Issue 79—April 20, 1984 to June 30, 1984
The two months covered in this issue are full of travel for Krishnaji and Mary—New York, Ojai, San Francisco, England, and Switzerland—and difficult changes in his organizations. The Oak Grove School changes leadership, and Brockwood’s administration continues to be unsettled. But more significantly, after years of Krishnaji wanting an adult study center, a generous donation allows a start on that to be made.
The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #79
Mary: Alright, we start our discussion today on April twentieth, 1984, and Krishnaji and I are in New York, and he had just finished that year’s public talks there. ‘We left our hotel by taxi and went to the airport, and took a noon flight on American Airlines to Los Angeles, arriving at 2:40 p.m. The Moodys were late meeting us as they were caught in traffic. David finally appeared just as I was renting a car. We drove along the beach to Ojai on a lovely afternoon, and Krishnaji saw Topa Topa “more clearly than ever,” he said.’ Whenever we came back to Ojai, he always waited to see Topa Topa. You come up the coast and then there’s a big rock, and just after you pass the big rock, the Oxnard Valley opens out and you can see Topa Topa.
Scott: Ah, I didn’t know you could see Topa Topa from there.
M: Yes. He had climbed Topa Topa all by himself when he was young.
M: ‘The lovely quiet house, the glowing flowers were a joy. Michael had put food for supper in the kitchen. We unpacked. I went to bed after watching Washington Week in Review.’ We always like to look at that.
S: Yes, that’s a very good program. Now, before we go on to the twenty-first, I just want to talk about something that you and I talked about yesterday that you didn’t elaborate—and that you neglected to put in the previous discussions—which is, and I heard this in a tape that you made at some point, that you began to feel a real sense of protecting Krishnaji, or that sense that you had quickened or solidified or something, when you were crossing Piccadilly with Krishnaji. We mentioned this incident in our last discussion but didn’t go into it. But what was also important that you say in this tape is that you grabbed Krishnaji’s elbow as he was about to step into traffic—
M: I didn’t grasp his elbow, I grasped his arm because he was already in motion.
S: His arm. Right. Right. And that he said that you had saved his life.
M: Well, so he did.
S: Okay, so I’m just putting this on the record, because you didn’t talk about this. I think you’re too self-effacing, so you didn’t talk about this.
M: No, I didn’t think of it. I mean, I don’t know how much he meant it, but I mean that’s what he said. But he didn’t say it with great drama: “You saved my life.” He just said casually, “Oh, you saved my life,” in a very offhand way.
S: Which I expect is how he would say it if you did really save his life, so. [Both chuckle.] Alright…
M: But I must say it did make me realize how careful I had to be, and that I had to think of things like crossing roads. [Both chuckle.]
The twenty-first of April. ‘It was a warm, beautiful day. I did laundry and relaxed, puttering around. Dorothy telephoned from Mudiford’—that’s where she and Doris and Montague used to go on vacation together. ‘She was worried that there had been no answer here when she called last week. She had forgotten the New York talks.’ She didn’t know why we weren’t there.
S: Mm, hm. Right.
M: There was a letter from Vanda and one from Gisèle. They have rented a chalet in Schönried for this summer.’ Remember that was because we can’t go back to Tannegg as it had been sold.
There wasn’t much the next day, but on the twenty-third, ‘It was a hot, beautiful day. Patricia Hunt-Perry arrived for three days, and is staying at Arya Vihara, as is Ravi Ravindra, and a friend of hers, Milton Friedman. She had asked that Milton be invited. He is staying in Ojai for a month working on a book. He was a journalist and lately a speechwriter for the Reagan administration, but quit when asked to write the “positive” side of a conservation program. He spoke enthusiastically of Washington as a place for Krishnaji to speak. Krishnaji seems to think it a good idea.’ He’d never spoken in Washington. He’d been in Washington, but he’d never spoken publicly there. ‘Patricia Hunt-Perry came to interview Krishnaji for an article on death. Krishnaji had a nap in the afternoon while I bought a Nikon L35 AF camera.’ I was all the time buying cameras to match Asit’s and following his advice, and Krishnaji was always egging me on—“Oh, you must have one, you must have one. Just like his.” So I’d buy it, and then when I’d try to point it at him and use it, “Not today,” he’d say, “not today.” [Both chuckle.]
S: Which was the only reason you bought the cameras, anyway…was to take pictures of him.
M: Exactly. So it went in the future when there were newer, better Nikon, or whatever, and he would say, “You must have it,” I’d say “Well, if you let me photograph you. Otherwise, no.” [Both chuckle.] He didn’t commit himself, but…
S: [laughing] But you got the cameras nonetheless.
M: Yes. There is an unusual number of pictures by me of Krishnaji walking ahead of me with his back to me. [S laughs.] That was the only chance I had at times. But then, if other professional people were photographing him, like once in Bombay, I’ve got a lot of pictures I took in Bombay because there was a professional who had been called in to do it. So I thought, well, he’s doing it, I’m going to do it, too, at the same time.
S: Exactly. Yes. Yes. [Both chuckle.]
M: April twenty-fourth. ‘I did desk work and laundry. At 4:30 p.m., Krishnaji gave Patricia Hunt-Perry another interview for the article she is writing on death. Erna and Theo returned from the East.’ Oh, they had been in New York with us, of course. ‘Rajagopal has sent Erna a $30,000 donation from K&R for scholarships. There was a letter from Vanda and Gisèle and a picture of Chalet Horner in Schönried where we will stay this summer.’
April twenty-fifth. ‘At lunch there was a discussion about Krishnaji speaking in Washington next year, and Milton Friedman said he would arrange it there.’ He did, too. ‘At 4:30, Krishnaji, Patricia Hunt-Perry, Ravi Ravindra, and I did a taped discussion.’
There is nothing of significance for the next couple of days, but on April twenty-eighth, ‘Pupul and Mr. Jose, her secretary, arrived by car from Beverly Hills to spend today and tonight. She has been in Los Angeles about the 1985 India Festival. We all lunched at Arya Vihara, and in the afternoon, Krishnaji and Pupul did a taped conversation. I made supper for the three of us. We ate on trays in Krishnaji’s room.’
Again, not much except Pupul leaving for New York, people to lunch, I talked—at length—to Mark about his situation, and Krishnaji saw Frances and Milton Friedman. I was doing early walks with Erna on all these days, but I’m not mentioning it.
May second: ‘In the morning, I finished my desk work, and packed. The Moodys drove Krishnaji and me to the Santa Barbara airport, from where we flew to San Francisco on United. A woman in the seat next to us nursed her baby but we soon landed in San Francisco.’ Why did I mention she was nursing her baby? It must’ve been rather, uh…
S: Unusual in some way?
M: Yes, I guess she didn’t do it subtly or discreetly. A person can do it quietly or stridently. Anyway, I note it for some reason. ‘We took a taxi to the Huntington Hotel, where we have the same suite as in past years, number 514 and 512. These are the best hotel rooms we have had anywhere so far.’ So they were. ‘We unpacked, then walked in the wind and rain on Nob Hill. We had supper in our rooms.’ The suite had a little kitchen; it was very nice.
May third. ‘Repeating last year, Krishnaji gave an hour’s radio interview to Michael Toms of New Dimension radio. It is taped and will later be broadcast by satellite and picked up by about fifty nonprofit radio stations around the country who send it out on their networks at whatever time they choose. Mrs. Justine Toms came to the hotel and drove us to their recording station, which is in their house.’ They were both very nice people. ‘The subject asked by Mr. Toms was about conflict, its causes, etc. Krishnaji answered thoroughly, occasionally tapping his palms on the table to emphasize his points.’ [Chuckles.] That isn’t good for a recording but that’s what he did. [S chuckles.] ‘I was given a cassette of it, and we were driven back to the Huntington, where we lunched quietly in its Big Four Restaurant. Evelyne came with her daughter Eloise. I asked Krishnaji if he thought it useful for me to question him on tape and he said we should do it. A rest after lunch and then we walked down California Street to Polk Street to buy another book by Paul Theroux, some cheese, and fruit. In the fruit and health food store, young people who work there said, “It is an honor to have you here, sir.”’ [Both chuckle.] ‘And a young woman on the street said, “How do you do, sir? Welcome to San Francisco. It is an honor to have you come to our city.” Krishnaji looked away from the two very large photos of him outside the Masonic hall. He wanted the Theroux book as he has taken a liking to his writing since Asit gave him Theroux’s book about a trip around the coast of Britain, The Kingdom by the Sea. It is critical of the country as it is today and Krishnaji, surprisingly, read it through. He wants me to read it. “We don’t really know what Britain is like. We only see part of it,” he said, which is true of almost all the countries we visit. Coming up the steep Nob Hill, we took turns carrying our packages and felt we’d had enough exercise. We rested, read, and had supper in the rooms.’
‘A few days ago, in Ojai, Krishnaji spoke again of his not liking to go out in the dark. He had stepped out on the front terrace after supper and came back in. He said it is a feeling he’s always had. It is not fear as such, but he doesn’t like it. It is all right if another person is with him, “or a dog,” he said unexpectedly. I tried to find out what it was. “Something else” is more prevalent in the dark. “Evil?” I asked. It seems to be in a realm he doesn’t want to discuss. It can’t be accurately described. I asked him if the things he does to cleanse or make safe a room, etcetera, are things he was taught…?’ You know, that’s what he would do. Have we talked about that?
S: Yes, yes, I know. Yes, we have.
M: Okay. ‘…something occult by someone when he was young, Leadbeater, or someone? He said no, no one taught it. It is something he learned by himself. I asked would it take away its power or use if he were to tell what it is? He said yes, and that it can’t be put into words.’ Which shut me up. [S laughs.] Well, I wasn’t surprised.
S: Yes. [Chuckles.]
M: May fourth. ‘Krishnaji slept well. Naudé came at 12:30 p.m., looking smiling. Somewhat more portly.’ [Chuckles.] ‘We chatted as of yore until Krishnaji came in and greeted him so nicely, “Hello, sir,” Krishnaji’s face alive and friendly. Alain had first asked if he could bring “a very talented musician” to lunch, and, of course, I said yes. Then he rang to ask if he could also bring a very nice woman interested in Krishnaji, etcetera. I hesitated slightly at two strangers on a day before a talk, but Krishnaji said, “Why not? It doesn’t matter.” So I told Alain this and he also wanted to switch the lunch to Greens instead of the Chinese place he had said we would like. The two friends were waiting downstairs in a car that the woman, Anna Silver, had rented. The musician, polite and smiling, was a pupil of Alain’s, Ken Johansson, a pale young Dane with an unmarked face and careful, childlike hands. Greens was busy, but Krishnaji’s presence got us a corner table by the window. The conversation flowed along the surface. Krishnaji told some stories and it all remained sociable. Alain outmaneuvered me and got the check, which was a bit irritating , as I had done the inviting. But I think it was the woman who really paid via Alain.’ [Chuckles.] ‘They drove us back to the Huntington and that was that. Krishnaji seemed pleased to see Alain, but later asked me what is wrong with him? Krishnaji felt Alain doesn’t really want to be with us. At 4:30 p.m., Terry Doyle came and talked to Krishnaji. He is going to join the Oak Grove School. We walked four laps around Huntinton Park square and had supper in the rooms.’
May fifth. ‘On awakening, Krishnaji said he had dreamt of Nitya—that they were walking where there were deep cement canals that had been built. The water hadn’t been let in yet and he was afraid Nitya would fall in and he was shouting at him. We had breakfast at 8 a.m., and at 10:55 a.m., we met Theo downstairs and walked the few yards across Taylor Street to the Masonic auditorium stage door.’ It was the best arrangement for talks. You just crossed the street and there it was. ‘Krishnaji gave the first San Francisco talk to an almost filled house. Erna, Theo, and Alan Kishbaugh came right over to the hotel rooms afterward to meet briefly with Terry Doyle, who is here with his daughter Felicity. It is agreed that he will join Oak Grove School as a teacher of history and English initially, in place of Lee Nichols, who was leaving. He will also help with administration and be what he calls a “Mentor” between older students and staff, parents, etcetera. Erna and Theo lunched with Krishnaji and me downstairs in the Big Four Restaurant and discussed at length the difficulties of Mark and Asha. Asha flew up here and was with Mark at a table in the auditorium lobby, giving information on the school. Krishnaji has said firmly that director’s wives have no place in the school and it was felt that her coming here and doing the same thing as Mark was a challenge to us. Krishnaji is going to talk to Mark and to her on Tuesday. We stayed in all afternoon, napped, and had supper in the rooms.’
May sixth: ‘I invited Pat Holt to lunch but she couldn’t come.’ That was a woman who did journalism when we’d been there before. ‘Krishnaji gave his second San Francisco talk. A very fine one. Afterward, we took Miranda and John to lunch at Greens, which was very pleasant. “I like them,” said Krishnaji. I telephoned Filomena in Rome as it is tomorrow there, and her birthday.’
The seventh of May. ‘Krishnaji and I had breakfast, then left the Huntington at 8:30 a.m. We took the 10 a.m. United flight to Santa Barbara where the Moodys met us and drove us to Ojai. It was very hot in the valley, and there was a forest fire towards Santa Paula in May.’ I underlined May because to have a forest fire already in May is bad news. ‘We lunched at Arya Vihara, then slept in the afternoon. It was too hot to walk. My brother telephoned from Phoenix, where he and Lisa went for a meeting.’
The eighth of May. ‘Erna and Theo returned from San Francisco. I went to Ventura and voted an absentee ballot for the June fifth primary, as I won’t be here. I then bought plants at Green Thumb Nursery, marketed, and got home at 6:30 p.m. Meanwhile, Krishnaji had talked to Mark, and then to both Mark and Asha. He said just about everything. It was a shock for Mark. Krishnaji and I walked down to see the Lilliefelts, and Krishnaji told them the gist of it.’
May ninth. ‘Krishnaji and I drove to Oxnard and got his IRS clearance. Then to Beverly Hills and Dr. Laura Fox, where Krishnaji had a field of vision test. There was no change from his test last year. We ate picnics in the car on a shady street, and then bought another Remington razor, a new showerhead for his bath, things at Lindberg’s, and came home along the beach. It was warm but not as hot as yesterday. Krishnaji had a letter from David Bohm. His anxiety attacks began again on his return to England. It is a touching, sad letter.’ I don’t know what that means.
S: David was terribly anxious about his health. He had real…
M: Yes he was.
S: He was almost a hypochondriac, but he also had real health issues with his heart.
M: That’s true. Yes.
S: And I think he had panic attacks about his health.
M: The tenth. ‘Mark came to talk to Krishnaji and me. He has decided to leave the school, but wants to remain for one year to transfer the directorship to someone else. Krishnaji told him, “I feel we must not lose you,” and spoke of new things starting in India which Mark could be part of if it interests him. Rupert Sheldrake and Jill Purce came to lunch at Arya Vihara. They are part of a seminar on R. D. Laing, the English psychiatrist, and all sorts of other types at the Ojai Foundation up on the Happy Valley land. It seems to entertain Rupert.’ [Chuckles.] ‘I spoke to Shainberg in New York about David Bohm’s condition. He has been in constant touch with him, and arranged for Dave to see a good therapist in London.’ Good.
There isn’t much the next day, just errands for me in Los Angeles.
The twelfth of May: ‘Krishnaji’s eight-ninth birthday. He slept well and looked wonderfully. Birthday greetings as usual are waved away with a note of scorn, but I felt filled with a silent celebration’ [chuckles] ‘at the shine in his face when it lights up looking at his rose bushes, his lightness of movement, and the beauty that is without age and seems to increase with each year. He is well. He is strong in energy. His mind is more alive than ever. And he is dear beyond any human measure. It has been a hot day. I telephoned Dorothy, as it is her birthday, too. Erna’s back is bothering her, so she remained at home. In the afternoon, Krishnaji saw a Mrs. Barbara Gardner and husband because she is doing a book on Mrs. Besant. It was too hot to walk, so we just had our usual supper. Television on Saturdays provides only T.J. Hooker, a cops and robber.’ I don’t remember that program.
The next day is only that, ‘Terry Doyle returned to Ojai and Krishnaji talked to him in afternoon.’
May fourteenth. ‘There was a 9:30 a.m. meeting of Krishnaji with Terry Doyle, Mark Lee, David Moody, the Lilliefelts, Alan Hooker, and me about the statement The Intent of the Oak Grove School, and we brought it up-to-date. At noon, Erna and I talked to Milton Friedman about Krishnaji speaking in Washington, D.C. April twentieth and twenty-first, 1985. We have booked The Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Alfonso Colon and Armando Riesco were at Arya Vihara for lunch. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji gave an interview for a career newspaper to a Mrs. Oku Kay Grosgean.’
The fifteenth. ‘I went to leave a letter of welcome to Mr. Grohe, who is arriving today at the Ojai Valley Inn. Then I drove to Beverly Hills for a haircut and did small errands. Then to see Amanda and Phil. I’m not sure if I can see them again before we leave. I returned to Ojai by 6 p.m. Krishnaji had been having a meeting, which lasted almost three hours, with the teaching staff. He then walked to the dip with Theo. We had supper at 8 p.m. Too late.’ We shouldn’t have eaten so late. ‘The Lilliefelts had met Grohe and his son at the Los Angeles airport.’
There isn’t much from the next two days, but on May eighteenth, ‘Krishnaji and I walked to the dip and back at 6:30 a.m., the beginning of a warm day, but the morning was cool and gentle. Krishnaji said that he dreamed that Rajagopal said to him, “Why didn’t you tell me you would turn out like this?” and Krishnaji told him, “Because you behaved like such a bastard.”’ [Both chuckle.] ‘There was a quiet lunch at Arya Vihara. Mr. Grohe was there. Krishnaji rechecked The Intent of the Oak Grove School text, and I retyped it. Later, we drove over to look at the new school building in the Oak Grove. Krishnaji kept saying, “What a beautiful place,” and “Don’t those teachers see it? How can they quarrel about things?”’
May nineteenth. ‘It was a warm day. At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji gave Ojai talk number one to a large audience in the Oak Grove. All went well. Grohe, Alan Kishbaugh and Stella R. were at lunch. We had a quiet afternoon.’
The next day Krishnaji gave the second Ojai talk to a large crowd and in perfect weather.
May twenty-first. ‘A Lois Hobson was at lunch. She works at the State Department but could be a possible teacher here. I retyped The Intent of the Oak Grove School, and worked on questions handed in for Krishnaji.’
The twenty-second. ‘At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji held a question-and-answer session in the Oak Grove. At 4:30 p.m., Krishnaji planted a peepul tree for the new school building. The crowd and the sun tired him.’
May twenty-third. ‘At 9:30 a.m., though Krishnaji was tired from yesterday, he had a meeting of Mark Lee, Erna, and me. Mark is to move out of the school’s main building and is already looking for a house. Terry Doyle is to join the school as head of the upper school; and he, Mark, and David Moody are to work out the administration. I left and went for a massage. When I returned, I found the meeting was still going on, and it was joined now by Terry Doyle and David Moody. By the time of my return to the meeting, Moody had suggested the school be run by the entire staff, which was rejected by Krishnaji, Erna, and Doyle. Doyle is to be the director of the entire school. Krishnaji had been very outspoken. Meanwhile, Amanda is in St. Johns Hospital and was operated on. What was removed was found to be malignant. Amanda is still in the recovery room. Krishnaji had asked me not to worry; that if he could help her, he had to do it through me, and it would be prevented if I became upset. At supper, on the TV came Tribute to a Bad Man and Krishnaji was touched by my smile when Sam’s name came on the screen. He said, “I’m so glad you smiled. I’m so glad you loved someone.” In the kitchen, as we did the supper dishes, he was smiling, too. When I asked him why, he said, “It made me feel such a rush of emotion toward you. I felt no difference with him. I couldn’t feel anything else, that would be dreadful.” His face, when he said all this, was alight and eager with surprise and discovery. He is that flower of the human spirit.’
S: So, what was this Tribute to a Bad Man?
M: It was a picture Sam did.
M: Yes, sort of a Western—I’ve forgotten what it was…I think maybe James Cagney was in it. I don’t remember too much about it.
May twenty-fourth. ‘Krishnaji laughed suddenly in the kitchen at breakfast. “Why?” I asked. “I’m thinking of your smile. It made me feel very close to you.”’ [S chuckles.] ‘At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji held the second question-and-answer session in the Grove. In the car coming back along Grand Avenue, he said, “I may be going to faint,” but he didn’t. He just closed his eyes for a few minutes while I kept driving slowly. Then it passed. It is some time since he last fainted. As we stepped out of the garage, a green car rushed up behind us, and out jumped an aggressive, absurdly dressed German who had followed Krishnaji from the Grove, demanding to talk to him. Krishnaji had said no, and said it again here with the man shouting at him. I tried to stop the man and he turned on me, “Who are you? Mary Zimbalist?” “Yes,” I replied, but Krishnaji stopped me from saying all I wanted to say. He quietly told the man he couldn’t see him, and we went into the house. Later he told me that I mustn’t try to defend him.’
‘“Why not?” I asked.’
‘“Because they won’t attack me but they might take it out on you. I must defend you,” he replied.’
‘Me: “Isn’t it my job to protect you?”’
‘Krishnaji said, “Something else is doing that. And if you react…do you understand?”’
‘Me: “You mean that if I say something that it may jar that other thing?”’
‘Krishnaji: “Yes. I can tell by looking at their eyes how crazy people are. Of course, if they tried to break into the house, we would both act.”’
‘Me: “Am I supposed to just stand there if someone was physically attacking you?”’
‘Krishnaji: “No, that would be different.”’
May twenty-fifth. ‘Krishnaji saw Armando Riesco before lunch. He is ailing and Krishnaji put his hands on him. He has also done this for Mark Lee, whose back was so bad a doctor wanted to put him in traction for a week, but Krishnaji has totally removed the pain. Mark also reported that severe burns on Carl Talbot’s hands stopped hurting when Krishnaji barely touched his fingers at the peepul tree planting on Tuesday, and the hand is healing. Lois Hobson was at lunch. Krishnaji thinks we must get her for the school. Krishnaji saw Colon and the Fundación people at 3 p.m. I got supper ready after making a Spanish soup of chickpeas, spinach, and the saffron. And we took a short walk up toward Thacher in the slight cool of 6:45 p.m. Amanda telephoned from the hospital. She said she had “no complaints.” Dear god, she has had medical horrors and I have never heard a word or voice tone of complaint from her in all these years.’ She had awful things happen to her.
S: Oh dear.
M: The twenty-sixth: ‘Krishnaji’s third Ojai talk. A big crowd. Very warm day. He put his hands on Riesco afterward at the house, and Riesco says he is better.’
May twenty-seventh. ‘At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji gave his fourth talk to a huge crowd. At 4 p.m. Mark Lee, Terry Doyle, and David Moody came and described to Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, Alan Kishbaugh, and me the plan they have worked out for the administration of the school. Mark resigns as administrator and for one year becomes “Director of Development,” which means he will deal with the outside world, like the California accreditation board, and he will go about collecting students, money, and describe the school and its education to various groups including teachers in training. According to Doyle, universities, etcetera will pay considerable sums to people who come and hold seminars on unusual education. Mark will try it for a year. If he can do it, incoming students will be gained and it will also pay his salary, so nothing extra for Oak Grove School. If he is unable to do it, at the end of the year he said he would not want to continue. Meanwhile, David becomes director of the elementary school and Doyle of the upper school. Both of them plus two elected teachers plus an administrative officer will run the school. For the latter job, Doyle wants Lois Hobson, if she comes to us. All this will be put to the trustee meeting tomorrow. It all sounded pretty good until, on the way out, both David and Mark handed Erna letters asking for a big hike in salary. Erna was shocked. Krishnaji was shocked. Much discussion of this ensued among Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, Alan, and me. It was a very hot day.’
May the twenty-eighth. ‘Alan Kishbaugh, who stayed in the guest flat last night, came to breakfast at 9:30. Erna and Theo also came. Then Evelyne and Alan Hooker came for a trustee meeting. Mark, Terry, and David Moody came once the meeting had started and explained the new school plan. Krishnaji expressed shock at the money letters. Moody became very emotional and sat with a bowed head. The trustees want a person to be responsible to them, which means, a principal, and Doyle was appointed. We went to Arya Vihara for lunch. Ingeborg von Massenbach and her daughter Helen were there, having arrived to stay until June 7. Lou Blau was also there. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji held a meeting with trustees, the school board, and the Oak Grove School staff; and the new setup was announced. Mark began by speaking very well about his change of responsibilities. Then David, who had pulled himself together, also spoke well, and so did Terry Doyle. There was a knee-jerk reaction from some of the staff: “We weren’t consulted,” and “We used to run the school.” But Krishnaji wafted in eloquence about “You are the inner circle, we are the outer circle. You get on with teaching and let us provide what you need to teach, etcetera.” It seemed to mollify them. While this was going on, the telephone rang and it was Amanda, blessedly home from the hospital. The thermometer was 100 all day.’ Golly.
May twenty-ninth. ‘On this day, when Krishnaji should have been resting, and the thermometer reached a 106 in the shade on my back porch…’ How did we stand it? We had no air conditioning in those days.
S: Whew. I know.
M: ‘…Krishnaji saw Al Blackburn at noon. Evelyne brought the actor Richard Chamberlain to lunch, and Rupert Sheldrake and Jill Purce were there as well. She asked me at lunch if Krishnaji would help her sciatica, and so he did afterward. Then he talked to Lais Da Silva and later at 5 p.m. to Bill Quinn.’
The next two days have nothing of real significance—I’m doing errands, getting the house ready to leave, and packing.
June first: ‘With all the sitting that lies ahead for me, I went for an early walk with Erna. Then intensive packing all morning, finishing everything by 12:30 p.m. We had lunch at Arya Vihara, and then at 2:10 p.m., Krishnaji and I and Mr. Grohe left in the school van for the Los Angeles airport with Mark and David Moody driving. We stopped in Malibu and, while they stayed outside, I went in to see Amanda and Phil. There was Amanda in an old bathrobe, looking unchanged, undiminished. We sat in the living room, all three of us, and it was as it has always been all these years. These moments of being together seem out of time, the present and the past and always. After about fifteen minutes, I left quickly with the sound of all our voices and amusement in my bones. Halfway past Santa Monica, I realized that the usual 5:55 p.m. departure time of the normal TWA flight was now 5:15 p.m. Mark drove with haste and skill and we got there with thirty minutes to spare.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Alan Kishbaugh was there to see us off. Krishnaji and I had our usual seats in the bow, and Mr. Grohe got one just behind.’
June second. ‘We arrived at Heathrow at 11:20 a.m. Rita Zampese met us and so did Dorothy, Scott, and Harsh. One of Krishnaji’s bags was missing. The recent story of Brockwood was in Dorothy’s face: tight, repressed, unhappy. Brockwood was physically beautiful. The new enclosed front hall was finished. The color of the newly finished drawing room walls was perfect again, and all was well upstairs. But the atmosphere in the school struck Krishnaji so forcibly that he felt like turning around and leaving. We reached Brockwood in time for a late lunch. Mr. Grohe is staying two nights in the West Wing. Dr. Parchure is here. I spoke to Mary Links. Krishnaji slept in the afternoon.’
June third. ‘Krishnaji slept till 10 a.m. In the afternoon, ten of us, including Krishnaji, drove to the New Forest to look at a type of house we might be able to build as a study center at Brockwood. Krishnaji found it not suitable. Grohe has offered to pay for a normal building, keeping a room for himself. We got back after 6 p.m. Krishnaji, Mr. Grohe, and Scott went for a walk. Krishnaji’s missing bag was delivered by TWA. I unpacked it for him, and then fell into bed and a heavy sleep.’ Do you remember that walk, or do you want to add anything?
S: I remember not just the walk, but before that. When Krishnaji had last been at Brockwood, I had decided to see if we couldn’t build a study center as he had wanted. He had given up on the idea because of the prohibitive costs presented by Ian Hammond. In my investigations, I found that A-frame buildings were the cheapest kind of building to build, and it was really the most we could afford, and maybe not even that. I had been in contact with a builder who specialized in A-frame buildings, and a special A-frame architect, and we had a tentative drawing made; but people, especially Krishnaji, wanted to see what a large A-frame building looked like. There happened to be one not so far away in the New Forest, so we went to see this. Krishnaji took one look at the building from the road and just shook his head. And everybody else there also didn’t like it, at which point my heart sank, because even building that would have been a real stretch, and we certainly couldn’t build anything for more money. So we got in the cars to come back. I can’t remember what car Grohe drove in to get there, but as we were getting in the cars for the return to Brockwood, he said he wanted to ride back with me. I can remember I was sitting in the back of the car with him, and he said something to the effect that we must build a proper building, and that he would pay for it, or that’s what I thought he said, but I didn’t quite understand him. Of course, I was effusive in my thanks, etcetera, etcetera, and as soon as we got back, I went up to Krishnaji’s room and I told him what I thought Grohe had said to me, but I just wasn’t sure. Of course, I didn’t feel I could ask Grohe the obvious questions like, “How much will you pay?” and “What exactly are you giving us?” etcetera. Krishnaji told me not to worry, and that he would talk to Grohe about it. So, Krishnaji then invited Grohe and me on the walk, and I believe I heard him confirm some amount with Krishnaji.
M: Do you remember what amount was mentioned?
S: No, I can’t remember, but it was a large amount. Although Grohe didn’t pay for all of it, but he did give us a huge portion. I think he gave us a million pounds.
M: That’s what my recollection is.
S: I think—yes, he ended up giving us a million pounds, but it cost a lot more than that.
M: Did it?
S: Oh, yes, and we raised all the rest of it.
S: But this was an extraordinary moment, because after that walk, which was after the collapse of my planning for an A-frame building, and then the miracle of a better plan being possible because of Grohe’s generosity, that evening, at supper, my appendix burst.
M: Your what?
S: My appendix burst.
M: Was it then?
S: That very evening.
M: Good god. [Both chuckle.]
S: It will probably say something in your…
M: Well, it does. Now wait a minute…
S: [laughs] Anyway…
June fourth. ‘Scott is in the Winchester Hospital with a possible gallstone attack.’ That’s when they couldn’t diagnose…
S: Yes, they misdiagnosed it, yes.
M: [chuckles] ‘Mr. Grohe left for Switzerland. Mary and Joe came at noon and stayed until 4 p.m. I spoke to Vanda in Florence.’
June fifth. ‘Iris Murdoch came to meet Krishnaji, lunched with us, and she and Krishnaji talked some more until she went back to Oxford at 3 p.m. They plan to do a video dialogue in October. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked through the Grove and down across the fields. The tests on Scott in the hospital are inconclusive.’
S: To say also, just to add to the information here—I had made the contact with Iris Murdoch through a strange channel. Brian Jenkins’s mother knew Iris Murdoch, and she was the initial contact. I then went to Oxford to talk with her about coming and having a discussion with Krishnaji.
M: You did?
S: Yes. And then she came and met him, and they eventually had the recorded discussion, but I felt terrible that I had initiated this and I wasn’t there when she came because I was too ill. But it was originally from Brian Jenkins.
M: I know somewhere, in talking, I think with Mary L.—we had talked about possible people and Iris Murdoch’s name was mentioned.
June sixth: ‘In the morning, I went to Alresford and the bank on errands. At noon, the Links brought John Julius Norwich, Mr. and Mrs. Forbes Taylor, Jack Gill, and his assistant came to talk to Krishnaji and me about a film for TV of Krishnaji’s early life. We discussed it again after lunch. Krishnaji seems to agree to it. Harsh had a compact disc player installed in Krishnaji’s room and he is pleased by it.’
The seventh. ‘Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and I took the 10:45 a.m. Petersfield train to London. Joe met us, drove Krishnaji and me to Huntsman, and then we went to lunch with him and Mary at Hyde Park Street.’ That’s where they lived. ‘Joe drove Krishnaji to the dentist, Mr. Thompson. Mary and I sat and talked mostly about the pros and cons of the Norwich TV film project. Krishnaji had a tooth filled, and then we came back by train.’
The next day. ‘The Marogers arrived. Also David Shainberg and Catherine de Segonzac. Krishnaji held the first brain seminar with Shainberg, Dr. David Pete, Professor Francisco Varela, and Professor Bergstrom. It was videotaped with four cameras, Kathy handling it instead of Scott, who is still in hospital. It was a warm day. We all rested in the afternoon, then I went on the walk with Krishnaji to the Grove, and then Dorothy and I went round the fields.’
June ninth. ‘Dagmar Lichti and Rita Zampese came for the weekend. Dagmar is in the West Wing. Krishnaji has a sudden idea for Scott to mostly come out of the school and head the study center project here. I briefly mentioned it to Ingrid, Jean-Michel, and later Mary Cadogan by phone, and all are enthusiastic. Krishnaji held the second session of the brain seminar at 11:45 a.m. At 3:30 p.m. I went with Kathy and Dagmar to see Scott in the Winchester Hospital. Dagmar thinks he has an abscess on the appendix. While she discussed this with the floor doctor, I put Krishnaji’s study center idea to Scott and Kathy. They are to talk it over, but seemed elated. I telephoned Amanda. She is well.’
The tenth. ‘Krishnaji held the third brain seminar discussion. These haven’t gone too well. The scientists are not responsive to Krishnaji. He, Shainberg, and I talked after lunch. At 5 p.m., I attended a boring staff meeting. After supper Dagmar Lichti left with Rita. I cleaned the room so that Marie-Bertrande could move in. Parchure earlier tested Krishnaji’s blood sugar. His fasting number was 105.’
June eleventh. ‘I talked to Shainberg about critical things he has said about Krishnaji. He and Catherine de Segonzac left for Israel. Meanwhile, Krishnaji had a talk with Dorothy and told her he had asked Scott to head the study center. She is to be full principal of the school. Krishnaji spent the day in bed. I went to Alresford on errands, but got back in time for a school meeting. In the evening I talked with Marie-Bertrande.’
June twelfth. ‘Merali left. I talked to Mary Cadogan on the phone about Scott and Mr. Grohe being made trustees. Krishnaji approves. Three men from Border Television came to talk to Krishnaji about an interview on Channel 4. He spoke to them before and after lunch. Lady Dufferin also was at lunch. At 4 p.m., he gave an interview to Mrs. Ann Toothe. And then put his hands on de Pomereaux again. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I had a short walk. After supper I went to the hospital with Kathy to ask for Scott’s acceptance of the study center post and trusteeship.’ It doesn’t say you agreed. [Both chuckle.]
June thirteenth. ‘I went to Alresford with Marie-Bertrande. Mr. Grohe returned. Mary C. came, and she and I talked to Dorothy about Scott’s trusteeship and the idea we had of making Ingrid the school manager, and Harsh and Stephen co-directors of studies. Dorothy agreed. After Krishnaji had spoken alone with Mr. Grohe, we joined forces, and Mr. Grohe was invited to become a trustee of the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust, and Krishnamurti Educational Center at Brockwood Park. He accepted. Kathy brought Scott back from the hospital.’ Did they take out your appendix?
S: No, they couldn’t.
M: You still had it?
S: Yes, what had happened…well, let me first say that we all have what’s called a peritoneum in the stomach whose job it is to encapsulate infections in the abdomen. I was lucky and healthy, and so my peritoneum had surrounded my appendix, and the appendix burst inside that. But that meant they didn’t dare operate, because if they did, then I would get peritonitis. So they said that I had to wait for about six months, by which time my body would have slowly absorbed all the poisons, and then they could remove it. But, of course, at any time, it could open and then I would get peritonitis, so it was…
M: Well, did you eventually have it out?
S: Eventually I did. Six months later I had it out. But I…
M: That’s terrible.
S: Yes, and that’s why I wasn’t supposed to go to Saanen that year and I wasn’t supposed to do anything that wasn’t very, very gentle and careful.
M: Gently move around.
S: But I did go to Saanen that year and I did, you know, carry on, more or less, as normal.
M: You didn’t climb in the mountains?
S: No, I didn’t climb any mountains that year. [Chuckles.] I could barely climb stairs.
M: Goodness. ‘After lunch Krishnaji, with Dorothy, Scott, Mr. Grohe, Ingrid, Harsh, Mary Cadogan, and me present, Krishnaji announced the new trustees and the new positions in the school. Stephen was absent but came for supper and afterward Dorothy, Mary C., Ingrid, Harsh, and I explained. At 8 p.m., we met Grohe and Gisèle about the activities of the study center. It was a busy day.’
June fourteenth. ‘Krishnaji and I took the 9:45 a.m. train to London. We had Huntsman and Maxwell fittings, then Krishnaji had his hair cut at Truefitt. We lunched with Mary and Joe at their flat. Joe took Krishnaji to the dentist while I talked to Mary. Then Joe went back to fetch Krishnaji with me and Joe dropped us at Waterloo.’ That’s almost becoming…
S: [chuckles] A ritual.
M: A ritual; an undeviating, excellent arrangement.
June fifteenth. ‘In the morning Krishnaji talked to Scott and then to Ingrid. After lunch, at 4:15, Krishnaji talked to Dorothy and Ingrid. At 5 p.m., Krishnaji attended a staff meeting and announced the new setup of the school, that Scott and Kathy are going to create and run the adult center, and also that Mr. Grohe and Scott are becoming trustees. He felt no contact with the staff in talking with them, and was very disturbed by it all. He said it was my responsibility to do something.’ Me. [S chuckles.]
June sixteenth. ‘Krishnaji talked with students, who are very critical of the state of the school. A German woman architect arrived, but was quite unqualified. Krishnaji saw Brian Jenkins in the afternoon. Scott has had a relapse. Pain and fever. Doctor came to see him.’ What happened?
S: I can’t remember.
M: ‘I talked to the Hammonds about recommending an architect for the study center.’
The seventeenth of June. ‘My brother rang from the airport. He, Lisa, and their son, Lindsey, are on their way to Berlin and Paris. Krishnaji spoke witheringly to the staff and guest helpers. David and Saral came to lunch with Krishnaji and he put his hands on Dave afterward.’ Well, what about you?
S: I probably didn’t ask. [Both chuckle.]
M: Do you remember it?
S: No, I don’t.
M: June eighteenth. ‘It was a warm day. I was up at 4:30 a.m., and went to work at my desk. Then went to Alresford and Winchester for errands.’ 4:30 a.m., I got up to the desk? That’s ridiculous. Anyway, ‘I got back at 1:45 p.m. At 2 p.m., Mary and Joe came and Krishnaji, Mary, and I did a taped conversation about there being no one representing Krishnaji in the past, present, or future.’ Oh, yes, that silly woman, Vimala Thakar, had said that she would carry on Krishnaji’s work, and, of course, it wasn’t true, so it was felt that something should be put in the Bulletin. I think that’s what we’re talking about.
‘At 5 p.m., Krishnaji came to a school meeting and talked for two and a half hours. He said he is joining Dorothy, Ingrid, Harsh, and Stephen in running the school. He spoke intensely—close to tears at times.’
June nineteenth. ‘Krishnaji attended the 9 a.m. meeting of the four: Dorothy, Ingrid, Harsh, and Stephen.’ Oh, yes. There was a meeting every morning of the four of them, but you must have been there, too…
S: No, I was probably still sick, and I think by then I had come out of school things to give my energy to the study center.
M: Oh, yes, it’s awful you were so sick. ‘Ian and Jane brought an architect, Mr. Jack, to look at the study center’s site. Then talk with Krishnaji and Mr. Grohe, Scott, Kathy, and me about building. He made a good impression. All lunched and then Grohe left for France. Krishnaji saw David Bohm, who had come down, then he went to bed. I talked at length to Harsh, then went for a short evening walk, and then talked to Claire.’ Oh, that was the Claire and Harsh drama.
S: Yes, yes, and which went on. Claire was Harsh’s wife. But, just to say, I wasn’t happy about this architect that Ian and Jane had brought.
M: No? Good.
S: This architect was someone from Ian’s old office. Ian had been an architect, but he had retired by then. I had just been made a trustee, and as you know, Ian’s wife, Jane, was a trustee, and at that time, I was terribly ill. So, when this architect was really, I felt, foisted on me, I felt I just couldn’t resist. So we spend a lot of money and a lot of time…
M: Oh, really?
S: Oh, yes. Coming up with a building that was completely refused permission, and that Krishnaji didn’t like.
M: I don’t remember any of this.
S: Because Krishnaji couldn’t visualize a building from drawings, a model was made of it, and Krishnaji said it looked like a country club, which it did. It was…
M: Oh, yes, I remember that model and that it looked like, I thought, a golf club.
S: Yes. But by that time, which was several months later, of course, I was healthier. When Krishnaji didn’t like the design, Ian said that he would step in and take charge of the project, but I just said, no, that I wanted to get other people.
M: Well, you were the one who—
S: —was in charge of it, but it was still difficult to say this to the husband of a trustee. Anyway, I did, and went around seeing all the best architects in England and got them all…well, we’ll come across it in your diaries.
There’s nothing much the next day.
June twenty-first. ‘Krishnaji and I went to London. We met Asit at Huntsman, I picked up the first pair of Maxwell shoes I had ordered, and we walked to the Connaught, where Asit gave us lunch, joined by a friend of his. Krishnaji and I walked back and looked unsuccessfully for knitted shirts for him. We caught the 4:20 p.m. train back to Petersfield. It was another hot day. Krishnaji was all right in the city, but he has hay fever here.’
June twenty-second. ‘At 8:45 a.m., Krishnaji was interviewed by Eric Robson of Border Television for a series on revelation starting in August. At 11 a.m., he and I came to the meeting of the four, Dorothy, Ingrid, Harsh, and Stephen. It was decided not to have a garden helper, David Jinks, stay and join the staff. After lunch, I went to Petersfield and meanwhile three girl students went to Krishnaji with a letter about Jinks. He talked to them until the 5 o’clock staff meeting, which he attended, and gave the letter to the staff. Two and a half hours of contention and confusion followed, and produced a revocation of the morning decision, and Jinks was allowed to stay. Krishnaji is disgusted by the whole thing.’ What had happened with this Jinks character? Or don’t you remember?
S: I can’t remember but it was typical of the contention and chaos at that time.
M: June twenty-third. Krishnaji and I talked with Ingrid and Harsh. At noon, Krishnaji talked to the students while, at a staff meeting, I said that the Foundation had decided that ultimate decisions reside with Dorothy and the three, and cannot be overturned by others. In the afternoon, there was an open house in the school and garden.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji and I attended the 9 a.m. meeting of Dorothy, Harsh, Stephen, and Ingrid, and it was difficult. Dorothy was very hostile. At 11:45 a.m., Krishnaji did a videotaped conversation with Ronald Eyre.’ Remember Ronald? He was nice.
S: I do. He was another one that I had made the contact with and got him to come to do the videotaped interview, and then I wasn’t there for the interview. I was ill again.
M: Too ill again.
S: And Kathy pulled it all off. She really did a wonderful job with all that.
M: Yes, yes.
June twenty-fifth. ‘I telephoned Filomena. It was difficult to know if she understood me. I took a 9:45 a.m. train to London. Adrian Spanier’—that’s the interior decorator I used for the fire restoration work—‘met me and we went to look at armoires. I bought a mahogany one and a chest of drawers for use in the wallpaper room to make it into an extra guest room. I looked at fabrics for my room but found nothing. I went alone to Habitat, then took the 2:48 p.m. train back. Krishnaji had stayed in bed. Mr. Santhanam had come to see him. I telephoned Amanda. All is well.’
The next day. ‘Krishnaji met at 9 a.m. with the four. It went well. At noon, Mary and Joe came and stayed until 3 p.m. At 5 p.m., there was the last school meeting of the term, to which Krishnaji came.’
There’s really nothing for the next few days except that the school term ended and the students left.
June twenty-ninth: ‘Since we came to Brockwood this month, it has been a period of endless meetings and intense concern on Krishnaji’s part. Krishnaji and I left Brockwood at 8:15 a.m. with Harsh driving us to Heathrow. We took a Swissair flight at 10:35 a.m. to Geneva, and went to the Hotel des Bergues. We lunched in the Amphitryon, went to Jacquet for ties, Krishnaji left both his watches and naviquartz at Patek for servicing, and we bought two bathrobes for him at the Pharmacie Principale. We came back to the hotel, rested, and slept. Dined pleasantly in the Amphitryon.’
June thirtieth. ‘We had a quiet morning in the hotel. At noon Hertz delivered a red Fiesta and we drove to Grohe’s house for lunch. Then, we went on up to the Chalet Horner in Schönried. Vanda and Fosca had arrived there last night.’
S: I think we should leave it here as there’s a little bit of tape but probably not enough for another day, and this is a good ending place.