Issue #42 – July 11, 1976 to September 22, 1976
The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #42
Mary: We begin this discussion on July eleventh, 1976, and we’re in Switzerland. ‘A lovely morning for Krishnaji’s first Saanen talk of the year. I have exchanged the fearful green Opal for a smaller, quince-colored Fiat.’ [Chuckles.] ‘I sat in the car waiting for Krishnaji.’ I want to say there was a delight in waiting for him outside the chalet to drive him to his talks, because it was usually a beautiful, alpine, sunny morning just at that hour. I had to have the car right there, and time it so the motor was running as he came through the door, and got into the car.
M: Not a single extraneous something should happen. And then drive, not fast and not slow, just the proper speed, down the hill, through the village, and so to the tent, arriving at 11:30 a.m., when the talk was to begin.
M: In other words, nothing interrupted anything. And I didn’t speak or anything. Waiting was a lovely moment in the sunshine, sitting, knowing he was about to come out and there was about to be a talk.
S: Yes. How nice.
M: It was lovely. So, back to the diary. It reads, ‘it was the alpine summer, light silvered with brightness, a time of wonder come again in another year. The marvel of that, to be here, waiting to go with Krishnaji to the tent, a sense of such quiet blessing and yet memory wasn’t really in it, or more to the point, attachment wasn’t there. The sunlight is something that one floats in, dazzled, quiet; and then Krishnaji came out the door, all grace, beautifully dressed. The tent was just about full. I found a chair by the tables where they sell books where I sat with mumps last summer.’ [Laughs.] Do you remember the summer I had mumps?
S: [laughing] Yes.
M: The Siddoos that summer were warning everyone not to come near this woman, who had mumps at that age. It was ridiculous. [S laughs.] ‘Scott Forbes for the first time was using a new Sony video camera donated to Brockwood by Frances, Shainberg, Maris Lindley, and Alan Hooker.’ They must’ve all chipped in. ‘In black and white, all of Krishnaji’s talks will be videotaped. Unfortunately, today’s went amiss as somebody interfered with a wire. But the camera wasn’t injured.’ Do you remember that?
S: Only too well.
M: Yikes. Well, anyway, it’s now a matter of history. [Laughs.]
S: Just to say also, I don’t remember Lindley contributing to the video equipment, but Jackie Kornfeld did.
M: Did she?
M: History, are you listening? [Both laugh.] ‘In the evening, Vanda and I went to the first showing in the tent of the Krishnaji-Bohm-Shainberg color videos done at Brockwood in May. The cassettes have been mismarked, so we began with Number 2, and it showed only in black and white because someone again had tampered with the player.’
S: Yes. May I just say something else that’s not part of your record, but part of all this initial video ridiculousness?
M: This is a collaboration if there ever was one. [Both chuckle.]
S: Well, for the video equipment, we had decided that we needed to get NTSC, which is American standard video equipment, because all over the world, you could get equipment to play the American standard video tapes and the local standard.
S: Well, in England, to buy NTSC video recordering machines, you had to order them directly from Japan. Previous to this, I had never operated any video equipment in my life. I knew nothing about it; I was just, you know, trying to teach myself, etcetera. So, I’d ordered everything from Japan (cameras, video recorders, monitors, etcetera), and they didn’t come and they didn’t come and they didn’t come, and finally they arrived in the morning of the last morning I could leave Brockwood to arrive at Saanen in time for the first talk, if I drove straight through without stopping. I had Doris’s mini, which I had hoped would take all the equipment.
M: You were to drive all across Europe in a mini with all that?
M: Without stopping?
S: Without stopping. [M chuckles.] I had no choice; it arrived just before I had to leave. So, I packed it into the mini, took off, and I arrived the day before the first talk in Saanen, which gave me just enough time to set it up. And, of course, I thought, well, I’ll figure out how to do this by reading the instruction manuals. [Pause.] All the manuals were in Japanese!
M: In Japanese! [Laughing.] I could feel it coming. [Both laugh heartily.] In those days, it was a common occurrence.
S: Right. It came from Japan, so they only had Japanese instructions.
M: Of course.
S: So, the fact that Joe Zorski was there helping me, and there was a small mishap, or that we didn’t get the color right on the first night of showing videos, was really nothing. Believe me, it’s a miracle we got anything! [Laughter.]
M: But, we still had the Nagra doing the audio.
M: July twelfth: ‘Desk mostly. In the evening I saw the third of the Krishnaji-Bohm-Shainberg discussions. The color is working well. Vanda was tired and didn’t come.’
The thirteenth, ‘Krishnaji gave his second Saanen talk. At 2 p.m., Ortolani brought a young man from Torino who will help him with the work. I never got the young man’s name, something like Tioki?’
S: It was Turchi, wasn’t it?
M: Maybe it was. Must’ve been Turchi. ‘Introductions are very vague around here. Cragnolini is too ill to continue as president of the Italian committee. I went alone to the showing of the fourth Krishnaji-Bohm-Shainberg video in the evening. I am absorbed in it, unable to be critical.’
July fourteenth, ‘Topazia arrived in Gstaad and came to lunch. At 2:30 p.m., Evelyne came to see me about KFA work, and at 3:30 p.m. Mary Cadogan joined us. They met for the first time. I tried telephoning Erna in Ojai, but could only get through at suppertime. I explained the good of Harry Wyland’s  offer to present the videos to WGBH in Boston. Jackie Kornfeld and Erna are not hitting it off (not surprising).’ [Both chuckle.] ‘And so, there are misunderstandings about the tapes. In the evening, I went to the showing of the fifth video. Afterward, Scott showed me bits of what he had shot with the black and white camera of Krishnaji’s talk yesterday. It is surprisingly good in spite of the very low light.’
The fifteenth of July. ‘Third Saanen talk, an extraordinary one on seeing with all the senses, completely, a total seeing that is without psychological registry. He was shaking afterward. Vanda’s brother, and sister-in-law, and Suad al Radi came to lunch.’ Suad al Radi was an Iranian lady who lived in Beirut. She was very cosmopolitan, and she used to come to the talks in Saanen. ‘Krishnaji questioned Suad on the Near-East situation. In the evening, I went to the video showing of the sixth discussion between Krishnaji-Bohm-Shainberg, taking Frances McCann and Carol Allwell with me.’
July sixteenth, ‘In the morning, Krishnaji gave me Vanda’s news that Carlos Suarès died this morning in Paris of cancer. “Poor man,” said Krishnaji. At 11 a.m., there was the annual meeting of all the Krishnamurti foreign committees. Krishnaji began by telling them about Suarès. Scott Forbes then gave information about the new videos and answered questions. Evelyne spoke of the Ojai school, and Jackie Siddoo spoke of the Canadian one. Madame Duchet came in a wheel chair. According to what is said, quietly, she has cancer, but hopes to complete the translation of three of Krishnaji’s books, The Notebook, Krishnaji On Education, and Tradition and Revolution. The Notebook is the hardest, she says. She asks, “How do you put ‘Otherness’ in French?”’ [S chuckles.]
S: Just an aside: Madame Duchet was a lovely lady.
M: Yes, a lovely lady.
S: Gracious, and old-school, really lovely.
M: She was. She had that—I suppose it was part of her generation and her class—she went to finishing school in England, as they did in those days, so she spoke beautiful English-English.
M: And yet, she was thoroughly French, and an ideal person to translate Krishnaji into French, and did, as we know.
‘After the meeting, the Siddoos and Tapas stayed to lunch. Later in the afternoon, I talked to the Siddoos and Narayan. A Peruvian allergy specialist, Dr. Drassinower, a friend of the Puerto Rican group, came to prescribe for Krishnaji’s hay fever. He took his blood pressure, which was 130 over 75.’
Saturday, July seventeenth. It says, ‘sun in the morning, rain and a thunderstorm during the day. Simonetta di Cesaro brought a French boy, Jean-Phillipe, to lunch.’ Simonetta was Italian, obviously; lived in Rome, was a friend of Vanda’s, and she had spent quite a lot of time in northern India, in Hardvar—in the, what was the headquarters there?
S: Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama’s place, the Tibetan center?
M: No, no, not the Tibetan place. There is a Hindu…I went there, but I can’t remember, when I was in India. Anyway, she was friend of the head guru or something and spent a lot of time there and worked with the lepers. She came to lunch, bringing some French boy.’
The eighteenth. ‘Krishnaji and I watched the opening of the Olympics in Montreal. Suzanne and Hugues van der Straten came to lunch with Marjolaine and Patrice.’ Do you remember Marjolaine, our student, their child? Patrice, I think, was his nephew.
S: I thought Patrice was their son.
M: Was he?
S: I think so.
M: He had an older son, who I don’t think you ever met.
S: Oh, yes, yes, they had…
M: They had ten children.
S: Exactly, and I met some of them. I think Patrice is one of their sons.
M: I know there was a nephew in there somewhere, but it doesn’t matter.
The nineteenth, ‘I fetched more mangoes from the Siddoos. Drove with Marjolaine and Patrice to lunch with the Brockwood group in Lauenen: Shakuntala, Sue Radowich, Ricardo, Javier, Denise, and Natasha. Very nice lunch. Madame Duchet came to see Krishnaji at 4 p.m. She has a malignancy, the doctors say, and four to five years left.’
July twentieth, ‘it’s Krishnaji’s fifth Saanen talk. After the talk, a Dr. Drassinower came about Krishnaji’s allergy medication. Mar de Manziarly lunched with Vanda and me. Mr. Russu came for hands’—as we called it. Krishnaji was trying to heal him. ‘Mr. Mirabet came with his annual donation.’ A lovely man. ‘The Siddoos and Narayan saw Krishnaji about the school. And well, also, the Viking robot, after an eleven-month space voyage, landed on Mars and sent back photos.’ [S chuckles.] You can see we had interests all over the universe! [S laughs again.]
July twenty-first. ‘Vanda left for Firenze.’ She did that every summer. She’d come and open the house, stay for the opening of the talks and for a certain number of talks, and then she went back to Florence because her daughter, who was married and lived in Toronto, would come back to Florence in the summer to stay with her. So, she left. ‘I went to talk to Evelyne about things, but was back for lunch. At 2:30 p.m., Dr. Colon brought two Spanish-speaking donors to see me; one, a Mr. Ugo Baldini, gave $1,000 toward the video fund, and another will give 400 pounds sterling. I took the check to Dorothy in Saanen. We had difficulty with a student, Ricardo.’ I don’t remember much about that…you probably do.
S: I do. [Both laugh.] Not voluntarily, but I remember.
M: Yes, well, it’s not terribly important.
July twenty-second ‘was a cold day and wet. Krishnaji gave his sixth Saanen talk on death. Self is the product of thought, which is matter, and so is destroyed in physical death. A very interesting talk. Krishnaji was exploring the subject. Dr. Drassinower came to check Krishnaji before lunch. Mary C. and Edgar Graf came to lunch. At 3 p.m., I went to see Madame Duchet.’
Friday, the twenty-third. ‘I spoke to Mr. Breitschmidt of the American Fletcher Bank about Isabela Biascoechea’s investments.’ Enrique had set things up…
S: You told us.
M: Yes, I did. And the idea was that she should get it for her lifetime, and then it would go to Krishnaji. ‘Giselle Elmenhorst came to lunch. Krishnaji stayed in bed. Later we watched the Olympics on TV.’
July twenty-fourth. ‘At 7:30 a.m., a girl calling herself Christiana came to the door to see Krishnaji.’ Oh, this is the woman who lay down in the driveway. I haven’t told that story, have I?
S: No, I don’t think so. Read through it first, and then you can…
M: ‘She came to the door to see Krishnaji, was refused, lay down in the driveway, and had to be sent off to the doctor in a taxi, where there was nothing wrong with her. Otherwise, a quiet day.’ [M and S laugh.] It began when I was in my room doing yoga and Fosca came to the door and tapped and said, “Signora…” She said, in Italian, that is, “…there’s a signorina to see Signore Krishnamurti.” So, I obviously had to cope with it. I went to the door, and there was [chuckling] this rather pretty blond girl. She had on a dirndl skirt. Do you know what that is? They were full pleated cotton skirts; they were very popular.
M: And, above she had on a very diaphanous blouse with nothing underneath at all. [Both chuckle.] And she said in a peremptory voice to me that she was here to see Mr. Krishnaji and she had an appointment. I said, “I’m sorry but Mr. Krishnamurti is not awake yet, and besides, you haven’t an appointment because it’s my function to keep track of appointments. I’m very sorry.”
She said, “Well, go and ask him.”
I responded, “We never disturb Mr. Krishnamurti until we know he’s awake, and I cannot do that.” Well, anyway, I talked to her in this fashion for quite a while [chuckling], got nowhere, and ran out of things to say to her. She was German but she spoke very good English. So I eventually said, “Well, I’m awfully sorry. I’ve explained all I can, so excuse me,” and I closed the door. This took place on the door sill.
M: I went back to my yoga, and then I started thinking, “I wonder if she’s gone.” And I could see from the kitchen window…
S: Yes, which bowed out a little bit—a bay window.
M: Yes, I could see what went on on that side of the chalet. So, I went there and looked out, and sure enough, there she was, flat on her back in the middle of the parking area! And I thought, my god, the milkman, who came swinging up the hill in a hurry to deliver milk at that hour of the morning, will…
S: …run over her.
M: …yes, won’t expect a woman lying [S laughing heartily] on the ground and he’ll hit her.
M: What to do? So, I went out and spoke to her, and she had staring eyes. I thought that maybe she’s had some sort of a fit, epilepsy or something. So, I put my hand across her eyes, and she blinked, of course. So, I figured she was just not answering me. At that point, Madame Matti, who was the concierge who lived in the downstairs flat in Tannegg, and was a perfect casting for the role—she was stout, firm, had her hair pulled back in a knot, and she was very efficient.
S: Yes. [Laughs.]
M: She came over, and asked, “Quest-ce qu’elle fait?” What is she doing? [Chuckles.] I said I don’t know. Madame Matti looked at her and then said to me, “Elle fait du théatre,” she’s acting. So, we tried to get her up, but she was dead weight, and impossible to move.
S: Of course.
M: At that point, the owner of the chalet—this is an intricate housing development. [S laughs.] The owner always had the top floor to live in, and he was a German gentleman who came and went, and but he was there then. He came out. And so, Madame Matti said that she would call a taxi and send her down to the maître de ville, a person in charge of the town.
S: Kind of like a mayor.
M: Like a mayor, but in this case he was also a medical doctor.
M: So, Madame Matti went to the telephone and summoned the taxi, and it took the three of us to get this woman, in dead weight, into the taxi. The taxi had a woman driver, and I thought that was a good thing. And so, she took her down, and apparently, what happened, we learned later, was that on arriving at the doctor, the unconscious woman stepped out happily and said, “There’s nothing wrong with me. You cannot detain me.” But the wife of the doctor persuaded her to come in, and they gave her a tisane, or I don’t know what, but that was the end of the story. Then, and I might as well, since we’re telling this story…
M: …tell you that there was another chapter. And it occurs in Ojai several years later. Krishnaji was talking. Fortunately, as we always did in the Oak Grove, Alan Kishbaugh escorted him out of the grove, so people wouldn’t mob him, so to speak…
M: …to my car, which was out on the road.
S: Besant Road.
M: Besant Road. And I would try to get to the car beforehand, but anyway, I didn’t…I mustn’t have been delayed because I didn’t see what happened, which was that suddenly from some trees and bushes, this same woman emerged. While all the people were still preparing to leave, she emerges stark naked. So, Asha Lee, with great presence of mind, grabbed a blanket and rushed to her. And, anyway, the poor woman wound up in CamarilloState Mental hospital. And all that I knew after that was that she eventually married her psychiatrist! But later, unfortunately, she jumped off the Golden GateBridge in San Francisco.
S: Poor woman.
M: …a sad story. But that morning, it was…
S: Ridiculous. It had only gotten as far as ridiculous.
M: Yes, it was one of those sorts of things that happened to me in the summer at Gstaad, coping with mad women.
S: Mad people. Yes, yes.
M: Yes, there were male ones as well.
S: Oh, yes, I remember.
M: Now, we come to Sunday, the twenty-fifth of July. ‘Krishnaji gave his seventh and final talk for this year in Saanen. Dr. Drassinower examined him after the talk. Dr. Liechty came for lunch.’ Have we mentioned in this record who she is?
S: I can’t remember. We started our dialogues ten years ago! So…
M: I know; I don’t remember anything.
S: I don’t either [laughing]. So, let’s say who Dr. Liechty is.
M: Well, you should know about Dr. Liechty, whoever you are out there. She was a charming, very, very nice, very bright woman. Krishnaji had been, thanks to Enrique Biascoechea, he’d been sick in India, several years ago, before all this.
S: May I just change the way you say all that?
M: Yes. [Chuckles.]
S: Only because you said that thanks to Biascoechea, Krishnaji got sick in India.
M: [laughs] See, I expect you to follow me!
S: So, Krishnaji got sick in India, and thanks to Biascoechea, he was sent to the Bircher-Benner Clinic in Zurich.
M: Yes. And, I think, to add to it, Biaschoechea paid for it. Rajagopal made a fuss about the money, and Biaschoechea said, “No. It is my pleasure to help Krishnaji.” So, I’m putting that in, because I read it last night and it reminded me. Anyway, Dr. Liechty was the head of the clinic. She was also the niece of the founder of the clinic.
S: Dr. Bircher-Benner.
M: Yes. So, Dr. Liechty, she’d been the head of it when Krishnaji came, and she also came to the talks from then on. She was very nice. And she was the doctor that I was able to talk to about Krishnaji’s “process.” Was there anything in medical knowledge that could describe what was going on when Krishnaji went through “the process”? She said no. It wasn’t epilepsy, it wasn’t…
S: Yes, it was nothing we know about. It wasn’t pathological.
M: Right, it wasn’t pathological. Krishnaji, of course, had always said that. When I went with him to a doctor, as I did when he came to California, I took him to the doctor I went to. He gave his medical history and I was present, but he never mentioned the headaches and all that. Afterward, I asked him why he didn’t mention that, and he said, “Oh, that has nothing to do with my health.”
S: Can I just mention also about Dr. Liechty, because it’s extraordinary; she had the best medical training in Europe when she was young. She also trained to be a homeopath, and she also spent years training to be an Aryuvedic doctor, and so she was a trained Aryuvedic doctor as well.
M: That’s true. I’d forgotten that.
S: …which is remarkable.
M: Yes, it is.
S: I can remember her discussing with an Ayurvedic doctor…I remember this well, because I’d already had hepatitis. She was in India one year when I was there, and she was talking with a very well-known Aryuvedic doctor who’d come to hear Krishnaji. They were talking about hepatitis, and she said that during World War II (she’d already had her training as an Aryuvedic doctor by then), she never lost a single patient to hepatitis because she was using Aryuvedic treatments. And the Indian doctor was saying, “Oh, yes, that’s true. There’s no need to lose people to hepatitis.” And then, they were joking about the different kinds of treatments that they give for hepatitis, and what happens, like bile comes streaming out of people’s noses. But, during World War II, thousands of people died from hepatitis. Hepatitis was real killer. And when I had hepatitis, my English doctor said that there’s nothing that can be done about it; there’s no cure, no treatment for hepatitis known to man. And here, in Aryuvedic medicine, there has been for decades or centuries, for all I know.
M: That’s very interesting.
S: Isn’t it?
S: So she was a real medical expert, which is why she was such a good consultant for Krishnaji, because she had all these different kinds of medical training.
M: Yes, yes.
S: And she was a lovely lady.
M: She was a lovely lady. She came later to Brockwood. I have a photograph of this after a talk; they’re walking across the lawn together.
S: Oh, how nice.
M: Yes. Yes, yes.
So, continuing that day, she came to lunch. ‘That evening, I drove Frances McCann and Carol Allwell, and Michael Pont to the Brockwood party in the Rougemont chalet of Scott, Ted, Irene, Joe, Carol—about fifty people were there.’
S: I don’t remember it at all.
M: Well, it says so here, so it must be so. [Laughs.]
July twenty-sixth. ‘Dorothy and Montague moved up to Tannegg.’ Usually, they camped in the camping area in Saanen, but when Mrs. Walsh, who was the woman who had the flat down below, gave it up, we would take it over, and Dorothy and Montague would spend just a short time there before going back to Brockwood. ‘Krishnaji saw Mr. Russu.’
On the twenty-seventh, ‘Krishnaji rested. I went to see Madame Duchet in the afternoon and later went to a concert in the Saanen church with Evelyne and her mother.’
S: That probably would have been a Yehudi Menuhin concert?
M: Menuhin, yes.
On the twenty-eighth, ‘Krishnaji began the public discussions in the tent. Very good. I had tea with Vicky Orfali at the Palace Hotel. There was a big earthquake in China.’ Do we need to identify Vicky Orfali?
M: Oh, dear. Vicky always went to the Saanen talks. She had been a Gurdjieffian person, I think, before, but she was now a Krishnamurti person. She traveled around the world, and she’s still doing it. She calls me up every so often when she goes home. Home is Brooklyn, in a place her mother owned before her death. She’s still trying to decide whether or where she wants to live in Europe, and she hasn’t, to my knowledge, decided yet. She lives, I think, in Spain a lot. Anyway, I had tea with her.
The next day, ‘Krishnaji held the second public discussion. I fetched Mar de Manziarly up to Tannegg for lunch. In the afternoon, Krishnaji saw the Siddoos, Narayan, and Fritz Wilhelm about adult centers. I talked alone with the Siddoos and Narayan. He’s going to go to Vancouver. The school will start in a year. He’ll be the principal.’
On July thirtieth, ‘Krishnaji gave this year’s third public discussion on death. Madame Sherer brought her annual gift to Krishnaji.’ She was a French woman who brought him…it says here, ‘junky gift.’ Things to wear that he wouldn’t…
S: …possibly wear.
M: …even consider. ‘Carl Marcus came to lunch. I marketed. Walked. Narayan came to see me before supper about his confusion over his salary.’ I don’t know what that was.
The thirty-first of July. ‘Public discussion number four. Dr. Drassinower to see Krishnaji once more before leaving. Narasimhan and Simonetta di Cesaro came for lunch. In the evening, Dorothy, Montague, Doris, Evelyne Blau, and I went to dine with the van der Stratens.’
August first. Krishnaji held the fifth and final Saanen public discussion for this year. I fetched the Fouerés to briefly greet Krishnaji after the discussion. Evelyne and her mother, Mrs. Kraft, and the Simmonses came to lunch. The Siddoos and Narayan saw Krishnaji again about Narayan being principal of the school. He is to think it over and let Krishnaji know tomorrow.’ Well, they’d been talking about that all summer. Anyway.
The second of August. ‘Jackie Siddoo and Narayan came to see Krishnaji at 10 a.m. Narayan is to go as principal of the school and to help with the adult center. Krishnaji dictated a memorandum of agreement on this.’
The next day, ‘Tapas to see Krishnaji at 4 p.m., and Krishnaji had a haircut.’
On August fourth, Tapas and Jackie Siddoo came at 10 a.m. to see Krishnaji. Tapas wants to be where he is for two to three months. Krishnaji explained it was impossible. He had me telephone Jackie that she has done more than enough to bring Tapas around the world, and it shouldn’t go on.’ Tapas was their guest, and Krishnaji thought that that was enough. ‘Edgar Graf, Doris, Dorothy, and Montague were at lunch, and later, Krishnaji and I walked in the woods.’
Thursday, the fifth of August. ‘Krishnaji dictated letters. He told the Indian
Foundation he will come there in November. Krishnaji, Dorothy, Montague, and I lunched at the Park Hotel. Later, Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked to the river.’ That was to give Fosca some time off as she would never take a day off if we didn’t go out.
S: Yes, of course.
M: On the sixth. ‘Desk. Krishnaji and I had lunch alone. Mar called from Paris with a message to Krishnaji from Nadia Kossiakof: She is in the hospital, and very weak, but resolved to live because she still has work to do for Krishnaji. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked in the late afternoon, when it was cooler. It was a beautiful day.’
The next day, ‘Mar telephoned saying that Nadia feels she will pull through. Her doctor found a second abscess inside. Radha Burnier telephoned from London. She may come here later. I worked on a list of Krishnaji’s addresses for his U.S. visa.’ Here I was in Saanen, with nothing to refer to, and the U.S. Immigration Department sent me word that they had changed their rules. For Krishnaji to get a green card, they had initially needed a list of everywhere he had lived for a least three months since the age of sixteen. And I had done that. Now they wanted a list of anywhere he had lived for six weeks!
S: [chuckles] Oh, yes.
M: So, luckily, I had Mary’s biography with me, and it’s so well arranged, you know, she put the year at the top of the page. So, I was able to fulfill this, so that’s what I was doing that day. [Both chuckle.] If I hadn’t had the book, I couldn’t have done it. ‘It is a warm, beautiful day. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked to the river.’
August eighth. ‘Frances McCann and Carol Allwell, Dorothy, and Montague all came to lunch. Krishnaji talked to Frances, correcting her impression that he wanted Tapas to come to see him in the West. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked to the river.’
The next day, ‘I worked on the visa papers. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked up to the turn on the Turbach Road.’
August tenth. ‘Dorothy and Montague left here this morning, steaming stylishly down the hill in their Land Rover, pausing to pick up Doris in Saanen, and set off for Brockwood. The house became immediately quiet, withdrawing into privacy. Krishnaji felt it. It’s strange how we make a perimeter around ourselves. Madame Walsh’—she’s the woman downstairs—‘and the Mattis are below. The proprietor, Mr. Erkelenz, creaks overhead, and plays Mozart piano pieces to himself at suppertimes. But, here, in the middle floor, our territory has its own dimension and pulse. Yesterday, Krishnaji found me in tears, reading of his brother’s death. I had been sifting the biography for Krishnaji’s addresses and whereabouts. The Herculean task I have is to list every place Krishnaji has stayed since 1911. The biography has made it possible as far as it goes, which is 1932. But, I read parts of it as I went along, and I finished it, wanting to cry and cry. “Why?” asked Krishnaji. I tried to tell him that the pain of all he had to go through, the physical pain, Nitya torn away from him, why? All those foolish people, but most of all, Krishnaji’s own undeterred passion for what he sees, his total being. I have never seen an ash of discouragement in him. I think I cry at the wonder of his existing, and it is what I felt in India. There, it seemed as if there were an enormous scale with all the pain, confusion, and suffering of that country, the millions on one side, and on the other, the balancing of it all in the slight and infinite figure of Krishnaji.’
M: ‘So it is today, with the whole of humanity and its ghastliness. Krishnaji balances it all by his existence; one human being in whom beauty and goodness shine. I feel a wild wish to give everything to die for that.’
S: Yes, Mary.
M: ‘So, when he asked me what it was I felt, this is what I tried to say. He asked me if I was keeping this diary still. And to put it down. Did I do so?’
‘I said, no, I wasn’t writing about myself.’
‘But you must, he said. “It will give it bite, what you see, what you feel.” I wonder now if I can. I write all this under severe restrictions at times, and do not write too often. I should change.’
Click below to listen to Mary speak.
S: See. That’s a perfect argument also for all that I was saying yesterday about what you feel and how important that is.
M: It is important. ‘Krishnaji and I walked alone in the woods in the rain.’
August eleventh, ‘I am as far as 1965 in Krishnaji’s residences, and now into my own time with Krishnaji, but it is pages long. He traveled endlessly. I ached with a protective impulse, to smooth, to make everything right for him. Vanda rang from Florence, and says she will return Friday or Saturday for a week to check on his yoga. I went to fetch Krishnaji’s new walking shoes from Mr. Kohli in Saanen. We walked to the river and saw it flow on a certain rock that is its pulse for us; the rock is running after a rain. Krishnaji watches the water run and his face is as eager and alive as a child. There was thunder as we came through the woods and drops began as we reached the chalet.’
The next day, ‘A lovely, quiet day. Krishnaji and I lunched alone, and by midafternoon, the list of Krishnaji’s addresses for 1911–1976 was done. I photocopied it and posted it to the U.S. Embassy in London. There is a large weight off my shoulders. We walked through the woods as always. Radha Burnier telephoned and is here. Vanda telephoned saying she can’t come till Sunday.’
August thirteenth, ‘Krishnaji came into the room, opened at random a copy of The Notebook to page 180, and after a few minutes he said, “Quite good.”’ [S laughs.] ‘Then he asked, “Is it as good as that?” He pointed to a book I had there of Laurie Lee’s I Can’t Stay Long…’
S: Oh, yes.
M: ‘…that I’d been reading, and which I had told him I liked. I read him a sentence he wrote describing a rock in Rishi Valley and an example of Krishnaji’s pure writing style, quite apart from what he has to say. He made dismissing sounds, as he does when one says something he considers a compliment. I said, “You should write some more.”’
‘Krishnaji replied, “Maybe, I will. But if I start, I won’t do anything else.”’ I remember this conversation. ‘“Talking is what I do, not that.”’
‘Radha Burnier has arrived in Gstaad and came up in the car with me to lunch. Krishnaji had his lunch in his room on the tray as usual, but came in afterward and talked to Radha most of the afternoon, mostly about India. Things outwardly are smoother, more efficient there, but behind it is fear. Pupul looks only at the pro-side of the prime minister, and doesn’t seem to look at reality. Radha and Achyut are unable to talk to her freely, but Radha feels that under the statement Mrs. Gandhi made to Pupul, that Krishnaji is welcomed to come to talk.’ In other words, it would be alright for Krishnaji to speak as he always did, even with marshal law. ‘I took Radha back to her hotel, Arc-en-Ciel, and Krishnaji took a nap till 6 p.m., coming in then, fuzzy with sleep, realizing it was too late to walk. In the evening, Jackie Kornfeld rang from the United States to say that KGBH in Boston is enthusiastic about the Krishnaji-Bohm-Shainberg videos, and tentatively wants to broadcast and disseminate them. Kornfeld asked what to do about editing, and asked if Sunanda could. I said “no” to that, but suggested they submit a transcript of the tapes with their wish for deletions, and we could compare it with the originals, etcetera, at least to begin with.’
August fourteenth. ‘I worked most of the day at the desk. I brought Radha up for lunch. Krishnaji ate to avoid missing his nap and walk time. After eating his lunch in his room, he joined us and the talk was mostly about CWL . Did he really have insight? Radha and Krishnaji thought a little, which, because of his conditioning, etcetera, he embellished and made personal. “He was a materialist,” said Krishnaji. Radha said Arundale was an intensely possessive, jealous man. He didn’t want his wife, Rukmini, Radha’s aunt, to go anywhere without him, etcetera. Krishnaji said, “Amma  was the only real one.” Radha said that in the Vasanta Vihara settlement last spring, a small cash sum of 10,000 rupees was to come to the JK Trust Madras.’ They put up a little trust called the JK Trust Madras, to own Vasanta Vihara till it was…
S: Right…all the things got settled.
M: Yes. So, there was this sum of 10,000 rupees that was to come to the JK Trust Madras. ‘When she went to collect it, she was told that Rajagopal had sent it to himself in Ojai, in spite of the court order.’ [S laughing.] ‘Less than $100!’—exclamation point. ‘She also heard that Rukmini was trying to get on the board of trustees with others of her people in order to get Vasanta Vihara for herself. We all three wondered if this was also a Rajagopal ploy. “Did you know Franklin Lacey?” asked Radha. He is a great friend of Rukmini’s.’ Frank Lacey had something to do with HappyValleySchool, and he was a Rosalind person.
M: ‘Then, the conversation went to other things, the meaning of yoga, karma, what dies at death. Krishnaji put it that the stream of thought, self, conditioning, etcetera, continues, and it manifests again, not an individual consciousness. The individual consciousness as we know it is part of that stream, and unless a person changes, it contributes to that stream. When he dies, matter dies. Thought is matter, and so dies, and what he was, remains part of the stream. That stream becomes part of the newborn human, and so it goes. The stream is the karma, not something individual. Only when one steps out of the stream is there a new dimension. Krishnaji had his nap, and after 5 p.m., we walked up through the woods twice as it was muddy beyond. The green pool in the river suddenly muddied as we looked down on it, and the sound of the water rose. There must’ve been a sudden rain upstream bringing down silt.’
Next day says only ‘Radha to lunch. Vanda comes back from Florence.’
The sixteenth, ‘Radha to lunch, and then Frances McCann and her sister Helen came to tea.’
There’s really nothing until the eighteenth when, ‘I took the 8:40 a.m. train to Geneva. Met Mr. Breitschmidt, of the American Fletcher Bank. Gave instructions for Isabela Biascoechea’s account, and after talking over my own and Alzina’—Alzina was an account that I was in charge of, but it was for Krishnaji’s benefit—‘I decided to leave them at the Cantonal Bank for the time being. I walked back to the station, returned to Gstaad by 4:15 p.m., and walked with Krishnaji and Vanda.’
The next day, ‘I started packing. Fetched Radha to lunch. Krishnaji had a haircut. And then, we walked in the woods.’
The twentieth. ‘I did more packing. Brought Radha to lunch. I exchanged the Fiat for an Opal large enough to take our luggage. Ortolani and his friend came to say goodbye to Krishnaji. Krishnaji and I walked through the woods, and all was in order for our departure.’
August twenty-first. ‘It is a most lovely morning. The luggage fitted easily into the larger car, hoisted in by Fosca and me. At 8:30 a.m., we said goodbye to Vanda and Fosca, who are staying on a few days, and we drove via the Col de Pillon down to Aigle where we got on a new auto route which detours Montreux and Lausanne, getting us unexpectedly soon to the Geneva Airport at 10:30 a.m. We flew British Airways to Heathrow. Krishnaji was in cheerful spirits at leaving. He chose the Pillon route instead of Bulle and was very pleased to see his due amici .’ [S laughs.] The due amici were two large cypress trees that grow just above Aigle. ‘“Ciao,” he says to them always when we pass.’ [M chuckles.] ‘Then, the new road brought his child smile, mouth open a little, a big smile and absorption in looking at things. These moments melt my heart. His sense of wonder and interest, it is part of the delight of being with him.’
M: ‘Another pleasing and remembered thing, the Patek clock in the airport. He liked to go and look at it because it was accurate to some extraordinary degree.’
S: Yes, it was like an atomic clock.
M: Yes, it was. ‘Dorothy, hot and distracted, was at Heathrow when we finally emerged. The wait for luggage was endless. The change in England since we left at the end of June is dismaying. The drought has withered the fields; grass is brown; leaves are tired on the trees. The sun is malevolent. Brockwood was cool in the downstairs rooms but the brown lawn feels like steel wool. I hadn’t the heart to go to the grove. We unpacked and didn’t walk. There was a painting by Louis de Broucgny’—or something like that—‘which was a present from Mary and Joe who spent their summer holiday here.’ That’s the painting in the hall in the West Wing.
August twenty-second. ‘I unpacked and put things in order. Brockwood is desperately dry. The lawn is brown and rough, and the rhododendrons are wilted in the grove. I got the car out, and the battery is okay. The tents for the Brockwood Public Talks are up. It was a hot, dry day.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji and I went to Petersfield for a train to London. We went to Brigg’s, where Krishnaji ordered a sun umbrella, to Hatchards for books. And then met Mary L. at Fortnum’s, where she lunched with us. I dropped Krishnaji at the dentist, Mr. Thompson, and went to Nelson for Nux Vomica, prescribed by Alain Naudé for my allergy. Krishnaji has to have a lower tooth out after the talks. We got back to Petersfield, where Dorothy and Doris had come to meet Erna and Theo, but they weren’t on the train. Krishnaji and I went on, and Erna and Theo appeared soon after, having flown in from California. Another hot day.’
August twenty-fourth. ‘I talked with Erna and Theo in the morning. Fritz Wilhelm appeared; and Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I talked to him in the afternoon about his possible marriage, and the Ojai job, etcetera. Krishnaji, Erna, and I walked.’
The next day, ‘another very hot day. I took Erna and Theo to Winchester on errands, but was back for lunch. Erna and I discussed KFA matters. Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, Dorothy, and I walked.’
August twenty-sixth, ‘I took the 11:45 a.m. train to London, and went to the General Trading Company for record holders for Krishnaji.’ They sold records. ‘At 2:30 p.m., I met Mary Cadogan, Erna, and Theo at Zoom Television. I looked at parts of the English quads.’ What does that mean?
S: The Krishnaji-Bohm-Shainberg videos were originally recorded on two-inch English PAL quads. PAL is the English standard for televisions. So, you looked at the standard in which they were filmed, which is much better than American NTSC standard, which is what you saw the recordings in in Saanen.
M: ‘I talked to John Hawking about tapes.’ Who’s John Hawking?
S: Must’ve been someone at Zoom Television. It was they who did the standard’s conversion of PAL to NTSC, and who made copies for us on U-Matics that we could re-copy for resale.
M: ‘Erna, Theo, and I came back by train. Another very hot day. There are forest fires all over the country.’ That was an awful year.
August twenty-seventh. ‘I spent much of the day working at the desk. After lunch, I went to Petersfield on errands, taking Fritz Wilhelm and Carl Marcus. Fritz met Margrete Heising’—that’s the woman he married—‘a Danish woman who taught at Ojai during the summer school and whom Fritz may marry. The Digbys arrived from their new home in Dorset. Pascaline Mallet arrived and is in the West Wing dining room, which has been converted to a guest room. The weather is cooler.’
The twenty-eighth of August. ‘Krishnaji gave his first Brockwood public talk of the year, and the tent was filled and overflowing outside. I sat outside. Mary and Joe came, and Vanda invited them up to the kitchen, where we all had fruit and salad before going back to the tent for the main course.’ That’s what we used to do. ‘I was asked to the Publication Committee meeting in the afternoon. The videotapes of the Krishnaji-Bohm-Shainberg dialogues were shown in the Assembly at 5:45 p.m.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji gave the second Brockwood talk. We ate fruit and salad upstairs, and the rest in the tent. Radha Burnier is here. Krishnaji, Dorothy, Erna, Theo, and I walked in rain!!!’ That is underlined with three exclamation points! [Both chuckle.] ‘I saw number three of the videos in the evening, while Krishnaji watched The Bridge on the River Kwai on television.’
August thirtieth, ‘Krishnaji wants to hold a month of meetings in March with representatives of England, India, and the U.S. and probably Canada, about the future of the schools and the work. He wants it to be in Ojai. Desikachar, his wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Martin Underwood came to lunch. Desikachar is holding a seminar at Cambridge. We rested in the afternoon, then a walk with Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and Dorothy.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji held a public discussion in the tent. Lunched half in the kitchen and half with everyone in the tent. Took Radha Burnier to the Petersfield train. Krishnaji saw briefly a Polish woman, sociologist, Mrs. Magdalena Jasinska.’ We saw a lot of her after this. ‘Then, Dorothy, Erna, Theo, and we walked. I saw video number four on our return.’
Wednesday, the first of September. ‘Krishnaji and I spoke to Jackie Kornfeld in New York about KGBH wanting the videotapes, but also wanting them edited down to three hours by someone from KFA, apparently me. I did deskwork, and walked in afternoon.’
September second. ‘Krishnaji held the second discussion in the tent, a brilliant one on thought. Radha Burnier had the first half of lunch with us in the kitchen. Then, we went for the main course in the tent. There was a nap, a walk, and video tape number five was shown.’
The third of September. ‘I went to Petersfield on errands and met Mary Cadogan at the train station. There was a meeting after lunch about video matters, with Erna, Theo, and Scott Forbes. The walk was with Krishnaji, Dorothy, Erna, Theo, and me.’
The fourth of September. ‘Krishnaji gave the third Brockwood talk. A tremendous talk. We again had fruit and salad upstairs, and then went back to the tent for hot food. With Erna and Theo, we talked to a George Bohlen about a donation to KFA that involved an inheritance he has of paintings, also about his getting support for the school from people in Massachusetts showing the videos, etcetera.’ I don’t know what that is. I don’t remember all that. ‘I walked with Krishnaji, Dorothy, Erna, and Theo; and on my return saw the sixth video tape. I told George and Nelly about the meeting Krishnaji wants in Ojai in March about the future of the schools and work. Krishnaji and I watched on TV The Two Ronnies.’ [Laughs.] Do you remember them?
S: [laughs] I remember them well!
M: He liked that. And then there was a Starsky and Hutch program playing.
S: [laughing] A good night!
M: Yes, a good night for television. [Laughs.]
On the fifth of September. ‘Krishnaji gave his fourth Brockwood talk, another overwhelming one. Mary L. and Amanda sold books at the book table, and I joined them. Then, they came up for tea with Krishnaji in the kitchen. Krishnaji walked with Dorothy, and I went to the seventh video, and was overwhelmed by that, too. After supper, Krishnaji and I watched a TV film about Cromwell.’
September sixth. ‘The guests begin to leave, and the house gets quieter. The talks are over. Krishnaji dictated letters. I typed, and did laundry. I discussed Foundation matters with Erna and Theo in the afternoon. Krishnaji and I again signed the revised KFA charter, and revised the agreement of the case settlement. Krishnaji, Dorothy, Erna, Theo, and I walked. I looked at videos of last week’s talks done by Scott Forbes.’
The seventh, ‘I did deskwork, and went to a staff meeting. Krishnaji talked to Erna, Theo, and me; then we walked. There was a letter from my brother. My brother was being sued by an ex-wife’ [both M and S laugh] ‘for more alimony!’ She could use alimony, that woman.
Wednesday, September eighth. ‘With Erna and Theo, and Ted Cartee, I took the 8:51 a.m. train to London. Erna and Theo got off at Woking to go to Heathrow and on to Majorca.’ He had a sister living in Majorca. ‘Ted came with me to the U.S. embassy about Krishnaji’s immigration application. There were contradictory statements by the girl at the desk.’ I don’t know what that was. ‘I bought some coffee beans and got back to Brockwood by 2:30 p.m. Walked with Krishnaji. There was another staff meeting.’
S: Would you have gone to Mr. Higgins to get your coffee beans?
M: To buy coffee beans? Probably, but it doesn’t say Mr. Higgins. [Both chuckle.]
The ninth of September. ‘Krishnaji held the first discussion with the staff for this academic year, on applying his teachings in the teaching of regular academic subjects, history, physics, etcetera. Dorothy came to me with problems with Ted.’ I’ve forgotten what that was, but I knew there were problems. ‘We walked, as usual, in the afternoon.’
The tenth of September. ‘Dorothy has talked to a staff member about having therapy, and that person is willing to go to Shainberg. I worked at my desk. I wrote to the embassy, as nothing came in the mail.’ They were sending me papers. ‘To West Meon after lunch. Back for the walk. Rain in the evening.’
September eleventh. ‘Krishnaji, in spite of a cold, held a discussion with the staff on teaching. He went to bed after lunch. I went with the Bohms to look at a cottage for sale in Warnford. Heavy rain in the late afternoon.’ The Bohms were thinking of living in Warnford.
The next day, ‘Krishnaji was in bed all day. I took vitamin C to ward off getting a cold.’
September thirteenth, ‘Krishnaji spent Saturday afternoon and all day yesterday in bed with a cold, but mysteriously, he is able to get over that in contrast to his hay fever. Today he said he was quite able to go to London, Huntsman, and the dentist. His face looked pinched on the train, and it was colder today with light rain in London. He fitted at Huntsman, and I did too, a skirt, first try. Then, we walked to Fortnum’s and lunched with Mary Links. She had a copy of the Avon paperback edition of the biography. It looked very nice. Krishnaji told her of the two meetings he has had with the staff at Brockwood, and of his plan to teach us how to teach his teachings at the same time as and mingled with academic subjects. He also talked very seriously to her about the month of meetings at Ojai in March, on the future of the schools, the work, etcetera. He and Mary think a few, perhaps I, should be responsible for seeing that the teachings are kept alive, active, unaltered, or uninterpreted after his death. He thinks Sunanda, Fritz, and I should be the three. To my own surprise, during the two meetings with teachers, I came to see many ways Krishnaji’s teachings could be woven into history, math, science, etcetera. Something has begun to come alive in my head, where it was a blank before.’
‘Krishnaji wants Mary L.’s ideas on these matters. Should she come to Ojai in March, I would be glad to provide airfare. Krishnaji is not sure yet. While he went to the bathroom, Mary told me that Alain Naudé is down to his last $1,000.’ She remained great friends with Alain, and after he left, he communicated with her. ‘We went next door  to inquire about Krishnaji’s sun umbrella, and to Hatchards, where we found a new detective novel. Then, Joe thoughtfully came by to pick us all up, and Krishnaji went to Mr. Thompson. Two lower front teeth are to come out on Wednesday. Pont Vecchio’ [laughs] ‘the name Krishnaji has given to his dental bridge’—[both laughing] I’d forgotten that—‘remained, and Thompson is to have a replacement made and installed. We had a quick taxi to Waterloo. In the train, Krishnaji spoke again about me, Fritz, and Sunanda. I said he must educate me. He said people will accept and trust me. I have no such optimism. We will have Sunanda take notes of anything he tells her and Fritz in India this winter, and send them to me. I am to keep the Lilliefelts informed. I asked Krishnaji about what came up at Saturday’s teacher meeting—Krishnaji’s demand that we transform the students instantly and completely. Is it possible? How is it that he has not done it, speaking all these years?! Krishnaji said, “I’ve wondered about it.”’ [Both laugh.] ‘He said that he thinks Mrs. Besant may once have said that the teachings are so enormous, the light is too strong, it is too much and people go blind. “But when you die, the light will be there, but the personality won’t.”’
S: Hm. Hm.
M: That’s curious.
S: Meaning, in a sense, that they will be no longer blinded but somehow the benefit will still be there…
M: Yes, what he said will be there, but his presence adds to the overwhelming-ness of it, or something. That’s my feel or guess.
S: Mm, hm.
M: September fourteenth, ‘Krishnaji spent the day in bed, and says he should do it one day a week—in India as well. It is good for him. I worked at my desk and went to Petersfield on errands. It rained.’
September fifteenth, ‘We took the 11:45 a.m. train to London, and went directly to Fortnum’s for lunch. We talked of what the immediate assessing mind does on seeing people.’ You know, you look at a person, you assess.
S: Mm, hm. Mm, hm.
M: ‘Example: At a glance, one recognizes Americans in London. Krishnaji watched a man at a table nearby and guessed he was an artist. I asked if these images, which are instantaneous and part of the data gathering of the mind, are wrong in terms of his teachings. He said, “With me, I am vacant most of the time, except when I’m talking.” He continued, “I see someone, I may know it is Ms. Pratt, but my mind is empty.” I said it seemed as if one has facts and images, but one keeps the score open, so to speak; one keeps looking, not letting the image obliterate what is seen. Krishnaji seemed to assent to this, but I must ask it again, in case he was being a little vacant today. We walked to Huntsman. He fitted a pair of thin trousers and chose a greeny/beige tweed for a warm pair. Then, we struggled for a taxi, he on Cork Street Corner and me on Saville Row corner. We got to Mr. Thompson, where Krishnaji went in to have his two lower middle teeth out. They are loose and worn away. Sitting in the waiting room by the door, I could hear him and Mr. Thompson laughing.’ [Both chuckle] ‘Soon, the nurse came out to say he would be out in a few minutes—my signal to find a taxi. One wouldn’t wait; the second was cheerful and sympathetic, but I sat in it to be sure, and then out came Krishnaji, making a gesture that it was nothing. He had a small amount Novocain, no pain, very quick, and the bridge now has two new teeth in it that look totally real. There was no bleeding. He felt fine. He took some ferrum phos. The cab had to stop in Berkeley Square for petrol, but we caught the 4:50 p.m. I asked Krishnaji if his teeth might have had a healing quality. He said, yes, he should’ve saved them. He said healing cannot be taught or transmitted to another. It is strongest in the person with the least self. I asked, “Can you heal yourself?” He said, “No. But if you put your hand on me, and I touch your hand, it helps.”’
M: I remember that. When he was dying…
S: Yes, I remember.
M: He asked me to press him here…
S: I remember, yes, me too.
M: And he put his hand on me.
S: Yes, yes, yes.
M: September sixteenth, ‘Krishnaji talked to teachers. Walk in the afternoon with Krishnaji, Dorothy, and dogs.’
September seventeenth, ‘I went to London to take Krishnaji’s passport for renewal by the Indian High Commission, where Mr. Vettakhan saw to it. I went to the U.S. embassy about Krishnaji’s immigration visa, to Nelson for homeopathic remedies for Krishnaji, to the bank, and at 3:30 p.m. to the Connaught, where Betsy Drake joined me for coffee. Then, back to the Indian High Commission to pick up the passport, and so back to Brockwood.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji spoke to teachers. We walked in the afternoon.’
September nineteenth. ‘Balasundaram arrived in the morning and went directly to talk to Krishnaji. In spite of Krishnaji’s coming soon to Madras, and in spite of his wife Visalakshi having cracked her hip in two falls and having to cancel plans to record for UNESCO in Paris, Balasundaram has felt it necessary to be here and talk to Krishnaji. Krishnaji has felt increasingly that Balasundaram has done nothing to carry out all that was discussed and planned between them a year ago. I attended a staff meeting at 3 p.m. Then a walk with Krishnaji, Balasundaram, Dorothy, and me.’
September twentieth. ‘Erna telephoned from London where she and Theo have spent the weekend after being in Majorca and Spain. They fly back to California today. At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji held an intensive two-hour discussion with the teachers, mostly on fear, putting himself in the role of a student. On the central factor behind various fears, he shut me up.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘He later said he wanted them to respond. It was a very good discussion and hard work. Later on, the walk was with Krishnaji, Balasundaram, Dorothy, me, and the dogs. A warm day, I took off my sweater.’ That seems to have been notable. [S chuckles.] ‘The earth breathes with the damp smells of autumn. This lovely land moves me, and I am lost for moments in its rolling fields. The air, so filled with earth and sky, brings a sense of something, of an essential, something native. I suppose it is out of my childhood.’ I know that countryside has always been immensely reminiscent, evocative.
S: Yes, evocative.
M: Yes, and wonderful to me. It’s childhood memories of similar terrain, only in the U.S.
S: It’s also just so rich with history and culture and something very human.
M: It is. Long before Krishnaji, when Sam and I used to fly there, when the plane would come over England and it was sunny, the clouds would part, and there it was, green and England.
S: Yes, yes.
M: I wanted to touch it.
S: Mm, hm.
M: ‘As we were returning from the walk, Jim was there with the horses and persuaded me to get up on the little bay. Suddenly being on a horse again, after all these years, was a delight. I rode over to Krishnaji, with all the instantly alive reflexes and pleasures of those long-ago horse days.’ [S chuckles.] ‘It would be marvelous to ride here, but, and a large but, the stirrup leather and flap of saddle is exactly where my most fragile skin graft is on my leg, where the ulcer was a year ago and where there is hardly any cushion of flesh under the graft.’ That’s why I couldn’t ride.
S: Yes. We should say it was Jim Fowler, just to identify which Jim.
M: Yes, Jim Fowler took care of the horses at Brockwood.
On the twenty-first, ‘I went to Winchester Customs and Excise Office and paid a 319 pounds sterling duty for the import of a ’72 gray Mercedes.’ [S chuckles.] ‘It now has a British instead of a Swiss registry. I was back for lunch. With Dorothy, I went to Alresford and West Meon on errands in the afternoon, and then a walk with Krishnaji and Balasundaram.’
September twenty-second. ‘We went to London by train, to U.S. embassy to have notarized affidavits by Krishnaji and me on the particulars of his birth. These are needed in lieu of a birth certificate, required by U.S. immigration visa application. An eager older woman worker appeared to introduce a shy younger one who had recognized Krishnaji. He shook hands and made his slight bow. I wished it had happened in the “immigration section,” which is as impersonal as a factory.’
‘We walked to Fortnum’s, stopping at Morgan Guarantee and passing Sulka, where I saw a handsome cotton dressing gown which Krishnaji liked, but we were hurrying and didn’t go in. Mary and Joe lunched with us. It was pleasant. And then Krishnaji went with Joe to Truefitt for a haircut, and I did small errands before joining him at Huntsman. He fitted trousers. And then, it was raining hard, and of course, no taxis. What to do? Then, André de Bloos, father of Brockwood student Jean-Michel de Bloos, appeared having seen Krishnaji through the Huntsman window. He and his friend, a woman named Martine, were parked across the street, and they offered to drive Krishnaji and me to Waterloo. Surprising luck. I was weary and dog-tired’ [laughing].
‘In the train, I slept and woke up to watch Krishnaji reading a detective story we bought at Waterloo, his lips moving faintly with the words.’ That slowed him down terribly. I once took a speed reading course and learned you must never mouth the words. Anyway, ‘his fingers seem polished as he holds the book. The grace and beauty that is so limitless in his face can be watched endlessly, wonderingly, more beautiful than a work of art, and more alive than a tree. In the evening, we watched a TV interview with Andrei Amalrik, a Soviet dissident writer. Krishnaji said, “We are talking about the same things,” when Amalrik said, “Change cannot come from without, but from within each person.” Later, we watched till far too late, at 11 o’clock, a remake of Rogue Male with Peter O’Toole. It was a good movie. We both got too tense with the suspense!’ I don’t remember the movie, but I remember the name. That’s the end of that day.
S: Okay. That’s all we have time for.
 He was the director of the Krishnamurti-Bohm-Shainberg videos from America who had come over to film the discussions at Brockwood. Back to text.
 Charles Webster Leadbeater, the man Theosophists believed to be psychic and who discovered Krishnaji as a boy on the beach in Madras, claiming he was the new “world teacher.” Back to text.
 This is what Krishnaji called Annie Besant. Back to text.
 Italian for “two friends.” Back to text.
 Swaine Adeney Brigg, usually just known as Brigg’s. Back to text.