Issue #8

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Issue #8 – September 1967 to April 1968

Introduction to Issue 8

In this issue there is a discussion of a part of Krishnaji’s understanding of reality that was important to him, but which he never brought into the body of his work: his view of good and evil. Part of this is his sense of “protection” in doing the right things.

There is also a discussion of peculiar relationships which had been part of his life since his boyhood.

Additionally, we see the three-person team of Krishnaji, Mary, and Alain Naudé moving smoothly and expansively around the world—England is decided upon as the venue for the new Krishnamurti school; an editing and publications committee is begun with no relationship to KWINC for the first time; and the first moves are made to recover Krishnaji’s copyright.

The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist

Mary: I think we left off that Krishnaji was giving talks in Wimbledon and living in Kingston Vale. Does that make sense to you?

Scott: Yes, that sounds about right.

M:  I also spoke of the experiment of the three of us sitting cross-legged on the floor in his room in the early morning in dead silence. What it was for the two of them, I do not know!

S: Did Krishnaji have you sit with your back against anything?

M:  No; as I see it in my mind’s eye, we were sitting on a rug in the middle of the floor. He had a big bedroom.

S: Because, years later when Krishnaji was teaching me pranayama and such like [M chuckles], he would have me sit with my back against the table leg of that white table that his stereo was on…

M:  Yes, yes.

S: …so that my whole spine was straight.

M:  Well, I think he was not thinking so much about our spines [both laugh] at that point. At least, I can sort of see it in my memory.

S: I’m just trying to picture it, that’s all. How many times did you do that?

M:  I don’t quite know. But we did it several times, but it didn’t become a habit by any means! [Chuckles]

S: [laughing] It wasn’t a great success then?

M:  You’d have to ask the other two! [Both laugh.] But I must say it was very moving to me, and I couldn’t put into words why, except that Krishnaji, as you know, could induce tremendous quiet.

S: Yes.

M:  And it was, for me at least, a kind of a wonderful space with nothing going on but quiet.

S: What did you do afterwards?

M:  Oh, I don’t know, I suppose we went and had breakfast or something, I’ve forgotten now. It was early.

S: It was pre-breakfast.

M:  It was pre-breakfast. I guess I went down and got breakfast going, or something like that. No, I’m blank on that.

S: Were you dressed, or were you in exercise clothing or were you in bathrobes or…?

M:  I probably had on pants and a sweater or something, in order to sit on the floor. And Krishnaji was in his dressing gown.

S: Right.

M:  I’ve forgotten what Alain had on. He was dressed, I think.

But it was the time (I probably mentioned this the other day) when he began to say, “You are no longer responsible to yourself; you’re responsible to something other.”

S: Yes, yes.

M:  And he was to say that to me over and over through the years to come.

S: Mm, hm. Mm, hm. If I can just interrupt here, Mary, and perhaps this is just to clarify in my mind, but when Krishnaji said that kind of thing to me many years later…

M:  Yes.

S: It was very much in the vein of: you can’t just do whatever you want now with your life.

M:  Yes, that’s right.

S: You can’t just take risks, you can’t just…

M:  The risking was very much a feature of it.

S: Perhaps we ought to talk about that because somehow your life is no longer yours…

M:  That’s right.

S: …to just do whatever you want to with it.

M:  That’s right.

S: It’s now part of something else, or it is, um…

M:  Yes. You are responsible to the something else which was, I supposed, though he didn’t say so, “the Other. But now, it wasn’t your life any more. You were…

S: Yes, yes.

M:  And the risk part, he was very insistent on. Whenever I would go back to California, and not go to India, he would admonish me: “Don’t do anything unnecessary that’s risky.” And that usually was spelled out as unnecessary flying. It was alright for me to fly from wherever we were to New York and then go up to Martha’s Vineyard to see my mother because that was necessary. And then fly back to California, but what wasn’t alright would be, say I thought I’d like to run up to San Francisco for lunch with somebody tomorrow. Don’t do that. You see, that was unnecessary. And he also used to say, though I don’t know that he said it at this point, but maybe he did, “When you are with me you are protected, but when you are on your own, I can’t protect you.” Sometimes he would say, and I suppose one could ask, was he joking or was he serious, but he used to often say, “I’m sending two angels with you.” And, I won’t interpret that.

S: Yes, yes.

M:  Whether he was just saying something metaphorically or not, I don’t know. But then he would add, “But don’t strain them!” [Laughs.] “Don’t make them work too hard.” In other words Don’t do foolish things that you could have avoided. In other words Don’t drive the car too fast, and drive carefully. An example of unnecessary things was in Saanen, where I was tempted, though I never did anything about it, to go up in a glider. It turns out he was, too; he thought that would be wonderful!

S: I know, I know.

M:  But he thought that that was something that was unnecessary, and he shouldn’t do it. And therefore, similarly for whatever came up in my life, I must be careful.

S: Let me give you my impressions of this and get your response. When Krishnaji said similar things to me, it was almost as if, if you were doing something that was necessary, there was an element of protection with you, because you were still somehow part of…

M:  You were being responsible to something.

S: Yes, you were somehow part of some activity that you were supposed to be doing. It’s like you were in the right place.

M:  That’s right. Yes.

S: But if you started doing something that was unnecessary, then you were outside of the right place.

M:  Mm, hm.

S: And being outside of the right place you no longer had that protection.

M:  It wasn’t all that categorical.

S: No, it wasn’t; I’m just saying this is the sense that I had.

M:  Yes, that’s right.

S: And, in fact, there was also…you were there when Krishnaji talked about…because we were involved in what we were involved with, there was even something terrible that was more inclined to…come out. I don’t know if you want to talk about this.

M:  Yes, I do.

S: It’s almost like there was something like evil waiting for us to be outside of the zone of protection.

M:  That’s right. Yes, he said, at some point, I don’t remember when, we may come to it  later, if I have notes about it, but…he said it more or less…I don’t want to try to quote him. I’ll just give you my understanding of it. As though evil wanted to get at him…

S: Mm, hm.

M:  …and couldn’t, because he was protected by…

S: Whatever.

M:  He was protected.

S: Yes.

M:  Therefore, failing to get at him, evil might try to strike down those who were around him, who were in some way useful to him, a part of what he was doing.

S: Yes.

M:  And therefore, we were targets.

S: Yes.

M:  He didn’t say that exactly, but that was the content.

S: Well, that was very much the sense…and I’m referring to this because the only…well, the first time, not the only time, but certainly the first time Krishnaji talked directly about that to me, was when he prevented me from climbing.

M:  Yes.

S: Do you remember?

M:  I do remember. [Both laugh.] He went to the heart of it with you…

S: Yes.

M:  …because climbing was the most dangerous thing you were doing! [Chuckles.]

S: Yes, yes, and he prevented me from climbing.

M:  I know!

S: Initially, he didn’t tell me what he was doing, if you remember. He just said…because he had been [chuckles]worried and…this shouldn’t be my reminiscences on this tape…

M:  No, come on, this is a joint effort.

S: Alright. He had been worried about my climbing, and he’d been admonishing me, etcetera.

M:  Yes.

S: And especially because I was climbing alone sometimes. And then one year he asked me at Brockwood before I left for Switzerland, “What are you going to do before the talks?” I said, “Well, I’m just going to walk and go up into the mountains.” I didn’t say I wasn’t going to climb, I just made light of it. And Krishnaji was anxious…

M:  Yes.

S: …that year, he was anxious. When I came up to see him, because I always went to see him as soon as I got to Saanen, he was anxious about me.

M:  Yes.

S: And he asked me admonishingly, “What were you doing?!”

M:  Yes.

S: He was very much scolding, “What were you doing…what…”

M:  Yes.

S: And I had planned to go up again into the mountains after the Saanen talks, but as the talks were ending, he said, “Come and stay with me in Tannegg, for, you know…”

M:  Yes.

S: “…a few days.” And, of course, I was thrilled to stay at Tannegg! [Both chuckle.] I think the Olympics were on.

M:  Yes, there was one summer when we were all watching television.

S: Yes, we were watching the Olympics. Anyway, so then the time extended on for a little, you know, I was just…

M:  Yes.

S: …staying a little longer, and it dragged on for I don’t know how long.

M:  You never went walking in the mountains! [Both laugh.]

S: And then the weather went bad.

M:  Mm, hm.

S: The weather changed and you could see on the weather map that for the next week it was going to be bad weather, so no climbing. And then Krishnaji said [laughing], “Well, if you want to go, you can go now!” [More laughing.] And that’s when I asked, I said, “Now Krishnaji, you’ve been deliberately keeping me from climbing.”

M:  Mm, hm.

S: “What is this?”

M:  Yes.

S: And that’s when he talked with me about the whole thing, and he also said, as part of this whole thing, which is interesting, too, I feel, is that he seemed to sense that there were times when this evil force was stronger than other times. So there were times when it was more risky or was, was something.

M:  Yes. Yes.

S: And I think that was also the year that he didn’t want you to fly to see Filomena.

M:  I’m thinking about that as you’re talking.

S: You see because, somehow it was…

M:  And one year…

S: Somehow this was…I don’t know, and quite frankly and this might all be in my imagination…Krishnaji didn’t make this connection to me at all…but there seemed to be  something…like it was connected to what Rajagopal was doing. That somehow Rajagopal having…

M:  Yes.

S: …more strength…more….was all…

M:  It was…

S: …somehow a reflection of this evilness…

M:  Yes.

S: …and it was like this was an especially dangerous time.

M:  Yes. Well, I used to try to go every summer just for two days or three nights or something, to see Filomena—for the benefit of whoever listens to this in the future, she was a very dear and, by then, a very old Italian woman who had been in my family in various capacities…she was a maid to my aunt, and then she came to me and my husband after my aunt died. She was really a member of my family, more than her own family, and I felt the same way about her. She had gone back to Italy thinking she was ill (she wasn’t really) to be with her family—she had retired, in other words. So I would try and fly down to see her in the summers, and it was alright. But then there was one summer when, really, it was upsetting, because Krishnaji asked me to telephone when I got to Rome. I drove down to the airport in Geneva and telephoned, and said, I’m here, on the plane any minute. But when I got to Rome, I couldn’t get to a telephone until much later.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  And he was worried that something had happened to me.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  And I felt awful about it because I suspected this. And then, again, I’m not sure of the sequence, but I think it was the following year, which is the one you’re referring to, Krishnaji asked me not to go. And it was, for me, difficult because Filomena lived for those visits. And I couldn’t bear to hurt her in any way.

S: I remember it. I remember it.

M:  But naturally when Krishnaji asked me not to go, I didn’t go.

S: Yes, of course.

M:  I tried to explain it to her as best I could.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  There was that element that something might have attacked me, in a way.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  When we were in Malibu, and I’d go into Los Angeles to do errands, if I was late coming back, he’d often be standing near the gate, waiting for me. And he would say, “I could feel you were coming.”

S: Mm, hm.

M:  He often had a sense when something was about to happen.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  I remember when my father died, we were in Tannegg, and my father wasn’t well at all and Krishnaji knew that. He hadn’t been for a long time. But the woman who was looking after him, called me and that’s how I learned that he’d died. I was in my room, and Krishnaji came in seconds later. He had sensed what had happened without knowing it.

S: Mm, hm.

This seems similar, in a way, continuing on this theme a little bit, this kind of sensing that there were moments of greater danger than other moments.

M:  Yes.

S: At the end, in Ojai, when Krishnaji wanted us…remember there was a period we were never to leave him alone. It was a moment of particular danger. I think we both slept on the floor of his bedroom.

M:  Yes. That’s right. We both slept on the floor.

S: We were taking turns, but that one night it somehow…and then the next day he said, “It’s passed.”

M:  Yes. “It’s passed.” that’s right. And the first thing he said to me when he came back that last time [from India], if you remember I brought his car and drove him back, and you and Parchure went with Mark Lee and all the luggage followed.

S: Yes, yes.

M:  The minute he got in the car he said, “I must tell you something very serious. You mustn’t leave me alone for even a moment, for the next forty-eight hours.” He didn’t explain why, but it was…danger.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  In a way, it was like what he told me to do in the hospital, but we’ll get to all that later, and the thin line between living and dying, which he said was the way he lived.

S: Yes, yes.

M:  The danger was that he would “slip away,” as he put it during the operation and afterwards. And I must somehow prevent it. We’ll come to that later.

S: Yes, but that’s slightly different, isn’t it? Because that wasn’t a sense of some menace. That was a sense of his perhaps slipping away, and you were to prevent it. But this other thing we’re talking about is like an active menace that somehow is waxing and waning.

M:  Yes. Some extraneous thing was threatening or trying to threaten in some way. [Long pause.]

It’s curious. Of course, this is all out of sync with our story, but since it came up…I suppose we should just talk about whatever we think of.

S: Yes.

M:  Well, especially in his last few years, he had this feeling about darkness, that there was kind of…when the sun is gone, the forest, which he loved, and he felt a wonderful place to be…evil went into the forest at night. He said he would never go into a forest alone at night.

S: I remember something like that, that he felt there was a very strong sense of menace in a forest at night.

M:  Yes. But there was also protection. I said, “Would you go in with me?” and he said, “Yes, but only if you were there.” And, for instance at Ojai, apparently he wouldn’t have gone out of the house at night alone, even to walk to Arya Vihara [1] for instance, once it was dark.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  I mean he had no occasion to go, but I asked, “What if?” and he said no he wouldn’t. It’s as though something menacing, something evil, would come with darkness, and could creep into an otherwise benign and much loved place.

S: Yes.

M:  Curious, isn’t it?

S: It is very curious. It’s very curious because…well, for a lot of reasons, but here was something that had a great deal of reality for Krishnaji, but he never brought it into his teachings.

M:  No.

S: Now I can easily understand why, because of the superstition and the hysteria and all the imaginations.

M:  Yes. What people would do with this?

S: I suspect that many people would just make a hash of it.

M:  I know.

S: But it was something that was very real for Krishnaji.

M:  Well, he said very categorically, if you like, that there is such a thing as good and evil.

S: Evil, yes.

M:  And one is not the other face of the same coin. There is no relation between the two. But both exist.

S: Yes. Also I would just say this: when Krishnaji, this first time when he was talking with the two of us about this, and I can tell you exactly where we were when we got to that part of the conversation. We were on the walk, and we had just…

M:  In Switzerland.

S: In Switzerland, walking up through the forest from Tannegg.

M:  Yes.

S: And it was just where the path comes out to the road…

M:  Yes.

S: …where he finally got to this topic, and we stopped and talked about it.

M:  Yes.

S: And as Krishnaji was speaking about it, and he spoke very hesitantly, as though he felt he had to say some of these things, I think because I was forcing it with my questioning, in a way. But he also said something I can’t exactly quote, but something to the effect that one has to be very careful in talking about it because you invite it if you talk about it.

M:  Well, I was about to say that very thing. He said to me many times, not many times, but several times, it’s better not…you shouldn’t talk about evil…it invites it.

Click the audio files below to hear Mary.

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S: Mm, hm.

M:  He said that, I know, in Ojai, he said it to me. And he also felt the contamination, as it were, of people who had evil intent or something evil in them. For instance, again this is way out of the progression of this saga, he told me I must never let either Rajagopal or Rosalind come into the cottage. Those two, he said…

S: Mm, hm. Mm, hm.

M:  Never let them come into this place. And so, at the very end, when he was so ill, I went to him and said, “You told me never to let either of them in here, but supposing the doorbell rings and I open the door and Rajagopal is on the doorstep, what do I do?” Of course, Rajagopal never did give a sign that Krishnaji was dying. But Krishnaji, in a way, shrugged, you know, as if he was saying well, I’m dying, you know. In other words, whatever, he was beyond being affected by it.

S: Mm, hm. Would you let either of them into the cottage? Well, Rajagopal is dead, but would you let Rosalind into the cottage now?

M:  No! Heavens no!

S: I wouldn’t either.

M:  No, I would never have let him in, or her in, either, not that she would come.

So, he had a perception of good and evil as realistic forces.

S: Yes, as real things.

M:  The way there is, I don’t know, electricity or something.

S: Yes.

Well, we’ve had a little digression here. [Chuckles.]

M:  Big digression. Shall we go back to September 1967?

S: Absolutely.

M:  Where were we?

On September twenty-fourth, Robert Lutyens, the brother of Mary, who Krishnaji hadn’t seen for probably decades. Decades! He and his wife invited Krishnaji to tea at their house on Mansfield Street [2]. I suppose they hadn’t met in, good lord, I don’t know when!

And at this point Mary and Robert were estranged. And his wife wasn’t very sympathetic to all this. Anyway, we went for tea [S chuckles], and Krishnaji hadn’t been for so long to the Mansfield Street house where he went so often. It was quite an interesting time. They had a child who was there, and the child and Robert seemed to get on quite well.

S: That’s nice.

Was this the last family home? I mean, was this where Sir Edwin and Lady Emily lived?

M:  Yes. They lived in it. Robert had inherited it, I guess, or acquired it in some way. It was interesting.

Then, Krishnaji had more young people discussions, which were held in the WimbledonCommunity Center. The Bohms used to come and go for walks in Richmond Park with us. Krishnaji and Dave would walk ahead talking, or Saral and I would walk ahead talking. It was just the way he and David always were: discussing something intently.

Then later that week, I think it was, Krishnaji, Alain, and I drove down to East Grinstead to look at a house to buy! [Both laugh.] It was an Elizabethan house, a small one. A friend of mine who lived near there suggested that we go look at it. And we did. We didn’t like it, but it was fun to go and look.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  This is part of the question of where shall we live in Europe—all together, everybody. These were sort of pipe dreams, I guess. [Chuckles.]

S: Yes, yes. East Grinstead…I can’t remember, but didn’t Krishnaji spend time there as a boy with a tutor to help him get into Oxford?

M:  Yes, he stayed at Ashdown Forest. There was a so-called cramming school.

S: That’s right, isn’t that near East Grinstead?

M:  Yes. AshdownForest is right near East Grinstead. Mary writes about it in her book.

And that same week we went to Cecil Beaton’s for photographs.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  That’s when those pictures were taken. I had known Cecil for years because of my career as a model. He used to come to New York in the winter, and there’d be parties and all kinds of goings-on. So when we wanted to have photographs for publications and had none, I called Cecil up out of the blue. I hadn’t talked to him in years and years, and asked if he would like to photograph someone who is very interesting. And I said, “I think you’ll like him because he’s the most extraordinarily beautiful human being.” That interested Cecil very much. So we went, and he took the pictures.

S: How old was Cecil Beaton at this point?

M:  Oh, lord. Well, he was getting on. I suppose when I first knew him, which was in the thirties, he was, I suppose in his thirties then. So he would be in the sixties by now.

S: How did Krishnaji and he get on?

M:  Well, I’ve seen Cecil in endless photographic sessions where he’s very cheery and talkative. He has a way of making the subject relax [chuckles] by his chatter. He was the same way with Krishnaji, and he was very enthusiastic because he saw the remarkable face. The three of us went—Alain, Krishnaji, and I, and Cecil actually took a photo of the three of us; it isn’t good, but he took a picture at the end of it of the three of us.


Photo taken by Cecil Beaton of Krishnamurti, Mary Zimbalist, and Alain Naude.

Photo taken by Cecil Beaton of Krishnamurti, Mary Zimbalist, and Alain Naude.

S: Oh! I’ve never seen that picture.

M:  It’s not very good.

S: [laughing] Oh, why haven’t I’ve seen it though, Mary?!

M:  I don’t know. [S laughs again.] I suppose I have it at home. He did it as a sort of  present.

S: Well, I’d like to see that.

M:  Well, if you come to Ojai, I’ll try to find it. [Laughs.]

S: Alright, I’ll be there in February.

M:  Hm…

S: What did Krishnaji say about Cecil Beaton?

M:  He didn’t say much of anything. I don’t remember what he said. [Chuckles.] But it was entertaining for me to see. [S laughs.]

S: Yes, from the little I know of Cecil Beaton, which is very, very little, I don’t see a natural rapport occurring between them.

M:  No, but Cecil had a great eye for beauty and quality—he was sensitive to those things. So I knew that he would very much like to do it. He put one of the photographs, one that I didn’t like in a book of…well, he used to publish books of his photographs.

S: Yes.

M:  I didn’t like it much, but he thought it was very poetic and beautiful. It’s a profile of Krishnaji, almost turned away from the camera. Anyway, so we did that.

S: Where was that?

M:  At Cecil’s house, in Pelham Place. He took pictures in those days just with a Rolleiflex and natural light. There was no big studio business.

S: Mm, hm. There were no artificial lights?

M:  No, not in this one. I mean, he presumably did for other things, but that day he was using just a Rolleiflex and daylight coming through the window.

Again, there were public discussion meetings in Wimbledon at the Wimbledon Community Center.

Of course, whenever London was anywhere nearby, there were trips to Huntsman, after which we lunched at the L’Aperitif, which Krishnaji liked very much. It doesn’t exist anymore, regrettably, and was supplanted by Fortnum’s, which was a considerable  comedown in the quality of the food. It was on Jermyn Street, but somebody bought the building, and the man who ran it, the mâitre d’ hôtel, moved to Brown’s Hotel and we went there and tried it once, but it wasn’t the same. The chef was different, I suppose.

S: Why on earth did you and Krishnaji settle on Fortnum’s where the food was so awful?!

M:  I know! Because it was near Huntsman! [Both laugh.] And because the tables weren’t close together. Mary suggested it.

S: Yes, so you could get some distance from other diners. But my god, there must have been other restaurants in walking distance of Huntsman.

M:  You’d think so, but, no, there aren’t. Name one. You can’t.

S: Claridge’s?

M:  Claridge’s is quite a ways away. I don’t think he would have liked that.

S: Jermyn Street? Aren’t there any others on Jermyn Street?

M:  Not restaurants; there’s a hotel. Anyway, it became Fortnum’s.

S: …where the food was just appalling!

M:  [laughs] Well, they had just the one monotonous dish that was vegetarian.

S: Yes. The onion flan or cheese flan.

M:  The flan, yes. It really had nothing to recommend it except that we created our own tradition [both laugh], which became compelling!

S: Yes, and the Scottish lady.

M:  Yes, Angela.

Angela’s not there anymore. Mary told me the other day that she’s working in Harrod’s.

Krishnaji gave six talks in Wimbledon. There are the usual notations in my diary of walking in the park, etcetra. [Laughing.] This is rather repetitious.

I see that Pamela Travers came to lunch.

S: Ahh, yes, the Mary Poppins lady.

M:  Yes. She came with Mary Cadogan. I think Mary Cadogan brought her to meet Krishnaji. That was the beginning of her contact. The trouble is that the ink is [chuckles] faded in this! [S laughs.] I’m having difficulty.

S: See, it should all be transcribed.

M:  Oh lord! Well, I should live so long, as they say.

Now we’re into October! We left Kingston Vale, drove to the airport and then Krishnaji and the maid Adrianna (who had come from Vanda to help us) flew to Rome. Alain and I, in his Volkswagen, drove to Lydd, flew on the air ferry to Le Touquet and drove on to Paris. I went to my father’s to stay, and then I flew to New York.

Ah, there’s more detail in this other diary—September twenty-eighth to October fourth. ‘I went with Krishnaji in a taxi to the airport and Alain followed with the maid.’ Then, like I said about Alain and I to Paris. While there, ‘I settled the April rental for the house for the next year on the Rue de Verdun. Alain was to see Gérard Blitz, and then leave for Rome on the sixth of October. I arranged with Blitz to see him in Los Angeles after he had been to see Rajagopal.’ I forget if I described this but…

S: You did. Yes. Blitz was going to talk to Rajagopal.

M:  Yes, Blitz was going to talk business-man to business-man to find out what this was all about. So we spoke on the phone, and the next day I flew to New York and then, a week later, I flew on to Malibu.

On the eighteenth of October, I met Blitz and heard about his seeing Rajagopal. Somewhere there’s a recording of that conversation, at least I thought I taped it. God knows where it is now. But he apparently had a lonnnng talk with Rajagopal, which he described to me. I then telephoned Krishnaji and Alain in Rome to report it. Blitz said that Rajagopal talked from ten points of the compass, you know; he’d be at times surly and antagonistic, and then he’d be ingratiating, and then he’d be very manipulative. Really nothing came out of it. They just talked for hours, apparently.

S: Hm.

M:  Anyway, I reported it all.

S: Can you remember Krishnaji’s response to your report?

M:  No. It says here, ‘I woke up at midnight for a clearer connection and telephoned Rome, spoke to Alain, then to Krishnaji.’ They were leaving for India the next day. So,  that was it.

S: Mm, hm. Why did you not go to India that year?

M:  Couldn’t tell you. Don’t remember. I didn’t go to India for quite some time. I went the first two times. And then I didn’t go for a long time. More or less he didn’t need me in India. There were a lot of people there to do what was needed. Alain was with him, and I had to sort of catch up with my own life a little bit. So I went on and did that.

S: Of course, of course.

M:  It says here that ‘I got a letter on the twenty-third from Krishnaji posted from the airport in Rome, which would have been the twentieth of October.’

And then on November third, ‘I met Blitz at the airport and gave him papers from Krishnaji. He flew on to Paris postponing meeting Rajagopal again the next day.’ He was supposed to meet him again. I’ve forgotten why he didn’t. He had some business problem.

By this time, Krishnaji was on tour; in November he was in Rishi Valley. I got a letter from Alain in Rishi Valley on November thirteenth with a memoranda from Madhavachari for our lawyers. So we were already involved with lawyers.

S: In the Rajagopal case?

M:  Yes, it hadn’t become a case yet but it was heading that way. And, well, my notes from then on are just when Krishnaji moved around from Delhi to Rajghat to Delhi to…so forth…

S: Yes.

M:  Oh, wait a minute, before I leave this, it says here, ‘On December seventeenth, Blitz returned and had a seven-hour conversation with Rajagopal at the Vigevenos’.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  ‘After that he came back to Malibu for dinner, and he taped a report for Krishnaji, and I cabled Krishnaji in Rajghat.’On the nineteenth it says, ‘Blitz telephoned me to ask if his lunch tomorrow at the Vigevenos’ could be held at my house, and so I called them up and invited them.’ And on the twentieth, ‘Blitz arrived in the morning and made a second taped report for K. The Vigevenos came at twelve for a discussion and lunch. Blitz gave them his reaction to his meeting with Rajagopal. They left, and I posted the tape to K in Madras.’ Well, that’s about it.

S: Right.

M:  Blitz was hoping in those days that the Vigevenos would somehow be helpful.

S: Yes.

M:  But they were active in the case against Krishnaji from then on.

S: Mm, hm. Mm, hm.

M:  So that was the end of 1967.

S: Before we get started in 1968, can I ask you about Krishnaji writing to you?

M:  Well, I was about to say on the third of January I got a letter from him discussing the tapes that Gérard Blitz had made in reporting the conversations with Rajagopal. I think it was this year or ’67 really, when he went to India, that I think he wrote to me every day. Which means that he would write a little every day, like a running diary of what he was doing. He would write a paragraph, either short or long, and when he’d covered two pages, he would have it posted. So, I didn’t get a letter every day, but I would get letters that continued and that contained something from every day. And he continued this to the very end of it all, except eventually it became tapes.

S: Yes, I remember, I remember well.

M:  Yes.

And then I got a letter from Alain about Krishnaji speaking in Claremont College the next autumn. He thought that that was a good idea and so forth, and so did I, and Krishnaji did eventually do that.

It says here that on the twelfth I met Blitz at the Los Angeles Airport between flights, and he suggested meeting Krishnaji in March, in London. Also that Mary Links had written,  suggesting that when we came back to London that we stay at the White House Hotel on Marylebone Road.

On January thirtieth, Rosalind Rajagopal telephoned me, asking to see me. She came to Malibu in the afternoon, but it was a completely pointless conversation. She rambled on about how awful it all was, and then she started to talk against Alain. I said, “Look, we can discuss anything you want, but I will not discuss Alain Naudé with you. He’s a friend of mine and that’s out.” But all she really wanted to say was attacking him. At one point I remember, she said she had some proof that she wanted to show me; a letter that proved something. She went out to her car and came back with some papers and proceeded to read me a letter [chuckles], which she didn’t know that I’d already heard, because it was a letter she had written to Krishnaji, and he had read it to me, or I’d read it. So this proof of whatever it was she was trying to say wasn’t a letter of any proof: it was her own concoction. She didn’t know I knew that. [Both laugh.] Anyway, it was a completely pointless conversation, and she was just meddling, or trying to.

On the twentieth of January, I got a cable from Alain about meeting in March.

On the twenty-first, Krishnaji and Alain were going to Bombay.

On the fourteenth of February, Krishnaji and Alain left Bombay for Rome. Also that day, James Vigeveno telephoned, asking if he and his wife Annie could come to see me, which they did. They came down to Malibu, and they had a proposal for me from Ojai, [chuckles] meaning Rajagopal. The proposal was that I join the board of KWINC, as a trustee. So I asked them if they had consulted Krishnaji about this, and Annie said that she didn’t see that that was necessary. [S laughs.] How do you like that! So I said I couldn’t even discuss such a thing, unless it came from Krishnaji. So they left. [Chuckles.]

S: Good old Mary. Boy, I tell you the…

M:  [laughing] Impossible!

S: It never stops…

M:  Unbelievable what people will…

S: It’s still…but it…I mean, it still goes on!

M:  I know.

S: It would have served their purposes beautifully to have you on the board.

M:  Yes. To have me as a figurehead.

S: Of course.

M:  [laughs] Anyway, the next day I went to Claremont to look at possible places for K to stay when he spoke there the following November, and somewhere in here I got a cable from Krishnaji with a message to the Vigevenos. I’ve forgotten what it was now, but something to do with all of that. At this point my notes say: ‘New guest quarters by garage finished.’ This was because the house in Malibu had only two main bedrooms and baths, and it had the room that Filomena used which was in the back. So when Krishnaji and Alain were there I slept on the couch in the living room and used Filomena’s bath. So, if they were going to be coming regularly, we needed more rooms. So I built a little apartment onto the garage, further back on the lot.

S: So alright, now here’s a new piece of information that we didn’t have before. That, when Krishnaji and Alain were staying with you in Malibu, you slept on a couch in the living room!

M:  Yes! [S laughs.] Naturally!

S: So, Krishnaji had which room? Your room or the guest room?

M:  He had, what was then, the guest room, what had been Sam’s room. The house had my room and then Sam’s room; each had a bath.

S: Right. So Krishnaji had Sam’s room?

M:  Yes.

S: And Alain was in your room?

M:  Yes.

S: And you slept in the living room on a couch.

M:  Yes.

S: And used the maid’s bathroom.

M:  It was the same couch, by the way, that you later slept on in Ojai!

S: Oh, I know that couch! That’s a very comfortable couch!

M:  It’s a very comfortable couch. [S laughs.] It makes an excellent bed, and it’s very easy to make up; you don’t have to have all kinds of a…

S: I know. Although whenever I slept on that, I felt I should have been much taller! [Both laugh.]

M:  It’s a twelve-foot couch!

S: That’s just it. I felt I should have been much taller.

M:  Well, it served its purpose very well.

S: Yes. So you built the guest apartment onto the garage? How did you envisage that being used? Did you envisage yourself using that? Or Alain using that?

M:  Either Alain could use it if he wanted to be aloof and independent or…

S: So you could stay in your room!

M:  Yes! [Both laugh.] Or Filomena could move up there, and he could have her room.

S: Where was Filomena during this time? Filomena stayed in her room?

M:  She stayed in her room while I was on the sofa.

S: Right, so then you shared her bathroom with her?

M:  Yes. It was easy, I could scuttle through the kitchen to her bath.

S: Right.

M:  But anyway, it was finished then, so all was in order.

On March second, I flew to New York. There were letters from Krishnaji waiting for me there. I arranged for an apartment for September in New York, which at that time was my ex-sister-in-law’s flat, which I rented from her.

S: Bud’s ex-wife?

M:  Bud’s first, yes, Bud’s first wife.

On the ninth, I flew to London from New York. The next day I lunched with Mary Links, and then Alain telephoned from Rome, and it says here: ‘We are not going to Castellaras.’ Castellaras is in the south of France, and Blitz had a house there, and he was insistent that Krishnaji come and stay there, and there was much backwards and forwards about that, but in the end we never went.

S: Because Krishnaji didn’t want to?

M:  Yes. There was still the notion that someday we would all have a house someplace. And Blitz wanted Krishnaji to see Castellaras in case that plan ever panned out.

S: Right, so that you might buy a house in Castellaras area?
M:  Something like that.

S: Right. Did Krishnaji, for personal reasons, not feel it was right?

M:  I don’t remember. It didn’t sound like something we’d like. It was one of those things where it’s a closed settlement of rich people who have houses and nobody else can come and all that. It didn’t sound like what we’d like.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  And, I don’t know, I didn’t take much to Blitz. I mean he was being helpful then, but…

S: That’s why I’m asking this; whether you didn’t take to Blitz or Krishnaji wasn’t really taking to Blitz, or what.

M:  Well, at that point he was being helpful, so Krishnaji thought well of him, but he wasn’t someone who was terribly congenial. He sort of wanted to boss everything.

S: Yes.

M:  On the fourteenth I dined with Mary and Joe and her daughter and son-in-law; and Mary gave me the manuscript of her book on Krishnaji to read. The first one. That was a big event.

S: Of the first biography?

M:  Yes, the first volume of the biography.

S: Ahhh. But it didn’t come out until much later? [3]

M:  Well it didn’t, but she’d written it; there was a manuscript, yes.

Then on March eighteenth, I flew to Paris and stayed with my father. One day we went out to lunch in Barbizon, at a very good restaurant there called the Bas-Breau. My father was partial to it. They had rooms to rent, so I looked at the rooms and booked rooms for the interval between London and our rental of the house on Rue de Verdun. We’ll come to that in a moment.

Then on the twenty-second, I went back to London and the White House Hotel and moved in, and at 5 o’clock, Mary and Joe came, and we all went to meet Krishnaji at the airport. He flew in from Rome.

S: Would you have gone in two separate cars?

M:  No, we went together. I don’t know how we managed that, but we did. I didn’t have a car there then. But, when we got back to the hotel, Alain had already arrived in his car. He drove from Rome. Vanda had put Krishnaji on the plane, and we met him. And in the mean-time Alain, had driven his Volkswagen. So that night, Krishnaji, Alain, and I had supper together in our sitting room. The reason White House Hotel was chosen was that it had little kitchens, so I could get meals for us.

On the March twenty-third, Blitz arrived, and Krishnaji, Blitz, Alain, and I discussed everything all day [chuckles]. Lunching in the hotel—you could lunch there, too. And the next day ‘again an all-morning discussion between Krishnaji, Alain, Blitz, and me. And then I took them all to lunch at the Savoy Grill.’ [S laughs.] ‘Came back to the hotel where Mary Cadogan brought a solicitor, a Mr. Michael Rubinstein [4], who specializes in copyright law.’

S: Ah ha. Enter Michael Rubinstein.

M:  Enter Michael Rubinstein into our lives. Blitz then left and Sunanda Patwardhan came to see Krishnaji. She was in London.

Then the next day, on the twenty-fifth, ‘Kitty Shiva Rao turned up. She was in London for one day, and she came to breakfast. And then Sunanda and husband, Pama Patwardhan came, and K told them of his break with Rajagopal.’ And then, we went to Huntsman! [Both laugh.] What else!

S: Of course!

M:  I took Kitty shopping. Then all of us, including Mary Links lunched at a restaurant Mary and Joe like called Angelo, an Italian restaurant.

On March twenty-sixth, ‘the Bohms, Mary Cadogan, Dorothy and Montague Simmons came to discuss the school.’

S: May I just interrupt for a minute here? Do you remember the conversation with Michael Rubinstein?

M:  Well, we brought him up to date on how things were, the discussions with Blitz, and what he’d said, and what he would do and wouldn’t do and all that.

S: And did Michael see that you had the right case and you could get the copyright back and all that?

M:  Yes, that was his opinion. I don’t remember when he delivered that opinion to us. At the moment I can’t remember, it may say in here, but that was really our first worry and concern—what would happen when Krishnaji broke off from Rajagopal, what would happen to the tapes, and the books, and Krishnaji’s copyright, and everything?

S: Of course.

M:  That was really THE, THE concern. And that was why Michael was chosen—his saying that no, you can’t give away your copyright for life [which Rajagopal had had Krishnaji do], it’s against some English law. I do remember that because it struck me as sort of funny in a way, that it was rooted in some concept of slavery. Don’t ask me how or why, but that was an ingredient.

S: Sure, that all of your labor belonged ahead of time to someone else.

M:  Yes, that was the idea. And, of course, this made a huge difference in a view of the future.

S: Of course, of course.

M:  Anyway, we have Dorothy and Montague, who came to discuss the school, and the decision was made to go ahead and buy a place near Canterbury [chuckles] for the school.

S: At what point was it decided that the school would be in England? You see, because the last time that we heard…

M:  Yes.

S: …and incidentally, since we last spoke, I pulled out and listened to the tapes of the 1967 education discussions in Saanen, and Krishnaji is saying, “we’re going to have a school in Holland.”

M:  Yes.

S: So how, when, where did it change to England?

M:  Well, as I recall, he was sending people off to find out about the different countries, what were the requirements, in Holland, England, France, Switzerland, etcetera. And I guess by now, although I don’t remember when, it was apparent that England was going to win out. We must have heard from the other people. In Holland, I seem to remember, you had to teach part of the curriculum in Dutch, which limited things considerably. And France, de Gaulle was still alive and who knew what would happen when he either died or revolution occurred or something. Switzerland—there were too many private schools, and all too expensive, anyway. England was the obvious choice because there was freedom in England to do whatever you wanted scholastically, and by this time, Krishnaji was sure that he wanted Dorothy to be the principal. So, in the intervening months they’d obviously made some investigations. I remember that the Canterbury place…I never saw it, but I saw pictures of it, and it didn’t look as nice as Brockwood.

So after talking to Dorothy and Montague, Krishnaji, Alain, and I lunched at the L’Aperitif, and then Krishnaji and I went to a cinema called Scalp Hunters [both laugh]. We walked back to the hotel from that and had supper in the rooms.

It says here for another day that we had lunch with Mary, and we went for tea with Mrs. Bindley. She was sweet, Mrs. Bindley.

S: Tell me about her, because I know she was from the old theosophical days.

M:  Yes. She was the representative of the TS in Scotland.

S: Yes. Wow.

M:  [both laugh] And she lived all by herself in a house up near the Kensington Church Street. I used to take Krishnaji there for tea, and then I’d wander through all the antique stores on Kensington Church Street while they chatted, and come back to pick him up.

S: So she had her own house there?

M:  She had her own house. She was a very independent little lady.

S: Yes.

M:  The Digbys lived not too far away and they kind of kept an eye on her.

S: Mm, hm. So you would drive Krishnaji there to tea and drop him off?

M:  Yes, and in later years, some evenings, when he spoke at the Friends Place, he would come in from Brockwood and go to Mrs. Bindley’s and rest there before going on to the talk. She was a little Scots lady; very, very nice. White hair, and a sort of bird-like manner, and she adored Krishnaji. She was really charming.

S: Hm.

M:  Some dentist appointments are in here, and Krishnaji had a meeting with the Editing Committee. This must have been the beginning of the Publications Committee. Of course it would be Mary Links, Mary Cadogan, the Digbys, and at some point Ian Hammond comes into it.

On the twenty-ninth, after going to see Michael Rubinstein at Gray’s Inn [5], Krishnaji went to the dentist, then to Huntsman, then Lobb. [Chuckles.]

S:  He was going to Lobb in London?

M:  Yes, he tried out Lobb in London again, but they failed the test.

S: Yes. Which dentist was he going to at this point?

M:  Mr. Campion. I think Mary went to Mr. Campion or Joe or somebody, that’s how we went to Mr. Campion.

It says here that on the same day, the twenty-ninth, ‘I took the boat train to Paris, and then I went to Orly, where I met Krishnaji at 2:30 p.m., in a rented car.’ Oh, this was a lovely time. ‘We drove to Barbizon and the Hôtellerie du Bas-Breau. It was perfectly heavenly.’

As you entered, you came into a courtyard, and there was the hotel with a wonderful restaurant in it. But on the other side of the courtyard there was another building where they had a few rooms for rent. It was very quiet and very nice. We had two very nice rooms there. And we could walk in the forest, but it was rather cold. It was lovely. We could order from the restaurant and have supper delivered to the rooms. So Krishnaji could have supper in his dressing gown and go to bed early. Our routine was to walk in the forest before lunch, take long naps, go for another walk, and then supper in rooms.

Then on the first of April, two days later, he dictated a letter to the schools.

S: Oh, is that when that started?

M:  Yes.

S: But the first letters to the schools wasn’t actually circulated until much later.

M:  Hmm, that’s true. Well, I don’t know whether that was an individual letter or the beginning of that series of letters. We’ll see if it talks about it.

S: Because I don’t think the letters to the schools started circulating until something like ’76 or ’77 even.

M:  Well, it might have been just one letter that he wrote, I don’t remember well enough.

It seems we drove over to Fontainebleau, but Krishnaji didn’t want to go in. He’s not a museum person. We sort of just stared at the palace. And then we walked in the snow. A snow-storm!

S: Good lord!

M:  Mmm. It’s cold! And it says here that we talked to Mary in London, and that her grandson Adam had just been born.

Krishnaji dictated in the morning, but I don’t know whether that was these letters to schools or whether it was just letters to people, you know, correspondence.

S: He dictated to you?

M:  Yes, yes, he would have. If Alain had been there, it would have been Alain, but it was me.

S: Did Alain have shorthand?

M:  No. He wrote it all out in very scratchy longhand.

S: And you don’t have shorthand either, so Krishnaji had to speak slowly if he was dictating to you.

M:  Yes, well, one sort of… luckily he wasn’t a fast dictator. And one developed a kind of shorthand that worked.

On the fourth of April, we were in the restaurant, as I recall, and saw a newspaper at another table that Martin Luther King had been shot. I remember the shock of that.

S: Mmm. Because you had marched with him from Selma to Montgomery. What was Krishnaji’s response to Martin Luther King’s assassination?

M:  Just horrible. You know, I mean a sense of something truly ugly having happened.

On the fifth, which was the next day, we drove to Paris, and moved into the little house on the Rue de Verdun, unpacked, and called Alain in London.

This time, from the time we left London to when the Paris talks began, was meant to be a rest for Krishnaji. So, we went for walks in the afternoon in the Bois, and saw for lunch people we thought of as friends, like Mary and Yo de Manziarly. Yo was the younger  sister who eventually turned and supported Rajagopal. She came under the influence of her older sister Mima Porter. But in those days she lived in Paris, and she was amiable.

There was a cook-cum-maid who came with the place, so my tasks were lighter.

We also went to the movies, of course, High Noon on this particular day. [Chuckles.]

S: Can I interrupt for a minute?

M:  Yes.

S: It has to do with Yo, who you said had turned against Krishnaji eventually because of her older sister. It might be worth just talking about this for a minute or two because it’s such an extraordinary phenomenon, and it seems to go on in this world of the teachings and the people around it, where someone can turn against Krishnaji or against another person. Now, obviously it’s poignant for its own reasons, but it seems incredible that anybody could turn against Krishnaji.

M:  I know [softly, sorrowfully].

S: Now, how did he respond to this? How did he take this? What did he do with it, or why do you see it happened? While perhaps Yo was influenced by her older sister, that’s not the base of it. That can’t be the base of it. There has to be something else going on. This happened to so many people.

M:  I know.

S: Look at the Rajagopal crowd.

M:  Yes.

S: Look at people like Wedgwood and Arundale [6].

M:  Yes.

S: I mean all kinds of people, actually.

M:  Yes.

S: Someone once said to me, “Oh, well, Krishnaji drops people.” But Krishnaji said he never dropped people.

M:  He never dropped anybody.

S: People always left him.

M:  They dropped him.

S: But how?! I still can’t…

M:  People felt very strongly about Krishnaji, and if they had certain expectations of how he should be toward them, and when they didn’t get that…they weren’t recognized in some way, that may set up a terrible enmity. I don’t know.

S: I think that there’s something else that goes on. Again, this might just be a speculation, but it looks as though, from the bits that I have seen, despite everything Krishnaji says about the ego, that people’s egos actually often get increased somehow.

M:  Yes. I see what you mean.

S: It’s like they start to walk around thinking: “Oh now, I’m more religious, I’m more enlightened or self-actualized than some other person.”

M:  Mm, hm.

S: And they actually become…

M:  It’s a kind of super-egotism.

S: Yes, a super-egotism if people aren’t actually serious enough.

M:  Yes.

S: And, of course, Krishnaji doesn’t feed that, and I think people go to Krishnaji for confirmation of their superiority…

M:  That’s right, yes.

S: But they don’t get that. And I think that they turn against Krishnaji because of that.

M:  I think there’s a large element of that.

S: And then there’s also something about…if anybody listens to Krishnaji, they get a glimpse of something so extraordinarily wonderful. And at the same time, if we look deeply at ourselves, there is a lot that’s really very ugly.

M:  Mm.

S: And the deep challenge that Krishnaji set us…

M:  I think the deep challenge is very much a part of it, because I’m thinking of, well now, I’m thinking actually of David Shainberg, where you’ve seen something and you haven’t been able to rise to it. Therefore, the firmly entrenched ego says “Well, it’s his fault, not mine.”

S: Yes.

M:  It’s the fault of the teachings. Or it’s the fault of the way he lives, or the way he combs his hair, or the way…something…anything. And that fault is what’s preventing me from realizing what I could if only he were different. You see what I mean?

S: Yes.

M:  They displace…

S: All of their frustrations and their inadequacies.

M:  And it’s all his fault.

S: Which is, of course, repeated.

M:  Yes.

S: But it is extraordinary, I mean, I still find it extraordinary that people don’t catch themselves, here in front of this man that they couldn’t catch themselves.

M:  Yes, yes. The fact that people over and over say it’s his fault, or the teaching’s fault if everybody doesn’t realize it. [Laughing.] It’s nobody’s fault but the person!

S: Yes, yes. I think there’s an element, too, in this, which Mary Links talked with me about when she, in a way, left Krishnaji in 1929.

M:  Yes.

S: It was, for her, as if the intensity of being with Krishnaji and all that he is, and all that he was doing internally, and all that was therefore called upon in a person…like she burned out…she couldn’t face any more, and, without thinking, without anything, she just turned away.

M:  Yes. Yes.

S: And, in a certain way that in itself is something significant that we should somehow be looking at because most people, if they, you know, they’re with someone, and then they grow a little tired of that person, they simply don’t see them quite so often. Instead of seeing them every week, they will see them every month and then three times a year. That’s the way most people respond to estrangement; most don’t react to others the way they reacted to Krishnaji.

M:  Yes.

S: It says something profound about him that there was this deep kind of challenge.

M:  And of course, too, in Mary’s case, well, it’s up to her to talk about her reasons, but it was also that she couldn’t go on living in this sort of a limbo that it was for her.

S: Yes, of course.

M:  I mean, she couldn’t lead a worldly life and simultaneously lead a spiritual life; that was too much for her.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  But she didn’t turn against him.

S: No. Mary Links never turned against him.

M:  No. No, no.

S: But she just had to kind of get space, get away and get off the merry-go-round she was on.

M:  Yes.

S: Mind you, it was also a pretty crazy time, 1929, Eerde [7] and all the rest of it.

M:  Yes.

S: But also Krishnaji had seen all this before, I guess, or he knew this happened, that people who were for him turned suddenly against him.

M:  Yes, all those [chuckles] nutty theosophists, the Arundale types he’d seen all that, intensely egotistical..…

S: Yes. And the Rajagopal crowd: wife, and then the daughter, someone who as a little girl had Krishnaji’s attention and affection as she was growing up, and then she turns into that!

M:  Yes.

The Suarèses are another kind of example of this.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  You see, when Krishnaji decided not to stay with the Suarèses, it was because he had felt unwelcome there.

S: Yes, yes.

M:  They took him for granted and complained about.” there’s so much to do when you’re here, it’s such a strain.” That kind of thing.

S: Yes.

M:  And for a sensitive man like Krishnaji…

S: Of course.

M:  And his having to always be a guest, he…

S: Mm, hm. He would feel that very intensely.

M:  He would feel that particularly.

S: Of course.

M:  And the Suarèses then turned nastily against him.

S: Oh, did they?

M:  Oh, yes.

S: You see, that’s incredible!

M:  Oh, yes. Yes. They took him for granted and weren’t sensitive to him. And then when he had an alternative…

S: They then turned antagonistic.

M:  …they turned nasty. Yes.

S: To me this is just very weird behavior.

M:  Yes.

S: And I don’t think I ever saw this in my life before I came into these circles. You might go from having a close contact to kind of losing contact.

M:  Yes, it sort of fades away.

S: Yes, but not going to this vitriol, this antagonism, this vindictiveness. It’s just very odd, I think.

M:  Mm, yes. I think it’s that people didn’t feel vague about Krishnamurti. They either saw something and revered him, or they rejected him in some way for their own peculiar reasons.

S: [big sigh] Anyway, we should probably move on. We have ten minutes left on this tape, probably. Where are we in our date-wise?

M:  Well, we are in Paris in the first week of April.

Alain turned up on the tenth, ‘and that afternoon,’ [giggles] ‘and Mr. Moser from Thun called saying he is bringing the new Mercedes’ [S laughs] ‘next Wednesday’, it says. ‘We were agog.’

Then on the eleventh, ‘Mima Porter came for lunch. While she talked to Krishnaji, I went to do errands, and later met Krishnaji and Alain at Lobb’s.’ I think that was when Krishnaji was saying to her, ‘Look, I want an answer from Rajagopal before the talks in Saanen. Either I am made a member of the KWINC board again, and am informed about everything, or I have to dissociate.’ And so she then said she would go back to Ojai and talk to Rajagopal and deal with it. And so, he expected something from her.

Then what happened? Ah, well, I [chuckles] returned the rented car. So we now have just Alain’s car and the prospect [S chuckles] of the new Mercedes! We went to another movie; what was it? It’s a French movie with Jean Gabin called…can’t read my writing…looks like Le Pacha, but I’m not sure. Blitz came for lunch.

S: There’s going to be a Ph.D. somewhere, studying the movies that Krishnaji watched!

M:  Yes! [Both laugh.] There’s another one we went to the following day called Point Blank.

S: A thriller.

M:  I have no idea what it was. It’s disappeared from…

S: Yes, yes. [Chuckles.]

M:  …my ken. [S laughs again.] We went to Notre Dame. It was Easter Sunday, and the three of us went to Notre Dame and listened to the Easter music. It was lovely.

S: Mm, hm. Do you remember what it was?

M:  I don’t know, the choir was singing something.

Marcelle Bondoneau, Gisela Elmenhorst, and her sister came for lunch that day. And  there’s another cinema! [Laughing.] We went every day! This is called, um, it’s Italian, something paranormal something, I can’t read my writing. We lunched at the Bouvard’s. I think I’ve mentioned General and Madame Bouvard were part of the French world that went to hear Krishnaji; they lived in Paris, they came to Saanen in the summer, and they used to entertain. They’re before your time. He was a retired French general, and she was a woman of somewhat a mystery. There was some vague…well, I’m not going to tell gossip to posterity, so it doesn’t matter. [S laughs.]

S: Okay.

M:  Anyway, they gave very nice lunches.

S: Gossip, gossip worthy of Mary.

M:  Say no more! [Both laugh.] And then came what? Oh, his first Paris talk at the Maison de la Chimie. Now this was a big improvement over the Salle Adyar of previous years.

S: Ah ha.

M:  This was on Rue de Grenelle, I think it is.

S: Gisela would have organized this?

M:  Oh, yes and Marcelle, the whole French group did that. And it says here, ‘Read that Iris Tree died last Saturday.’ I knew she was dying when I’d seen her in London just a few weeks before.

S: Mm, hm.

M:  Cancer.

On the seventeenth, Jane Hammond came for lunch and Mr. Moser arrived from Thun with the new Mercedes 280.

S: 280 SE.

M:  SE. Yes.

S: 3.5 [M laughs.] I assume it’s the same model that you have now.

M:  And we all went for a drive.

S: Is it the same model you have now?

M:  Yes, same one, but previous incarnation. And we all went for a drive.

S: So Jane Hammond came to Paris?

M:  Yes, to the talks.

S: And came to lunch with Krishnaji?

M:  Yes. And later we walked in the Bois.

So then, on the next day, the eighteenth, I drove Krishnaji in the new Mercedes to the second talk at the Maison de la Chimie. And the car was a great success. He enjoyed it. I enjoyed it. Everyone was happy. [Giggles.]

S: [laughing] I’m sure!

We can probably finish the third talk and then we probably ought to finish this recording session.

M:  Alright. Then what happened? We had Madame Duchet to lunch. And we went to a cinema later, [both laugh] oddly enough! It doesn’t say which one. And walked in the Bois, as usual. Then, it says just, ‘cinema in p.m.’ so that isn’t helping us.

S: No, you’re robbing history of valuable…

M:  I know.

S: …information by not telling us which films you were watching!

M:  I’m not being an archivist here.

His third talk was on the twenty-first of April, and some pupil of Alain’s came for lunch. And then [laughing] we went to see a Jeanne Moreau picture.

S: I think we’re going to have to end this because we’re running out of tape.

M:  Well, Kitty Shiva Rao came for lunch on April twenty-fourth, 1968. We went to Bagatelle in the afternoon for a lovely… [tape cuts her off.]

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[1] Which is only about fifty yards from Pine Cottage. Back to text.

[2] This was the family house of Edwin and Emily Lutyens that Krishnaji had known as a boy. Back to text.

[3] It didn’t come out until 1975. Back to text.

[4] From the ’50’s to the ’80’s Michael Rubinstein was known as “the book trade’s lawyer.” He became famous in 1960 by winning for Penguin Books the right to publish Lady Chatterley’s Lover, overturning decades of obscenity laws. Back to text.

[5] Gray’s Inn is one of four Inns of Court (professional associations of barristers and judges) in London to which a person must belong in order to practice as a barrister in England and Wales. Back to text.

[6] James Ingall Wedgewood and George Arundale made themselves high clergy of the Liberal Catholic Church and, when Krishnaji would not confirm what they thought was their exalted spiritual status, they denounced him, claiming he had been taken over by evil spirits. Back to text.

[7] In 1929, in Eerde, Holland, Krishnaji dissolved all the organizations that had been created in his name and for his support, and he gave back all the assets that had been donated for his work, saying that, “Truth is a pathless land…” and that none of the things that people expected to lead to inner liberation would actually set people free. This was the beginning of his split with the Theosophical Society. Back to text.