There is an art of listening, when you listen to Beethoven or Mozart and so on, you listen, you don't try to interpret it, unless you are romantic, sentimental and all that. You absorb, you listen, there is some extraordinary movement going on in it, great silence, great depth and all that. So similarly if you can listen, not only with the hearing of the ear, but deeply, not interpret, not translate, just listen.That quote comes from a 1985 TV interview with Jiddu Krishnamurti. There is some serious listening talent in the photo. It shows Aldous Huxley - who famously recommended that "if you ever use mescaline or LSD in therapy ... try the effect of the [Bach] B-minor suite" - kneeling in the foreground, while standing from left to right are Krishnamurti, Igor & Vera Stravinsky, Maria Huxley, and Radha Rajagopal Sloss. The photo was taken in 1949 at a picnic in Wrightwood, California. Radha Rajagopal Sloss was the daughter of the American born Rosalind Rajagopal, who was a director of the Happy Valley School in Ojai founded by Krishnamurti and wife of his business manager, editor and close associate D. Rajagopal. Krishnamurti died in 1986, and Radha Rajagopal Sloss alleges in her 1991 book Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti that her mother had a clandestine sexual relationship with Krishnamurti lasting twenty-five years.
Rosalind Rajagopal was a close friend of the celebrated Hungarian-born pianist Lili Kraus, while Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti recounts how "Rosalind's former tennis days stood her in good stead too for she found new friendships through this sport with, among others, the composer Arnold Schoenberg..." At the core of Krishnamurti's teachings - see video clip below - is the message that "...there is no teacher, no pupil; there is no leader; there is no guru; there is no Master, no Saviour. You yourself are the teacher and the pupil; you are the Master; you are the guru; you are the leader; you are everything. And to understand is to transform what is". In its early days Happy Valley School was supported by the southern California creative community which included Arnold Schoenberg and Lili Kraus. Pau Casals was a friend of Krishnamurti's and played for him in Rome in 1963, Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha performed at a talk given by Krishnamurti at Brockwood, England in 1975, and Igor Stravinsky moved in his circle. We can only speculate as to what subliminal influence Krishnamurti's radical teachings had on these free thinkers.
Header photo via Radha Sloss. No review samples used in this post. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.