Issue #45

<<Previous Issue | Next Issue>>

Issue 45—March 4, 1977 to April 12, 1977


In this issue, and several previous issues, there have been long sections in which Mary has quoted Krishnaji from discussions that are either unavailable to the public (like trustees’ meetings), or for which the recordings have been lost (like Mary’s Dictaphone recordings), or which were simply not recorded. All of these long quotes have sections or words missing, truncated sentences, and whimsical punctuation because they were never meant for publication, but were diary entries as a memory aid for Mary. And when Mary read her diaries out to me, she read them, more or less, as they were written. This has left me, as editor, with the dilemma of how to present these for publication—which these issues, indeed, are. I can put in the words I feel are missing; I can complete sentences as I believe she intended them to be; I can correct the punctuation. But it has seemed wrong.

After two decades of living with this material, I have come to feel that, at the end of every day, when Mary wrote her diary entries, she was still so freshly “carrying,” “living,” “holding” what she had lived that day with Krishnaji, that she was writing out of that carrying/living/holding; and, like an impressionist painter who paints what they are experiencing and not a photo likeness, Mary is giving us what it was like for her to be there—for her to be in Krishnaji’s presence. And this rare entry, for us, into something that no longer exists, has to simply be treasured for what it is, how it is.

The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: #45

Mary: We begin on March fourth, 1977, and we’re in Ojai for the first international trustees’ meetings. ‘It was suggested yesterday that all but Krishnaji meet on our own in the days between the meetings with Krishnaji. So, we did it. And it was the beginning of a good discussion. At 10:30 a.m. Krishnaji received David Weideman in the cottage. He was invited to join us at lunch.’ I can’t remember who he was.

Scott: Wasn’t David Weideman one of the television producers or directors who did the Transformation of Man videos at Brockwood—the Bohm-Shainberg dialogues?

M: I have no memory of him.

S: You mentioned their names before.

M: Well, anyway, he had lunch with us in Arya Vihara. ‘In the afternoon, cable TV was brought temporarily up to the cottage and connected to the Sony TV we brought from Malibu which we have in the cottage living room. It works very well. There is better reception here. Krishnaji decided we would watch only news,’ [S laughs] ‘not the endless watching of any old thing. He thinks he will sleep better.’ [S chuckles heartily.] That let out Kojak, Starsky and Hutch

S: The Two Ronnies

M: Yes. It was not exactly adhered to, as I recall.

S: Right.

M: So, anyway, ‘that night we watched the news and Washington Week.’ Are you a Washington Week fan?

S: I am, a great fan.

M: Good. We can see it tonight. Oh, no, we can’t. We’ve got guests. [S laughs.] Well, it goes on about 9, so hang around.

Now, on the fifth, ‘there was the second meeting of the international trustees with Krishnaji. He raised the suggestion by India for an “apex group,” of representatives of the Foundations without powers of authority, but as guardians of the purity of the teachings, to discuss major problems, and hold the Foundations together in spirit and structure. This rose hackles in some. It is clear that Krishnaji wants to guard against separation of the Foundations. Also, he wants someone who will do what he does now: know what is happening in each, point out what is needed, urge improvement, etcetera. But equally clear was the initial pulling back from a “special body,” particularly the word “apex” was bothersome. Theo darkly saw all sorts of spiritual authority and implied repugnance. In the afternoon, Ahalya came and sat with me on the front veranda of the cottage, and we talked intensively about the work, schools, the need for teacher training, and business that affects us all. Krishnaji came out, and he, Ahalya, Radha, Dorothy, Alan K., and I walked down McAndrew to Reeves Road.’ That’s at the bottom of this hill.[1]

S: Yes.

M: ‘We looked at the adobe house again, came back, and Krishnaji switched on the TV. There was President Carter with Walter Cronkite, into the second of Carter’s two hours of answering telephone calls from the public. Dorothy watched it with us. It was excellent. Krishnaji kept saying, “This man will change a lot in this country.” He said he would have liked to telephone in a question’ [both chuckle] ‘through me. The question would be: “This country and people are lacking in respect, integrity, and morality. What can be done about it?”’ [S laughs.] That’s his question. ‘Krishnaji said no one had asked a moral question.’

S: Yes, probably.

M: March sixth. ‘I telephoned Amanda on her birthday. At 11 a.m., the meeting without Krishnaji was held on the deck outside the new school pavilion, which at last is finished.

School will start in it tomorrow. The meeting was fairly contentious. Theo, in particular, but also Erna and Mary C. were against the suggestion of a special body. Theo couldn’t let go of the word “apex” and went on about Theosophy.’ He, having been a Theosophist, he was…’

S: …dead against it.

M: Exactly.

S: Yes, yes.

M: ‘Theo also challenged quite aggressively Radha’s continuing position in the Theosophical Society, and the Esoteric Section.’ He really went for her, it wasn’t nice.

S: I remember listening to the tapes at the time.

M: You remember the tapes? It was rather rude, I thought.

S: It was rude, and it was aggressive, and it was completely against Theo’s normal way of being with people; out of character for Theo, I thought.

M: Yes. ‘Well, she was finally forced to say something. So, she said she would give an answer, but not then. We went on to debate over the group thing, until time to go for lunch. In the afternoon, Radha, Alan, Dorothy, and I walked with Krishnaji.’

S: It’s interesting that this proposal about having a group that oversees all of the work kept coming up.

M: Yes, well, Krishnaji pushed it.

S: Yes, Krishnaji kept bringing it up, but it was always objected to…

M: I know.

S: …by people either who saw themselves as not being in the group, or by people who thought they would be in the group, but they didn’t like other people who were possibly going to be in the group. So [laughing]…

M: They felt territorial, I think.

S: Yes, but it was still there ten years later, Krishnaji was still asking about that. He wanted that to happen.

M: I know. He wanted collaboration.…

S: He wanted it, and people wouldn’t do it. It’s really interesting.

M: It’s still being worked upon.[2][S laughs.]

March seventh. ‘The third international trustees’ meeting with Krishnaji. He asked what their reaction would be if he appointed one or more “at apex.” “Dismay,” said Erna. “Grave psychological disturbances,” said Theo. “Well, I’m not going to,” said Krishnaji. He then said, “The idea of apex was a group to hold all this together, no apostolic succession.”…“Don’t suspect India is trying to put something over.”’

S: Which is what people did think.

M: Yes. [S laughs.]

S: And this thing about no apostolic succession, Krishnaji kept repeating that, too, every time he made this suggestion. But that still didn’t…

M: And yet, behind the scenes, he was talking about…at one point, I was supposed to be a supreme ruler…though he didn’t use that word. [Laughs.]

S: Yes, yes.

M: No one would listen or accept, nor do I want to do that!

S: Yes, but that’s probably why you would’ve been good at it, because you didn’t want to do it! [Laughter.] Whereas, other people were clambering for it!

M: Anyway, ‘“How will these Foundations be held together?” he asked. As the discussion progressed, the idea grew that people from each Foundation should go to India with Krishnaji this year. And there also should be an annual meeting of the whole group. This was tentatively agreed to. We will go into the problems and details tomorrow which Krishnaji doesn’t want to attend. We went on to discuss adult centers, a name he doesn’t like, The center, The Center, The Krishnaji Center. Krishnaji said he knew what he would say to people if he were Fritz or one of us. “I heard K talk. I’ve understood what he said. I’m not putting my own feelings out. I have put aside my own capacities and am here to convey what I have understood, discuss it, work at it, so that [the other person] can catch something of that. It’s not my own notion. It’s totally impersonal.”’ You need to make that big speech to anybody who asks you a question!

S: Yes! [Laughs.]

M: Another quote: ‘“They”’—the trustees, etcetera—‘“are representatives of what they have heard, understood, and live.” He slept after lunch and was tired on the walk with Dorothy, Ahalya, and me. And he was tired after supper.’

The eighth. ‘Krishnaji slept well. At breakfast, I played for him the cassette sent by Blanche Mathias. It describes what her doctor called “hallucinations” she had had last spring after returning from Ojai. It began with Margot Wilke reading to her about life after death, and Blanche having LSD-like visual hallucinations. She made the tape at her doctor’s suggestion, and wants Krishnaji’s opinion. He had trouble understanding her speech on cassette, but I repeated it for him. My own first thought was that Margot Wilke either slipped some LSD on her friend or triggered something in Blanche’s mind. I didn’t give any reaction to Krishnaji before he listened, and his first words were, having listened, that Mrs. Wilke “is not a nice woman.” Blanche is made very sensitive by illness, so either Wilke’s conditioning or her imagination have been conveyed consciously or unconsciously. Blanche may not have been aware of what she too was feeling. Imaging may be her own unconscious projection, the ugliness part in it, and here, he said. “It is dangerous to say this. It may be wickedness, but it is in the world and various states of consciousness in human beings.” He said, “The evil part should never enter into one’s consciousness. The fear in it is part of evil that is going on between human beings.” He said he should see her and tell her directly what to do. It couldn’t be told on the telephone, or written, or conveyed by me, but he suggested we telephone to tell her that he would come to San Francisco. I had repeated into a Dictaphone each thing that he said as he said it. So, with him beside me, I telephoned Blanche and repeated from the Dictaphone what he had said. He told her not to discuss it with anyone. I asked her if she had any further symptoms. And she said no, no more, visually, after that. But now, she is hearing voices, a woman’s voice. That is worse, said Krishnaji to me. I asked him what Blanche should do, and he said, “I must tell her”’—meaning he would tell her. ‘I asked, “but could he tell me what to do, if such a thing ever happened to me.” He said, “You already know.”’ [S laughs.] ‘We spoke…’ [M laughing as she tries to read on.]

S: You just don’t know you know, that’s all!

M: Well, I thought, any little tips if I go mad…

S: [laughing]…I know, would be very helpful!

M: Yes! [Laughs again.] ‘We spoke of whether what is perceived is imaging of the person’s own mind. He said it probably was, but the ugliness, the evil, exists, and when it touches the mind, it translates into imagery.’ That’s interesting.

S: Mm, hm. Yes, that is interesting.

M: ‘At 11 a.m., all met here without Krishnaji to discuss mostly practical matters. Krishnaji joined us for lunch at Arya Vihara. In the afternoon, Erna came to Pine Cottage and we talked about Theosophy, Radha being in the Esoteric Section, etcetera. Krishnaji joined us. It seems Pupul thinks of Radha as her successor, as president of KFI, which shocked Erna.’ [Laughs.] ‘How can the president of the KFI be a Theosophist, etcetera? Krishnaji is going to bring it up. We went for a walk. Erna turned her ankle.’

The next day, ‘We all met with Krishnaji at Arya Vihara for the fourth meeting. He began by asking what will prevent someone, when we are all gone, from taking over everything? How do we insure that this doesn’t happen? What will keep everything moving, flowering? He said, “What am I to do?”…“Everything else is a secondary issue. It is the main thing occupying my mind. If I go on talking as long as I can, travel as long as physically possible, not till the end, I don’t want to die on the platform.”…“It is my response. The Foundations haven’t felt this. So, it is my responsibility. What am I to do? This has been in my mind for a couple of years.”’

‘He then went into the analogy of a baby: if one has a baby, one cares for it, etcetera. “This is my baby,” he said. And it became clear that the rest of us feel it is his baby, not ours. No one had an answer to what the Foundations can, or should be able to do with “his” baby. He spoke of the disintegration into ritual, etcetera, after the deaths of the Buddha, other teachers. How can it be kept alive? He said, “Because it has never been done, it is possible. That is the challenge.” He said that the Foundations are the vessel in which the thing goes on flowering. “Can A hand it to B. I will find the answer. It may be that there is no answer. If that is so, it is the right answer.” The power he put forth in this was overwhelming. I felt turned inside out, unable to move for a while after it was over. Others just sat motionless. I felt emptied, with only the sense of the stream of it, like a river, flowing through my skin. How often the river image describes all this, including that most vivid dream of mine years ago in Gstaad’—I’ve told you…

S: Yes, you have.

M: …‘the rushing gray river, the majestic redwood. His purpose, his teaching is the stream. I entered it long ago; now there is only the stream in my veins, mind, and heart. The bits and pieces of self wash away. Whatever does this action of the stream mean, or what is the action of the stream?’

‘I went back to the cottage and sat on my cot. Krishnaji almost locked me in, not seeing me there, and held me when he saw I was shaking. After lunch, he talked to the Siddoo sisters alone. They are starting their school in the fall, have three teachers, and a dozen children. They bought out others in the family trust, so they have less funds at present, but will have these replenished in a couple of years when they plan to sell the present school buildings at Wolf Lake. They assured Krishnaji that they are in this for life. We then drove to Malibu. On the way, I spoke to Krishnaji about whether there is such a thing as genius—in its real, not everyday, sense—in the religious field—innate, born genius, as in other fields, and if it is so, is it not perhaps necessary to do what he is suggesting. He understood my question, and seemed to take it into his exploring. Could this explain the not catching fire when he has brought the flame? I told him of own image this morning as he talked—not of the baby—but the watery one. He is the spring; the pure, clear water is a vast lake now. The Foundation can keep the water pure and clean, but only he is the spring. So, we came home to Malibu, and I was able to go over to see the Dunnes for a little before supper. Miranda was there. I was told of black Muslim terrorists capturing over 100 hostages in Washington. Came back in time for Krishnaji and I to see the Cronkite report on TV at 6 p.m. Krishnaji had to take castor oil at 5 p.m. for IVP exams tomorrow morning.’

S: Oh, right. I was wondering why you were coming back to Malibu when the meetings hadn’t ended.

M: That’s right. He had the appointment the next day.

March tenth. ‘I was up early, and tended to bills. Krishnaji, went without breakfast, and we left at 8 a.m. for Beverly Hills and the IVP X-ray. On the way, he said yesterday’s question is working in him. Dr. Orloff, radiologist, X-rayed his kidneys and bladder. Krishnaji felt no ill effects from the intravenous dye or from missing breakfast. So, we did some errands in Beverly Hills—his watch to be checked, my Vuitton bag to be mended. I bought some under-things for Krishnaji, and we came home in time for lunch. Krishnaji rested a little, and then we drove back to Ojai in the green Mercedes.’


Editor’s Note: An audio clip for the following is included because Mary’s reading of this is very moving, but her reading is slightly different to what appears as text here because she was having trouble with her eyes due to an allergy, so some of her reading of her diary entries was not accurate. All of the text of these meetings is taken verbatim from Mary’s diaries.


On the eleventh of March, it says: ‘I telephoned my stepfather on his eighty-eighth birthday. At 11 a.m., Krishnaji held the fifth meeting with the trustees. He said his and the Foundation’s responsibility is to the light of the teachings. The Foundation is to understand the tremendous depth of it. He said, I feel responsible till this thing is conveyed fully, to see that the Foundations and schools understand it fully, not partially. It is their responsibility to understand it. It is not a one-way street. If you feel total responsibility, you will have the capacity. Then, it happens. Capacity comes as one gets into it. So, my responsibility is to see that each member of the Foundations understands. If some are not so involved, what shall we do together? What is preventing it? Not flowering—is that a tremendous issue to you? It may be there all the time—this crisis. Crisis has no motive. To ask how to bring about a crisis is too silly. Either it is a crisis, or it is not at all. If it is a crisis, it will happen. Crisis is tremendous to understand. I would be at it…’ I underline that because he was so emphatic. ‘I would be at it, watching, questioning, seeing if my mind is conditioned, ambitious; I’d work at it, investigate it, feel I’ve got to find out. A crisis. If flowering is not happening, it would be a crisis, challenge. If the Foundation members realize it is not a crisis to them, then it will not take place. My responsibility is to feel the tremendous crisis. I’ve been wondering the last few days what it was. I see it now: If that is my responsibility, what will I do if you don’t?’ (realize the crisis). ‘Walk out? Or work at it? Give it a time limit? What is my responsibility—to go to a new group and go through all that again? My tremendous responsibility is to see that you flower, and yours is to see that it becomes a crisis in your life. But, if it doesn’t, what shall I do? Another group—same problem. So, I can’t leave this group. I’m beginning to see something. Knowing if I leave this group, it will be worse, utterly futile, and a waste of colossal energy. I can’t divorce. Do I put up with it? I refuse! We are at war with each other. I have to do something to make you change. I’m going to stick, whatever happens.’

‘Everyone seemed to feel stunned, silent, and deeply moved after this.

Listen to Mary.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

All sat without moving. After lunch, Krishnaji and I drove Ahalya Chari and Radha Burnier to Malibu for the weekend, Krishnaji driving from the poplar trees home. Everyone is having the weekend off. Ahalya has the guest room, and Radha has the living room sofa.’ I must have been in Filomena’s room. Elfriede was living out by the garage, in that little addition to the garage I made years ago for Naudé. She and her husband lived up there. ‘I spoke to Dr. Hausman on the results of Krishnaji’s X-rays, and he said that he has “a small obstruction.” He is 85 percent sure it is prostate, but said that there is a 5 percent possibility of a tumor. Wants to do a cystoscopy to determine it. Made an appointment for the twenty-eighth to look at the X-rays and discuss it with us.’

March twelfth, ‘Krishnaji rested all day, except for coming to lunch and walking in the garden. Ahalya and Radha and I talked and rested. We didn’t leave the place.’

The next day, ‘I cooked and did desk work. After lunch, Krishnaji, Ahalya, Radha, and I returned to Ojai.’

March fourteenth, ‘Krishnaji held the sixth meeting with trustees. Krishnaji asked why would people come to the centers. He said that if he had come to the Buddha it would’ve been to find out how he thought, how his mind worked, why he said certain things, to understand his mind, to be in the atmosphere, see the quality of the Buddha. When Krishnaji is gone, will people come saying, “You have spent time, gone into it with him, so being there, I would capture something of that.”’ He jumps between roles in these things’ [laughs].

S: Yes.

M: …‘“I would catch something of that.”…“This is fundamental. Then, you can discuss fear, etcetera.” Krishnaji said the books are alright, but greater depth is not reached that way. Some other quality is necessary. That other quality cannot be reached through this (effort on this level) though one must be without fear, sorrow, etcetera. That is not the end.’

S: The level of books?

M: Yes.

S: Mm, hm.

M: ‘He said to us, “You haven’t asked for this. When you want it, you get it.” And “Don’t spend a whole life laying the foundation. Have done it. Then, something much more must take place.” Again, the impact of what he said left most of us silent and overwhelmed. It was cold, and we had lunch inside Arya Vihara. I went to Ventura for an electric blanket. It is so cold in the cottage that it is hard to sleep.’

March fifteenth, it says:‘Krishnaji and I drove to Cynthia Wood’s in Santa Barbara for a trustee meeting with Hirshon and Gammel’—those were architects. ‘They revised plans for the administration residence building. On return to the cottage, Krishnaji, Mary Cadogan, and I talked over parts of the meetings and the trustee unease with Radha’s TS membership.’

S: We should say just something, because people might not know about the Esoteric Section of the TS, and correct me if I’m wrong. As I understand it, the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society is a group within the group.

M: That’s right.

S: But it actually is also slightly apart.

M: Yes.

S: In the sense, that the president of the Esoteric Section appoints the next president.

M: That, I don’t know.

S: I’m almost sure of this. It’s not an elected position.

M: I know that it was founded, originally, I was told by Krishnaji, by Mrs. Besant for him to head.

S: I seem to remember that. Anyway, the head of the Esoteric Section, previous to Radha, was her father. So, it’s her father who appointed her, and…

M: She’s still head of it.

S: And she’s still head of the Esoteric Section, even though she’s now president of the TS.

M: Yes. You could be both.

S: So, I just wanted to mention this because, I think, it made it doubly difficult for her to just give it up.

M: Of course.

S: Even though a lot of other members in the Krishnamurti Foundation wanted her to do that.

M: Well, she clearly made the decision not to give it up, but this fuss about it has never progressed, as it were. She has, in fact, from what little I know about it, which is little, she’s trying to pull the TS over in Krishnaji’s direction.

S: Oh, very much so. And, in fact, when she was running for president of the TS, the fact that she was a trustee of the Krishnamurti Foundation of India was held against her by a lot of old TS people.

M: I’m sure.

S: And a lot of the TS people who had been made quite hostile to Krishnaji by previous  people have felt that she has changed it dramatically by bringing Krishnaji more into the TS.

M: Heresy! Huh.

S: But I would probably also add that I…this might be speculation, but just knowing Radha to the small extent that I do, if Krishnaji had ever said to her, please give up the TS, I’m sure she would have. But, I don’t think Krishnaji ever did, did he?

M: No. Not that I know of, and I don’t think he would have.

S: No. I don’t think he would’ve, and I think if he had, she would’ve done it.

M: Well, that’s speculation.

S: That is speculation. But, it’s just the amount of…

M: Her involvement with Krishnaji as a teacher, as a person, was totally sincere.

S: Absolutely.

M: …is totally sincere.

S: That’s why I speculate that.

M: I think it’s a good exposition for this purpose.

Yes, we were at Cynthia Wood’s, and we came back. Mary C. came to talk to me in the cottage, and Krishnaji joined us. We spoke of the worry of many at Radha’s position as both KF member and TS.

S: Yes, that’s what started our conversation.

M: Right. ‘Krishnaji said he would talk alone with Radha about it before it is raised in these meetings. We spoke, too, about the implications of what he is telling us. I asked if his presence, his having been with us will make it more possible for us to carry on; if something more than what we have learned will be at work. Later, alone with him, I tried to say what I seldom mention but is the ground I stand on—that with all my being, I want to go all the way in this. I said that all along, I’ve seen that wanting, willing, seeking is not the way, that it moves against realization, but that without those there remains a burning center that cares only about what he calls “much more.” Spoke of “opening the window”—he said to speak of it in the next meeting.’

March sixteenth, ‘Krishnaji’s seventh meeting with the trustees. I asked about the “open window” through which the wind may come.’

‘Krishnaji said that “laying the foundation (understanding, fears, etc., etc.,) demands the other.”…“If one understands a part, one understands the whole.” Laying the foundation brings about a movement—“the volume of the water brings the movement.” Movement brings energy. In laying the foundation “not taking too long—compress it,” then there is momentum, energy, movement. Then, discussion would take place at a different level, verbally or nonverbally. Later, he said, “Can we act now as if K were no longer here?”…“What would you do?” and “if you have imbibed the teachings, you are the teacher.” Then, “You’ve got a deep well, don’t go to it with a little bucket. For god’s sake, use K, learn. You’ve got a short time. It is the responsibility of the Foundation to suck that dry.”’

‘As it continued, it was clear that one goes to the well with no bucket. Consciousness, empty of knowledge, is no bucket.’

‘In the afternoon, Krishnaji had a long talk with Radha about her position in KFI and TS. She apparently had never considered that there might be a contradiction. Krishnaji told Dorothy and me afterward that he had not advised her how to act, but to look at the whole. He pointed out to Dorothy and me what a difficult decision Radha faces.’

The seventeenth. ‘Bart Phelps’—that’s the architect—‘came at 2:30 p.m., and we spent the afternoon going through the house plans. Erna went with Cohen, our lawyer, to the Planning Commission hearing for a permit for Krishnaji’s talks in the Oak Grove. Present also were Annie Vigeveno, Austin Bee, and Mr. and Mrs. Kelly, who bought the Zork house. Kelly voiced objectionS: noises, pot holes in the roads, etcetera. But, we got the permission in spite of objections. Krishnaji is shocked at Rajagopal sending Austin Bee and Vigeveno to oppose the permission.’

S: I was just sitting here shocked.

M: Yes.

S: This is where Krishnaji had always spoken.

M: Yes, but we always had to get a permission for a public meeting.

S: Yes, and before that, he, Rajagopal, would’ve gotten it. But, now that it’s the new Foundation that’s doing it, he’s sending flunkies down to oppose it?

M: That’s right.

S: Extraordinary.

M: March eighteenth, ‘Krishnaji’s meeting with the trustees number eight. It began with David Bohm suggesting we start where the K-Bohm-Shainberg videos ended, the subject of something “sacred.” There was considerable exploring of guilt and responsibility. Krishnaji rather denigrated responsibility in favor of a much larger, encompassing compassion. “Compassion can never be wrong.” He said, “Compassion can never be inadequate in any circumstance.” If action comes first it leads to guilt. Let compassion act.’

‘“If you are the world, which I feel most profoundly, compassion arises.”…“Sacred is the sense of wholeness. To live at the point of wholeness is a tremendous thing.”…“The teaching is concerned with all of life, and out of that, comes compassion.”…“K feels you should enter into this sense of compassion, and so he is working at it. You are asking what do we do about this and that, the school, and the administration, etcetera. And K says, ‘Stop all that, and come into this, and you will answer rightly.’…“I won’t feel guilty if you don’t do it. I want you to do it, but it would be a horror if I felt guilty or disappointed. So it is my job to see that you come in.”…“Isn’t it your job to see that others come in? But, first, come here.”…“Do we feel guilty because we can’t do it? Churches have said that you must renounce, and there began the guilt.”’

‘Separation-guilt. “Are you listening consciously or unconsciously? Conscious is reaction. Deep listening is without response. That may be the answer. At that deep level, there is no you and me. At this (the superficial) there is.”’

‘“Something extraordinary is in this. You are listening to K on the surface, and you are making an effort to go down there and listen. That doesn’t work that way. Can you listen without the waves? Listening with background and knowledge is one thing; listening is movement. Can you listen without movement. That may convey what K wants to say more profoundly than listening with waves.”’

‘He said he had listened, for instance, to Hitler that way, and saw instantly what he was. “If you listen at a deeper level without words, as Foundation members, something entirely different takes place, about the schools, the centers, etcetera, then you are the teachers because you have moved from the periphery to the very center of it.”…“If you really listen in silence, you are there because there is no me, you are the world.”’

‘After lunch at Arya Vihara, Krishnaji and I drove home to Malibu, and I had time before supper to go to see Amanda and Phil.’

March nineteenth. ‘Krishnaji and I took the 10 a.m. United Airline flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and took a taxi to Blanche Mathias’s apartment. Krishnaji spoke to her in private for an hour, then we both lunched with Blanche. Krishnaji had gone into the matter of the hallucination she’s been having on and off since last spring. He said he told her that she was oversensitive from illness and other things, that made her pick up these things. He didn’t say what else he told her, but indicated I already knew how to deal with such things (no center, no self). At 2:30 p.m., Alain Naudé came by and drove us to his flat, where he took down Krishnaji’s symptoms to try for a homeopathic remedy to help Krishnaji’s problems. Then, he took us to the airport, where we caught the 5 o’clock flight back to Los Angeles, the car, and home to Malibu in time for supper. The trip was not too tiring, but not to be done often.’

The next day, ‘We had breakfast early and drove to Ojai in time for the 11 a.m. ninth meeting with the trustees. The first one-and-a-quarter hours were on procedural matters. Then, Krishnaji asked if responsibility for flowering rests on all Foundation members. Do we all help each other to bring about in the centers a sense of Otherness? He said, we had talked about guilt, but it was an enormous subject, and we hadn’t dealt with it thoroughly. He said “I do not think we are demanding of ourselves the highest. We are still saying we can’t do it. It’s yours. We will explain your teachings.”…“If it is yours”’—he means the Foundation members—‘“it will not be polluted. I thought on the plane yesterday, how do we go through with this?”…“K says ‘Come over in this, and drink as much as you can, involve yourself totally.’ And I fear you are saying, ‘It is too much. We don’t know how.’”…“In the centers, when someone asks, will you be able to deal with it—not as individuals?”…“Have we solved what we want to discuss—what will happen when K is gone? Or, is it insoluble? It has become something I have to do something about.” He spoke of a mine of gold; are we going to stop at the edge of the cave? What are we going to do about the mine of gold?”…“I’m going to pursue this for the rest of my life with the Foundations. It happened we are together. My job is very clear for the next ten years. Whenever we meet, I’m going to push this thing. What is your dharma? A good word, but spoilt. Dharma means sustain the original—if I may use that word with tremendous hesitation. It is not understood in the West.”…“So, what am I to do as a member of the Foundations when K is gone? K says this mine is a sacred treasure. I leave it to you. What will you do with it?”…“My dharma has become very clear in these meetings, apart from the public meetings, to push and pull you into the cave. I feel this tremendously. I accept that. What happens at the end of fifteen years? What will you do?”’

S: Mm. Yes.

M: My diary for March twenty-first says: ‘Mrs. Gandhi fails to win a parliament seat in the India election, and so does her son. The Congress party is defeated. Krishnaji is not surprised. He wonders what she will do. In the p.m., Radha B., Mary C., Dorothy S., Erna, and I went to K & R offices to see the archives. Mrs. Vigeveno admitted us, but was totally unresponsive when we asked for material. She said there was no inventory, she wasn’t there to help us. So, we saw no manuscripts, no letters to Krishnaji. Mary tried to telephone Rajagopal but was refused the use of a phone.’

S: Hm, hm.

M: ‘Radha asked for materials sent from Adyar. No answers.’

The twenty-second of March. ‘Krishnaji’s trustee meeting number ten. There was a discussion of what relationship is between Krishnaji’s teachings, Krishnaji’s words, and truth. Is there such a thing as Krishnaji teachings, or only truth? Is he talking out of the silence of truth, or out of an illusion of truth, the “noise of illusion.” How to find out? Who is to judge? Is it out of silence of truth, or out of reactions and conditioning? How to approach this question? “As I don’t know, I listen”’—this is what we should do, but he’s talking—‘“put aside the personality, influence. I’m questioning—am I questioning my own questioning (with my judgment, conditioning, etcetera). Can I listen to what he says with an abandonment of the past? Then, there is a different relation to him. I’m listening out of silence. I see all the dangers of thought, etcetera.”’

‘Mrs. Gandhi resigns as prime minister. Krishnaji feels somewhat responsible. He told her to do whatever was right, and apparently, she did.’ [S chuckles.]

Wednesday, the twenty-third of March. ‘There was an early meeting of trustees, without Krishnaji, to review decisions taken during the meetings. Krishnaji stayed in bed, but at 11 a.m., came to the Lilliefelt’s where Charles Moore and Murray Silverstein had brought the model of the assembly adult center building. Krishnaji and the U.S. trustees looked at it, and discussed it. It was thought very handsome. We all lunched at Arya Vihara, and later we had another meeting about the brochure for fundraising. Nice drawings by Fritz’s wife Margrete to be used.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji’s eleventh and final trustee meeting continued the discussion of how can we know Krishnaji is speaking the truth. Bohm said, insight sees it is true, and having seen it, one can logically work it out. So, perception is at intervals, or is there one perception that never ends? When Krishnaji dies, the Foundations are to be “guiltlessly” totally responsible to have their own perception, insight of the truth Krishnaji has spoken. One perception is enough. It opens the door, so there is insight all the time: never confusion. Will further action confuse perception, or will perception never be confused? The mind seeks security in insight. In real perception (complete) there is no confusion. The possibility of stepping out of the stream exists for human beings. “Don’t say ‘everyone.’ Perception is never partial. In total perception, there is no further confusion. One cannot have perception if daily life is in disorder. Any conclusion is detrimental to perception. What is perception? It is without attachment, fear. In fear or suffering, one can look at it, the fact that distorts can be looked at. There is perception only when there’s no division between the observer and the observed, the act of exploring, in the act of watching there is insight. There was the analogy of washing a window through which one looks. The art of watching cleans the window. Krishnaji said, he has never done this, i.e., it was never necessary. David Bohm asked, how do you know anyone else can? Krishnaji replied, “Because you see it instantly. You see all this. Must you go through all this, or do it instantly? In seeing the observer and observed, seeing the working of it, one sees the totality.”…“I think that is the only way.”’

‘It was asked, is it open to a human being to see it all at a glance, total perception?’

‘Krishnaji said, “No human being has refused to go through all this (fear, etc.) and said I won’t operate in my conditioned response.”…“If he did, something other may take place.”…“Something other does take place when you look at the whole thing.”…“Yet, that man, K, never said that, he just did it.”…“Demand for the essence of excellence washes everything else way. It is possible.”…“One must have passion for excellence.”… “Total insight is the flame that burns away all confusion.”…“Don’t you then act as a magnet when you are passionate to bring about transformation? Passion may be what is missing. If it is missing, ask for it!”’ [S chuckles.]

‘After the meeting, we all went to the Ranch House, where I gave a luncheon for twenty-four of us. The Hookers arranged it all nicely. We ate inside as a light rain was falling. Later, at the office, there was a meeting on a brochure. Krishnaji talked to Ahalya. Then, he, she, Dorothy, and I took a short walk. It rained, too, in the night. Morarji Desai became prime minister of India.’

March twenty-fifth, ‘there was snow on SulfurMountain.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Dorothy and Mary C. left for England, with Carl Marcus driving them to the Los Angeles airport. Krishnaji held his first meeting in the new pavilion and discussed with parents and teachers on education. Ahalya left for San Francisco. David Bohm gave a radio interview about Krishnaji on station KPFK, which we listened to with Erna and Theo at their house. Malibu had 1.3 inches of rain, including snow in LatigoCanyon, which brings the season total to 7 inches.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji held the second parent-teacher discussion in pavilion. After lunch at Arya Vihara, he “put his hands” for Cynthia Wood. At 4 p.m., he saw a young Russian couple, Elena and Jan Dyansky who wrote to him about two years ago from Leningrad and who have immigrated and come here to see him. He has got a job at the Ojai Inn; they have green cards, a car, a new life. Both are young and childlike. Later, Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I walked.’

On the twenty-seventh of March, ‘Krishnaji held a third meeting in the pavilion with parents and teachers. Dale Duffy’—he was a friend of, I think, Cynthia Wood—‘and Cynthia Wood came to lunch at Arya Vihara. Krishnaji “treated” Cynthia, and there was a brief meeting about announcements of the talks, etcetera. Then Krishnaji and I drove home to Malibu.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji rested in the morning. We lunched at home, and then at 3 p.m. saw Dr. Hausman at his office in Beverly Hills. He showed us the X-rays of the kidneys, which are fine, and the bladder where prostate is enlarged with a narrowing exit. We discussed thoroughly what should be done. I asked what the prognosis is if nothing is done. Hausman said there will be an eventual stoppage. Today, the operation is relatively simple and minor, but it will be more complicated if an infection should occur. The kidneys would be affected. Also, it could happen suddenly during travels or in some place without medical facilities and at a time when Krishnaji would not only be older but not be in his present excellent overall health. This decided Krishnaji, and also me, that it must be seen to here and soon. Krishnaji explained his wish not to be unconscious. His mind must not be made artificially unconscious. Hausman said local, i.e., spinal block, is very customary and will be done if Krishnaji wishes it. Krishnaji agreed to the operation. Hausman said prostrate often bleeds quite a bit and would Krishnaji accept a blood transfusion if necessary? Krishnaji said no to someone else’s blood. Hausman then asked if he would take his own blood, and Krishnaji said, yes, of course. Then, Hausman would want him to give a pint or two on two different donations in advance so that it would be available if needed. I said I wanted to be able to be near him in the hospital and stay there. This he will arrange. The date for the surgery was put for May second, and Krishnaji agreed to convalesce in Malibu for the month of May. Krishnaji made all these decisions as Hausman presented them. He saw the necessity. Afterward, he said he was watching the body to see if it accepted. One other thing he explained to Hausman was that his body had never been invaded, i.e., cut into, and Hausman explained that in this there is no incision. The entrance is made through the natural opening; the interior of the bladder is looked at, and a small section of prostrate around the neck of the bladder is removed. The stay in the hospital will be four or five days, and then rest at home. Krishnaji said the bladder muscles are very strong from yoga. This makes urine push back into the kidneys when the exit is blocked. We left and did some errands on the way home, Lindberg’s, etcetera.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji spent the day in bed. I went to town for a haircut and errands.’

Wednesday, the thirtieth of March. ‘I spoke to my brother in New York, and told him our plans. Krishnaji is determined to go to the Shainberg psychotherapist conference at the end of April in New York, before the surgery here in May. Bud said we could use the RitzTower flat. Krishnaji and I went to town, where he had his hair cut, and I fetched enchiladas at the farmer’s market with which we had a picnic in the car on a shady side street in Beverly Hills. Then, we went to a 2 o’clock movie, The Domino Principle.’ Do you remember that movie?

S: No. I don’t remember that one.

M: Neither do I. ‘We came home in time for a walk in the garden. I telephoned Blanche Mathias. Her usual hallucinations have gone since Krishnaji’s visit.’

S: Hm.

M: The thirty-first, ‘Diane and David Shainberg, and their children Steven and Nancy, came down from Ojai, where they are staying, to lunch with Krishnaji and me. Diane was pleasant, more relaxed than at past meetings.’

April first, ‘I spoke to my stepfather at the Vineyard. Alain Naudé rang on his own behalf and Theo’s, saying that the May second date for Krishnaji’s surgery is bad astrologically. “How superstitious are we?!” asked Krishnaji.’ [S laughs.] ‘But, on the ignore-nothing-for-his-good theory, I asked Hausman to change it to May ninthwhich is okay according to Alain Naudé.’ I didn’t tell Hausman why I wanted to change the date. [S laughs.] ‘Krishnaji and I drove to Ojai in time for lunch. Afterward, we took Ahalya, who has returned from San Francisco, and we went to look at the Oak Grove, ready for tomorrow’s public talk. Everything was well arranged, fencing neatly around to keep people from wandering. This year we’ve had to get a permit to hold them, and the county will inspect tomorrow. I seem to have a cold, started coughing on the way up. Not bad.’

April second, ‘there were clouds, but no rain. At 11 a.m., Krishnaji gave his first public talk in the Oak Grove, and spoke of the need for security, that the only security is intelligence. The Grove was the best organized ever. Ted put slat fencing all the way around, so people do not wander in from behind Krishnaji while he is speaking. We are recording in color on video, done by Santa Barbara TV station for the Foundation. Mr. Sperling of the Ventura County Planning Commission, which gave the permit to hold the talk, was there to inspect. We estimate 3,000 people came. Afterward, Krishnaji went over to where Hooker had organized lunch, but after making his appearance,  he came to the cottage where we had lunch quietly.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji gave the second Ojai talk, and we lunched there. In the afternoon, I typed letters for Krishnaji to Pupul, Sunanda, etcetera, for Ahalya to take to India. She leaves early tomorrow morning for India. In the letters, news was given of Krishnaji’s operation. Ahalya, the Lilliefelts, and Alan K. came on the walk. We said goodbye to Ahalya as she leaves early tomorrow for Delhi, such a nice person.’ She was and is.

S: Mm, hm. Yes.

M: April fourth, ‘the Bohms came to say goodbye. They will go to New York. In the afternoon, Isabel Biascoechea, Alfonzo Colon, Mr. Riesco, and Mr. Sendra came to see Krishnaji, and had things out more or less.’ That’s the Puerto Rican grouping. ‘Sendra has his own elaborate plan by which the Fundación would do all the work of his publishing ventures and pay him and his wife for life.’ [S chuckles.] ‘It was rejected. He left. Whether he remains a trustee too is up to the other members of the Fundación, but with a strong implication that he resign or be asked to leave by the other members.’

Oh, wait a minute. There’s more from the fourth. It’s in faint pencil, so bear with me while I read it. It’s titled ‘Notes, Incomplete, on Conversation between Krishnaji and David Bohm in the Cottage, Ojai, April 4th, 1977. The source is a Dictaphone recording begun after the conversation was in progress. It’s a poor recording.’

S: Do we have that recording some place?

M: I don’t know.

S: Alright. So, you read the text, but this small Dictaphone recording, as far as the archives list I have is concerned does not exist. So, read on, it’s all we seem to have.

M: Alright, I’m going to say “Krishnaji” and read it, and then “David” and then read it. It’ll be dialogue like that.

S: Right.

M: ‘Krishnaji: “There are other forces. You may use the word evil. There are people in the world who are evil.”’

‘David: “Would you say force penetrated beyond the ordinary communication?”’

‘Krishnaji: “They penetrate only when that”’—“that” is special underlined—‘“when that interest is not in charge.”’

S: In charge. Right. When the interest of that “Other” is not in charge.

M: The “Otherness,” etcetera.

S: Right.

M: ‘Krishnaji: “They penetrate only when that interest is not in charge.”’

‘Bohm: “What is not clear to me is, suppose there is an evil person, making evil through his words and actions. But suppose I don’t see him. He is somewhere, far away.”’

‘Krishnaji: “But there is a very well-known phenomenon. I can think about you happily, with affection, care, or I can hate you.”’

‘Bohm: “How does that hate affect you when you are far away?”’

‘Krishnaji: “Yes, that’s what I mean.”’

‘David: “Then, there is transmission of thought?”’

‘Krishnaji: “Oh, obviously, obviously.”’

‘David: “Yes. Well, it is important to get it clear, because it contradicts what people usually accept, but you are quite clear on that? Quite sure of it?”’

‘Krishnaji: “I’m quite sure. Personally, when I go to a place which I’m not familiar with, where I haven’t lived, say when I first came here after ten years, I came through that door. I felt appalling, I said to her. I ran out.”’

S: Mm, hm. This is the door of the cottage, which you just pointed to, and which won’t come through the audio recording.

M: Oh, of course. That’s right.

S: Right. [Chuckles.]

M: ‘David: “But, how is it now?”’

‘Krishnaji: “Nothing. It’s all gone.”’

‘David: “But what happened?”’

‘Krishnaji: “Because the other thing is stronger, it cannot be touched. That’s why whenever a doctor said to me, ‘Do you want it?’”’—meaning a general anesthesia—‘“by injection, a total anesthesia…’” and then I say in my diary ‘the recording is then unintelligible.’

‘David: “It occurred to me, you say these people are caught in confused thought; nevertheless, there is a transformation possible whereby they get out of it. Would you say, suppose you took an anesthetic and were caught with an evil thought, could an evil thought take hold of you?”’

‘Krishnaji: ‘Oh, but I don’t want to go through all that. Of course.”’

Then, apparently I: ‘Mary, speakS: “Is it relevant to ask what is the difference between the unconsciousness of anesthesiology and sleep?”’

‘Krishnaji: “Oh, that’s entirely different. There, it is natural. This is unnatural.”

‘Mary: “Because it is imposed?”’

‘Krishnaji: “You are forced, you’re driven out.”’

‘David: “Now, with sleep, would you say there is still a kind of attention?”’

‘Krishnaji: “Oh, yes. That intelligence is watching.”’

S: Hm.

M: That’s the end of that.

April fifth. ‘Krishnaji held the first public discussion of the year in the Oak Grove. We lunched at Arya Vihara. Dr. and Mrs. Drassinower came to see Krishnaji at 4 p.m., a long, tedious discussion, but Krishnaji politely and firmly conveyed that no more doctoring was required from celui la[3].’  [Both M and S chuckle.]

On April sixth, ‘Krishnaji spent this warm day in bed. He dictated a letter to Rajagopal, saying he would go to the archives on the fifteenth, that he was concerned by reports of trustees who visited the archives, that none of his manuscripts, etcetera, were there, and said he would be coming to see them, plus Mrs. Besant’s, Leadbeater’s, and Huxley’s letters.’

April seventh, ‘Krishnaji held the second public discussion in the Grove. Pascaline Mallet and Giselle Questiau…’ Do you remember her? Wasn’t she that woman who was married to a general? Or was that someone else?

S: I don’t remember. The name sounds familiar, but I can’t put a face to it.

M: Neither can I. Well, anyway, ‘they came to lunch at Arya Vihara. Also, Abdullah El Hussein, and a Ms. Habibe came for lunch. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji saw Elena and Jan Dyansky’…the young Russian couple. ‘We walked later.’

For the eighth, there is only, ‘Elfriede brought mail and laundry. I did letters, and we walked.’

April ninth, ‘Krishnaji gave the third public talk in the Grove. We lunched in the cottage.’

April tenth, which was Easter Sunday, ‘I telephoned my mother. Krishnaji gave the fourth public talk in the Grove. We had the lunch nearby that the Hookers had set up. Before the talk, I made announcements and an appeal for funds. Krishnaji met the Canadian teachers from the Siddoo school at 4 p.m. in Arya Vihara. In the evening, he told me with great seriousness that I must be watchful of him after the operation, that the line between life and death is very thin with him, and that I must remind him to be watchful.’

April eleventh, ‘I wrote to Dorothy Simmons and Mary Cadogan about Krishnaji’s plans to have the operation and stay here during the month of May. Krishnaji saw Sendra alone in the afternoon who tried to undo the agreements made last time with the other Fundación members. Krishnaji said no. We walked later. In the evening, Krishnaji spoke to me about not letting him slip away in the hospital. I must talk to him, remind him, be watchful after the operation. He said that the body for the last three days has been resisting the operation, and that the danger is that he, Krishnaji, might suddenly say, “That is enough,” and slip out. The line between life and death is always there; it has happened to him in the past; it happened here in Ojai when he was walking in the mountains; it has happened in India when he “goes off” and “wanders away,” as he put it, and that could happen. He said he must not take any sedation, but in particular I must be watchful. I asked what I could do, and he said to talk, to talk to him. It wouldn’t happen with strangers about, but after he comes back to his room after the operation, I must talk to him. I must remind him, too, in the morning before he goes down to surgery. I must also remind him before he gives blood. I must be watchful. Last night, when we were joking about a “home loan,” which was being advertised on television, I jokingly said, “Do you wish to apply for a home loan?” and he said, yes. And I said, “For what purpose?” And, he said, “For an operation,” which threw me, because since he made the decision to have the operation, he hasn’t referred to it except very factually, and suddenly in the middle of a joking conversation, I realized it is in his mind to some degree. Sometime later, I asked if he didn’t want to have the operation. Should we cancel it? And he said, no, no. It is decided, and this morning, I asked him again if we should not have it. “No. If one neglects it and there is a stoppage, it would be much worse.” But, I must remind him.

April twelfth. ‘Krishnaji held the third public discussion in the Oak Grove on education. We lunched at Arya Vihara. Abdullah El Hussain and Ms. Habibe were there. They asked Krishnaji about thought being matter, etcetera. Thought as matter dies with the body, which is matter, but Krishnaji implies thought in some form enters a stream of consciousness and continues. I tried to ask him to clarify more specifically how this happens. I think I see his meaning, but more might be said at some moment when he is feeling like talking of this.’ You had to ask questions when he wanted to talk, and not plague him with them.

S: Yes.

M: ‘Abdullah asked about reincarnation, and Krishnaji said the body and mind die, but thought is like an energy put out by the mind, and it is matter and continues as evil exists, as good exists, the good put out by man, etcetera. In the afternoon, he called in Colon, Isabel, Riesco, and Sendra, and chastened Sendra for his mixing Theosophy with his teachings. He told the Fundación members they must deal with this and Sendra.’

S: Okay. We’re going to have to end it there, because we’re running out of tape.

M: Okay.

<<Previous Issue | Next Issue>>



[1] This interview, and all subsequent ones, were conducted at Pine Cottage in Ojai. Back to text.

[2] This discussion took place in 2004. Back to text.

[3] French for “that person there.” Back to text.