Issue 38—October 1, 1975 to December 31, 1975
In this issue there is an interesting discussion of Krishnaji’s views of organ donation and blood transfusions for him. We also see some of the early teething trouble of the school in Ojai, and the start of Mary working to get Krishnaji a Green Card so that he had automatic entry to the United States. Krishnaji was spending months in California and New York every year, and it was becoming increasingly difficult for him, with his Indian passport, to come in on a tourist visa as he always had. At the same time, he wasn’t qualified to come on a business visa, and the hopes of getting him British citizenship had come to nothing.
An observant reader of these memoirs recently commented that he believes this is the first day-by-day record we have of anyone significant in history. After some initial investigation, this seems to be true. Whether such a record is the most appropriate for our generation of readers with their short attention spans is an open question; but for all the people of whom we could have such a record, it is gratifying that it is Krishnaji.
The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #38
Mary: So, we begin on October first, 1975, and my diary says, ‘that a Mr. Malcolm Feuerstein of the BBC came to lunch, and he and Krishnaji and I talked afterwards. They want him to do something on television, a segment of a program on world religions. It is too much associated with gurus for Krishnaji, he said. Krishnaji, Dorothy, Whisper, and I went for a walk, and picked mushrooms and nettles for tea.’
Scott: I remember those first years that I was here, the number of field mushrooms…
S: And you and Dorothy and Krishnaji used to come back with baskets of them!
M: Yes, we did.
S: Enough for the whole school!
M: Oh, no. Not that…
S: Oh, yes.
M: Couldn’t have.
S: Well, three baskets.
S: Yes, of mushrooms. I remember it.
M: I didn’t think it was that much. I remember being rather nervous about them, because of the story [S chuckles] of a little French boy who was naughty, so the parents wouldn’t let him have mushrooms for dinner…
S: Oh, I remember, he poisoned the family.
M: …and the whole family died. And there was the picture of the little boy following about seven coffins [S laughs] all by himself. [M chuckles.] That stuck in my memory. [S still laughing.] Don’t eat mushrooms you don’t know about. And, I wasn’t sure that we knew about them.
S: Well, it was perfectly alright.
M: You survived.
The next day, the second, ‘Krishnaji talked to the school. And Nadia Kossiakof came for a visit and stayed in the West Wing. I went to tea with Phil Fry; Kit was away, but he returned before I left.’
The third, ‘Packing, etcetera. They took the Mercedes to be washed and prepared for storage in the West Meon garage.’ That was where we prepared it for storage in the Morton Garage. Not that posterity cares where the car is stored.
S: Yes, we do. It’s an important car.
M: Well, there it is. ‘Dorothy and I went part of the way on the walk with Krishnaji, then came back for a school meeting.’
On the fourth, ‘Packing, tidying, etcetera. At 12:30 p.m., Krishnaji, the Bohms, and I discussed the spring conference in Ojai, and the role of Globus’—that was the psychiatrist with the hat. ‘In the afternoon, Krishnaji and David did a taped dialogue on wisdom, intelligence, and truth. Krishnaji and I took a brief walk around the grove. Krishnaji put his hands on the little girl, Emma Jenkins, who has leukemia. I got everything packed and in order, etcetera, before going to bed. Krishnaji and I watched Kojak on television.’
So, now we come to the fifth of October. ‘Krishnaji had kept one of my rings for several days. I am to wear it until he arrives. It shines.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Krishnaji will be speaking to the school later. I took a taxi to Heathrow. All the school was out in the driveway to say goodbye. Krishnaji was upstairs at the kitchen window.’
S: You were leaving early…
M: I was leaving earlier.
S: …because you were going to stop and see your mother?
M: Yes. It says here, ‘Krishnaji was in his dressing gown, so he didn’t come down.’
M: So, the school was down below on the driveway, and Krishnaji was in what was then the kitchen window.
S: Yes, yes.
M: I can remember. I can still see him. ‘I took an Air India flight to New York. Instead of an overweight allowance…’ [Laughing.] Oh, this is when they had assured me that I wouldn’t have to pay anything for overweight, but when I got there some surly young clerk made me pay for everything. [S laughs.] ‘He charged me £88 sterling, the worst ever! We were an hour late leaving. There was a long wait in New York for baggage and customs.’ Well, you don’t want to hear about all that. That’s me. I got there anyway. Now, we’ll skip my time in…
S: Well, read through it, as we did before…
M: Alright, turn it off.
<Tape cuts out, then resumes.>
M: We now pick up on October fifteenth in New York. ‘I moved from my brother’s apartment, where I was staying, to a flat in the RitzTower, which was on Park Avenue and 57th Street, which…’
S: Had been your father’s place.
M: …was my father’s.
S: Yes, we know about that.
M: So, ‘I put in some food for supper and went to the airport to meet Krishnaji. He came on TWA, and it was on time. After many passengers had come out of customs, suddenly he was there, glancing about for me, all grace and shine in a new tweed jacket…’
S: Hm, hm.
M: Hm, hm. ‘…flannels, and a jersey shirt. He was elegance and youth. He had asked for the visa to last until May fifteenth, longer than they generally allow for a tourist. So, he had had to see a special immigration man who questioned him. “Would the hostess”—that’s me—“be responsible all that time if he should fall ill, etcetera?”’ [Both chuckle.] “Where would he be staying in New York? And with whom?” He had to answer all that. And “did he have any friends?”’ [Both laugh heartily.]
S: People were so ignorant, weren’t they?
M: Absolutely ridiculous. ‘Luckily, I had urged him to carry his traveler’s checks.’
Editor’s Note: Before Mary came on the scene, Krishnaji traveled, often by himself, with absolutely no money; which rightly horrified Mary. So, Mary bought him some traveler’s checks, which he dutifully carried for the next more than twenty years—never cashing any, but he had some money for emergencies.
Krishnaji never really handled money. As a boy, Annie Besant wouldn’t allow him to carry any because if Krishnaji was approached by a beggar, Krishnaji just gave him/her whatever he had. It was felt that this could lead to something unsafe. Rajagopal continued this, but for less benevolent reasons. The first time I saw Krishnaji pay for something was the first time I met him at his barber in London. Mary had given him a folded £10 or £5 note, and it was very clear that, at the end, he was just giving his barber a piece of paper. He didn’t unfold it, or even look at it. He just reached into his pocket and gave the barber the piece of paper he had, and said that it included a tip for the barber as well as a tip for the man who brushed his shirt before putting his suit jacket back on, and brushed down his jacket. When I went with Krishnaji to his barber on subsequent visits, Mary always gave me the money for the barber and anything else we needed to do (e.g., taxies, trains, etc.).
‘Krishnaji apparently won the immigration man over, as he gave him the time he requested until May fifteenth. We took a taxi into town. New York is hot, in the eighties. We went out for a slight walk to get him a bottle of Listerine and went to the health store, where he picked up various things. We had an early supper, and he went to bed early. He woke up very early at Brockwood this morning, and it was cold there, and the difference is taxing. I feel very tired too! The ten days away from him, with its quiet and order, and then the atmosphere at Vineyard Haven, and the way that life is there, has been exhausting. And now life is back in order, with peace with Krishnaji.’
Thursday, the sixteenth. ‘Bud lent us his car, driven by Les Lewis.’ Les Lewis was a friend of my brother who does miscellaneous jobs for him. ‘Krishnaji and I went to White Plains to see Dr. Wolf. The autumn leaves are still on the trees—marvelous to see. Krishnaji kept exclaiming as he saw them. We talked about the possible film dialogues being pushed by Mrs. Kornfeld. I reported a feeling from listening to audio tapes that David Bohm was rather flat-sounding. Krishnaji agreed he may come over rather professorially. Who else could do it? Shainberg, but for only a couple, not the whole series. Krishnaji finally thought that Naudé would be good if he would “pull his socks up.” [S and M laugh.] He has the capability. “He’s our man.” I must tell him to be controlled, not over-talkative. Krishnaji, as always, wants to jump ahead. I lean to seeing what develops with backing—we have none at present—and talking it over with Erna.’
‘Dr. Wolf and Krishnaji got off on meditation rather than medicine.’ [Laughter in voice.] ‘Dr. Wolf had a transcendental meditation booklet from a patient. Krishnaji said, “Throw it out!”’ [both laugh] ‘…and told him of the process of desire on brain cells. He also showed him healthy breathing exercises. Wolf said Krishnaji’s heart was very strong; blood pressure 120 over 62. Good span between systolic and diastolic. He said Krishnaji’s arteries in the eye are those of a thirty-year-old. Said Krishnaji’s heart is in the proper position; it used to be slightly pushed to the center. Krishnaji showed him a stomach muscles exercise, and control. He gave Krishnaji an implantation for liver, pancreas, prostrate, seminal vesicle, thalamus, hair roots! Triglyceride count was 209. Enzyme level was 2.2. The Alderhalden test’—that’s some mysterious German test. I’ve forgotten what it’s for now, but I used to know—‘showed that the April implantation was 75% successful. He should take more protein, also zinc-sulphate, 200 milligrams a day. I had an implantation, too. When we came back, we felt tired and had had enough of New York.’
‘Krishnaji suggested we do everything necessary and then stay in all afternoon and evening. So, we sent a plant to Bud and Lisa, visited the just-opened first Woman’s National Bank.’ [Laughter in voice.] That was downstairs; it was the first bank that was run only by women.
S: Oh, really?
M: I don’t think it lasted, to tell you the truth. It was right down on the street level, next to the Papillon Restaurant. [Both laugh.] We went there, I guess, to cash a check. I don’t know what. Ah, yes, ‘next to the Papillon Restaurant to cash a check, and because I am a stockholder!’ Oh, that’s right. I got talked into that by Lisa. [S laughs.] Feminist propaganda. Naturally, I lost money. [S laughs more.] I think I gave them a hundred dollars; it wasn’t a big investment. Anyway, ‘Krishnaji’s suggestion was to look in while I cashed a check. A woman bumped into Krishnaji. “I beg your pardon,” he said. “Why should you beg my pardon?” was the belligerent reply.’ [Laughs.] She’s a feminist [S laughing], too. She was offended that he was polite to her! [Both laughing.] I’d forgotten all this. Oh, dear. So many funny things used to happen. ‘We had lunch and a rest, feeling the relief at being through with New York. “The body is galloping to Malibu,” said Krishnaji.’ [Both chuckle.]
On the seventeenth, ‘we went back to Dr. Wolf for the test results and implantations. We were back in the apartment for lunch. My brother came by at 5:30 p.m. He and Krishnaji discussed the state of the world, including New York City. The city came to within half an hour of defaulting on its bonds this afternoon, and was saved by the teachers’ union pension fund buying a 150 million or so of the municipal assistance corporation bond!’ This is what they talked about! Unbelievable. [Laughter.] ‘Bud left, and Krishnaji and I had supper and went early to bed. I feel tired.’ [Laughs more.] What in the world was my brother doing explaining all that to Krishnaji?! He would listen, you know.
S: Yes. He would have listened completely politely…
M: He used to listen to everything!
S: Oh, yes! [Laughs.]
M: I don’t think he knew what it meant, but the fact that the city was about to go broke.
S: …was fascinating.
M: That was imaginable. [Chuckles.]
So, the next day, the eighteenth, ‘we were packed and ready before breakfast. Narasimhan just in from India came by to see Krishnaji at 9:30 a.m. We got the bureaucrats’ rationalization of Mrs. Gandhi’s actions in India. At 10:15 a.m., in a heavy rain, we left for the airport, car with chauffeur driving; and took a TWA noon flight to Los Angeles. At the airport, we discovered Krishnaji didn’t have his ticket! We had to report it lost and get another one at the airport. After a smooth flight, we arrived on a gentle, sunny, pleasant California afternoon.’
‘I’d asked the Dunnes not to meet us because of my cold. But Alan Kishbaugh was there, and remarkably got all our seven bags into his BMW. We stopped to see Amanda and Phil on the way home. Greetings were exchanged outside.’ Phil got a cold if he looked at someone with a cold, so I didn’t go in. ‘Then went home. The gardens looked beautiful, and were in perfect order. Elfriede kept them well. Kishbaugh stayed to tea. Then, we had supper on trays, and so to bed in the blessed quiet and peace of this house. Only the ocean making its murmur. Enormous relief and thankfulness to be here.’
The nineteenth, ‘I woke up wondering where I was, and the ocean telling me. I had a long telephone talk with Amanda, and appreciated the fun and luxury of being able to call easily. I am still deaf from the flight, but feel better because of being here. I unpacked. Krishnaji rested. He is glad, too, to be here.’ Then, it goes on about the Dunnes. ‘The children came over. Krishnaji came out and talked to them for a bit. And then they left, and Krishnaji and I drove the beautiful Green Beauty down to the market for a few things.’
S: Mm. What market would you have been going to?
M: Well, in Malibu, the one down the road. It kept changing. First, it was Safeway, and then it was something, and then it was something else again.
S: Yes. On the Pacific Highway?
M: Yes. It’s right down in Malibu.
S: Yes, I know which one.
M: On the twentieth, ‘I put things in order. The Lilliefelts arrived back in Ojai from a holiday motor trip to Vancouver and northern California. I listened to the tape of the Krishnaji and David Bohm dialogue made after I left, on October eleventh, on being without desire.’ This is one he did after I’d gone, you see, and he brought it with him. ‘I discussed with Krishnaji his being, as he says, unable to visualize or imagine with a picture in the mind. It is as if, in him, memory communicates with the conscious mind, and without images.’ I don’t quite know what that means, but anyway.
On October twenty-first, ‘We went to town to the health food store. And we watched the World Series on television.’ It was Boston versus Cincinnati, in case you wanted to know. [S chuckles.]
And on the twenty-second, ‘I went to town to do errands, but returned in time for lunch. We walked in the garden and watched the World Series again.’
Now, we go to the twenty-third. ‘It is a clear, beautiful day. We went to Ojai, Krishnaji driving most of the way. We left the Mercedes for work at Dieter’s and continued to Ojai in a borrowed car, a loaner. Krishnaji is happy with the beauty of the day and exclaimed on the coloring of the rocks and hills. We lunched with Erna and Theo, and discussed the situation in the school.’ Um, well, I don’t want to go on about this, but somebody was interfering with everything.
S: Mary, don’t censor these things at this point.
M: Well, these people are alive and some of them…
S: I know, but they won’t be forever, and this is for posterity. This is like hearing about the Buddha’s life when all the people are dead. It doesn’t make any difference.
[tape cuts out then back on]
M: ‘We discussed with Erna the situation of Person X continuing to interfere with the school, that those in the school were not coping with it, and the atmosphere in the school was almost destroyed with not handling the situation. Then Ruth and Albion joined after lunch, and there was more discussion. We went over to the cottage, met Mark and the teachers, Elaine Needham and David Moody. The apartment attached to the cottage is set up as a school. We drove home in time for supper. I had a headache all day.’
S: Apartments attached to the cottage? What does that mean?
M: The ones that wwere destroyed when I redid the cottage.
M: The twenty-fourth ‘was a quiet day. I spent it mostly at the desk. Amanda came over in the afternoon. Helen Hooker brought our bread order, which I forgot to pick up yesterday.’ This is back in Malibu.
S: Mm, hm.
M: October twenty-fifth, ‘Mark Lee came and spoke alone to Krishnaji. Krishnaji put the situation to him very clearly. He must solve the problem with Person X or he will have “no capacity” for the school.’
On October twenty-sixth, ‘Erna and Theo came at 11 a.m. to discuss various things, and stayed for lunch. We all talked all afternoon.’
The next day, ‘we went to town to get flats of flowers to plant in the garden.’ That was fun. ‘We invited Evelyne Blau to become a trustee of KFA, and she accepted.’
The twenty-eighth, just says, ‘home all day.’
On the twenty-ninth, ‘we went to Ojai. At the cottage, Krishnaji talked alone to Mark who seems to have found a way of dealing with Person X.’
‘Krishnaji and I lunched with Erna and Theo at their house. Then, we were joined by Ruth and Albion and went back to the cottage. Krishnaji had met three children, seeing changes in Arya Vihara. Krishnaji saw Michael Krohnen, who was cooking there, Asha, Nandini’—that’s Mark and Asha’s child—‘and others. At the cottage, he talked with three teachers, and trustees about the school, how he would cope with a child such as’—well, the child is named—‘who is aged ten, who when introduced to Krishnaji and to me, didn’t get up.’ [S chuckles.] Not that children get up today when an adult is introduced to them. ‘How to bring about consideration, not by coercion, example, etcetera. Moody, Mark, and Needham had no answers. Krishnaji said mostly to get to know the child, get him to reveal his interests, etcetera, and through a relationship with the child to be able to encourage these other qualities. In the car, coming home, I pointed out the need to review our plans for building in view of the difficulty in finding people, etcetera. Present plan calls for house parents in each house. How to find two suitable people. The plans call for the duplication of kitchens, for living rooms, etc. Krishnaji drove home, even though it was dark, slowly and with great control.’
On the thirtieth, my diary reads, ‘planted snap dragons and stock and daffodils. Interrupted by rain.’
October thirty-first. I went to see Lailee’—that’s the doctor we went to, a woman doctor, Lailee Bakhtiar—‘about my leg ulceration. She referred me to Dr. Wylie Barker.’ He was the vascular person, doctor. ‘Then I met Alain Naudé at the airport. He is spending the weekend with us.’
On November first, ‘I went to see the Dunnes after lunch. Alain and Krishnaji joined us there at 4 o’clock. Betsy Drake came too. Then, Krishnaji, Alain, and I went for a beach walk.’
Sunday, November the second. ‘Krishnaji and I drove Alain to catch his flight back to San Francisco. We were home in time for lunch. At the table, we discussed that Alain, to both of us, seems to be outside the work, no longer interested, and not really at ease with us. There were too many polite protestations of being glad to see us. Krishnaji has given up the idea that Alain should do the discussions with him. He is too far from it all now. Then, I asked Krishnaji about his remark against giving a part of the body to someone else, i.e., a kidney or an eye after death. Krishnaji is very much against it for himself, or “anyone around me.” It was hard to get his reasons. It seemed to be that giving part of one’s body, especially if one had been concerned with sacred things, would give some sort of power to the donee, to affect a residue in consciousness. Equally, accepting something, such as a blood transfusion, is to be avoided. One would have to know a lot about the donor. Krishnaji would not take a transfusion. He spoke of the responsibility for the body, and especially the brain. He feels remiss if he cuts himself, for instance. And, the time in September in London when he hit his head in the taxi, he checked himself carefully. “Have I hurt it?” He spoke of the ring he held and had me wear from the time I left Brockwood till he came. Now, he wants me to wear it if I go to town without him. It has a quality of protection.’
M: ‘In the evening, we watched two Kojak films.’
That’s interesting about not giving a part of your body away.
S: [Sigh.] Yes. That’s why all this stuff, you see [sigh], I don’t want to go on about this censoring business, but you know you could want to leave that out because it sounds weird or like he’s not being generous or something…
M: No, I wouldn’t do that.
S: It seems very important. He’s saying something…
M: Yes. He’s speaking of this perspective we haven’t got.
S: Yes. And he’s saying something about…that somehow, being in touch with the sacred effects even the organs, to the extent that if those organs are placed in someone else, it gives that other person some kind of power, or some kind of…something… because of the residue of it, and that they can then use that in some wrong way, which is a very…
M: It’s a very a…
S: …it’s a very special thing to say.
M: Yes. And his not accepting a transfusion, I understand. And in view of the fact that he ultimately did accept, but he did it in order to survive a few days at the end of his life, and he wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t been dying…
M: …and he wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t wanted to tell the people from India…
S: Yes, I know.
M: …what they should do.
S: But that is…that’s a very different thing.
S: You see, that’s saying that here is a man who, for want of a better term, is a holy man, who can be disturbed by the blood of someone who’s, let’s say, awful.
S: That’s very different to saying that the organs of people who are around Krishnaji should not be given to someone else because the donee…You know, it’s very special.
M: But it makes me think…that, remember, he donated blood for his own operations before his operation. And, then, he didn’t need the blood. So, obviously the hospital didn’t throw it away. They must’ve given it to somebody else.
S: But, I don’t know if Krishnaji thought about that.
M: I don’t think he did. He certainly didn’t mention it. I’ve always thought some lucky person got it!
M: Well. We can’t know certain things.
Let’s see that happened on November third. ‘It was a quiet day. I spent it mostly cooking. Gardening, watering, laundry. Krishnaji was sick to his stomach after taking zinc tablets in the morning. And he slept all morning. He was better and up for lunch.’
On the fourth, ‘Erna and Theo came at 11 a.m. and stayed to lunch.’
Now, we got to the fifth. ‘Krishnaji and I drove to Ojai. At 11 a.m. there was a trustee meeting in the cottage. At 12 p.m., Alan Hooker came to tell us about a Mrs. Barbara De Noon, a possible administrator. Erna and Theo badly want somebody to just take over. There’s too much of a burden on Erna now in the office. Hooker gave De Noon praise. Radha Burnier, who was here on a TS visit at Krotona, joined us for lunch at Arya Vihara. Mark Lee attended the afternoon session about the school. Krishnaji and I left at 4 p.m.’
S: I have here in the archives list that there’s an Ojai trustee’s recording, and it says here “not for public.”
M: Oh, well, that was probably was some school difficulties.
M: ‘Krishnaji and I left at 4 p.m. In spite of it getting dark, he drove the beach part of the way. A tiny silver new moon made his face light up with its beauty.’
The sixth. ‘Radha Burnier came to lunch with Krishnaji and me. We discussed the TS, and then KF India, and then more on the social and political conditions in India. Theo brought her and later fetched her. A letter from Balasundaram. Rajan’—Rajan was the, I think, the lawyer for Rajagopal in the case in which KF India was trying to get Vasanta Vihar—‘Rajan was willing to turn over Vasanta Vihar to Krishnaji personally in a separate trust.’
November seventh. ‘Miranda Dunne came to see me in the morning. Krishnaji and I had lunch slightly early so that he could rest a little before 2:30 p.m., when all the trustees met, plus Mark Lee, David Moody, Elaine Needham, Mrs. De Noon, Professor Donald Davis, Charles Rusch, and David Greene.’ I don’t remember David Greene. Oh, here, ‘David Greene is a young, well-dressed, impressively qualified teacher, Ph.D., from Claremont, who did a dissertation on Krishnaji’s philosophy vis-à-vis the psychiatry of Carl Rogers and A. Maslow.’ That was his dissertation.
S: Oh, I think I have that one.
M: Do you?
S: I believe so.
M: ‘The meeting was rather confused between the problems of what we intend in the school, i.e., psychological change, about which Krishnaji spoke so eloquently; and the how to go about it, therefore, what sort of school buildings we need. We served tea and juices in the dining room, which worked well. We should always have it there when there are so many people. The trustees stayed on and disagreed about De Noon as a co-director of the school. Theo in his eagerness to relieve the burden on Erna had gone ahead and mentioned it to De Noon, whom we have barely met. Ursula, who has relieved Erna of all bookkeeping burdens and things, gave notice today because she wasn’t asked to these meetings!’ What? ‘Things are rather in confusion.’
‘The board wants to end the business with the Rex office.’ John Rex, was an architect whom we’d made tentative movements toward. He had designed a house for the Dunnes, and he also redid the Malibu house after it burned down, because the original architect was no longer available, so I asked John Rex to make plans to rebuild it. And we’d asked him to consider doing the school building, and he did a little bit of work, but the board wanted to end the business with his office, and get another architect. Who?’ I ask in my diary.
‘Krishnaji cabled his approval of a separate trust for Vasanta Vihar, urging Padma Santhanam as one of its trustees.’
S: You don’t think that that would’ve been recorded? That meeting?
M: I don’t know. We didn’t record trustee meetings.
S: Because that would’ve been remarkable, looking at the requirements of the teachings and education and therefore, the kind of buildings.
M: Yes, you’d think so. But it wasn’t the habit to, uh…
S: Because there were other people who weren’t trustees who were there, you see, so it was more like a discussion.
M: Yes, but I don’t remember.
S: Well, it’s not here in the archives list.
M: I don’t ever remember anything being recorded at a trustee meeting, no matter what was going on. It was done in minutes.
On the eighth, ‘Dr. Globus and his wife, Maria, came to lunch.’ That’s all it says. And there is almost nothing for the next two days.
On November eleventh, ‘Mrs. Gita Sarabhai and a daughter, Palevi, and a friend, Mrs. Lee Mullican, came to tea.’ She wrote that book that’s down in the…she knew Krishnaji way, way, way back, the Sarabhai family.
S: Yes, I know of that family. Yes.
M: She’s the one who came with her daughter for tea. And Mrs. Lee Mullican is the wife of a painter, a well-known American artist called Lee Mullican.
Now we come to the twelfth. ‘There was a fire in Chatsworth. It was worrisome at 6 a.m., but then it was contained. And so, in spite of the Santa Ana wind blowing, we drove to Ojai, and met Mark Lee for a talk in the cottage. Then, Radha Burnier came and lunched with Krishnaji and me. We showed her the text of the articles of trust to be formed in Madras to have Vasanta Vihar. Balasundaram sent the text. Radha is named one of the trustees. We drove home rather fast as young Palevi Sarabhai came at 5 p.m. for Krishnaji’s healing.’ That’s the daughter. ‘Driving fast tired Krishnaji, so he gave me the wheel the last few miles. In the morning in the car, I asked him about what level in the brain does the ordering up of “duty.” What wakes one up, says this and this must be done now, or today, and do it. It can’t only be memory and conditioning? Part of the brain’s notion of order, survival, but the bad of it is to let it have too much activity. It should be quick, seen, then emptiness. The fire this morning is an example. The mind sorted out the possibilities, priorities. Krishnaji came first, what is best for him, etcetera? But one can over-plan and it becomes imagination, fantasy, and this saps energy that should have space for something else. I had an insight into this today, and also saw that it is this level of thought that is tedious, not things done. The mind free and empty is not weighted by activity on this level.’
The thirteenth of November ‘was a hot day in the eighties. Krishnaji again saw Palevi Sarabhai at 4 o’clock for a treatment. Then, we walked on the beach. There were many pelicans.’
Now, the fourteenth, ‘Krishnaji again saw Palevi Sarabhai briefly for healing. I had desk things all morning. We had a long beach walk. Monet-scene sky. Not as warm as yesterday. When I went barefoot and felt the fun of the waves and the sand, I also felt how numb my left foot has become. But the feel of the ocean, even in this tiny way, was good. Evelyne Blau telephoned about my asking yesterday if Lou could do anything about Krishnaji’s status in this country and citizenship. She says that Lou thinks it is not impossible and will talk to Senator Alan Cranston. Krishnaji is pleased and optimistic.’
The next day. ‘Krishnaji again did healing of Palevi, as she came with her mother and Lee Mullican, the painter, whom I met at Betsy’s years ago. Krishnaji told me that I am sometimes too slow to drop conclusions. He observed that, when I do see something, that I am quick to get to it. He cited the citizenship and architects.’ He meant that I point out difficulties, rather than let things unfold. That’s the truth. I’ve done that always. [M and S laugh.] Sometimes, I thought it was necessary! [S chuckles more.] But sometimes, I clearly overdid it. [M chuckles, too.] ‘“You are dealing with something different here.”’ And then I have parenthesis, ‘(meaning him and what surrounds him). Also said he would like with David Bohm to go totally into one subject and not “jump from thing to thing.”’
‘At lunch, he said, after listening to a bit of a tape with Bohm on October fourth, “I wondered if, when I talk, I think? I don’t.” And then another quote: “No memory. Language is memory. You have to use it. You see the tree; you describe it. You use the word, but perception has no thought. There is no thought operating except that of language.”’ That’s nice.
S: Yes, it is.
M: ‘We spoke about imagination and he said, “When there is total detachment, that is not imagination. It is a picture without any content, any distortion.”’ Hmm. ‘He said he had woken up this morning at 2 a.m. and couldn’t sleep, then meditation began. “Feeling of exultation, elation, exultation.”
S: Mm, hm.
M: At 2:30 p.m., he started a possible series of discussions of education. Present were Erna, Theo, Ruth, Albion, Evelyne who brought a Mary Lou Gordon, Mark, Elaine Needham, David Moody, David Greene, Donald Dain, Barbara De Noon, and a young woman, Beverly Sher, just arrived at Ojai for an interview about the school. There was tea afterward. In the evening, Krishnaji turned on the television of the movie Judgment at Nuremburg. I had to leave at the scenes of the camps. Krishnaji watched it and then came into me, and said, “What is the matter with humanity? This is monstrous, people are this way everywhere.” He was very shocked.’
On the sixteenth of November, ‘Krishnaji and I drove to CanogaPark, merrily off’ [chuckles] ‘on a favored expedition in the Mercedes. I had bought the new grey 240 diesel Mercedes. We ordered it in the spring to replace the Jaguar. Krishnaji was very pleased. It’s neat and nice-looking, a sedan. Dieter met us there.’ Dieter’s the…
S: Mm, hm. We know.
M: We know Dieter…but for posterity…
S: No, he’s in this record posterity too; we’ve talked about him.
M: Yes, with the cars! [Laughs]. He’s the Mercedes car man. ‘Dieter met us there, and explained its ways. Then, he took the Green Beauty for its 6,000-mile service, and Krishnaji and I drove off in the grey diesel. Filled it at a diesel station in the valley; they are not too easy to find. We came back slowly. “It’s a new car!”’ [Both chuckle.] What he was saying was…he made you creep in a new car…
S: I know, I know.
M: …for the first 100 miles at least.
S: Oh, more! When I bought the first Mercedes van for the school, the first run for that after buying it was taking it to Saanen. And I had very strict instructions from Krishnaji that I had to go so many miles at only such and such a speed, and then so many more miles at such and such (slightly higher speed)…But I had asked (knowing Krishnaji’s penchant for breaking in a new car) the Mercedes dealer about this, and he had said, no, no, it’s been bench-run in. But Krishnaji wouldn’t have…[laughter]…any of that.
M: No. It had to be done.
S: So, it took days, it seemed, to get to Saanen! [Both laugh.]
M: We took the new diesel back to Malibu and showed it to Amanda and Phil before going home for lunch. “We must take care of these two cars and make them last for years.”’
S: Hm, hm. You have.
M: ‘Krishnaji and I walked on the gleaming beach. Watched Kojak. He gave me healing. He is pleased, full of laughter, and so this day shines.’ [Chuckles.] His car is about to outlast me, clearly.
S: I want them to outlast me!
M: I’m sure they will.
The next day was the seventeenth. ‘Krishnaji saw Palevi and Mrs. Sarabhai at 9:30 a.m. A professional tree pruner began work on the big eucalyptus trees along the driveway. After lunch, Krishnaji and I went to town in the new diesel Mercedes to order mats for it. It drove very nicely, and we were both pleased.’
On the eighteenth, ‘Krishnaji again saw Palevi briefly. I was at my desk all morning. Tree pruning continues. We walked on the beach.’ See, there’s nothing on these days.
S: Well, it’s still nice to have it.
M: You don’t think the boredom has long since paralyzed [S laughing] the listeners to this saga?!
S: It’s an endurance test.
M: Alright. The nineteenth. The large diary starts again. ‘Krishnaji saw Palevi briefly for healing at 9:30 a.m. Then, we left in the diesel for Ojai. “I am a little shy of it,” said Krishnaji. But, then at Zuma Beach, he took the wheel and, looking very pleased, drove slowly, not over forty, laughing at our pace. “One sees everything this way.”’ [S chuckles.] ‘We talked about American people being “taught to be selfish and to need pleasure” by the movies. We had seen old movies on TV last night, MGM musicals. Out of this, Krishnaji mentioned our schools, and I questioned teaching doing anything except minimizing mistakes. But what Krishnaji is cannot be taught, obviously, the most that can be done is to point out and remove impediments, mistakes, i.e., thought, conditioning, ambition, ego, etcetera. It seems to me that that way, at its widest reach, may make a better human being. But for a Krishnamurti or a Buddha, there must be something inherent in the child, something like, but beyond, genius. Nothing in Krishnaji’s education or surroundings influenced what he is. Krishnaji then said that it is like oil in the earth; it is there, waiting to be reached. The children we teach cannot be taught to reach it, but there are young people capable of this. He implied we must find them, or the ones we can teach may have such children. They may be turned in that direction. He seemed to agree, or at least not disagree, with my saying that even if a person were able to shed all the “mistakes,” the errors, it would not bring about the “Other.”’
‘He spoke of an extraordinary meditation last night. I asked if he could describe it a little, and he said it is not describable. I asked him if there is a quality of light in it, that so many people of religious experience speak of light…“enlightenment.” He said it does not seem light, but the closest description would be emptiness. As he said that, it seemed to me that the light—which I have experienced somewhat—is just that—still in the realm of experience. And there is no experience in what Krishnaji speaks of.’
Listen to Mary speak below:
‘Krishnaji talked to Mark alone for a while in the cottage. And then we walked down to Erna and Theo’s, where we lunched. I took a role of black and white film of him at the table.’ I’ve got those in the other room. ‘We had to leave before 3 p.m. because of our slow driving’ [chuckles] ‘and Krishnaji not wanting to drive in the dark. We stopped at Dieter’s to pick up the Green Beauty, which had had its 6,000-mile service, and Krishnaji drove it home while I followed at forty miles per hour.’ [S laughs.]
So we have to go back to the small diary for the twentieth. ‘I drove Mrs. Sarabhai’s daughter back to the Mullican’s after she came to see Krishnaji. Krishnaji and I walked on the beach.’
The next day ‘I cooked, then Lee and Luchita Mullican, Mrs. Sarabhai and Palevi came to lunch.’
On the twenty-second, ‘At 2:30 p.m., Krishnaji discussed with the Lilliefelts, Ruth, Albion, Evelyne, Rusch, Moody, Needham, De Noon, and Dame. They stayed to tea afterward.’
The twenty-third, ‘was a windy day, and we stayed home all day and washed the new Mercedes.’
November twenty-fourth. ‘I went to see Dr. Wylie Barker at UCLAMedicalCenter about my leg. Then I did errands and came back in time for lunch. Evelyne Blau brought an architect, Carey Smoot, to meet Krishnaji and talk architecture. There was a huge fire in TujungaCanyon, burning over 40,000 acres. The sky was dark with ashes everywhere. It was hot, and there was Santa Ana winds. Mother and Wooge telephoned, worried about the fire.’ Wooge is my stepfather.
The next day. ‘The winds stopped here. The fire into Tujunga is fifty percent contained. I went to the doctor’s, fasting for blood chemistry.’
On the twenty-sixth, ‘we drove to Ojai in the green car. Krishnaji saw Ralph Edsel for a few minutes, a young man who is doing yard work for Arya Vihara. Then, in the cottage, we met with five architects plus Charles Rusch, the Lilliefelts, Evelyne, Patterson, and Mark Lee, about the Oak Grove buildings. We lunched and resumed our meeting afterward. All architects agree to meet in Ojai with us on the seventh and eighth, and explore the territory and the immediate building to start the project.’
The next day, ‘I cooked and worked at the desk. Spoke to my mother. Krishnaji and I walked. And then at 5 p.m., we went to the Dunne’s for an hour before their Thanksgiving dinner. We came back to our own supper. No turkey.’ [Chuckles.]
On the twenty-eighth, ‘Evelyne Blau brought Cynthia Wood to meet Krishnaji at tea.’ She’s a woman who Evelyne happened, by chance, to sit next to at one of the talks, and they fell to chatting, and she wound up, shortly, you’ll see, Krishnaji asked her to become a trustee.
S: Mm, hm. Mm, hm.
M: ‘She lives in Santa Barbara, and is an unexpected and very generous donor,’ it says here.
The next day ‘I worked at the desk all morning. Krishnaji held an educational discussion on learning in the afternoon with the trustees, Mark, Moody, Monica Ross’—she was a new person. She died last year, and was a very nice woman who ran a school for little nursery children down the road from the Lilliefelts—‘Donald Dame, David Greene, Barbara De Noon.’
On the thirtieth, ‘We planted poppies and daisies, and the Dunne children came over. Krishnaji and I walked on the beach.’
On Monday, the first of December. ‘I fixed our lunch, etcetera. And then I went to UCLAMedicalCenter to see Dr. Timothy Miller, plastic surgeon about my leg ulcer. He strongly urges a skin graft,’ which I did eventually.
On the second, ‘I went to see Lailee Bakhtiar’—that’s the general doctor that we went to—‘at 10 a.m. for the usual checkup, and to discuss the skin graft. She thinks it’s a good idea and will talk to Dr. Miller. Did errands all day in town and got home by 6 p.m. Krishnaji says he will be alright here while I’m in the hospital in January. The probable stay is five days?!’ That’s ridiculous. Anyway.
The next day, ‘I spent all morning working at the desk. We walked at low tide, the lowest of the year. Lailee rang about talking to Dr. Miller.’
On the fifth, ‘I prepared for the weekend at Ojai.’
S: The sixth is in the big book now.
M: No, it isn’t. Yes, it is! God, you read upside down.
S: [laughs] We’ve been doing this for so long, this may be now the only way I can read. [Both laugh.]
M: ‘A beautiful day! Up early to cook the final part of the Spanish rice.’ He liked this dish I made called Spanish rice. ‘We packed the Green Beauty; at 10 a.m. Krishnaji drove it, while I followed in the grey diesel to Dieter’s. We left the diesel with Dieter to have its first 500-mile service and went on in the green one to Ojai. Krishnaji said he woke up in the night with an intense feeling and the sentence, “Suffering and the remembrance of suffering are still in the field of the self.” We unpacked at the cottage, and then walked to the Lilliefelt’s for lunch. At 2:30 p.m., in the school room of the cottage, Krishnaji held a discussion for parents and teachers. It went well. We took a late walk as the sun set and came back by moonlight. Early to bed.’
Then, we go back to the little book for December seventh. ‘We went up at 10 a.m. to the Oak Grove and met architects, trustees, Mark, and Cynthia Wood. We walked all over and discussed the school building. Philippa Dunne and her husband had joined us and came back to the cottage. Krishnaji showed them the place. They and Alan Kishbaugh lunched with us. At 2 o’clock, there was a trustees meeting. At 3:45 p.m., we went back to the Oak Grove for more with the architects.’ We had teams of architects!
December eighth. ‘Architects and trustees met in the cottage. They showed us revised plans, and the suggested shape of a classroom building. Then, the architects left saying they will send us their plan for the business arrangement with the Foundation. Erna, Theo, and Evelyne lunched with us in the cottage. Krishnaji, Evelyne, Theo, and I walked in the late afternoon.’
The next day, ‘Mrs. Kate Mark’s two young sons were introduced to Krishnaji. They have moved here from Michigan for the boys to go to our school. Krishnaji and I left Ojai, stopped for the grey diesel, and drove both cars home in time for lunch.’
December tenth. ‘Krishnaji and I went to the airport with Elfriede driving us. We flew on PSA to San Francisco and lunched with Mrs. Mathias at her apartment on Nob Hill. Then we took the 4:30 p.m. PSA back’ [chuckles] ‘to Los Angeles and taxied home, arriving at 6:45. A nine-hour expedition, and Krishnaji was not too tired.’
On December eleventh. ‘We were home all day. I did letters; some Krishnaji dictation; spoke to my mother at Vineyard Haven; and had a beach walk.’
The next day, ‘I worked hard at the desk all day. I did post office, bank, marketing while Krishnaji walked. In the evening, I telephoned Filomena in Rome about a trust I made for her. Balasundaram telephoned Erna about a compromise for Vasanta Vihar.’
On the thirteenth, ‘Krishnaji and I drove to Ojai in the grey car. At the cottage, Krishnaji saw a twelve-year-old girl who was said to have musical and psychic gifts, Belita Adair. We walked to lunch with Erna and Theo. Then, at 2:30, Krishnaji held a discussion at Arya Vihara. We composed a cable reply to Balasundaram and Pupul about their deciding the matter of Rajagopal’s lawyers on the Vasanta Vihar trust. We walked with Erna and Theo, and then Krishnaji and I had supper and spent the night in the cottage. We had trouble with a noisy heater. At 2 a.m., we had to go to wake Mark to turn it off.’ Mark was living in Arya Vihara.
The next morning, ‘there was a meeting in the cottage of Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and Mark and me. Erna and Theo lunched with us, and then Krishnaji and I drove back to Malibu.’
The fifteenth of December. ‘Jackie and Sarjit Siddoo came at noon to see Krishnaji and to talk about their proposed school. During lunch, a cable came from Kitty and Balasundarum that Shiva Rao had died today in New Delhi of a heart attack.’
The sixteenth. ‘Krishnaji had his hair cut here in Malibu, not too good. I did a bit.’ [Chuckles.] ‘A cable came from Balasundaram, saying Subarao died today in India. Krishnaji felt it more, he said, than Shiva Rao because “Subarao has always been with us. Shiva Rao was a politician.” We walked on the beach. David Nelson did town errands for us.’ David Nelson was Philippa’s husband.
On December seventeenth, ‘I was up at 5 a.m. to finish notes on Krishnaji for Evelyne to give to lawyers about immigration. At 11 a.m., the trustees met, except for Alan Kishbaugh, plus Mark, the Siddoos, and Cynthia Wood and Krishnaji discussed the future of the schools and adult centers. We had a buffet lunch and further discussions till 3:40, when they left, and Krishnaji and I went for a beach walk.’
December eighteenth. ‘I talked to Erna, Jackie Kornfeld, and Evelyne, and it was decided to have a David Hoffman do the video taping of the dialogue with Krishnaji and David Bohm, and possibly Shainberg, too. I worked at the desk. In the afternoon, we washed the green Mercedes and walked on the lawn. Balasundaram telephoned Erna that the Vasanta Vihar case is settled.’
Now from the big diary for December twenty-first, because it includes everything from the nineteenth. ‘This has been a weekend of many Krishnaji things. We drove up to Ojai after lunch on Friday.’ This is written on the Sunday.
‘On the road’—driving to Ojai on the nineteenth—‘Krishnaji said to me, “Watch and have the mind empty,” and then “it is beginning, the head, pressure from the back of the head in the brain.” We went to the Oak Grove. Met Erna, Theo, and Mark there, and walked about to look for sites for the assembly building. Krishnaji is not satisfied with the architect’s suggestion of putting it up the hill among the trees. We liked one place near the grove itself, at the edge of the meadow. We walked across Besant Road and around Rajagopal’s place. “That crook,” said Krishnaji’—that’s a quote [both chuckle]—‘in a resonate voice. At the cottage, Mark, in the school room, ran a newly made copy of a film made in 1925, which we found in the cottage basement, hidden away; probably only the dryness of Ojai preserved it. The lab Erna and Evelyne took it to said they hadn’t seen such an old film, and that it was dangerous.’ It was a nitrate film.
S: Yes. It’s remarkable it didn’t burn the house down.
M: Yes, exactly. ‘They said it was too dangerous to keep. They copied it well. It was several short reels taken in Ommen in 1925 by a Swedish man. Krishnaji, Mrs. Besant, Rajagopal, Jadu, Lady Emily, and many familiar people that Krishnaji recognized. The film is amateurish and shot in such brief length, it was hard to see well. The young Krishnaji was very much a boy, though he was all of thirty years old. Krishnaji said later, “He must have been developing slowly. The mind wasn’t mature yet.” He asked afterward how it seemed to us. Mostly, rather childish. The Liberal Catholic Church processions looked rather shocking in a Krishnaji film. Mrs. Besant seemed old, feeble, and not at ease. Krishnaji seemed more curious about our impressions than having any of his own.’ [Laughs.]
‘Saturday, we slept late, till 8 a.m.!’ [Laughter.] ‘“Eleven hours in bed. That’s good,” said Krishnaji. I felt the good of it, too. I felt distracted in the morning yesterday, trying to finish things before leaving Malibu, and it was a rest to be in the quiet here, to fix our simple supper, no TV, and then the ease of sleep. I did some marketing, then we lunched with Erna and Theo. At 2:30 p.m., we held a discussion at Arya Vihara that didn’t get going, really. There were too many people who aren’t versed in Krishnaji’s teachings, and don’t know how to discuss. We walked afterward.’
‘Today I made lunch for Krishnaji, Erna, and Theo. At 2 p.m., an architect, Michael Head, who has built the office building, came to see what could be done about enlarging the apartment upstairs, and pushing both bedroom and sitting room out to include the porch.’ That’s the flat you’ve stayed in so often. ‘It seems simple. Then, two Italian boys who turned up last night at Arya Vihara having flown here from Turin, wanting to see Krishnaji, saw him for a few minutes.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘At 3 p.m., there was a tea party at Arya Vihara for old Ojai fans. Krishnaji soon slid out and went for a walk. On our return, Mark showed a second batch of the old films, these done in 1925 at Adyar. Leadbeater, Arundale, Wedgwood, Jinarajadasa in miters and robes.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Krishnaji was beautiful in Indian clothes. Then, a short film in 1924 with Nitya, briefly. Watching all these, there were “oh’s” of surprise and recognition from Krishnaji and “slowly, slowly” when the film was too quick and abrupt. He sat and talked afterward to Erna and Theo, Mark, and me. He hadn’t wanted to watch the film with anyone else present. I felt the young Krishnaji, though eager and smiling, was being polite rather than a part of it all. The short glimpses of Nitya moved me very much, and during the meeting at Arya Vihara, I kept thinking of him there, the sadness of his dying there without his brother, and I kept wanting to say to him, “See how this turned out. Krishnaji has become everything. Listen to him.”’
Listen to Mary speak below:
‘Before lunch today, Krishnaji had a very far-off look, while sitting with Erna and Theo. At lunch, he said to Erna, “You asked about the process. It began here. Pains, fainting. It’s probably Kundalini. I am very skeptical about those things. I doubt most who say they have had it.”’
December twenty-second and we’re back to the little diary. ‘Krishnaji and I drove back to Malibu in time for lunch. Fritz Wilhelm was due in the afternoon from London, but his flight was delayed.’
The next day. ‘Fritz Wilhelm arrived to stay. David fetched him for me. We had a beach walk in the afternoon; otherwise, I cooked most of the day, making Christmas mousse.’
December twenty-fourth, ‘I cooked all day. Spoke to my mother and Wooge. My cousin is in a hospital in Boston. The Christmas Eve party was at 5:30 p.m. and supper at 6, then present opening. Amanda, Phil, Miranda, Philippa, David, Jessica, Mark Renneker, Bill Kirby, Fritz Wilhelm. Krishnaji came to the table and sat up the whole evening, which ended at 9:30 p.m.’
M: I forgot he was there for one Christmas!
On Christmas day, ‘I spoke on the phone to my sick cousin. We had a beach walk in afternoon.’
On December twenty-sixth, ‘Ted Cartee arrives for lunch, and to stay. Krishnaji held a discussion at 3 p.m. with the Lilliefelts, Evelyne, Kishbaugh, Ruth, Albion, Fritz, Ted, and Philippa and David. We had tea afterward.’
December twenty-seventh. ‘Krishnaji, Fritz, and Ted lunched and later, a beach walk.’
The next day, ‘Fritz and Ted left for Ojai after lunch. Krishnaji and I walked on the beach.’
The twenty-ninth, ‘We were home all the lovely, quiet day. It is as warm as summer. We watched pelicans fishing on our beach walk.’
On December thirtieth, ‘Krishnaji said the day is “to do something extravagant.” So, we went to the movies, the first time since last spring. In the car going to town, Krishnaji said yesterday’s feeling in his head left it “feeling more powerful.” I asked, “Do you mean more energy?” Krishnaji replied, “That’s it, much more energy. I never felt this before.” We stopped at Lindberg’s for a few things’—that’s the health food store—‘then met Alan Kishbaugh at a Mexican restaurant near Lindberg’s, El Capote. We had enchiladas and tostadas, and it all seemed to agree with Krishnaji. He had suggested Mexican food. This morning, he resumed with an egg for breakfast and had more kefir. He reported the added protein was good for him. We then went to Westwood, bought a supply of thrillers from Winky’—Margret Winkler, a friend of mine who worked in the Westwood Book Store. ‘Then we saw the movie The Man Who Would Be King. Almost good. Krishnaji vouched for the authentic look of Indian trains during the British Raj days. We came home to a long letter from Balasundaram about the settling of the Vasanta Vihar case, and the K Trust Madras.’
Wednesday, the thirty-first of December. ‘A quiet day at home. We walked on the beach at sunset. The sand shone with reflections of the sky. One walks in the slanting sun light. I feel “lost” and floating in the light of such days. We had supper on trays as usual and heard a TV broadcast of Krishnaji’s favorite, The Ninth Symphony, with Von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Krishnaji watched carefully the way Von Karajan directed, eyes closed, an inward look, and gestures that seemed to shape the music. So, this year ended with a blessing in peace of Krishnaji’s presence here.’
S: Mmm, how nice. It’s coming to the end of the tape, too. So, it’s perfect.
 Jackie Kornfeld was the prime mover for the eventual video recording of the series of discussions between Krishnaji, Professor David Bohm, and Dr. David Shainberg, which became titled The Transformation of Man. Back to text.
 Mary kept both of them running beautifully until her death in 2008. Back to text.
 This was recorded in 1996. Back to text.