘Krishnaji gave the third Santa Monica talk. I had lunch alone afterward while Krishnaji slept.’

On the twenty-fourth, ‘Krishnaji gave his fourth talk, completing the Santa Monica series. Erna gave me a copy of the letter to KFA from Mima Porter and the Vigevenos, Weidemans, and Austin Bee refusing the settlement. Christensen has told Cohen they were in a furor over Krishnaji’s wanting control of the publishing of the pre-1933 materials.’ Can you imagine? [Chuckles] Furor over control of his own writing. ‘Kishbaugh came back after the talk, lunched with us and Erna and Theo. We discussed the case, and also the offer we are about to make on the forty acres of the McCaskey land for the educational center. Evelyne Blau came at 4 p.m., but first Krishnaji gave us a blinding challenge on whether to go ahead with the offer in spite of the settlement blowing up. “If it is right, it will come right,” he said. But we had each to feel that it was right, apart from any other consideration. Erna and I signed the offer for $250,000 for the land.’

The twenty-sixth, ‘there’s a light rain. We drove the Green Beauty to Ojai, lunched with the Lilliefelts, Ruth, and Albion, and spent the afternoon discussing the pre-1933 publication rights for K & R in the settlement, and the architect’s suggestion for the educational center. We came home in time for supper.’

On the twenty-seventh, ‘there’s something about an aunt of mine who died. She left me about $150,000, the exact amount we would need for the rest of the purchase of the forty acres if we get them.’

S: Mm, great. [Chuckles.]

M: David Young had an interview with Krishnaji.

March twenty-eighth. ‘I did mostly deskwork. I put together biographical notes and book reviews of Krishnaji for Mitchell Booth to use in trying to get Krishnaji some special status with regards to visas for this country. We found pack rats had gnawed wiring in the new Mercedes and were nesting in the Jaguar.’ [Both chuckle.]

Next day, ‘I worked on dictating the book, and answers to letters, etcetera. I posted material I had assembled to Mitchell Booth. Later, Krishnaji and I washed the Mercedes.’

On the thirtieth, ‘Krishnaji and I drove to Ojai in a light rain, bringing food for the weekend. We spent the night there.’ This was at the Lilliefelt’s. ‘We took a walk and peered at the forty-acre piece.

S: We’re running out of tape.

M: Alright.

S: That will give you a chance to read it tomorrow.

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[1] Ingrid Porter, the accountant for Brockwood. Back to text.

[2] These are hot, dry winds that blow to the coast from the desert interior. Mary always felt they were very unpleasant. Back to text.

[3] Krishnaji died in 1986. Back to text.