Lewis Thompson and Richard Lannoy
Thompson. Born in Great
Thompson encountered the Buddhist teachings in his early
adolescence and thus began his great love affair with the
East. He lived for seventeen years in India, where his
passionate mysticism and itinerant lifestyle acquainted him
with the living spiritual giants of his day, including
Ramana Maharsi, Sri Aurobindo, J. Krishnamurti, Anandamayi
Ma and others. Thompson’s meticulously-kept journals trace
the interior journey of a dedicated sadhika, one who
pursues the spiritual path. On June 19, 1949, Lewis Thompson
was found wandering in a dazed state by the Ganges River in
Benares, India, under the merciless heat of the noonday sun.
He was penniless. Taken to a small room in the house of an
absent friend, he languished for two days. Here he wrote the
last entry in his journal and his last poem, “Black Flower,”
before lapsing into a coma. He died entirely alone, at the
age of forty, on June 21, 1949.
Richard Lannoy, a scholar and an internationally acclaimed
photographer, has lived, studied and worked in India over a
period of more than forty years. He is the editor of Mirror to the Light, The Journal of Lewis Thompson and the author of numerous books, including his most recent, The Speaking Tree, A Study of Indian Culture and Society.
He lives in England.