Nijinsky’s later years
In Part 2 I wrote about the early life of Vaslav Nijinsky up to the point of his moving to St. Moritz, Switzerland, at the end of 1917 to the Villa Guardamunt. In this installment I will look at his writings, and his institutional life – from age 29 to 61. As this is not intended to be a scholarly work, my citations appear as they do.
The earth is suffocating. Scientists extinguish the earth and human love.
During the year of 1918, Nijinsky may have begun to cycle between explosive broad creativity, wandering the town and snow covered slopes of St. Moritz, and raging, destructive violence. I say ‘may have’ because we only have Romola’s accounts during this isolated year, and she was known to edit the truth slightly.
Nijinsky planned to create a school in Russia for choreographers, composers, and scenic artists, and drew up plans for a circular theater. He plotted out new ballets, made hundreds of drawings, and worked on his dance notation system.
He designed a ballpoint pen because he had so much trouble writing with a fountain pen. He said he would call this pen, “God” – a good sense of humor. He felt he knew a cure for cancer. (The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky, 2006, p92) He wanted to build a bridge from Europe to America and conceptualized this using a series of cables (electric powered trains over water?). Because he was not trained as an engineer, his drawings were largely ignored for decades. No one knew what he was on about.
Nature feels me. Nature is God. I am nature. I do not like artificial nature.
My nature is alive. I am alive. Nature is life. Life is nature. – Nijinsky
It was also here at Villa Guardamunt that news of the horrors of the First World War reached the larger civilian population. This undid Nijinsky and he obsessed and suffered deeply from hearing these reports. He worried about the poor and how he might help. Environmental issues concerned him, and the conservation of fuels.
He mentions in his diary that he once saw the slaughter of a pig and calf, and that he could feel their terror and their tears. He ran in horror. Nijinsky didn’t want to eat meat, and everyone around him added yet another item to their list of indictments against his sanity.
At the end of this year, Bronia wrote from Russia that their older brother Stassik had died. Nijinsky’s wife says he received the news with a strange smile. It was right after this that Nijinsky started his Diary, often writing furiously all night long, and producing drawing after drawing at an incredible speed, as if he felt he had limited time. Certainly now, he was cycling between the three aspects mentioned above, i.e.creative/wandering/destructive.
He would run down the snowy slopes at incredible speed and control, and began to enter the very dangerous skeleton races, using a short sled without a steering mechanism. He had several near fatal accidents, not all due to the races.
Nijinsky’s drawings were seen as a definite sign of madness. They were often circular or contained ‘eye’ shapes, which look to me like Vesica Pisces, a metaphysical symbol of birth; a doorway to another realm. The pieces available to us today show a modernist, often geometric and etherial beauty. During this time he began to keep silent, often unresponsive to conversation or direct questions.
I am the brain in the brain. I like to look closely in the mirror and
I see only one eye in my forehead. – Nijinsky
On the day that he commenced his Diary, he was scheduled to dance in St. Moritz. On January 19, 1919, Nijinsky gave his last ‘performance’, but not his last dance. He told Romola that he wanted to express “the pangs of creation, the agony an artist has to go through when composing.” (A Leap Into Madness, 1991, Peter Ostwald, p170) She had no idea what he was talking about.
Performed at Suvretta House, the piece began with Nijinsky sitting silently in a chair staring at the audience with cat-like eyes for perhaps 30 minutes. Then he unrolled a white bolt of velvet cloth and a black one, creating a giant cross on the floor. Standing at the front arm of the cross, with arms outstretched, he said to the audience, “Now I will dance you the war, the war which you did not prevent.” (Diary pXX) He improvised a violent solo, ending with something a little lighter (because he felt the audience did not like him), eliciting laughter from the stunned, uncomfortable audience. This is an early expression of what we call performance art; another first for Nijinsky.
In his Diary he writes of that day: “I felt God throughout the evening. He loved me. I loved Him. Our marriage was solemnized.” (Diary p7) He told Romola after the performance, “Today is the day of my marriage to God.” (Leap p179)
I am afraid of people because they want me to lead
the same kind of life as they do. – Nijinsky
His Diary is often stream of consciousness (not something familiar in the early 20th Century) as he tried to untangle deeply conflicted emotions about a variety of topics; sex, poverty, his past with Diaghilev, his relationship with his wife, eating meat, etc. Nijinsky was trying to understand what was happening to him. Portions of the Diary do sound like the ravings of a madman to the uneducated. The editor’s notes give great insight into what he is referencing, and so really, his Diary becomes an important document of someone choosing, in some way, to leave his past on the stage behind him, and rehearsing for one of the longest running character portrayals he would adopt: that of the lunatic.
During these days at Villa Guardamunt Romola became friendly with a local athletics doctor, Hans Frenkel. We would call this speciality sports medicine today. He had attended a lecture at one point on the fledgling psychiatric profession and decided to try his hand at analyzing Nijinsky. He also administered chloral hydrate as a sedative which increases depression, something Nijinsky struggled with. (Leap p175)
Concurrently, Frenkel was having an affair with his client’s wife – Romola. Nijinsky writes in his journal that he feels something is going on. He developed, over time, a severe rage at even the mention of Dr. Frenkel’s name.
I do not want to give them my feelings because
I know they will not understand me. – Nijinsky
After a month of Frenkel’s treatments Nijinsky was so thoroughly confused that he did start to wonder if he was going insane. (Leap p191). He writes, “My wife wants me to go to Zurich to see a specialist for nerves…..She wants to have a child, a little boy, a reincarnation of me, as she is afraid I will soon die. She thinks I am mad.” (Leap p194)
In early March 1919, Romola had her first consultation with Professor Bleuler in Zurich. Bleuler had recently coined the term ‘’schizophrenia”. They spoke for nearly two hours and the next day he had a consultation with Nijinsky. This is where the Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky ends, waiting for the train to Zurich. He writes, “I will observe everyone with complete detachment, and I will understand everything. I do not like knowing everything in advance, but God is showing me the way people live and therefore is warning me.” (Diary p226)
Bleuler said of Nijinsky that he had a very good intelligence, but was confused. He didn’t think Nijinsky should be hospitalized, but rather treated within the community. If he were housed with patients worse than himself, it could make matters worse for Nijinsky. Bleuler also advised Romola to leave Nijinsky and let him (Nijinsky) get on with his life as he saw fit. (Leap p197) It is now pointless to wonder, if she had actually taken his advice, would Nijinsky have indeed retreated so totally within himself if he had been allowed back around other artists and creatives rather than being completely isolated from his chosen field?
People must not think me. They must feel me and
understand me through feeling – Nijinsky
Nijinsky felt his mission was to show people that thinking was the cause of all problems in the world and that they needed to feel. He knew his message would be opposed. Indeed, we are only just now coming to this awareness of the importance of feeling, or heart-knowing, rather than relying on intellectual-knowing only. His dance was all about feeling. He became each character he portrayed, and left a piece of himself on each stage, each night he performed, in his desire to accomplish his mission.
In his Diary Nijinsky writes: “I want to be God and therefore I work on myself. I want to dance. I want to draw. I want to play piano. I want to write verse. I want to compose ballets. I want to love everyone. This is the aim of my life.”
After his evaluation with Bleuler they returned to their hotel where upon Romola locked herself in her room. Nijinsky try to get in later, but she wouldn’t admit him. He then locked himself in his room and only let his breakfast be brought in to him the next morning. Romola says that he showed them a large knife and said he bought it for sharpening pencils. (Leap p199) Chaos ensued when Romola’s mother, who was with them to ‘help’ during this transition process, called the police who subsequently forced an entry into Nijinsky’s room. He exclaimed, “I am a man of the world and not accustomed to being treated this way!” An associate of Bleuler’s, Dr. Oberhoszer, was called in to examine him.
By 4 o’clock that afternoon Nijinksky was a patient of The Burgholzli, a Cantonal Hospital for well-to-do private patients. On March 10, 1919, he was transferred via train to Bellevue Sanatorium in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland. His discharge diagnosis was ‘catatonia’. It is to be noted that Dr. Frenkel accompanied Nijinsky on this trip, not Romola.
The Earth will also be like Mars, but in several hundred years’ time….therefore,
I ask everyone to abandon factories…. – Nijinsky
Thus began a long series of various institutions, with intermittent stays ‘at home’ where he would invariably worsen. It would be years until Nijinsky saw a psychiatrist who actually spoke Russian. Nijinsky didn’t speak fluent French and often refused to speak that language at all. He spoke German even less well. It begs the question how he was communicated with as to what was going on within himself, what he was thinking, feeling, did he know what was happening to him, how did he feel about it, etc.
Romola was his guardian now and ordered no visitors and no music for her husband. Written permission had to be obtained from her for any visitors who might want to see him. Romola was often in America and wouldn’t see her husband for three to four years at a time. He was isolated and alone, cycling between violent, dangerous outbursts, and catatonic stupor. He pulled out his hair, and scratched his face and hands until they bled. Now and again one of the staff would ask him to dance, and he would often be pleased to do so. Other times, he’d say, “Oh, I have lost the habit.” Once he was presented with a picture album of his dance days, and he pushed it away saying, “fini.” (Leap p279)
One of his doctors at one of the many hospitals where he stayed reports: “He (Nijinsky) doesn’t speak much, also doesn’t eat especially much; mood fairly good during the medical visit. Otherwise he sleeps a lot.” Over time the doctors found that if they let Nijinsky eat what he wanted (usually pastries – dancers always starve themselves to keep in dance shape, so he probably never ate these previously) his moods would improve. He gained weight and developed arteriosclerosis. When they put him on a diet he became less compliant. He had several heart attacks.
People like calm men. I am not a calm man. I love life.
I want life. I want to be believed. – Nijinsky
On June 14, 1920, Nijinsky’s second daughter, Tamara, was born. Romola says that Nijinsky held his daughter in his arms for a few hours and talked rationally. Then slowly returned to silence again. Tamara had been conceived in the hopes that another child might bring Nijinsky back. (Leap p261)
In 1921 Romola wrote to Bronia. Her letter had to be smuggled into Soviet Kiev via a friend. Bronia had a dance school there and was taking care of her mother as well as her two children, as a single parent. Romola entreated her to bring their mother to visit Nijinsky as he had been ill for a year and a half now. She hoped seeing them would effect a cure.
Bronia, along with her mother and two children, were able to get out of Kiev, and taking various freight trains, six weeks later managed to travel the 657 miles from Kiev to Vienna. They arrived in May.
The next day they went to Steinhoff Sanatorium to visit Nijinsky. Bronia was overwhelmed by a ‘great sorrow’ yet tried to appear relaxed and to engage with her brother in conversation. (Memoirs p 514) She told him of her work in Kiev teaching students his method so that they might dance his choreography. They all had great admiration for him even though they never had seen him dance. She rambled on and he remained impassive. However, when she said to him, “Would you believe, Vatsa, that with them (her students) I have already devised two ballets?”
I must say that I can see without eyes. I am feeling….
I am the spirit that carries Nijinsky’s body.- Nijinsky
Bronia relates: “Vaslav suddenly turned his head and looked straight into my eyes. He said very firmly, as if instructing me, “The ballet is never devised. The ballet must be created.” Vaslav’s beautiful eyes were sparkling, the sound of his dear voice rang in my ears, my heart brimmed over with hope. Words rushed from me; I was as excited and overjoyed as if a miracle had taken place before my eyes….but the spark of consciousness suddenly died. Vaslav was again staring into the distance, indifferent to everything around him.” (Memoirs p514/515)
In 1923 Diaghilev visited Nijinsky’s Paris apartment, wanting to draw him closer into the creative circle. Serge Lifar, Diaghilev’s lover, stated that Diaghilev had “never reconciled himself to Nijinsky’s misfortune, and never abandoned the hope that some shock might restore him to the world” (Leap p266) A shock was what he was hoping for now. During the course of their visit Diaghilev said, “Vatsa, you are being lazy. Come, I need you. You must dance again for the Russian Ballet and for me.” Nijinsky replied, “I cannot because I am mad.”
In 1924 Diaghilev made contact with Nijinsky again by inviting him to rehearsals of his sister’s ballet. When Nijinsky arrived, his appearance distressed the dancers, as he gazed into the distance with a half smile on his lips. Anton Dolin was the lead and attempting to learn Nijinsky’s dance secrets from Bronia. Nijinsky gave no response to The Train Bleu rehearsal, Bronia started to cry, and Romola eventually led him away. (Leap p267)
I live with God. People do not understand me. I came here to help.
I want ‘Paradise’ on Earth. – Nijinsky
Some time later that same year, Anton Dolin asked Diaghilev if he would take him to meet Nijinsky. At first Diaghilev declined. As Diaghilev’s current lover, Dolin refused to eat for three days until Diaghilev changed his mind. Romola invited them to tea in their Paris apartment.
During the visit Nijinsky mostly sat and laughed quietly. When Dolin asked him a direct question, Nijinsky replied, “Je ne sais pas (I do not know)”. Nijinsky let Diaghilev embrace him in leaving, and though at first he seemed resistant, put his hand on Dolin’s and kissed him three times, in the Russian way. Diaghilev asked if he could visit again, and Nijinsky just shook his head wistfully. (Leap 268)
In December 1928 Diaghilev visited Nijinsky for the last time – the latter was staying in a Paris nursing home at the time. He brought Nijinsky’s former ballet partner, Tamara Karsavina, for whom his second daughter was named. He also brought Serge Lifar. Lifar noted that Nijinsky “had the furtive look of a hunted beast, but otherwise seemed quite sane while speaking”. (Leap p273)
He was taken to the Paris Opera for a ballet performance in the hopes it might jolt him back here. After the performance Nijinsky kept saying that he did not want to leave the theater. But he was now a chronic invalid, and back to the nursing home he went.
Diaghilev died in Venice the following August in a diabetic coma. The beautiful, grand days of the Ballet Russes were well and truly over. Nijinsky’s mother died in 1932. He was never told of these deaths for fear of what it might do to him.
I looked at the sky and saw the stars, which started twinkling at me.
I felt the gaiety of the stars. – Nijinsky
Romola published her first biography of Nijinsky in 1934 entitled, Nijinsky. She absolutely did her part in making sure he was not forgotten. Although she saw events and circumstances through her own particular lens of reality, it is a valuable document nonetheless. This is the book I read in 1982, and it certainly captivated me.
The first English translation of The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky was published by Romola in 1936. The book was heavily edited – about 40% by some estimates. Deleted were the things he said that were detrimental to Romola, mention of homosexuality, and other ‘offending’ subjects. The unexpurgated version was not available until 1995 and presented a very different experience. This is the version I have used in researching for this article.
In 1937, a former acquaintance of Nijinsky’s, the Princess Norina Matchabelli, was concerned about him and asked her spiritual master, Meher Baba*, if he could effect a cure for Nijinsky. Meher Baba answered in the affirmative, but with the priviso that Nijinsky would have to come stay with him for several months. (Lord Meher, Bhau Kalchuri p1860, online edition) As this would be dependent upon Romola’s discretion, who knows if this information was ever conveyed to Nijinsky himself, or if he would have wanted to go.
In the same year his daughter, Kyra, visited him for the first time in over ten years. She was also a trained dancer and performed for her father who looked on with interest. Kyra felt she understood what her father said very well, and believed his mood swings were caused by environmental events (things happening around him), rather than internal disease. His demeanor would brighten when she was with him, and after she left he fell into a morose mood. (Leap p294)
1937 also saw the development of the use of insulin shock treatment in psychiatric care. The neurosurgical procedures lobectomy and lobotomy also became popular at this time. Romola wanted to try insulin-shock treatment with her husband, but delayed and went to America again. When she returned, Nijinsky started the ‘insulin cure’ on July 18, 1938, back at Bellevue Sanatorium, in Switzerland. He was 49 years old.
I am the God who dies when he is not loved.
God loves me and will give me life in death. – Nijinsky
As many are aware, new and promising treatments are often not fully tested before they are used on patients in hopes that the cherished hypothesis will become fact through repetition. This was true of insulin shock treatments of the 1930s. Dr. Manfred Sakel, was a specialist in the use of insulin in treating physiological excitements. The objective of insulin-shock treatment is the destruction of brain cells, hoping this will effect a cure in those who participate. This assumes that damage to the brain is actually therapeutic. (Leap p295) Romola was willing to do almost anything to get Nijinsky back to a ‘normal’ life.
The treatment was a rigorous 2 – 3 month period where the patient was kept in bed each morning 6 of 7 days a week. Breakfast was not eaten on treatment days, and a high dose of insulin was administered by injection. The recipient would begin to sweat, drool, become sleepy, then loose consciousness and go into a coma. After four hours the patient was ‘revived’ through a sugar solution via a tube in the stomach or injection.
A contemporary of Sakel’s described this procedure as akin to repairing a Swiss watch by using a hammer. (Leap p302)
Nijinsky endured 228 insulin shock treatments at two different Institutions. The first, Bellevue Sanatorium (48 treatments), until the director there refused to be a party to the treatments any longer. Then Nijinsky was moved to Munsingen Hospital (180 treatments). Without going into the lengthy details, there was no positive outcome.
I am a man with a heart….and hope that I will develop my spirit very greatly.
I am no longer Nijinsky of the Ballet Russes.
I am Nijinsky of God. – Nijinsky
Romola took Nijinsky to her mother’s villa in Budapest in July 1940. She and her mother did not get on well, and life was quite strained. In 1941 Germany invaded Russia and German troops were stationed in Budapest. Part of the villa where Nijinsky was living was requisitioned for military occupancy. Jews had to wear a yellow star and Romola’s step-father, though he converted to Catholicism decades previously, was required to wear one. Romola’s mother hid several of her Jewish friends in the villa. They lost most of their help because the staff did not want to live in a house with Jews.
These were terribly dangerous times, and under continuous stress and anxiety, Nijinsky became very violent and aggressive. It became so bad that he was taken to the local State Hospital, Lipotmezo, strapped into a straight jacket. It should be noted that the Nazis were not only rounding up Jews, but gypsies, homosexuals, and mental patients.
After three days in Lipotmezo, Romola signed Nijinsky out and they rented a cottage, hired a male nurse and moved near Lake Balaton away from the city. A fortuitous, unexpected meeting with Paul Bohus Vilagosi, a distant relation of Romola’s, probably saved their lives. He provided safety, money and connections at a time when it was most desperately needed.
From May of 1943 Nijinsky spent about a year in St. John Community Hospital in Budapest. In 1944 Budapest came under bombardment and Paul was able to find someone to hide them in the hills close to the Austrian border – for a price. Nijinsky did very well here and was reported to be the most peaceful of all the refugees. He loved being in natural surroundings – this knowledge could have been an important consideration in the very beginning of his distress and subsequent treatment.
Nijinsky would be taken to the local psychiatric ward whenever Romola and Paul needed to go into Budapest to sell their jewelry or heirlooms. When they returned from one such excursion, suddenly there was a knock at the door. It was Nijinsky with his male attendant from the hospital. Notice had been given that all the inmates would be exterminated within 24 hours. Stan, the attendant, had gotten Nijinsky to safety within hours of death at great risk to himself. It was March 12, 1945. Nijinsky had just turned 56. They all got into the nearby caves to safety.
I think often about the stars and therefore I know who I am. – Nijinsky
Not long after this the Russian troops arrived to liberate Budapest. Apparently when Nijinsky heard the language of his childhood, he became a different person. Listening to the music of the soldiers and their singing, he was able to approach them and actually joined in with their laughter and songs. Even Romola realized that all the doctors over the last 26 years did not have as good effect as this had on her husband.
The soldiers knew of Nijinsky who was legendary in Russia, of course. They were astonished when he turned up as a ragged refugee and wanted to dance and sing for him. Nijinsky at first would clap his hands as they did so, and then one evening he jumped up and began to whirl and dance! What an amazing event that must have been for everyone!
Too soon they left for Vienna. The psychiatrist who examined Nijinsky there found him “unable to give fitting answers to questions.” Later in the spring they all moved into Schloss Mittersill in the mountains of Austria. Here Nijinsky was able to live fairly comfortably. Apparently he played a mean game of table tennis, looked strong, and walked with grace and dignity. He vacillated between calm and sweet, and mumbling irritably to himself.
In late 1946 Romola visited Paris, leaving Nijinsky in the care of Paul, and his male nurse. In spring of the following year she went to London. They all left Austria in November 1947 for Zurich’s Brunner Sanatorium. Nijinsky’s physical exam showed high blood pressure and suspected kidney disease, with heart arrhythmia and signs of an enlarged heart. Some time later they moved to London.
During this time an old friend of Nijinsky, Nadine Legat, the widow of his former teacher in Russia came to visit him. She was 92. Romola reported: “For Nadia, Vaslav had never been ill. She felt that he was a genius, far ahead of us, on a different level of mentality, and that there was fundamentally nothing wrong with him.” (Leap p331)
Another examination in London showed that Nijinsky had generalized arteriosclerosis, and high blood pressure. Lab results showed he had impairment in kidney function. It is noted by author Ostwald (former professor of psychiatry at University of California in San Francisco) that persistent hypertension can produce renal impairment, and so can insulin-shock treatments. The repeated induced insulin-comas damaged not only Nijinsky’s brain, but also his kidneys and heart. (Leap p334)
On April 2, 1950 Serge Lifar arrived in London to work on a documentary on Nijinsky with the BBC. It was remarked how fit he (Nijinsky) looked. The next day Nijinsky complained of a headache, but spent the afternoon at the Alexandra Palace watching Lifar and other dancers rehearse for their television program; later he signed autographs at a restaurant. In the evening Romola says he suddenly started moving his arms overhead as he had done in Le Spectre de la Rose decades ago. The next day, the 4th of April, he lay limp in bed.
I do not want my handwriting to be admired.
I want my ideas to be admired. – Nijinsky
Test results showed, on April 5th, that Nijinsky was in renal failure. By the next day he was in a coma. On April 7th, Good Friday, Nijinsky again made the arm movements reminiscent of those in Spectre. He said the Russian word, “Mamasha” a diminutive for mother. When people are getting ready to leave, often someone who had been dear to them in life comes to prepare them.
The next day, Saturday, the 8th of April, Nijinsky seemed a little better and ate some breakfast. Romola, thinking all was well, went into the other room momentarily. Suddenly the male nurse shouted, and when Romola returned to the room, he was holding Nijinsky in his arms, saying, “Look, look!” Nijinsky had stopped breathing. He signed once and was gone. The official cause of death was “uremia with chronic nephritis.” (Leap 338)
A funeral Mass was held the following week with 500 people from all over the world in attendance. Those caught within the Soviet Union could not make it to London. St. James Church in Marylebone was packed and extra police were drafted to keep the crowds in check. The pallbearers were dancers Frederick Ashton, Michael Soames, Serge Lifar and Anton Dolin. Richard Buckle, founder of Ballet magazine in 1939 was also pallbearer, as was Cyril Beaumont, writer of numerous books on ballet.
Cyril Beaumont was the only one of the six who had seen Nijinsky at his peak glory. He said after the funeral that the weight of Nijinsky’s coffin was almost intolerable for him to bear.
I worked hard, but later I lost heart because I noticed that I was not liked.
I withdrew so deep within myself that I could not understand people.
I wept and wept… – Nijinsky
Nijinsky was laid to rest in St. Marylebone Cemetery in Finchley Road, London. In 1953 Serge Lifar arranged to have him taken to Paris to be buried in a new grave in the Montmartre Cemetery. A Russian Orthodox priest presided and Bronia was able to attend this time. Nijinsky was placed next to the dancer whose mantle he wore so beautifully, Auguste Vestris (1760 – 1842). Lifar (1905 – 1986) in time would also be laid to rest beside these two great artists.
Romola lived until 1978 and died in Paul Bohus’ arms in Paris. She travelled widely including a visit to Russia where she had an ‘amusing’ interview with Krushchev. She went to Japan where she fell in love with a transvestite actress who resembled a young Nijinsky. She’d had many women lovers over the years. She also published The Last Years of Nijinsky (1952). Romola is buried in Montmartre Cemetery, but not close to her husband.
So, ended the life of Vaslav Nijinsky, a very misunderstood man, the greatest dancer of the last century; an Artist and sincere seeker of God. In Part 4 I will discuss the concept of insanity vs. sanity and how that may reflect upon our understanding of Consciousness generally, and our spiritual lives specifically.
All set-apart quotes attributed to Nijinsky are from The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky.
*Meher Baba was known for, among other things, his work with the God-Mad in India. The God-Mad are spiritually advanced souls stuck on the Planes who need the ‘push’ of a spiritual master in order to advance. Their inner state of bliss is so intense that it has rendered them mad for ordinary human purposes. Meher Baba made a point to find and contact as many of these individuals as he could during his lifetime. Among his followers, there has been conjecture as to whether Nijinsky may have been one of these God-Mad. It is important to note that in the West we do not have any idea of this particular spiritual status; nor does western science recognize spirituality as anything real. I do not necessarily believe that this was Nijinsky’s issue, I merely note it here as a matter of interest. To find out more about the God-Mad, see The Wayfarers, by Dr. William Donkin, who traveled on these tours with Meher Baba to help these people.