Sunday, February 26, 2017

Jack Kerouac and Jiddu Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti and Jack Kerouac circa 1966

I was on a Jiddu Krishnamurti kick a few years ago and he remains an enigmatic philosophical/religious influence on me. Over the last few days I have almost re-read all three of Mary Lutyens' biographies of Krishnamurti, and this passage in Krishnamurti: The Years of Fulfillment stuck out (I may have read this for the first time before I was into Kerouac and the Beats, or maybe I just forgot reading it).

On the 26th [of September 1966] K [Krishnamurti] was to give the first of six talks at the New School for Social Research in New York, continuing until October 7. During this time in New York he met Ralph Ingersol, journalist and author Tim Leary, the psychologist, and Allen Ginsberg, the poet, who had collaborated with Keary in anti-war propaganda in 1961 (p. 136).

This got me wondering whether Krishnamurti and Kerouac ever met, so I Googled the two names and, interestingly enough, previous mentions on my blog from 2008 and 2012 are the first two hits (http://thedailybeatblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/kerouac-krishnamurti-burroughs-and.html and http://thedailybeatblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/jack-kerouac-and-compassion.html).

Resorting to my go-to biography, Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac by Gerald Nicosia, I see no mention of Krishnamurti in the index. Likewise I find nothing in the indexes of other Kerouac biographies (Charters, Clark, Miles, Maher, McNally). I think Kerouac was in Italy during the dates Krishnamurti met Ginsberg in NYC, so if they ever met it was likely another time.

So there's a mystery for you readers to solve: Did Jack Kerouac and Jiddu Krishnamurti ever meet? Let us know if you have some evidence one way or the other.



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