Issue #84

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Issue 84—April 19, 1985 to June 20, 1985


We usually see with the clarity of hindsight things we never saw at the time of their occurrence, and this seems to be what this issue offers us. What Mary calls at one point in this issue “hypercritical” we can now see as the very early signs of the pancreatic cancer that was going to kill Krishnaji in eight months. Krishnaji’s frequent stomach trouble, his weakness, and his easy fevers left him agitated, testy, and anxious, but these were completely out of character for him. Of course, looking at the conflicts and incompetence in the KFI, KFA, and Brockwood, anyone could understand why he would be irritable and testy; but these seem always to have been around him, and his responses had never been anything that could have been characterized as “hypercritical.” Krishnaji remained unflinchingly affectionate and appreciative of Mary, but he seemed to have wanted her to achieve some inner growth or change for which there is very little time, despite his saying he “should live” another ten years.

Again, with the luxury of hindsight, one can speculate that it might have been for the better that no one, not even the doctors who saw him, suspected his fatal underlying condition. If it had been suspected, all of his programs would have stopped, and heaven and earth would have been moved to treat what we were told eight months later was an incurable condition. As it was, Krishnaji made the changes he felt were necessary at Brockwood, he ended Saanen beautifully, and withdrew softly from India, making changes there he felt were needed. And he was able to die, as he wanted to die, in Ojai.

Therefore, we see in this issue, the beginning of the gentle and graceful movement to what Mary Lutyens called “The Open Door.”

The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #84

Mary: We begin on April eighteenth, and Krishnaji and I are still in Washington, DC. ‘Michael Kernan, who interviewed Krishnaji on Monday, wrote a very good article which appeared in the Washington Post this morning. He came with Milton Friedman to lunch with us in the hotel dining room at 12:15 p.m. He is a nice man, and Krishnaji likes him. He may come to Ojai. Milton Friedman then drove Krishnaji, me, and Evelyne to the capital, where, in his Senate office, Senator Claiborne Pell gave a tea at 3 p.m. for Krishnaji. He introduced Krishnaji to about forty or fifty people and then asked an opening question on what is the cause of conflict. Krishnaji spoke with relaxed authority, handling mostly rather obvious questions with his accustomed skill. It lasted an hour, and then Milton Friedman guided us to the rotunda where Krishnaji wanted to look up at the dome. We drove back past the I. M. Pei addition to the National Gallery, which I wanted to see.’ I wanted to go in because I like I. M. Pei’s work.

Scott: Yes, he’s brilliant.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

M: He did the Louvre pyramid, but I couldn’t leave Krishnaji and go, so I didn’t get into it, but someday maybe I will. ‘The capital is as handsome as I had imagined, and now, with the immaculately tended beds of tulips and flowering trees, it seemed a city of dignity and beauty. Erna and Theo arrived at the hotel around 6 p.m. and had supper with us in the rooms.’

The nineteenth. ‘Erna rang from downstairs to say that Merali’s generous donation has arrived in our bank. I went with her and Theo to the Kennedy Center to check on things for the talk. Krishnaji remained in bed all day and took lunch with me in the room. My brother, who arrived with Lisa this morning, came to see me in the afternoon, and we talked for several hours. It was a hot day. Krishnaji ate in his room. It was Theo’s seventy-ninth birthday.’

April twentieth. ‘At 2:30 p.m., Lois Hobson drove Krishnaji, Theo, and me the short distance to the Kennedy Center, and Krishnaji gave his first talk there in the concert hall. It was a large audience. The sound was not clear, and I was roaming about, as was Theo, trying to do something about it. Erna and Theo came by later to say that the sound problem was due to the lavalier microphone and that tomorrow there will be a standing microphone. The four of us walked along the river. Krishnaji and I ate alone in the room.’  You know, the Watergate Hotel is about two blocks away from the Kennedy Center, and it’s a rather nice hotel, apart from its reputation for skullduggery.

S: I think it has a wonderful reputation! [Both chuckle.]

M: The twenty-first of April. ‘At 11 a.m. Lois Hobson again drove us to the Kennedy Center where, with excellent sound, Krishnaji gave a marvelous talk.[1] A triumph. The hall was sold out. All the books, 500 of them, were sold, and 196 copies of Asit’s book, A Thousand Moons, were also sold. We walked back to the hotel. Bud, Lisa, and Laurie’—that is one of Bud’s children—‘lunched with us in the hotel dining room. At 5 p.m. Milton Friedman brought a Mr. Silverstone and another younger reporter who did interviews of Krishnaji for the United Press International. This lasted one and a half hours. I made some vegetable something, and we had supper in the room. We both had packed during the day.’ Krishnaji’s Washington trip was exceedingly successful.

April twenty-second. ‘We left the Watergate Hotel at 7 a.m. and took a taxi to Dulles Airport. Krishnaji was delighted by the trees and the countryside, and he liked the quiet airport. The captain saluted him in the traditional namaste way and let him see the cockpit. The American Airline flight 77 left at 8:45 a.m. We had seats 1A and 1B in the forward first class. The bulkhead seats.’ Those are the single ones; the ones we like because I could put my foot up on the bulkhead. He didn’t. And nobody is next to you. ‘It was a good, smooth flight to Los Angeles. We arrived at 11 a.m., and David and Vivian met us and we drove home along the beach to Ojai. Our roses were in fullest bloom. I made lunch for Krishnaji and me, and talked to Amanda. Then I went marketing, made supper, and so we are happily home again.’

The twenty-third of April: ‘It was a beautiful morning. I picked roses and did laundry. Erna and Theo flew back from Washington in time for lunch, which Michael cooked at Arya Vihara after which I opened piles of mail.’

The twenty-fourth. ‘I went on an early walk with Erna. Krishnaji recorded a cassette addressing Rajagopal. We lunched at Arya Vihara. In the afternoon Erna and Theo heard the tape and we discussed the text of the statement to be made by Krishnaji as part of a settlement in the case. In the early morning I spoke to Philippa and later to Amanda on her return from birding.’ She was a bird-watcher and went with friends looking at birds.

April twenty-fifth. ‘After an early lunch, Krishnaji and I drove to Santa Paula where he saw Dr. Deutsch at 2:30 p.m. Krishnaji’s blood sugar was 112. Krishnaji talked to him about healing. We came home via Dieter’s and inquired about the Mercedes models to come.’ [S chuckles.] Dieter also sells cars.

S: Yes. More specifically, he sells Mercedes.

M: Well, yes. He sells Mercedes cars. I think he has a few other makes, but I forget which.

S: Jaguars?

M: No, not Jaguars. Krishnaji did not like Jaguars. He cured me of my Jaguar infatuation. [Both laugh.] I don’t know what he had against them except that they weren’t Mercedes.

S: Yes, that was enough. [Chuckles]

M: April twenty-sixth. ‘After my usual early walk with Erna, I worked at my desk and did more laundry. Joyce Buck came by briefly.’ She was a friend of Amanda’s and I also knew her, but we don’t have to go on about it. ‘Krishnaji was tired and didn’t go to Dr. Hara in the afternoon, but I did.’

April twenty-seventh. I am going on early walks every morning, so I won’t keep mentioning it. ‘At 10 a.m. there was a trustee meeting, which lasted all day. After it, Krishnaji, Friedrich, and I discussed the new buildings in Rishi Valley, which Friedrich was financing. Krishnaji walked down to Erna and Theo’s while I made supper. He is disturbed by the amount of desk work I have and wants me to dictate letters. “You must not wear yourself out. As long as I live, you are with me and you must be able to look after me. You are always busy, never quiet.” That was said not as a compliment, and it was a, uh—

S: A chastisement.

M: Yes, a chastisement, quite right. [Both chuckle.] It was always a conundrum for me of how to get things done without appearing to be doing anything.

S: Yes.

M: [both chuckle] The fact that I was looking out for him was not weighed in the scale. I mean, you know, it should just be—

S: Seemingly effortless and not take any—

M: Yes. It shouldn’t show, or be noticeable, or I don’t know what, so [both chuckle] there was always a sort of balance of things.

S: Yes.

M: April twenty-eighth. ‘Daylight Savings Time began. I dictated letters onto a cassette. Ronald Eyre from England came to lunch, after which I did more desk work. Krishnaji is tired, so he rested and had supper in bed as usual.’

The twenty-ninth. ‘Scott rang from Brockwood about the necessity to change the architects for the study center. I continued my desk work. Ravi Ravindra came to lunch at Arya Vihara and then interviewed Krishnaji afterward on the subject of death.’

The thirtieth. ‘Another day of mostly desk work for me. Sidney Field came to lunch at Arya Vihara. Krishnaji rested most of the afternoon except for a talk with David Moody. Krishnaji’s stomach is bothering him. He says he has trouble swallowing, and that the food in Washington upset him.’ This is a week later, so I don’t understand. Anyway, it’s what my diary says.

The first of May. ‘Krishnaji and I drove at 9 a.m. to Beverly Hills. Krishnaji said, “I want to teach you meditation.” Definition of austerity.

S: So, wait a minute; austerity was something you discussed.

M: It was a conversation. ‘He saw Dr. Fox at 11 a.m. for a field of vision test. There’s no change from last year. Then we went to the shaver place.’ [Chuckles.] Shavers are a fascination with him. They have to be the latest.

S: I know. Absolutely.

M: Often they had to be a Braun.

S: Yes.

M: ‘We had a picnic in the car on a shady street and then to a luggage store. Krishnaji had me buy a suitcase at Vuitton and then to the health food store, Lindbergh’s. We were home by 6 p.m. Krishnaji’s stomach is alright.’

May second. ‘I drove to a Suzanne fitting in North Hollywood.’ That’s a dressmaker. ‘Then to have my hair cut. I stopped to see Amanda and Phil on the way home. Krishnaji had a talk with both Moodys about them going to India next December. Later, he got upset at my not having done all the letters and ironing. He said he would answer letters.’ [Laughs.] You see, he tells me I’m too busy, then…anyway, ‘I said that by Monday morning I would have finished both.’ [Both chuckle.]

May third. ‘I got up at 3 a.m. and worked on dictating letters into a cassette recorder. Ravi Ravindra came to lunch and I went marketing.’

There is nothing of note the next day except I’m still doing letters.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

May fifth. ‘I was up early ironing.’ [Chuckles.] ‘At 11 a.m. Krishnaji spoke to parents and staff at the Oak Grove School in the new library. He walked then to the Grove afterward. We had a late lunch at Arya Vihara.’

May sixth. ‘I’m still doing desk work and ironing. I fetched Mar de Manziarly to lunch with us at Arya Vihara and took her home afterward. Scott telephoned from Brockwood about new architects.’

The seventh. ‘It is cold, rainy, and gray. At 11:30 a.m. Krishnaji was interviewed for the Los Angeles Times by Allen Parachini.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji dictated letters, and I typed them. Krishnaji saw Alfonso Colon at 4:30 p.m.’

There is really nothing the next day.

May tenth. ‘I was awake very early and worked at my desk. Later in the morning, I drove to Malibu and lunched with Amanda and Phil. Then I went on to the airport to meet Rita Zampese, due at 1:30 p.m. She finally emerged at 3 p.m., and we drove to Ojai and Arya Vihara, where she is staying. I was later than expected in returning, which made Krishnaji think something had happened to me, which made him very nervous. Meanwhile, Pupul and Mr. Jose, her secretary, had arrived from New York. I made supper for Krishnaji and Pupul. I was in bed with lights out at 9 p.m. This was an eighteen-hour day.’ [Both chuckle.]

The eleventh of May. ‘Whether today is Krishnaji’s ninetieth birthday or tomorrow depends on whether you count days in the traditional Indian way in which the date changes at 4 a.m., or the Western way, for which the date changes at midnight. Krishnaji was born at 12:30 a.m. on what we would call May twelfth, but which traditional India says is still the eleventh. Either way, ninety has no meaning except as an astounding statistic. I heard him starting his day at 5:45 a.m. He had slept well in spite of the agitation last night when I returned to Ojai later than Krishnaji expected and he thought of motor accidents. He had made tea for Pupul, who had arrived, and Mr. Jose from New York.’ [Chuckles.] Krishnaji making tea, I can visualize it. Pupul told me she didn’t know how to heat water on the stove.

S: Yes, yes. I know. I heard her several times bragging about that. She’s never boiled an egg in her life.

M: She’s never even heated water…I mean, making tea is—you have to heat the water, that’s all you need to know.

S: Yes. It’s not very technical.

M: No. [Chuckles.] Anyway, ‘Krishanji made tea for Pupul, who had arrived with Mr. Jose from New York, but he was so upset his hands shook so much he could not carry the teacup. I felt sick at upsetting him, especially as his talks begin today. He has lately been hypercritical, saying I’m not totally ordered within. He is bothered by my falling behind at the desk work, being too busy, and not paying attention, but he was calm this morning, having slept well. He now takes a crumb of halcyon, one quarter of a tablet prescribed for sleep by Dr. Deutsch. I wonder if it is good every night. But sleep is necessary through the talks. He gave the first Ojai one in the Grove at 11:30 a.m. It was a bright morning early, but it turned cloudy and very cool for the big crowd. KCET had a crew videotaping it for a program they will broadcast later on.’ KCET were headquartered in San Francisco, and they came down to tape the talk. ‘We had lunch at Arya Vihara with Pupul, Mr. Jose, Grohe, and Magda’s daughter, Rukmini, Kishbaugh and Stella—they plan to marry in June—Rita Zampese, Theo, and Michael. We both napped in the afternoon. I made supper for Krishnaji, Pupul, and me on trays as usual. Pupul described finding at Adyar in the Theosophical Society archives, which Radha let her examine, a letter from Nitya to Mrs. Besant describing much more about Krishnaji’s pepper tree events: the child entity talking to his mother, describing “they” working on his body, cleaning his eyes so that he could “see,” and his telling some entity “beyond the wall” to go away. Krishnaji seemed to understand what this meant, and admonished Pupul and me not to inquire too far into esoteric things because if you open the door to that, you also open the door to “what is beyond the wall.”’

S: Which are negative things.

M: Yes. ‘After Pupul left he said severely to me, “You must have no disorder because of that beyond the wall.” He found it extraordinary that the guru of Upadhyaya’s guru, Vishudhananat, apparently had told Mrs. Besant that there was to be a manifestation of the Maitreya, and later told Upadhyayaji’s guru that Krishnaji was that manifestation.’ Well, one doesn’t know what to think of such reports.

May twelfth. ‘The morning was a clear beginning of summer. Krishnaji at ninety is as beautiful as ever, in some ways more so. The lines are more finely drawn. He had slept well. I fetched the Sunday papers and had breakfast ready for him and Pupul when she came over. She went ahead with the Lilliefelts, then Krishnaji and I drove slowly to the Grove, where he gave his second talk. After lunch at Arya Vihara, he, both Grohes, Pupul, and I went over plans that Pupul brought from Radhika for the new Rishi Valley buildings that Grohe was financing. There was considerable confusion.’ [Both chuckle.] I don’t seem to describe it.

S: I think I might remember what at least some of this confusion was about.

M: What was it?

S: Grohe had given money for a house for himself and also for another building, which Krishnaji could stay in.

M: But Krishnaji didn’t want to.

S: That’s right, but the building could also be used as a study center. But Radhika had wanted to change that into a place where parents could stay, both of those places. So it was no longer a study center. It was a—

M: Guesthouse.

S: It was a guesthouse. And the following or this coming winter, when I was in India, Krishnaji wanted me to have a talk with Radhika and Grohe about what he had said about a study center. Krishnaji was present, of course, so he was part of the discussion. But I think this is what the confusion was about. [Both chuckle.]

M: ‘Later, after supper, Krishnaji renewed the subject of what was spoken of last night: Upadhyaya’s telling of his guru’s guru’—his guru being named, I think, Kavirath—‘foretelling of a “manifestation.”’

May thirteenth. ‘Pupul left after breakfast for Los Angeles, London, and India. I did laundry and sorted out questions for tomorrow’s meeting. The Colons brought Mr. and Mrs. Ugo Baldi to see Krishnaji at 4 p.m.’

The next day. ‘Krishnaji was awake early. He didn’t have enough sleep, but at 11:30 Krishnaji held the first question-and-answer meeting in the Oak Grove. Lois Hobson and two friends came to Arya Vihara for lunch with us and then came over to the cottage afterward. It was a hot day. Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I talked a bit. We had supper by 6:30 p.m. and were in bed by 8:30 p.m.’

May fifteenth. ‘Krishnaji was awake early, and again did not have enough sleep. He dictated letters about the proposed new buildings in Rishi Valley and Grohe’s donations. I marketed and the new Balans desk chair arrived.’

The sixteenth. ‘At 11:30 a.m. Krishnaji held the second question-and-answer meeting in the Oak Grove. We lunched afterward with the Hookers at the Ranch House Restaurant. The Lilliefelts and Rita Zampese were also there. Krishnaji’s stomach ached in the evening. A hot pad and Perrier water helped.’

May seventeenth. ‘I woke up at 2 a.m., got up at 3 a.m., and worked at the desk. Krishnaji is feeling better but he is tired. Krishnaji dictated to me a tentative letter to Rajagopal. Austin Bee brought an envelope with a statement Rajagopal wants Krishnaji to sign. Monica Phillips and her husband came to lunch at Arya Vihara. Erna and I looked at the video of Krishnaji answering questions filmed here in the cottage on March twenty-ninth.’

May eighteenth. ‘I was up early again and worked at my desk. At 11:30 a.m. Krishnaji gave the third Ojai talk on beauty and love. It was a deeply moving talk [2] to a large crowd. We lunched at Arya Vihara. His stomach hurt a little in the morning but subsided.’

The nineteenth. ‘Krishnaji gave this fourth talk in the Oak Grove to a huge crowd. Miranda and John joined me, sitting in the back, and came to Arya Vihara for lunch afterward. Krishnaji talked to Miranda at the table. “I like that girl,” he said. Later he told me once again, “You must outlive me so you can look after me. After that you can follow me.”’ [Both chuckle.] Well, his saying that made me wonder what he was telling me. Should I commit suicide? Or should I…

S: Oh no, no, no. You can come at your leisure. [Both chuckle.]

M: Anyway, I clearly am not writing much these days as I’m getting up at 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.

S: Yes, I can understand that.

M: May twentieth. ‘At 9 a.m. Erna, Theo, and I accompanied Krishnaji to Oxnard for his IRS clearance so he could leave the country. Then at 10 a.m., we met Stanley Cohen about the “Statement of Intent” brought by Austin Bee. Cohen amended it and Krishnaji signed it. Cohen has had shingles, and Krishnaji put his hands on him. Donald Ingram-Smith was at Arya Vihara for lunch. Krishnaji was tired from the Oxnard trip. He said I must pay more attention to the way I sit, to my health, etcetera. He slept and later walked to the Lilliefelts’ while I made supper.’

The next day. ‘Krishnaji is very tired. He ate breakfast but felt sick to his stomach, so he refused lunch. He fainted in bed, but was better by suppertime and ate lightly. I worked at the desk all day to finish letters. Philippa telephoned. She is coming to Malibu in June.’

The twenty-second. ‘Krishnaji was feeling weak in the morning but got up by lunchtime. Ex-Governor Jerry Brown brought a friend, Jacques Barzaghi, to lunch. Krishnaji talked for over an hour with both of them back at the cottage and later went with Theo to the Oak Grove to show where he wanted the fencing to be put.’

There’s really nothing the next day except packing.

May twenty fourth. ‘At 2:50 a.m. Krishnaji collided with the table by the red chair near his bed and fell, hitting his left hip and scraping his leg. I heard it and came rushing in, put a dressing on his leg, and he slept again till 6 a.m. He was alright and we finished packing.’ He only very rarely got confused when he got up in the night. In other words, he walked to the window instead of the bathroom, where he probably wanted to go.

S: Yes.

M: ‘We had an early lunch at Arya Vihara, and then Mark Lee drove Krishnaji, me, and Friedrich to the airport, where we took TWA 760 at 5:40 p.m. to London. He had one of the front seats, but I didn’t. He slept some on the flight.’

The twenty-fifth. ‘We landed at Heathrow at noon. There was a wheelchair for Krishnaji, which got us out in record time. Dorothy, Mary Cadogan, Scott, Ingrid, and Ray were there to meet us. We drove with Dorothy to Brockwood. England is green and beautiful. The new curtains look nice in my room. We had a late lunch, after which I talked to Mary Cadogan, Dorothy, Ingrid, and Scott. Dr. Parchure is here, also Sathaye from Rajghat. I telephoned to Mary Links but spoke only to Joe. Mary was out. Krishnaji feels disturbance still in the house here.’

May twenty-sixth. ‘Krishnaji slept deeply and so did I. Dr. Parchure gave him massage, which did him great good, so he was up for lunch. The Bohms were there. Afterward Scott and Kathy showed Krishnaji, Friedrich, and me the plans for the proposed study of five different architects, and it was quite an exhibition. Then Krishnaji and I took deep naps.’

S: Alright, I should just say a little something here.

M: Yes.

S: [chuckles] Having gotten rid of the previous architects, which I felt had been foisted on me when I was really quite ill, I then went and found all the very best architects in England.

M: Where did you find them? How did you find them?

S: I can’t remember that. But they all presented drawings, except for Critchlow, who just presented a sketch. But what was interesting about Critchlow was how we found him. Krishnaji had asked me the year before, before Parchure left, if I would do his leg and foot massage and hand massage that Parchure did. Krishnaji wasn’t certain his body could take my touch. [M chuckles.] So I tried it there with Parchure a little bit and Parchure showed me what to do, and Krishnaji was pleased that his body was happy with my touch. So, that winter, when Krishnaji was away, I thought I’ve got to learn something about massage. So I went off and did a weekend course on massage.

M: Did you?

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

S: Yes. It was, it was a part of a larger course, but I thought I just need to get some sense of what constitutes massage. One of the other people who was taking the course was the wife of the person who had invented some children’s program for television. Anyway, we got to talking, and she asked me what I was doing, and I explained I was looking for architects and I think she was vaguely familiar with Krishnaji’s work. And she said to me that she had read an article on someone she thought I would be interested in. I think she said that he taught at the Royal Academy of Art, and she said, “I think his name is Keith something, I’m not sure.” So, I researched and found Keith Critchlow was the man to whom she was referring. So, I presented all these five architects’ tentative drawings to Krishnaji, and at this point, what’s interesting is that when Krishnaji saw all these five drawings, his response was to get them all of them to work together.

M: Oh, yes. I remember. [Both laugh.]

S: Which left me completely baffled, but luckily he said this also to Mary Lutyens, who said absolutely not! She said that architects are not going to work together. [Both chuckle.]

M: Yes. Famous architect’s daughter knew…

S: Yes, exactly. The architect’s daughter knew exactly that this was a terrible idea. And so Krishnaji dropped it, but it was interesting that his first response was, “Oh, here are all these brilliant people doing wonderful work. Let’s have them all work together.” [Both laugh.]

M: Well, I remember that the credentials of Critchlow, as told to me by you, was that he was specialized in religious architecture.

S: Yes.

M: And that seemed a good sign.

S: Well, yes, he was an expert. He had done the deciphering of a lot of the mathematical code things in the Chartres Cathedral and other things like that. But what was a little bit difficult is that he’d only ever designed one building that had been constructed in his life, and that was a large dome in Colorado.

M: Well, now, wait a minute. Another thing that made a big impression on me was a building in either Arizona or New Mexico, which was made of wood—a big auditorium, I think.

S: That’s what I’m talking about. I think it was Colorado, but it could have been Arizona or New Mexico.

M: Well, southwest of this country. And it looked in the photographs as though it was the inside of a basket. In other words, the wooden structure—

S: Yes, it was very beautiful.

M: Beautiful. He used wood beams like basket weave.

S: Yes, yes.

M: And I found that remarkable. I was sold on him just from that one building.

S: Yes, he was really a designer. And he didn’t have, for instance, the structural architectural things, but he was a wonderful design person—really brilliant.

M: Well that was fortuitous because he gave us just exactly the right building.

S: Yes, he did. And these other proposals that these other architects did were all very beautiful, but there was just something that made Critchlow the obvious right choice.

M: May twenty-seventh. ‘Krishnaji had lunch in bed. He was tired. There was a meeting in his room of The Four—Ingrid, Harsh, Stephen, Ray, plus Scott and me. He rested in the afternoon. I went to a school meeting at 5:30 p.m. Person B. was seen in the house in spite of being told that he could come only by invitation from The Four. Krishnaji objected strongly.


S: He objected strongly to the fact that Person B. had come without that invitation.

M: Yes. And also—he’d been sleeping in Person S.’s and she was married, and their her daughter was in the next room next, and this is a school.

S: Yes, well, Person B. and Person S. were lovers.

M: Yes. But he wasn’t supposed to be there. So, ‘Stephen and Harsh asked him to leave, and Person B. was to them  contemptuous. Krishnaji asked Scott and me to find him, so we went looking for him in the car and found him with Person S. in one of the lanes. We asked him to leave, but when we returned, Krishnaji sent for them, so we went to find them again. Krishnaji talked with them in front of Scott and me till 11:30 p.m. He spoke very severely, drastically, especially to Person B.: “You are using this place.”’

S: Well, let me give my version of that because you and I were in the room.

M: That’s what I remember.

S: Krishnaji has initially told us to find them and to tell Person B. to leave. But when we reported back to Krishnaji that we had done that, he told us to get them as he wanted to talk to them. So we did, and he wanted us to be present when he talked with them, and Krishnaji was amazing. I remember thinking at the time—and I can still see it—this is what an angry god looks like. [M chuckles.] I also remember thinking that I don’t care what I do, I am never going to put myself in a position where I deserve this kind of communication from Krishnaji. [Both chuckle.] Krishnaji just really ripped into them in no uncertain terms…

M: Yes.

S: …but this was all part of the ridiculous power struggle that Dorothy was still behind. Because she gave both of these persons to feel, ‘Oh, well, you can do whatever, ignore the four people who are supposed to be running the place because I still have the authority.’ And Person B., of course, was contemptuous of The Four because he was a Dorothy supporter. And in the perverse way people think about these things, Person’s B. and S. probably both thought they were supporting Dorothy by having contempt for The Four, but, of course, it had the opposite effect. Krishnaji really laid into them for a long time—I mean, a really long time.

M: I remember Krishnaji then asked for The Four to come in.

S: That’s right, and with Persons B. And S. still there, he summarized what he had been saying. And it was absolutely clear, then, who Krishnaji saw as being in charge of Brockwood, and that this sort of behavior was…

M: Not on.

S: Yes, and from then on, Person B. was not welcome at Brockwood anymore, which was also the end of Person S. who left not that long afterward because it was clear they had really violated Krishnaji’s wishes. And if Dorothy was behind it, well, then too bad. It was just…

M: Yes. Well, that’s a very good reconstruction.

S: But Krishnaji was just withering.

M: Yes. I remember that.

S: And then afterward, when everybody had gone and I think you were still in the room, but it was just he and you and I, Krishnaji [chuckles] made some kind of a comment like, “Oh, it feels good to get angry a little bit.” It was completely broken and over for him. He didn’t carry all that ferociousness. Not at all. It was just—it was completely gone.

M: [chuckles] Yes, it purged the whole thing.

S: It just purged the whole thing and it was gone.

M: [chuckles] Well, that was the twenty-seventh.

S: A day to remember.

M: May twenty-eighth. ‘Joan Taylor from ITV came to discuss the coverage of the Brockwood talks in September for “The Human Factor” program. Scott and I discussed it with her. At noon, Mary and Joe came for lunch. Dorothy told The Four that she will retire after the Gatherings in September. She joined Krishnaji, Mary, Joe, and me for coffee. Scott showed the five architects’ drawings.”

S: I think that is when Krishnaji said to her that all the architects should work together and Mary said “Oh, no.” [Chuckles.] I think that was the occasion.

M: Yes. [Chuckles.]

S: Because I remember it was in the drawing room.

M: ‘Later Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked through the grove and around the fields.’

May twenty-ninth. ‘An architect came for lunch. And another, Keith Critchlow, came to tea. After meeting Critchlow, Krishnaji said he feels “he is our man” to design the study center. We all felt this.’ Now, let’s see if that’s the time when he drew that extraordinary thing, but I want to expand on that when we come to it.

The next day, ‘Krishnaji dictated letters onto cassettes, and at 4 p.m. Dana (or Diana) Marshall interviewed Krishnaji for the Sunday Times. Later Krishnaji, Scott, Friedrich, and I walked around the grove and fields.’

May thirty-first. ‘Jane and Ian came to lunch and she kindly took a cassette of letters to type, which I had dictated.’ Blessed Jane. ‘The Four came to an agreement with Person S. Krishnaji said, “It is essential to uncover what self-interest is not. But it’s quite easy to observe when   self-interest is.” Yes, yes. But not for everybody, though. [Both chuckle.]

The first of June. ‘The daily massage by Dr. Parchure and Vitamin B shots are doing good to Krishnaji. At 4 p.m. Krishnaji was interviewed by Duncan Fallowell for Harper’s and Queen magazine. It took an hour and a half.’

The second June: ‘I fetched Prema Srinivasan at the Petersfield station. Krishnaji held a videotaped discussion with four students at noon. At 2 p.m. there was a film of comments by a painter named Collins.’ I think that was just a film that was shown, but I’m not sure. ‘At 4 p.m., Krishnaji talked with The Four, plus Scott, Christine, Gary, and me, after which I drove Prema back to the train station. There was only a short walk with Krishnaji.’

The third of June. ‘Krishnaji and I went to London on the 10:46 a.m. Joe met us at Waterloo and took us to Huntsman. I took the tweed coat back to Hilliard’s and returned a sweater to Ferragamo. Krishnaji and I walked to Fortnum’s and lunched with Mary, then Krishnaji had a haircut at Truefitt while I walked to Culpepper to get him skullcap herb, prescribed by Amanda Pallandt for nerve improvement for Krishnaji’s shaky hands. We bought books at Hatchards and came home.’

The next day, ‘Scott and I went to London on the 8:45 a.m. train. I went to the Swiss consulate for Krishnaji’s visa then to Hilliard’s to refit the tweed coat; to Peale for a present for Vanda; to Harrods; and then to see Betsy at her flat. I caught the 4:18 p.m. train home. Hughes and Suzanne are in the West Wing guest room for the night. The Finance Committee was meeting. Jean-Michel is here, too. Daphne has had a baby son. Krishnaji had talked to the students and had had a busy day.’

June fifth. ‘The Van der Stratens had breakfast with me, and then I talked with them and Jean-Michel. Adrian Spanier came with a painter, Mr. Alecson, to see what was wrong with the paint in the drawing room. Keith Critchlow and Peter Gilbert came to lunch and showed Krishnaji, the Forbeses, Grohe, and me the first sketching for the study. Very good, Krishnaji and all thought. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji talked with The Four and Scott, Gary, Christina, and me. The van der Stratens and Jean-Michel left. Krishnaji and I walked in the grove and field.’ Well, when was this moment when Critchlow…

S: Slightly afterward, I think.

M: Is it? Alright, I’ll…I’ll…

S: Because he came up with a first drawing, which was quite good, but it wasn’t…

M: I remember the sequence of it. That Krishnaji told him what he wanted in the building. And then Krishnaji immediately said, “Now sir, how will you do it?” As though you think of all of it…and then he presented that astonishing thing, which I’m waiting to describe. He drew the…human figure in a lotus position.

S: Yes. He said he got up in the morning and had that as an idea.

M: Oh.

S: Yes, he said he woke up with this idea that, because the building was being called the Krishnamurti Study, that its form should be the form of the classic position of someone studying, which was always sitting cross-legged. People didn’t used to have chairs, even in many places in the West.

M: Well, then we’d better explain it right now, even if it comes up later, because this is a fuller explanation.

S: Okay. So, Critchlow drew the picture as you draw a building design, as if you are looking down on it from a bird’s eye view, from the top. He drew a picture of a man sitting in what he said was a classic study posture, which was sitting cross-legged. And then he used what he called the Platonic forms to simply take that shape and formalize it and turn it into a building.

M: He said he made it into geometry. I remember that.

S: Yes. Geometric forms, just made that into a building, then.

M: Yes. I can remember that he started on the page, I can still see him doing it—he took the figure, which was seen from above, and he made lines, lines, lines. He just made it into the shape of a building, and it is the shape of the building he built.

S: Yes. And what was interesting also is that, because Krishnaji had had that conversation with him about the most important room in the entire building—the quiet room—and that there were also to be the archives, and the library. Well, the spine, the head, is really the quiet room; and off of that are coming the archives and the library, like shoulders. And then the functional areas are the—

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

M: Bedrooms.

S: Yes—the legs that come out. And then the legs crossing in the middle are the living room and dining room.

M: That’s right.

S: And the empty space, between the crossed feet and the abdomen in someone sitting, is the empty space of the courtyard.

M: Yes, that’s right.

S: So it’s all brilliant, really very brilliant.

M: Yes, it was.

June sixth. ‘At noon, Krishnaji spoke to all the staff. In the afternoon we walked, Grohe too, around the block. Then Krishnaji spoke with Shakuntala and Natasha. Krishnaji said, “This is not a prophecy. When it happens I can’t predict, but I feel I should last another ten years.”’

The seventh. ‘Krishnaji met The Four plus for an hour.’ I think The Four plus means Ingrid, Harsh, Stephen, Ray, Gary, Christina, you, and me. I think I later call them The Eight. ‘I went to Alresford on errands with Scott. The car’s power steering leaks. Krishnaji had lunch in bed. I talked to Donald Dennis after lunch and later to the Sathayes. At 5 p.m., there was a staff meeting. Friedrich left.’

June eighth. ‘Krishnaji spent the day in bed again. I met The Four plus to discuss the implications of what Krishnaji had said yesterday about their responsibilities. The merits of having a principal emerged. Also Ray withdrew from the school day and the long meetings and teaching to concentrate on KFT and archives work. I talked to Krishnaji afterward and we both feel Scott should be the principal as well as run the study. Together we spoke of it to him, and later I sounded out Ingrid and Ray. I will sound out the others tomorrow. I went to the open discussion conducted by Gary and Christina.

S: Alright. Let me fill in a little bit.

M: Yes, do fill in because there’s a lot in that. You were more or less out of the school.

S: Yes. I was out of the school, and I had thought that the school was not in my future in any way. I was to build and run the study center, and I was still in charge of the video department. At the same time, Krishnaji would occasionally say to me that he was cooking me. [Chuckles.]

M: I was watching you being cooked. [Laughs.]

S: Yes, and you remember him saying it. He was cooking me.

M: Oh, yes.

S: And occasionally he would say things like, “Look, you’re going be running all of this.” But I always thought, “Well, he might not literally mean that, or who knows what he means by that, and Krishnaji can change his mind; so, that’s not…it shouldn’t concern me. I’ll deal with what I’ll have to deal with when I have to deal with it.” And I had really felt at this time that the school was not part of my life any longer. And it was also clear that some personal dynamics in The Four kept them from working as well together as they might have [M chuckles] , and so the school couldn’t be run by a committee—that was clearly emerging from these discussions. So, then, here was this suggestion that maybe we should again have one person running it.

M: Yes.

S: Now, one of The Four felt they should be principal and another of The Four was quite certain that they would be doing it. So, it had been decided that there should be a principal; and Krishnaji’s guardian angel, you, was going around, sounding people out, [both chuckle] and I don’t think there was any confusion about where the sounding out by Mary Z originated. [Both chuckle.]

M: I have never understood an organization with multiple people at the top.

S: No, it doesn’t usually work, and if it does, it’s usually not creative and dynamic—it’s usually only a space keeper. And so you were going around; and I was thinking that this was going to be difficult: there you were, doing this.  [Laughs.] And I remember one of The Four who thought they would be head coming to me after that discussion about there needing to be a principal, wanting a serious discussion with me about the fact that now that I was running the center, and this person was going to run the school, we had to, you know, get our relationship straight, etcetera, etcetera, and I was thinking, “I’m not saying anything here.” [M laughs.]

M: June ninth. ‘Krishnaji recorded a videotaped discussion with four students, similar to last Sunday’s. At 4 p.m. he gave an interview to a Ms. Ann Baguely. I talked to all eight of staff about who should be the coordinator at 4 p.m. Krishnaji joined us at 4:45 p.m., and the talk was on what we want Brockwood to be.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Later The Four asked Person G. to leave tomorrow.’ That was a good move. ‘He has been contentious.’ [Chuckles.]

June tenth. ‘Krishnaji talked to students. He had lunch upstairs, but it was not the rest he intended as Harsh came up to speak to him privately and four students were waiting to speak to him afterward. Then at 4:30 p.m. he met The Eight[3]. He told them of the students’ feelings of lack of communication and said, “What are you going to do?” I met The Eight after supper and they acted to appoint Scott to be the coordinator and call meetings of all returning staff and students to discuss what is needed next year. It was Scott’s birthday.’

S: Let’s just say a little bit more here. Because this is interesting, it’s also part of the way Krishnaji worked. And just to say that these talks with The Four and then the group you call The Eight, were collectively called, I think, “The Bird Room Talks.”

M: Oh.

S: They’re recorded and they’re labeled (or they were) “The Bird Room Talks” because they took place in the bird room.

M: Yes. The bird room was the West Wing guest room.

S: Right. It used to be the dining room.

M: It began as a dining room but never functioned as that, so it became a guest room. It had bird wallpaper.

S: Although it now has butterfly wallpaper.

M: Well, I couldn’t get the bird paper anymore. It wasn’t made. So then I had to replace it, because there was a leak in the ceiling, there were always leaks in that room, and it had to be redone. So I found one I liked that was butterflies. And it’s better.

S: I know. Right. [Chuckles.] Yes, it’s cheerier.

M: Because it’s a north-facing room. And the birds were rather blue and didn’t do anything, although it was pretty wallpaper, I must say, but the butterflies is all yellow and white, so it’s much better anyway.

S: Yes, I’d agree.

M: Giving you the author’s [S chuckles] point of view in decorating guest rooms.

S: Exactly. Exactly. Anyway, so what was interesting here is that saying “the coordinator” is just a nice, gentle way of saying “the director,” and Krishnaji brought this about by actually getting the people who were in charge, minus Dorothy, to make me the head. And Dorothy didn’t know about these bird room meetings, nor did anyone else.

M: No. That’s why they were held upstairs in the West Wing.

S: That’s right. So these were confidential meetings. Just the fact that they even were taking place was not known, never mind what they were about. So, I was made the head without the current head knowing; and without any consultation with the trustees [chuckles]. Apart from you, none of the other trustees knew anything about all this.

M: That’s right.

S: Everybody knew that Krishnaji was behind it all, but he gave The Eight the feeling that they were the ones who were bringing this about, out of necessity.

M: Yes.

S: So, it was just an interesting way that Krishnaji had of working.

M: That was a very good addendum. [Chuckles.]

June eleventh. ‘Dorothy drove Krishnaji and me to Petersfield, where he and I took the 11:46 a.m. to Waterloo. Mary Links met us there and we had a late lunch at Fortnum’s. I went to pick up Krishnaji’s passport with a visa at the Swiss consulate. Then I walked to Mr. Thompson’s office’—that’s the dentist—‘where Mary and Joe had taken Krishnaji for a tooth appointment. They drove us to Waterloo and we took the 6:20 p.m. train back.’

S: Okay. Let me just add one other thing to what I was saying. Even after it was done, Dorothy wasn’t told, nor were the other staff and the students, so no one knew. For the rest of that school year, until the school year ended on the thirtieth of June, no one knew that I was in charge.

M: Yes. Of course, the end of June is just around corner.

S: I know. I don’t know when the trustees were informed, but I do remember when Dorothy was informed, and I’m sure we’ll get around to that. But, as far as I had understood Krishnaji’s intention, it was just not to make an abrupt change, but to just gently, gently, gently bring about the change. No rupture. No rending of things. No big, just…

M: Yes. No confrontations.

S: Exactly, and I can remember asking Krishnaji when the staff should know. And he said, “They’ll pick it up.” Which is what happened, and it was very interesting because for the rest of this month, in the staff meetings, and the staff meetings were frequent in those days…

M: Did you go to the staff meetings?

S: Since I had come out of the school, I usually kept going to the staff meetings, but not always. But after this, I always went. And now, when I spoke, the people who were in charge—namely The Four plus Gary and Christina—listened to me in a way that, without saying anything, just gave me a little bit more voice, somehow, and the rest of the staff just followed suit. So that I just became a prominent voice without anyone saying Scott is in charge.

M: Yes. Yes. It just sort of flowed in like water.

S: Yes, it just flowed in, just like Krishnaji said, and people picked it up and, it just became a fact.

M: It all happened. And was Dorothy at the staff meetings? She must have been.

S: Oh, yes. Dorothy was in the staff meetings. I don’t know what she was picking up but I was always respectful and non-confrontational toward her.

M: Yes. It’s a far cry from Dorothy’s original, when you first joined, and she thought that when she was through, you would take over.

S: Yes. Yes.

M: Her first assessment of you was very good, but alas…

S: Yes, as it came closer to the time…I know. [Chuckles.] Yes, yes.

M: Self-interest, um…good.

The next day, ‘Krishnaji had lunch in bed but got up to come to a 4:30 p.m. meeting with The Eight. He also talked at length with Scott and me earlier in the morning.’

June thirteenth. ‘I went for an early walk around the lanes, then got everything done in time. I did a cassette of letters for Jane. At noon, Krishnaji held a discussion with the staff: Freedom, what is it? Does insight follow or precede it? Krishnaji talked to Shakuntala after lunch. I took a long, deep nap. Then Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked with Kip across the fields and back along the lane. Over five miles (I think it is) of walking for me today. Krishnaji and I, with Scott, went over the options on a new Mercedes car.’ [Both chuckle.] We had some fantasy that we would get it for diplomatic prices.

S: Oh, that’s right, that’s right. I remember I was investigating that.

M: Yes. We could get it for 18,000 pounds sterling, I think, when it was being sold for God knows what. I forgot.

S: Yes, yes. Yes. And I think I looked at the Mercedes models in Paris the year before.

M: Yes, it was to be some diplomatic corps. They would buy it in…

S: Belgium or Luxembourg or something…

M: …Belgium, I think. Belgium comes to mind.

S: Yes, Belgium, I think it was. But I had looked at the new model that Krishnaji was interested in when I was in Paris, I think, the year before. I’d gone to the Champs-Elysées showroom. [Chuckles.]

M: Fourteenth in the big book: ‘Krishnaji’s hoarseness, which he has said was nothing for two days, he admits this morning is a cold. He stayed in bed all day and didn’t try to do the dishes.’ [Both chuckle[4].] ‘A meeting took place after lunch of The Eight. Scott, now the principal-to-be, called coordinator—or whatever title will emerge—proposed three more for the group: Kathy, Wendy, and Colin.’ Where was Colin in all these stories?

S: Well, Colin was just a staff member teaching physics. He didn’t have any other responsibilities.

M: ‘Scott thought the discussion of adding these three people would be settled in five minutes. It took forty.’ [S chuckles.] ‘I went to the garage and picked up the Mercedes after a new reconditioned steering box had been put in. Expensive, over 600 pounds sterling, but required. Then I went to Alresford on errands and got back in time just for the staff meeting at 5 p.m. After supper, Krishnaji had me sit by him. He held my hand and said gently, “You must listen. Do you feel it? It, that thing, has been with me all day. It is with me most of the time now that I’m older. You must pay attention. You must outlive me but not as an old person. Not living in memories, as people do. You must be alive, alert. I think I will live another ten years, and you must take care of me. You are the closest person to K. You must live beyond me to represent K. You do not today, but you must learn to. Do you understand? Do you understand?” He was very serious, very intense, as he said all this.’

S: Hm. How lovely. You do, Mary. You represent him more than anyone.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

M: [Sigh.] What day was that? [The tone of her voice here is so very quiet, as if she heard Scott, but she doesn’t want to respond.]

June fifteenth. ‘Krishnaji’s voice is still hoarse. He remained in bed all day. Ingrid saw him for a bit. I spend most of the day working at my desk. I spoke to Christopher Fry on the phone. I’m going to tea with them next week. Marjolaine van der Straten, now de Hoop’—that was her married name—‘and her husband came in the evening, and we put them up for the night in the West Wing. Krishnaji, Scott, and I watched Godfather II on television.’

There is really nothing the next day, then the eleventh of June. ‘Krishnaji is better. Krishnaji talked to The Eight, plus the added three, Kathy, Wendy, and Collin, equaling eleven, about Scott’s authority and who decides things, but most of all on clearing the brain. He had lunch in bed and stayed in his room all day. I went to Alresford and Petersfield on errands. Dorothy came up for dandelion coffee with Krishnaji and me. I attended the school meeting at 5 p.m. Scott had Critchlow and some county planning people meet here in the afternoon about the study center.’

S: We may need to add something for the historic record here. The previous plans from the first architects had been refused permission.

M: Yes, I remember.

S: Because it’s a historically protected area, and also the area is listed as being of “outstanding natural beauty,” so you have to get special permission to build. And the local farmer, Morton, of course had taken up against our building. And our planning permission request had been unanimously refused. So, because it’s a special area, it’s very difficult to appeal the refusal, and, of course, one can’t apply again. But I had gone to a lawyer, a specialist in the field, in London, a QC, a Queen’s Council[5], which is the best, and he went through our application.

M: How do you find someone like that?

S: I can’t remember. But he was a QC in London, at Lincoln’s Inn.

M: Yes.

S: And he went through our refused application, and he said actually what was submitted was not a legal application because there was one small detail having to do with the proposed septic system, which had not been included in the application.

M: My god!

S: So, as this was not a legal application, it can’t have been refused. [M chuckles.] In fact, there’s no judgment on it at all, because it wasn’t a legal application, so no appeal of the judgment is needed.

M: My god.

S: So, we were then at square one, not having to undo a refusal for this area.

M: But how did that get communicated to the County Council?

S: Well then, this is rather a long story, but it should be told. Then, I realized I had to do a whole lot of work on the Planning Committee section of the County Council that I had never thought I had to do, and that I can’t just leave it up to the architects. So, while Critchlow was working on his design, I started my work on the planning committee, and there were about twenty-five or thirty of them. I contacted every single one of them…

M: My god.

S: …and I set about doing all the lobbying that I could think of. I went around to see them. I invited them out to see the site, escorting them all around.

M: Did they come?

S: Oh, many of them did, and I went to see the ones that didn’t. I wrote to them, I did all kinds of things. Now, there were three really peculiar things that happened. There was one person on the committee who was most vocally against us, who was, I think, the chairman of the committee; and his son was an Anglican minister. Well, his son, the Anglican minister, had at this time invited over for dinner to his parents’ house an African bishop. In the course of the dinner conversation, this chairman said to the African bishop, just making small talk, that he had gone out to a site applying for permission to build, and he said about Krishnamurti and was making some disparaging remarks about gurus. And this African bishop said, “Oh no, you’re quite wrong. Krishnamurti is a very, very serious and worthy figure.” So, this African bishop, whose name I never learned, sold this guy on Krishnaji. It was the chairman himself who told me this story.

M: Well, my goodness.

S: And then there was another strange thing that happened. Keith Critchlow brought to see the site, when we were in this process of lobbying everybody, Lord Northampton. Now, Lord Northampton is the Lord of Northampton [both chuckle], and he was also someone very important, perhaps even the head of the Masonic Order in England. At the end of his visit, he kind of grilled me and I could see that he was now for this project. He said to me, “Let me see the list of who is on the planning committee.” I got him the list, and as his finger went down the list, he would occasional say, “Mm, hm.” Then a little farther down, “Mm, hm.” [M chuckles] And there were about six or eight of these “Mm, hms.”

M: They’re all Masons. [Laughing.]

S: thought that they were all Masonic people that he knew. Anyway, so he went down this list. And then there was a third thing.

M: This is fascinating. I never knew any of this.

S: It was absolutely fascinating. I think it’s only Kathy that knows all this as she, of course, was part of my doing all this. So the third thing was that Donald Dennis’s wife at that time, Kirsty, her uncle was the head of the Liberal Democratic Party. A Scottish chap.

M: Yes, I remember that.

S: Anyway, he was a nice man. But she wrote to him, told him of our situation, and asked for his help. There were a lot of people in the Liberal Democratic Party in Hampshire County politic and on the planning committee.

M: Yes. Good for Kirsty.

S: Yes, well, he wrote back a really wonderful letter. It was very affectionate to her and said something like, “Dear Kirsty, it’s lovely as always to hear from you. I’m so glad that you’re so happy at Brockwood and doing such wonderful work, etcetera, etcetera. And, of course, I understand your concern about this impending vote of the local planning committee. But, of course, I can’t interfere in any way” [M chuckles] “because this is a local matter, and it’s completely outside of my jurisdiction so I can’t possibly interfere.” And he sent a copy of that letter to all of the Liberal Democrats on the planning committee. [Both laugh.]

M: This is fascinating.

S: I felt this was so wonderfully English, that someone was saying that they couldn’t possible interfere and sending a copy of these letters showing familiarity and support—

M: Yes, approval and support, everything.

S: Exactly.

M: This is fascinating.

S: Yes. So when we came with our new application with Critchlow’s drawings and plans finally done and submitted, I got to the planning meeting earlier than anybody else so that I could greet everybody as they came through the door. And I knew everybody’s name so I could say, “Hello Mr. Johnson” or “Mrs. Smith” or whoever it was—

M: I think you should run for president.

S: [laughs] No, really I’m not suited for this. And while our first application had been unanimously refused, the second one was unanimously approved. Not one dissent. [Both laugh.]

M: That’s absolutely wonderful. That’s a whole chapter in this saga.

S: It was so…when I came out, I was just so…I think I called Krishnaji immediately.

M: Yes. How did, I mean—

S: I think I flew back from Saanen or vacation or something. We’ll see. I can’t remember that. We’ll see.

M: Well, this is June. Um, but how did—I mean, were they aware that the first application had never taken place because there was that tiny thing missing?

S: Oh, yes, I remember, during the planning permission meeting someone said, “Why are we voting on this again?” And someone else explained that our first application wasn’t legal, and then there was a little discussion, and they were trying to have a balanced discussion of our new application, but I remember thinking that the meeting felt fairly positive to me; it felt rather good. But then, when the vote was taken, for it to be unanimously approved, it was just…I walked out of there on a cloud. I waited to thank them all, obviously.

M: Yes, yes.

S: But I was just on a cloud.

M: Of course. Well, you should’ve been elevated to the heavens.

S: Well, I felt like I was.

M: I knew that you’d done extraordinary things, but I didn’t know all these details.

S: I had been working all of the time since the refusal. It’s true. [Both laugh.]

M: That’s wonderful.

The eighteenth of June. I’m going for early walks by myself all these days but not mentioning it. ‘I worked at my desk most of the day. Krishnaji got up to do a video-recorded discussion with four students but had lunch in his room and spent the rest of the day there. Pupul rang from New York. She will come to Switzerland July one, two, and three. Harper and Row is publishing her book on Krishnaji.’

There’s nothing of significance the next day, but on the twentieth, ‘Krishnaji spoke to the whole school at noon. Dorothy is beginning to say, when asked, that she and Montague are retiring. At 2 p.m., a salesman came to take a tentative order for a turbo diesel Mercedes.’ [S chuckles.] ‘I drove to East Dean for a lovely tea and visit with the Frys and came back by 6:30 p.m. Krishnaji had walked with Dorothy. I went to a last bit of a meeting of the staff and students who are returning to Brockwood in September.’

S: Just to say, Krishnaji was being very supportive of Dorothy.

M: Yes.

S: Very, very supportive, supporting her retiring, but at the same time giving her all the emotional, psychological support that she was craving.

M: Yes, yes.

S: And I can remember, now that you mention this tentative order. The Mercedes salesman came out, and we went through all of the options, including all of the color things, so that if you were going to order, this is what would be ordered.

M: Green comes to my mind, of course that was what Krishnaji wanted, green.

S: Ah-ha. I think we have to end this as we’re running out of tape.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

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[1] For a video of the second Washington talk. Back to text.

[2] For a video of the third Ojai talk of 1985. Back to text.

[3] Ingrid, Harsh, Stephen, Ray, Gary, Christine, Scott, and Mary Z. Back to text.

[4] There was always a fun and amusing battle with Krishnaji about doing the dishes. Back to text.

[5] Of the many tiers of lawyers in England, this is the top tier. Back to text.