Michael Neve

  • My Guru and his Disciple by Christopher Isherwood
    Eyre Methuen, 338 pp, £8.50, July 1980, ISBN 0 413 46930 1

Cleanliness has always been next to godliness: Christopher Isherwood (‘this rebellious son of a British lieutenant-colonel’ – Time Magazine) has found the two things in California, where they have become One. My Guru and his Disciple, an account of Isherwood’s relationship with the Swami Prabhavananda in the gentle climes of the West Coast, is clear-sighted and clean-limbed, a relaxed vision of love and devotion, a diary that records difficulties effortlessly and remembers trials as periods of intense relaxation. The wisdom of the Vedas is now found in the Pacific ocean in the early morning; God inhabits a blank and quiet world, where the sun always shines and all backgrounds have become foregrounds:

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