Issue #52

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Issue 52—May 26, 1978 to July 11, 1978


Mary calls attention to the value of her large diary, as opposed to her little daily diary, in this issue, as well she might. There are several instances in which Krishnaji makes fascinating comments or has extraordinary small conversations with her, and they would be lost to us if it were not for Mary recording them in her large diary. What is also striking is how deftly and nimbly Mary can follow Krishnaji’s lead on how to proceed with the conversation: ending the topic when he is finished with it, delving into it when that seems appropriate, changing the subject when needed. It is difficult to imagine anyone else being as sensitive, effective, or supportive in these conversations; and it is impossible to overstate how fortunate we are that she took the time and trouble to write so much of it down.

The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue # 52

Mary: So, you want me to start on May twenty-sixth, but there’s nothing of note on that day. And the next day just says, ‘Krishnaji spent the day in bed resting, but getting up in a dressing gown to treat the little Maroger child. “I’ve never done it so intensely,” he said. Jean-Michel and Marie-Bertrand say Diane has more energy and more strength since this healing started.’

Scott: Yes.

M: ‘Also, Krishnaji spoke to the Bowman twins, Lee and Karen.’ I don’t know who they were.

S: They were two American students at Brockwood.

M: Oh?

S: Yes. I remember them well.

M: May twenty-eighth. ‘Krishnaji spoke to the school. A very moving, far-off talk. At the end, it was on the

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

religious life is to be free of the self. I was stirred to tears. He spoke from the far reaches of something sacred. He felt later that it had not been understood, and said, “They are not able to see it.” It was a warm day, in the seventies. Krishnaji, Dorothy, I, and the two dogs went to see the bluebells along the road to West Meon, and wound up going around the block.’ You know what I mean by around the block?

S: Yes, yes.

M: ‘In the evening, we watched the first half of the movie The Godfather on television.’

On the twenty-ninth, ‘It was another hot day. There was a school meeting in the afternoon, which I attended, before Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked the dogs. I telephoned Dr. Scheef, and we have an appointment with him on June twenty-eighth.’ Dr. Scheef was the head of the clinic in Bonn.

S: Right. We’ve met him already.

M: Tuesday, the thirtieth. ‘A letter came from my brother. He arrives at Gatwick next week, and leaves later that day from Heathrow’…well, it’s all about his plans. ‘I’ll try to meet him. Krishnaji and I went to London. We lunched early at Fortnum’s. Then, Krishnaji spent from 2 p.m. until 5:45 p.m. almost four hours’ [said with exclamation in her voice] ‘in Mr. Thompson’s dentist’s chair. Four teeth were prepared for crowns. Two teeth were extracted. Now, there is a two-week pause until the bridgework and crowns are ready. Krishnaji bore all this with total fortitude. Amanda Pallandt came and was there with her car to drive us straight to Waterloo. We immediately caught the 6:20 p.m. train and, though men were standing in the aisles, we found two seats. I sat opposite and felt physically beaten by his face; drawn but bearing the pain and misery all quietly. It was 8:30 p.m. when we reached Brockwood. “I’m so glad you have a nice room to come to,” he said. Notions of those awful houses in Wimbledon…’ Anyway…

S: Those are the awful houses that used to be rented for him when he would go there.

M: Yes, yes. And he never complained.

S: And they were awful houses because Rajagopal wouldn’t give any money.

M: That’s right.

The next day, ‘I woke up with a migraine at 3 a.m. It was a hot day. Betsy Drake came down from London on the noon train. I met her at Petersfield, she lunched at Brockwood, and we spent a pleasant afternoon. Krishnaji stayed in bed, but came into the West Wing kitchen to greet her. She was struck by his face, “marvelous looking.” I showed her the gardens, which were in their fullest flowering.’

S: So, Betsy had never met Krishnaji before?

M: Not personally, I don’t think. She offended me no end at one point. She came up to the talks in Ojai once, and I found she was sitting sketching people during the talk. [S chuckles.] So, I wasn’t at all…well, I knew she just wasn’t interested.

The first of June. ‘It was a hot day, somewhere in the eighties. Krishnaji and I went to London. In the train he spoke again about the four hours on Tuesday in the dentist chair during the entire of which his mind was empty.’

S: Hm, remarkable.

M: I just can’t…

S: It’s not human!

M: No. [Both laugh.] And he didn’t…or, at least, I’m saying he didn’t, I don’t know what he did, but I don’t think he was trying to make it empty. I think it just was.

S: Yes.

M: That’s a supposition on my part.

S: Yes.

M: But, I’m sure of it. [Chuckles.] For whatever that’s worth. ‘He said it hadn’t struck him until afterward that his mind had been empty.’ [Chuckles.] ‘In the taxi on the way to Huntsman, he said that only when Mr. Thompson asked if he was alright, if it hurt, he would reply. Otherwise, his mind was empty. Then, he said, “All this way in the taxi, coming from the station, there has been nothing in my head. It’s getting more and more this way.” Then, he said that when he put his hands on people to heal, sometimes it is as though there were a flame, a little flame in the middle of his hand, and that when he started treating Diane Maroger, there was none, for a number of times, and then slowly, it began to happen. And then, he felt, he was able to help her. He said that, for instance, when he put his hand on Sacha de Manziarly when he was in the hospital and dying’—this was in Paris—‘there was no flame, and from that he could tell that he could do nothing.’ Isn’t that interesting?

S: Remarkable. It’s very interesting.

M: Very interesting. See, that’s the value of the big book. This little one has nothing of this kind in it.

S: Yes, but the little diary is valuable anyway.

M: ‘At Huntsman, he chose two good thin materials for trousers, a brushed cotton and a beige. We then walked to Fortnum’s. At lunch, I asked him about his own response to seeing suffering in India, or a poor bent man that we saw shuffling along the Strand. Was what he felt “a reaction”? He knew I was thinking of his chiding me for taking on his pain at the dentist last Tuesday.’ [S laughs heartily.] ‘I mustn’t, because he then feels it in me, and he doesn’t want the burden on me. He spoke about going back to India in 1922, and the sights of misery were so appalling, that he could only walk at night.’ I had forgotten that.

S: Hmm.

M: ‘We went to Thompson, where only an adjustment to the present bridge had to be done. When we came out, we instantly caught a taxi, and then the 3:50 p.m. train at Waterloo just as they were blowing the whistle to leave. It was hot on the train. Brockwood was cool, a refuge. I showered and changed into clothes I will wear in India. I cabled my brother; I will meet him at Gatwick on Monday.’

The next day it just says, ‘Warm again. Desk work. Staff meeting.’

There is little more for June third. ‘It was warm and marvelously lovely. The grove has never been so beautiful. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I strolled in it. Krishnaji talked to Scott Forbes.’ You’ll have to ask him about that.

S: [chuckles] Scott Forbes has no memory of it at all, and he wasn’t intelligent enough to make notes!

M: [laughs] So, it’s lost to posterity.

June fourth. ‘A man named Geoffrey Nicoletti in Philadelphia has been writing urgent letters to Krishnaji, to me, to David Bohm, and one came here for Alain Naudé, which I forwarded. He is hung up on resolving Krishnaji’s teachings and life, to the implications of the life of Padre Pio, whom he greatly reveres. He speaks of the physical signs: the stigmata, healings, being in two places, etcetera, which he regards as evidence of something, all involved with faith, a belief in Jesus, etcetera; but then there’s Krishnaji’s denial of faith, etcetera. I read the latest letter to Krishnaji, and he suggested that he and I have a taped conversation in which I put forth the questions in Nicoletti’s letters, and see what happens. We did this today, taping it on the Uher. Krishnaji said that the phenomena of so-called “sainthood” are familiar in various religions, and they can come about without the person having truly perceived truth. He spoke of waters in the harbor and the waters of the sea. They are the same waters, but those in the harbor are contained (i.e., still within a framework); whereas those of the sea are boundless. He questions any perception that doesn’t discard all religious dogma. It is partial, and therefore not the ultimate. Nicoletti had mentioned kundalini, assuming Krishnaji to have had it, and that Padre Pio’s experience could be so described. Krishnaji objected to the term, and said he questions most descriptions of kundalini as not being the real thing. Nicoletti also asked if Padre Pio would consider Krishnaji as a profound thinker, but incomplete in not having perceived the meaning of Jesus; and if Krishnaji would consider Padre Pio as one who had helped people through healing, etcetera, but who had fundamentally done them harm through using faith, belief, etcetera. Krishnaji said this was a question he didn’t want to answer: to assess someone, “to say he is or is not.” And he questioned comparing Krishnaji and Padre Pio. I’m going to get the tape transcribed somehow, and send a copy to Nicoletti.’ I wonder if I did that? I must have.

S: Where is that tape?

M: Well, that I think is coming in the shipment because I found it there at Brockwood when I went through all my things before moving out.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

‘In the afternoon, Krishnaji talked privately to Ingrid as part of the five staff members from Brockwood to whom he looks for commitment to the place. The Marogers left for home after supper, little Diane with large eyes close to tears. My brother called from New York. He and Laurie arrive at Gatwick tomorrow; I will meet them.’ Laurie is his daughter. ‘We went for a walk at 6 p.m.’ That’s because it was cool then.

June fifth is: ‘I left at 8:30 a.m. in the Mercedes for Gatwick. The country was lovely to drive through. I met Bud and Laurie, who arrived on Laker Airline, and drove them to London, Bud telling me of all their doings. He is full of enthusiasm. When we reached London, the preoccupation was where to park. We had decided to lunch at Claridge’s, so I drove up to it and Bud got out and told the doorman, dressed in the usual Claridge’s livery uniform, that we were lunching there, and his sister would like to leave her car, could they look after it? “Yes, sir!”’ [S chuckles.] ‘So we left keys, car, and luggage, and went amiably in, privilege not yet entirely dead, and very pleasant. We had a leisurely lunch, after which we went to Morgan Guarantee, about my brother’s account, bought a sweater for Laurie, and came back to find the car waiting in the first parking meter space. I gave a befitting tip to the doorman, and off we went to Heathrow,’ [humor in her voice] ‘where I left them bound for Düsseldorf. Lisa flies there after an opening this evening at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. She goes British Air, at their rates, but via Laker my brother and Laurie can fly round trip, New York-London, for $243.’ [M and S both chuckle.] ‘I drove back to Brockwood via the M3 in one-and-a-half hours in time for supper. It was good to see Bud. Laurie is a chunky child, un-charming in most ways to me, but it makes me sad to see what her upbringing accentuates.’ I’m full of critical family remarks.

The next day, just ‘desk work. I feel a cold coming on. I went to Petersfield on errands.’

June seventh. ‘It’s Mother’s birthday, and Wooge’—that’s my stepfather—‘will be going to the cemetery. I sent some flowers. It is a pity—but pity is not a welcomed word, denoting a certain separation between the one who is feeling and the object. I feel a sad wish to comfort, to cushion, and protect from pain, somehow to conjure up a brightness that lived in so many summers of their lives; to have Wooge know it is always there if one can look; and to smile at Mother in a way that could tell her that in the end there is only the shine of what was good, and all the rest falls away. I went on an early train to London and by underground went to the hairdresser on Cadogan Street. She cut my hair quickly and fairly well. Then, I walked to Betsy’s rented flat on Walton Street. We lunched and went to see the Robert Hirsch collection at the Royal Academy, which is to be sold at Sotheby’s—drawings by Dürer, Rembrandt, medieval treasures, Cézanne watercolors, Lautrec, Redon, etcetera. Then, we walked to the theater, where we saw a 3:00 p.m. matinee of The Old Country, as guests of Betsy’s friend, Faith Brook, who is in it. Anthony Quail played the part created by Alec Guinness. I haven’t been to the theater in years and was pleased to be there, though I got rather sleepy in midstream.’ [Chuckles.] We went backstage to see Faith Brook afterward, a nice, good actress, absorbed in the play and its world. We stayed almost an hour, and came out to rain and no taxis, so we walked till we finally found one on Bond Street. I dropped Betsy at her place, and I went on to Waterloo. Reached Petersfield by 8 p.m. “Was it worth it?” asked Krishnaji. Well, more or less, yes.’

S: [chuckles] So, Krishnaji wanted to ask you when you got back if the trip to London was worth it?

M: Yes. Well, he had to. It clearly was questionable in his mind. [Both laugh.]

S: Clearly.

M: June eighth. ‘Krishnaji and I went to London. Huntsman was our first stop, of course. Then, during lunch at Fortnum’s, Krishnaji said, “There’s something in the head that is absolutely still, and that center of energy looks and sees. And when that is happening, the rest of the body is quiet, as though it were nonexistent.”’ See, things like that are…

S: Invaluable.

M: …invaluable and are only in this big diary. They’d be lost if it weren’t for this.

S: Exactly.

M: And I couldn’t remember them all.

S: Of course not.

M: But luckily I wrote it down.

S: Yes, yes. Very luckily.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

M: ‘I asked him, “When that silence looks, does it record?”’

‘He said, “No, and that is the point of it.”’

‘I then asked, “If I were to ask you what you see, do you know what you see?”’

‘He said, “Yes. The center of energy doesn’t record. The tape records, the memory records, but not the center of energy.” He said that the other day when news came about the Weideman house being sold, he thought of Rajagopal, and it kept coming back into his mind, and he said to himself “Why is this happening? No recording!” And from then on, he has not thought of it.’

‘I asked him if there is an action in this, and he said, “Yes. There is an action but I don’t know what it is. In the center of the head there is a sense of great space, stillness, and energy.” He said, “I discovered when I was putting my hands on little Diane—usually when I do that, I just put my hands on the person and look at the sky or the trees. But I discovered when I was doing it with her, that energy was not doing it, but that energy was there and is still continuing.”’

‘I asked him if this is something new, something different. And he said, “Entirely. I am just watching it go on. It is an extraordinary kind of stillness, quietness, I haven’t had before. I mustn’t talk too much about it.” And as he said this, he gestured with his hand across his forehead. “I shouldn’t talk about it. I talk about it to you, but it is something totally new. I haven’t had it before.”’

‘All this I recorded at the table with a Dictaphone. After lunch we went to Mr. Thompson, who prepared a fifth tooth of Krishnaji’s for a crown and installed a crown on one already prepared. It took two-and-a-half hours—2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., and we got back by to Brockwood by 7 o’clock.’

S: Now, wait a minute. So, you have a Dictaphone tape someplace of this?

M: But, I don’t remember having a Dictaphone at that point. It says, ‘All this I recorded at table with a Dictaphone.’ I wasn’t carrying a Dictaphone around, was I?

S: It seems so, and there’s supposedly a tape about this, someplace.

M: Really? Let’s see, we were in London, ‘Then, during lunch at Fortnum’s, Krishnaji said, “There’s something in the head that is absolutely still, and that center of energy looks and sees. And when that is happening, the rest of the body is quiet, as though it were nonexistent.”’ Then, I went on asking questions.

S: And Krishnaji very interestingly seems to say, that even though there is this center of stillness, the mind still can act as a tape recorder, and can record things.

M: Mmm.

S: So, somehow, I don’t know if that means that all the rest of us only have that tape recorder, and don’t have the deeper center of stillness…

M: I think that what you’re saying is true. I mean, likely…I don’t know.

S: Yes. But, I’m really interested at the moment in where this Dictaphone tape is. [Laughs.]

M: So am I [laughs].

S: So, you don’t have it here, you don’t suppose?

M: I don’t think so.

S: Do you have any Dictaphone tapes here?

M: Not that I know of. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t. [S chuckles.] I’ve got stuff here and there that…

S: I know.

M: …I’ve got recordings that I made on equipment that you can’t play anymore, stuffed there in that little study underneath something. I meant, when Tom was around and did things, to have them re-recorded, or something, because there are little spools that…

S: But that’s something that the archives should do.

M: Yes. I must get them out and turn them over to…

S: Let’s take a look for them.

M: Alright. I have no idea what’s under there.

S: Alright. We’ll take a look for them.

M: June ninth, ‘Dorothy met Pupul on an early flight from Bombay. She’s staying in the West Wing spare room. She is pleasant, and more relaxed than in the past.’

S: Pupul is more relaxed?

M: She is, yes.

June tenth, ‘There was much talk with Pupul. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked.’

The next day, ‘I talked all morning with Pupul. In the afternoon, she and Krishnaji did a taped dialogue in which she asked him if there had been changes in his teachings. He said, “no.” This was held in the West Wing drawing room, with the five particular Brockwood staff members, plus Dorothy, and the Digbys, who lunched at Brockwood and earlier had talked to Pupul about Indian publications, and the Marogers, who returned this weekend with their cousins, Jean-Claude and Lucie de Grémont, who are staying near Cheriton. All attended the discussion. Daughters Daphne Maroger and Pauline de Grémont, in their teens, are going to stay at Brockwood until the term ends. Bud telephoned from Paris where he, Lisa, and Laurie are staying until Saturday.’

There’s really nothing the next day.

S: Now, according to the archives list, there’s supposed to be the second videotaped discussion with Pupul on that day.

M: Well, I didn’t write it down if there was.

And June thirteen just mentions a walk in the afternoon.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

June fourteenth. ‘Pupul, Dorothy, Doris, and I drove to Stonehenge.’ [Laughs.] ‘Pupul had never seen it and wanted to. In spite of tourists, the barbed wire, and the being kept at a distance, the stones retained their strange atmosphere, mystery, and silent dignity. We drove on toward Salisbury, looking for a place to have our picnic lunch, which we found on a slope by a small river, the Avon, I think. We spread out rugs and ate as we watched the swiftness of the river. There was a sleeping swan on her large nest, her mate on guard in the river, eyeing us sternly. Little moorhens and their chicks were diving for eatables. There were willows and wild roses, and I was lost again in the loveliness of this land. We went on to Salisbury and did some shopping in Boots [1], and went across to the cathedral. A pleasant day, which Krishnaji spent in bed.’

The fifteenth. ‘Krishnaji, Pupul, and I went to London, and Krishnaji and I went to Huntsman. Pupul went to Hatchards. I went on to Hillier’s to fit a pair of blue trousers, and I rejoined them at Fortnum’s, where we lunched with Mary Links. Joe kindly came afterward because it was raining, and drove Krishnaji to the dentist, and me to the bank, then to the Swiss Embassy, where I got Krishnaji’s Swiss visa. I was unable to find a taxi after that, so I walked to Portland Place, where Krishnaji’s dentist was. Pupul arrived there, too, after rain and taxi problems. Krishnaji had four crowns, and a new bridge put in. Joe came back and took us all to Waterloo.’

There is nothing the next day but a staff meeting.

June seventeenth: ‘David Bohm held a meeting in the afternoon. On the walk were Krishnaji, Narayan, Dorothy, and me. Pupul gave a talk on India to the school in the evening.’

June eighteenth. ‘Pupul left at 7 a.m. with Dorothy driving her to Heathrow. I met Lailee’—that’s Krishnaji’s and my doctor in California—‘and her son Timur Tessamur at Petersfield. They lunched with us at Brockwood. Lailee was an enthusiastic guest. She met Dr. Parchure, and she’s going to send various vaccines for me to take before I go to India. I showed her and Timur the place. It was a warm and lovely day, but they had to catch the 3:20 p.m. train back to London. Krishnaji, Narayan, Dorothy, and I walked later.’

The next day, ‘There was a cable from Mavis Bennett to me saying Reg died very suddenly.’ Oh, he died. He was a nice man.

S: Yes, he was.

M: ‘Krishnaji, Dorothy, Doris, and I sent a cable back to her. I kept feeling Reg was something rare, in the

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

original sense of the word, a good man. I drove to Nelly and George Digby’s in Sherbourne, Dorset, eighty-three miles from Brockwood. They have made most attractive a sixteenth-century inn that is part of the Digby estate and was lived in by George’s mother until her death a couple years ago. It is charming, as arranged by them. A friend, Hugh somebody, was at lunch and afterward we all went through Sherbourne Castle, built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594, the home where George grew up and now owned by George’s elder brother, who won’t live there, so it is open to the public. To me, it was an ugly, depressing place with towers, heraldic beasts like gargoyles, rooms in a long corridor shape, as was common in those days, and all looking out on a lake and large park considered splendid, but too bare of trees to me. In fact, I could hardly bear being there. George’s father was fox-hunting mad, with heads of foxes everywhere, and the sporting drawings of my youth: Lionel Edwards and Cecil Alden, commemorating horses and famous runs.’ I have had to confess that I went fox hunting in my youth. [S chuckles.] And suddenly last October, the House of Commons had thousands of fox hunting protesters besieging it. The papers were full of it, so was the television. And it made me laugh because I understood what both sides felt.

S: Yes.

M: I am, of course, totally against fox hunting now.

S: Yes, I know.

M: But I can see both sides of the whole thing. So, it was funny to me that, with a war going on and people being slaughtered, people still want their pleasures in killing animals, and protesting their rights to do so, righteous rights. Anyway, ‘It all seemed depressing to me, and gave me a sad glimpse of what George’s childhood must’ve been like for him. He is such a different sort of person. I fretted too because I had trouble letting Krishnaji know by telephone that I had arrived safely as I said I would. I finally got the message through that I was leaving, didn’t stay to tea, but came whizzing back—the car like a racehorse. I passed Stonehenge again with young people streaming there on foot for the summer solstice. I got back in one hour and forty minutes, in time to fetch Krishnaji’s supper. But I don’t enjoy such long jaunts away from him.’

The twentieth just says: ‘Desk.’

S: [chuckles] You read that with no joy whatsoever.

M: No.

June twenty-first. ‘Krishnaji and I went to London. We had an early lunch with Mary and Joe at their flat. Joe then took Krishnaji to the dentist. A new bridge was adjusted; it feels excellent now, Krishnaji said afterward. Mary and I sat most pleasantly and talked till Joe brought Krishnaji back. Then Joe took both of us to Waterloo and we were back at Brockwood early.’

So, Thursday, the twenty-second. ‘It rained, and I did desk work. Dr. Rahula, a Ceylonese Buddhist scholar, and Dr. Schloegl, a German woman, a sociologist who went to Japan and stayed twelve years in a Zen monastery, and who is also a Buddhist scholar, came for lunch. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji, the two Buddhist scholars, Narayan, and David Bohm had a discussion, which was videotaped by Scott and company. Rahula talked about fifteen minutes without stopping at the beginning. He is hard to understand and pedantic. There was a staff meeting after supper. After supper, Esme and Verna showed me how to make tofu, which Krishnaji now eats instead of cheese.’ Do you remember Verna Kreuger? [2]

S: Very well.

M: The next day, ‘I took Dr. Parchure to Winchester. We got back by 11:30 a.m., in time for Krishnaji’s second discussion with the two Buddhists, Narayan, and David. A third one was held in the afternoon. The discussion evoked much from Krishnaji, but little of interest from the others.’

June twenty-fourth. ‘I went to London alone, did errands at Harrods, then got my hair cut. I lunched with Betsy at her flat, and was back to Brockwood in time for the walk with Krishnaji and Narayan. Krishnaji had talked to Soleil and to Terence Stamp, each privately.’ Soleil? That sounds French. Do you know who that was?

S: Yes. Actually it was a girl from California. She came to Brockwood and started off…I don’t remember what she was doing, but that didn’t work out. However, she wanted to stay, so I took her on as the secretary for the video department. I think she left about a year later with Eric Schiffmann, the yoga teacher.

M: June twenty-fifth. ‘I spent most of the day packing. Krishnaji stayed in bed. Donald Dennis with three other students washed and waxed the Mercedes, then I put it in the barn for the summer, covered with sheets, etcetera.’

The next day was ‘a cold day. Krishnaji and I went to London, and right to the dentist for the new bridge to be smoothed at a spot that was irritating Krishnaji’s lip, then back to the train, where we ate our sandwich lunch. We were back at Brockwood by 3 p.m. Krishnaji, Dorothy, Whisper, and I went for a walk across the fields. Then, more packing, tidying, and typing for me.’

June twenty-seventh. ‘I was up early to finish packing and tidying. Krishnaji and I left Brockwood at 12:15 p.m. in the mini with Dorothy driving, Doris and Ingrid bringing luggage in the other car. We stopped for a picnic sandwich in the car by a field near Heathrow, where we stopped last year. Krishnaji and I took the 3:15 p.m. BE flight to Cologne. It was cold in England and cold in Germany. We taxied to Bonn and the Hotel Bristol, a totally charmless hotel with vile wallpaper in which I see Rorschach tests’ [both laugh]. I used to administer Rorschach tests; I was rather professional about it. ‘Rorschach test heads of ugly animals but, nevertheless, convenient and clean. I confirmed tomorrow’s appointment with Dr. Scheef, and then we went for a walk. Krishnaji remembers more or less where we went last September. We had supper in the dining room, thinking it would be quicker. It wasn’t. The headwaiter is from India, and is tolerant of our vegetarian peculiarity. From his window, Krishnaji saw, across the city, a huge revolving Mercedes star. He was pleased.’ Oh, you know, there was an ad.

S: Yes, yes.

M: June twenty-eighth. ‘Krishnaji likes sleeping under the continental quilt. “Nicely warm,” he said. We walked the two blocks to the Janker Klinik shortly after 10 a.m., and saw Dr. Scheef at 11 a.m.—a man in a hurry. Krishnaji had various tests done, including phosphatase test, which I believe is to show any cancer cells. We were out in a little over half an hour. While waiting, I began to wonder what it is that makes people and nature cling to life.’ [Laughs.] ‘What wants to survive? I spoke of it to Krishnaji. He said he had never asked that, and would consider it. He began to speak of pleasure, the always turning to it, life being seen as pleasure or the possibility of it. I said that it was part, but was it the root? Krishnaji said, “I am not in it now. It’s too big a question now.” In a few minutes, he said suddenly, “The rock roses must be in bloom, and the creeper must have reached the trellis.”’ [S laughs.] ‘So, we talked about Ojai a little, left the clinic, and walked to a nearby bank where I got Deutsche marks for travel checks, and then returned to Hotel Bristol for lunch, served quickly this time. We took naps and returned to the clinic at 3:30 p.m. Scheef says Krishnaji’s tests are fine. Nevertheless, he gave some prescriptions to strengthen Krishnaji, and 350 enzyme tablets. He was in a hurry, and his telephone was ringing constantly. He leaves tomorrow for Jamaica. He didn’t have the pink pills that help Krishnaji’s hay fever, but said he would send some to Gstaad. I am to keep on with enzymes and Vitamin E, and so is Krishnaji. We went off after paying Krishnaji’s bill for 155 Deutsche marks ($73) and tried unsuccessfully to fill the prescription. It was early closing day, and the only open pharmacist was missing an ingredient. We bought cherries on the street and ate them in our rooms before going down to supper.’

The next day, ‘We left Hotel Bristol at 8 a.m. by taxi to Cologne Airport, and took the Swiss Air 9:30 a.m. flight to Zurich, where we changed planes for Geneva. There was a very thorough searching before boarding the plane. Good security. Two tough-looking women ran their hands up and down every inch of me. When the plane took off, it wasted no time gaining altitude. In Zurich, I discovered United Travel had booked us with a ticket earlier than the one in the computer, and on the travel memo they gave me, so we took an earlier flight, but our luggage, booked through from Bonn, came later.’

S: Oh, lord.

M: ‘We waited in Geneva in the baggage area, and finally, our bags came. Switzerland is shining in the summer sun. We took a taxi to the Hotel des Bergues. Our first day here. Nice rooms, adjoining but not communicating, newly redone in old-fashioned French style. Krishnaji approved, “I like this hotel,” better than the Hôtel du Rhône, where we used to stay. We lunched in the Amphitryon Dining Room, where, once again, it was pleasing in an old-fashioned way: snowy linens, two waiters serving deftly and with style. Quiet. It was mostly men lunching together; dignified and serious. Krishnaji said, “Nous sommes en régime” to cushion our vegetarian ordering.’ [S laughs.]

S: He said “Nous sommes en régime” to the waiters?

M: To the headwaiter; explaining our eccentricity and mollifying them. He made it seem we were just on a diet. [Both laugh.] He was rather modest and apologetic about…

S: Yes.

M: ‘We rested a little after lunch, and then walked across the bridge to Patek, where we fetched Krishnaji’s steel watch, sent in March by Ted for cleaning and repair. Krishnaji watched with fascination the young technician who checked his gold watch. We walked on down to Jacquet for the annual ordering of ties, Krishnaji choosing with satisfaction ten; the first four for Joe Links, and then four for himself—the last two were at my urging. He didn’t want more than Joe had. At the end,’ [both laugh] ‘at the end, his attention fled, as it often does, in choosing material for suits or other things for himself. But he was pleased with his visit. He spoke of Huntsman to the son of the owner who assists at these annual choosings, and so with cordial handshakes and escortings to the door, we emerged on the Rue de Rhône again and walked up past the fish store, with a smell I dislike, and so across the bridge to a chemist, for the prescription given yesterday by Dr. Scheef. We had a rest at the hotel. I rang Tannegg, and got a happy-sounding Fosca, and then Vanda. They had just arrived. Krishnaji and I dined at 7:30 p.m. in the Amphitryon. We had crème caramel for dessert, for protein, at Krishnaji’s suggestion.’ [Laughs.] It’s got eggs in it!

S: Crème caramel for protein, is it?! [Laughing.]

M: Yes. [Laughing more.] Well, it’s made of eggs; he was quite right, and I didn’t object at all. ‘I asked him at supper what was his earliest actual memory. He thinks it is standing in his rooms at Adyar, looking out at the river, oblivious of everything else. Did he directly remember Nitya? Yes, but as with other faces, it is hard to evoke his face. “I can recognize a photo and say ‘Yes, that is him.’ He seems to remember more the feeling, the relationship. I asked him if he remembered Rosalind Rajagopal, and he said he remembered her beating him, hitting him “in the groin.” I felt sick.’ [Long pause.] ‘“Those two must have set it all up.” “I was made to feel guilty all the time of something. I wondered if it were my fault.” “I don’t want to have those two in my consciousness.” So, we talked of other things, then went up to our rooms, and went to bed.’

June thirtieth. ‘They are digging a large excavation for a building outside our rooms. Krishnaji was standing in the window when I brought him the vitamin tablets. “I like to watch all that.” He noticed, too, a splendid Ferrari.’ [S chuckles at M’s mimicking of Krishnaji’s voice.] ‘We stayed in all morning. The concierge sent our suitcases to the station, and at 1 p.m., we lunched pleasantly in the Amphitryon. We had vichyssoise and omelet, etcetera. We took the 3:15 p.m. train, Krishnaji watching the lake all the way to Montreux, where we changed to the little blue mountain train that goes up to Gstaad. From shortly after Montreux, Krishnaji recognized every glimpse of the road we usually drive. “Now we are in our country,” he said. It had been warm in Geneva, and on the train too, but it was cool in Gstaad when we arrived at 6 p.m., and recent snow had left patches low on the mountains. The Bernerhof Hotel is being remodeled, and the little garden and tree opposite have been destroyed. The taxi man regretted it, too, as we went up to Tannegg. Fosca, a bit too deaf to hear the bell, nevertheless, looked well and her usual nice self. And Vanda was welcoming and warm. Soon Krishnaji had his tray in bed. Vanda and I ate in the dining room as always. I unpacked before going to bed. So, is it a sign of age to find ease with familiarity of things? Not entirely, I think.’

S: [chuckles] No, it isn’t.

M: We now go to July first. ‘I woke up with a pleasant feeling I didn’t have to get up, but did. Krishnaji rested in the morning. At noon, a Hertz man brought from Berne a bright-green Renault; our summer’s lift up and down the mountain. At 12:30 p.m., the Brockwood mini appeared with Donald Dennis driving, and inside were Dr. Parchure, Narayan, and Natasha. They were calling before going to their chalet in Schönried, arranged by Edgar Graf. “So healthy a place,” said Parchure, “how can one be sick here?”’ [Laughs.] ‘At 4:30 p.m. Krishnaji walked down to have his hair cut by Mr. Nicolas, who cuts it well. I drove him up the hill after we bought some almond butter he had seen in Pernet’s window.’ Pernet was the local grocery store. ‘He is still off all dairy food as they may encourage hay fever. When Scott Forbes brings a jar of Nagari from Brockwood, I will make tofu for Krishnaji.’

S: Yes. And just to explain your last comment, Scott Forbes was driving the great big video van, which was always also loaded up with various supplies. [Both laugh.]

M: Yes, oh, yes. Lots of things, carrying things that are indispensable.

S: Yes.

M: July second. ‘Donald brought Dr. Parchure at 11 a.m., and both Krishnaji and I had a massage. He stayed to lunch with Vanda, Frances McCann, and I. Krishnaji stayed in bed until late afternoon when he and I went for a first walk up the hill and to the end of the wood. Krishnaji has suddenly developed considerable varicose veins in his left leg. Parchure went to John Bell in London and brought him some longer elastic stockings, which he wore today. I telephoned Filomena in the evening and said I would come to see her around the seventh of August.’

Then, for the next several days, there really isn’t much except people to lunch, errands, etcetera. Oh, yes, on July fifth, ‘Krishnaji had wanted some oil or cream for his face during massage, so I got him some Payot.’ Payot is a well-known French face cream maker. ‘I got some Payot for him and realized after that it cost $25.’ [Laughs.] ‘Krishnaji luckily hasn’t noticed it. He looks forward to seeing whatever I bring back in the shopping basket.’ He always did this; he used to do it at Brockwood.

S: Yes. I remember.

M: I would go and buy toothpaste and pencils and I don’t know what, and he wanted to see it all. He wanted me to put it out on the kitchen table. [S laughs.] It says here: ‘Even a tube of toothpaste is like a present.’ [Laughs.] ‘Krishnaji saw Silvius Russu [3] briefly. On a chilly walk under gray skies, we went halfway up the Turbach Road, Krishnaji wanting to stretch the distance a little each day. I think today’s must’ve been three miles. On the way back, he said, “Soon the new ties will come.”’

S: [laughs] Jacquet.

M: ‘And then he added, “Little things please little minds.”’ [Both laugh.] ‘As we were taking off our muddy boots, Edgar Graf appeared and later stayed till supper. The tent is being put up by Brockwood boys who got free space in the barracks to pay them for their work. Graf described to Vanda Barabino’s present circumstances. Biella’—that was, oh dear, Barabino was a pain in the neck, really, and he had a school in Biella, in Italy, which wasn’t a Krishnamurti school, but he tried to make it appear to be one—‘Biella has failed. Barabino wrote a story for a movie, but nothing came of it. He still answers questions about Krishnaji’s teachings as though he were the Italian spokesman, and of course, he has still not returned the mailing list.’ We never could get the Italian mailing list out of him. ‘Pietro Cragnolini is ailing and wants his name off The Bulletin. Mr. Letteri will take his place.’

July sixth. ‘It was rainy and cold, and the snow was low on the mountains. Joan Wright brought two fine silk nightshirts she made for Krishnaji.’ She used to make lovely things for him, particularly nightshirts that he liked.

S: And bathrobes.

M: Bathrobes, too.

The next day, ‘I went to fetch Dr. Parchure at 6:30 a.m., then did letters. I fetched Mar de Manziarly to lunch. Krishnaji and I went to Saanen in the afternoon for a pair of walking shoes for him. The Simmonses and Doris arrived in the Land Rover.’

July eighth, ‘There was fog and rain. I worked at the desk. I went to the tent, picked up Natasha, then we went to see Dorothy and Montague. Natasha lunched with Vanda, Dr. Parchure, and me. Krishnaji remained in his room. I later went down to get four boxes of Wobenzyme.’ That was a two-year supply.

S: Is that an enzyme?

M: Some magical German pill. [S chuckles.] I may have some old ones still in the cabinet in there.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

July ninth. ‘Rain and fog. I drove Krishnaji to the tent for his opening Saanen talk on the sense of self. It was very fine. The tent was full in spite of cold, rain, and the cost of the Swiss franc. Coming back, Krishnaji said, “I had no idea what I was going to say when I sat down.” Dr. Parchure came back with Vanda and Mrs. Walsh, and gave Krishnaji a massage without oil before lunch. In the afternoon, Evelyne rang. She and Lou arrived, and are staying in the same chalet as two years ago belonging to a friend. Krishnaji and I walked down the hill, around Alpina and up again. I read till 11 p.m., finishing the first volume of the Raj Quartet.’

The tenth, ‘Evelyne and Lou came to lunch. They visited the Malibu house before leaving California. Lou wanted to see the slide area, which the Sandler office’—that’s the real estate people—‘say is making the house hard to sell. Lou said I must do something immediately, and suggested that Max’—that was the Ojai builder—‘do it. Krishnaji agreed with this, and said if necessary, I should fly back there. Lou felt I should, in order to arrange the look of it. Krishnaji and I walked in the afternoon. In the evening, I telephoned Amanda and Phil Dunne and told them what Lou had said, and that I was going to ask Max to go and see the problem. I asked if they would meet him there, etcetera, and think about the look of it. They, of course, said yes. I had dialed directly, and it was wonderful to talk [4]. Then, I telephoned Max at his work phone on the site in Ojai. I got him instantly and explained it all. He said calmly in Max fashion, “I will do it.”’ [S chuckles.] ‘Krishnaji was pleased. “At last,” he said.’ [S chuckles more.]

July eleventh. ‘I fetched Dr. Parchure as usual at 6:30 a.m. The weather was clear for a change. Krishnaji gave the second public talk in the tent, and there was enormous energy in it. At lunch were Simonette di Cesaro’—that was a friend of Vanda’s and a woman I’ve known; she’s Italian, but used to live in India part of the time—‘who has just bought a house in London. Rome is now too dangerous to live in, she says. To lunch were Narayan, Dr. Parchure, and Mr. and Mrs. David Mustart, friends of Naudé; he is a geologist teaching at San Francisco State.’ It was fascinating; I didn’t know about tectonic plates until this particular day. Now, we all have to know about it. ‘Krishnaji joined everyone after lunch and sat talking until 6 o’clock about all kinds of things, including tectonic plates, the continents’ movements, earthquakes, and ancient Indian history. When they finally left, Krishnaji and I went for a short walk down the hill and back. Krishnaji said it is possible some sort of disaster may occur in the next year and we must plan where we should be. Ojai, we both felt, would be best. We could live there as simply as elsewhere. We could even live and sleep in the kitchen if necessary. We must plan it a little, try to be prepared. Talk to the Lilliefelts. “Where I am, this body is, will be safe.”’ That’s nice.

S: Alright. We should end it there because we don’t have enough tape to do another day.

M: Mm, and there’s a long entry coming.

S: Alright. So, that will be July twelfth?

M: That will be July twelfth.

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[1] Boots is a chain store which began in England as pharmacies, but they have expanded to sell a great many things like drug stores do in the United States. Back to text.

[2] Verna was a very sweet American woman who came to Brockwood right at the beginning to work in the kitchen. She was the first Brockwood staff member, since it became a school, to die at Brockwood. Back to text.

{3] An elderly Romanian man who had been dedicated to Krishnaji since the early 1920s. Back to text.

[4] Long-distance calls used to be only made through long-distance operators, and often had to be booked ahead of time. Back to text.