Last Sunday afternoon a small event was held at Brockwood to mark the life and work of Mary Cadogan, who died on the 26th of September. Mary had worked for Krishnamurti and the Foundation for 56 years. Family, friends, trustees and staff gathered under grey skies to plant an oak tree. Later they met in the West Wing Drawing Room where several people, including Mary’s husband, spoke of her remarkable contribution to the work and her many fine qualities. This was followed by a performance for solo violin of J.S. Bach’s ‘Sarabande’ and ‘Courante’ and then a few minutes of silence.
At the tree planting the following extract was read by former Brockwood staff member and current trustee, Gary Primrose. It is taken from “The Hills and Vales” (1887) by Richard Jeffries.
“To this oak I came daily for a long time; sometimes only for a minute, for just to view the spot was enough. Sometimes in spring there was a sheen of bluebells covering acres; the doves cooed; the blackbirds whistled sweetly; there was a taste of green things in the air. By aid of the tree I felt the sky more. By aid of everthing beautiful, I felt myself.
The subtle influence of Nature penetrates every limb and every vein; fills the soul with a perfect contentment, an absence of all wish except to lie there, half in sunshine, half in shade, for ever in a Nirvana of indifference to all but exquisite delight of simple living. The wind in the tree tops overhead sighs in soft music, and ever and anon a leaf falls with a slight rustle to mark time. Time to us now, no more than it was to the oak; we have no consciousness of it. Only we feel the broad earth and as to the ancient giant, so there passes through us a strength renewing itself of vital energy.
Only by walking hand in hand with Nature, only by a reverent and loving study of the mysteries for ever around us, is it possible to disabuse the mind of the narrow view, the contracted belief that time is now and eternity tomorrow. Eternity is today.”
Former Brockwood Park School Mature Student Noe Marcial and current staff member Amel Ouhammou visited a school in India, which is inspired by the teachings of Krishnamurti. “Shibumi school is a study and learning centre for both adults and young people of school-going age. For adults it offers a space where, through dialogue, one understands oneself and relationships in the light of Krishnamurti’s teachings. For such interested adults only, Shibumi also offers an educational programme where resource persons and parents cooperate in creating a right learning environment for their children.” While there Noe, Amel and Victor made this video titled ‘A day at Shibumi school’.
At Brockwood Park School, pastoral care and student inclusion are hugely important in creating the best environment we can for the students. In the interests of achieving that, each student spends personal one to one time every week with a member of staff. The staff members will have 5 or 6 students whom they tutor in this way for the entire year. Here are one of our students Mario and staff member Alex engaging in their one to one time this afternoon on the south lawn.
The recent death of Dr Mary Cadogan, the first Secretary of the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust, has come as a great loss. Mary began working with Krishnamurti Writings Inc. in London in 1958; assisting with publications work and organizing public meetings and discussions with Krishnamurti. She became the European representative for the work, and was a key figure in establishing the KFT and Brockwood Park School in the 1960s. It was at Krishnamurti’s request that she became the first Secretary of the KFT; she remained a Trustee of the Trust and a Governor of Brockwood Park School until her recent death. Mary nurtured excellent relationships with the other Krishnamurti Foundations and Committees throughout the world. She edited Krishnamurti’s works, and arranged publication and translation of the books. She helped establish Brockwood Park School and the Krishnamurti Centre, and for over 50 years worked with a succession of Trustees. We shall miss her wise guidance, inspiring energy, affection and humour.
The following interview is the last that Mary gave. It was recorded at Brockwood Park on the 24th August 2014. Mary is interviewed by long-time supporter and friend of Brockwood, Taher Gozel. He asks Mary about the relationship between David Bohm and Krishnamurti, and about what it was like to work so closely with Krishnamurti.
It is 100 hundred years today since the birth of Jonas Salk. In 1948 Jonas assembled a skilled research team and together they discovered and developed the first successful inactivated polio vaccine. It is something we rarely hear of today but until Jonas’ and co’s vaccine, polio was a serious health issue all over the world, resulting in the disabling and deaths of thousands every year, the most famous case being that of American president F.D.Roosevelt.
Upon the discovery of the vaccine Jonas Salk was asked who owned the patent to it and his reply was “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?”. Had the vaccine been patented it is estimated to have been worth 7 billion dollars. Instead it was shared for free. Due to Mr Salk’s work there are now just a couple of hundred polio cases per year and that figure is falling fast. The disease shall soon be eradicated entirely.
Jonas was also interested in philosophy and he combined this with his knowledge of science to create what he called “biophilosophy” which he described as the application of a “biological, evolutionary point of view to philosophical, cultural, social and psychological problems”. During his philosophical inquiry he met and spoke at length with J.Krishnamurti and we hope you will enjoy this recording of their discussion.
“Have you ever woken up in the morning and looked out of the window, or gone out on the terrace and looked at the trees and the spring dawn? Live with it. Listen to all the sounds, to the whisper, the slight breeze among the leaves. See the light on that leaf and watch the sun coming over the hill, over the meadow. And the dry river, or that animal grazing and those sheep across the hill–watch them. Look at them with a sense of affection, care, that you do not want to hurt a thing. When you have such communion with nature, then your relationship with another becomes simple, clear, without conflict.”
J. Krishnamurti, Letters to the Schools, 1st November 1983
Photograph: Pavilions student and staff boarding accommodation at Brockwood–taken this morning.
“As most of us seek power in one form or another, the hierarchical principle is established, the novice and the initiate, the pupil and the Master, and even among the Masters there are degrees of spiritual growth. Most of us love to exploit and be exploited, and this system offers the means, whether hidden or open. To exploit is to be exploited. The desire to use others for your psychological necessities makes for dependence, and when you depend you must hold, possess; and what you possess possesses you. Without dependence, subtle or gross, without possessing things, people, and ideas, you are empty, a thing of no importance. You want to be something, and to avoid the gnawing fear of being nothing you belong to this or that organization, to this or that ideology, to this church or that temple; so you are exploited, and you in your turn exploit.”