A Very Personal Conversation with Krishnamurti

By Bill Angelos

The hands of K

It was during a time in my life when everything—including my marriage—was falling apart… After spending many years as a very successful TV comedy writer, what I had once perceived as a lifetime career no longer held any interest for me. By then, through a very unusual series of occurrences I also found myself totally involved with the plight of the American Indians—the Hopi people, to be exact. At that point, however—even that involvement had developed its own problems. I knew K was staying with Mary Z. at her home, which was then in Malibu, and since I too was living in Malibu at the time, I called and asked to see him, as I had done quite a few times before. As always, he managed to carve out some time to see me. I must have been quite a sight when I arrived—life had beaten most of the energy out of me… We sat on a couch, quite close to each other in Mary’s spacious, beautifully appointed living room overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean, and I told him about what had just happened with the Indians… We sat silently for an interminable period until he finally asked: “Tell me sir, what do you want to do with your life?”

I was literally stunned by the question—and couldn’t answer it. He went on: “Do you expect to go from one cause to another—from the Indians to Lord knows what, thinking that you are going to somehow help? What do you want to do with your life?” I thought and thought… Finally, I pointed to a beautiful coffee table in front of us, upon which there was a painting of knights in battle and said: “I want to stop that!” Again he asked, this time more vehemently: “What do you want to do with your life?” I thought and thought and finally said… “Well, I’m a communicator and I want to apply that skill to—” He interrupted me, with: “Your life sir, what do you want to do with it?” After a few more feeble attempts at answering the same question which he kept asking, over and over, we sat in total silence for an eternity, until he put his hand on my leg, leaned in and said: “Understand this sir, unless you move from right action, your life will continue to deteriorate… Now… what do you want to do with your life?” He was telling me that unless, when I got up from that couch, I moved from something called “right action” my life would get worse! (And it did!) I froze for another eternity and finally said: “Well, my wife and I are going through a divorce and…” Again he interrupted, and this time almost shouted: “To hell with her! We’re talking about your life! What do you want to do with it?” Another eternity… until he suddenly took both of his hands, put them together, palms up, held them in front of my eyes, like a mirror, and said “Look! Just look!” Then he pointed to the living room door and said: “And walk through that door…”

I have been looking and walking through door after door, ever since… But it is only after almost forty years that I have recently figured out what I want to do with my life.